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  • October 2010
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links for 2010-10-12

  • // Again, the one piece of real bad news for the GOP is the GOTV machinery is missing a bit this year and the Dems are at their normal levels. It may impact a few races.
  • // This represents the one piece of "bad news" for the GOP, being completely ungunned and underfunded and undermanned in the GOTV game. However, it's something that's true every year. Maybe a few statewide races will be affected, but it won't matter much in the congressional battles.
  • // Duh
  • Quote:'Paul Davies, in The Guardian, wrote: "The multiverse comes with a lot of baggage, such as an overarching space and time to host all those bangs, a universe-generating mechanism to trigger them, physical fields to populate the universes with material stuff, and a selection of forces to make things happen. Cosmologists embrace these features by envisaging sweeping “meta-laws” that pervade the multiverse and spawn specific bylaws on a universe-by-universe basis. The meta-laws themselves remain unexplained – eternal, immutable transcendent entities that just happen to exist and must simply be accepted as given. In that respect the meta-laws have a similar status to an unexplained transcendent god." Davies concludes "there is no compelling need for a supernatural being or prime mover to start the universe off. But when it comes to the laws that explain the big bang, we are in murkier waters." [21]

    // Davies explains better than anyone the problem with Hawking's argument.

  • Quote:"Okun's law is approximate because factors other than employment (such as productivity) affect output. In Okun's original statement of his law, a 3% increase in output corresponds to a 1% decline in the rate of unemployment; a .5% increase in labor force participation; a .5% increase in hours worked per employee; and a 1 % increase in output per hours worked (labor productivity).[2] Okun's Law states that a one point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with two percentage points of negative growth in real GDP.

    // We need GDP.

  • Quote:"What accounts for the growing lag times? The speed and extent to which GDP bounces back after a downturn is one crucial factor. Martin A. Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, points out that as the U.S. recovered from earlier recessions, GDP often grew for several quarters at around 7%—roughly four points above the economy's long-term potential. Such spurts, fueled by strong pent-up demand among consumers and businesses, helped many unemployed Americans find jobs. Not this time: With both households and businesses stepping back from spending levels that were artificially pumped up by debt, demand is weak. Most economists project GDP growth to stay at or below 3% for the next to years. "If you don't have growth well above your long-term potential, you can't reabsorb people, so it takes a lot longer to get back to where you were," says Regalia.

    // Raising taxes. That's the answer.

  • // From a purely qualitative viewpoint, seats in democrat districts should be battlegrounds, not the seats in swing districts. Dem incumbs who voted against Obamacare and are generall conservative should be tossups. It is the ideological liberal dem incumbs in dem leaning districts who should be at risk, especially if they are facing tough, moderate GOPers. The question is whether moderate GOPers have been forced out this year thanks to the teaparty. Even if, the GOP prospects are still good in many blue districts. The more unrepetent the liberal, the more the GOP needs to find a good candidate to run againt them. I don't know if the playing field for the GOP will still be this good in 2012, but it might.
  • Quote:"If Republicans were to return to their 2002 levels in the popular vote, they would pick up three seats in Illinois, three seats in Michigan (I assume they would pick up MI-01), four in Ohio, and five in Pennsylvania; they'd also come close in PA-13 (48 percent R in 2002) and PA-17 (49 percent R in 2002). That's a little more than a third of the seats the Republicans need to take back the House, from these four states alone. And given the assumptions that we're making, this is probably understating the strength of the Republicans position.