Let’s live-blog the results here

Well, the election is over on the east coast, except for those who were standing in line as I posted this.

Soon we’ll know — at least, I hope so.

Let’s discuss the results in this thread. I’ll do my best to keep up with your comments…

231 thoughts on “Let’s live-blog the results here

  1. Mark Stewart

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the other 5 time zones having a chance to weigh in with their votes before the election is declared over…

  2. Norm Ivey

    What kind of wait times did you have? We waited 2 hours at North Springs School in the northeast. Pontiac had had waits of 5-6 hours, I’ve heard. We had 2 of 8 machines not working, and not enough pollworkers in the early afternoon.

  3. Mark Stewart

    And then NBC projected Romney in SC with 1% of the vote in. So maybe the networks are going back to that pre 2000 mentality of immediate gratification?

    They may be correct, but that sounds far more anecdotal than scientific.

  4. Brad

    Oddly, the NYT currently has Obama leading in SC.

    More interestingly, they’re putting out some exit poll results. For instance, most voters do NOT want Obamacare repealed

    That actually is the important thing about exit polls — not who wins, which we’ll know soon anyway. The important thing is that they provide a chance to know what the people who actually voted were thinking at the time.

  5. Brad

    Wait… with South Carolina and Indiana in, Romney’s leading 33 to 3. Peggy Noonan’s got to be feeling good so far…

  6. Brad

    OK, that’s weird. PBS has Romney winning SC (no surprise), but their numbers show Obama with more votes here — with only 32 of 2,141 precincts reporting…

  7. Brad

    It’s like they said, “Never mind the actual numbers: We known Romney will win SC, so give it to him.”

    Sort of like a gimme in golf. Yeah, you made that. Pick up…

  8. Scout

    I think PBS said they based calling SC already on the AP calling SC already and that was supposedly based on exit polls. We are listening to PBS.

  9. Brad

    Ah. Well, I guess that’s OK, if they’re calling it for Romney. But I’d hesitate to call a state for Obama if it were at all close, since Republicans have a greater tendency to refuse to answer exit pollsters.

  10. Herb

    But don’t they usually know by the way the vote is going in the cities as to how it will play out elsewhere? I mean, this isn’t 1948; they’ve got this down to a science now.

  11. Brad

    With Tennessee called for Romney, it’s 64-51…

    This is like calling a prize fight: “Annnd the challengah lands a right cross on the champeen… Ow, that’s gotta hoit…”

  12. Brad

    With Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and New York called, Romney now leads 138 to 109…

  13. Brad

    With two-thirds of precincts in, Florida a dead heat. Here’s what Nate Silver says about it

    “In the final pre-election forecast at FiveThirtyEight, the state of Florida was exceptionally close. Officially, Mr. Obama was projected to 49.797 percent of the vote there, and Mr. Romney 49.775 percent, a difference of two-hundredths of a percentage point.

    “The last time a FiveThirtyEight forecast had projected such a close race was in the 2008 senate race in Minnesota, when our final pre-election forecast had given the Democrat, Al Franken, a nominal 0.1-point lead over the Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman. That race ended in a recount, with Mr. Franken winning after several months of ballot counting.”

  14. Kathryn Fenner

    Wow, PB, you’re in Wilson’s district and I’m in Clyburn’s. My parents in Aiken are in Wilson. Spaghetti districts?

  15. Norm Ivey

    I blanked it also. It will be interesting to see what the drop off in votes from President to Congress will be in the 2nd district.

  16. Brad

    Of course, if we want to mount a more credible challenge to Joe next time, we’ll have to raise a lot of money.

    I think I’ll start a contest here on the blog to decide what I should scream at the president to get the cash flowing in…

  17. Phillip

    Re coattails, not sure about that at least insofar as US House goes, and as for the Senate, GOP has only itself to blame in a place like Indiana (Mourdock) or Missouri should Akin lose. One could even argue that Warren’s rise in the MA polls to pass Brown coincided with the Akin remarks and the staking out of other GOP positions that cost the party with women.

  18. Brad

    The NYT, reporting from the Obama party in Chicago:

    “The early cheers came when the networks called Michigan for President Obama. The Florida vote count, which has shown the president inching up to tie Mr. Romney, elicited cautious clapping. And then the networks called Pennsylvania for the president and and the crowd goes wild.

    “But then things quiet quickly, when one of the monitors shows the race remains undecided. The big three — Ohio, Florida, Virginia— remain too close to call.”

  19. Steven Davis II

    Well I’m going to say that it looks like we’re in for another four years of Obama, but with the Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate we’re in for another four years of the same as the last four years.

    The only thing to get semi-excited about is it looks like Jake Knotts is going to get booted from office finally. We’ll have Sheally for four years, let’s just hope she’s only 90% as bad as Knotts.

  20. Jason Collins

    Hey Brad! I’m looking for results for SC House District 105. Can you please steer me in the right direction? Thanks!

  21. Brad

    Phillip I think that’s too pat. I know it’s a Democratic article of faith that women are single-issue voters who twitch and vote as a block at the mention of abortion (excuse me: “women’s health”).

    But I think women are more complex than that, and fully capable of looking holistically at a candidate…

  22. Brad

    Of course, I just heard that Warren had an 18-point gender gap… but I have to believe that’s about more than abortion. For starters, she’s, you know, a woman. That could be one of many other factors…

  23. Phillip

    It’s more than abortion per se. And no, it’s not true that anybody rational believes women are single-issue voters. But in a close race, the identification of one political party with such noxious sentiments as expressed by some of its candidates (Akin, who just lost, and Mourdock, who lost earlier), can be enough to tip the scales.

    I’m guessing that when all is said and done tonight, the GOP will be seen to have alienated just enough women voters and Hispanic voters to fail to elect Romney and to fail to take the US Senate, and this will be the major post-mortem analysis of the election.

  24. Brad

    Could anybody help me help my cousin Jason find out what’s happening in House District 105? I’m drawing a blank…

    I can’t even find ANY legislative results on thestate.com yet…

  25. Brad

    Norm, I’m not seeing ANY legislative results there. Where are you looking? I want to see what’s happening with Nikki Setzler…

  26. Brad

    OK, I just saw on WIS that Nikki Setzler is leading 60-40 with about three-fourths of the vote in.

    I hope that holds. His opponent — who has some pretty extreme views — appeared to run on a campaign of nothing but character assassination…

  27. Brad

    Actually, Phillip, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I got TWO votes in the 2nd Congressional District election, because I voted for myself.

    I thought about voting for my wife, but I wasn’t sure she would accept the job, so I voted for myself.

    So… the UnParty is doing twice as well as you thought…

  28. Norm Ivey

    And you can see which counties/precincts have reported by clicking the Contest Detail Map to the right of the race heading.

  29. Brad

    Wow, that SC Votes is a tedious way to find information.

    Near as I can tell, Jason, there are no results in yet in House District 105…

  30. Brad

    Of course, on a map it doesn’t look like much. The whole region would fit into Texas, just eyeballing it… A whole lot of red on the map…

  31. Norm Ivey

    SCVotes is finally reporting some results from Richland County. I heard earlier that Mayor Benjamin was in line as late as 10:00 PM at Pontiac Elementary.

  32. Norm Ivey

    Gary Johnson’s presence on the ballot may cost Romney Florida and Virginia based on the PBS counts. Fair enough. Nader cost Gore in 2000.

  33. Phillip

    Again about coattails: how can you claim Obama has coattails in the case of Senate wins for Democrats in states that went for Romney (Missouri, Indiana, quite possibly Virginia)? I’ll give you the Mass. example, but elsewhere I’d suggest it’s a combination of Senate Dem candidates’ NOT being tied too closely to Obama along with GOP candidates obviously out of the mainstream (again, Mass. excepted).

  34. Brad

    Just heard Elizabeth Warren telling supporters, “We’re gonna fight for you…”

    MAN, but I hate that cliche. How about promising to apply reason, and engage in the deliberative process? How about that, huh? I HATE all that “fight” nonsense…

  35. Brad

    WIS is showing people STILL standing in line waiting to vote in Richland County.

    The voters showing that kind of dedication have my admiration. Whoever was in charge of running the polling places in Richland County does not.

  36. Scout

    Where are they getting those results for Shealy/Knotts – election commission still has nothing for Lexington county.

  37. Brad

    Well, TV wins as a medium tonight. None of the websites I’m looking at, including NBC and other TV sites, are showing that this is over yet…

  38. Brad

    There’s already talk about how the GOP now needs to do some serious soul-searching. This stuff of kowtowing to the Tea Party that worked for them in 2010 is not paying off in the long run…

  39. Norm Ivey

    If the Republican party continues on their current path, they will continue to appeal to a shrinking portion of the electorate. They need some strong moderate leaders to step up and take charge. I have doubts about their ability to do so.

  40. Doug Ross

    “If the Republican party continues on their current path, they will continue to appeal to a shrinking portion of the electorate.”

    What if Romney wins the popular vote? Republicans just can’t win the big tax and spend states and the rust belt.

  41. Brad

    Good point by Doug there. Look at the map. Across the broader swathes of the country, the GOP remains flavor of the month…

  42. Norm Ivey

    I don’t think Romney will win the popular vote. There’s still a lot of counting to be done in California.

  43. Doug Ross

    Looks like the sales tax increase is going to come down to the wire. Might just pass with all the Christmas gifts that have been built into it.

    Going to hand a billion dollars over to a bunch of idiots who can’t even run a one day election with four years notice.

    Sadly, my views regarding the capabilities of government have only been strengthened. If you want something done poorly, give your money to the government.

  44. Norm Ivey

    States with large land areas tend to be red, but we don’t vote by land area. We vote by population.

  45. Brad

    Just learned that the governor of Colorado is named “Hickenlooper.” I wanted to share that with you. Getting punchy at this hour…

  46. Brad

    Yes, of course, Norm. I’m just saying the electoral map always LOOKS like the Dems are a niche party, with those little masses of blue and oceans of red. It’s graphically unfortunate.

  47. Phillip

    Just heard GOP strategist Mike Murphy acknowledge GOP must find new formula, way to draw more women, Latinos, young voters. Doug, Romney will not win the popular vote in the end (once west coast popular votes counted) and while a lot of that is due to his having been a flawed candidate, it seems that the demographics of the country are changing and GOP is trying to hang onto old coalitions.

    I don’t know which states you consider big “tax-and-spend” states but if Romney was unable to take back CO, VA, FL from Obama this year that shows some Democrats may be making some lasting inroads that go beyond the northeast, the west coast, and the Rust Belt.

  48. Brad

    I’m saying that has to, on a gut level, really infuriate Republicans. Like, if you will, waving a red cape at a bull…

  49. Brad

    I really had to chuckle at the way Brian Williams handled Trump’s fulminations a few minutes ago on NBC:

    “Reluctant as we are to pass this along, it nonetheless is, as they say, ‘out there’ and getting an airing tonight, so you might as well know about it.

    “Uh… Donald Trump, who has driven well past the last exit to relevance and veered into something closer to irresponsible here is Tweeting tonight…”

    A fairly classy, wry, donnish way for an MSM guy to reluctantly acknowledge the unruliness of social media…

  50. Brad

    I especially like the way he sounded like grandpa, saying, “You know, the way you kids say today, ‘out there’…”

  51. Brad

    Actually, Phillip, I don’t think the Republicans’ problem is “hanging on to old coalitions.”

    I think their problem is that they’ve been clinging to the NEW “coalition” of the Tea Party, spinning them off into la-la land. “Old coalitions” would be those that won for Reagan and the Bushes, some of which Clinton managed to peel away in the 90s.

    What happened was that the GOP called a lot of practitioners of that older kind of conservatism “RINOs” and embraced a fiscally radical, hyperlibertarian fringe. It started after the 2008 election, with people like Jim DeMint preaching that the problem was that the GOP wasn’t radical enough — and Republicans listened, especially after the Tea Party people hijacked their primaries in 2010.

    The party of the Bushes, Reagan, Ford, Nixon and Eisenhower would NOT have forced the fiscal crisis that led to the downgrading of the nation’s credit rating. It took a brand-new kind of extremist to do that.

    It’s that NEW configuration that’s the problem, not the “old coalitions.”

  52. Doug Ross


    Let’s just call it what it is – half of America didn’t want Obama re-elected. He lost more voters than he gained over four years. Obama’s popular vote victory will come from larger margins in New York, New Jersey, California, and Illinois – four states with some of the highest taxes in the country. California is on the brink of financial collapse thanks to its tax and spend policies.

    The Tea Party may diminish but that doesn’t mean fiscal conservatives are going anywhere. Let’s see who blinks on the deficit and Bush tax cuts. 8% unemployment after four years isn’t going to get Obama on Mt. Rushmore. And when Obamacare actually kicks in on the tax side next year, let’s see how well that works out. Already, companies are cutting hours and cutting jobs to get below the minimum levels where mandatory insurance would be required.

  53. Brad

    This might be the best speech I’ve heard Romney give.

    But who is the guy in the crowd who keeps trying to interrupt him, shouting something unintelligible? Seems intent on destroying the moment…

  54. Brad

    Doug, I’m all for fiscal CONSERVATISM. What I oppose is fiscal radicalism, of the sort that gave us our credit downgrade.

  55. Mark Stewart

    Yes, it is that for sure – economic irrationality over practical solutions. But I think Phillip was getting at the problems the social reactionaries also interject into the party’s search for a platform that successfully resonates with a winning coalition of Americans. They are as much to blame as the Tea Party for the waywardness of the modern Republican party.

    One part of the party wants no government; the other wants intrusive government. That was exactly the fissure that lead to the collapse of the Democrats in the 1980’s. Parties seem to be able to incorporate one nutty fringe; but not two.

  56. Phillip

    Yeah, Doug, but that’s my point, in a way: there’s got to be a way for the GOP to express fiscal conservatism that doesn’t come across as class warfare against those making less than six figures. Romney was the worst possible candidate to make the case, everything about him seemed either A) insincere and convictionless, or B) to the extent perception “A” was contradicted, he came off as clueless about the middle class and working class, the “47%” comment being the nail in the coffin.

    There ARE conservatives out there who can make that case, but then when you also figure the GOP marries that fiscal conservatism to too much theocratic-medievalism, and an immigration stance that turns off too many Latinos, and a foreign policy that is stuck in a neocon timewarp, you have a recipe for losing even in an election you could have won. And there’s a serious age-demographic problem for the GOP, too, as long as young people turn out to vote.

    Problem is the GOP had no better candidate this time around, except Huntsman.

  57. Barry

    I wonder what Jim Demint is thinking this morning with Akin losing (when he should have easily won in Missouri of all places)

  58. Doug Ross

    As of this morning, Obama has 10 million fewer votes than he got in 2008 and Romney has about the same number of votes that McCain got.

    Which party is dwindling?

  59. Doug Ross

    And it looks like the sales tax increase will pass. Since the associated bond referendum passed as well, we should expect to see those 17,000 new jobs when? Or are we just supposed to forget those numbers?

    Steve Benjamin said it would create 17,000 new jobs. We should be entering a boom economic period in Richland County.

    And, Brad, you are only a fiscal conservative using your personal convoluted definition. You have no track record of opinion or thought that reflects the standard definition.

  60. bud

    The real winner last night was Nate Silver. He nailed it exactly. As a statistician I couldn’t be prouder of my profession than I am today. Numbers and science trump “gut” and “intuition” every time.

  61. bud

    As alluded to by others the big loser is the Tea Party. They cost the GOP senate seats in IN and MO for sure and perhaps others. By my count that’s at least five senate seats they have now lost for the Republicans in 2 elections.

  62. bud

    Going to hand a billion dollars over to a bunch of idiots who can’t even run a one day election with four years notice.

    I agree. What is going on in Richland County anyway. I waited in line 6 minutes 22 seconds in Lexington. My brother waited 4 hours 3 minutes in northeast Columbia and my sister in law was still waiting in line at 10pm. There needs to be some serious soul searching by Richland County officials over the next four years.

  63. Steven Davis II

    Four More Years!!!… of same crap as the last four.

    I hate the electoral college, that process may have been the only way to count votes in 1800, but 200 years later we have ways of collecting secure information down to the millisecond yet it’s winner take all no matter if the candidate gets every popular vote or 1 more than the other candidate. It makes some states obsolete. Notice how as soon as some state polls closed the media was already declaring a winner before one precinct reported.

    Oh well, sad for our grandchildren who will end up paying for the last four and the next four years.

    At least now we can focus on Obama’s refusal to provide the requested military support to our citizens who were murdered in Benghazi. This is going to be ugly and not swept under the rug like the White House is hoping.

  64. bud

    The party of the Bushes, Reagan, Ford, Nixon and Eisenhower would NOT have forced the fiscal crisis that led to the downgrading of the nation’s credit rating. It took a brand-new kind of extremist to do that.

    DUH! So why do you insist on treating the two parties equally to blame? The Democratic party has moved to the right but the GOP has moved so far to the right that it appears that the two are moving appart. Maybe we need a name for this phenomenon. I’ll call it the political “red shift”, a term borrowed from astronomy. Sort of catchy don’t you think?

  65. Steven Davis II

    @Norm – “States with large land areas tend to be red, but we don’t vote by land area. We vote by population.”

    Really, I always thought it was by acreage… you sure???

  66. bud

    Another big loser last night – the voter suppression groups like True the Vote. Their efforts backfired as folks were fired up to go to the polls in spite of efforts to require picture ids and cut back on voting hours. You just can suppress the spirit of Americans when it comes to voting.

  67. Steven Davis II

    I’m hearing that gun store owners and gun manufacturers are very happy with the way the election turned out. They expect record sales between now and the end of the year.

  68. Doug Ross


    You mean there aren’t a lot of Obama voters investing in America today? Or maybe it’s just the rich guys taking profits now before the end of the year… 2013 is probably not going to be a good year for the taxpayers who carry the load for the other half of the country.

  69. j

    SD II, It’ll be Christie representing the Repugs in 2016 – Told you so!

    Don’t be too eager in your Wall Street put down observation. It reached it’s highest point recently under BO as no one believed the crock that the Repug consultants put out – check Nate & 538.

  70. Steven Davis II

    @Doug – Exactly, someone has to pay for all these free giveaways. The Treasury is running short on paper and ink.

  71. Tim

    “As of this morning, Obama has 10 million fewer votes than he got in 2008 and Romney has about the same number of votes that McCain got.

    Which party is dwindling?”

    From Drudge link: Voting was down in all states across the board. Texas has 11% fewer votes cast, as does South Carolina by a similar percentage, then add in NY and NJ having some of there lowest vote percentages ever, largely due to a recent weather event that has been in the news.

  72. Steven Davis II

    Dow – -320 and falling. I can see a 600-700 point drop today.

    This shows you how much economic faith this country has in Obama. People are going to dump stock and stick it in areas where they know they’ll get a positive return… like a 0.05% savings account.

  73. Mark Stewart


    As soon as I hear a republican member of the US House say that they didn’t really mean that we should have a fiscal cliff and it needs to be put to a compromise agreement before year end we won’t have this stock market drop.

    Your blame aim is misdirected.

  74. Brad

    I’m sorry to see that Mark would put me in the category of a “nutty fringe.” Seeing as how I have areas of agreement with the portion of the GOP coalition that he terms “social reactionaries.”

    The main difference between those people and me is that I don’t think presidential elections should be determined by those issues.

    But it caused me considerable discomfort that the Democrats chose to run, to a great extent, on a Culture War platform. My greatest objection, of course, was when the administration tried to force the church to fund things that are contrary to its teachings.

    This stuff made me particularly uncomfortable because from the time the GOP field assembled, I saw that there was no one I would prefer to Obama, barring developments I could not foresee. So it was particularly unpleasant for the Democrats to make such a fetish of trying to push me away.

    I took some comfort, as I noted at the time, from the fact that while the early-evening convention speakers went on and on about the divisive stuff (and that happened at BOTH conventions), the prime-time speakers rose above it, particularly Bill Clinton and the president.

    But the thing that kept me supporting the president in the end is what I said above — I don’t think we should choose a commander in chief on the basis of such issues.

  75. Brad

    And of course, my areas of agreement with social conservatives tend to be my areas of agreement with my church.

    That once again, though, illustrates the difference between me and evangelicals. The born-again Protestants went overwhelmingly for Romney. The Catholic vote, to the extent that there is such a thing, slightly favored Obama — aided in part by the huge support he got from Latinos.

  76. Steven Davis II

    j …

    Have your laughs now, we’ll see if you’re still laughing 2-3 months from now. There is talk all over the internet that since Obamacare now looks like it’s a done deal, that industries and small companies are looking at layoffs and reduced hiring to pay for it. Also if you’re employed look at at least a 2% increase in federal taxes if the tax breaks aren’t renewed. Laughing now? If you have any clue about economics, you shouldn’t be.

  77. Steven Davis II

    What’s to edit? All I asked if he/she thought I’d actually watch the video he/she recommended.

  78. Kathryn Fenner

    Is there any point in the “culture wars” where you disagree with your church, Brad?

    Yes, the Democrats chose to push marriage equality, contraceptive autonomy, the notion that rape is unmitigated evil….not Akin or Mourdock or your bishops…

  79. Brad

    And where did you get the idea that the church does not regard rape as an unmitigated evil?

    Where the disagreement lies is that the church regards abortion as a great evil as well, whereas you don’t.

    Here I could quote a cliche about two wrongs, but I’ll refrain.

  80. Steven Davis II

    @Mark – From your own liberal CNN news source.

    “Among the fiscal cliff policies at issue: reductions in both defense and non-defense spending; the expiration of the Bush tax cuts; the end of a payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment benefits; and the onset of reimbursement cuts to Medicare doctors. ”

    So for the average working stiff, we’re looking at increase in federal income taxes, elimination of unemployment benefits when laid off, and doctors who will increase their refusal to take on Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    On top of this we have Obamacare, which businesses will be forced to participate in, and will likely be reducing employment numbers to be able to comply with payment of their portion of the program.

    If you think 2013 is going to be the same or better than 2012, you’re wrong… so, so wrong.

    I’m wondering if this whole Mayan December 12th thing might just be a quick and easy humane way of handling how screwed we are.

  81. Steven Davis II

    EDIT – Actually that should be “eliminiation of unemployment EXTENDED benefits”. Once you’ve gone through your base level benefit package… time to start looking at homeless shelters.

  82. Kathryn Fenner

    Forcing a third party to pay for your asthma meds is just fine, though.

    I did not say the RC did. That was a reference to the GOP, um, candidates, who were not uniformly repudiated by the leadership.

    Why does the church regard abortion as a great evil? The OT penalties for killing a woman were significantly greater than those for killing a fetus, for example. Lots of Scripture to support my view…..oh, yeah, y’all don’t have to stick to Scripture.

    So, I repeat, where do you diverge in the CW for your church?

  83. bud

    We really dodged a bullet last night. Perhaps we can continue with the 21st century now that the outrageous war on women’s health has been turned back. We can rest at ease knowing that we have a commander in chief who has earned respect from the nations of the world. We can sleep well knowing that our fiscal health will be protected from the draconian tax cuts on the rich and spending excess for the military. And finally we can breath a sigh of relief that our economy will not be in the hands of an “outsourcer-in-chief.

    Not sure if my heart can stand any more close calls like this. Hopefully in four years the GOP will have re-invented itself and turned away from the extremists of the Tea Party so that we will have a reasonable choice.

  84. J

    SD II, I did view them and thought you’d enjoy them. 😉 I’m of the same opinion as you relative to the implication of being morbidly overweight. While I don’t agree with everything Christie does and the way he talks down to individuals, I think he’s a great elected official when it comes to helping his constituents in this disaster. I feel for those in NJ as I have relations by marriage there and having been thru and seen the devastation of Hugo, I am conscious of the impact on those that have been effected by Sandy.

  85. J

    Steven, I know about economics and my consciousness of the impact of fiscal and monetary policy began during the recessions during Ike’s second term, Nixon lifting the lid on petro prices, the Reagan depression, his RTC effort, and the Bush debacle. While I don’t put my academic accomplishments out there, I have a graduate degree in this area but my experience with the follies of Repugs right-wing politico-economic policies is more relevant. You really missed the point of Norm’s relevant comment.

  86. Tim

    “And where did you get the idea that the church does not regard rape as an unmitigated evil?”

    Probably from the fact that the Church hid rapes committed by its clergy for generations to preserve its brand, resulting in even more rapes to be further hidden.

  87. Brad

    Kathryn, first, no third party pays for my asthma meds. I pay for them, through the nose. Huge expense.

    Second, I’m not aware of any group that has an objection to treating asthma, so if some third party WERE forced to pay for them, it would not violate that party’s conscience.

    Third, a capacity for getting pregnant is not an illness.

    Fourth, ahem, the church isn’t governed by the particulars of Leviticus any more than civil society is. Which should be a relief to broad categories of people who might be subject to stoning (including Christians, whose belief in the divinity of Jesus is blasphemy by OT standards). But more to the point, this is not a theocracy (which is a good thing for both society and the church), and the church has nothing to do with penalties for violations of civil law, such as homicide.

    To put that another way, I’m not aware that the church has any specific position on what sorts of penalties should be exacted for particular crimes. Those of us who subscribe to the Bernardin flavor are deeply opposed to capital punishment, of course, and I think you’d find opposition to “cruel and unusual” punishment on the basis of the same reverence for human life. But beyond that, I can’t think of anything.

  88. Rose

    “And where did you get the idea that the church does not regard rape as an unmitigated evil?”

    Um, because of all the children that have been raped by priests and the church covered it up?

    Because historically there’s been a blame-the-victim mentality in cases of rape? (Not just by religions, governments too)

  89. Brad

    Here we go again.

    See why I hate this stuff? It’s ridiculous for me to have to assert that Catholics are as opposed to sexual abuse as any other group or entity, if not more so.

    And yet there are people who take it as Gospel that the church condones such things. How am I supposed to have a meeting of the minds with such people? It’s just not going to happen, because their interpretation of those horrific events leads them to sincerely believe something that is 180 degrees from the truth.

    This is why the culture wars get us nowhere. And it’s why I shove them aside in deciding how to vote. Which was my original point.

  90. bud

    “And where did you get the idea that the church does not regard rape as an unmitigated evil?”

    Hate to pile on but seriously Brad the Catholic Church really, really did drop the ball badly on the whole pedaphilia scandal. What a shameful episode that was for the leadership of the Catholic Church.

  91. Brad

    You’re not piling on, Bud, because I agree. Most Church leaders seem to agree as well — the church DID fail to deal with those horrific crimes/sins properly, and that is shameful.

    Of course, it’s not the same as condoning such horrors, or even failing to be deeply opposed to them. If the church had failed to deal effectively with homicide, it wouldn’t demonstrate that the church favors murder.

    I hate even having to point out something that obvious, but I feel compelled to, just as I felt compelled to object to Mark — whom I respect a great deal — dismissing people who embrace traditional values as a “nutty fringe.”

    I wish I could let things like that go by, because I detest the conversations that ensue, baring such irreconcilable differences with people with whom I’d rather be seeking commonalities.

    But you see, if you sit still for someone dismissing such widely held values — the values of their parents and grandparents and on back — as “nutty,” then that becomes the conventional wisdom, which everyone obviously accepts because no one objects.

    Of course, if you do object, you have all sorts of calumny heaped upon that effort by people with whom you — that is to say I — would much rather be forging common ground.

    Folks, I was for Obama. I’m not your enemy here.

  92. Brad

    All I want is for people to drop such dismissive language, and stop counting people as “those nutjobs over there” because of differences that are often irrelevant, or at least don’t need to be center-stage, so that we can celebrate the things we all want, and work on those together… rather than drawing lines that separate us from each other.

    And yeah, I’m guilty of doing that. Notice that I didn’t defend fiscal extremists from being called a “nutty fringe.”

    My only defense on that score is that I believe that their attitudes are enormously destructive in those core policy areas where we MUST come together and reach some compromises. The culture stuff is not core. But if you come to a debate over the deficits that threaten us, and have an absolute objection to considering tax increases as well as spending cuts, then it’s impossible to work with you on a core concern of government.

  93. Mark Stewart


    You just said it yourself; you can – and do – look beyond your own personal convictions when you think as a citizen (voter) who is broadly speaking trying to make the best decisions on substantive issues. That’s not what those I called the nutty fringe do. Lots and lots of people hold strong religious convictions and still think as citizens of our pluralistic society. But many others can’t think outside their own dogma.

  94. Steven Davis II

    “Kathryn, first, no third party pays for my asthma meds. I pay for them, through the nose. Huge expense.”

    So it goes full circle then, out the nose, in the nose.

    If you’d just work the system, you could get that medication for free… and probably get the taxpayers of Richland County to foot the bill for your bus ride to the doctor’s office… if not you just call an ambulance and they’ll transport you to your appointment. The problem is that people like you and me have a thing called a conscience and a work ethic, and would be embarrassed taking a handout… and there are those out there who voluntarily support these people and think they don’t get enough for the “nothing” they contribute to society. In nature, these same individuals would be cast aside for the betterment of the herd.

  95. Mark Stewart

    I continue to think of myself as a Republican, and yet I see that only something like 6% of those who self identify as that voted for Obama. So I guess most would call me the nutty fringe.

    When the Republicans’ start talking about rational, inclusive and progressive ideas then I will be more able to listen.

  96. scourgeraker

    If anyone wants a glimpse of what the “newspaper business” will be like once it goes all digital because the only people to trust it are the people manipulating it — today’s shenanigans are an eye opener.

    Disqus works/doesn’t work depending on if you are critical of the propaganda machine and their prophecies or not.

  97. Doug Ross

    “When the Republicans’ start talking about rational, inclusive and progressive ideas then I will be more able to listen.”

    When the Democrats start talking about entitlement reform, balanced budgets, and class warfare then I will be more able to listen to them.

  98. bud

    Some people do consider the cultural stuff the “core”.

    But moving on. We’re now in the lame duck session that will require something be done about the sequestration problem. This will rise to a crescendo of bickering before some type of resolution is reached. Hopefully the GOP has been humbled to some degree with big losses in the Senate that were unthinkable 3 months ago. Perhaps, just perhaps some type of compromise can be reached to allow a tiny increase in taxes from the rich to accompany spending cuts, including the military, so that our fiscal security can be maintained. But maybe I’m pulling a Peggy Noonan wishful thinking stunt. Let’s hope not.

  99. Steven Davis II

    As long as you don’t get used to it you’ll be fine.

    Mark – I’m willing to listen as long it’s across the board. I’m sick and tired of paying my share and the share for the people down to road who expect me to pay their share. You want an Obamaphone, here’s the base level local service only, no data plan model… $20/month. Instead they get smartphones with unlimited data for free and I have to pay nearly $100/month for a phone plan with the same features.

    EBT card, fuel assistance, Section 8 housing in a suburban community, free cell phones, free internet access, no medical or insurance costs, no boss to have to deal with… living on welfare actually doesn’t sound that bad.

  100. Tim

    Here is the Obamaphone information if you were looking for it.


    Actual federal website is here:

    Technically, it should be called the Reagan/Bush/
    Clinton/Bush/Obama phone program, but if you want to shorten it to make it easier typing, that’s okay.

    Now, the Obamaphone – Cellular version… I guess what you are referring to, actually was initiated in 2008. That would make it the “Bushphone”.

  101. Steven Davis II

    @tim, It was initially set up for land line phones. Cell phone handouts didn’t become popular until Obama got into office.

  102. Brad

    I don’t know, Kathryn. That’s been my reaction each time you’ve asked that.

    Why do you keep asking? Is this a cross-examination? Are you trying to catch me out on something?

    I don’t want to go through a laundry list of culture conflict points because every single one of them is a flashpoint that will cause someone to get very upset, and send us off on yet another discussion that yields more heat than light. I’m really not interested in going there. Why do you want me to? Hasn’t the argument we’ve already had been way more than enough?

  103. Tim

    “November 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm
    Dow – -320 and falling. I can see a 600-700 point drop today.”

    Dow down 312 at the close. 600-700 is the number of Electoral Votes Karl Rove and Dick Morris predicted Romney would win by.

  104. Steven Davis II

    @Tim – So your grateful it was only 312 points… today, we’ll see if it continues tomorrow. It rebounded slightly to around -240 and then nosedived again as closing approached.

    Worst case scenario is not looking so bad, because we can always use Greece as our example of how to respond to the Obama admitted $20T debt he expects us to reach… that’s 25% more than it is right now for all you non-math majors.

  105. Bart

    From the beginning of the Republican primaries, Jon Huntsman was my first choice but he had no identity with the public to speak of. He didn’t come across on camera and in politics today that is of utmost importance. His moderate positions were not popular with the raging temperature of the Newt Gingrich element of the Republican Party.

    Conventional wisdom dictated from the beginning that if Republicans were to be successful in winning the White House, they would need a strong candidate who could win over a sufficient number of female, black and Hispanic voters. Intellectually and emotionally I knew it was a hopeless cause when Newt Gingrich won the SC primary. I have never liked the man and never will.

    Romney emerged as the only viable option and he made a decent run but in the end, as usual, Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory through missteps, miscalculations, and a tin eared approach to social issues. For once, it would have been a pleasure for a few in the party to just STHU and concentrate on the real issues facing this country, not the ones that simply do not resonate with the majority. Poking a sleeping tiger is not a good idea and Akin and Mourdock did.

    The execrable Akin in Missouri all but sealed Republicans fate in the senate and via reverse coattails, did more damage to Romney than one could imagine. Then, another idiot from Indiana, Mourdock, chose the option to:

    1. Open Mouth Wide
    2. Insert Size 16 Foot in Mouth and add to the further erosion of the Republican campaign efforts.

    Under any other scenario, Obama would have lost by a wide margin because of the economy, unemployment, and like it or not, Benghazi. But, when one party offers an even weaker candidate who was successfully branded as well as Romney was, winning was not a viable option.

    Sandy cannot be blamed as a reason for Obama regaining his footing because in truth, he never lost it. Sandy was just a distraction and allowed the polls to self-correct back in favor of Obama.

    Today, half the country is happy and celebrating an Obama victory, the other half is not. We remain as divided as we ever were and if both sides don’t try to meet halfway for the benefit of the majority, we cannot make everyone happy or satisfied, stagnation and recovery will lapse into monumental proportions.

    Unfortunately, the final confirmation that the healthcare act will be fully implemented has created a lot of traffic on the internet in terms of layoffs, closings, cutting back on hours, and other austerity measures that had been postponed by small and intermediate sized businesses. Whether they are true or not, based on discussions with several small businesses I work with, they made their decision today to cut back or change their business model to account for the extra cost associated with the act. Once the business community has cleared out all of the ones who don’t want to stay, it will stabilize and the new business models will prevail and growth, no matter how slow will continue.

    SDII referenced the stock market drop. While true that it has dropped by around 250 points, down from over 300 earlier, it will probably return to earlier levels before the week is over – a temporary blip.

    Greed never takes much time off, maybe a long weekend or short holiday and greed knows no ideological, political, economic, social, racial, or gender boundaries.

    It was a conscious choice to not participate in any discussions prior to the election because it would have been a total waste of time. Now that it is over and the country needs to try to come together and heal the division, based on the comments posted on this thread, hope is not on the menu yet.

    Final observation and post: The election was never Romney’s to win; it was Obama’s to lose.

  106. Kathryn Fenner

    I keep asking because you keep ducking.

    I believe you agree with your church straight ticket, and your UnParty is more the Catholic Party. Alternatively, you take culture war positions consonant with your status as upper middle class heterosexual male who likes a large family.

  107. Mark Stewart


    You obviously haven’t even seen poverty as a visitor in another’s home.

    Anyway, all that articulation of your reasoning to condemn the poor doesn’t do anything to get at the problem; entitlements have to go down (including the sacred cows of the upper middle class) and taxes have to go up.

    On that the Republican House blew it last year. They drank the tea; we will all suffer because of that poison.

    I never said I agree with the Democratic platform ; but that party has appeared more willing to build a national future.

  108. Brad

    You forgot to say I was white.

    You can count on me to go on “ducking,” because as I’ve said so many times before, I hate arguing about this stuff. It gets us nowhere.

    At this point, someone will say for the umpteenth time (all of us are so predictable in these situations), “If you hate it so much, why do you bring it up?”

    Which shouldn’t be so hard to understand, since I tell you why. I don’t think it’s right to dismiss people as a “nutty fringe” for holding traditional values. I don’t think it’s right for me to just let things like that go by. I didn’t want to disallow Mark’s comment, him being a made guy and all. But I felt compelled — no matter how much unpleasantness it might lead to — to voice my objection.

    In any case… you say, “I believe you agree with your church straight ticket.” That brings me to another point that I’ve made over and over, but I don’t seem to be heard.

    The “straight ticket” part is where you go wrong, because it suggests a voting pattern. But as I keep saying, I don’t vote on the basis of these cultural things people other than me seem to love to argue about. I think our political decisions need to be bigger and broader and more comprehensive than litmus tests. Everything I’ve ever written speaks to that, I hope.

    And that is the essence of the UnParty — no nonnegotiable tenets.

    But you’re onto something when you point to my UnParty values being informed by being Catholic.

    To me (and I would think, to anyone), being Catholic — like being Baptist or Muslim or a member of Rotary for that matter — means believing in the things the organization stands for.

    And I don’t see how a Catholic can be comfortable as either a Democrat or a Republican. (Actually, I think there was a time when it made perfect sense for Catholics to be Democrats, and you saw that borne out in election results, but that was years before I became a Catholic.)

    One party demands certain positions on social issues, most particularly abortion, that are completely incompatible with being Catholic. The other demands attitudes that are inconsistent with Catholic social teaching.

    I don’t see how either Joe Biden or Paul Ryan reconciles his party loyalty with his faith. There’s just so much inconsistency there.

    All a Catholic can do in good conscience is overlook the problems with either side and try to pick the candidate who overall seems to be best for the country, which is what I do, in each election. Which is a core UnParty value.

    Oh, and celebrate the small victories for people who manage work within parties without compromising their principles. Like Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.

    Wow, I’m really going on here, aren’t I?

    I’ll just say one more thing, though: I would have been UnParty if I were not Catholic. But the two things DO mesh rather well.

  109. Brad

    Mark’s statement, “You obviously haven’t even seen poverty as a visitor in another’s home,” just triggered a memory.

    I’ve seen such poverty, and for some reason — maybe it’s the weather turning colder — one instance stands out.

    One of my first assignments as a reporter, back in the 70s, was to go interview a family that had lost some children in a fire. It was one of those awful situations of a family that lived in a rural shack heated by a wood-or-coal-burning stove, and some coals got out of the stove and caused the house to burn like kindling.

    The photographer and I found the home where the survivors were staying with relatives. It was a house just like the one that had burned, way out in the country. The parents of the dead children were at the funeral home making arrangements. The family that lived in the home let us in, and then left us to wait in the front room while they congregated back in the kitchen. There was no conversation between us.

    The photographer — much older and more experienced than I was — and I sat on the edges of our chairs, feeling EXTREMELY awkward, intensely feeling how much we were intruding, and unwelcome. But I guess maybe those poor folks didn’t feel empowered to turn us away.

    We glanced at each other uncomfortably every few moments, and stared around the room the rest of the time.

    I couldn’t take my eyes off the wood-burning stove in the center of the room. There were burned spots in the battered linoleum floor all around it. Another imminent tragedy, staring me in the face.

    We just sat there, waiting to pester those poor bereaved parents, dreading their return, for about an hour.

    Finally, one of us — I think it was Bob — said “Let’s get out of here.” And we did.

    Here’s the upshot of the story. Although it became more and more common over the years for news organizations to harass bereaved families in their grief and demand to know how they felt — I even worked with some people who maintained that it gave families a welcome catharsis — I resolved that day that if I were ever an editor, I would never send anyone on such an assignment.

    As it turns out, I was an editor a couple of years later, and for the rest of my career. And I never forgot that resolution. Reporters can attest that I sent them on a lot of awkward, unpleasant assignments over the years, but I never sent anyone out on one like that.

  110. Kathryn Fenner

    You just don’t see it.

    I meant straight ticket figuratively, not that you pressed some button. I did. I didn’t drink any Kool Aid or mindlessly follow dictates. I simply thought every Democrat was better than every Republican.

    I cannot imagine subscribing to any belief system that demanded adherence in all matters or being “not a good X” — I agree with liberal positions most, but not all the time. I think nuclear energy is better than coal, for a big one. Most of the time, you’d have to watch Portlandia to know what I thought was nutty. Liberals around here are pretty sane, having been leavened by the ubiquitous Right.

  111. Steven Davis II

    Mark, I’ve seen poverty. I’ve also seen lazy. For many they go hand-in-hand.

    One of my best friends is a Columbia fireman, who has told me stories that I wouldn’t believe coming from anyone else of “poverty and excess”. I won’t bore you with them here unless you want examples. I guess installing “free fire alarms” lets you see how some of the real poverty stricken live. I’ve heard others talk about the Adopt a Family programs that pop up around Christmas time… happy to see you at the door, but the house full of teenagers won’t help 70 year old women bring them in. More than one has said “enough” and “never again” after similar experiences.

  112. Brad

    Kathryn, I agree mostly.

    Although rather than saying “liberals” around here are pretty sane, I’ll go further and say DEMOCRATS are. Which is why, over the years, we endorsed slightly more Democrats over Republicans. Every endorsement was a separate decision, and some years we endorsed way more Republicans, but over the years, it came out as slightly more Democrats.

    Because by and large, Democrats here aren’t like those in Portland. Of course, I know some who’d be perfectly at home in Portlandia, but not the majority.

    Now I’m going to say something that might be misunderstood. I think I wrote it years ago in a column, but it’s something I often hesitate to say…

    I find that white Democrats in South Carolina TEND to be (but of course are not always) the most well-rounded, non-ideological, pragmatic elected representatives in the world, and the most dedicated to serving ALL their constituents, regardless of party, race or anything else.

    That’s not a racist statement. White people are not inherently more reasonable than black people (I mean, just look around you at some of the white wackos standing nearby). What I’m saying is that the kinds of districts that elect white Democrats tend, by their political dynamics, to demand certain qualities. Sometimes, it’s that the racial balance is such that there are a lot of white conservatives, so the representative has to represent them as well as the true-blue Democrats in his or her district. Or maybe it’s a way majority-minority district, meaning that the white representative has to be particularly good at serving across racial barriers to stay in office. Or a combination of those factors.

    The bottom line is that such reps tend to be well-rounded because of their diverse constituencies.

    There aren’t all that many such districts. Reapportionment to create a few more black-majority districts, which necessarily creates a great many more super-white districts, has seen to that.

    My observation is not at all universal. There are black Democrats who exhibit the same qualities, and for the same reasons — Anton Gunn stands out in my mind as a good example of that. And there are a few white Republicans who manage to serve such districts well — such as John Courson.

    I’m just saying that if you find that endangered species in our Legislature, the white Democrat, you tend to find someone who is a conscientious public servant across lines that most reps never have to cross, because that’s what the district demands…

    To be a white Democrat in Nancy Pelosi’s town, you don’t have to exhibit that sort of balance. It’s a South Carolina thing.

  113. Mark Stewart

    Anyway, a cultural conservative is far different than a social reactionary. I was trying to be concise and not paint with a broad brush.

    And, Steven, you are entirely entitled to your opinion of the poor – if you are willing to be open-minded to helping a child of poverty. Even if just a small gesture.

  114. J

    Steven, I don’t think we’re screwed, but it depends on the Repub House of Rep. Bernanke has used monetary policy to it’s limits and it’s going to be difficult to overcome the cr card debt of two wars and Medicare Part D. It’d be too lengthy to write a response on “entitlements” as I’m hungry and need to eat supper, but there are rational adjustments that can be made to income limits on OASDI system deductions and using fiscal and tax policy to get to a more balanced budget. Raising taxes to pre-Bush levels would be a good idea and the US must adopt policies to encourage manufacturing and new technologies. Off to supper.

  115. Bart

    Some of you may have “seen” poverty, you may have “been” in a house of poverty as a visitor but have you ever “lived” in poverty? I seriously doubt it.

    Do you want to know what it is like to actually live in poverty for several years? I can assure you from firsthand experience, until you have actually lived it, anecdotal references can never adequately describe the real thing. And, I can say for certain that it does have an impact on how you view life and how it can shape your beliefs on the ordinary things most people never consider important.

    Know what it’s like to live in a small tenant farm house, a family of 7, without indoor plumbing or electricity? Know what it’s like to not have shoes and clothes to start school but have to depend on relatives to provide you with the bare essentials to survive? Know what it’s like to have just enough to eat at night to stave off hunger pains? Know what it’s like to go to bed in a room where there are cracks in the walls that allow snow and rain to come in? Know what it’s like to wear hand-me-downs that are a couple of sizes too small or too large and be teased and picked on in school?

    Until you can answer yes, all you have is speculation based on nothing but an observation or something you have read. Through no fault of my parents, that is how we lived until they were able to recover from losing everything they had in a fire. They went from prosperity to poverty in less than 4 hours when their house burned and the money from selling the last tobacco crop was lost along with everything the family owned. It took years before they could pay off their debts and start to have a little left over.

    This is not submitted out of expectations of sympathy or poor little me because we were not raised to expect sympathy due to unfortunate circumstances but to find a way to work our way out of them. That is one of the reasons I read as much as I could as a child to learn and obtain an education and why in my younger years, my hero or role model if you will was George Washington Carver, not some Wild West figure. You should read about his childhood and how he overcame prejudice, racial injustices, and abject poverty to become a pioneer in science and education and a role model for not just the black community but anyone who strives to improve their life.

    This is something I really don’t like to discuss but it bothers me when people start to make uninformed comments about poverty and how easy it is to lift oneself out of poverty conditions. It took everything my Mom and Dad could do to work their way out of it and into a minimally comfortable situation in their later years. During those years, they never let our conditions dictate who we were or what we could accomplish.

    When you live in poverty, it is easy to let it dictate your life and give in to your circumstances. It is easy to tell yourself this is the best you will ever do or achieve and allow the low expectations of others to determine who you are or what your lot in life will be. Poverty can become your master or an enemy to defeat and overcome. When you allow poverty to define you, it becomes your master and when you serve the poverty master, freedom is an abstract difficult to comprehend or understand. Of all the evils of poverty, poverty of the mind and soul is much more destructive than poverty of the body.

  116. Pat

    Bart, I hope your post reminds all not to be so quick to judge. Your experience obviously gave you riches in spirit. Thank you for your thoughful perspective.

  117. J

    Bart, Thank You so much for taking the time and relating real life consequences and its impact on children and the effect of having parents who do their best despite the real barriers of not having the money to make a difference. How blessed most of us are but have no real consciousness of what it is really like to be in or to have lived in poverty. Again, thank you Bart.

  118. bud

    There have been many things written about the 2012 election, some insightful, some obvious, some that are wrong but there is one that stands out head and shoulder above all the others as the most utterly and completely nonsensical statement of them all. This from George Will:

    The electoral vote system, so incessantly and simple-mindedly criticized, has again performed the invaluable service of enabling federalism — presidents elected by the decisions of the states’ electorates — to deliver a constitutional decisiveness that the popular vote often disguises.

    Seriously Will called the electoral college an “invaluable service of enabling federalism”. Read it as many times as you want folks but it will never make one iota’s worth of sense. This is simply one mans attempt to justify, through painful contortions, a system that is horribly wrong for America. Given George Will’s prediction of a Romney landslide should we even still give this man a forum for spouting out such ridiculous mantras any longer? It’s time for George Will to retire.

  119. Brad

    He’s a very good writer. A true craftsman of the old school.

    I don’t know if this is still the case, but I suspect it is… He told me years ago that he didn’t write on a computer, or even a typewriter. He wrote his columns on a legal pad.

    I asked him how, then, he rearranges his thoughts in the editing process — changing the order of paragraphs and rewriting transitions to make things flow better? Or does he just write it perfectly the first time? (I did work once with someone who did that, which was amazing. He couldn’t really type, but he hunted and pecked at an astounding rate, and never made mistakes.)

    Here’s his secret: He wrote each paragraph on a separate page, and wrote it double- or triple-spaced. Then, if he wanted to move things around, he just switched the order of the pages — and he had plenty of space between lines for rewriting.

    Then, when he was done, an assistant would type it into the system.

    I sort of marveled at that. I don’t know if I COULD write like that today. (It’s sort of the way I wrote term papers in high school, before I learned to compose while typing.)

    If Will sounds like his voice is from another era, that method of writing might have something to do with it.

  120. Steven Davis II

    Bart – It sounds like your parents either didn’t have access to programs at the time or refused to participate in them. Today is much different than it was 50 years ago. Free cell phones, subsidized rent in suburban neighborhoods, free lunch programs… which now include breakfast and dinner in some schools, heating assistance, EBT/Food Stamp programs. etc… I wouldn’t have a problem with any of these programs if it weren’t for the abuse in each program. Some people live to simply work the system… what can I get the government to provide for me today.

    My parents both grew up poor in different parts of the country during the Depression, you haven’t lived until you woken up in your bedroom and the water on the nightstand is frozen… every morning.

  121. Mark Stewart

    Yeah, Steven, kids abuse those subsidized school lunches. Probably even breakfast and dinners, too, where offered.

    Clearly it would be far better that they have to scrounge for their substinence. Or steal. Or go to work instead of school.

    You brag how you count down the days to your state retirement and you continue to spew such close-minded nonsense about those who wallow at the public trough. Is the irony lost on you?

  122. Mark Stewart

    Bart and I have gone around and around a few times on your blog; but with his lasts two posts, in particular, I see him in a different light. I’m glad I read those posts.

  123. J

    Steven, I wish you knew of what you share. If only you knew of the abuses by the wealthy and those with the money who buy our representatives. Take the Barwick guy who ran for Senate and his hypocrisy. He meant business!

  124. Kathryn Fenner

    Thank you for sharing, Bart.

    If I might add, there is evidence that a single generational set-back, such as your parents suffered or is suffered by refugees or even regular immigrants, is vastly more likely to be surmountable than poverty that has its roots in a few centuries.

  125. Steven Davis II

    Mark – Technically you could say they abuse it through their parent(s) refusal to get off the couch and support their family. I pay more in taxes than my dad made yet none of us ever went hungry, the food wasn’t the best some times but we never went without something on the table. Do I blame the kids for being hungry, nope… but I could blame a lot of their parents. I guess I should have clarified my statement to say that adults are abusing the system.

    Regarding my state retirement and when the day comes that I can actually start drawing from it… I do go into work every day, work an 8+ hour day and do contribute 7.5% of my salary to that account. How much do welfare recipients contribute to their benefits received?…

  126. Brad

    Steven, I took Mark’s comment to be a reference to the fact that the state pension is far more generous, as a proportion of salary, than most in the private sector enjoy, and kicks in after far fewer years of service.

    I doubt anyone begrudges you that, but I could see how someone would think it ironic that you would criticize others for receiving some form of government largess.

  127. Steven Davis II

    Brad, technically the first four or five years of state retirement payouts is from the money the employee contributes to their account. This is based on the employee working 28+ years.

    No different than any other similarly funded retirement program, like the one you would have had at The State.

    The big difference between my retirement plan and welfare is that I have to contribute to it for 28 years before I can start collecting my own money back and 32-34 years before I tap into the retirement pool of money. And this money is taxable income, is welfare and/or welfare benefits taxed? I don’t know how many welfare recipients pay into the welfare system for decades before they start receiving benefits.

    As far as generous benefit, I believe the calculation is as follows:
    (Average yearly salary for the last five years of employment) x 1.875% x (number of years worked).

    For a person who worked 28 years and had an average of $50,000 in earnings that comes to around $26,000 in retirement, or about 50%. Too bad we’re not like states like Pennsylvania where it’s 2.5% per year of your current salary, I know teachers who taught for 40 years and their retirement check was no different than their last paycheck.

  128. Bart

    Drab Mab,

    This is for you. I am still trying to comprehend how you equated me with being a blatant racist.

    First, I do appreciate the kind remarks and hopefully, it will give all of us a reason to think about why we are the way we are and what shaped our lives. If you will allow me to share one more observation, it will be appreciated.

    Much has been discussed, debated, criticized, caused divisions, analyzed, and misunderstood when it comes to our African American population. Briefly, if we were to stop for a moment and try to imagine being taken by force from our homes, chained together, marched to a ship, put on board, journey across an ocean cramped and stacked in the hold like cattle, taken off the ship in a new land, stripped of our dignity, isolated from our family forever, sold like just so much chattel for labor, sent to places totally unfamiliar and frightening, put in a hut with slaves from other parts of Africa, different tribal customs, bred like livestock to produce better workers, had our mates chosen for us, our children ripped from us when they were at peak value, and every other horror imaginable associated with slavery, where and what is the basis for the culture you ultimately embrace?

    Then, one day you are free from the chains of slavery but who is there to lead you out of the darkness and into the light? Who is there to acclimate you to a new world only dreamed about while still a slave? Who is willing to treat you as an equal when you are uneducated, unprepared, and frightened of another new world? How are you to build a new life when you have nothing to take with you when you leave the slave quarters you once called home? For some, freedom was worth dying for, for others, the slave mentality prevailed and when confronted with the choice of freedom or a continued form of slavery, the latter was the choice of all too many.

    Over the decades of slavery and post-slavery, a subculture was developed and formed from the myriad of diverse tribes captured and sent to other parts of the world. New customs were developed and a new history established because your African roots of the past are not with you and you have nothing to draw on except the habits developed by the family you live with and the ones who come before them. One of the horrors of slavery is the inherent and inevitable mindset of dependency on others to take care of you. With no roots or history of developing business, farming, industry, architecture, engineering, and other intellectual foundations to build on, you fall back on what is familiar.

    Instead of being readily accepted into society and integrated as equals or given the same rights as other freed people, you are denied equal access, equal rights, and equal opportunity. Your language, speech, habits, dress, and integrated tribal customs that were kept, keep you from assimilation and acceptance. As the years and decades go by, bigotry and racism are the norm and as a subculture, resentment and anger are the seeds that are planted and when they blossom into full bloom, everyone is surprised at the new term, “black rage” or “black anger”.

    We still have a long way to go before we have healed all of the open wounds but even then, the scars will remain. When Obama was elected in 2008, a lot of hope and high expectations were placed on his shoulders. In spite of the odds, he won reelection on Tuesday and this time with even higher numbers from the black community. Some estimates are at 99% across the board. No matter how you view it, not matter how you parse the numbers, in the eyes and hearts of the black community, Obama represents the dream that one day, the color of one’s skin is of no relevance.

    We must be willing to talk about race in an open and honest forum and it must be all inclusive. The past cannot be forgotten but past sins must be forgiven before we can move forward.

  129. Steven Davis II

    Bart – Didn’t that story you told happen like 200+ years ago? 6-10 generations ago. Any estimate on how much longer they’re going to need?

    The Irish and Chinese didn’t seem to have this much trouble recovering from their slave labor treatment half as long ago.

  130. Bart

    @Drab Mab – and exactly what is your point by the link to Pastor Manning and the comment – “and he’s really black.”?

    @SDII – no response necessary.

  131. Brad

    I’d be curious to have an answer to that, too, Bart.

    I puzzled over whether to approve that. I couldn’t make it out.

  132. Bart

    Steven Davis II says: November 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    @Bart – Glad I could clear that up for you.

    Yep, it took the “Waco Kid” to remove the scales of ignorance from my eyes so I could see things clearly.

  133. Drab Mab

    @ Bart

    re: “exactly what is your point by the link to Pastor Manning and the comment – ‘and he’s really black’?”

    Ruh-roh … did it offend you?

    “I apologize.”

    What if I typed out about 12 paragraphs of fiction, but then signed myself a lifelong obese trans-sexual dwarf Arabian Jewish refugee from Haiti? Can I get a pulpit?

    We all have our crosses to bear, no doubt.


    @ Brad — did Bill Clinton not originally say back during those not-too-distant campaigning-for-my-wife days that Barack Obama was “not black enough”? If he said that, and I think he did, he’s STILL not. No harm, no foul.

  134. BJ

    Now the real prejudice comes out that was confirmed by the AP Poll prior to Nov 6th. So it’s OK given Clinton’s purported comments.

  135. Bart

    “What if I typed out about 12 paragraphs of fiction, but then signed myself a lifelong obese trans-sexual dwarf Arabian Jewish refugee from Haiti? Can I get a pulpit?”….Drab Mab

    Knock yourself out. Have never read 12 paragraphs of fiction from a lifelong obese trans-sexual dwarf Arabian Jewish refugee from Haiti. Sounds to me like you do need a pulpit. I am sure Brad will give you space on this blog.
    Go for it!!

  136. BJ

    “.. it is well-known that the Republican “red states” receive the most Federal aid. These states are less racially diverse than the highly urbanized “blue” states, and so are full of white people.

    Further, the business elite of the US, the ‘top 1%’, is disproportionately “white.” The Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans include just one African-American. This white elite receives massive tax breaks and other government perquisites largely denied to working people of color.” “Tax policy is tilted in favor of the wealthy members of the Forbes 400 list.

    Tax rates on capital gains have been slashed, which especially benefits members of the Forbes list. The richest 0.1% receive half of all net increases in capital gains.

    Drastic cuts to the federal estate tax passed in the Bush tax cuts and the 2010 Obama tax deal allow the Forbes 400 to pass on more of their massive fortunes to their heirs, contributing to the growth of inequality and entrenching a class of super-wealthy heirs. Juan Cole’s Informed Comment

    SD II, do you have any experience with companies that only do a 401K (if you’re lucky) with contribution levels much higher than your state retirement contribution and which have no defined and/or no guaranteed retirement income?

  137. Steven Davis II

    BJ – I do, and they have immediate access to their retirement money whenever they want. It also moves with them from job to job. If I move away from a state job to a non-state job, my money stays in the SC retirement system unless I want to take huge hit.

    I remember when my retirement account was earning 4% per year and others with 401K retirement accounts were earning 15-20%. Remember those days? It’s like putting your retirement in a no-risk fund vs. a high-risk fund.

    I also have worked for companies who do not have retirement programs, if you want one you set it up yourself and fund it yourself.

    In a nutshell, look at all aspects of a job when you accept the offer. Nobody is forcing people to not work for the state of SC. The SCJobs and all state university website are full of open positions from custodial to executive positions.

  138. Libb

    FWIW this Pastor Manning was around in 2008 and called the President’s mother “white trash” for marrying a black man. Kinda squanders his credibility.

  139. Tim

    SDII must work the graveyard shift, otherwise he is spending all day long on the government’s dime commenting on blog posts about the abuses of government.

  140. Mab

    Bart — how much revenue would I need to bring in to cover the lawsuits?

    Numbers count.


    Kathryn — please stop speaking in code (logs…DSTs…%^*+[s]…).

    And who is Laura Palmer? I can’t even hold a gun, much less shoot one. ###TRUTH###

  141. Bart

    BJ says: November 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm
    “.. it is well-known that the Republican “red states” receive the most Federal aid. These states are less racially diverse than the highly urbanized “blue” states, and so are full of white people.


    Thank you for the opportunity to offer another view on the popular theory that red states receive more federal money than they pay in vs. blue states. Based on statistics alone, the statement is accurate and verifiable. But, there is always a back story to consider.

    Alaska ranks high in receiving federal money. However, when you look at the numbers and the reasons why, it changes the dynamics of the numbers to something more understandable. Alaska is home to several military installations and federal government offices, etc. All money spent in a state for the purpose of serving the government is included in the total amount paid to the state. However, Alaska has no state income tax. This is true in some manner for every state where there is a heavy government presence, especially when it involves military bases.

    Other considerations must be included in the calculations in order to arrive at an accurate conclusion. The state income tax rate must be considered. Some states have lower rates and therefore, they do not provide as many services for social programs as states that have higher state taxes. Some states have no state income but their local sales and other tax rates compensate for no state income tax along with federal government spending in the state.

    Some states have a very high number of retirees who receive social security and Medicare benefits, all of which are considered federal income to a state. If the information is accurate, Miami-Dade residents receive more in social security and Medicare benefits than almost all of the other states combined. Yet, Florida has a ratio of paid in vs. received of $0.97 to $1.00 and has no state income tax.

    Some states have a higher number of minorities receiving federal aid which adds to the final total but even those numbers can be deceiving.

    Example: In 2005, Vermont paid in $4,058,000,000 but received back $4,545,000,000 in federal money. The federal per capita tax collected vs. paid out was $6,568,000,000 vs. $7,468,000,000. A ratio of $1.08 received for every $1 paid in. Vermont has the highest state income tax rate in the nation at 7.18%. The racial balance in Vermont is 95.5% white vs. 1.1% black.

    The same year, South Carolina paid in $22,711,000,000 and received back $32,044,000,000 in federal money. The federal per capita tax collected vs. paid out was $5,364,000,000 vs. $7,658,000,000. A ratio of $1.35 received for every $1 paid in. South Carolina has a state income tax rate of 4.17%. The racial balance in South Carolina is 68.4% white vs. 28.1% black.

    Hawaii has a state income tax rate of 7.02%, a ratio of $1.44 vs. $1.00 in paid vs. received, home to a large military presence, and is one of the most racially diverse states in the union with Asians making up the largest percentage of the population at 41.5%.

    It is easy to look at a map showing states receiving more federal money and assign political labels but when you take the time to actually research, you may find that what appears to be accurate on the surface does have a logical and reasonable explanation.

  142. Mab

    Yes, Libb — the original list of

    “Reasons Black Christians Should Not Vote for Obama” was:

    1. Sanctity of Marriage
    2. Right to Life
    3. Support of Israel
    4. Freedom to Preach the Gospel
    5. White trash mother

    [#5 now declared irrelevant]

  143. Bart


    You are right, this is getting too freaky for me too. I don’t know what Mab’s problem is and won’t hazard a guess. WAY above my pay grade.

  144. Kathryn Fenner

    Who killed Laura Palmer was the central question of David Lynch’s weird TV series, Twin Peaks.

    At least I will footnote my arcane references.

  145. BJ

    Bart, I appreciate your insight and detailed attention, however you’ll notice that what I posted is from Juan Cole who cited another blog. Look forward to your continued posts and hope you have a good weekend.

  146. Bart

    Thanks BJ, hope you have a good weekend as well. Wasn’t aware your post was from Juan Cole. Hope you took it in the friendly give and take manner it was intended. I try to read as much as I can and formulate my own ideas and conclusions based on available data.

  147. j

    No problem. Again thank you for your thoughtful and considered posts. You’re a breath of fresh air, common sense and have a depth of empathy that is sorely lacking.

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