A few interesting charts from Intrade

Since we last ran the "Palin dropped from ticket" trade, Intrade has added a "Biden dropped from ticket" contract. With internet rumors of a swap of Biden for Hillary circulating, here’s what this looks like:



Here is Intrades presidential outcome odds, with the lead swapping back and forth.


Lastly, the electoral map:

Source: all charts/graphics via Intrade

I’ll update this weekly, or when time permits.

Try not to let the lizard portion of your brains get the better of you in comments . . . 

Category: Options, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

58 Responses to “Intrade Election Update, 9/20/08”

  1. BILL says:

    I got kicked off a Yahoo finance group for just posting an article leaning away from Obama . So, Barry I’m cautious here . I am not surprised to see Obama in the lead . The Republicans just now switched from their mantra ” the economy is fundamentally strong”- at least someone is awake to reality and it ain’t the GOP . Won’t get fooled again.

  2. VoiceFromTheWilderness says:

    …must… rock…back and forth…

    …must… rock…back and forth…

    … oh a fly…


    More substantively: I wonder what the electoral map would look like if it was divided by population density instead of by state.

    Who wants to bet that we have a city=dem country=rep divide not a ‘red state blue state’ divide?

  3. CNBC Sucks says:

    Whoever starts off his comments with “VOTE FOR OBAMA”, I would like to kick his ass.

    Another variation to the electoral map would be if the Senate seat equivalents were removed, i.e., base it only on House seats. And of course, a true modern democracy would be based on a pure popular vote, but both of these ideas would require Amendments and I haven’t seen a meaningful one in my lifetime.

  4. Lysander says:

    Since Ron Paul isn’t going to be president, I really don’t care. Obama has come out in favor of the Bank bailout. I will vote for him anyway because I don’t particularly like Bob Barr (Ron, how could you abandon us???) and on the extraordinarily faint hope that maybe, just maybe, he is playing the game just to get in and will be ‘different’ once he wins.

    I know it’s not much but when you’re drowning, grasping at straws is all you can do.

  5. Chris says:

    The GOP has effectively neutered itself over the past few days. McCain has once again been stabbed in the back by the wingers in the party. I respect the guy immensely, but he’d be an awful CINC.

    With that said, whomever wins in November is inheriting the biggest trainwreck in human history compliments of Shrub and his cronies. Just another run into the ditch by the National Guard deserter C student boy pres. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. The next President will most likely be a one termer I think. No way anyone will come out of this mess looking good.

  6. bluestatedon says:

    I got a few breathless emails a couple of weeks ago touting rumors that Biden was going to drop out and be replaced by Hillary. Typical idiot rumor-mongering; I figured it was originally started by some still-bitter Clinton supporters. While it hasn’t gotten much notice in the MSM, Biden has been very active on the trail over the last couple of weeks. Neither Biden or Palin are going anywhere.

    While I’m an Obama supporter, I concluded a couple of months ago that McCain was going to win in a squeaker unless the economy cratered in a major way. The bailouts Hammerin’ Hank has engineered will kick true resolution of the whole mess past election day, which will be to the GOP’s advantage. The crazy thing is that I would hate to see Obama have to deal with the mess he’d inherit after inauguration day. McCain will rue the day he ever decided to run for President, and Americans will similarly regret President Palin.

  7. Bubbles says:

    Vote for Bob Barr he’s the only one that can save us from this madness!


  8. Rich_Lather says:

    ??? WTF? Barry has a book? when did this happen?

    Is there anything in there that I don’t know from reading Barry’s page every day?

  9. howard says:

    i have yet to see a single argument from anyone that explains why hillary would want to be obama’s vice president.

    as for pallin, were mccain not a stubborn person of terrible judgement, he would have pushed her out as soon as the bridge to nowhere lie was exposed. now it’s too late.

    so as someone else said, neither veep is going anywhere.

  10. JustAGuy says:

    I think neither candidate will swap VPs with someone else for that would be too disruptive and would look too desperate. The news would focus so heavily on the “lack of proper decision making” by that candidate, it would seriously damage their chances.

    The rule of thumb is that when the economy is bad, the incumbent party loses the White House. Before this week, the GOP pushed the idea that the economy *was* sound, never mind what the media was saying or what you saw in your own neighborhood. As bluestatedon noted above, this week blew a hole in that plan. The moment McCain was quoted on Monday as saying the fundamentals of our economy are strong, as the financial community went into such a horrendous tailspin that it dominated the news, McCain lost the election. That talking point was instantly outdated, but McCain didn’t realize in time before he swapped talking points and started talking like a Democrat. It was too late.

  11. cloudy says:

    OT: You can purchase the article below for $3.95 from the NY Times website. I wasn’t able to paste it here, unfortunately. But NYT is against ban on shorting. Good article. Good history lesson

    October 18, 1930, Saturday
    Page 12, 857 words
    With trade depression continuing in spite of recent assurances that it would surely end with arrival of Autumn, and with the stock market also falling below the prices reached in last Summer’s drastic downward readjustment, it was not perhaps surprising that search for something

  12. dc says:

    Does it even matter anymore which chump is elected? Whoever the Treasury Secretary is will have more power than Hitler, Mao or Stalin ever dreamed of if this “bailout” plan gets approved. Unlimited power and the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money with no Congressional oversight or court oversight! Astonishing.

    This program is not capped at $700 billion as all the news reports have claimed. Read the details. He can buy $700 billion worth of crap, sell it back to whomever he bought it from for $100 billion or whatever he feels like, and do it all over again. He does it twice, we are out $1.2 trillion. Three times, $1.8 trillion. No legal oversight. No way to stop it. This would make the three dictators mentioned above blush at the audacity.

    Reminds me of the finale to “Forbidden Planet”. Morbius: “… chain reaction… no way to stop it… you must be 100 million miles away in 24 hours…” Where are we going to run to? How idiotic could the Krel have been to put a lever there that any child could throw and destroy their planet? No more idiotic than Congress if it approves this plan. dc.

  13. esb says:

    “… the lizard portion of your brains…”

    Ah, the reptilian midbrain, wherein mindless reproductive activity originates,

    my favorite part.

  14. km4 says:

    The new Republican job market

    McCain: “I did not” see financial crisis coming

  15. George says:

    New York Observer newspaper nightlife writer and in-house oversharer George Gurley writes about how he recently wandered around downtown asking men whether they wanted to have sex with Sarah Palin. (Spoiler: They do.)…. Here are his best, most disturbing lines:

    • “I want to have sex with her. Want to lick that face and drool on it like a dog.”
    • “During her speech at the convention: No cleavage? No fair. Slurp slurp.”
    • “I want her to take care of me. Nurse! Climb into bed with me and watch movies, cuddle, laugh, play footsie.”
    • “I see she had a tanning bed installed in the Governor’s mansion. That means no tan lines. Mmmm, me likey!”
    • “Camping! Take a pontoon plane, go fishing for walleyes and northern pike. Listen to the loons. In the morning, she’d chase away a bear, then get back into the sleeping bag with me. Her husband can come along, too, I guess. Don’t want to see his dick.”
    • “Just the two of us in a big suite [at the Regency]. Then she waits in the sitting room while I take a bubble bath — I like to lay in the tub for a half-hour with the shower water beating down on me.”
    • “I would like to smell her.”

  16. George says:


    Hope the above post was not too reptilian for a Saturday night.

    Anyway, a while back you posted the Goldman Sachs/Hitler spoof videos….Here is one in which Hitler rants about Sen. Obama. It’s even funnier.

    (All are from the 2004 German movie “Downfall.”)

  17. Chris D. says:

    Having a political science background, I know that statistics show the VP produces little more than a 3% boost in the VP’s home state. Sure, there are potentially some “intangibles,” but intangibles by their nature can’t be proven. So, they are really just speculation. My interests lie more with the long-run of political events. And this is truly a spectacular period. I think it will be looked back upon as a watershed. You can forget worrying about whether history will look back more foregivingly on W. (When has history ever redeemed anyone, really?) I fear that the entire post-WWII period of American domestic politics (extending through the numerical decline of the Baby Boomer demographic) will be regarded as poorly as the Jim Crow-era South.

  18. km4 says:

    Obama also going to win FL, VA, IN, and MO so add 62 more to Obama for a total of 355 and subtract same from McSame who comes in at 183

    18,000+ @ Jacksonville FL Rally!

    Obama 355 McSame 183

    McCain: “I did not” see financial crisis coming

  19. Nunca says:

    So far, a number of lizard brains haven’t been able to restrain themselves….

  20. km4 says:


    boo !

    did I scare ya ;)

  21. njdoc says:

    Trickle Down Tax Cuts.
    It has become obvious that this ridiculousness has left the realm of economics and is now a political problem. There is no question but that the Bush tax cut, spending increases and decreased regulations, all financed by borrowing, have allowed the Wall Street oligarchs to game the system in their favor and make an inordinate amount of money (who wouldn’t want to pay 15% taxes on 100 million dollar bonus?). But we are well past the point where anybody thinks that this is either right or moral. The question is, what’s next? What Mr. Paulson suggests is the largest tax cut for the rich in American history. 1 Trillion dollars of debt relief for the Wall Street oligarchs, financed either by tax increases or inflation, is what is on the table for us. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Democratic candidate for the US president, Mr. Obama, is favor of this solution. The Democratic party has always been the party of the working Joe, so how can Mr. Obama support one trillion dollars of debt relief for the Morgan Stanley’s of this world. He is such a big critic of trickle down economics (rightly so), yet he is in favor of trickle down debt relief. Can you just imagine that you had one trillion dollars to play around with. You could give back to Wall Street, who created this mess, or you could spend it as your wish. How many factories, roads, power plants, schools, bridges, solar farms, etc…. could you build? How many jobs could you create with a trillion dollars. How many fiscal stimuli could one inject with a trillion dollars? But Mister Paulson believes the best utilization of our fiat currency is to fortify the Wall Street Oligarchs, “so credit could flow through our system!” This is bull shit!!!!! This is a false choice that is being presented to us!!!! I implore any and all who read my little blog to contact your congressman and senator and tell him/her that you do not want your money to go to Wall Street. Do you believe that is fair that the taxes paid by the brave men and women of our armed services, who put their lives on the line for us day in and day our, be sent to people vacationing on their yachts? If there is any debt relief to be had, let it be had by regular working people who were ensorcelled into taking excessive debt by the oligarchs’ sales force. I propose that people have direct debt relief by sending any kind of debt that was incurred from 2003-2006 (or so) to a DRC (Debt Reduction Corporation), and thus 1 trillion dollars of debt relief can be had by the American consumer. Thus, they will have excess capital that can be used for spending, saving or investing. Much of this can be taxed by the government, so they will have a return on investment. I am shocked that Democrats have allowed Wall Street to flim flam them into their nonsense. Please, America, let us unite in this effort to end the Wall Street Debt Reduction plan. They don’t deserve it!!!

  22. donna says:

    Regardless of who you support, this part of the bailout plan is ridiculous:

    Sec. 8. Review.

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    Please, call your congress creatures and let them know this plan is unacceptable, and most likely unconstitutional as written… AND that there MUST be provisions for taxpayer support. Bringing back the RTC or a similar organization would be a far better alternative.

  23. What do you mean by that “lizard” comment, Barry??? I know it’s probably racist… or maybe it’s sexist… or maybe it’s elitist… or maybe it means you don’t support the troops…

    I’m still trying to wrap my virgin brain around it.

    And anyway I’m voting for the mustachioed troublemaker. In fact, he’s not just a troublemaker, he’s a fucking troublemaker. If course good ole’ Christian America will vote for one of those two bozos there, and they’ll come into office with lots of positive thinking but with a total clusterfuck on their hands. And America will put off making the big decisions to repair itself, and will put off doing the big projects that it needs to do to make it competitive in the world of the future. America will wait-and-see in lazy complacency.

    You know who the people are who force America to take action to solve its problems– one way or the other?? It’s the SHORTS! Take the credit crisis and look at the two solutions: Either long-standing institutions go belly up ‘cuz they levered themselves into a toxic financial stupor, or Prez Bush admits he made a $1T or so boo-boo and the Main Street taxpayers bail out the summer-in-the-Hamptons crowd. Remember how it was “contained” one year ago?? Since then, America’s refusal to step up to the plate and either swing for a homer or toss the bat and charge the mound has made the situation worse and the inevitable day of reckoning more unpalatable.

    I was rooting for a bye-bye to Goldman and Morgan… still am. But the one thing that America did finally do correctly is to make a decision, and it seems like it has chosen to save the fire-breathing people-eating beasts at a $700B initial price tag. It would probably be $1T initial in December.

    The problem is now confronted, pride is swallowed, and a path is chartered. Everyone wanted to delay this whole time EXCEPT THE SHORTS who prodded all the others along. America owes them a debt of gratitude.


    BR: See this:


    or this:


    or this:


  24. in all seriousness, how can we take these ‘elections’ as representating the ‘voice of the peep’, when many, if not all of the ‘electronic’ voting machines can be hacked from a distance? leave no paper trail for recounts/audits?


    we should know that it was Stalin, who said: “I don’t care Who votes, I care who Counts them.”

  25. Nancy says:

    Well, after this weekend, all the beer guzzling idiots better tighten up….
    stay tuned… you ain’t seen nothin yet!

    Trickle, smickle… huge correction…
    Obama will win this by a landslide now, any idiot with any brains left in their head… pleeeasssseee…………This mess is going to cost a whole lot more than what they are saying now.. watch and see.. I am not preaching doom… here is your reality check.. oh yeah, the stimulus packett we all got.. funded by China.. and even after China had the big Olympic games and spent tons of bucks, August was China’s worst trading month of the year, now.. what does that tell you … hmmmmmmm

  26. David says:

    I find it laughable that people believe either candidate is qualified or competent. Once again we are left with 2 horrible candidates in November.

    The Obots are the funniest though, they really do think Obama is a messiah. Lay off the kool aid kiddies, he is just a politician.

    I will hold my nose and vote McCain if only to avoid a Dean/Pelosi/Obama government(that is a really scary thought). If memory serves me well I believe George Bush had a republican majority senate and house and the results of that……………..

  27. Jojo says:

    Not hearing much out of Biden these days. I think he got gagged after his comment about Hilary possibly being a better selection than himself.

    I followed George’s link above to read the article on having sex with Sarah. The source article is HERE and is worth a read.

    Should McCain/Palin get the nod, I can just visualize the Youtube video’s that will be made. Saturday Night Live will have a great 4 years. And imagine all the woman whose husbands will be fantasizing about VP Sarah in bed instead of them [roflol].

    Hmm, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for the ‘Pubs to choose a foxy looking woman for VP candidate, even one with 5 kids…

  28. Richard says:

    all these politicans were on watch during this financial disaster. i can’t listen to 5 seconds of any of their drivel as they still bash each other and talk like they had no involvement in any of this. they’re clueless and will remain so.

    my dad used to say there are 2 types of politicans. bums and crooks. the hard part is figuring out which is more suitable.

  29. chris says:

    If either one had any sense of this situation, they would forfeit the race. Whoever is in the WH next is inheriting a multi-trillion dollar cataclysm that’s sure to result in a single-term presidency.

    When the repubs picked Palin as VP, I was sure they were throwing the race, knowing as they do that the next prez can’t possibly survive the coming deluge of economic woe. The sheer, unfathomable stupidity of people who actually thought she was a good pick probably surprised even them. But my hypothesis still stands: they don’t want to win the race, and will be waiting for 2012 when they can sweep back into power after the dems have been shredded to tiny bits by the financial crisis.

  30. debreuil says:

    I think Mr. O is truly regretting not picking Hillary — he thought it would be a walk and suddenly it’s a race. To be fair I think McCain may be regretting not picking a Hillary as well though, yikes. Ahh well, at least Joe is a Washington expert – I mean, the man lives in Delaware. You can see Washington from Delaware. That has to count for a lot.

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if one (or two) of the presidential candidates themselves dropped out? Kind of like realizing during an extended interview that the company is tanking and the co-workers seem unpleasant. “Thanks but no thanks!” It must cross their minds.

  31. wunsacon says:

    OT: can anyone tell me HOW the “bailout” is going to help rather than hurt? Anyone?

    1 – Since some middle class consumers hold bonds in their IRAs (indirectly via money markets or else directly in bond funds), without the bailout they would’ve felt “less rich” and curtailed spending. With the bailout, they won’t notice that direct sting.

    Any others?

    1 – Adding to taxpayer debt will be collected either via some combination of nominal tax (i.e., increased tax rates) or inflation tax (dollar depreciation). Bottom line: less money overall to buy a house or pay for them one you’re currently in. For instance, as renters, my wife and I are thinking we’re now even less likely to buy a house, because we expect all our other costs to increase (one way or another).


  32. Jojo says:

    @wunsacon asks “OT: can anyone tell me HOW the “bailout” is going to help rather than hurt? Anyone?”

    If it works then it “might” save the financial system. Whether that is good is another question (and is not being addressed anywhere in major media land). Whatever, these bailouts will certainly saddle us all with huge debt for for generations ahead. Younger people should be up-in-arms as they are mainly going to work to pay the cost off.

  33. wunsacon says:

    Jojo, I don’t see how it “saves” the financial system either. Without it, firms go into bankruptcy and their usable assets (e.g., profitable business units) are bought by people with dry powder (those people being the “better capitalists” who didn’t chase bubbles and didn’t need bailing out). With it, those usable assets won’t be utilized any better utilized. Will they?

  34. wunsacon says:

    Er… With it, those usable assets won’t be utilized any better. Will they?

  35. Richard Kline says:

    Wow, that Intrade map is _fascinating_ from a socio-historical standpoint. You realize, folks, that this almost excactly replicates the Union-Confederate division c. 1861? Swap Kansas and colorado, and you’re just about there. I could easily write a book on the issues involved (since I’ve already half-written a model on said issues), but what one sees here is an example of what, to appropriate a phrase a few may know, the longue duree, the understanding that social-historical positions are very deep and slow to change, the year to year froth on the surface nothwithstanding. . . . For the benefit of those of you who skipped your national History class, the Confederacy lost, by a ‘margin of effort’ so to speak that would fit will with the electoral vote distribution attached to the graphic. Chance, perhaps, but one with great historical ghosts leaning over its shoulder.

  36. Richard Kline says:

    Swap Maryland and West Virginia also, historical accidents c. 1861, but even so.

  37. rockitz says:

    Originally I thought that there was no way that Hillary would accept the VP slot under Barry and would instead wait for 2012.

    The more I think about it, with the Clinton machine behind her, there’s no reason why Hillary wouldn’t say yes to an Obama request to put her on the ticket as VP now and then have a Clinton fixer cause Barry to drop dead. Why wait for 2012 when you can be president in 2009 and besides she’s got $13M in debt that will conveniently disappear when she’s added to the ticket.

  38. jz says:

    First off, I like McCain. I think he would get into office and shake things up. However, he has no allies, and the Congress will be Democratic. Unlike 2004, this is not a time for gridlock.

    And I gotta admit when Palin gave her speech, I was impressed. She seemed to be the anti-establishment, low tax, low spending type economic conservatives like myself dream up about. What is too bad is that a quick review of her financial record shows she is much more Bush than Gingrich or Reagan.

    And my wife nailed Palin’s true colors in seconds. Her kids are screw ups, and when she learned about the Down’s baby she pointed out how it takes everything a mother has to care for a special needs kid properly. Shoot, there were showing off that kid like a trophy. She felt sorry for him.

    I have heard it doesn’t matter who is president, but believe me it does. Bush has chosen loyalty over competence and it shows. The cops on the beat of the financial market, the SEC and CFTC, have been so asleep at the switch that I don’t think anyone would know if they were abolished.

    These days you are as much voting for someone’s team as you are the president. With McCain, Phil Gramm is still around despite McCain distancing himself from him in public. Keep in mind that comment about “whiners” was nothing. Given his role in taking down so many of the laws that could have prevented the condition we are in, I would have to say Phil Gramm, more than any other person is responsible for the mess we are in today. So you vote for McCain, you get Gramm.

    And the other part that has the lobbying world abuzz is Barrack is taking none of their money. You might think that would piss them off, but even lobbyists are sick of the work they do.

    And that probably is the biggest difference between the two candidates, the people around them. I hope that people look not just at the Prez and VP but the team Obama has and the team McCain has when voting.

  39. Ryan says:

    Does it really matters who wins? It’s going to very difficult if not impossible to fix this financial mess no matter who wins.

  40. Ryan says:

    Does it really matters who wins? It’s going to very difficult if not impossible to fix this financial mess no matter who wins.

  41. Will Divide says:

    jz: And that probably is the biggest difference between the two candidates, the people around them.

    I’d say the biggest difference between them is that one kept a cool head this past week, having made his views regarding the financial industry’s excesses clear a year ago, while the other could not get out of his own effing way spouting inane, contradictory, and at times factually wrong messages.

    Which, I guess, also says a lot about the teams they have.

  42. John(2) says:

    Intrade needs to be taken with a giant pinch of salt. The amounts wagered in total are fairly small and it’s largely a reaction to either the latest poll or some zealots on either side betting with their hearts rather than their brains. This race has about 53 days to go so anything could happen but I’m definitely starting to sense a shift in momentum back to Obama probably because reality is starting to assert itself as the electorate checks its 401k statements and loses interest in lipstick. The Palin pick I personally believe is going to turn into a huge albatross for McCain. If you look at some of the polls her favorables have nose dived as the country has learned more about her and there is no way they are going to get away with keeping her in a Trappist monastery for six weeks. There are a couple of YouTubes out there of her answering questions. In one of them McCain calls her the country’s greatest energy expert and then she delivers a minute long riff on energy which is literally totally incoherent. I also don’t know she’s playing too well with moderate Republicans. I had a conversation with a couple of stalwart Republicans neighbors while out gardening a couple of days ago, one of them, a woman is a big wheel in the local GOP, both characterized Palin as a religious nut case that had made it impossible to vote for McCain. I’m not making this up. I’m in a blue state so it’s not material but it’s hard to believe similar views are not being held in CO or VA. So we’ll have to see how events unfold. I’m not sure the debates are that pivotal except in reinforcing perceptions, whoever would have thought Bush would have won after seing that first debate in 2004. All the polls seem to have Obama in the high forties and a couple have him hitting fifty while McCain is basically in the low to mid forties which is telling me a lot of minds are starting to get made up. The dems have also invested a huge amount in their GOTV op so we’ll see. At this moment it’s narrow advantage Obama I’d say but we’ll have to see.

  43. Thomas says:

    It is amazing how many intelligent people (maybe they use their lizard part of the brain for political reasons) do not see that Obama and Biden are the ones responsible for the current financial crisis.

    Fannie and Freddie are in the center of this crisis. Obama is the second largest recipient of Fannie and Freddie lobby money. In return, Obama voted multiple times in favor of Fannie and Freddie status quo. As a result of Obama’s voting record, Michele Obama (her firm) has received over a million of lobby money just this year. Biden’s son received $3.8 million just this year.

    Biden has voted multiple number of times in favor of the banking sector and against the consumers. His son who is a lobby was paid millions by MBNA, it was reported in NYT. Biden voted in favor of law that makes harder for consumers to obtain bankruptcy protection that was enacted in 2005.

    Obama is a gold standard of false hope and true corruption — change that we can bank on.

  44. John(2) says:

    Richard Kline | Sep 21, 2008 1:59:32 AM

    Not strictly true since many of the Western states hadn’t actually become states in 1861. That said the the argument that the old Confederate states now constitute the nexus of the GOP is surely accurate. They’ve effectively lost the North East from Maine to VA (Yep I know VA was a confedeate state) and the entire West Coast. Since it’s possible to argue that these states are essentially the political, financial, artistic and cultural heart of the country this has be a concern for a national party. This leaves the midwest which is toss up but leans Democratic, the Southwest which has traditionally been Republican but is starting to trend Democrat because of Hispanic demographic shifts, and the Rocky Mountain states again trad GOP but showing signs of a shift because of demographics. Apart from Florida the GOP has said goodbye to the hispanic vote which is going to constitute some 20% of the electorate in ten years time. David Frum whose a conservative commentator had a long piece in the NYT about this a couple of weeks ago and basically he’s not far off the mark. There are distinct signs the GOP is getting itself into a box because of the elevation of cultural issues that are demanded by their strongly southern base but are basically outside the mainstream, an anti immigrant stance and their incompetence which has basically alienated much of the managerial and professional class(ie. Moi). There a several good books about this phenomenon like Whistling past Dixie which even if you don’t agree with the thesis are not totally nutty. Personally I don’t the consequences of the last week have even started to play out and we’re going to see some huge paradigm shifts over the next few years. We’ll see if the GOP is nimble enought to adjust. Ultimately they will but it’s probably going to be messy.

  45. John(2) says:

    Thomas | Sep 21, 2008 10:00:21 AM

    With due respect old boy put away the Republican talking points and face reality. The Republicans were in control of the house from 1994 to 2006, the senate from 2000 to 2006 and essentially still have blocking power there, and they have had the presidency for eight years. The little factoids about Michelle Obama’s law firm, she left there years ago, and Biden’s son even if true are totally trivial in the context of all this. It’s not even true that F/F are at the center of this mess, they’ve only been securitizing anything less than stellar loans for 18 months and I’d back their book against Lehmans, AIG or Merrills any day while their continued operation is essential to the very existence of the US housing market. By all means believe your blarney if you want to but it has nothing to do with what’s really happened here.

  46. larster says:

    Thomas- Facts please and maybe take some decaf.

    Bruce Bartlett has an interesting opinion piece in todays WAPO regarding both Obama’s and McCain’s tax plans. The premise, and IMO a correct one, is that they will have to change their tax plans due to the bailout. This is so fluid that I doubt anyone can predict, except if you judge this week as indicative, McCain has a problem.

  47. John(2) says:

    larster | Sep 21, 2008 10:20:27 AM

    Since Bartlett is one of the few intellectually honest conservative pundits around, I took a look at his piece which makes entire sense. What the next president does is going to be dictated by circumstances not what he says during the campaign. As a generalization I believe whoever is the next president will have to raise taxes for the simple reason that the US cannot indulge in deficit spending forever. Even withouth taking all the F/F obligations on the books the public debt has now doubled since 2001 and we’ll be looking at a deficit next year on present policies of north of 600 billion. It simply cannot continue anymore than it could continue in the late 80′s and early 90′s when Pop Bush had to have lip surgery. So as Bartlett says these arguments by both candidates are largely bs.

  48. Thomas says:

    “Thomas- Facts please…”

    These are the facts! Maybe you do not like to hear about them or your source of information is MSNBC Obermann’s Show, but these are the facts.

    “Sen. Joe Biden was one of the few Democrats who sided with credit-card companies that were trying to make it harder for people to declare bankruptcy.

    At the time, his son was a consultant to Delaware-based credit-card company MBNA. MBNA employees also contributed heavily to the senator’s election campaigns.

    Jeffrey Birnbaum, managing editor of digital news for the Washington Times, says the issue raises questions about whether Biden is as much of an outsider to Washington’s ways as the Obama campaign portrays him to be.”

    Also, there is a great NYT article about it.

  49. a different chris says:

    I didn’t, for once, bother to read all the above comments so maybe somebody has already pointed this out:

    The irony of, at this moment in time, of using a “market” to predict anything is pretty high.

  50. Chris says:

    “It is amazing how many intelligent people (maybe they use their lizard part of the brain for political reasons) do not see that Obama and Biden are the ones responsible for the current financial crisis.”


    Thanks Thomas. I needed that.

    You win the lizard award my friend.


  51. John(2) says:

    Thomas | Sep 21, 2008 10:58:28 AM

    And the entire melt down of the US financial system can be laid at the door of Biden’s son who was a lobbyist for a credit card company. Just lean back in your chair look at what you typed and ask yourself isn’t there just the tiniest proportionality issue here.

    I actually think the sort of stuff you and others have posted and some of the lines of argument the GOP have test marketed like “Barney Frank forced Angelo to loan to deadbeats” and so forth raise an interesting philosophical argument. They really are a testament to why the GOP is in such trouble. It’s become a party that just isn’t serious anymore and that is increasingly becoming the butt of late night comedy shows. Anyone with the least iota of knowledge of political economy knows that your comments are complete nonsense and yet you and those you got them from are out there selling them. Now I know that much of the American public has little knowledge of political economy but much of the college educated class has some inkling and that’s why the gop is loosing them. Anyway keep up the good work Thomas, I’m sure you’ll get your reward in heaven.

  52. leftback says:

    Barry, one of my social scientist friends told me there is evidence of a systematic “liar” effect in polls when a black candidate is involved. Voters say they voted for the candidate, but the lie factor is worth about 6% points. Something to keep in mind going forward.

    a different chris: Not really. We have already had a fixed election in 2000, now we have fixed markets. I often wonder if the US wants to be Argentina or Venezuela. For all the loathing directed at Chavez, the poor fare better in socialist Venezuela than in free-market debt-ridden Argentina.

  53. Thomas says:

    “And the entire melt down of the US financial system can be laid at the door of Biden’s son who was a lobbyist for a credit card company”


    You are distorting what I said (typical of a liberal response of distortion and smear).

    I said that Fannie and Freddie (Obama is the second highest in the Senate recipient of Fannie and Freddie lobby funds) were instrumental in the subprime lending, housing bubble, and the current financial crisis (not Biden’s son lobbyist activity).

  54. mh497 says:

    I think it’s not worth looking at any polls until after the debates. These will be the most watched debates in history.

    The one major conclusion you can reach right now is that the fact that it’s so close is a bad sign for Obama/Biden, because given how upset voters are, they clearly want some incumbent party blood.

  55. D.L. says:

    Obama probably wins.

    But a chart of his approval ratings during 2009 is probably going to look like a chart of the DJIA during the last year.

  56. BlackSwan2008 says:

    John Authers, of the Short View, presents an intriguing analysis of extreme volatility and the presidential election. Might be a little too civilized for the BP crowd but just as entertaining.

  57. John(2) says:

    You were asked to present facts by another poster. Those were the facts you presented. I didn’t distort anything. On F/F’s role in all this I made an earlier comment on your erroneous assertion which you didnt respond to and which I’ll repeat.

    “It’s not even true that F/F are at the center of this mess, they’ve only been securitizing anything less than stellar loans for 18 months and I’d back their book against Lehmans, AIG or Merrills any day while their continued operation is essential to the very existence of the US housing market.”

    You need to get out of the weeds of campaign talking points and focus on the big picture as some conservatives are starting to do like Bartlett.

    And talking of intellectually honest conservatives even George Will seems to be having his moment on the road to Damascus judging by this comment on ABC this morning which overall was a fairly brutal savaging of McCain:

    John McCain showed his personality this week,” said the writer and pundit George Will, “and made some of us fearful.”

  58. Jojo says:

    Hey Thomas, want some dirt on McCain? Here you go:
    McCain’s sudden conversion to economic populism
    Robert Scheer, Creators Syndicate
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Gag me with a spoon as Valley girls used to say. Did you see that McCain-Palin ad promising “tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings, no special interest giveaways?” Just how dumb do they think we are?

    Seriously, 20 minutes of Google searches should be sufficient to convince all but the dimwits among us that McCain has been a master of the special interest giveaways to Wall Street that enabled this meltdown. Duh, he voted for abolishing all of the significant rules put in place at the time of the Great Depression designed to prevent a repeat. The two main bills accomplishing that, which McCain enthusiastically supported, were the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Gramm is former Sen. Phil Gramm, chair of the Senate Banking Committee when he acted as chief sponsor of both pieces of legislation. The same Gramm that McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign.

    Gramm proved an embarrassment when he cavalierly insisted there was no real crisis but only the panic of “whiners,” but even on Monday as his “crisis” ad ran, McCain, in person, was still denying that there was one. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer, as two more of the nation’s most venerable financial institutions crashed and the stock market shed more than 500 points. When a perplexed Lauer asked McCain to square his optimism with his own ad’s use of the “crisis” word, McCain came to his senses and, discovering his inner Karl Marx, said he hadn’t been speaking of the bankers but rather “that the workers of America are the fundamentals of the economy.”

    OK, but never heard that from him before, as he consistently carried water for the bankers going back to his supporting role in the savings and loan scandal, a harbinger of the consequences of a severely deregulated financial market that McCain still favors. Nor did he worry then about the workers who lost their savings while McCain’s wife made a million in profit from her deal with Charles Keating, the banker for whom McCain lobbied. Even on Tuesday, while McCain suddenly was thundering against the “unbridled corruption and greed that caused the crisis on Wall Street,” he still did not urge anything more stringent than convening a national commission.

    Full article