Smart people saying smart things

Ed @ Gin and Tacos: “Running the Numbers: The Lottery, Part 2

Lotteries are machines designed to extract money from the poor and redistribute it to the middle and upper classes in the form of property tax relief, school funds, and merit-based scholarships. This is the point at which one of our friends on the right reliably steps in to remind us that no one points a gun at the poor and forces them to buy lottery tickets. This is indisputable. It also leaves us with the question of why people willingly participate in something that siphons off income they can scarcely afford to spare in exchange for catastrophically lousy odds of striking it rich. Anyone who is poor, has been poor, has close friends or family who are poor, or works in close contact with the poor understands that long term financial planning and rational money management are not traits the poor possess in great quantity. Accordingly many people simply conclude that the poor are not smart enough to behave in their own rational self interest. This is a common way of reaching our preferred conclusion that the poor have only themselves to blame for their predicament. In reality, of course, the poor know very well that state lotteries are screwing them. That doesn’t stop them because the experience of being poor in the United States is little more than getting screwed repeatedly ad infinitum until all parties are completely desensitized to the act.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “Racism vs. the Race Card

This sort of thinking is endemic to how the conservative movement thinks about racism. For them it isn’t an actual force, but a rhetorical device for disarming your opponents. So one does not call Robert Weissberg racist and question his ties to National Review because one seeks to stamp out racism, but because one hopes to secure the White House for Democrats. Or some such. Even if you have a record of calling out bigotry voiced by people deemed to be “on your team,” it doesn’t much matter because there’s no real belief in it existing to begin with.

The conservative movement doesn’t understand anti-racism as a value, only as a rhetorical pose. This is how you end up tarring the oldest integrationist group in the country (the NAACP) as racist. The slur has no real moral content to them. It’s all a game of who can embarrass who. If you don’t think racism is an actual force in the country, then you can only understand it’s invocation as a tactic.

… That tradition of viewing racism, not as an actual thing of import, but merely as rhetoric continues today. To abandon that tradition, I suspect, would be cause for an existential crisis.

Katha Pollitt: “Ann Romney, Working Woman?

So there it is: the difference between a stay-home mother and a welfare mother is money and a wedding ring. Unlike any other kind of labor I can think of, domestic labor is productive or not, depending on who performs it.

For a college-educated married woman, it is the most valuable thing she could possibly do, totally off the scale of human endeavor. What is curing malaria compared with raising a couple of Ivy Leaguers? For these women, being supported by a man is good — the one exception to our American creed of self-reliance. Taking paid work, after all, poses all sorts of risks to the kids. (Watch out, though, ladies: if you expect the father of your children to underwrite your homemaking after divorce, you go straight from saint to gold-digger.)

But for a low-income single woman, forgoing a job to raise children is an evasion of responsibility, which is to marry and/or support herself. For her children, staying home sets a bad example, breeding the next generation of criminals and layabouts.

All of which goes to show that it is not really possible to disengage domestic work from its social, gendered context: the work is valuable if the woman is valuable, and what determines her value is whether a man has found her so and how much money he has. That is why discussions of domestic labor and its worth are inextricably bound up with ideas about class, race, respectability, morality and above all womanhood. You can talk all you want about equal parenting; nobody is raising his son from earliest childhood to see as the most important job in the world being a stay-home father dependent on a high-earning wife.

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Smart people saying smart things (1.10)
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  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I think liberals have more to answer for regarding the lottery. After all, it’s the state that gets the proceedings.  Honestly, I have mostly heard conservatives offer the above critique, how it is in fact a regressive tax, the most regressive one.

  • Lori

    I think liberals have more to answer for regarding the lottery. After all, it’s the state that gets the proceedings.

    Do you have any opinions about anything related to politics or economics that aren’t knee-jerk ideology? Any at all?

    Honestly, I have mostly heard conservatives offer the above critique,
    how it is in fact a regressive tax, the most regressive one.

    If you’ve heard this critique from more Conservatives than Liberals it is only because you listen to far Conservatives than Liberals. Did the Conservatives you listen to follow the critique with a plan to fully fund public schools via non-regressive taxation? How about policy positions that would actually help people get out of poverty? Note that yammering about Freedom! does not count. If not then their complaining about the lottery was just more hot air.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Honestly, I have mostly heard conservatives offer the above critique,
    how it is in fact a regressive tax, the most regressive one.

    It does function like one. Albeit quasi-voluntary, but….

    Look, it’s a gold at the end of the rainbow kinda thing. Real rainbows, when viewed from above with an airplane, look like bigass halos that never touch the ground. So the gold is a lie. Impossible.

    The lottery is only slightly impossible but the odds are so slim that it’s a good approximation to call it the unattainable pot of gold phenomenon that has a low entry fee.

    When you’re flat fucking broke it’s a damned tempting dream to imagine what you could do for an entire lifetime on even $100,000.

    You know what the even crueller part of it all is?

    Those poor and working poor who DO win.

    Studies have shown that they tend to blow through their winnings in about 3-5 years, tops. So they end up right back where they started, having achieved what they thought was their dreams, and they lack the skills to keep them because society never thought it worth teaching them.

    But rich kids in magnet schools? Hell yeah, they learn all about the mathematics of annuities and perpetuities and you name it.

    Education and the economy are working hand in hand to help freeze out society along quasifeudal lines.

  • P J Evans

    I have to assume that you’re someone who could win $2 on a lottery ticket and believe that you’re now $2 ahead.

  • Tricksterson

    Really?  Not sure about conservatives but I know the lottery is a fave alternative of libertarians to taxation.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Did the Conservatives you listen to follow the critique with a plan to fully fund public schools via non-regressive taxation?”

    a critique doesn’t require another one to justify it. In and of itself they are correct: the lottery is in essence a regressive tax, though of course it is voluntary. Tax payer funds do go to promote it though.

    No one is suggesting ending lotteries are they?

  • Lori

     

    a critique doesn’t require another one to justify it. 

    This explains so much about your posts here.

    Without looking deeper the critique of lotteries as a regressive tax is basically useless.

  • Emcee, cubed

     

    Lotteries are machines designed to extract money from the poor and
    redistribute it to the middle and upper classes in the form of property
    tax relief, school funds, and merit-based scholarships.

    This doesn’t change the overall point, and is unlikely universal, but at least in PA, a large portion of the lottery intake goes to public transit subsidies, specifically so senior citizens can ride for free. Now this is for all seniors, regardless of income level, and only helps those seniors in areas with public transit (which leaves out a large portion of the state), but I did know a lot of people that it helped immensely, as they may not have been able to get to the grocery store or other places without it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The government here in BC claims to devote 50% of lottery revenue to health care. I have no idea if that’s actually close to true, but it’s politically convenient because Canadians set great store behind keeping our health care universal and free at point of access.

  • LouisDoench

    Personal Failure had a great post on the lotto the other day from the perspective of the poor.
    http://foreverinhell.com/wordpress/?p=3330&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-real-problem-with-the-lotto

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    One thing that upsets me about people who critique the lottery is that they always start from the unquestioned assumption that playing the “watch the ping pong balls get blown out of the fishtank and compare the numbers to yours while imagining being rich” game could not possibly give you a dollar’s worth of entertainment (while, say, watching Green Lantern could possibly give you ten dollars worth of entertainment)

    “It’s a tax on the mathematically illiterate” is so fucking condescending that it makes me want to claw someone’s eyes out. 

    Of all the ways for a poor person to spend a dollar, the lottery seems fairly neutral on the list of consequences. It gives back to the community and provides some entertainment.

  • P J Evans

    The problem is that the poor may be spending that dollar pretty frequently, in hopes of winning the big prize – you can explain how slim those odds are, but it doesn’t really register with many people, even supposedly-educated people. (I describe the chance of winning a lottery as ‘you might be able to see it with an electron microscope’.)

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “The key difference for consumers when control shifted from the black market to the public sector was that the odds got a lot worse and the payoffs got much larger”

    that’s clever

  • AnonymousSam

    Honestly, I feel it’s less a matter of incomprehension and more what the article says: they’re desensitized to the act of being screwed over. They know that for all intents and purposes, they’ll never win. They also know that for all intents and purposes, they won’t be any better off for not trying. You can’t win if you don’t play, and you won’t win any other way, so why not try for that minute chance of a taste of greatness?

    You know what gets me most about the lottery? Imagining this scenario:

    You’re already poor because the deck is stacked against you.

    You pay more out of taxes than any other economic class.

    The Republicans think you’ve got it too good as a glorified shit-shoveler, so they’re encouraging your job to move overseas, planning to raise the taxes you pay (while lowering their own), and shutting down the few places you can occasionally visit to get a free meal (but try not to have to).

    You throw your dollar in the hat despite knowing how bad the odds are for years upon years until it becomes a matter of habit and you no longer even bother dreaming about what you’d use that money for. The closest you come to dreaming about being rich is trying to imagine what life would be like without bill collectors demanding money from you every day.

    You win the lottery.
    And the government takes about 25% of your winnings.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    T. N. Coates’s writings caused a small train of thought in me.

    Instead of truly understanding how society differentially treats people with different skin colors, generally white voters for right-wing politicians assume that non-whites are just “using their color” as a strategy,  a device, to get something they “shouldn’t have”, because that’s what they would do in that position*.

    Why?

    Because it’s a consequence of a kind of magical thinking** that comes with assuming society is color-blind. Since society must be color-blind (fish in the water never noticing the water concept) then a “race card” becomes a legitimate idea in their minds instead of an incredibly dismissive method of misunderstanding social relations of power.

    * A consequence of bootstraps thinking as well. See here for a rather incisive (if mocking) look at Conservative ideas which involve a nice side helping of showing how they fail to put themselves in someone else’s shoes without preconceptions.

    ** see the above footnote.

  • Jessica_R

    I almost feel sorry for Ann Romney. Because she can’t win, she could be a good ally for women, all women, but she knows if she doesn’t toe the party line she’ll be pilloried. She can say “women are special” and get a big applause line at an event, but if she went on to say “…and as such they deserve equal pay for equal work” she’d be booed off stage.

    That said, there’s also the option of not saying anything at all and just nesting in her privilege. And frankly if she’s going to be so awful and clueless about the wealth and staff that make her “choice” to stay home a choice most don’t have I’d rather her be another GOP wife standing there in a tweed suit and pearls silent on the podium than actively hurting women with her words.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira


    “It’s a tax on the mathematically illiterate” is so fucking condescending that it makes me want to claw someone’s eyes out.

    THANK YOU.

    I hate articles like that one. Saying “the poor” are bad at money management is like saying a paraplegic is bad at triathlons. What the heck are we supposed to “manage” — the coins we find in the couch?! 

    And he doesn’t say “some of the poor spend $20 on lotteries every day,” he just claims “the poor” spend $20 on lotteries every day. We are not the Borg. We do not have a hive mind and all behave the same. Here is how much I have ever spent on gambling in my life: 50 cents. I ended up winning $10 in quarters, but it was boring, and I knew the real odds, so I stopped.

    I’m not saying there’s not a point in there somewhere. I didn’t grow up poor. My father did, and he is not poor now, but he does spend a couple bucks on the lotto every week. But rich people gamble all the time, both at things everyone recognizes as gambling, like high-stakes poker, and in the stock market. Pretending it’s a trait of “the poor” is condescending and ridiculous.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah, it’s just that the rich pretend their gambling on the stock market serves a socially useful function and have managed to get everybody believing it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    There is a difference between gambling on stocks and gambling at a casino or by buying a lottery ticket. If you buy a lottery ticket and lose, you’re pretty much out that money, right? While there could be some kind of social benefit if the authorities spend the money on something beneficial for society, you personally won’t get that currency back.

    Whereas if you gamble on the stock market by playing games with virtual insurance on mortgages and betting on securities that you specifically designed to fail and lose, not only do you get your money back (from the taxpayers, naturally), you’re eligible for a fat bonus.

    Basically, a regular gambler can win or lose; a stock gambler — if he’s too big to fail — can either win big or win BIG.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    That’s true of everything. Most people can win or lose at life. A rich person is padded heavily so that the likelihood of them losing big is very small, and restricted to stuff we can’t really do anything about — the worst of health problems, plane crashes,  instantly fatal car accidents.

    Honestly, calling poor people unintelligent for buying lottery tickets, and assuming all poor people buy lottery tickets and middle-class people don’t, is incredibly classist. Besides people with gambling addictions, people gamble because they think it’s fun. And if they can do it while helping schools, good. The schools in poor neighborhoods sure need all the help they can get, and they sure aren’t getting it from people who aren’t poor lecturing people who are poor for their supposed spending habits. 

    Video games probably set me back about $75 – 100 a year — not chump change when you’re disabled and unemployed. But not an amount of money that’s the difference between being poor and not being poor, either. Still, there is no way playing video games will make me money. I’m out the money. But I enjoy them. There are plenty of people in the world who tsk tsk at poor people spending their money on anything but the bare necessities, but those people are unempathetic jerks. 

    If you want to help poor people, try asking poor people what they need. Not informing them that they’re being exploited by something some of them choose to do because it’s fun and because the money goes to something good. They know they probably won’t win — contrary to popular belief, being poor does not mean being completely ignorant of the way the world works. You want to help, reform the tax structure so that schools aren’t dependent on property taxes, and what neighborhood your parents happen to live in is not directly tied to the quality of your education.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    That’s true of everything. Most people can win or lose at life. A
    rich person is padded heavily so that the likelihood of them losing big
    is very small, and restricted to stuff we can’t really do anything about
    — the worst of health problems, plane crashes,  instantly fatal car
    accidents.

    That’s true, but I think it’s just obscene that such people need this layer of protection. It’s not enough for their own personal wealth to insulate them from hardship (honestly, I’m fine with that) but they also want to be able to gamble — they also want to be able to cheat at gambling, really, since they weren’t just playing the stock market but actually committing fraud and deceiving others — and have public money cover their losses? 

    But even that wouldn’t be so bad, if they didn’t immediately turn around and use the fact that the government’s deficit suddenly skyrocketed (in large part because the government transferred their gambling losses from the gamblers’ balance sheets to the Treasury) to justify gutting the social safety net. Oh, and they also want a tax cut. Really, that takes hubris.

    If you want to help poor people, try asking poor people what they need.
    Not informing them that they’re being exploited by something some of
    them choose to do because it’s fun and because the money goes to
    something good. They know they probably won’t win — contrary to popular
    belief, being poor does not mean being completely ignorant of the way
    the world works. You want to help, reform the tax structure so that
    schools aren’t dependent on property taxes, and what neighborhood your
    parents happen to live in is not directly tied to the quality of your
    education.

    That’s an excellent point. I don’t think that the people making fun of poor people for playing the lottery really care though; it’s more about the smug sense of superiority. It would kind of kill the buzz if they actually had to, you know, think of solutions to broader socioeconomic problems, and it would definitely eat into the time they spend mocking the poor.

  • veejayem

    “Saying “the poor” are bad at money management is like saying a paraplegic is bad at triathlons. What the heck are we supposed to “manage” — the coins we find in the couch?!” 

    ABSOBLOODYLUTELY! Poverty is boring and depressing. Which is why whenever “the poor” finally get a bit of spare money they will almost always splurge it on something like taking the kids to the zoo or buying a flatscreen TV. They know that these days a lottery win is virtually the only way out of a dreary cycle of low pay and ever-increasing bills, so why the hell not buy a ticket?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    My fiance and I just got a small windfall, and we’re splurging on a couple things. Matching wedding rings, for instance. The “splurging” of poor people is on things that people who are not poor take for granted, like your example of taking the kids to the zoo.

  • veejayem

    A friend of mine works with emotionally-disturbed children. She is very well off ~ she married a Polish refugee against her family’s wishes and had the last laugh when he turned out to be a financial genius ~  and gives dinner parties etc. She is a very nice lady, generous in every sense of the word, and is often distressed when some of her guests listen to her stories of how her “patients” and their families live ~ and simply don’t believe her. They do not believe that there are millions of people in the western world for whom a trip to the zoo, wedding rings (congratulations!) or even ~ no, especially ~ decent food are luxuries. It is wilful moral blindness.

  • Ima Pseudonym

     I can’t figure out if that’s better or worse than the people who DO believe it–and don’t particularly care.

  • Worthless Beast

    Of course you can manage the coins you find in your couch. If you find enough of them, you can end your hunger pains with a cheap burger or two from the local McDonald’s.  This has happened to me and my own more than once.

    The thing that I wish people who’ve never been there would understand… poverty isn’t a consquence of stupid. Some people are poor because they’ve done dumb things, but rich idiots abound.  No, being poor is like being a hamster on a wheel, running and getting nowhere, but there’s nowhere to get to because the cage is too damn small for “anywhere” to even be a thing.  Most of us aren’t in the cage because we went willingly – many of us were put there by circumstanes beyond our control or were just born there.  Meanwhile, the cage for most just seems to be getting smaller and smaller all the time. Keep running on the wheel, it’s all you can do.   

    I don’t play the lottery, by the way.  I feel like a buck is better spent on something like the above-mentioned burger. I don’t begrudge the dream as my parents did lottery for a lark and I figure that my spending postage and emails on the bothering of literary agents is kind of the same thing – trying for a dream that has little chance of happening, but is still fun in the meantime.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    The stock market is even more dangerous than a casino because it has the fig leaf of respectability.  People will try to talk sense into you if you are playing poker and losing all the time. No one will say anything if you lose it at Etrade and it is likely to be a lot more money there.  Obviously at the systemic level where they bail people out and so forth it’s another story though it shouldn’t be.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The fact that too many people treat the stock market like it’s a casino these days is why I refuse to get even anywhere near it. When I had an RRSP (I had to pull all the $$ out later unfortunately) I put it in a money market fund.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I wanted to clarify this a bit more:

    Studies have shown that they tend to blow through their winnings in
    about 3-5 years, tops. So they end up right back where they started,
    having achieved what they thought was their dreams, and they lack the
    skills to keep them because society never thought it worth teaching
    them.

    But rich kids in magnet schools? Hell yeah, they learn all about the mathematics of annuities and perpetuities and you name it.

    Education and the economy are working hand in hand to help freeze out society along quasifeudal lines.

    The point I was trying to make is that it is precisely those who don’t need any more money who are taught the proper skills and tools for how to manage any sudden windfall.

    But those who really do need that goddamn money, usually aren’t taught how to manage it properly.

    Personalfailure has a blog entry about the way poor people tend to have artificially constrained time horizons, and this tends to affect their mode of thinking about finances.

  • aunursa

    Brer Republican: Brer Democrat and Brer Liberal, whatever you do please stop talking about Ann Romney.  Please stop attacking her and making her the center of attention.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Who’s David Axelrod and why do I care what he says? Further, what’s your point? Further yet, by your party’s own definition of work (the one from before the Hilary Rosen dustup), Ann Romney has never, as Rosen said, worked a day in her life. So what’s Axelrod’s point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    David Axelrod works for Obama’s reelection campaign. The Ann Romney thing is the Republicans’ pathetic attempt to disguise all of the misogynist things they’ve said and done just this year (that is, in the past four months). It’s not really working, of course. Barack Obama has a double digit lead among women voters, even after this Hilary Rosen thing happened and it’s probably not going to change until Republicans lay off the misogyny for at least a month.

    (They won’t, of course, no matter how much Romney begs them, because it’s such a core part of their identity that it will take a long time before they can change it.)

  • Lori

     

    Who’s David Axelrod and why do I care what he says? 

    Axelrod is a Democratic political consultant who works for Obama. Our resident GOP apologist seems to think that the faux scandal about Ann Romney Workign Mother is a big winner for the GOP. Current polls don’t back this up and by November I doubt anyone will remember it at all, but as you know facts no impediment to aunursa’s beliefs.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I find it oddly telling that aunursa likes to use analogies that ultimately originate from people the Republicans have no desire to help.

  • aunursa

    It took me awhile, but I think I get it.  Republicans hate blacks.  Whatever.

  • hapax

     

    Whatever.

    aunursa, why exactly do you feel compelled to plaster your kneejerk defense of every Republican ever (usually coupled with “Democrats do it too!”) all over a thread entitled “Smart People Saying Smart Things”?

  • aunursa

    Are you under the impression that I was agreeing with the idea that Republicans hate blacks?

  • Lori

    So aunursa, what happened to your abiding interest in polls? Has your interest in “what people are thinking” been reduced to interest in what David Axelrod is thinking? It couldn’t possibly be that the faux scandal about Ann Romney’s work history hasn’t produced the kind of poll results that interest you, could it?

  • aunursa

    So aunursa, what happened to your abiding interest in polls?

    According to the latest CBS News poll Obama leads Romney 62%-34% among single women.  However Romney leads Obama 49%-42% among married women.

    It couldn’t possibly be that the faux scandal about Ann Romney’s work history hasn’t produced the kind of poll results that interest you, could it?

    According to the analyst, “A month ago, President Obama had an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney among women
    voters. Today’s poll, taken after Hillary Rosen’s comments and the subsequent
    firestorm, puts the gap at six points.”  So neither the misogynist Limbaugh quote nor the Hilary Rosen-Ann Romney controversy has had much of an impact.

    And the idea that the GOP in general or Romney in particular has a problem with female voters is silly on its face.  If likely voters were entirely or overwhelming of voters with XX chromosones, then it would be a concern.  But there are just as many, or nearly as many XY voters.  It would be just as silly to say that the Democrats and Obama have a problem with male voters, since the president trails among men.  The goal of a candidate is not to win one demographic or another.  The goal is to receive more total votes cast than your opponents (or the case of the presidential candidate, to receive at least 270 electoral votes) — regardless of which demographics the voters fall into. 

    I can think of at least three reasons why Brer Republican would hope that Democrats and liberals continue their attacks on Ann Romney.  Can you?

  • EllieMurasaki

    By her own admission, Ann Romney has never done anything in her life to receive a paycheck. This is not an attack. This is a statement of fact.  Hilary Rosen did not attack Ann Romney by pointing out that Ann Romney herself has done no work in her life bar raising children, nor has anyone attacked Ann Romney by pointing out that Republicans only consider raising children to be work when it’s a white married-to-a-breadwinner above-lower-class woman raising her own children or anyone raising someone else’s. And I fail to see what it gains Republicans to have it pointed out repeatedly that Ann Romney is unaware of what women doing paid work go through and that Ann Romney is unaware of what women doing unpaid childcare work while single or brown or poor go through. Especially since, by his own admission, all Mitt knows about these subjects is what Ann tells him.

  • Lori

     

    I can think of at least three reasons why Brer Republican would secretly
    hope that Democrats and liberals continue their attacks on Ann Romney. 
    Can you?  

    Good gawd your Brer Republican schtick is tired. If you’re going to continue to inflict your dumbass on us can’t you at least develop some new material?

    Democrats and liberals can not “continue their attacks on Ann Romney.” You can’t continue something that you never started. No one attacked Ann Romney, except in the sense that telling the truth is an attack.

    As Ellie pointed out, Ann Romney has never had to work for a paycheck in her life. People have used the term “working mother” for a long, long time now. Some of the people who have used it have been Republicans. The fact that the Fox and the Romney campaign have worked so hard to gin up a fake scandal about it now is ridiculous.

    I seriously doubt that many people are going to remember this bullshit, let alone vote based on it, come November. There are other things that some people likely will remember though. For example, that marrying the son of a rich, connected man has provided Ann with a life of vast wealth and privilege.  That her privilege is so extreme that her horse lives a life of greater comfort and privilege than the vast majority of humans in the US can even imagine. That she, like her husband, is demonstrably out of touch with the concerns of the average voter. 

    The fact that you’re trying to grab onto this faux outrage as if it’s something real is pretty pathetic. The fact that you think this issue is some sort of guaranteed winner for the Romney campaign is just odd.

  • aunursa

    You asked me about the polls on women voters, but have no comment on my reply, which comprised 80-90% of my comment?

    At any rate, apparently Obama and Axelrod do not share your opinion that the Democratic political operative was merely “telling the truth.” Axelrod called her statement “inappropriate and offensive.” President Obama called it “the wrong thing to say,” and said that criticism of candidates’ spouses should be out of bounds.

    Three reasons why Brer Republican would secretly hope that attacks on Ann Romney would continue (and why Obama and Democratic leaders would want them to end immediately) —

    1. The controversy is focused primarily on criticism of someone who is not the presumptive Republican nominee, making it much less effective than criticism of Mitt Romney’s statements, positions on issues, and governing record.

    2. The criticism makes Ann Romney more sympathetic to stay-at-home moms and their families.  That sympathy may rub off on her husband, who (as I noted) already enjoys a small lead among married women.  In addition, undecided voters will identify with Mitt Romney coming to the defense of his wife.

    3. The attack on the Romneys could energize conservative voters.  Many who have not been enthusiastic about Mitt have nevertheless come to the Romneys’ defense.

    And one reason why Republicans do not want the controversy to continue —

    1. Because it’s a distraction from the real issues on which they feel Obama is vulnerable.  Limbaugh, Rosen, Mitt vs Obama on dogs, and the many other distractions that will happen over the next seven months will distract voters from the economic issues that Romney and the Republican establishment believe the president is vulnerable on — the state of the economy, unemployment, “Are you better off…?”, etc.

    I do agree with you that most voters are not paying attention to the race, and won’t be interested until October.  Ann Romney’s domestic history and her husband’s reliance on her advice regarding the most important issue to female voters will have as much effect on their decision as Obama’s “bitter clinger” statement did in the last election.  In other words, very insignificant.

  • Lori

    You asked me about the polls on women voters, but have no comment on my reply, which comprised 80-90% of my comment? 

    Yes, I ignored the poll stuff. As I’ve said many times now, I think your focus on polls is ridiculous and  boring. I’m sick of getting sucked into your pointless obsession. Movin’ on.

     

    At any rate, apparently Obama and Axelrod do not share your opinion that the Democratic political operative was merely “telling the truth.” Axelrod called her statement “inappropriate and offensive.” President Obama called it “the wrong thing to say,” and said that criticism of candidates’ spouses should be out of bounds. 

    The fact that they feel compelled to publicly play to this idiotic manufactured scandal says any number of depressing things about the reality of current US politics. It doesn’t say much of anything about what they actually think about it or about what’s really true. What was said about Ann Romney was true. Everything else about this is spin and bullshit.

     

    I do agree with you that most voters are not paying attention to the race, and won’t be interested until October.   

    Good grief, your desperate need to grab any gotcha moment that Fox News supplies is just sad.

  • aunursa

    Asking questions about polls is a funny way of showing that you’re not interested in the poll stuff.

    It doesn’t say much of anything about what they actually think about it

    They think that it’s irrelevant and that the candidate’s family should be off limits.  It couldn’t be more clear.

    Good grief, your desperate need to grab any gotcha moment that Fox News supplies is just sad.

    That’s not a Fox News point.  And I’m perplexed that it could be characterized as a gotcha moment. Gotcha against whom?  It’s common political knowledge that most voters aren’t interested until a few weeks before an election.

  • Lori

     

    Asking questions about polls is a funny way of showing that you’re not interested in the poll stuff. 

    My question was not serious. I was mocking your obsession with polls. Sorry you didn’t pick up on that.

    I’m not going to bother with the rest because this conversation has already gone on far longer than it should have. I still have no idea why you felt compelled to bring this up here and I just don’t care.

  • aunursa

    Alas, your mockery was too subtle for my sarcasm meter to detect.

    I’m not going to bother with the rest because this conversation has already gone on far longer than it should have.

    If I don’t respond, then I’m a drive-by troll.  If I do respond and defend my position, then the conversation (which requires two to participate) has gone on too long, or I’m monopolizing the discussion.

    I wish you would make up your mind.

  • Lori

     

    If I don’t respond, then I’m a drive-by troll.  If I do
    respond and defend my position, then the conversation (which requires
    the participation of two) has gone on too long, or I’m monopolizing the
    discussion.

    I wish you would make up your mind.  

    Lord you’re tiresome.

    As you note, a conversation requires at least 2. I have opted to no longer be a 2nd in this case because I don’t find anything about this interesting or productive. The entire ginned up brouhaha was stupid and I have no idea why you felt the need to bring it up at all. Still, you should feel free to monologue about it to your hearts content and of course anyone else is free to comment as they see fit.

  • Delurker

    Actually, you’re just an asshole.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    haha^  awesome

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The fact is that in this economy, people like Mitt Romney are so amazingly out of touch it’s a miracle they’re not spontaneously generating antigravity to leave this planet behind.

  • histrogeek

    Critics of the poor using the lottery are correct that the odds are absurdly stacked against them. But the simple fact is that poverty has become so intractable that the lottery is in some ways a better bet than other options.
    Continued hard work might pay the bills but no one is getting rich outside of a handful of capital-handling professions. Most investments require a high entry fee (go ahead and see how many mutual funds will let you buy in for the cost of a lottery ticket). New businesses and education almost always involve massive debt loads.
    It’s a scandal that our states need gambling to raise revenue. It should be a bigger scandal that it works.


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