Archive for 2012

Fearless Forecasters of All Stripes Agree It’s Obama

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Beyond Mitt Romney’s secret IRS returns, offshore accounts, tax-free dressage horse, serial lying and overall doofus-ness, here’s one more reason he’ll lose the presidential election to Barack Obama: The planet Mercury rules the 10th House of the King, and it’s in retrograde. You could look it up.

Astrology News Service, the non-profit industry organ of the responsible astrological community, has just published an interview with Nina Gryphon, a Stanford-educated practitioner who’s done a study analyzing planetary movements and alignments for every presidential race of the last 132 years.

Gryphon, one of five top-rank astrologers who appeared on a panel at a recent conference in New Orleans and unanimously predicted Obama’s re-elect, based her report on what stargazing professionals like to call your “Aries ingress chart.”

“At its core, the concepts used to evaluate the political climate for winners and losers was first set down in writing by the Sumerians four millennia ago and, in all likelihood, dates back much farther than that,” she explained.

The ancient predictive technique used by Gryphon is keyed to interpreting what astrologers call an Aries ingress chart. Simply, this is a birth chart or horoscope created for the exact time the Sun enters the astrological sign of Aries and can be prepared for any location on earth, including Washington D.C.

Bottom line: “Obama is sitting pretty for re-election this year,” she concluded.

In a week when New York Times polling guru Nate Silver reports that Obama has a 67.9 percent likelihood of re-election, we figured what the hell, and asked Gryphon in an exclusive email interview if she could assign a similar numerical probability to her forecast. Here’s what she said:

Thanks for your email. I read Calbuzz when I lived in California (ed. note: ahem, ahem). I have been following Nate Silver’s model since the 2008 election, and particularly like his providing a certainty metric for his predictions.

To answer your question; the method that I used to predict Obama’s reelection is more binary.  That is, the indicators of victory are either wholly present with one party or the other; i.e., you cannot have two indicators for the Republicans and one for the Democrats.  In the sample of U.S. elections (and a couple of foreign ones) going back to 1880 that I used in my study, I was able to correctly identify the winning party 33 times out of 35, or 94% of the time.

In my model, the current election has some parallels to the 1880 Presidential election, which was extremely close in the popular vote, and the incumbent party stayed in office.

At a time when every empty-headed gasbag, political hack and tweet-happy 22-year old won’t stop shouting cheap nitwit opinions on cable, it’s refreshing to find at least a few prognosticators who put their evidence out there and show their work: Nina’s take is here and Nate’s is here. Oh yeah, ours is here.

Must read of the week: No matter what happens with November’s Gandalf/Coupal/Molly McGee Munger tax hike set-to, happy days won’t be here again anytime soon, major eggheads say.

The fiscal crisis for states will persist long after the economy rebounds as they confront rising health care costs, underfunded pensions, ignored infrastructure needs, eroding revenues and expected federal budget cuts, according to a report issued here Tuesday by a task force of respected budget experts…

The report added a strong dose of fiscal pessimism just as many states have seen their immediate budget pressures begin to ease. And it called into question how states will restore the services they have cut during the downturn, saying that the loss of jobs in prisons, hospitals, courts and agencies have been more severe than in any of the past nine recessions.

“This is a fundamental shift in the way governments have responded to recessions and appears to signal a willingness to ‘unbuild’ state government in a way that has not been done before,” it said, noting that court systems had cut their hours in many states, delaying actions including divorce settlements and criminal trials.

The complete depressing report is here.

Inquiring minds want to know:

Do campaigns really matter?

Is this the greatest advancement in sports marketing since Disco Demolition Night?

Has Leona Helmsley returned as Ann Romney?

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: Is that a billboard in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?


What Does Mittens Have to Hide? Part Deux

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

If Mitt Romney’s senior adviser Ed Gillespie had told only NBC’s David Gregory that Romney had “actually retired retroactively” from Bain Capital after 1999 when he went off to run the U.S. Olympics, it might have been dismissed as a misspeak or a gaffe.

But since Gillespie also told CNN’s Candy Crowley that Romney “took a leave of absence and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999,” well, you gotta figure this is what you call one of your “talking points.”

That’s a pre-planned argument that the campaign (i.e. Romney himself) decided to use to explain why Mitt can’t be held responsible for any job losses, outsourcing or bankruptcies that might have occurred after he “retired” from Bain – even though he signed SEC statements as the managing director, president and CEO of Bain Capital during that time.

What makes this so galling is not that it’s such a transparent lie (or, as one of our Calbuzz sister wives noted, a lousy use of the flux capacitor). The problem is that it’s one more example of Romney saying the rules don’t apply to him. He is an over-indulged, ultra-privileged, special case who, if he so chooses, gets a do-over — on anything, including sworn statements to the feds.

The buck stops nowhere in his universe. Except maybe a bank account in the Cayman Islands.

GOP Fellow Travelers: That the Obama campaign is making an issue of Romney’s callous treatment of actual human beings through Bain and his claim of special circumstances for an American job-creator as fine and decent and patriotic as himself should come as no surprise.

It wasn’t long ago that commie pinkos like Huey P. Newt and Rick (The Red) Perry were eviscerating Romney as a vulture capitalist and worse, a Massachusetts moderate – a precious moment in time Calbuzz memorialized in “What Does Mittens Have to Hide” back in January. Not to mention Barry Bennett’s devastating 28-minute take-down documentary King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town that George Condon of the National Journal reminded us of on Tuesday.

Now, we have to agree with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz that Mittens needs to put on his “big boy pants” and defend Bain’s activities when he was the company’s top officer.

Meanwhile, back at Tax Gulch, Romney seems to have decided — for now — that whatever is in his prior tax returns is worse than the beating he’s taking for failing to release them. Must be something gawdaful because he’s getting even those little-boy knickers knocked off on just about a daily basis.

We don’t know if he’s hiding lions and tigers and bears, but you know he’s got a problem on his hands when he’s getting pressure from Barbour and Kristol and Will (oh my!).