An Abbreviated Reading List for Undecided Economic Voters

noise babyThe noise from the election machine is at 120 decibels. If you don't wear ear plugs you'll damage your hearing. Campaigns and their surrogates are misquoting statistics, rewriting history and are carpet bombing Ohio with ads and armies of campaign workers knocking at the door.

We're acting as a filter to bring you some select articles on the financial sector, the economy and jobs. Read at your leisure for we won't call you, profile you, spin you or lurk in your shrubberies for a last minute talking point ambush.

 

No Honey, Obama Did Not Shrink the Banks

The campaign spin has been Obama reformed the banks. That's actually false. Banks are bigger than ever and most of the financial reform bill was woefully inadequate. Derivatives were not regulated and the Volcker rule was not implemented. In fact most of Dodd-Frank has not been implemented, left to regulators who are now besieged by lobbyists. Naked Capitalism, who has been at the forefront of the financial crisis helps dispel some myths:

In the final hours of the 2012 Presidential campaign, Obama backers have been trumpeting the case for their candidate, and like most electioneering, some of the claims don’t stand up well to scrutiny, particularly regarding the impact of regulations on big financial firm profits.

 

The Progressive Case Against Obama

If you are someone who really is concerned about the banks, the economy and especially the U.S. middle class and workers you might want to read Matt Stoller's take on this election. According to Stoller, who was working in Congress at the time of financial reform, President Obama didn't earn his vote. Stoller uses graphs and economic data in his arguments.

Bottom line: The president is complicit in creating an increasingly unequal -- and unjust -- society

So why oppose Obama? Simply, it is the shape of the society Obama is crafting that I oppose, and I intend to hold him responsible, such as I can, for his actions in creating it.

 

Ya Know How Medicare Is Supposed to Bankrupt the Nation?

By now we've all heard that Medicare and Medicaid will bankrupt the nation if we do not cut benefits. A new study shows that's not the case and the Congressional Budget Office has been wrong in their estimates.

The fundamental beef of Follette and Sheiner with the CBO model is that it naively assumes past growth in health care spending as the basis for its long-term projections. The result is that it shows that trees will grow to the sky. One of the things anyone who has build forecasting models will tell you is you come up with assumptions that look reasonable and then sanity check the output (for instance, does your model say in year 10 that your revenues will be 3x what you can produce given your forecast level in plant and investment? If so, you need to make some revisions). The Fed economists point out numerous ways that the model output flies in the face of what amounts to common sense in the world of long term budget forecasting.

 

Neither Romney or Obama Will Stop Bank Bail Outs

New York Times Columnist Morgenson points out neither party will shrink too big banks or stop the next financial crisis:

ELECTION Day is upon us, and neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney has really addressed one of the nation’s most pressing economic issues: the risk that one day taxpayers might have to bail out swashbuckling financial institutions again.

 

Another Undecided Makes His Case

David Sirota famously claimed Obama would become more progressive upon taking office and four years later he's an undecided voter. He too sits with his ballot on the coffee table staring back at him.

A confession: I recently received my Colorado ballot but, even though my state will play a key role in the presidential election, I still haven’t voted. Yes, I’m one of the oft-ridiculed undecideds, and here’s why:

I am a left-leaner who previously voted for Barack Obama with clear eyes. Having looked at his record, I knew he was no progressive, much less a Marxist, as his conservative detractors claim. He has always been a thumb-to-the-wind politician who shrouds corporate-backed policies in the veneer of altruistic liberalism. But I voted for him because in 2008 he presented the best opportunity for change.

Sadly, that opportunity was missed. Obama betrayed many of his campaign promises, not merely by turning over his economic policymaking to corporate-connected insiders, but, as the Washington Post this week documents, by additionally championing more-extreme versions of the Bush-era civil liberties and national security policies that he once criticized from his platform as a venerated “constitutional lawyer.”

 

Specific Group Policy Comparison Sheets

Honestly, we've looked at so many sites claiming to comparison/contrast the two candidates on issues and bias is simply everywhere as well as factual inaccuracies.

There are a few non-partisan groups out there trying to compare the facts. The Alliance for American Manufacturing has an infographic on trade for your review.

If you're concerned about illegal immigration and disgusted claims only an unlimited migration policy position can win the election, you can check out NumbersUSA candidate sheets for pretty much anyone running, not just the Presidential campaigns. NumbersUSA breaks positions down by guest workers, illegal immigration, border security and so on, so one can pick their nuance from the menu of immigration related issues. When dealing with immigration as a topic, the choices are usually presented as one is either for open border policies or a racist xenophobe.

Computer World did a reasonably fair comparison of the two candidates on offshore outsourcing and specifically they recognize both have advisers and a track record that really shows they are both for it.

We have done comparison/contrasts on trade and foreign guest workers and one can read our articles by clicking on these links, election 2012, Obama and Romney.

 

Third Party?

Ralph Nader is hosting another third party debate tomorrow and we highlighted the last one here. I wouldn't recommend voting third party in a swing state and right now, instead of discussing policies and issues, there is literally a war out there arguing over polling data and who will be the winner. These people are ridiculous, they cannot wait 48 hours?

 

What's In It For Me?

Barry Ritholtz has put together a very detailed investor guide to the election. The focus isn't necessarily what's good for the country, instead what's good for your portfolio and pocketbook. That said, Ritholtz has dug out some details that are rarely mentioned.

What does the outcome of the Presidential election mean for the investing public? I refer not to things that impact investors indirectly, like estate taxes or income tax brackets; rather, what are the specific areas of significant disagreement, where substantial policy differences exist, and where the candidates’ different approaches have a meaningful impact to investors.

These include:

1. Sectors: In particular, Energy, Healthcare, Defense Policy
2. Federal Reserve Philosophy and Appointments (re: Interest rate policy)
3. Investment Taxes (Dividend Treatment/Capital Gains Taxes)
4. Regulatory Approach / Legal

 

The Case to Vote for Third Parties in Swing States

We have an argument to vote for third parties in swing states, which has our sympathies. The claim is the illegal immigrants threatened to not vote for Obama (and someone please explain how people without U.S. citizenship can vote?) and this is how they obtained some deportation deferrals plus two year work Visas for some. Ignore the issue and think about the method.

 

 

 

Conclusion

We don't have one. It's up to you on which way to go. We just list a few articles to show if you cannot make up your mind, you're not alone and there are very good reasons why some cannot make up their minds, both parties are not addressing the real national interest and especially the economic interests of the citizenry.

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Comments

hit pieces, viral videos, article plants day before election

It's unbelievable, groups are asking for volunteers to call people via email, viral videos are planted with 1.5 million hits, as if it means something. Article plants are everywhere.

May I suggest if people are still undecided, take care in what you view out there.

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Other reading - Paine, Carlin, etc.

Sometimes being a gadfly is all a man or woman can do, just ask Socrates.
WRITE-INS are an option, never forget that! Even if it is "none of the above," "banksters win no matter what," "who cares, two sides of same coin," "the 99%," "all politicians are narcissistic psychopaths, who cares," "this system is f*cked," or something else, if you aren't happy with any of the choices, by all means, you don't have to play along. Also, any dissent whatsoever clogs the system up for just one minute more while those wishing to just get along are delayed and might think "why is someone writing in a vote?" And that one moment of thought is enough to convince one person or more, then it's good and noble.
On this election eve, reading Paine's Agrarian Justice and his other works, just think of how far we've fallen. For those that love our Founding Fathers in name only while enriching oligarchs or big bosses of this union or that or this politician's family or that, a little Paine:
"Personal property is the effect of society. . . Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. . . All accumulation therefore of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owed, on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whenve the whole came." Agrarian Justice, 1797.

Carlin:
"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."

"But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

"You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."

"This country is finished."

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election rants, comments write them here

What kills me is the spin on the auto bail out. Hopefully EPers know by now I stick to policies, issue specifics and a hell of a lot of statistics, so this is by now means an endorsement. I think it's pretty clear I personally think both parties are corrupt, bought and paid fors...

One thing is clear, media is biased as hell. FOX is a walking Romney advertisement, CNN, MSNBC is a walking Obama advertisement.

Neither channel presents the actual facts.

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Just think - the discource 2500 years ago was more advanced

The funny thing as people run off to buy this piece of crap or that piece of crap in our anti-Thoreau, consumerism rules all, let's not think but look to puppets on TV to "inform" us society, people literally writing and thinking about the same issues for 2500+ years have dealt with these issues, discussed them, fought over them, etc., etc. Homer, Socrates, Plato, Cicero, writers in the Islamic world, China and the rest of Asia, etc. across the globe in terms and in arguments that should carry weight today in terms that easily exceed our own present "discourse." And that's why history repeats itself, because the people in power purposely ignore history and convince us "this time it's different." Yeah, whatever narcissistic dolts in charge. And yet here we are in 2012 and it's pure regression, like thinking and reading and writing are lost arts! Can you imagine?! And that's why folks in power don't want too many of us reading, writing, thinking, and dissenting but only listening and buying, buying, and buying, whether it's buying their bullsh*t or buying bullsh*t that has a pricetag at a store or online.

On this Election Eve, let's raise our drinks (or tea or other drink, for those that abstain) to true patriotism and dissent and thought, from Tank Man, to Sophie Scholl, to Paine all the way to antiquity whose names are long forgotten but made a difference as best they could, often at the expense of their own safety. Cheers!

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rewriting history

MSNBC is running all of Obama's "accomplishments". Just because a bill is labeled "financial reform" does not make it so. Giving the Banksters carte blanche is not reforming and saving Wall Street. Passing Obamacare is not passing universal health care (which we need). Spin goes on and on.

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prediction mania

One of the most ridiculous things are the hundreds of people, not just predicting this election, but getting damn mad about it too. WaPo lists them in order to make all of those completely wrong eat a lot of crow.

It's incredible, instead of the issues or future, the airwaves have been filled with people arguing about their prediction.

Another thing, Hurricane Sandy is turning into a real disaster in New Jersey. If more people die from hypothermia, remind me to put up a new article on events. Unbelievable the lack of coverage considering the deaths and lack of power over a week out.

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Tossup

Obama has done very little in the last for years from his campaign promises in 08.

Still in Afghanistan, still a Gitmo, Corporations still getting tax breaks for sending jobs overseas (he is actually using that one again), Banks and Wall Street still too big to fail & still paying low taxes, and on top of everything else some people will be taxed for not buying health insurance from a private company.

Romney won't do those things either but I believe he will crack down on illegal immigration.

They are both liars so the choice is the lessor evils.

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Romney vs. Obama my 1 line EQ

Romney = Corporate Agenda - Illegals + Tax havens - China - Choice

Obama = Corporate Agenda + Illegals + Tax havens + China + Choice

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I do think if Obama wins 2016 is doomed for Democrats, but considering we get two sides on the same sandwich election after election, eh.

I call these choices worse and worser. But regardless, right now Congress is claiming they won't do anything about the fiscal cliff, throwing us into another recession. Lovely.

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I Voted for the Big O

I'm hoping that not having to worry about re election this time around he goes bananas on the Banks and Wall Street.

I'd love to see a transaction tax enacted by the NY Fed.

The Gridlock will be worse this time around so I see some constitutional challenges after this admin bends some rules.

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Congress enacts taxes, one could have a fee by the SEC

Tim Geithner took transaction taxes off of the table, in spite of Europe battering around a Tobin tax for some time.

We're looking at team Obama joining forces with those crazy tea party people and cutting social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In other words, under the guise of the budget deficit and fiscal cliff, the agenda next on the table is to impose austerity measures against Americans.

That's why the vote didn't matter since that's Ryan's big plan, seemingly endorsed by Romney and the GOP.

Banks get the money, CEO pay soars and Americans are going to get what's left of their meager social safety net cut. Be better to simply let all of the Bush tax cuts expire and deal with the 6 months of recession than let that happen, but the word is dear President Obama's agenda is going to be to cut social security and Medicare (Medicaid).

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Mortgage Deduction

Eliminating the mortgage deduction is getting some time on the discussion circuit.

That's something that would have to be phased in but that I agree with.

Everything that is subsidized by the Government eventually becomes too expensive and beyond the reach of those the subsidy was meant to help. The answer is always to increase the subsidy.

Education, Health Care and Housing.

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disaster for housing

Supposedly Obama is giving a "select invited" "Press statement", no questions. So, gear up to be screwed.

If they remove the deduction for mortgage interest we will see a 2nd collapse of the housing market.

These people are insane. Honestly I think maybe it might be better to just let all of the Bush tax cuts expire, go over the fiscal cliff and deal with the resulting recession than some of the plans they are going to do, namely enact austerity measures.

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Not a Collapse but Moving to a True Value

Housing would just move to it's true value just as higher ed and medical would if the Government didn't create a false bottom.

Those industries (housing aside because they are throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it and it's still trying to reach true value) would stop spending money that doesn't exist and in order to survive prices would have to fall. 10 years ago a physician tried to talk me into an expensive, risky procedure for something that I am resigned to live with. I have read studies in the New England Journal of medicine that said this would not work for me but since my medical would pay for it the doctor was pushing it regardless. A prime example of spending money just for the sake of it.

The mortgage deduction is a tax advantage for people who can afford a home, at least it should be phased out for higher incomes. Does a millionaire need a mortgage interest deduction?

I agree about the fiscal cliff. There is a lot of support for that to really happen but then again I was rooting for the world economy to collapse in 2008 because those with real marketable skills would have been fine.

What would the CEO of a company be worth without this faux finance based economy? Man has been on earth and survived for tens of thousands of years while the out of balance economy has only been in existence since Nixon killed Bretton Woods. There is no inflation? Yeah, right.

I realize my views are reactionary rather than well thought out but it's how I feel. How many houses does Dick Fuld still own?

They would HAVE to slowly phase out the mortgage deduction - they could not kill it on people that bought a home and depended on that to afford it.

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false bottom is quantitative easing buying up MBSes

Quantitative easing is being done by buying up mortgage backed securities and that's a prop for housing prices.

The interest deduction has been in place for decades and removing it will stop a major incentive basically for people who have to get a mortgage, i.e. the middle class. Rich people can pay cash.

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If Only

If only the banks were lowering rates in line with what they are getting. They are complaining that they are too busy as it is.

So phase it out for the wealthy that don't need it - the mortgage deduction that is.

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Media serves the masters, distracts, not meant to enlighten

NJ temperatures dropping sub-freezing this evening, looting still a concern, people without power in hundreds of thousands in most developed part of our Nation, schools closed for 7+ days now, etc. And yet the media loves covering the horse race crap, there's no integrity there in the US, none. Watch, Day 1 post-win if it's Romney, bankster-lover in red wins, FOX will never criticize the Presidency ever until the Dems take over. The Presidency will be seen by Fox as the savior of America no matter what, Romney is the second coming, and on and on. Everything that sucks will be Obama's, Dems' fault. MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYT, and on will switch immediately and Presidency can't do anything right, GOP to blame since in White House, and on and on. And if Obama wins (also bankster $ beneficiary and protector of Dimon, Corzine, Blankfein, and on and on), Fox will keep following same script, so will MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYT, and so forth. They will switch 180 degrees like that and if they are called out ever (which they don't allow in their pages or on their airwaves) - they would be exposed by any freethinking person with the brain of a two-year old or older as complete fools. That's the state of our media. Fantastic, I'm duly unimpressed because it's so predictable, so laughable, and so preventable. And Day 1 after the election, Karl Rove and the Bush White House in exile will be plotting and talking 24/7 about taking over the next election in the press and on Fox until the Congressional elections and primaries and 2016 if they lose, same with Dems, and if they win, they will talk about keeping power until 2014 and 2016. The endless horse race coverage that sickens people with a clue serves both parties and puppetmasters in boardrooms here and abroad because it distracts from real, complex issues and real solutions, real death, real poverty, real outsourcing, real national security being compromised by outsourcing and the quest for quarterly profits, international matters that extend far beyond Iran, or Afghanistan, or PRC, and on, and on, and on. We're allowing people that can't find Iran or Afghanistan or Bolivia or Botswana on a map to talk to us like we need their advice? Seriously? Scripted puppet races and charades? No thanks. Some books in print are calling my name. TV shows and talking idiots that dropped out of college in the name of the almighty $ at the expense of integrity? No thanks, the pen I use for my write-in votes has a higher IQ and more ethics than those asswipes.

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more reads added in the article

People who really know Obama threw universal single payer health care under the bus and well, pick an issue thrown under the bus, are coming out of the closest so to speak about how they cannot vote for Obama and making their case.

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I love that you don't endorse any candidate

Flat out, I respect the fact that by using the analysis of policies and economic impacts you have bluntly avoided endorsing any candidate. Saying that neither are good enough is what we really need in a democratic society.

Acknowledging that swing states shouldn't vote 3rd party due to the impact their vote will have. I agree, swing states should vote for the candidate that won't push them over the cliff faster.

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Maybe change the name to Economic Bigot?

illegals <-

?

They are "people who are in the country illegally" (catch the "people" part, oh holier than thou "populist"?), trying to escape crushing poverty, part of which we inflicted.

Or maybe the use of the word tells us more about the philosophy here than we can glean from the chart porn...

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get a life

This site is focused on the United States economics, domestic economic and labor issues. Undocumented and unauthorized entry into the United States is currently more coming from Asia, which in terms of overall GDP is not "crushing poverty that we caused", especially if one notices the trade deficit with the Asian Pacific region. Team Obama signed a trade treaty with Panama, are you ready for some real crushing poverty in that country?

I'd love to throw these people who name call over someone daring to write the word "illegal" into a labor economics Academic conference and watch them go ballistic when the term native is used in presentation. In Economics, native means to be born within the U.S. borders.

Alternatively, a legislative body deliberating immigration law as they write the legal term alien. Or how about the halls of the USCIS.

We don't use the term undocumented on this site for it's ridiculous. Most people here illegally have plenty of documents from the country of origin.

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Path to Citizenship

I understand it's very costly to get smuggled into the country.

Why not allow a 5 year Visa for $5,000? During that time the immigrant has an opportunity to become a citizen. I believe that would instill some sense of pride in being an American rather than what will eventually lead to separation movements a la Quebec.

I think we have the worst of all worlds now. It's probably costing us a fortune to stop illegal immigration while big money goes to the smugglers and we aren't stopping the flow.

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Hispanic vote + Hispanic women vote

You would flood the labor market doing that and it's pretty obvious with about 23 million people needing a job in this country, which includes the illegals already here, we don't need more workers and a $5k Visa plus the chance of citizenship would have a flood. There are billions of people in the world and I would imagine such a bargain would have maybe 100 million at the borders and ports? Anyway, we don't have jobs for the people already here so the last thing we need is more labor supply.

75% of Hispanic women voted for Obama and 63% Hispanic men. Our lovely Medusa lobbyist of Univision, La Raza, Microsoft, Oracle, U.S. Chamber of Commerce have tried to make the Hispanic vote a 1 issue pony, "amnesty or no".

That said, I think it's looking really bad for the infamous "comprehensive immigration reform". Why is this bad? Because they won't do anything based on labor economics, i.e. how many people can the U.S. labor market absorb yet not displace workers already here and not lower wages (yes folks, it does repress wages!)

Or seal the border or doing a graduated system because literally the U.S. cannot process and cannot afford to process 20 million people or do anything on a case by case basis...

but the worse thing about this agenda are guest worker Visas and targeting certain occupations, in particular STEM occupations, with labor arbitrage, displacement and more offshore outsourcing. there is a huge connection between immigration and outsourcing.

The problem is you will flood the labor market and there is already huge evidence illegals and generally immigration is repressing wages and displacing U.S. workers. I mean extreme evidence as the trashing of hundreds of thousands of American's careers, pushing them into underemployment. So, offering up a Visa for $5k solves the smuggling problem but would put flooding the U.S. labor market on steroids.

I think they need a law which requires all employers to put those with U.S. citizen first for all jobs in the United States. Let those employers prove they cannot find a citizen as well as make it illegal to discriminate against workers who have U.S. citizenship. Believe me, they are thousands of ads saying "H-1B Visa holders only need apply" or "looking for OPT" students (another Visa) or even "must speak Hindi" in job postings.

There was just a couple of studies, which I will basically "redo" by the data since I see a couple of problems, but for now, 75% of jobs went to immigrants since 2009, not U.S. citizens. That's a problem since the people already here need a stable livelihood.

In terms of smugglers, be nice is they first stopped sex slavery going on. The figures of young girls being slaves and smuggled in for sex trafficking are horrific and these girls are basically teenagers and younger.

I think to really stop migration flows they need some harsh penalties, plus conditions in other nations need real opportunity. It's a very complex problem, but so are labor markets, and they are also dynamic.

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Dream Act, they can't vote

At least I assume this was checked but you can only vote with U.S. citizenship.

Right now the media is trying to spin this to be "we must pass Comprehensive immigration reform" but I'm not so sure what's going on here.

Legitimate would be bombasts of negative advertising, microtargeting, playing the race card and so on.

Possibly also people are growing up and the Dream act means their school hood friends.

This is a real problem, mixed message for U.S. public education is required to educate children who are here illegally.

Great for them, but it gives a mixed message, either you're here illegally and need to leave or you're not. You have a whole generation of people growing up who have been here illegally, educated in a system that tells them about their future in America, plus they make friends with school pals and so on.

But I would go more for microtargeting, propaganda, manipulation, messages targeted to individuals, small demographic slides.

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Election winner will dstroy America

Honorable mention to this post on Zerohedge. Yes it's another "both candidates" and lists a host of policies which are really bad for America which both parties will do.

Remember, Congress is claiming they will not compromise on the fiscal cliff.

If you think the U.S. isn't already censoring the Internet, think again. They are out there trying to block Canadian drug websites under some bogus excuse involving counterfeit cancer drugs (just two batches) getting into the U.S.

What's really going on is U.S. pharmaceutical companies are demanding these pharmacies be blocked because they don't want Americans to be able to buy drugs at affordable prices.

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When they make our lives hard - drug companies and iCrap win

It's a brilliant plan. Politicians make our lives brutally hard through destroying our livelihoods after we pay for education + housing + food + everything else while they and their masters prosper directly from this misery. Then, they keep crushing us through making sure any hope of jobs are given to those from overseas or sent overseas. Alcohol + other outlets are strictly controlled and taxed heavily. Even big bad sodas and fatty goodies will be banned (and already are prime targets for Bankster "I Love Money Laundering Banks" Bloomberg). So, life is hard and getting harder, the media doesn't identify with your plight and blames you for all that's wrong in the world. Trying to escape for just a little bit through drinking, or smoking, or feasting on some lovely fatty treats is becoming harder. What's left to do? Well, if you're not feeling all that happy, it surely can't be a reasonable response to getting pissed on by politicians and big corporations. No, it must be a "mental disease" like depression. Big pharma will provide you with the solution at a reasonable cost. Take the blue pill, my little friends, take it and pay that doctor's bill and prescription bill. If you're still feeling down, perhaps your iPiece of Crap 3.0 is simply not filling your needs, thank goodness interns slaving away at Foxconn in China for free have the new iPiece of Crap 4.0. Now go buy it because it will only bring you happiness until the iPiece of Crap 5.0 comes out and the CEO dances on stage at its big reveal like some damn fool. Yippee, pills and iCrap, happy days are here again, whatever you do, DON'T THINK, then you might get sad and mad and the government says that's bad. Now vote for one of the corporate puppets, because not voting or choosing someone else is also a sign of thought, and that's not good, not good at all.

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drug prices in the U.S.

Well, Romney is certainly right to quote the outrageous increase in health insurance premiums and the cut in benefits.

I find it interesting that the Obama administration is the one trying to deny Americans access to legitimate Canadian pharmacies, which has been a major issue for years. Big pharma lobbies and uses the FDA not for America's safety, lord knows 1st world country drug manufacturing has just as high, if not higher standards, as well as many drugs sold in the United States are manufactured all over the world...

it's the retail prices where Americans are being legally locked out, it's illegal to buy your drugs from Canada or Mexico and now our government is trying to block legitimate pharmacies websites which sell to Americans.

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media bias with exit polls

Ok, exit polls are dribbling in and various media "brands" are cherry picking, only reporting numbers that favor whatever agenda they want to promote or candidate they want to win.

So, you have to dig around at the different political flavors to see them all. Sweet isn't it, exit polls have a 3 hour window of usefulness, yet they are being spun like mad.

Early one says 60% voted on the economy. From this CBS exit polls, one I just had to laugh.

Only 10 percent say Mr. Obama favors the rich. Forty-three percent say he favors the middle class, while 31 percent say he favors the poor.

Gez, somebody sure wasn't paying attention to what Obama did for the banks and the financial sector! ha ha! I guess they missed how team Obama did nothing about foreclosures in reality and also gave the banks a free pass on fraud.

OMG, it's just a game, marketing, public relations, divorced from actual policy, scary.

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F the "news" - it honestly dumbs down viewers

Fox and the rest, it's so boring/predictable. Elections they have Karl Rove and his counterparts on other channels droning on using some board playing with numbers. Who gives a crap, just release the final results, even discussing exit polls should be banned because it plays with turnout in states with polls closing late/later than East Coast. Plus, true exit polls would show "We're f*cked, I just voted for the one I thought would hurt me less while f*cking me over."
Watch Fox and the others spin spin spin, no stories about anything outside NYC or the Beltway, nothing about life in 99.9% of the rest of the world, and the few topics they cover (e.g., abortion, Iran, etc.) are covered solely with partisan opinions. Watch "The Five" and see 5 people spewing garbage with the necessary woman in a short skirt nearest to the camera - yes, this is American media in 2012. Anyone covering Karzai and Taliban in the places outside Kabul? The endless war in the DRCongo? Israel airstrikes in Sudan because Sudan arms Israel's enemies and it's a prelude of a Iran-Israel war? Nigeria's oil resources and massive corruption/environmental disaster in Niger River Delta? Mali and UN approval of intervention there which will no doubt bring US $ and aid into the fight against Islamists there? Any 2 hour long documentaries on banks that finance our politicians that aid terrorists? Documentaries on the real life of the long-term unemployed, unemployed vets, and how large corporations are exploiting lies about the skills gap? Any coverage of visas scams and lies with reporters here and abroad digging deep into lobbying, DHS visa applications for work visas, Infosys and who benefits from its activities, etc.? No, "real life" shows in the US are solely celebrity/scripted noise that sell us lifestyles of the rich and idiotic or poor and idiotic. Documentaries that simply follow people in real life in real situations with no comment or script are apparently too difficult for us to watch? Any Hollywood movies about the 10,000 stories in real life that beat the Hell out of Transformers 23 or GI Joe 5 or Star Wars Part 35? 10,000 stories out there, almost all that might involve us or affect us. But we in the US are deprived of all of this unless we seek it out ourselves. They treat us like fools, and if we let them, we deserve what we get.

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my ballot looked like "scatter shot"

I picked some key issues economically and tried to weight their effects on local vs. national economies and dig out where candidates stood and voted correspondingly. When I was done and my ballot sat here to the last minute, since I know China is just a major drag on the U.S. economy yet enabling more tax advantages to offshore outsourcing is really bad as well (but Obama caved on even the most critical tax issue).

I didn't know the Progressive party wants a State bank, similar to North Dakota, which is a very great idea to champion.

What kills me on local races is often candidates don't say anything about any issue, be in dog poop in the park or local levies. Kind of like our national election. ;)

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Obama won

He won Ohio and the battlegrounds were all amazingly close. Tis a shame in a lot of ways for now there is no message to the Democrats or Obama people want real change, not that Republicans were offering much.

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Here are his donors again - these people/groups are the winners

2012 donors to Obama and DNC for 2012 and expect to be rewarded ASAP for their cash infusions (this is all public at opensecrets.org, no spin, no lies, just the facts).

1) Obama (D)
University of California $491,868
Microsoft Corp $443,748
Google Inc $357,382
DLA Piper $331,715
Harvard University $317,516
US Government $299,923
Deloitte LLP $283,606
Sidley Austin LLP $283,269
Stanford University $238,803
Comcast Corp $234,037
Time Warner $230,088
Kaiser Permanente $197,087
Columbia University $195,574
Skadden, Arps et al $191,828
US Dept of State $175,672
Wells Fargo $170,448
University of Chicago $168,238
National Amusements Inc $167,342
JPMorgan Chase & Co $152,990
US Dept of Defense $149,116

2) Top contributors to DNC 2012
Blackstone Group
$467,950
Microsoft Corp
$465,466
Time Warner
$429,073
Comcast Corp
$424,704
Google Inc
$418,851
Skadden, Arps et al
$416,187
Goldman Sachs
$366,024
Nix, Patterson & Roach
$338,800
Harvard University
$333,384
Milbank, Tweed et al
$291,650
Henry Crown & Co
$282,200
National Amusements Inc
$266,145
Susman Godfrey LLP
$264,600
DreamWorks SKG
$253,800
DreamWorks Animation SKG
$252,300
Live Nation
$246,400
US Dept of State
$237,713
Stanford University
$232,573
UBS AG
$211,051
Capital Group Companies
$211,000

Not that GOP win would be any different, but Obama's donors can expect payback that much quicker. So Bill Gates is a happy boy (outsourcing full-steam still ahead and outsourcing of tech and jobs + visas), big law firms too, educational visas/green cards for universities yup, finance also protected so JP Morgan, Wells Fargo can be assured they won't be prosecuted for anything for the next 4 years and Dimon (JP Morgan) and Buffett's Wells Fargo investment won't be hurt. Big media and Internet companies also free to do as they will. $ talks, democracy walks. GOP had a chance to really buck the system, take on banksters (and their own $ men), punish crime wherever it was - corporate boardrooms, banks, TV studios, but they didn't dare bite the hand that fed them these days, but that message would have ruled the day and people would have gone against Obama because most Americans want middle class jobs for fair wages to raise middle class families on, and the return of rule of law (no one is above it, no matter who they know or how much they have in onshore and offshore banks), and a strong, fair USA for American citizens and those seeking citizenship legally. They didn't, so this is the result. More of the same. Sigh.

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you expected corporations not to win?

That win was guaranteed. That said, corporate Obama is more into globalization, migration and so on.

The House went GOP again, which will block a lot. A Dem in Indiana won the Senate but he is a "Populist" Democrat, I question if he'll tow the corporate party line.

I think I would have been sad no matter who won. What a waste of 18 months and $6 billion.

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Time to hunker down

When playing a game with a stacked deck that big money provides us, we can't even opt out. It's brutal, we lose no matter what. It was going to get worse no matter what when the GOP went and chose to pick the ultimate model of family connections, getting rich through firing Americans, etc. When they did that, they screwed everyone in this country. If they just chose to go against their $ (which they couldn't do), we could have had a real reformer from somewhere that's a Republican (tens of millions of Americans are Republicans, sure the GOP could have found a great one to run) that gave us hope. But that's impossible and would make no sense to them. So we're screwed, Fox will go on the same script for 4 more years, Obama's MSNBC and other channels and papers will follow the same script. And we'll suffer. The President was reelected when everyone knows real unemployment is 20%+! That tells you how absolutely pathetic Romney was and how much the population didn't like or want him. Great choice GOP, nice work. Fire everyone in the GOP at all levels, when they serve a tiny # of people despite the screams for real help that people were desperate for before Obama and during Obama's 1st term) and serve us Romney, come on - pathetic. Wonder what Elizabeth Warren will do in the Senate. Hopefully she does something interesting.

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The problem isn't Romney per say

He was the only primary candidate who was even sane. The problem with the GOP is they have so many crazies running their party and that alienates the middle. I believe the polling on China is most of the country wants them labeled a currency manipulator. They do not want more NAFTA style trade agreements, they wanted CEO pay to be curtailed and the list goes on and on for 80% agreement per issues.

Between corporate lobbyists and crazies, they are running the nation, instead of the 80% Populace.

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Elizabeth Warren

This is one good news and every season we get a few who seem like they will represent the people and frankly, most of 'em fade out within 6 months to be just another corporate lobbyist and leadership puppet. But having Elizabeth Warren get a Senate seat has to be mostly good, although I fear she is yet another voe for more guest worker Visas and that entire agenda aka Microsoft, Oracle, et. al. But for trying to get some real financial reform, break up the banks, that's a real win and she fought very hard when involved in TARP monitoring, put together the CFPB.

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More on Mitt Romney

I feel badly for Mitt Romney. Now I don't think this election matters, we still have offshore outsourcing, bad trade deals, more foreign guest workers, massive underemployment and the never ending D.C. battle that is not even based in mathematical reality and that's both sides.

That said, beyond trying to defeat an incumbent is tough. But watching the campaign and digging into some of the history and issue nuances, I think he got the real short end of the stick and also got the ghost of George Bush hung around his neck.

I'm not saying Romney wouldn't have made the banks bigger and given even more power to corporate America and on and on...but so will Obama.

Also, Obama is going to cut social security and Medicare on this grand bargain, so no difference there either.

But as a person, I feel Romney really got smeared, badly and it's not real or fair.

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Romeny didn't have a chance

A lot of people I talked to in Massachusetts was not voting for Romney. One lady I work with said he outsourced her job years ago so the hell with him. How do you think you can win with skeletons in your closet? Especially when it comes to the most important thing...jobs!

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Personal Note on Presidential Politics

I find Presidential politics depressing as well as most Congressional races, well, elections generally. It never matters what actual policies are, the specifics, it's just theater, identity politics, pockets of demographics with various large corporations being the ultimate puppet masters of it all. To get someone out of office, they have to have a sex scandal or say something so vile it acts as a GOTV effort for the other side.

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