Testing some political hypotheses

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Anyone who passed high school science had to learn how to write an if-then statement: a way of writing down your hypothesis that makes it testable. It goes something like: “If [my hypothesis], then [expected experimental result]. For example, “If Mitt Romney wanted to run the country like he ran Bain capital, using layoffs to turn a profit for the shareholders, then he would choose a running mate who has already tried to do so.” See? We’ve proven our hypothesis.

So lets try this on some common hypotheses being thrown around the blogs of late:

“If Barack Obama really is a corporate shill, he should have no trouble keeping up with Mitt Romney’s fundraising, just like every presidential incumbent in history.”

hmm….this one seems to fall short . Obama is making history by not managing to raise more money than a presidential challenger, and spending by outside groups seems to be following suit. Obama is not the populist hero he wants to be, but he is also not the corporate candidate – if he were, he would have Wall Street and the markets behind him, as the incumbent generally does. He’s between extremes, in a place called the ‘center’. We used to value that place, though it has since gone out of style.

“If Jon Tester is an environmental Quisling (a term deriving from a traitorous Norwegian executed after WWII, but not in anyway condoning violence. Somehow.), then he will be able to at least compete with Denny Rehberg in contributions from resources extraction groups”

In fact, four* out of Denny’s top five contributors are resource extraction interests. None of Jon’s are, though they do include the apparently Vichy (see definition of Quisling) League of Conservation voters and a law firm that represented asbestos victims.

Last one: “If the purveyors of the above hypotheses are both as politically astute and as genuinely concerned with progressive causes as they claim, they will stop defending and disseminating such ridiculous hypotheses.”

It’s not too late for this one to go either way. We get to watch (political) science in action!

*The fifth is the Las Vegas Sands Casino, though I can only imagine that is actually just the payoff on a huge odds bet Denny made that it was in fact possible “where I’m from’ to recklessly put a man in a coma and still not do any jail time.

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The Polish Wolf

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JCRob KaileyThe Polish Wolfsteve kellyNorma Duffy (@Ilikewoods) Recent comment authors
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Ingemar Johansson
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Ingemar Johansson

You covered a lot of ground here so I’d like to start at the top.

We need some like Ryan to solve our financial crisis. D’s and their supporters may stick their heads in the ground by not passing a budget, taking wild trips like the GSA, look the other way while illegals file fraudulent refund forms, invest in kickback green industry, underestimate on purpose the true costs of the ACA, stimulate nothing, cause the housing crisis with the affordable housing act, John Corzine, ….etc and on and on we go.

Ryan is the only grown up in the room.

larry kurtz
Guest

PW: you’ve covered a lot of ground here so let’s start at the top.

The Romneys ARE the financial crisis:Romney/Ryan solidifies that.

The market is doing great: even Lee Enterprises is making me money.

The true cost to the United States is a 1% reaping obscene profits from war.

larry kurtz
Guest

PW: you’ve covered a lot of ground here so let’s start at the top.

The Romneys ARE the financial crisis:Romney/Ryan solidifies that.

The market is doing great: even Lee Enterprises is making me money.

The true cost to the United States is a 1% reaping obscene profits from war.

Ingemar Johansson
Guest
Ingemar Johansson

and Denny caused the boat crash.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Guest
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Well, Ingy, would YOU get on a boat, WITH your staff for whom you’re responsible, in the dark of night, WITH a dude who’s WAY over the BAC, and allow that moron driving to STEER with a GPS, at a VERY high rate of speed? Ingy, I don’t think that even YOU’RE that dense. Bottom line, amigo, Dopey Reeburp DOES share the blame here. No way around it.

(dry down there? any fires round your place? scary summer, kinda like ’88)

ML
Member

This made me, literally, laugh out loud.

Ingemar Johansson
Guest
Ingemar Johansson

Keep beating this dead horse Scary. Did it have any effect on the polls?

Gone and forgotten, but lives on rent free in your minds.

ML
Member

“Obama is not the populist hero he wants to be, but he is also not the corporate candidate – if he were, he would have Wall Street and the markets behind him, as the incumbent generally does. He’s between extremes, in a place called the ‘center’. We used to value that place, though it has since gone out of style.”

Thank you. This is the best commentary on Romney v. Obama fundraising that I have read thus far.

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

I just spent a few minutes ar Open Secrets checking out your claims. It’s quite a swamp. You have reported on but a sliver of what is going on with these campaigns, and the evidence you selected to justify your conclusions was cherry picked. Beyond that, we only need took at behavior in office to get a sense of these men. They are indeed supporting their constituencies … if one dollar equals one vote. Quisling and Vichy are approperiate rhetorical devices when describing human behavior in the shadow of power.

ML
Member

Even as a minimalist post, if one dollar equals one vote, then why is the conclusion a fallacy? The more important question is not if they are supporting the people who pay for their campaigns, but who those people are in terms of the whole constituency, regardless of their initial support (at the end of the day, you represent people who do not vote/pay for you). Behavior in office is generally the aftermath of monetary influence on campaigns.

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

Well, that’s one thing you’ve got.

steve kelly
Guest
steve kelly

Campaign contributions buy tv ads that supposedly move voters. One could view Tester’s overt attacks on our national forests, roadless areas, the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, wolves and environmental activists as a direct appeal to a specific voting sector. Tester has obviously done some figuring. He has no shortage of Wall Street money. What Tester needs is votes. No need to spin, his unambiguous actions speak for themselves. His hypothesis will be tested on election day.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

Man I like to know what Press releases you are reading from? The Republican Party has tried everything in its power to destroy the clean water and Air actions in our state constitution. It has done every thing it can to diminish fishing and Hunting rights in this state. Take ELK for example: There are more elk in this country now than there were 40 years ago, largely due in part to the efforts of groups like the Elk Foundation. The problem isn’t Tester it is the Republicans. According to the Montana State Legislature, Montana needs to kill 22,000 more… Read more »

steve kelly
Guest
steve kelly

Norma,

You never disappoint. One more time, all together now, Senator Tester’s actions speak for themselves. Your emotional plea in the senator’s defense is very sweet. Feel free to call me whatever names you like. I am honored to know that you care. No amount of denial, however, can erase the substantial damage caused by his actions.

Rob Kailey
Guest

That is funny, Norma. You actually think my brother and I are disrespecting you as a woman? Steve Kelly, a failed candidate who blamed everyone else for his woes, thinks your fact laced comment an “emotional plea” and finds that “very sweet”. He is so deeply honored to know that you “care”. That would be, he feels honored because he can deride what you claim to care about, silly girl.

Not once have I gone after you based on gender. I’d be interested if you could say the same about Mr. Steve Kelly.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

Still whining cause you got called out Rob? WHy?

Rob Kailey
Guest

So I’m right, but you haven’t the wherewithal to admit it. See you in November, Duffy.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

The only thing your right about, is how wonderful you think you are. I just love how you always think you have vision, while the rest of us wear bifocals.

I feel for you!

Rob Kailey
Guest

Feel for me? No you don’t. That’s another lie, the one that will get your ass kicked come November. You don’t “feel” for much of anyone.

Good luck, Duffy.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

Steve, Stop talking trash and move a little closer to proving your facts. I can name the bills your Montana Republican party tried to cram down the Montanans throats. Your just alot of talk without proof. Come on Show us what Tester did with facts to ruin your day. Otherwise, I am gonna blow it off, as the complete BS it deserves to be called.

Rob Kailey
Guest

~hehehhehehehehe~ or as the kids say, ~LOL~ Norma, Norma, Norma … Steve was the second person to challenge Dennis Rehberg. Denny was the incumbent, and Steve actually ran a decent campaign, as a Democrat. Dennis won. Steve Kelly ran as a conservative with environmental ideals. That wasn’t so bad. What was is that after he lost, badly, he blamed us (democrats) for costing him the election. This was apparently before your time in this state. Now, Kelly challenges you based on gender, but you are stupid enough to think that the “Kaileys” are your enemies. I’m laughing at you, Duffy.… Read more »

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

So Rob Why are you telling me Stuff I already know??

I mean just cuz Steve is a GOP person doesn’t mean I cant at first give him a chance to give the facts.

WHy the side show? Are you looking for some entertainment value? Trying to start a fight? What? Turn On the TV or something, you comments have nothing to do with the Original posts?

Rob Kailey
Guest

Because you don’t seem to know anything? Steve isn’t a “GOP” person. Never was.

You can do whatever the f**k you want. Just don’t expect others to think that bright for doing so.

He’s still challenged you as a woman, and you haven’t the guts or smarts to say anything. You’d rather talk stupid smack against those who tried to warn you against your own behavior. You are an idiot, Norma, and can’t even support the ideals you claim to believe. I am laughing at you. And I should.

Norma Duffy (@Ilikewoods)
Guest

It is amazing to me how some people, like you, take being polite, yet firm as a sign of weakness in someone else .

The second problem for you is the most obvious, a man telling a woman how she should feel, or act as a woman. Pretty much the same as a white man telling a black man, how to act as a black man.

Rob Kailey
Guest

Polite? You? Not hardly.

But then, I’ve never thought you were ‘very sweet’, either.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

There’s no doubt, Steve, that Jon is not an environmentalist. But he is not even comparable to Denny Rehberg.

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

Except that you and your cohorts might stand up to Denny.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

Let me re-phrase: Jon is not an environmentalist in the philosophical, almost religious way you and many others are. He is a pragmatic environmentalist: he doesn’t seem to value wilderness for its own sake, but he does see the value that unspoiled environments have for humans, and can therefore negotiate and compare alternative valuations of land usage. And how exactly are we going to stand up to Denny, Mark? The way we stood up to Bush? We were all united against Bush, we all knew he had terrible plans, and we were all trying to ‘stand up’ to him together.… Read more »

JC
Guest

I’m glad I missed this post when it came out — been in the back country for the last three days with no computer or phone. Here’s one for you: If Jon Tester were a utilitarian environmentalist in the republican vein, then he’d gut the Endangered Species Act and the Wilderness Act with his legislative maneuvers. Jon is no centrist, when it comes to the environment. And as Steve Kelly posits, the proof will be in the votes that are cast come election time. Here’s another one: If Jon Tester were a man of the people (of Montana) then he… Read more »

JC
Guest

The national list of lobbyist donors this cycle didn’t come through. Here it is again:

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/lobby_contribs.php?cycle=2012&type=P

Rob Kailey
Guest

Apparently, JC, you didn’t take the same science courses that TPW and I did. See, we were taught (at least I was) that any hypothesis should be removed from the bias of the experimenter or the experiment itself. Yet the best you can come up with is this? “If Jon Tester were a utilitarian environmentalist in the republican vein, then…” In science, that would be called a garbage hypothesis. In logic it’s called ‘begging the question’, and yes, it’s a blatant fallacy. If you would like me to list the rest of the fallacies you perpetrate, I happily will. Among… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

Hey JC – I want to see evidence that Jon made votes concerning the environment contrary to the will of most Montanans. Most Montanans wanted fewer wolves, and they didn’t want to depend on Wyoming to do it. Schweitzer and Otter were both on the verge of effectively nullifying federal law. Tester didn’t gut the endangered species act, he removed one non-endangered species from it in two states, and in so doing saved it from state nullification. As to wilderness areas, how do you figure Tester gutted it? He did try to bypass a lot of the courts and bureaucracy,… Read more »

JC
Guest

What do you have to say about Tester being number 3 in lobbyist contributions? Much easier to deflect to other issues. And I didn’t say most montanans. I said montana democrats.

Elmendorf Ryan is lobbying on behalf of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. I’d say that his vote against the Brown Kaufman too big to fail amendment might have garnered him that contribution.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

Montana Democrats are a minority. I don’t expect to Jon to represent a minority of Montanans. That’s not how to win elections. As to lobbyist contributions, a couple of points. One, as Ms Nielson noted, official campaign funding for the Senate campaigns is increasingly irrelevant, as funding outside the officials campaigns will likely eclipse official funding. That’s why I focused not on how much money Rehberg has received, but that that money is skewed heavily towards one or two industries. That suggests that unofficial spending, and priorities, are similarly skewed. There is no similar skewing in Tester’s contributors. Moreover, lobbyists… Read more »

JC
Guest

So what if montanan dems are a minority? That’s the core of the constituency that is needed to reelect him. I only picked lobbyists as one example of where Tester’s funding is at an extreme. Let’s look at Finance/Insurance/Real Estate contributions (this is how Open Secrets aggregates data) for the 2012 cycle. Jon Tester received $1.2 million vs. 600k for Rehberg. That’s a pretty heavy skewing, but understandable knowing that Tester is a member of the Banking Committee. For just bankers, its $200k to $49k. That’s pretty skewed. Lobbyists: $363k to $149k. Conversely, Rehberg leads construction industry contributions $154k to… Read more »

JC
Guest

“Worse for the environment”? When banks are too big to fail (the Brown-Kaufman Amendment limiting bank size Tester voted against), they take teh whole economy down with them (proven since 2008 housing bubble burst). Then it becomes a competing ideology on how to resurrect the economy. Republicans managed to strangle the economy long enough to have a fighting chance to take over Congress and the WH this year. What’s the first thing that goes in a republican environment? Regulations, particularly environmental regulations. Let’s say the republicans don’t succeed in taking the Senate or WH. But the economy has been strangled… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

So Tester made votes that made is possible for Republicans to take over, which is dangerous for the environment, so to punish him we should not vote for him, and instead let Republicans take over?

JC
Guest
JC

He’s a flawed candidate, and tool of the banking and finance industry. I’m a policy guy. I just calls them as I see them. You guys want to play politics and not look at specific issues and votes do so at your own risk. As long as our banking system remains vulnerable due to the (increasing) size of banks, the economy will be subject to boom and bust cycles. And when the economy tanks in recession/depression, then all sorts of bad things can (and do, as we are witnessing) happen. Limiting the size of banks is the single most important… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

Never said he was an ideal banking candidate. I said he was the better environmental candidate. The two are only vaguely related – I’m glad to see you’ve backed off trying to make the connection. After all, the major economy with the strictest control over its banking system is China, the people’s republic of environmental catastrophe.

JC
Guest

And why is China an environmental catastrophe? Because they burn incredible amounts of coal — much of which comes, and much more to come if the coal exports accelerate — to make electricity to make us cheap stuff (Walmart and Apple and other electronic manufacturers love China). So all of us are to one degree or the another are responsible for the environmental and labor conditions in China. And trying to compare our banking/environmental systems with China’s is apples and oranges. We enacted strong environmental laws while banks and the finance industry were separated in the 60’s and 70’s and… Read more »

Mark Tokarski
Guest
Mark Tokarski

I said nothing anout protesting. I think it is generally pointless. Organizing is extremely hard as we progressives have our own faults and failures and have failed to attain critical mass. We had a shot in 2000, and were beaten back, and 9/11 harened the population. But we must keep on trying. OWS had some success, I thought it was perhaps a start. We’ll see. You misconstrue “standing up” to winning. Those things you listed that Bush did he did with your party’s support. You guys swept the 2006 elections by running against Iraq, and then funded it some more.… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

I’m guessing Jon didn’t say enough because he doesn’t believe its enough, and most Montanans don’t either. He, and most Montanans, are fond of the idea of compromise, and fed up with ideological environmentalists. I’m not saying he or most Montanans are necessarily right, merely that he is representing his constituents, and at the same time de-clawing the anti-environmental movement that until recently was quite strong in Montana

And Mark, until you give me a definition of ‘organizing’, this chimera which solves all of our problems, no one will know what you are actually talking about.

JC
Guest

“de-clawing the anti-environmental movement ”

Huh??? The anti environmental movement is alive and well, and is succeeding beyond its wildest dreams in moving the debate to the right, by sucking “fond of the idea of compromise” democrats into the void left as they move to the extreme right and refuse to compromise.

What Tester has accomplished is separating himself from the environmental left with his anti-ESA and anti-Wilderness Act legislation. And the environmental left is fed up with ideological centrists, who are perpetuating the split in the dem party.

JC
Guest

Elections are about more than commercials and ads. Who was it that challenged Montana’s anti-corporate campaign finance laws in the Supreme Court and won? Right — American Tradition PArtnership. ATP derived from the anti-environmental radicalism alliance between Ron Marlenee (past Montana Rep) and JOhn Sinrud in the form of the Western Tradition Partnership. So your anti-environmental forces just opened the floodgates of corporate money in Montana elections. And no, I don’t think the ESA “will survive, perhaps even become a little stronger” given that some delistings haven’t followed the law, instead taking, or potentially taking the form of congressional riders.… Read more »

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

“And no, I don’t think the ESA “will survive, perhaps even become a little stronger” given that some delistings haven’t followed the law, instead taking, or potentially taking the form of congressional riders. ” The delisting was passed by congress; thus it is an amendment to the law. The inclusion of a non-endangered, non-threatened species to the endangered species act made it much easier to attack. The law was biologically unjustified – to make scientific sense, it would have had to prove that Northern Rockies wolves are someone different on one side of an imaginary line than the other, or… Read more »

JC
Guest
JC

You make no sense, so I’m not going to try and unravel what you are trying to say.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

Really? Let me parse it more clearly: The Endangered Species Act was meant to protect endangered species. Gray Wolves are not an endangered species. Therefore, protecting them with the ESA separates the Law of the Act from the biological facts about endangered species. Wolves are only ‘endangered’ according to the law; therefore, you are in no position to complain when the law defines them as no longer being endangered. Science does not support their protection as an endangered species. Now, I do think that for a variety of reasons, historical, cultural, and biological, it is good to have wolves in… Read more »

JC
Guest

Oh, I get it. Instead of the feds and states following the process outlined in the ESA to delist, we’re better off with the USFWS just getting threatened or endangered species to the point that some people like you think that they are no longer threatened or endangered, then politicians can jump in with riders to do some of the public’s (or corporation’s) bidding, and delist legislatively.

Thanks for clearing that up.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf

No, JC, gray wolves have never been endangered. By every manner of classifying species, gray wolves are abundant and in no danger of extinction – as they have been perpetually.

Now, they were at one point extinct in some areas. However, it is only the imaginary line of the Canadian border that allows them to be classified as endangered. Therefore, as I said, the law made them endangered, and it is only appropriate that the law ought define them as un-endangered, based on imaginary, non-biological political lines.

JC
Guest

Only in your world.

The Polish Wolf
Guest
The Polish Wolf
JC
Guest

Nice that you can admit you are wrong, if even indirectly or unwittingly. From your link:

“In North America, some of the [Canis lupus]reintroduced populations are still threatened” — IUCN RedList

JC
Guest

Do I really have to school you on this stuff? The Endangered Species Act covers endangered and threatened species: “Section 2… (b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species…” And unfortunately, you opinion that what happens outside the U.S> should have no bearing on what we do in the U.S. is all too typical of myopic thinking on the issue. And despite your assertions that you think that wolf… Read more »

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