Science Guardian

Truth, beauty and paradigm power in science and society

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News, views and reviews measured against professional literature in peer reviewed journals (adjusted for design flaws and bias), well researched books, authoritative encyclopedias (not the bowdlerized Wiki entries on controversial topics) and the investigative reporting and skeptical studies of courageous original thinkers among academics, philosophers, researchers, scholars, authors, filmmakers and journalists.

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HONOR ROLL OF SCIENTIFIC TRUTHSEEKERS

Halton C. Arp wki/obit/txt/vds/txt/txt/bk/bk, Henry Bauer txt/blg/ blg/bks/bk/txt/bk/vd, John Beard bk, Harvey Bialy bk/bk/txt/txt/rdo/vd, John Bockris bio/txt/ltr/bk, Donald W. Braben, Peter Breggin ste/fb/col/bks, Darin Brown txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/vd, Giordano Bruno bk/bio/bio, Frank R. Buianouckas, Stanislav Burzynski mov, Erwin Chargaff bio/bk/bio/prs, James Chin bk/vd, Nicolaus Copernicus bk, Mark Craddock, Francis Crick vd, Paul Crutzen, Marie Curie, Rebecca Culshaw txt/bk, Roger Cunningham, Charles Darwin txts/bk, Erasmus Darwin txt//bk/txt/hse/bks, Peter Duesberg ste/ste/bk/txt/vd/vd, Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman bio, John Fewster, Rosalind Franklin, Bernard Forscher tx, Galileo Galilei, Walter Gilbert vd, Goethe bio/bk/bio, Nicolas Gonzalez tlk/rec/stetxt/txt, Patricia Goodson txt/bk/bk, Alec Gordon, James Hansen, Etienne de Harven bk/txt/vd, Alfred Hassig intw/txt, Robert G. Houston txt, Steven Jonas vd, Edward Jenner txt, Benjamin Jesty, Adrian Kent vd, Thomas Kuhn, Fred Kummerow, Stefan Lanka txt/txt/vd, Serge Lang, John Lauritsen vd, Paul Lauterbur vd, Mark Leggett, Richard Lindzen, James Lovelock, Andrew Maniotis, Lynn Margulis, Barbara McClintock, Christi Meyer vd, George Miklos, Marco Mamone Capria, Peter Medawar, Luc Montagnier txt/txt/vd, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling prs/vd/vd, Eric Penrose, Roger Penrose vd, Max Planck, Rainer Plaga, David Rasnick bio/vd/bk, Robert Root-Bernstein vd, Sherwood Rowland, Otto Rossler, Harry Rubin, Marco Ruggiero txt/txt/intw/vd, Bertrand Russell Carl Sagan vd, Erwin Schrodinger, Fred Singer, Barbara Starfield txt, Gordon Stewart txt/txt, Richard Strohman, Thomas Szasz, Nicola Tesla bio/bio, Charles Thomas intw/vd, Frank Tipler, James Watson vd/vd, Alfred Wegener vd, Edward O. Wilson vd.

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Jad Adams bk, Marci Angell bk/txt/txt/txt, Clark Baker ste/txt/rdo/vd, James Blodgett, Tony Brown vd, Hiram Caton txt/txt/txt/bk/ste, Jonathan Collin ste , Marcus Cohen, David Crowe vd, Margaret Cuomo, Stephen Davis BK/BK,/rdo, Michael Ellner vd, Elizabeth Ely txt/txt/ste, Epicurus, Dean Esmay, Celia Farber bio/txt/txt/txt/vd, Jonathan Fishbein txt/txt/wk, T.C.Fry, Michael Fumento, Max Gerson txt, Charles Geshekter vd, Michael Geiger, Roberto Giraldo, David Healy txt, Bob Herbert, Mike Hersee ste/rdo, Neville Hodgkinson txt /vd, James P. Hogan, Richard Horton bio/vd/vd, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Johnson, Claus Jensen vd, Phillip Johnson, Coleman Jones vds, William Donald Kelley, Ernst T. Krebs Sr txt, Ernst T. Krebs Jr. txt,/bio/txt/txt/ltr, Paul Krugman, Brett Leung MOV/ste/txt/txt/tx+vd/txt, Katie Leishman, Anthony Liversidge blg/intv/intv/txt/txts/txt/intv/txt/vd/vd, Bruce Livesey txt, James W. Loewen, Frank Lusardi, Nathaniel Lehrman vd, Christine Maggiore bk/ste/rec/rdo/vd, Rouben Mamoulian txt/txt/txt/txt/txt/doc/flm/flm, Noreen Martin vd, Robert Maver txt/itw, Eric Merola MOV, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Michael Moore bio/MOV/MOV/MOV, Gordon Moran, Ralph Nader bk, Ralph Moss txt/blg/ste/bks, Gary Null /txt/rdo/vd, Dan Olmsted wki, Toby Ord vd, Charles Ortleb bk/txt/bk/intw/flm, Neenyah Ostrom bk, Dennis Overbye, Mehmet Dr Oz vd, Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos ste/vd, Maria Papagiannidou bk, Thomas Piketty bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk/bk, Robert Pollin txt/vd/bk, Jon Rappoport bio/bk/bk/ste/bk/bk/vd, Janine Roberts bk/bk, Luis Sancho vd, Liam Scheff ste/txt/bk/bk/rdio/vd, John Scythes, Casper Schmidt txt/txt, Joan Shenton vd/vd, Joseph Sonnabend vd, John Stauber, David Steele, Joseph Stiglitz bk/txt, Will Storr rdo Wolfgang Streeck, James P. Tankersley ste, Gary Taubes vd, Mwizenge S. Tembo, John Tierney vd, Michael Tracey, Valendar Turner rec, Jesse Ventura bk, Michael Verney-Elliott bio/vds/vd, Voltaire, Walter Wagner, Andrew Weil vd, David Weinberger bio/bk/blg/blg/BK/bk/pds, Robert Willner bk/txt/txt/vd, Howard Zinn.

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I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. - Arthur Koestler

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison. – Bertrand Russell

Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. - Samuel Johnson

A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. – John Stuart Mill

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

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When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

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Man’s mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man’s soul. And without considering the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions any one of which taken separately may seem to be the cause, he snatches at the first approximation to a cause that seems to him intelligible and says: “This is the cause!” – Leo Tolstoy

The evolution of the world tends to show the absolute importance of the category of the individual apart from the crowd. - Soren Kierkegaard

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Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. – Mark Twain

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Obama Wins: Sandy, Christie, Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Youth Save The Obacon

Obama win coming up, according to job rating, betting sites

Dissing Hispanics, women, poor, auto bailout, Big Bird, Olympics, Romney fails

Wins declining whites, seniors, but alienates expanding rainbow, women, youth

Final score: Blacks turn out, Obama wins popular vote by three million

The results of today’s Presidential election are already in hand at 3pm New York time, according to the two reliable indicators we consult: the judgment of the best betting sites, and the job approval level of Obama, which has risen by 5% since Sandy promoted him from plaintive professorial self justifier to captain of the ship in a megastorm and major general of federal succor in the aftermath of Sandy.

One Irish betting site is so confident of the outcome that it has already paid off bettors to the tune of $650,000:

No need to wait until the last chad is counted — heck, no need to wait until the polls close on Nov. 6 to find out who won the U.S. presidential election. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has called the victory for President Barack Obama, even putting its money where its mouth is by pre-emptively paying out a whopping $650,000 on Obama bets.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Irish betting firm took out a half-page ad in the Irish Times newspaper, which read, “Sorry Romney, you’re not black or cool. We’re paying out early on an Obama victory.”

Why are betting sites a reliable guide? According to The Wisdom of Crowds, it is because each bettor is thinking through the problem and making up his/her own mind for him/herself. This is when crowds become wise. If they are indulging in a lemming like stampede, they are as foolish as the rest of us.

From Publishers Weekly
While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that “under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” To support this almost counterintuitive proposition, Surowiecki explores problems involving cognition (we’re all trying to identify a correct answer), coordination (we need to synchronize our individual activities with others) and cooperation (we have to act together despite our self-interest). His rubric, then, covers a range of problems, including driving in traffic, competing on TV game shows, maximizing stock market performance, voting for political candidates, navigating busy sidewalks, tracking SARS and designing Internet search engines like Google. If four basic conditions are met, a crowd’s “collective intelligence” will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don’t know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. “Wise crowds” need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions. The diversity brings in different information; independence keeps people from being swayed by a single opinion leader; people’s errors balance each other out; and including all opinions guarantees that the results are “smarter” than if a single expert had been in charge.

Two more signals to clinch it

The job approval rating is another reliable guide, where Obama now scores 51% or above, a level where no president has lost a re-election and about where Bush was when he won re-election in 2004.

A third indicator is coming in now, which is the exit poll of voters emerging from the booths. The question “Who do you think will win?” is reportedly the best guide to the actual outcome (rather than “Who did you vote for?”). This question may already be confirming Obama’s win.

Obama’s Achievement

This result seems rational to us, and also promising. Rational because Obama has achieved so much against the headwind of Republican intransigence, and promising because with Obama no longer a re-election target, there may be a little more room for cooperation between the parties on vital issues, such as immigration reform, a drug truce and curbing military force.

For what did Obama already get done in the face of Republican-Tea Party intransigence? Quite a long list of achievements, despite severely disappointing progressives who hoped for much more from their professorial political orator who promised communal hope and change, only to find that divisive party politics tied his hands at almost every turn, and who doubt that what he learned in the White House now justifies killing American citizens with drone strikes.

There is also the strong feeling Obama has done too little for the middle class he now claims to stand up for, lavishing free money on Wall Street and failing banks while giving homeowners ineffective help on foreclosures and failing to attack unemployment directly by successfully bringing in a New Deal program of infrastructure repair of road and rail, jobs for teachers and firemen, and similar rebuilding.

Not to mention the complaint that he is completely ignoring the poor, the new unmentionable, as Tavis Smiley and Cornell West point out in their new book, The Rich and the Rest of Us, which treats the greatest wound in the body economic, America’s widening chasm between the 1 and the 99%. And not to mention the 2.3 million incarcerated in the US, safely castrated from voting then or later, many of them for picayune drug offenses (see Eugene Jarecki’s documentary The House I Live In, which won the Sundance Grand Jury award this year arguing for a drug truce).

A very long list of gains

Nevertheless, among Obama’s sometimes signal achievements which Romney wanted the voters to overlook are his arranging for Obamacare to cover 31 million uninsured Americans from 2014, with subsidies for those who cant afford it, plus moves to curb the spiralling cost of health care, a great open wound in the American budget, rescuing the economy from another Great Depression, with net jobs increasing twelve months later and ever since to a total of 3.7 million so far, reining in Wall Street’s fraudulent exploitation of everybody else with Dodd-Frank in 2010, weakened though it was, recapitalizing banks at zero cost to the government, saving the auto industry at a cost of $16 billion or less, kicking predatory banks out of student loans, reforming credit rules, stimulating education with Race to the Top state grants, doubling fuel efficiency by 2025, extending unemployment payments, cutting payroll taxes, and budgeting more for veterans health, tuition and hiring.

On the foreign front Obama has removed the military from Iraq and set plans to remove them from Afghanistan, ordered the successful killing of Osama Bin Laden and retrieved a trove of Al Quaeda documents, significantly supported the exit of Quaddafi and Mubarak from the world stage, significantly improved America’s image abroad, turned US foreign policy to focus on Asia, tightened sanctions on Iran mercilessly, reduced warheads hand in hand with Russia, tripled AmeriCorps, reined in the Star Wars missile defense, and moved the military budget from overwhelming military force to concentrate on intelligence and cyberwarfare,

In terms of social justice he has repealed Don’t Ask Dont Tell, reduced penalties for crack, stopped opposing gay marriage, expanded fair pay rules for women, funded improved school tests, cracked down on cheating non-profit colleges, begun closing filthy coal plants, put two pro-choice women on the Supreme Court, tightened food safety rules, expanded wilderness and protected rivers, tightened restrictions on tobacco, told federal agencies to reduce environmental impact, updated and streamlined space exploration, invested $90 billion in green technology, ordained whole grains and doubled fruit and veg for school lunches, expanded hate crimes prosecution to cover sex, gender and disability, operated for an unprecedented time without Presidential or executive scandal, speeded up Gulf oil spill compensation, created the recovery.gov site to defeat fraud in stimulus spending with transparency, subsidized rural broadband, taxed tobacco to expand child health coverage, declared carbon dioxide a regulated pollutant, released stem cell research from Bush era restrictions, repaid cheated black and native American farmers, saved $4 billion by canceling the F-22.and rebuilt FEMA to handle crises such as Sandy effectively.

Reelection will help to extend this list by confirming acceptance of Obama’s role as leader of a more enlightened and color blind America.

Updates:
11.15 pm NYC time, Obama win announced by networks, AP.
1 am At 303 to 206, Romney concedes in brief and gracious speech which suggests exit from politics forever. (final count with Florida will be 332-206)
1.40 am Back on top, Obama gives buoyant address suggesting he has been newly inspired and determined to overcome division – including sitting down with Mitt Romney at some point in the future – and move forward at the head of the winded but still greatest national economy on earth.

“In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward….

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet…

You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do….

Voice of the people: Obama blowout!

Obama seems to have won through canny campaigning which defeated Republican guru Karl Rove and his and other superPACS, a supremely slippery Romney and use the infinite reach of political ignorance available in democracy to allow people in Kansas and elsewhere to be misled into voting against their own interests. While first reports had the country remaining more or less 50-50 in the presidential popular vote, it has become clear that Obama actually has decisively won the popular vote by more than three million, 61,122,638 to 58,130,991 (Nov 8), and with a Florida win to come will have 332 electoral votes, a total better than Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and Bush in both George ‘W’ elections!

So with the Tea Party tail wagging their party dog the Republicans have paid a heavy price for alienating minorities, immigrants, gays, women and the young as the country slowly turns from white to rainbow, regardless of Romney’s claim to more ably rescue the economy.

That is why as far as we are concerned one key line in Obama’s acceptance speech was:

I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

But not everyone is listening yet, as CSPAN makes clear as it keeps its finger on the pulse of the average voter:

“America has turned its back on God” says a caller on CSPAN next day, Mark in Brownsville Texas. “We are going to turn into a third world country”.

Kareen, a Democrat in Escandido, added this explanation of the day’s events: “We took God out of this world. We don’t recognise him. We cant do anything on our own. You see, God, he is the leader, we have to realise that. You know. And he put put Obama there because he wanted him there. He will work through Obama. And the Republicans have got to stop and think. They are like they’re Pharaoh. So we need to come together we need to love God and there will be peace.”

“I voted Republican and now Mr Obama is in office when is Congress going to start proceedings to impeach him over the Libya affair?” asked David from Cherry Creek in New York.

Removing the filibuster roadblock

Is there a chance that one of the most worthless extremes of the democratic parliamentary structure might now be erased?

Democratic Senate majority leader Senator Harry Reid gave a short press conference at midday on Wednesday with some promising news. He says he wants to do away with the filibuster in the Senate, which allows any Senator to block any bill with less than 3/5 (60 votes) support with a phone call threatening a filibuster (the House did away with the move long ago). The filibuster rule can be erased by a majority vote (50) on the first day of the January or March session, or at another time with a 60 vote majority, though the change can also be filibustered:

“Yes, I have plans to change the filibuster rule. The rules have been abused and we are going to do away with the filibuster and make the Senate a place where we can get things done.”

On compromise, in general however, he would only say that “I am going to do everything within my power to work together, but I want everyone to understand they can’t push us around.” Retreat on taxing the rich was not going to be an option, as Obama also has emphasized, though in “all the exit polls, everyone agrees that the very rich have to help a little bit.” Climate change is also extremely important, he said, and he is hoping to move forward on that.

C’mon Obama, time to push back

Now Obama turns from the poetry of campaign rhetoric to governing in prose, as Mario Cuomo famously put it, many are hoping his new energy will turn into real leadership cunning.

The difficulties remain, even though his mandate is much greater than anyone thought at first (many commentators hadn’t caught up with the total even by Nov 12). The Senate is under Democratic control at 54-45-1, but the House is firmly Republican at 233-193. So without cooperation and compromise or successful bulldozing/charming/manipulation by Obama the prospect of moving forward is no better than before, especially with the Tea Party vowing to hold the Republican leadership’s “feet to the fire” at the National Press Club the day after the election, Wednesday, to make sure that “the values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets” are respected, according to Jenny Beth Martin, the Tea Party Patriots’ National Coordinator.

In another bad sign, after his victory was in the bag Obama tried to call John Boehner the House speaker and Senator McConnell the Senate minority leader and both are reported to have said they were already in bed and couldn’t talk. However, public pressure is bound to mount behind raising taxes for the rich at least by closing loopholes and Boehner was sounding more open minded on taxes in general Wednesday, according to the Washington Post:

The speaker on Wednesday opened the door to increased tax revenue as part of a bipartisan deal to tame the soaring national debt, saying that Republicans are “willing to accept new revenues.” In formal remarks to reporters, Boehner said he is willing to break with the orthodoxy of many influential Republicans out of a desire to “do what’s best for our country.”

With his decisive popular win all must hope that Obama will gather his political resources and treat his major win as a mandate to push ahead determinedly with whatever he wishes to leave as a legacy, centrist though his instincts might be. But handling the Republicans carefully is a must if they are to cooperate while they are licking their wounds.

After all, the people as a whole have now firmly rejected the radical right wing economics of Koch Industries favorite and Ayn Rand worshipper Paul Ryan (lost his home county, his hometown and his home Ward, saved only by gerrymandering) and its long ago exploded anti Keynesian policies of government austerity, trickle down for the poor, and tax rebates for the rich in times of economic difficulty. They have also voted to get rid of Citizens United in Montana and Colorado, and Vermont and Maine voted overwhelmingly for Senators against it. Only gerrymandering saved the Republicans majority in the House, it seems clear.

So Obama will perhaps (we idealistically hope) make getting rid of the big money distortion of elections a priority even though he and his campaign proved that it does not trump transcendent political values and fears. That, and forcing the superrich and corporations to pay more than no tax at all, and show strong leadership on global warming. One thing seems ripe fruit for the picking after steering away from the fiscal cliff and that is immigration. Republicans revising their platform will presumably start with that.

Among those non-fiscal issues that lawmakers now appear eager to discuss is immigration reform — and Boehner said his chamber will take up the issue in the next session.

But the greatest hope of all, if possibly the least likely, is that Obama will do something significant to prise the death grip of the superrich off the throat of the body politic so that once again this dying democracy can regain some of the opportunity it used to provide the rest of us, and especially the new generation, to do better than their parents in improving their lot.

The second term jinx

Let’s hope that Obama keeps a steady hand on the tiller and doesn’t suffer from the overconfidence and staff deterioration that the New York Times notes often leads second term Presidents into dangerous territory (eg FDR packing the Supreme Court, Reagan and Iran-Contra, Nixon and Watergate, Clinton and his intern):

Overwhelming victory can often lead to second-term hubris, persuading a president that the country thinks he can do no wrong. As Lou Cannon, the Reagan biographer and Washington Post White House reporter, observed: “Landslides are dangerous to the victor.” Roosevelt lost only two states in 1936; Nixon lost only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in 1972.

Reagan lost only one state in 1984, and the next two years were “the least successful of Reagan’s 16 years in office,” including his years as governor of California, Mr. Cannon said. Even a narrow victory can create overconfidence. In 2004, George W. Bush won 50.7 percent of the vote, which was no landslide (even compared with his 48.3 percent share four years earlier). But he treated the victory as a huge mandate, and plunged ahead with a plan to privatize Social Security in 2005, as he had promised during his re-election campaign.

But the Social Security plan went nowhere. Republicans cringed, and Democrats eagerly united in opposition.

Second-term presidents are also lame ducks, parrying ambitious would-be successors in the opposition and in their own party. Dwight Eisenhower often complained of the recently enacted 22nd Amendment, limiting presidents to two terms. But earlier presidents faced the same problem, because tradition back to George Washington had established the same term limit, until Roosevelt ran for his third term.

However, Obama has now said in his first press conference of his new era that he is fully aware of the danger. “I’m more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms,” he said. “We are very cautious about that. On the other hand, I didn’t get reelected just to bask in reelection.”

On the other side of the aisle, when Republicans went overboard chasing down Clinton, it resulted in Democratic gains in the 1998 mid term election. Apparently, attacking the President on a personal matter was not a winning card for the opposition then, as it was not this time either, in terms of the underlying racism which was entrained against Obama before and during the election (Obama lost white voters to Romney by 20 points, the widest margin for a Democratic presidential candidate since Mondale lost to Reagan in 1984, but still most of his nationwide vote came from whites, the same 39% share of white voters that Clinton won in 1992).

It is now up to Obama to lead the nation and the world into the future while the Republicans are regrouping from confusion and disarray.

Results:

Presidential campaign spending
Obama $932,013,388
Romney $1028,213,064

Congressional and presidential election spending $6 billion
Annual marketing budget of Procter and Gamble $3 billion
AT&T $1.9 billion General Motors $1.8 billion
Spending on Elizabeth Warren vs Scott Brown in Mass. Senate race $68 million
Average campaign staffer salary Republican $6,437 Democratic $3,074
Amount pledged by Obama top donors (Univ Ca affiliated) $1,092,906
By Romney top donors (Goldman Sachs affiliated) $994,139
Number of Presidential

Obama wins hands down, but hands still tied

Crowd attending Obama victory speech 2012: 10,000
2008 240,000

Romney wins declining white share, seniors, Obama wins rising rainbow of blacks, Hispanics, even Cubans in Florida

Obama won 51% to 48% of popular vote.
Obama 62,085,892 Romney 58,777,012 Total 120,862,904
Update: Final count Obama wins popular vote by over 4 million.

Obama 126 electoral votes over Romney 332-206 62% 38% win.
(Compare: 2008 192 Obama over McCain. 2004 Bush 35 over Kerry 2000 Bush 5? over Gore. 1996 Clinton 220 over Dole. 1992 Clinton 202 over Bush. 1988 Bush over Dukakis 315 1984 Reagan over Modale 512 1980 Reagan over Carter 440 1976 Carter over Ford57 1972 Nixon over MacGovern 503 1968 Nixon over Humphrey 110 1964 Johnson over Goldwater 434 1960 Kennedy over Nixon 84.)

After redistricting, House Democrats down 193 to 192 and Republicans down from 242 to 233. Republican majority down from 49 to 41.

Romney wins whites

Share of white non Hispanic votes 2004 79% 2008 74% 2012 72%
Median age of whites in US 42
Obama defeated by Romney among whites 59% to 39%

Romney wins men

Share of male voters: Obama 45% Romney 52%

Obama wins women

Obama 55% Romney 43%

Romney wins seniors

Share of 65+ voters: Obama 44% Romney 55%

Blacks turn out for Obama, though fewer than in 2008

Share of Black vote 2004 11% 2012 13%
Median age blacks in US 33
Black men 87% for Obama Black women 96% for Obama
Share of 13% Black vote by men 5% share by women 8%
Michigan 2008 Black vote 12% 2012 Black vote 16%
Missouri 2008 Black share of vote 13% 2012 16%
North Carolina 23% and Florida 13% same as 2008 in 2012 but voter turnout total much larger
Ohio Republican share of black 2000 9% 2004 16%
Ohio black share of vote 2008 11% 2012 15%
Obama 96% of black vote in Ohio, his margin of victory.
Virginia 93% of black votes for Obama
But total black votes for Obama 1.6 million fewer than in 2008

Share of Hispanic vote in total 2004 6% 2012 10%
Obama 69% Romney 29&
Median age Hispanics in US 25
“If Romney had got share of Hispanic vote Bush won in 2004 he would be President elect
right now” –
Share of Asian vote in total 2004 1% 2012 3%
Obama 74% Romney 25%

Distrusted Bain Capital wiz Romney loses bid to run weak economy still blamed on Bush

23 million out of work, but 3 million jobs unfilled.
Average CEO pay in 1965 20 x average worker’s.
Average CEO pay in 2011 231 x average worker’s.
Proportion of Americans who pay any income tax: 55%
(Taxes paid by the rest eg poor widows seniors welfare include payroll, sales, property, state, local, gasoline, liquor taxes)
Since 1978 share of income growth to bottom 90% zero.
Share of wealth in 2010 owned by top 400 = share of wealth in 2010 owned by bottom 150 million.
Fiscal cliff: $2-3,500 tax hike for average household (midnight Dec 31)
Budget cut $110 billion in 2013 alone (starts Jan 2), $1.2 trillion over ten years
Unemployment back over 89.1%

5 Responses to “Obama Wins: Sandy, Christie, Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Youth Save The Obacon”

  1. martinkessler Says:

    Odumba concerned me as a constitutional illiterate in 2008 when I did not vote for him. He confirmed it in 2012 with his trashing of the 1st amendment.

    Odumba said: The future should not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. And his subsequent signing of the UN declaration to criminalize criticism of Islam. A very scary president this Moslem Brotherhood operative!

    (Hi Truthseeker, these postings are inadvertently out of sequence because I was trying to edit the first part and I thought it had gotten posted but it wasn’t. (Sequence corrected.- Ed) Anyway good to see you commenting on JW website. At least I believe it was you. (JW website? – Ed.)

  2. Truthseeker Says:

    Martin, posting here on with an iPod shows an admirable facility with Lilliputian gadgets, but you don’t actually cite this saying of our esteemed President against free speech with a reference of some kind, so it is very hard to believe straight up. Wasn’t he simply coming out against Islam bashing, rather than genuine critique of Islam’s tendency toward tribalism?

    As we have noted in the past, when this great man won election to the highest office in the land after minimal experience in the Senate, it was fairly evident that his arrival from another plane of existence matched that of other prominent social and spiritual gurus such as the greatest one of all, Jesus Christ of Bethlehem and Galilee, Peace be upon his name, and Praise upon his Memory.

    How else to explain our blessed President’s moral, social and political naivete, unless it stems from great idealism? Perhaps his limited upbringing, which combined world travel with a family of inconsistent heritage, did not tutor him in the behind the scenes reality of holding power, which is surely that a good deal of force and violence is involved in the psychological and social manipulations of winning and retaining influence over others on the national and international level? What a pity that Obama didn’t sit at the family dinner table while Daddy and Mummy discussed the affairs of the day from an insider perspective, as would have been ideal.

    The realities of Washington must have been a rude awakening for this tender, didactic soul whose idealism has had to be compromised in the service of learning to get things done in the often irrational, self serving and even crminal world of Washington and war. So what’s a poor prophet manque/ to do? We are not being very understanding, are we? Will not the second term achieve a glorious vindication of all our early hopes, now that he is freed from reelection constraints and has learned to bang the heads of recalcitrant Tea Party Republicans together to get done what should be done, in the Lyndon Johnson mode?

    Alas, one has a feeling that you are right, and that this fine dream will not come to pass. All Obama’s talents may be for naught as their effectiveness is compromised by his earnest, celestial desire for reconciliation between all parties before things have been worked out, rather than after. Where the ballistic equipment of a Churchill is needed, we have the enlightened leadership of a heavenly visitor from Cloudland where lion lies down with lamb and earthly appetites are set aside. Thus the comment you are referring to, where religious differences dissolve in “I’m OK and You’re OK”, “Each to his own, fellas” pap, and the tribal aggressions encouraged in parts of Islam are not to be dealt with, and free speech is cancelled.

    Indeed, as Steve Gould was fond of pointing out, or at least suggested, religion and outside reality (science) are or should be different magisteria, and politics is properly in the latter pigeonhole, and the influence of the former – religion – should be removed from it as far as possible.

    Obama still seems to be confusing the moral dictates of religion (his version of religion among the many available is apparently rooted in a black church in Chicago where it was thoroughly mixed up with racial politics, and is infused with an enlightened worldliness bred of his international and interracial upbringing which taught him that all humans are essentially the same tribe) with the demands of the battleground of Washington, where force wins the day when principle is not enough, which it usually isn’t these days, it seems clear.

    Only then after prevailing against ignorance and confusion will his principle of reconciliation and a mauve United States become relevant, because only after battles have played out between very different interests does it even become possible. At the moment in the politics of the US any talk of how immature it is to fight over differences and not work towards compromise and agreement about national interests is simply anachronistic, harking back to a better time when the demons of democracy weren’t released from the Pandora’s box of the Internet. Come back Lyndon Johnson, all is forgiven!

    That would seem to us to be what has happened to change the mind of Barack Obama from the clarion call for progressive change based on the true national interest and social reality which seemed to be the keynote of his election to the White House. When he got there, he found a very different reality from the one he had hoped for, and his supreme powers of leadership based on oratory and rationality suddenly turned almost irrelevant.

    He seems to have learned that he had to enter into the game of force and violence both here and abroad, whether psychological or military. In the short run that was a necessity. His naivety was exposed, and he adapted because he was forced to. Now we are all still longing for him to show strength and prevail further, and find his consistent advocacy of reconciliation and working together to solve problems in the national interest premature.

    But wouldn’t you agree that if the world’s problems are to be solved harmony rather than discord is the ultimate good? And that tyranny and force are what democracy is here to oppose and defeat and render needless? Isn’t this the path of progress for the world, and isn’t it the one it is taking, as the Arab spring proceeds and Bashar Hafez al-Assad’s downfall nears, and even Mohamed Morsi’s bid for undemocratic empowerment is spiked?

    Obama’s fault may only be that he was ahead of his time in his inclinations and his dreams, and that history will vindicate him as someone who had the right ideas but was forced to bow to the contingencies of his times. One only has to look at his opponent in the recent election to see how much more relevant to the 21st Century he has been than almost any other political leader around.

    Surely his ability to see all sides of an issue is something we can count on, and if he seems to be going in the wrong direction in fighting his domestic battles and foreign wars this may be because to win them he is forced to adopt distasteful measures, just as to defeat Hitler we were forced to kill and maim rather than retire into the wholesale surrender and thus defeat of the conscientious objector.

    That being said, curbing criticism of Islam, drone killing without trial of American citizens and other infidelity to the constitution is something that should be corrected as soon as possible, we agree. Just as Dresden and Hiroshima should never have happened. But that’s the appalling nature of war, isn’t it? It becomes the parade ground of extreme cruelty.

  3. stevekj Says:

    I like your articles as always, TS, but I will disagree on one point: as a result of extensive truthseeking elsewhere, I have concluded that declaring CO2 as a pollutant is a serious mistake. It is not a pollutant, it is plant food, no more and no less. And plants always like more food. And we like it when plants are well-fed.

  4. Truthseeker Says:

    Sorry, Steve, overlooked this comment for a while. SG welcomes sanguinity. But it’s all a question of balance, isn’t it? Yes, carbon dioxide may feed plant life, but when too much forest is cut down, greenery may flourish but the Earth will slowly cook unless industrial activity of the undesirable kind is turned down. Sea level will rise, Wall Street will be abandoned, the global economy wrecked, the Internet and Science Guardian will go dark. The question is, will it be worth all this just so the human population can be forcibly curbed? There may be other ways to achieve this end, that is, to bring endless economic expansion to a halt, replant the jungles and forests and rescue the planet.

    For instance, if people could be persuaded that bicycles are quite enough for most transport purposes, rather than fuel guzzling cars and planes, and that there are quite enough movies and books already produced and written to keep us all happy for a long time, then maybe it wouldn’t be necessary to grow 4% a year to solve all our economic problems. After all, only a decade or two ago China did very well with bicycles, and we happily save hours every week using a bicycle in New York City, not to mention the access to sun and sky this brings.

    Indeed, endless expansion of consumer production, even after allowance is made for miniaturization, must surely stop at some point, since there are only 24 hours in the day. So the end point may be that most humans will turn to consuming from producing, since a) robots and automation will replace most workers anyway (automation is now becoming cheaper in the US than Chinese labor, and computers are replacing doctors and lawyers) and b) we will have produced quite enough to keep everyone busy and happy forever (I know that personally it would take me to 2050 to read all the books and view all the videos and listen more than once to all the music we now have shelved) for a lifetime.

    Of course this will be after universal travel is cancelled as an option since some sort of super Skype will make virtual meeting as effective as face to face and it is realized that global tourism must be banned since by nature it defeats itself by making destinations popular and soon no different from the point of departure. In the end almost all productivity and recreation will become virtual except for sex, food, music and sports.

    The question is whether all this will happen before the planet is submerged, but I like your optimism.

  5. MacDonald Says:

    Hail Truthseeker

    In light of the revolt now led by apocryphal journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and Chris Hedges, is it not high time that this site became relevant – and its author atoned for his naive belief in Candidate Obama -by devoting at least a substantial part to regular writings on the politics and economics of the decaying empire cum totalitarian national security state?

    We fully believe that the Truthseeker has not only the moniker but the stature, the substance, the courage, the youthful energy to step into the trenches, up on the barricades, in the face of Power and challenge the beast in whose belly he resides with the same steel of nerve, the same single-mindedness of purpose, the same belief in the value of doing battle regardless of outcome, and the same potential for success as the gentlemen mentioned.

    we are aware, of course, that Science Guardian’s excellent and tireless staff is hopelessly outnumbered by the many daunting tasks it faces on a daily basis, so, being of a generous disposition, we unhesitatingly offer a helping hand in lieu of large donations.

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