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Messages - loki13

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Personal Statement / Re: Personal Statement - Please Critique!
« on: July 23, 2015, 02:29:47 PM »
A few thoughts-

First, don't sweat the personal statement too much. I agonized over mine, and it was only later that I realized just how little (for the most part) the personal statement matters in the applications process.

Next, I agree with groundhog. Your personal statement doesn't really say anything about *you*. Instead, you set a scene, describe it (over-describe it, in fact), and then perfunctorily write at the end, "Yep, I learned a lot!" Note- you don't actually tie in what you learned, how it impacted you, how it changed you, and how what you learned or experienced in SERE really changed who you are as a person. All I know after reading this is that you were in the military and went through SERE training, which is likely indicated elsewhere in your application materials.

Take an example- your last line states that you have learned from past mistakes. What past mistakes? You didn't state that you made any mistakes. So what did you learn? What type of a person are you?

This is an interesting approach, but

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 15, 2015, 04:15:20 PM »
Ditto would be a devastating argument, indeed, if you had presented any statistics, math, science, or really anything to back up your "TOKEN" argument.

I presented, you know, actual statistics, numbers, and so on. You gave us a "It's not news, it's CNN!" video. Congratulations. I assume you're proud of yourself.

That said, I appreciate your contributions; sunlight, as always, is the best disinfectant.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 15, 2015, 09:32:37 AM »
"social science is just that.........SCIENCE (proven and tested facts)"

There is, of course, some humor in this statement. While social science proceeds along a scientific process, it is not "science" in the sense of physics, or chemistry, or even biology. It is more akin to the "science" of economics.

All of this is made more humorous by your complete rejection of all the evidence presented to you, and, instead, resorting to the same old tired arguments. You know, there are actual people doing "science" in politics- not political science, mind you, but usually math- often statistics. Tell me, what is the most recent statistics research telling us about the Bradley effect?

Since you seem to have missed the entire point of my posts, what I reject is people asserting stuff they believe, and, instead, looking at actual evidence. Politics, like many fields before it, needs to have a little more rigor applied to it. You are like one of those old-timey baseball managers that claims that RBIs is the most measure of a player's worth.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 01:40:53 PM »
.... again, your "received wisdom" and "just so" stories aren't cutting it.

What, do you think that if Marco Rubio gets the nomination, that he will magically win the "Hispanic" vote? Because people have said that?

Because the hot air classes that chatter, without any basis, don't understand that "Hispanic" (or Latin/o/a) isn't monolithic, right? I mean, we'd be offended if someone said that we're putting a white person on the ballot to get the white vote, wouldn't we? And that the Cubans in Miami have a very different interest than the Dominicans in Orlando than the Puerto Ricans in New York than the Mexicans in Los Angeles? Just for starters?

Or that policies (specifically, the GOP hostility toward even legal immigration) won't matter just a tad?

No, I'm not surprised that Castro was moved to the cabinet- not from some weird maneuvering, but because the Democratic bench is weak (due to the 2010 census and lack of prominent state-level politicians), and because Castro doesn't have much room, right now, to move upwards in Texas. I would be neither surprised nor unsurprised if he was on the ticket, but-
Bentsen didn't carry Texas.
Ryan didn't carry his home state.
Ferraro didn't help... at all... with the woman's vote.
H.W. Bush wasn't selected to win Texas- that was in the bag, and he wasn't really a "Texas" guy.
Kemp wasn't selected to win NY, and there was never any hope of winning it.
The last 16 years of VPs were not chosen for their electoral chances (both Biden and Cheney came from safe states with no impact on the election), because people have gradually realized that VP choices really don't matter.

Arguably, the last VP selection to matter was LBJ... and that choice was kind of sui generis (and it wasn't for Texas- it was to keep the entire South... this was the whole Dixiecrat thing, remember).

So... do I believe that Castro supporters are trying to float a trial balloon for gullible people to raise their guy's profile? Sure. Will I pay any attention to it whatsoever? Nope.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 01:10:00 PM »
"I'm not sure why you have such a hard time grasping it. The Pew Center gets it, the Democrats get it, maybe one day even the Republicans will get it. "

Yes, the Pew Center presents a theory. Of course, this doesn't explain why other groups also so increased turnout. Or why a particular group so greatly decreased turnout. The Pew Center (and others) are precisely what I am criticizing- the "just so" stories that are *belied* by the evidence. Obama grew the electorate among all the categories that were key to his vitory- even Hispanics, a group that, notably, the GOP had previously courted (oops).

And then you elided his next statement- " The question was, Would other minorities vote for this minority? Not only did he get a big vote, but he got a big turnout."

Now, what could account for that? The famous Asian/Hispanic/Black TOKENISM? Or perhaps, there is an underlying causative variable at work? Just maybe? Something with a little deeper explanatory power?

This is why we can't have nice things. Because people prefer hot air to statistics. As best put by Nate Silve, what happened in 2008 is - "The 2008 election was an anomaly. A Democratic wave nationally caused by a deeply unpopular Republican in the White House and a financial crisis as well as a strong get-out-the-vote effort by the Obama campaign[.]"

The economy. The (lingering) incumbent. And a dash of GOTV.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 12:20:20 PM »
" I mean, do you honestly think that the increase in black voters was unrelated to Obama's status?"


"They gained votes with black, Hispanic, Asian, and young (18-24) voters."

The Obama campaign invested heavily in GOTV efforts by building both technology and local offices in an unprecedented fashion (and this built on his earlier, and canny, success in gaming the system in the Democratic primaries). This allowed them to narrow-target to both "remind" people to go to the polls, and to get people registered to vote. This has been well documented. The *across-the-board* increases not only are evidence of this, but specifically argue against the *TOKEN* point you are making- there is no particular reason that young, Asian, or Hispanic voters would be particularly amenable to a black candidate. While I don't disagree that there was some effect at the margins, this "just so" story does a great disservice to what was, in effect, a GOTV revolution that the GOP is still trying to catch up to (and the Dem effort was, in effect, a tech response to the GOP effort that arose due to Rove in 2000 and was incredibly successful).

Shorter version- it is borderline insulting to attribute the GOTV effort of the Obama campaign to "more black people showed up because Obama was black." The more correct statement is that Obama increased the overall electorate, which greatly helped him (Democrats have an advantage when the electoral base in increased), but his actual percentage of the black vote wasn't that superior compared to an "average" candidate like Al Gore. Admittedly, it's hard to improve on 92%. Finally, attributing these types of identifications to voters when the evidence overwhelmingly shows that voters are partisan first ignores what we are seeing. Just like the great debate about the "independents," who, as we saw before, are almost are partisans who are labeling themselves independents.

I hate to keep getting back to actualities, but this is part of the annoying things about out discourse in this country. We like to tell ourselves these stories about politics, most of which just aren't true. I guess it makes it more interesting, and more enjoyable for people to follow.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 11:06:21 AM »
Voter turnout in 2008 : 57.1% of the voting population.
In 2004: 55.7% of the voting population.

The story isn't the increase in black (and minority) turnout- it's the decrease of white turnout.
2004: 67.2%
2008:  60.0%

2004: 60.0%
2008: 64.7%

2004: 47.2%
2008: 49.9%

2004: 44.2%
2008: 47.6%

While you could make the argument that this was due to a black candidate (the TOKEN argument), I think it is inarguable that the overall effort that Obama put into the GOTV efforts (which has been well documented) at the local level is the leading indicator for the across-the-board turnout increases in the key democratic constituencies. If you recall, it was difficult to not run into people that were helping you get to the polls.

Also, your "just so" memory of the Catholic vote isn't correct. While the statistics show that Kennedy did overperform in the Catholic vote, it is also true that the Catholics voted against Eisenhower, voted against Nixon in '68, split the vote in '72, voted for Carter in '76, split the vote in '80, and, if you look at history since FDR, have either split the vote (basically) or voted Democratic in every election except for 1984.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 14, 2015, 10:12:38 AM »
"TOKENS are what does it. Obama had even Colon Powell (a die hard Republican) vote for him. It was a skin issue."

Oh, stop, Please. You are revealing far too much about yourself (and you probably don't want to).

Let's try some numbers- Obama's share of the black vote in 2012: 93%.
Al Gore's share of the black vote in 2000: Either 90% or 92% (depending on how it was measured)., there it is.

Reagan got 47% of the women in 1980, and then, when there was a woman on the ticket against him in 1984 (look it up), he got... 58%.

Partisan affiliation trumps race and gender. Or, if you'd prefer, race and (to a lesser extent) gender correlate with partisan affiliation.

And Hillary Clinton will get between 90-95% of the black vote in 2016. And between 53-58% of the female vote (Obama received 55 and 56%).

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Federal Courts-One and done?
« on: July 14, 2015, 09:57:14 AM »
"If you attend a CBA school and are hellbent on getting licensed in another-state after passing the California Bar odds are you will be given the right to take another state bar exam, but of course there are no guarantees."

No. Stop your nonsense, please. I provided a few cases, one of which had cites to numerous cases, directly in contradiction to your proposition. Attorneys are prevented, all the time, from practicing in other states (look up rules on reciprocity). The Massachusetts example is an outlier, and doesn't stand for any grand principle, but, rather, on the well-grounded idea that the Supreme Court of a state can grant waivers on occasion.

Seriously- try getting admission to the Florida Bar as an out-of-state grad of a non-ABA school with no years of practice. See if a random judge lets you do it based on "equity." I honestly have no idea what you're talking about, but I feel the need to correct you because what you're saying is dangerous. Do you know how I know this? Because there are actual cases on this!

See, inter alia, In re Proposed Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Florida Bar, 873 So. 2d 295 ( Fla. 2004) (unanimously holding that ABA accreditation should be required, and specifically reasoning that it was more desirable because of the proliferation of alternative law schools).
Fla. Bd. of Bar Examiners re Mass. Sch. of Law, 705 So.2d 898 (Fla. 1998) (rejecting any waivers, of any kind, even in equity or for individuals, for non-ABA accredited individuals, and noting that this has been the policy since 1983... and this is still good law).

Your statements, to the extent that they are read, can actually hurt people. Please stop telling people that they can just hope for a "waiver" in equity. If you want to go to a non-accredited school, make sure you know what the rules are in the state that you're hoping to practice in.

News Discussion / Re: POTUS
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:29:12 AM »
"Most swing states were not won by huge margins."

Let's take 2012. That's was real close, right? So.... there were only four states decided by less than 5 (!) percentage points. Only one (Florida, of course) decided by less than a percentage point. But Florida is so big, that was still a swing of 75,000 votes. Virginia was 150,000 votes. That's a lot to chalk up to people who won't vote at all.

I feel like people have never been through Presidential elections. Do you remember 2008? When Clinton and Obama had such a heated primary, there were a bunch of people that said Obama couldn't win *because Clinton supporters would never rally behind Obama*? Anyone? How did that work out?

And what about the other side? People saying the weak field doesn't give the GOP a chance... and yet, Clinton emerged out of the crud Democratic field in 1992 (look that one up).

You are all wasting your own time. See how the economy is doing next year. See who the GOP nominee is (because, absent some gaffe from Clinton along the lines of "Yes, I really did kill Vince Foster," she is getting the nomination for the Democrats). Then pay attention. It really is all meaningless blather until then. I would have thought that a rudimentary acquaintance with statistics and some of the work being done would have ended the fascination with the hot air political sites... but, alas, it is not to be.

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