Happy New Year…2016!

To all those out there…..

Happy New Year!


May you have the best of the New Year…

May you be Healthly, Wealthy and Wise…..

And…


May you keep coming back here to the

Politicaldog101…..

And Enjoy!…..

 

The Dog

 

This originally ran bringing in 2012…It’s brought me Good Luck so it’s bringing in 2016!


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The Senate has a Deal in the Fiscal Cliff Show…Update…The Senate WILL vote the deal Tonight…Bill Pased *

Update*….The US Senate HAS voted to pass the Fiscal Cliff Deal  @ 2:00 AM 1/1/13 (detail’s will be in the morning)

As expected….

The Senate is doing a curtain call …..

Biden, McConnell and Reid have come up with something the President has ok’d….

The House won’t vote till tomorrow at the earliest, staying on the script that plays with them voting after the the Bush Tax cuts expire and taxes would go up….

A Tuesday or thereafter vote would be a ‘cut’ in taxes since it would reinstated the Bush taxes…

A bit of a bull shit story….

But that’s in the script it seems….

The same story will be back in March and probably a year from now….

Since the deal is a band-aid on several budget issues….

While some senators pushed for a quick vote on legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the House was not expected to consider any deal until Tuesday at the earliest, meaning that a combination of tax increases and spending cuts would go into effect in the first days of 2013. If Congress acts quickly and sends a deal to President Obama, the economic impact could still be very limited.

Under the agreement, tax rates would jump to 39.6 percent from 35 percent for individual incomes over $400,000 and couples over $450,000, while tax deductions and credits would start phasing out on incomes as low as $250,000, a clear win for President Obama, who campaigned on higher taxes for the wealthy.

“Just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans,” Mr. Obama said at a hastily arranged news briefing, with middle-income onlookers cheering behind him. “Obviously, the agreement that’s currently being discussed would raise those rates and raise them permanently.”

Democrats also secured a full year’s extension of unemployment insurance without strings attached and without offsetting spending cuts, a $30 billion cost.

As negotiators tied up the last points of dispute, officials said that the two top Democrats on Capitol Hill — Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California — had signed off on the agreement. In an effort to win over other Democrats uneasy with the proposal, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who had bargained directly with Republican leaders, traveled to the Capitol on Monday night to brief his former Senate colleagues.

In one final piece of the puzzle, negotiators agreed to put off $110 billion in across-the-board cuts to military and domestic programs for two months while broader deficit reduction talks continue. Those cuts begin to go into force on Wednesday, and that deadline, too, might be missed before Congress approves the legislation.

The nature of the deal ensured that the running war between the White House and Congressional Republicans on spending and taxes will continue at least until the spring….

More….

Update….

from twitter….

BREAKING: Harry Reid says the Senate will vote on a fiscal cliff deal tonight. More info here: 

 

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Your upcoming Payroll Tax Hike….

Your payroll check is gonna be close to 3% smaller starting next pay period….

The tax applies to the first $110,000 of income….( The money goes to Social Security) 

So the MORE you make OVER that income. level..

The LESS of a percentage of your salary ends up in the pot….

Most of us will be paying it all year….

The Rich make out AGAIN

It’s not even a bargaining chip in the last-minute talks that might allow Washington to prematurely claim a victory over austerity come New Year’s Day.

Poor thing’s expiring after only two years, a span that’s seen the unemployment rate drop from 9.8% to 7.7%.

As a result, workers’ share of the payroll tax will rise by two percentage points back to 6.2%. But income above $110,100 is exempt from the payroll tax. So janitors and nurses will be subjected to a drop in take-home pay approaching 3% while $400K-a-year lawyers will be out less than 1% of their paycheck.

So you can see how all the Washington chest thumpers on behalf of middle class families might want to start their ill-advised belt-tightening right here, by targeting the one stimulus measure most directly tied to jobs.

Among the breaks expiring today, the payroll tax cut is second only to extended unemployment insurance in terms of its dollar-for-dollar power as an economic tonic. But because the payroll tax break benefits many more people and costs more dollars, it has provided a bigger boost to jobs and growth.

 More….

Note…

The President ORIGINALLY pitched the Payroll Tax Cut as a ‘stimulus’ booster in 2009 when the Economy was a mess…..He successfully got it extended in 2011….

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The NFL plays musical chairs with it coaches…..

The 2012 National Football League Play-offs are getting ready to start….

And a LOT of the coaches NOT there are in trouble…..

Owners want to Win…..

Period….

The Philadelphia Eagles ended Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure, drawing the curtain on a tear-stained season that began with the death of Reid’s son in training camp and continued with a week-by-week watch of how the team’s won-lost ledger matched up with the owner Jeffrey Lurie’s preseason edict that Reid had to do better than 8-8 to keep his job. Philadelphia ended up 4-12. In Chicago, Lovie Smith was fired after nine seasons, despite finishing 10-6. In San Diego, Norv Turner, his dismissal expected almost from the day he got the job six years ago, was finally fired, along with General Manager A.J. Smith, who had held his job for almost 10 years. The same fate befell Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, who was fired after six seasons. Reid, Smith and Whisenhunt had all taken their teams to the Super Bowl in the past; Turner took the Chargers to the A.F.C. championship game.

All, though, had lost of late. And the reason for their ousters was summed up neatly by the league’s newest owner, Jimmy Haslam of the Cleveland Browns, who fired his coach, Pat Shurmur, and general manager, Tom Heckert, on Monday.

“It might be a little unfair of me to put that pressure on that new head coach already, but the way the N.F.L. operates, there is relative parity,” Haslam said. “And you can turn things around quickly.”

Three teams who combined won just 10 games last year qualified for the playoffs this year: the Indianapolis Colts, the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings. Every owner wants that result. And they want it now.

Among others who were fired: Chan Gailey, after three seasons in Buffalo, and Romeo Crennel, after just one season in Kansas City, which won just two games and has the first pick in the spring draft. Scott Pioli, the Chiefs’ general manager, retained his job for now, the owner Clark Hunt said. But many other general managers were not so lucky. Those fired, in addition to Smith and Heckert: Mike Tannenbaum of the Jets, Gene Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Rod Graves of the Cardinals. The Carolina Panthers fired Marty Hurney during the season and have yet to replace him.

The speed with which so many top people were sent packing was breathtaking, but not surprising….

The Philadelphia Eagles ended Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure, drawing the curtain on a tear-stained season that began with the death of Reid’s son in training camp and continued with a week-by-week watch of how the team’s won-lost ledger matched up with the owner Jeffrey Lurie’s preseason edict that Reid had to do better than 8-8 to keep his job. Philadelphia ended up 4-12. In Chicago, Lovie Smith was fired after nine seasons, despite finishing 10-6. In San Diego, Norv Turner, his dismissal expected almost from the day he got the job six years ago, was finally fired, along with General Manager A.J. Smith, who had held his job for almost 10 years. The same fate befell Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, who was fired after six seasons. Reid, Smith and Whisenhunt had all taken their teams to the Super Bowl in the past; Turner took the Chargers to the A.F.C. championship game.

All, though, had lost of late. And the reason for their ousters was summed up neatly by the league’s newest owner, Jimmy Haslam of the Cleveland Browns, who fired his coach, Pat Shurmur, and general manager, Tom Heckert, on Monday.

“It might be a little unfair of me to put that pressure on that new head coach already, but the way the N.F.L. operates, there is relative parity,” Haslam said. “And you can turn things around quickly.”

Three teams who combined won just 10 games last year qualified for the playoffs this year: the Indianapolis Colts, the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings. Every owner wants that result. And they want it now.

Among others who were fired: Chan Gailey, after three seasons in Buffalo, and Romeo Crennel, after just one season in Kansas City, which won just two games and has the first pick in the spring draft. Scott Pioli, the Chiefs’ general manager, retained his job for now, the owner Clark Hunt said. But many other general managers were not so lucky. Those fired, in addition to Smith and Heckert: Mike Tannenbaum of the Jets, Gene Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Rod Graves of the Cardinals. The Carolina Panthers fired Marty Hurney during the season and have yet to replace him.

The speed with which so many top people were sent packing was breathtaking, but not surprising.

More….

Photo….

Left: Duane Burleson/Associated Press; Center: Elsa/Getty Images; Right: Don Wright/Associated Press

Chicago’s Lovie Smith, Philadelphia’s Andy Reid and San Diego’s Norv Turner were among the many coaches let go on Monday.

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Daily Real Clear Politics Polling 12/30/12……

Sunday, December 30
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 53, Disapprove 42 Approve +11
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 57, Disapprove 42 Approve +15

from realclearpolitics

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Erick Erickson wants the House Conservative’s to shit-can the Fiscal Cliff Deal from the Senate…

Yea Erick just throw the country into a ditch….

What do YOU care?

Your party has been screwing things up since the 2010 elections anyways…. Why stop now?

Conservatives Should Kill This Deal

By: Erick Erickson (Diary)  @ Red State

Conservatives within the Republican Conference should kill the compromise plan for the fiscal cliff.

For years, squishy folks on both sides and lots of think tankers have told us that we needed a “balanced” approach to solve our debt and deficit problems. A “balanced” approached included both tax increases and spending cuts. In other words, a “balanced” approach looked a lot like the so called fiscal cliff.

But today Congress is negotiating away the spending cuts component. Word coming from Capitol Hill is that there will be tax increases, but no spending cuts. They’ll get rid of sequestration.

Time and again Congress raises taxes now and says it will cut spending tomorrow.

Back in the 2012 Presidential campaign cycle, Republican Presidential candidates were famously asked if they’d accept one dollar of tax increases for ten dollars in spending cuts. They all said they wouldn’t. That has been used to show Republicans were recalcitrant on taxes. They were unreasonable.

Only Michele Bachmann bothered to explain that the reason the GOP would not do a 10 to 1 deal is because the GOP had tried several times to do such a deal, but each time the spending got put on the back burner, never to actually be dealt with.

Same thing is happening again. They’ll raise taxes, but they will not cut spending. Washington continues to have a spending problem, not a taxing problem. If sequestration happened concurrently, I’d say take this deal. It’s the best of a series of bad options. But without cuts on the table, the GOP should dive off the cliff.

Washington will never actually cut real spending unless forced to do so. Sequestration does just that…….

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Fiscal Cliff Show Update Midday 12/31/12……Payroll Taxes to go up?

….from twitter….

Miss President Obama’s address on the ? Watch it here: 

…from the Washington Post…..

……negotiators for the administration and McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to have nailed down many of the most critical tax issues, including a plan to let taxes rise on income over $450,000 a year for couples and $400,000 a year for individuals, according to people in both parties familiar with the talks.

Under the proposed accord being hammered out by Biden and McConnell, households earning less than that would largely escape higher income tax bills, though couples earning more than $300,000 a year and individuals earning more than $250,000 would lose part of the value of their exemptions and itemized deductions, under the terms of the emerging agreement.

Low-income households would also benefit from a five-year extension of credits for college tuition and the working poor first enacted as part of Obama’s stimulus package in 2009. And businesses would see a variety of popular tax breaks extended, including a credit for research and development.

The tax on inherited estates would rise from 35 percent to 40 percent, though Democrats agreed to keep in place the current exemption for estates worth up to $5 million. And nearly 30 million households would be protected from paying the costly alternative minimum tax for the first time — either on their 2012 tax returns or at any time in the future. The developing agreement calls for a permanent fix.

The two sides also appeared to have reached consensus on unemployment benefits, with Republicans acceding to Democratic demands to keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed for another year. Medicare payments would not be cut for doctors next year, and the cost of preserving those programs would not be offset with other spending cuts….

 

More…..

Lawmakers on Monday morning were locked in negotiations trying to close a deal that would, in part, prevent a separate tax — the income tax — from rising for all but the wealthiest taxpayers.

Unlike income taxes, which rise along with a worker’s income, the payroll tax is a fixed percentage of an employee’s salary. Allowing the tax cut to expire will increase taxes on salaries by 2 percent for every American worker. Up to $110,100 a year in salary is subject to the tax.

This jump in payroll taxes, combined with other tax increases affecting the very wealthy likely to take effect in the new year, would make for the largest increase in taxes in about half a century.

While the end of the payroll tax holiday appears to be a near certainty, Democrats and Republicans agree in principle that low tax rates enacted under President George W. Bush

should be extended for the vast majority of Americans — with negotiations over the exact threshold ongoing early Monday. If lawmakers fail to pass a law extending those tax cuts, allowing them to expire on Tuesday, it would mean thousands of dollars out of the pockets of average workers, the largest tax increase on Americans since World War II.

But if lawmakers seal a deal to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, the payroll tax cut expiry is the only tax increase that most workers would experience…..

More…

 

 

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In 2012, American teevee came through once again…Whatever Works…..

by  @ Whatever Works

At ToolServer (some sort of Wikipedia offshoot), there’s a nifty compilation of  2012′s top Wikipedia searches by language. This one particularly caught my eye (and yes, I checked, that “G” is indeed a search for the letter G. Almost four million times, Germans went to Wikipedia for information on the letter G). Gohere for more list fun.

top 10

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Congress does its thing….Again…..

No wonder they have shit approval ratings from the people that sent them to Washington…..

Congress’ Self-Sabotaging Kabuki Act

John Avlon: “If this supposedly liberated lame-duck Congress can’t agree on basic outlines of a grand bargain agreement that has been debated in detail for the past two years, why should we believe that the next Congress will have more success? Immigration reform, gun reforms — those more difficult debates will be effectively DOA from day one. This is self-government committing economic suicide, putting ideological absolutism ahead of solving problems. The idea of a productive lame-duck session after the contentious election has been erased. Hopefully, Senators Reid and McConnell will surprise us with some kind of patchwork compromise by the self-imposed deadline of 3 p.m. today, but they have been keeping rumors of progress to themselves.”

“This congressional Kabuki is killing us, because it masks a more fundamental problem. Congress seems unable to act unless confronted with a crisis at the last minute — and even then, they can’t agree on anything significant or substantive that actually deals with long-term problems. Maybe they should just stay on vacation and spare us the rhetoric. But as the clock ticks to New Year’s, they should have a guilty conscience that might inspire a genuine resolution to reform. Because they created this crisis and now seem unable to fix it. We’re the ones who will feel the pain. It is an epic act of self-sabotage.”

Politicalwire….

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Kim Kardashian is pregnant…..

I had to post this……

Ah…….

Kardashison is STILL married to Kris Humphries….

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child.

The rapper announced at a concert Sunday night that his girlfriend is pregnant. Kardashian was in the crowd at Revel Resort’s Ovation Hall with her mother, Kris Jenner, and West’s mentor and best friend, Jay-Z. West told the crowd of more than 5,000 in song form: “Now you having my baby.”

The crowd roared. And so did people on the Internet.

The news instantly went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with thousands posting and commenting on the expecting couple.

Most of the Kardashian clan also tweeted about the news, including Kim’s sisters. Kourtney Kardashian wrote: “Another angel to welcome to our family. Overwhelmed with excitement!”

West, 35, also told concertgoers to congratulate his “baby mom” and that this was the “most amazing thing.”

Representatives for West and Kardashian, 32, didn’t immediately respond to emails about the pregnancy.

The rapper and reality TV star went public in March.

Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries in August 2011 and their divorce is not finalized.

More…

Photo...mail.com

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 12/31/12: The Democratic establishment rallies around Ed Markey

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest banner

Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

Leading Off:

• MA-Sen: Hel-lo! The DSCC rather unexpectedly sent out an email on Friday afternoon with a statement from Dem Sen. John Kerry, saying he “supports” Rep. Ed Markey’s decision to run to succeed him… which essentially meant the DSCC is doing the same thing. Kerry could have sent the press release to his own list (though perhaps he did that as well), and the DSCC doesn’t typically act as a messenger for such announcement, so in this case, the medium really is the message. But lest there be any confusion about where their sympathies lie, the DS followed up with its own formal endorsement email soon after.

In any event, Kerry’s don’t-call-it-an-endorsement would alone have been quite the coup in a Democratic primary, but the fact that the DSCC is also getting on board means they’re hoping to avoided a protracted nomination battle and would like to see everyone rally around Markey. And indeed, sandwiched between the initial Kerry email and the subsequent DSCC missive, Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who herself was mentioned as a possible candidate, said that she, too, would be getting behind Markey. You can practically hear the wagons rustling as they draw into circular formation.

But this all seems like good news to me: The DS must have positive polling data on Markey, a strong progressive, and it also means we’re less likely to see someone awful like Rep. Stephen Lynch (who betrayed Democrats by voting against the Affordable Care Act) enter the race. Of course, if these moves are seen as “interference” by D.C. Democrats, it could provoke a backlash. But we went through something very much like this not long ago, when national Dems and progressive groups successfully propelled Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy forward, despite opposition from the local establishment (who had nothing and no one better to offer).

And with a little luck, Scott Brown won’t bother to run again. Hopefully these coordinated efforts are meant to give the appearance of strength and scare Brown off, rather than a reflection of any kind of worry that if Democrats don’t unite immediatelyrightnow, we’d be in some sort of trouble. I’m choosing to be cautiously optimistic for the moment, and with a little more luck, Markey will succeed both in uniting all the various factions behind him and in running a strong campaign.

P.S. If Kerry is indeed confirmed as Secretary of State, and if Markey does secure the Democratic nomination and wins the ensuing special election, there would be another special election for his 5th District congressional seat. Interest and speculation in that race will also be high, no doubt, and as always, we’ll be following both the Senate and House side of things closely.

P.P.S. No surprise: Dem Rep. Niki Tsongas also says she won’t run in the special.

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The Fiscal Cliff Show No solution for now…..Things NEVER Change

This IS according to the secret script that will run until AFTER the stuff hits the fan…..

THEN the players will resume….

Several things will occur I’m gonna guess….

The President will get little of what he wanted……(Biden i s now the deal maker)

Taxes WILL go up….

The Senate WILL pass a frame work….

The House will take most of that framework….

The frame work will essentially be a punt……

Like the Congress ALWAYS does….

There will NO REAL Fiscal Cliff…..

We will have the Same SHIT again in a few months on the Debt Ceiling….

This will assuer that the Republicans WILL drag Obama and the Democrats thru the mud….

Over and Over …….

Senate leaders are racing against the clock to reach a “fiscal cliff” deal the House and Senate can approve on New Year’s Eve.

Leaders in the upper chamber narrowed their differences Sunday as Republicans agreed to drop a demand to curb cost-of-living increases to entitlement benefits, while Democrats showed flexibility on taxes.

Yet after months of talks on ways to avoid the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of 2012, House and Senate lawmakers find themselves approaching the new year without a bill to present to their members.

Hopes for a deal appear to be in the hands of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden, who spent much of the night in negotiations.

“The Leader and the VP continued their discussion late into the evening and will continue to work toward a solution,” a spokesman for McConnell said of the talks. The spokesman added that more details would be provided when they were available.

Biden and McConnell have a history of Senate deal-making, and their cooperation is seen as a sign that Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber could still close in on an elusive deal.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) on Monday called McConnell and Biden the two “best” negotiators for the talks…..

More….

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Breaking….Sec of State Hillary Clinton admitted to the hospital with a blood clot….

…from AP….

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday. Reines says Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants.

Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.

Reines says doctors will continue to assess Clinton’s condition, “including other issues associated with her concussion.”

Source….

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Defense Sec Panetta says deal won’t avert sequestration?

I REALLY don’t believe the guy….

Congress can do whatever they want…

The truth is sequester whould take months to impliment…

Plenty of time to turn off the sequester….

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told him there “will be nothing” in the fiscal cliff deal to avoid sequestration.

“I was called by Leon Panetta last night…during dinner,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday”, “and he said, ‘Lindsey, I have been told there’s not going to be anything in the bill to avoid sequestration going into effect.'”

Panetta says “if we do this, it will be shooting the Defense Department in the head, and we’ll have to send out 800,000 layoff notices at the beginning of the year. He’s worried to death that if we don’t fix sequestration, we are going to destroy the finest military in the world at a time we need it the most and this bill doesn’t cover defense cuts, on top of the ones we already have,” Graham said.

Sequestration, which would kick in on Jan 2 if there is no deal to avert it, would cut nearly $500 billion in defense spending over the next decade.

Source….

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2012 in review: Grading the pollsters…Daily Kos….

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Steve Singiser

Scott Rasmussen on Fox News

Scott Rasmussen: “Independent” pollster who errs on side of the GOP 81 percent of the time.

 

Now that the results are official pretty much everywhere (New York is a fairly important holdout, though with an obvious rationale for the tardy count), we can finally do a more thorough examination of how America’s pollsters fared in the 2012 electoral sweepstakes.

Yes…yes, I realize that this has already been done in a variety of ways elsewhere, but I decided to add my own spin to it. Given my background (I am a polls guy, but from the political angle, not necessarily the math angle), I decided to do a very Algebra I approach to grading the pollsters.

Here’s how it worked:

1. I made two lists of pollsters. The first list was every pollster that released polling in at least five separate races (not counting national polls). That wound up being a grand total of 34 different pollsters. Then I did a secondary list, which was the “major pollsters” list. Here, I excluded two groups: pollsters who primarily worked for campaigns, and pollsters that only worked in 1-2 states. This left us with a list of 17 “major” pollsters.

2. I then excluded duplicate polls. Therefore, pollsters were only assessed by their most recent poll in each race. Only polls released after October 1st were considered in the assessment process.

3. I graded each of the pollsters on three criteria:

  • The first criterion was a simple one–in how many contests did the pollster pick the correct winner? If the pollster forecasted a tie, then that counted for one-half a correct pick. I then rounded to the nearest whole percent, for a score between 0-100.
  • The second criterion was a simple assessment of error. I rounded each result to the nearest whole number, did the same with the polling results, and then calculated the difference. For example, if the November 5th PPP poll out of North Carolina was 49-49, and Romney eventually won 50-48, the “simple error” would be two points.I then gave each pollster an overall “error score” based on how little average error there was in their polling. The math here is painfully simple. No error at all would yield 100 points, while an average error of ten points would get you zip, zero, nada. By the way, if you think 10 points was too generous, bear this in mind: two GOP pollsters had an average error in 2012 of over ten points.

    The math here was basic: for every tenth of a point of average error, I deducted one point from the 100 point perfect score. Therefore, the clubhouse leader on this measurement (a tie between Democratic pollsters Lake Research and the DCCC’s own in-house IVR polling outfit) had an average error of just 2.0 percent. That would yield them the score of 80.

  • The third measurement sought to reward those who did not show a strong partisan lean. This was called the “partisan error” score. Here, we took the error number from criteria two, and added an element. The question: did the pollster overestimate the Democratic performance, or the Republican one? The total number of points on the margin for each party were added up, and then the difference was taken. That was then divided by the number of polls. This led to a number that (usually) was lower than the “error” score, because a good pollster won’t miss in favor of just one party every single time.Interestingly, virtually every pollster had an average error that overestimated the performance of the GOP. This echoes the national polls we saw, which tended to lowball the lead that President Obama held over Mitt Romney.

    For this criterion, the 0-100 score was calculated the same way. For example, Rasmussen, on average, erred in favor of the GOP by 3.5 percent (you’d have thought it’d be higher, but they had a couple of big point misses in blowouts like the North Dakota gubernatorial election. That muted their GOP swing). Therefore, their “partisan error” score would be 65.

So, how did the pollsters fare in 2012? The best, and worst, performances among the major performers might surprise you.

(UPDATE: The link to the GoogleDoc with the data and the “grades” for the pollsters should be fixed now. Apologies to those who tried to view it in the first hour.)

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The Fiscal Cliff Show takes an intermission….and brings in Biden…

The President has sent veteran Senate member Vice President Biden in to work on a deal between Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Minority Leader McConnell….

Looks like the Senate would do a small size deal…..

Vote it in….

Then wait for AFTER January First to have the House and House Conservatives technically vote for a tax cut in RESTORING the Bush tax cuts….and other stuff….

Senate Republicans say Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is willing his drop his demand to curb the growth of Social Security cost-of-living increases.

The demand from McConnell had thrown a wrench into talks Sunday on a “fiscal cliff” deal, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and other Democrats quickly balked at the request, which they said they could not accept.

But a number of Senate Republicans said it was not a core demand of their conference, suggesting taking it out of a deal would not prevent a last-second agreement from being reached.

“We need to take CPI off the table,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “That is not part of the negotiations because we can’t win an argument that has Social Security for seniors versus taxes for the rich so we need to take it off the table.”

When asked if Republican leaders would be willing to drop Social Security reform from the talks, McCain said: “I think we’re in agreement that should be off the table.”

Incoming Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Republican leaders never really expected Reid to agree to reduce the growth of the entitlement program in the midst of negotiations on taxes.

“I don’t think anybody ever expected Social Security to be part of this, it’s all going to be about taxes,” he said.

Cornyn said the biggest obstacle at this point is getting Democrats to return to the talks…

More from the Hill….

Still no deal.

There were signs of renewed effort in the talks to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis late Sunday afternoon. For one thing, direct talks had begun between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden. Republicans exiting a mid-afternoon caucus meeting said that McConnell had excused himself to take a call from the vice president.

Those two Washington veterans have become the capital’s unofficial closers, hammering out the agreement that resolved a fight over tax cuts in late 2010, and the debt-ceiling crisis in August 2011.

But their task could could prove far more difficult this time around.

Less than 36 hours remain before a package of painful tax increases and spending cuts start to kick in. Even if a deal is struck, it will have to be passed by both the Democratic-controlled Senate and then the GOP-held House — running the gantlet of a gridlocked Washington on New Year’s Eve.

A few minutes before 6 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said that negotiations were still going on.

“There’s still time left to reach an agreement, and we intend to continue negotiations,” Reid said on the Senate floor. He added, however, that there would be no Senate votes — on a fiscal cliff deal or anything else — on Sunday night. The chamber will be back in session at 11 a.m. Monday.

On a gloomy day at the Capitol, that passed for good news.

More from the Washington Post….

 

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