Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bachmann Quits, Perry Doesn’t, Media Gets Iowa Wrong

And News that Requires Commenting

Michele Bachmann is ending her Presidential bid in Iowa, the state where a few months ago she was the leader of a straw poll that made her a media favorite.  The problem that Ms. Bachmann ran into, once she became visible voters started paying attention to what she was saying.  That terminated any chances that she ever had.

Rick Perry is continuing his campaign, and as soon as we can get Mr. Romney’s win in New Hampshire out of the way this will make South Carolina the next really important primary.  With both Mr. Perry and Mr. Gingrich in the South Carolina race it is possible, even probably that Mr. Romney will lose that state.  The implications for the ultimate success of his campaign, very little.  A contributing factor to Mr. Romney’s loss would be the endorsement of South Carolina’s unpopular Governor, Nikki Haley.  To the extent that a loss by Mr. Romney would further tarnish Ms. Haley that is a benefit for all South Carolinians.

The media, as usual gets the Iowa Caucuses wrong.  Mr. Romney did not win, the result was a tie.  The 8 vote margin is a statistical aberration, like flipping a coin fairly a 1,000 times and coming up with heads 501 times and then saying the coin is fixed because the result was not exactly 500 heads and 500 tails.  Of course, the shelf life of the news of the Iowa Caucuses is only about 7 to 10 days, so this error, like so many others of the press will soon not matter.

One strongly suspects that one reason why Texas Rep. Ron Paul is running for President and will remain in the race is that he wants to hand over his legacy (?) to his son Senator Rand Paul.  If this is the case, look for Sen. Paul to run for re-election in 2016 which would position himself as a potential nominee in 2020 or 2024.  If he does run in 2024, remember where you read this successful prediction of 13 years prior.

Remember all that political rhetoric by Republicans about not having government get involved in “crony capitalism” or “corporate welfare”.  That’s really all it is, rhetoric.  Kentucky is seriously considering approving casino gambling at racetracks in order to benefit the racing and horse breeding industry.

The state's horse breeders and racetrack operators have argued for years that Kentucky risks ceding its status as the nation's horse-racing epicenter and a further slide in its $4 billion industry without a revenue infusion from casino gambling. Thirteen states now have casinos built on racetracks, with a certain percentage of revenue—typically from slot machines—earmarked for the horse-racing industry. The cash helps racetracks offer bigger purses and sweeten bonuses given to victorious breeders from in-state.

This action by state government to aid industry is what one expects from Democrats, but in Kentucky Republicans are coming on board.

Mr. Beshear and GOP leaders are working on details of a bill to be submitted in this legislative session, which began Tuesday. The major sticking point is whether casino locations would be awarded exclusively to horse tracks, be opened up to any bidder, or a mix of both. It isn't clear how that question will be resolved or how much casino revenue would go to the horse-racing industry

To be fair, there is opposition within the Republican ranks, but probably not enough to prevent the measure from getting on the ballot.

The Dismal Political Economist regards lotteries and casino gambling as a voluntary tax on stupidity, but given that there is so much stupidity it would be a shame not to tax it.  Also, since taxing something is supposed to produce less of it, maybe casino gambling produces less stupidity.  Results so far, though are not comforting. 

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