poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Jan. 27, 2008 . Time: 9:58 a.m.

Carolina results Entry:


Carolina results

Obama wins . . . by a landslide. And yet, demographics triumph again.

Obama wins the vote from Black voters of all ages by at least 73%. Yet, he loses the non-Black vote from all votes over 29. Edwards wins the non-Black vote ages 30 and up, tying with Hillary for ages 60 and up. (Source: CNN.)

Given this, one might ask, why didn't Edwards come in 2nd rather than a distant third? Fascinatingly, he won the White vote in a state that I believe is about 50% White. He didn't just win it - he won by a landslide. If there was any doubt about the affect of race in South Carolina, Obama came in a distant third among White voters with 24% of the vote versus 36% for Hillary and 40% for Edwards! The "White vote" was split between Hillary and Edwards. However, Hillary's 2nd place finish is a pretty clear indication that Black voters who didn't vote for Obama voted for her, a good sign for her in my opinion. (Source: Washington Post) Shocking: the order of the candidates was REVERSED among white and black voters.

Going back to the CNN poll, Edwards, who as mentioned above, WON the election among whites, got less than between 2 and 4% of the vote among black voters!! Hillary meanwhile averaged about 20% in that group.

I think Hillary's presence in the election made it seem a little less unbalanced than it was. Imagine if it were only Edwards and Obama -- Edwards would have most likely won the white vote while getting about 3% of black votes! What a divided state. Personally, I think it's a really bad sign when a vote in a state is that divided on racial lines.

Enough about race - what about gender? Race trumped gender, as evidenced by Obama's victory, so we'll consider on Hillary and Edwards. Among voters who voted for Hillary or Edwards, women preferred Hillary by a factor of 2 to 1, 30% to 16%. Among men who voted for Hillary or Edwards, the two were tied, 23% to 23%.

9:58 a.m. - Jan. 27, 2008


red letter

Today was an excellent day. First, I got great news. My sister got into business school at Stan*ford! First of all, Stan*ford is a great school and I think she'd really enjoy going there. Second, Stan*ford is probably the most selective B school in the country, so it's quite an honor for her. I'm very proud.

Second, the stock market went up. In particular, several of my stocks went up. A lot.

As a matter of interest, I have now owned my house for 1.5 years. If you believe zil*low, it's appreciated about $16,500 since I bought it. I don't believe it, unfortunately. However, I bought it for more than zil*low thought it was worth. In any event, I figured I could sell it for $8 K more than I bought it for, which would cover about 50% of the realtor costs. Anyway, hopefully the housing slump will work itself out one of these days.

7:20 p.m. - Jan. 23, 2008


marathon movie

I'm going to see the marathon movie on Thursday. It's only showing theaters for one night. The trailer gives me chills.

8:44 p.m. - Jan. 22, 2008


WSJ on caffeine

As usual, the WSJ has an interesting take on the caffeine story. Their opening quote:

The latest research seems only to muddy the picture. A study by Kaiser Permanente in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this week reports that women who consumed the equivalent of two cups of coffee or more daily had twice the miscarriage rate as those who avoided caffeine. Yet a study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in the journal Epidemiology this month, found that drinking more moderate amounts of caffeine didn't increase a woman's risk of miscarrying.

Anyway, that's not really the point of the article, but it's interesting nonetheless.

A couple of other interesting quotes:

other problems can doom the pregnancy. Some can be tested for, and treated, if doctors investigate. But they seldom do. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends looking into possible causes after a woman has had two consecutive miscarriages. But because miscarriages are so common and so often thought to be genetically based, many OB/gyns still don't look for other explanations unless a woman has had at least three. And many insurers won't pay for tests to investigate "recurrent miscarriage" until a woman has had three.

6:21 p.m. - Jan. 22, 2008


what not to do

For some reason, it really bugs me when the medical community puts out lists of "can't dos" for pregnant women. Let's add caffeine to the list of things pregnant women can't be seen drinking in public.

There are a few reasons this bugs me. The first reason is "non-pregnant people telling pregnant women what to do." I can't put my finger on it, but it just bugs me, everything about it. Including the picture in the CNN article.

The second thing about it that bugs me is that people treat their bodies and the bodies of their children like crap. Look at the rise in childhood obesity. Why is it a pregnant woman who has a single drink in a bar more likely to get comments than the mom who's trailing along her toddlers as she buys Fru*it Loops or Cheetos in the grocery store? (Mmmm, Cheetos. Love those.) Or how about the Dad who gets pizza for their kids when Mom's away for the night?

The irony is that for most of these sins (caffeine and alcohol in particular) they have the most effect early in pregnancy before it's obvious to a stranger. By the time it's obvious a women's pregnent, it's probably OK to chug a few lattes daily.

I remember when I was about 17 seeing my D*d ask my aunt if she should really be having a glass of wine (at a wedding)? She told him what to do with his advice, but she's the type who doesn't care what people say. If something like that happened to me, it would really piss me off. Ironically, the rumor that women in Ire**land used to have a pint of Guinness a day is no rumor - doctors used advise that post-operative patients and expectant and nursing mothers drink Guinn*ess. Nowadays, that's not advised, but it's just another example of changing advice. Hopefully it's changing for the better.

6:22 p.m. - Jan. 21, 2008


nevada numbers

Nevada's over - and unlike NH where people voted heavily on gender lines, it seems people voted on racial and religious lines. As I pointed out in my last post, the Dems are virtually identical on the issues, so it's not a big surprise. Let's look at the numbers.

In Nevada, 34% of whites backed Obama (52% Clinton) versus 83% of blacks for Obama (14% Clinton). Meanwhile, 26% of Latinos voted Obama (64% Clinton). This is a significant divide.

In Nevada, 94% of Mormons backed Romney. (If you think that makes sense, consider if 94% of Catholics chose a Catholic candidate over a Protestant one, or vice versa.) In another note, they are 7% of Nevada's population but made up 25% of caucus goers.

51% of women supported Clinton (38% Obama) versus 46% of men (40% Obama). This is a MUCH smaller divide than in NH.

12:04 p.m. - Jan. 20, 2008


many rants today

Yet another person's opinion. I don't agree with much of what he says, but he makes a valid point. Not only do we have a habit electing white men in this country, we also elect a certain type of white man - not overtly Italian, or Irish or Russian, etc. He points out we've never elected anyone with a name ending in a vowel. Also excluded are Mcs and O's and skis. According to one survey, 24% of this country is Catholic - and we've only had one Catholic president.

I highly recommend doing this exercise - it's definitely necessary to read the candidate's full statements. What is most striking is how similar all the candidates are. It's very difficult to justify candidate choice based on issues. I haven't finished it yet, but one Democratic candidate consistently has less detailed plans for the other. When I found out which one, that person is definitely off the list. I suspect it's Edwards. We'll see.

Well, my results were: 1.) Hillary 37 pts (Agreed on Social Security, National Security, Energy, Immigration and Economy), Edwards 27 pts (Agreed on Social Security, National Security, Energy, Immigration and Economy), and Obama 13 pts (Agreed on Iraq, Energy, Affirmative Action and Education.) Basically, I agree with Hillary and Edwards on most stuff - Hillary more strongly - except Iraq and Education. And apparently Obama was the one with the poorly written / short answers to many of the questions. I'm not sure if these are excerpts from speeches or a staffer put them together. Washington Post readers in general agreed with me. The test is worth doing; it's useful that it's done through a blind and quite revealing in the candidate's similarity.

One quote (unknown) which really annoyed me is this: "For example, the wealthiest investors in America pay only 15 percent on their investment income, far less than what regular families pay on their wages. I will restore fairness to the tax code by repealing George Bush's tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year, restoring the top capital gains rate to 28 percent, and closing abusive tax loopholes."

ALL Americans pay 15% capital gains, not just the "wealthiest investors." I started investing in grad school when I was "making" $21,000 a year. Some people might view the 15% rate as an incentive to invest! Unfortunately, most people seem to have no desire or will to take advantage of it. Probably there are many who can't afford it, but many can.

Anyway, I support a graded capital gains tax (ie more gains, more tax), but I think raising the capital gains tax on all investments in an excellent incentive for middle class Americans not to save.

10:01 a.m. - Jan. 19, 2008


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