10 observations at the end of this election week

1.) One party’s strategy this year involved getting far more people to vote, while another’s seemed to involve having fewer people vote; the more democratic approach prevailed.

2.) Meg should’ve told Mitt: Money helps, but it ain’t everything.

3.) It’s not just W who calls Karl Rove “turd blossom” now; a lot of rich, anonymous donors must be clamoring for their money back.

4.) You can read, watch or listen to your news from whatever outlets you want, but eventually reality comes crashing in.

5.) Picture an empty chair, on which sits a binder full of women who ride horses and carry bayonets; now think of in whose favor all of these campaign memes worked.

6.) A slow adjustment, with small changes marking the way from old to new, is evolution; an overnight change is more like mutation.

7.) When a party leader talks tough – even in the heat of battle – about picking up 25 seats, and in the end only picks up seven, there are consequences.

8.) Even 40 years of incumbency can’t save a candidate from himself.

9.) Don’t mess with Jerry Brown.

10.) Donald Trump is an a—hat.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Publius


    I get it. Republicans get more government hand outs than Democrats. Thanks for the insight.

    Though I think SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are broken and ill concieved entitlement programs, they are not “free”. The majority of the people recieving benefits paid into them.

    Not taking someones money in taxes is not a handout. Example:I am walking down a dark alley and a mugger decides not to rob me. The next day the mugger comes up to me and says “So……What will you do with the money I gave you, last night?”

    For a minute I lost faith in our Republic, but now I am glad that the following interest groups were not swayed by government benefits.

    -United Auto Workers
    -Single Moms and Single Women
    -Union Members
    -The Green Energy Industry
    -Government Workers
    -Welfare Recipients/Food Stamps/99 weeks of Unemployment
    -College Students
    -23-26 year old dead beats that won’t buy health insurance

  • John W

    Re: 51

    I won’t deny that many who make up the Democratic coalition fall into the “takers” category, to use Paul Ryan’s term. However, I am none of the groups you listed above; but I’m part of the coalition and have had the good fortune to never be in the “taker” column. Well, come to think of it, that’s not true. I’m on Medicare. The GI Bill paid for part of my college education. My tuition covered less than half of what it cost to provide that education. Property taxes paid for my K-12 education. There are plenty of me who lean Democratic, or “un-Republican.” Unless you think the 51% who voted for Obama is made of of nothing but freeloaders.

    It also is true that many who vote Republican are “takers” and union members but are also God, Guns and anti-gay types. West Virginia is a pretty good example. It’s why Ohio, a big union state, often votes Republican.

    As for SS and Medicare, I will agree with you on SS — although the amount paid in will eventually be enough to cover only about 75% of scheduled benefits, once the Trust Fund has been depleted. However, in the case of Medicare, the taxes paid in don’t begin to cover the cost. Medicare payroll taxes only cover Medicare Part A, and the lifetime amount most people pay in will be far short of the hospital benefits they will receive in retirement. The premiums we pay for Medicare Part B coverage (doctors and outpatient services) cover only 25% of Part B cost, with rest picked up by the general fund. Same for prescription drug coverage.

    As for taxes not paid due to deductions, both liberal and conservative economists agree that things like the mortgage interest deduction are aptly named “tax expenditures,” because they are no different than if you submitted a bill to the government for your mortgage interest and they sent you a check back to cover part of it. It’s a subsidy that benefits a relatively small slice of the population (the Bay Area being a big part of that slice).

  • Elwood

    The Petreaus comic opera gets funnier every day.

    Who’s boffing who, and who’s complaining about it.

    Coming soon: Hilary’s lesbian lover and the Ayrab smoking dope in the oval office.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    OK you old dudes: Who is more attractive, Paula or Jill?

  • Elwood

    @ 54


    No contest.

  • John W

    Re: 53

    Coming soon: I’m pretty sure there is something going on between Lindsey and John (Graham and McCain). They seem angrier since Joe Lieberman left the threesome.

  • For Liberty

    John (Re 46),

    “They are not for “big government,” but are for a lot of stuff that adds up to that.”

    Unfortunately, many Americans do not perceive that when they accept “a lot of (government) stuff”, they almost invariably surrender a degree of freedom or control.

    I believe one of our founders has taught that when we give up our liberty for more security, we neither deserve liberty nor security and therefore lose both (Ben Franklin).