November 7, 2012

Posted by orrinj at 9:27 PM


Boehner Extends Olive Branch on 'Fiscal Cliff' (Reuters, 11/07/12)

House Speaker John Boehner offered Wednesday to pursue a deal with a victorious President Barack Obama that will include higher taxes "under the right conditions" to help reduce the nation's staggering debt and put its finances in order.

"Mr. President, this is your moment," Boehner told reporters, speaking about the "fiscal cliff" that will hit in January. "We want you to lead."

Boehner said House Republicans are asking Obama "to make good on a balanced approach" that would including spending cuts and address government social benefit programs.

"Let's find the common ground that has eluded us," Boehner said while congratulating the president on winning a second term. 

Home Prices Up 7.6% From Year Ago (CONOR DOUGHERTY, 11/07/12, WSJ)

Home prices appreciated in a growing number of cities during the third quarter, the latest evidence that the real estate recovery is gaining momentum and breadth.

The median price for an existing single-family home was $186,000 in the third quarter, up 7.6% from a year earlier and the largest year-over-year growth since 2006, according to a report Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors. 

Posted by orrinj at 5:32 AM



President Obama won re-election primarily because he did so well with two key, and expanding, constituencies: Hispanics and members of the Millennial Generation. Throughout the campaign, Democratic pundits pointed to these two groups as being the key difference makers. They were right.

Let's start with Hispanics, arguably the biggest deciders in this election. Exit polling shows Obama winning this group -- which gave up to two-fifths of their vote to George Bush -- by over two to one. In 2008, Obama improved his winning margin with Latino voters from 67% in 2008 to 69% in 2012. And for the first time they represented 10% of the overall electorate.

Obama and the Democrats went after this constituency, taking some risks along the way about a backlash among whites. Obama's move to not deport young illegals if they came to this country as a child and met certain other criteria blurred any negative impact from a still weak economy. In contrast, Romney's platform of more or less making life so horrible that illegals leave canceled out all the GOP candidate's credible economic and social proposals that might have appealed to this group.

...who've grown up in an America where race doesn't matter, you need to stop running on race.

Posted by orrinj at 5:20 AM


A Status Quo Election (Fred Barnes, 11/07/12, Weekly Standard)

[T]here was huge hole in the GOP field.  The entire younger generation of smart, attractive Republicans didn't run:  Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Pat Toomey.  They were missed.  Several of them might have been stronger presidential candidates than Romney.  No doubt some or all of them will run in 2016.

They represent the Republican future in the best possible way.  They are the heirs of Ronald Reagan and advocates of a reform conservatism that is more relevant than ever, given the country's fiscal mess and foreign policy troubles.

No doubt the media will insist that Republicans must change, must sprint to the center, must embrace social liberalism, must accept that America is destined to play a less dominant role in the world.  All that is hogwash, which is why Republicans are likely to reject it.  Their ideology is not a problem.

But there is also a hole in the Republican electorate.  There aren't enough Hispanics.  As long as two-thirds of the growing Hispanic voting bloc lines up with Democrats, it will be increasingly difficult (though hardly impossible) for Republicans to win national elections.  When George W. Bush won a narrow reelection in 2004, he got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote.  If Romney had managed that, he would have come closer to winning.  He might even have won.

So we're left with four more years of Obama, the man with no plan and no mandate.  It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could have a successful second term with a booming economy and a de-polarized Washington.

Posted by orrinj at 5:16 AM


Study finds exercise adds to life expectancy, even for obese (Melissa Healy, 11/07/12, Los Angeles Times)

So, what's it worth to lace up those sneakers and break a sweat for about 30 minutes a day? About 3.5 extra years of life, on average -- and about 4.2 additional years for those willing to step up the intensity or put in closer to an hour a day of brisk walking or its equivalent, according to a new study.

Even for the severely obese -- those with a body mass index above 35 -- exercising for about 2.5 hours a week at moderate intensity or for 75 minutes at vigorous levels puts average life expectancy a notch above that of a normal-weight person who is sedentary, the research shows.

It's no surprise that exercise is good for you and will help you live longer. But the study published Tuesday by the journal PLoS Medicine sounds a loud wake-up call to "healthy weight" couch potatoes who believe their good BMIs will ensure them a long life.

Even for people with a BMI between 20 and 25, those who told researchers they were physically inactive were far more likely to die in the next decade or so than were overweight or obese exercisers. Among the 431,479 study participants over the age of 40, the sedentary were almost twice as likely to die during the course of the study than were participants who were highly active.

"This finding may convince currently inactive persons that a modest level of physical activity is 'worth it' for health benefits, even if it may not result in weight control," the study authors wrote.

10,000 steps