## Repost - Seculars

I first posted this the day after Obama won his second term. Much of the talk was about how Republicans needed to make inroads with Hispanic voter. While true, I looked at the numbers of non-religious who also were needed.

The day after the SCOTUS same sex marriage decision, this might be something to think about again. So much of what Republicans have said in the last day has been turning off an important group of voters:

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Republicans have been focusing today on the need to get Hispanic votes. While that is true, there is another chunk which we should also aim at. Look at these two numbers from the exit polls:

Are you?
               Total   Obama   Romney
Hispanic        10%     71%     27%

How often do you attend religious services?
               Total   Obama   Romney
Never           17%     62%     34%

So, Romney got 27% of the 10% of people who are Hispanic, but didn't do much better among the non-religious at 34% of the larger 17% group. If Romney had gotten 5% more of the secular vote he would have added 0.85% to his vote total. Getting 5% more of Hispanics only nets 0.5% more.

Every time Republicans talk values, every time they talk about god, even every time they end a speech with "God bless America," they are turning off a large chunk of population. If we are to go after the Hispanic vote, can we also make an effort to go after the secular vote?

Update: I worked it through with the numbers. Bottom line, a 5% shift of Hispanics would lower Obama's victory margin from 2.8 million to 1.6 million. A shift of 5% of Seculars would lower the margin from 2.8 to 0.8 mil. Doing both would have put Romney in the White House:

(Updated again to add the estimated results if both shift--assuming they are independent groups.)

## Can's only *

Here are three articles I've come across about recycling which kind of boil down to the same central points:

1) Can recycling is good
2) Glass recycling is generally bad
3) Paper is iffy (especially since newsprint has diminished as part of the waste stream)

American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why
From the start, it was hard to argue that glass should have been allowed in the curbside mix. It’s the heaviest of recyclables but has always been of marginal value as a commodity. In the rough-and-tumble sorting facilities, a large share of it breaks and contaminates valuable bales of paper, plastic and other materials.

Today, more than a third of all glass sent to recycling facilities ends up crushed. It is trucked to landfills as daily cover to bury the smell and trap gases. The rest has almost no value to recyclers and can often cost them to haul away.

Here's another one:

Recycle Smarter than a Third Grader!

As Professor Benjamin explains, making an unused tissue out of a used one wastes resources and hardly benefits the environment. Melting and casting aluminum cans, though, both saves resources and benefits the environment. But you don’t need to exhort the aluminum company to save those resources: saving scraps is in its own interest.

Penn and Teller: Recycling is Bullshit!

And the always entertaining Penn and Teller. The best is the multiple bins scene, where they add 6 bins to the usual three, including red for biohazardous waste like diapers and feminine products, and a brown bin for "lightly soiled toilet paper" which tested really well in Japan last year! The suckers they presented these bins to blithely said that they could follow that regime and that it made sense.

* The title comes from the stencil used at my college on all the aluminum-can recycling bins. A whole campus of misused apostrophes.
As Professor Benjamin explains, making an unused tissue out of a used one wastes resources and hardly benefits the environment. Melting and casting aluminum cans, though, both saves resources and benefits the environment. But you don’t need to exhort the aluminum company to save those resources: saving scraps is in its own interest. - See more at: http://www.perc.org/articles/recycle-smarter-third-grader-learn-liberty#sthash.xc5zWrrj.dpuf

## Nasty piece on Ryan...from the right

Joanne Butler in an opinion piece at the Daily Caller writes:
For those conservatives who are shocked by Ryan favoring Obama’s secret trade deal, I say: you must have selective and short memories.

[...] Many conservatives cheered when Dave Brat beat Cantor, but in a way both men won. Brat is in the House, while Cantor resigned soon after the primary and took a $3.4 million job at an investment bank. If Cantor’s punishment is a$3.4 million paycheck, they can punish me for half the price.

Back to Paul Ryan:  you’d have to be very naïve not to believe that he sees a huge payday ahead the moment he leaves Congress. And being a numbers guy (unlike Cantor) he would add value to any hedge fund or investment bank.
Isn’t this what being an American is all about? Work hard, acquire knowledge and skills, and the marketplace will reward you?
She's straight-up accusing Ryan of determining his positions on things like trade with an eye to goosing up his value when he leaves the Congress and gets a cushy lobbyist job.