Thursday, September 04, 2008

How many saw her? 

At the end of our broadcast last night, I said to Ed and Duane Patterson of the Hugh Hewitt Show that the most important thing this morning would be to see what was the rating for the Palin speech. Here's the answer: Palin Nabs Highest '08 Broadcast TV Convention Ratings:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin�s speech during Wednesday night�s Republican National Convention bested Democratic speeches from Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and, in some cases, Barack Obama in preliminary ratings.

Speaking last night, along with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Gov. Palin took in a 5.4 rating/8 share on NBC, according to preliminary overnight household data from Nielsen Media Research, measuring 55 markets across the United States.

In terms of this year�s conventions, the preliminary rating for NBC�s coverage last night is higher than any other night of the convention on the broadcast networks, including Sen. Obama�s nomination acceptance speech on Aug. 28.

However, the ratings are preliminary and are subject to change.
The Economist reports that final figures for Barack Obama's convention speech was for 38 million viewers, "twice the audience that viewed John Kerry�s address to his party in 2004, but not as many that watched big football games earlier in the year." Note that preliminary numbers will have to be updated, so we don't know that she beat Obama in all markets or on all networks. But no doubt she is the topic at every water cooler and across every fence and in every coffee shop in America today.

UPDATE: Via Drudge, total viewership 37.2 million on four fewer networks than Obama's 38.4 million. Within the margin of error, to say the least.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hot time 

It's been so busy I haven't posted here. Be sure to follow the Twitter feed for updates. Hear us tonight 8-10p CT at AM 1280 the Patriot.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Go ahead, prove me wrong 

Minneapolis city councilor Gary Schiff: liar:
The Minneapolis City Council is considering a resolution that would require passengers to pay a $1 surcharge per cab ride during the Sept. 1-4 Republican National Convention. A subcommittee will vote on it Wednesday. Final approval rests with the full council and Mayor R.T. Rybak.

City Council member Gary Schiff, the measure�s author, said he�s not worried about irritating visitors to the Twin Cities by targeting them for fare increases. �Republicans will be very generous and heavy tippers,� he predicted.

Schiff said he wanted to tailor a fare surcharge so that most Twin Cities residents would not be affected. �I�m targeting it to a time when most city residents won�t have to pay it,� Schiff said.

He suggested most residents won�t be taking cabs that week because it will be �next to impossible� to grab one during the convention because taxis will be so busy shuttling visitors around the city for convention parties and events.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are trying to cash in on the GOP convention in ways beyond cab fares. They are also selling licenses to bar owners who want to extend their hours of operation during the convention. Only a handful of bars have so far applied for the licenses, possibly because of their $2,500 cost, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

While the Twin Cities are seen as a liberal enclave, Schiff said he wasn�t deliberately trying to target Republicans with the fare increase. If Democrats were holding their convention in the Twin Cities, he would have raised the same resolution, he said. �Or if it was Alcoholics Anonymous or the real estate leaders of America,� he said.
Here is the schedule for the Minneapolis Convention Center for the next three months. The American Diabetes Association is having an expo on October 11th. Tax it! Show me one of those events you would tax. Target Center?

And if it's about there not being enough cabs for the locals, didn't you just allow more cabs to enter the marketplace? How about making that market truly free? You were against exploitation when it was done by the government cab monopoly your predecessors created, but not when it's a chance to line the government's purse?

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Hide the women 

I heard this joke long ago, that the prostitution business dries up in convention cities when the economists come to town.

About 30 years ago, we were at an economics convention, doing the usual stuff -- meeting people, going to paper presentations, interviewing candidates and/or interviewing for jobs, looking at book displays, drinking like fish, etc. After about a day and a half, one of the bellhops at the convention hotel asked us, "What do you guys do for a living, anyway?"

We proudly informed him we were economists. "Why do you ask?"

"I've never seen a convention like this," he said. "More booze than I've ever seen before, but no broads. What's wrong with you guys? Where are the hookers?"

The St. Paul police are saying that RNC conventioneers will be so busy they won't have time to use the services of ladies of the evening.
St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh said his department discussed the issue with police in New York and Boston, which hosted the 2004 Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively.

"And what they have reported to us is that is that there is not an increase in that kind of traffic," Walsh said.

"There is so much going on, I don't know that there is a lot of unstructured time to be involved in any other activities."
I can tell you economics conventions have lots of free time ... and that's when the booze happens. I can also tell you this was not true at the 1984 AEA meetings in San Francisco where a certain A.B.D. job-seeker stumbled to a coffee shop at 11pm for an impromptu meeting with a small college that was interviewing and whose interviewer was friend of a friend; said job-seeker was approached once going to the coffee shop and twice going back.

But it hasn't happened in many years, at least not to that job-seeker (who learned the words "no money" worked well.) Instead, economists write about prostitution.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Bummer of a multiplier, Howard 

The Democratic National Convention Committee told the city of Denver that its convention would provide $160-$200 million in economic impact. Ed Morrissey reports that they might be a few bucks short.
According to the Denver Post via Politico, Denver businesses have been disappointed by the amount of money spent locally by the Democratic National Convention Committee. While over 2,000 listings for local companies have made the DNCC�s directory, little actual revenue has been received by locals for the convention itself. The DNCC seems more comfortable working with vendors they already know, from as far away as New York City.
A recent paper by Robert Baade, Robert Baumann and Victor Matheson (BBM) argues that these claims of economic impact are largely bogus. The economic impact of all these conventioneers on Denver or St. Paul will be offset by local persons leaving the city while the conventions -- and all the traffic snarls and crowded bars and restaurants they entail -- go on. What happened to Broadway plays while the GOP met in New York in 2004? Down 20%. BBM cite a study by Craig Depken and Dennis Coates that showed the 1992 GOP convention in Houston "reduced taxable sales by $19 million and reduced sales tax revenues by approximately $1.4 million.� BBM find that there is no discernible effect of conventions on employment or personal income. Perhaps part of the reason is that conventions don't spend all their dollars locally.

The same applies, by the way, for St. Paul, but at least one group is figuring out how to grab a few dollars.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Review - Republican Convention Speakers 

Now the politicians and it was quite the crew:

Senator Tom Coburn of OK is one terrific senator with his head on straight. He shared the problems we will face rather shortly if the entitlement programs and other government waste are not addressed. Two are listed below:
1 - By 2030 all government entitlement programs except SS and Medicare will have to be dropped.
2 - Government waste - $300,000,000,000/year. Biggest contributors: Medicare - $80,000,000,000; Medicaid - $30,000,000,000; $15,000,000,000 in NYC alone. DOD - $50,000,000,000. The list continues.
The belief that we can spend our way to prosperity through government programs has NEVER worked - a nation spends its way to oblivion. Senators Obama and Clinton and supporters - take heed. Nations or governments that collapsed, failed because of loose fiscal policy, including far too many give-away programs.

Senator Norm Coleman - gave a stemwinder of a speech, including the need for a domestic oil source (not ANWR), border security, energy independence, reduced spending, etc. He was his best! If he believes and implements what he said, he will be remembered as a very strong senator. His strength is the UN and its behavior.

Governor Tim Pawlenty - also gave a terrific speech. The audience thanked him for his vetoes this year. If not for the six RINOs, we would not be facing the largest tax increase in 150 years. Governor Pawlenty held the line on all other DFL nonsense.

Congressman John Kline - low key as usual but emphasized the importance of voting and that elections have consequences. This election is truly important.

Now, our other Congressional District (CD) Candidates and they are an OUTSTANDING crew!

CD 1 - Brian Davis - low key but really knows what's happening in Washington. He gets the ramifications of tax increases on the average American, the energy problems, the impact of corn going to ethanol and the resulting repercussions. He's married, has four kids, is a physicist and physician - this guy is smart! More info here.

CD 3 - Erik Paulsen - did not speak. Information here.

CD 4 - Ed Matthews - dynamic speaker! He's a CPA (and attorney) and you wonder if the CPA side can deliver - let me tell you, this guy delivers in spades! He had the hall on its feet. Betty McCollum is not safe with this guy running and run he does - energy, facts, wit, a long shot? Maybe not. Check his website, here.

CD 5 - Barb Davis White - Keith Ellison has to be very, very nervous. True Mpls. is so DFL one wonders if they'll ever get rid of their blues but if anyone can crack it, Barb Davis White can. She is doing what needs to be done. Another unbelievably dynamic speaker! She takes the stage, knows her stuff, and delivers in spades. Check out her website here.

CD 7 - Glen Menze - Glen lives in a district that lives Republican and votes Democrat. This year may be the best chance to unseat the incumbent, Colin Peterson. Why? Taxes, taxes, taxes - all imposed by Democrats. Glen is not low key and not dynamic but simply a rock-solid midwestern
guy who understands that elitist attitudes are not what made Americans and CD 7 residents great. Learn more about Glen here.

Our candidates are absolutely first rate - help, donate, do whatever you can - we have a real shot at making some headway this year. Remember, taxes, taxes, taxes - all Democrat Party imposed. Our candidates are candidates with common sense, ideas and solutions.

The closing speaker was Karl Rove. There is a reason he is so influential. There is not a Democrat in sight who has Rove's grasp of the issues and ramifications of various outcomes. He is so knowledgeable. His comments are backed with data. He understands how people think, how they are motivated. He is humorous and witty. Even if you don't agree with his policies, he's worth hearing because he is a terrific speaker.


Review - Republican State Convention 

King has written a number of posts about the statewide Republican Convention held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Rochester. I attended the convention as a delegate and also the State Central Committee meeting that followed the convention as a Delegate-at-Large.

Here are some of my observations starting with the party and Ron Paulers (RPers).

Talks were by party officials and committee chairs. King covered the details. However, I want to make an observation about the behavior of some people on the floor of the convention. While I have some concerns about they way some issues were handled, all-in-all under the current circumstances, I think the party did ok. Changes need to be made but it was also known that the Ron Paul contingent (RPers) might prove a bit testy. They have been studying and communicating amongst themselves for months. They share information and ideas as to how to work the various state systems and they are very well funded. They had a good many delegates but many were first-timers. It takes a round to learn the system.

The Convention Rules were released close to the convention (too close? who knows? There's always room for criticism.) and review time was limited but there were only seven pages and they could be reviewed in less than 30 minutes. Thus, most people had no problem reading through the rules before the convention started. Unfortunately, even after the rules were approved by attendees, the RPers kept trying to suspend the rules. After the 3rd try, the other attendees became impatient. When the 4th, 5th, 6th (?) attempts were made, there was shouting and some boorish behavior. The RPers were outnumbered significantly. All their attempts to change the rules failed, substantially.

My personal opinion is that the McCain team made tactical errors: posting their list of desired delegates and having floor people attempt to sway votes were practices that were foolish and degrading. We're smart enough to make our own decisions. For the record, they didn't get all their desired candidates.