Stories by Andrew Pavelyev

Andrew Pavelyev is a scientist specializing in mathematical modeling in medicine. He emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1992 and now resides in Charlotte, NC.

Confirmed: The Ames Straw Poll is Useless

January 4th, 2012 at 8:33 am 9 Comments

We have just received yet another confirmation of the virtual uselessness of the Ames Straw Poll. The proud winner of the straw poll, and Michelle Bachmann came in sixth in the Iowa caucuses (and in fact finished dead last among all serious contestants–Jon Huntsman just ignored Iowa). Furthermore, she only managed to win just slightly more votes in the caucus than in the straw poll, even though the turnout was seven or eight times greater!


Middle Class Taxpayers Still Lose

December 29th, 2011 at 9:45 am 25 Comments

The recent fight over the extension of the payroll tax holiday has once again shown that the Republican Party does not particularly care about the middle class tax burden. The party is quite interested though in cutting taxes on the highest earners. What gets completely ignored is the fact that most billionaires already have lower effective tax rates than some segments of the middle class.


The GOP Fumbles the Payroll Tax Cut

December 5th, 2011 at 12:00 pm 115 Comments

The Republicans have finally found a tax increase many of them can get behind. Unfortunately it’s the first middle class tax increase in decades. Make no mistake, failure to renew the payroll tax cut would mean a significant tax increase.

If nothing is done, then starting next month everybody who works for a living will have an extra 2% of their pay deducted from each and every paycheck, and everybody will surely notice that.


Rubio’s False Bio: Why It Matters

October 24th, 2011 at 12:12 am 98 Comments

The more I think about the Rubio scandal, the more I am troubled by it. It’s not just that having lived in the Soviet Union for a quarter century, I find it offensive when people falsely claim themselves or their families to have been victims of Communist oppression. I am really concerned about the “Palinization” of the political right.

If you are a politician caught in a lie, I want you to take it like a man, show some humility, admit the lie in a straightforward manner and apologize as sincerely as you can, then just move on (unless some more drastic step – e.g. resignation – is warranted).


Can Intrade Predict the 2016 Election Winners?

September 28th, 2011 at 5:56 pm 13 Comments

I completely agree with Eli Lehrer that the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee will be Romney. I also agree with his analysis of the reasons Republican nominations are decided on the question “Whose turn is it?” But what is completely lost in all the excitement over watching Mitt Romney vanquish one opponent after another is the intriguing question of who the next runner up will be.


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Unemployed for a Year. Who Speaks for Me?

August 22nd, 2011 at 12:19 pm 57 Comments

I received The Call exactly a year ago at 11:30 a.m. EDT. That was a bit early. For almost nine years I had worked from my home in Charlotte, NC for a small company in California, so calls from the office before noon my time were not frequent. When I heard that my boss, his boss and the HR director were on the phone, I did not need to hear another word from them to know that my life was about to change.


Bachmann’s Best Promise: $2 Gas

August 18th, 2011 at 2:21 pm 71 Comments

I have been quite critical of Michele Bachmann lately, but I will defend her whenever she is attacked unfairly. She has just promised that if elected she would bring the price of gas below $2 per gallon. This promise has been met with widespread derision, and even conservative outlets such as National Review doubt whether she can achieve this.

But I have no doubt: yes, she can!


Bachmann’s Bad Civics

August 15th, 2011 at 1:16 pm 96 Comments

Fresh from her win at the Ames Straw Poll, Michele Bachmann went on Meet the Press Sunday morning.

I cannot understand how any conservative can watch her and not be appalled by Rep. Bachmann’s decidedly unconservative approach to governing. She ignores basic civics and doesn’t understand that our country is a representative republic rather than a direct democracy.


The Straw Poll Scam

August 14th, 2011 at 12:10 pm 74 Comments

Why doesn’t the national Republican Party discourage the presidential hopefuls from participating in the Ames Straw Poll? While the benefits of this event to the Iowa GOP are perfectly clear, I don’t see any benefits to the party as a whole, and there may even be some harm.


Can Bachmann Count?

August 11th, 2011 at 7:57 am 32 Comments

Will Iowa voters challenge Michele Bachmann to clarify her incoherent fiscal views? On the one hand, capsule she adamantly opposed raising the debt ceiling and is now demanding a balanced budget this year. On the other hand, thumb she voted for the Ryan Budget.