Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How's Iraq doing?

Was listening to NPR yesterday, and they had a panel that was saying how support for the "surge" is increasing because people beleive that the "surge" is working. The proof is that the number of soldiers who died in Iraq in July was lower than in the last 6 months. Amazing! This is the same logic that says that if we have a cold day in October, then clearly, there is no such thing as global warming, because look - it's cold...

The real evidence of whether the "surge" (I just can't write that without using quotes) is working is looking at how the political process is working. From ALL - every single - accounts it is failing miserably...

Shiite-Sunni Imbalance Intensifies in Baghdad

The U.S. military says it believes that the Shia-led government in Baghdad is trying to cleanse the city of all Sunnis.

Sectarian violence has pushed most Sunnis into west Baghdad, and the Iraqi government is suspected of limiting basic services to the Sunnis in hopes of causing them to leave.

Though I've said this for forever - the SHI'ITES are the fundamentalists here - Shi'ites are in control in Iran. If they get in control of Iraq, that is a HUGE fundamentalist region that will destabilize the Middle East significantly...

Now, this is something that many Mid-East experts have been saying since the runup to the Iraq war - and yet politicians (including MANY democrats - HILLARY CLINTON) are saying that its the political process that has failed - and yet this was predicted BEFORE 3000+ troops died...


Looking back...

Since I haven't blogged in more htan 2 years, it is really amazing to look back at some of them - and get a nagging "I told you so" feeling in my gut...ugh!

I'm back...

I was gone for a came a calling, and then just as I was realizing that I could handle both life and this, I decided to start procrastinating everything away...because procrastination is the best excuse to not get anything done...

I swear, I have 4 television channels, and yet I can have the tv on all day, it is amazing, and frustrating...

The election which is coming up is just beginning to push me over the edge, so I want to start posting again...will see where this takes me...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Here is Spitzer's speech that he later refers to...


His frame is that of a "fighting liberal"...not the nurturing mother that Lakoff suggests...The response to Lakoff seems to be good from women and bad from its not as succesful...I need to check this out more...

As you can see, I have not been doing this much lately, busy with other things, and wanting to avoid it somewhat after the time invested in it before the election...

Good analysis of Framing...I'm gonna have to check up on Spitzer more, I've heard very good things...

I like this...

The FramersAlong with Mark Schmitt, I'm not a big fan of Lakoff's new book. As I've written many times, I think his analysis of the art and science of framing is right on the money, but I think his actual frames are just terrible. He's an idea man, not a political strategist. I'll repeat what I've said before. The mere fact that he frames the Democrats as "nurturant parents (mommies)" disqualifies him from political action. That frame is exactly what's killing us. It may be sexism or it may just be the times in which we live, but we should drop it like a hot potato. The Republicans have an economic framing model that's very successful and we can learn from it. They sell an optimistic, simple philosophy of "if only the government would get out of the way you can be successful." This means that if you aren't successful it's the government's fault. (And Democrats believe in government so they are actively working to keep you down.) Their frame is always, entirely, the frame of self reliance and self interest. They preach it as a moral good no matter what the situation. This is a notion that has a very long history in American culture and it's one that appeals to a very basic aspect of human nature. It has become the dominant strain in political discourse over the last thirty years. However, they know that Americans are not that simple minded about their own personal self interest. Even if they sign on to the philosophy of self interest it doesn't mean that they don't understand that they have much to gain with a generous redistributional government. (Hence the "lucky ducky" strategy.) Americans like certain things the government provides. So, the Republicans hire guys like Frank Luntz and spend millions of dollars polling and focus grouping to find out how to market this "you're on your own" philosophy to make it sound as if they will be guaranteed a better result if they do it the GOP way. They choose words and phrases that denigrate government, make Democrats appear to be corrupt and enslaved by "special" interests and make it sound as if people will be giving nothing up and gaining much by signing on to the Republican philosophy. But, even with all that they have not been able to completely destroy the liberal consensus. Therefore, they are forced to do things like sell social security destruction on two tracks. They are simultaneously trying to "save" something that poeple obviously value while at the same time convincing people that they will benefit far more if they sign on to the privatization bandwagon. But we have recently found out that after all this time they can't use the word "privatization" because people aren't buying it. People know enough to know "privatization" means they might lose money. This is very telling It says that while the Republicans have been able to move self interest to the front and center of political discourse, displacing the values of community and altruism as things people feel they ought to say when quizzed about such things. But they haven't managed to make people believe that government is their personal enemy or that it is in their self interest to reject all redistribution of wealth so that they might have more "opportunity." Self-interested people aren't ideologues. They'll take the best deal from wherever it comes. Therefore, I would submit that our rhetorical frames should begin to speak to the fact that properly run government is a good deal. Social Security is a guaranteed check that is always on time and comes every single month no matter how long you live. That's a good deal. And I think that we have to acknowledge that the altruistic, moral case for government is (temporarily, hopefully) on the decline and we need to argue in a way that accomodates that. On a separate track we must enlist the liberal clergy and others to begin to build the progressive values arguments back up, just as the Republicans continue to build their case for laissez-faire. But in the meantime, we need to realize that we are in an era of marketing to people's individual wants and desires and needs. This is how they view the world. I don't think we need to be dishonest, but I fear that we are going to be bulldozed over and over again, even if we win the battle for social security, if we try to hang our hats on the moral case for good government. Someday, perhaps, we can get there. But today I think that the singular success of the Republican era is persuading people that selfishness is a positive good. Little Aynnie Rand must be popping a Dexie and lighting a cig with satisfaction down in the third circle right now.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

You NEED to read this NOW!!

Ok, I've read it, and I'm getting the actual book...forget close doesn't matter...

What matters is that it shouldn't be close...for a while I was saying that it wasn't close because the people were stupid, but that isnt the is about framing the argument...

The Republicans are great at it, the democrats have been left behind... know Bush and all his ideas about taxes?


I do not support a birth tax. Every child born into the US has a birth tax of $100,000 on him that he will have to pay. I do not support a birth tax, that is why I do not support President Bush's policies of raising deficits now for babes to have to pay off in the future.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Exit polls analysis versus reported vote count

As much credit as I give myself for the accuracy of my vote predictions, that is muted significantly for two reasons:
1. Bush is in office
2. I'm not sure if the votes were accurately counted - and since there is no paper trail, there is not one damn thing that can be done about it.

This is an analysis that I found about exit polls vs. reported votes in this election...its just uncanny that in every other election (except FL in 2000, and a handful of states in 2002) exit polls have been spot on, and now all of a sudden they aren't, and they are always underestimating the Republican vote (and on top of that, republicans own these voting machines with no paper trail)...there is no explanation for that to me, except that something is terribly wrong here...THERE NEEDS TO BE A VERIFIABLE PAPER BALLOT FOR OUR VOTES!!!!! DEMOCRACY IS A STAKE!!! And, no, I'm not a conspiracy nut...I just can not think of any other explanation for this!!

Below is the full explanation (credit for this is given to Faun Otter):

Here is my analysis of exit polls Vs. supposed ballot counts.


Grab one site which lists the exit polls before they were "corrected.” Correction is the procedure by which the exit polls are retrofitted to match the figures provided by the vote counting machines. It is easily done by changing the exit poll results, such as the 2.00 a.m. flip-flop of the Nevada exit poll scores which was done without any change to the sample size.

A slightly less obvious sleight of hand is to alter the weighting. Weighting is the name for a multiplier used to correct sample subgroups to match the proportions in the whole of a state population. Thus an exit poll can be ‘corrected’ by saying something to the effect, “Oh well, the vote results show we must have under sampled Republicans and therefore we’ll multiply that subgroup of the exit poll sample by 1.5 to make our results fit the figures the ballot counting machines are spitting out.”

Here is one list as an example of raw exit poll data:

Then take a look at the results by state, such as on this chart:

There is a bit of math involved but don't worry, I taught market research at a University - a place where Republicans fear to tread, according to the media’s own polls! The Bush people argue that the exit polls are skewed by the methodology employed. It is odd that they don’t say what that error producing part of the methodology might be. A skew means a systematic error is introduced by the test protocol and causes a consistent shift in one direction.

IF this was true, then all the exit polls would show the same sort of shift from 'actual' results. The GOP offer an alternative argument that the exit polls are not large enough samples and therefore the results are off by a large random error.

IF this was true, then the exit polls should scatter on either side of the actual result,, especially if the final result is close to 50/50.What do we actually see when comparing exit polls with actual results?

There is skew - but ONLY in states which the Republicans had previously stated to be target states in play. The skew is in the same direction every time; that is to say in favor of Bush.

The exit poll results are not scattered about the mean as the alternative theory predicts. They are all on the Kerry side of the vote counts as issued by the states except for a hand full of states which hit amazingly close to the exit poll figures.

Here are the figures. They list the four contemporaneous and uncorrected exit polls. Kerry is listed first and Bush second in each pair of figures. Published = the figure presented as the vote count as of 10.00 a.m. EST on 11/3/04

AZ Poll one 45-55 Final 45-55 Published 44-55
CO Poll one 48-51 2nd 48-50 3rd 46-53 Published 46-53
LA Poll one 42-57 Final 43-56 Published 42-57
MI Poll one 51-48 Published 51-48 Published 51-48
IOWA Poll one 49-49 3rd 50-48 Final 49-49 Published 49-50
NM Poll one 50-48 2nd 50-48 3rd 50-48 Final 50-49 Published 49-50
ME 3rd 55-44 Published 53-45NV: 3rd 48-49 Published 48-51
AR: 3rd 45-54 Published 45-54MO Final 46-54 Published 46-53

These tracking polls were right where you would expect them to be and within the margin of error.

However, if we look at some other states, the figures are beyond curious. either the exit polls were wrong or the vote count is wrong:

WI Poll one 52-48 3rd 51-46 Final 52-47 Published 50-49
PA Poll one 60-40 3rd 54-45 Final 53-46 Published 51-49
OH Poll one 52-48 2nd 50-49 3rd 50-49 Final 51-49 Published 49-51
FL Poll one 51-48 2nd 50-49 3rd 50-49 Final 51-49 Published 47-52
MINN Poll one 58-40 3rd 58-40 Final 54-44 Published 51-48
NH Poll one 57-41 3rd 58-41 Published 50-49
NC Poll one 3rd 49-51 Final 48-52 Published 43-56

Taking the figures and measuring the size and direction of the poll to supposed vote count discrepancy, we find:

WI Bush plus 4%
PA Bush plus 5%
OH Bush plus 4%
FL Bush plus 7%
MINN Bush plus 7%
NH Bush plus 15%
NC Bush plus 9%

Our election results appear to have been tampered with to give Bush some unearned electoral votes.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Election predictions

Ok, well, since everyone else is doing it, I might as well. As you all know by now, I've worked my ass off for Kerry here in Florida. I've canvassed, worked an Edwards rally, phone banked, etc. I think I have changed some minds, but that being said, I dont think it will be enough this time.

Here are my election predictions: 49.2% Bush and 48.6% Kerry

Bush wins with 279 EVs, 259 for Kerry.

Bush gets all the states that he won in 2000 including FL and OH (I think Kerry made a mistake to focus so much on OH)...and also gains MO and NM...

except for NH (Kerry will take that one)...

So, that's my my dreams, Kerry would get both OH and FL which would be basically a landslide for Kerry and we could start getting this country on the right track again...but I'm not sure if the country is ready for that yet...they are still just too divided, and there is too little substance to the debate going on throughout the media...

I do think that the media is the problem, and I think that is where the Democrats need to focus in the future...the Republicans have been so successful in defining the media as being liberal, even though any impartial observer would think that was crazy...

The media is about ratings and sensationalism, and thats the way this election was wasn't about truth, it was about ratings, and what a shame for democracy...this election should have been about the issues and the real questions facing this country, but it wasn't...

That being said, I think that the questions will have to be faced soon by the Bush administration, and if they don't (hopefully) do too much damage, the Democrats will have a chance to fix my future predictions...if Bush wins...the Democrats will gain a house in Congress in two years...

Will see what happens...if Kerry wins, it will be wonderful...I just dont feel it right now...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

PSST!! All you people who claim that the media is liberal!!

Let's just SEE if they fact check this like they fact checked into Rather-gate...

If they do, then is that good journalism, or is that the media being liberal...thinka about it...

If they dont investigate this, then you admit that the media is NOT liberal!!

NY TImes Iraq Article

The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.
The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday.
United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.
The White House said President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed. American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program "60 Minutes."
Administration officials said Sunday that the Iraq Survey Group, the C.I.A. task force that searched for unconventional weapons, has been ordered to investigate the disappearance of the explosives.

more on link...

Now, the Bush administration is saying that there were no weapons there when the US invaded, and say that an NBC reporter was there and didn't see the weapons. This was POSTED in the Drudge Report, and of course...the media has picked it up (notice, when you click that it is from Drudge):

But tonight, NBCNEWS reported, once: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad! An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq. According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived. It is not clear why the NYTIMES failed to report the cache had been missing for 18 months -- and was reportedly missing before troops even arrived. "The U.S. Army was at the sight one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.

more on link...

Well, that reporter came out and SAID that they didn't know if they saw it or not, cause they weren't looking for these things...

No one disputes that the explosives are missing. The crucial question is exactly when they disappeared. Iraq’s Ministry of Science and Technology told the IAEA that the explosives were looted sometime in the seven weeks after U.S. forces showed up in Al-Qaqaa, when they presumably could have taken steps to secure the materials.
Three-week window
U.S. defense officials said Tuesday that the materials could have vanished during a period of about three weeks, between March 15, 2003, when inspectors for the IAEA confirmed that at least some of the materials were still stored under IAEA seal at Al-Qaqaa, and April 4, when U.S. troops arrived.
On March 15, said Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the IAEA, “the seals on the doors on the bunkers were checked at many of the bunkers to see if they were still there and hadn’t been tampered with, and that was the case.”


An NBC News crew that accompanied the U.S. soldiers who seized the base three weeks into the war said troops saw no sign of the missing HMX and RDX.
Reporter Lai Ling Jew, who was embedded with the Army’s 101st Airborne, 2nd Brigade, said Tuesday on MSNBC TV that the news team stayed at the base for about 24 hours.
“There wasn’t a search,” she said. “The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad. That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean, certainly some of the soldiers headed off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around.
“But as far as we could tell, there was no move to secure the weapons, nothing to keep looters away.”

The unit commander says the same thing (contradicting the White House spin)...
White House officials reasserted yesterday that 380 tons of powerful explosives may have disappeared from a vast Iraqi military complex while Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, saying a brigade of American soldiers did not find the explosives when they visited the complex on April 10, 2003, the day after Baghdad fell.But the unit's commander said in an interview yesterday that his troops had not searched the facility and had merely stopped there for the night.

A few days earlier, some soldiers from the division thought they had discovered a cache of chemical weapons that turned out to be pesticides. Several of them came down with rashes, and they had to go through a decontamination procedure. Colonel Anderson said he wanted to avoid a repeat of those problems, and because he had already seen stockpiles of weapons in two dozen places, did not care to poke through the stores at Al Qaqaa."I had given instructions, 'Don't mess around with those. It looks like they are bunkers; we're not messing around with those things. That's not what were here for,' " he said. "I thought we would be there for a few hours and move on. We ended up staying overnight."

And finally...the soldiers that DID look specifically for these weapons (which means that we could have secured these weapons, cause we were there)...said that they WERE there before the looting!!
It was even reported on Fox News!!,2933,83252,00.html

Col. John Peabody, engineer brigade commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said troops found thousands of 2-by-5-inch boxes, each containing three vials of white powder, together with documents written in Arabic that dealt with how to engage in chemical warfare.
Initial reports suggest the powder is an explosive, but tests are still being done, a senior U.S. official said. If confirmed, it would be consistent with what the Iraqis say is the plant's purpose, producing explosives and propellants.

According to U.N. weapons inspectors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Iraqis filled warheads and artillery shells with explosives at the site and manufactured bomb casings there. The activities, for conventional weaponry, were allowed under U.N. resolutions. But the resolutions, passed after the 1991 Gulf War, ban Iraq from possessing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the long-range missiles to deliver them.

So...that's the real story, let's see if the media gets to the bottom of it like they did the Rathergate...I just heard ABC news says that the White House had muddied the water enough so there will be no damage...well, it SHOULD be up to the MEDIA to CLEAR the waters...that's the JOB of the media...

So, let's see the liberal media in action...

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Great Moral outrage...

I am angered and outraged that a debate that focused on major issues of the United States, that will decide the future of this country has been hijacked by the fake "horror" of calling someone who is proudly and openly "out" as a lesbian, a lesbian. It is NOT an insult to call someone a lesbian. It is like calling someone who is black, black.

The last two mornings I have watched Good Morning America to hear the spin of the last few days, I have heard nothing else but a soundbite (repeatedly) of John Kerry saying that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian. Well, since Dick Cheney himself has said (repeatedly) that his daughter is gay, this isn't much of a surprise to me. Do people not know that being a lesbian and being gay are the same thing? Where is the news here? Perhaps that people are outraged when an openly gay homosexual is called as such? I thought the country was beyond that. If I called "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" a show that stars five gay people, would that be horrific and shocking, a moral outrage? No, it is simply the truth.

The real news to me is that if the media hadn't been spoon-fed this issue from the Republicans on the so aptly named "Spin Alley" after the debate, it would never have been a big issue to the American people. What a great power the media has. The big news to me is how important it is to me to be sure that the media uses that power honestly.

The media has failed the people of the United States. Instead of focusing on the issues, the issues that are going to affect peoples lives, they are focusing on the mock-outrage manufactured by the Republican spin machine to take the focus off of the issues. How will calling Mary Cheney a lesbian affect people's lives. It will not.

With the groundbreaking reporting of Brian Ross of ABC News about the injured soldiers coming back from Iraq, with the news from Ted Koppel that John Kerry's account and the official account of how he won his Silver Star was verified by everyone who witnessed it in Vietnam (which goes directly against a republican attack ad that greatly affected the election so far), with the reports coming out of Iraq where more than 20 of our brave soldiers have lost their lives in the last few days, where we have a record deficits with no end in site after having surpluses only 4 years ago, why is the focus on this instead? Where is the news? Where is the reporting?

The media has failed the American people with their exclusive coverage of this non-issue from the debate. It has failed me, it has failed you. The media has a responsibility and they need to use it wisely. They should be ashamed of themselves. At least Fox News has an excuse for being the spin machine of the Republican party.