Naked Poll Rats

It’s time for another episode of This American Election, a show for political junkies addicted to the horse race. This week’s show is called Naked Poll Rats. We’ll start the usual time of 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday. The number to call in to listen or comment is 347-324-3592. You can also listen by clicking here. The show will be archived at that link for your listening pleasure whenever you are available. My co-host Anthony and I will be discussing the following topics:

  • State of the Race
  • Joe Scarborough
  • Death Panels
  • Labor Department, fiscal cliffs, and bribes
  • Polls
  • Madonna Controversy
  • Anne Romney Controversy

This week’s special guest: John W. Smart! I hope you’ll join us for what promises to be one raucous hour!

Benghazi, Big Lies & Buckshot

The Washington Post decided they were going meta today. Like the terrorist themselves, they will bury the bones in a bonanza of blitz. Today, under the headline From video to terrorist attack: a definitive timeline of administration statements on the Libya attack they have thrown up several buckshots of bulleted quotes, and bolded some stuff that isn’t important in the hopes that you, dear reader, won’t be able to find the pertinent stuff under that mangled headline.

But for astute readers, the lies are there and so is the truth. WaPo will just leave it for you to sort out.

We will leave it to readers to reach their own conclusions on whether this is merely the result of the fog of war and diplomacy — or a deliberate effort to steer the storyline away from more politically damaging questions.

Now, to be fair, they did give the whole story 4 Pinocchios (the maximum), but they denied it the Upside-Down Pinocchio (defined as A statement that represents a clear but unacknowledged ‘flip-flop’ from a previously-held position”) which the story clearly deserves. My favorite quote in the whole piece might be this from Jay “good luck finding a job next year” Carney:

“It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials.

Bolding theirs. When Jay Carney uses “self-evident” in an answer, especially when there’s been deliberate attempts at obfuscation, you know he’s projecting his contempt for the press. Now, that was September 20th, and there’s more to the quote, which I would be remiss in not sharing, so here it is:

So, again, that’s self- evident. “He also made clear that at this point, based on the information he has — and he is briefing the Hill on the most up-to-date intelligence — we have no information at this point that suggests that this was a significantly preplanned attack, but this was the result of opportunism, taking advantage of and exploiting what was happening as a result of reaction to the video that was found to be offensive.”

Since then President Eye-Candy has gone on The View where he was asked about Benghazi by the amazing journalists comediennes Joy Behr and Whoopi Goldberg, where amidst the Jello® shots and the ring filled with KY Jelly®, he gave a rather slippery answer. Carney was asked about that as well. His response?

QUESTION: “Is there any reason why the President did not — he was asked point-blank in The View interview, is this a terrorist attack, yes or no?  Is there any reason why he didn’t say yes?”

CARNEY: “He answered the question that he was asked, and there’s no reason that he chose the words he did beyond trying to provide a full explanation of his views and his assessment that we need to await further information that the investigation will uncover.  But it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the President’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 26

Dear Lord, say it’s not so! Say our blessed leader would not mislead his fan base. I mean the ladies of The View are among the few living fans he’s got left. The rest are living large in the zombified wasteland of Obamanation.

We’ll see if this blows up. The Big Benghazi Lie is beginning to get some traction in the news, so much so that WaPo, the official Applause Generator of the Obama campaign, felt the need to publish this hackneyed attempt at journalism.

I’m sure Axlerod and Messina are working to fix this as we speak, but with just under a week before the first debate I don’t know how much damage control they can do. They already have too many plates spinning atop sticks in the air and sooner or later the whole thing has to come crashing down. The question is, will it be before November 6th?

Bizarro World

CNN has perhaps sunk to a new low with this article called What we learned from our interview with Mitt Romney. Think you’ll ever see one like that about an Obama interview? Yeah, me neither. It’s not just the tone, which is ridiculing and skeptical, but the content that is the problem. I doubt CNN Is even reporting half the stuff Romney said, focusing instead on what CNN thinks can help Obama. It’s one of the more bizarre pieces to come out of CNN recently and I recommend you read the whole thing. How else are you going to get your eyebrow workout in?

In other news, Howard Fineman fakes a right hook so he can paint a glorious relief of Obama without coming across as too much of a shill. Too bad all the genius plans hatched in all the Jounolisting bunkers in all the world can’t save Obama. Because Obama’s going to lose anyway.

Nate Silver over at the NYT picks up on some dissonance in the polls. He can’t quite figure out what the statistical noise is all about, but I bet you can.

Speaking of skewed polls, did you know there’s a website that unskews them? You know they must be onto something when Salon feels the need to make fun of them. It’s kind of like that nervous laugh people get when they realize the joke’s on them. I do appreciate them sharing the website though, as now I have added it to my daily rounds.

With all this bizarre stuff, is it any wonder the media is so distrusted? Of course not. They built that.

What are you reading today in bizarro world?

When History Rhymes

Will nature reclaim the Obama campaign?

Today we are six weeks out from this American election. Six days from today we will learn what the true character of America is. There are lots of opinions on how this will play out, but really no one can know until the final poll is taken on November 6th. That said, educated guesses can be made.

One thing it’s important not to do is overstate the importance of the media or the polls. We’ve seen them try to interfere before, and we’ve seen them thwarted by the will of the American people. When you know your history, you are bringing education to your guesses. Mark Twain famously said that history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. I would argue it sometimes echoes as well. Here’s some history for you from 1980:

Remember when Jimmy Carter beat Ronald Reagan in 1980?

That’s right. Jimmy Carter beat Ronald Reagan in 1980.

In a series of nine stories in 1980 on “Crucial States” — battleground states as they are known today — the New York Times repeatedly told readers then-President Carter was in a close and decidedly winnable race with the former California governor. And used polling data from the New York Times/CBS polls to back up its stories.

Four years later, it was the Washington Post that played the polling game — and when called out by Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins a famous Post executive called his paper’s polling an “in-kind contribution to the Mondale campaign.” Mondale, of course, being then-President Reagan’s 1984 opponent and Carter’s vice president.

All of which will doubtless serve as a reminder of just how blatantly polling data is manipulated by liberal media — used essentially as a political weapon to support the liberal of the moment, whether Jimmy Carter in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984 — or Barack Obama in 2012.

First the Times in 1980 and how it played the polling game.

The states involved, and the datelines for the stories:

  • California — October 6, 1980
  • Texas — October 8, 1980
  • Pennsylvania — October 10, 1980
  • Illinois — October 13, 1980
  • Ohio — October 15, 1980
  • New Jersey — October 16, 1980
  • Florida — October 19, 1980
  • New York — October 21, 1980
  • Michigan — October 23, 1980

Of these nine only one was depicted as “likely” for Reagan: Reagan’s own California. A second — New Jersey — was presented as a state that “appears to support” Reagan.

The Times led their readers to believe that each of the remaining seven states were “close” — or the Times had Carter leading outright.

In every single case the Times was proven grossly wrong on election day. Reagan in fact carried every one of the nine states.

Here is how the Times played the game with the seven of the nine states in question.

You’ll have to go read the whole article to find out how they did it, but the important point here is that their narrative did not win. I don’t think it’s going to win this year either. This is not 1980, but the echo of that year is ringing loudly here outside the noise machine. So is 1972. I can practically hear a chorus of Pauline Kaels from the capital of Indiana already.

So hang in there, folks. Whether you want Obama gone or Romney in, we’ll all find out what’s going to happen here shortly.

The Creepy Freakshow

This Sunday’s episode of This America Election is called The Creepy Freakshow. Click the link to access the show at 1:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, September 23rd, or the archive of the show anytime thereafter. Anthony and I will be free-style ranting for an entire hour and you won’t want to miss it! Topics this week include, but may not be limited to:

  • Ambassador Stevens Diary
  • Developments in Middle East
  • The stink of desperate Obots
  • Media Freakshow
  • Romney: Voters, lies, and video
  • Polls

Please join me and my co-host Anthony for a discussion of these topics and so much more. The number to call in is (347) 324-3592, so use your cell to save the toll and give us your opinions, comments, rantable topics, and/or laugh lines. See you then!

The Parental Majority

As we watch the continued media meltdown, it’s important to remember the dynamics and real evidence in this race. To briefly recap the basics: Obama is a disaster of a president and recently has added even more disastrous events to his column, namely 9/11 2.0; he is much, much weaker than he was in 2008; the economy is still in the tank, despite the fudging in the media and from governmental sources, and voters still know it; Obamcare is still extremely unpopular, so much so that the CBO was sent out to make the “See, it really is just the freeloaders who will get hurt” argument yesterday. In other news, Fast & Furious crowned, but with so much else going on, the report was buried. Benghazi, it turns out, was a terrorist attack, though the cover story to save Amb. Rice’s lying face is that al Qaeda just took advantage of an opportunity as a result of the Mohamed film. If you believe that, of course, you’re probably still a registered Democrat.

But there is evidence that disputes the media findings. Some of it is anecdotal, of course, though some of it factual. For example, factually speaking most pollsters are using the 2008 voter turnout model for their polls this year, and that’s why what you’re seeing in these polls is so conflicted with what you’re seeing in real life. Rasmussen is actually the only pollster using voting and party registration trends to compliment his data, and that’s why Rasmussen is likely closer than any other poll you’re seeing. He’s showing a 1 point race across swing states today. His latest presidential tracking poll shows Romney with a 2 point lead nationwide.

Anecdotally speaking, we can use my Romney/Ryan t-shirt and the local reaction to it as some evidence. Now, I live in Indiana, which has traditionally been a red state, but I live in the capitol, Indianapolis, the 11th largest city in the United States, and it is more blue than red. It looks like America circa 2006, where the party representation is roughly split with a slight advantage to Dems. Our city council is majority Democratic and our Mayor is Republican. Despite this breakdown, like a lot of urban areas, Democrats are some loudmouthed, outspoken people. Republicans here, in contrast, have been in the habit of keeping their heads down and not talking politics too much.

Enter the Romney/Ryan t-shirt. I wear this shirt out at least twice a week just because I’ve grown accustomed to and love the reaction. It silences Democrats and opens up Republicans. Last week I wore it into Penn Station to order my dinner and the college-aged cashier looked at me with such venom I was glad they made their food out in the open. But the biggest, most frequent reaction I get is from Romney supporters, whom I presume are largely Republican or independent. I’ve been stopped at yard sales, at the bank, on the street, at the grocery, and in restaurants by people who just want to have a friendly conversation about the Romney/Ryan ticket. In this town where people are nice but not too friendly, it’s been an amazing experience for me.

But there’s other anecdotal evidence out there. Continue reading

Social Media & Amplification

Thought we’d talk about social media today and maybe share our account info so we can connect better via these amplification sites. That’s what social media is for: amplification. For the last several years I’ve been getting more involved in an attempt to have a larger online presence, and it occurred to me that readers might like to know some of the tips and techniques.

Facebook

Did you know that most online news orgs now freely allow Facebook comments, no registration required? So you don’t want to share your name? Is that it? No problem. Create a Facebook page and you don’t have to. Here’s how it works.

Here’s my page for this blog. Here’s a screenshot:

Click to enlarge

See that red circle in the right upper hand corner? That’s a link to create your own page. When you create your own page, you can leave comments under the name of the page. Here’s how. Check out this screen shot from Buzzfeed:

Click to enlarge

I’ve smudged out my last name and some professional pages I run. But you can select to post as your page at most places. Then you don’t have to worry about your name being associated with political discourse and you can say things you wouldn’t if you had to put your name on it and run the risk of some vengeful person reporting you, since if you list your place of employment, that information often posts with your real name. It doesn’t post with your page. There is no way to link YOU to this page unless somebody knows you and knows you have the page. As you can see from the screen shot, you can also click a box to post the article link to your page along with your comment, thus informing your readers of what you’re reading. Sharing is a big part of amplification.

I have several pages, including two professional pages I use to keep in contact with students, and two political pages (P&L and RomneyDemocrats) , as well a humor page. You gotta laugh sometimes, and a ton of funny stuff is shared on FB, so I use the humor page to share without clogging up my friends’ timelines. Trust me, they appreciate this. If you’re sharing a ton of funny stuff on your timeline, you’ve become the social media equivalent of the constantly-emailing-aunt-or-uncle we all used to hate and send to the spam folder.

Leaving gratuitous comments and harassing your political opponents is not the only reason you might want a FB page, though. It’s also a great way to let your readers know when you post to your blog, if you have one, and it helps build audience as well. Some people even do it as a business. If you REALLY want to build your audience you can even buy FB ads for it for pennies per click. That’s how I built up Romney Democrats to over 700 members now in just 8 weeks. You can also coordinate your WordPress settings to automatically post your blog posts to your Facebook (and Twitter) accounts, so you can skip that extra step.

Twitter

Where would be without the raucous time-waster that is Twitter? Well, it doesn’t exactly waste time, but it can if you spent too much of it there. But it is a great way to get the word out about your blog and your blog posts, and your WordPress account can be configured for auto-posting, just like Facebook.

Twitter is also good because you can create multiple accounts and then use Tweetdeck to amplify your message. You want to have your personal account, and at least a backup in case the unthinkable happens and you get put in Twitter jail. That’s when someone reports you for something and Twitter suspends your privileges. Intolerant people are constantly reporting people gratuitously, even when they do not violate any rules. It’s an attempt to silence the tweeter, to shut down their noise. If you have a back up you can still communicate while waiting for Twitter to reinstate your privileges. Having one for your blog or FB page is also a good idea. As I said above, you can use Tweetdeck to retweet stuff to any and all your accounts, and to make retweeting to all your accounts a cinch. Here’s a screenshot of my Tweetdeck: Continue reading