The Spirit of '76

Brand-new book from author interviewed on "Fresh Air"

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Musical Inspiration

This is a beautiful rendition by conductor Andre Previn of Rachmaninoff's gorgeous "Adagio" from the Second Symphony.

May it be an inspiring start to your week.

Thanksgiving Not Lost After All

The Thanksgiving holiday was miraculously not lost in the lead-up to Christmas after all.  In spite of the best efforts of commercializers, I was able to focus on Thanksgiving by staying over-night in a retirement facility and avoiding most all advertisements.  This brought me back to a measure of sanity this season and helped me remember the reason for Thanksgiving Day.

The holiday week is drawing to a close and I will be back here commenting and reporting soon.

Best wishes,


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Poetry

This poem by William Butler Yeats is highly evocative and almost subversive in its style.  It is best read more than once, if you are not already familiar with it. -- TMP

On a Political Prisoner

By William Butler Yeats, 1865–1939

She that but little patience knew,
From childhood on, had now so much
A grey gull lost its fear and flew
Down to her cell and there alit,
And there endured her fingers' touch
And from her fingers ate its bit.

Did she in touching that lone wing
Recall the years before her mind
Became a bitter, an abstract thing,
Her thought some popular enmity:
Blind and leader of the blind
Drinking the foul ditch where they lie?

When long ago I saw her ride
Under Ben Bulben to the meet,
The beauty of her country-side
With all youth's lonely wildness stirred,
She seemed to have grown clean and sweet
Like any rock-bred, sea-borne bird:

Sea-borne, or balanced in the air
When first it sprang out of the nest
Upon some lofty rock to stare
Upon the cloudy canopy,
While under its storm-beaten breast
Cried out the hollows of the sea.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sadly Go the Democrats

I still very much support the traditional Democratic Party, the party which gave the country Social Security and Medicare, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.  Some of these were supported by old-fashioned patriotic Republicans.  Hooray for them all!

But now I have cause to wonder whether either party cares about the vote.  With evidence of voting irregularities, glitches, and other assorted dirty tricks on the part of Republicans in 2014, the Democratic Party is silent.  Yet they still are asking for money.  It's understandable.  And I'm not against asking for money.  But asking for money and at the same time ignoring the serious credibility problem of our elections is simply unwise.

We the people must let our legislators know that we care about the vote, we want to vote, and we demand that our vote be counting in a verifiable, traceable way.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Economics, Elections, and Martin Luther King

Just as big business took over the food supply, health care, and now parts even of  our little educational system, big business has infiltrated the voting process itself, through ESS and various political consortia such as ALEC.  How did we get here and what can we do about this intolerable situation?

Perhaps we may start with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his lesser-known speeches, especially the speech at Riverside Church in 1967.  This speech, highlighting the horrors and injustice of the Viet Nam War also points to the inequities in the profit system, though surely King does not say this explicitly.  In America now a battle rages, a battle for the heart and soul of every American.  Are we to be a country of aggrandizement, of perpetual wars, of rampant avarice?  Or are we to be a country of purpose and pride with fairness and justice for all?

King, here, asks the right questions at the time of the Viet Nam war.  And his imminent conclusions lead inexorably to the failure of the economic system of America then and now to deliver on its promises.  These are strange times in which we live, yet times of promise amidst change.  May w
e be inspired by Martin Luther King to a deeper self-examination than ever before.

What Does Martin Luther King Have to Say to Us Now?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Media on Trial

In the middle of a budding controversy about Election 2014, there is today on Yahoo a New York Times report about the case of a wild beast snatching a baby from the wilds in Australia.  I will let the video tell the story.

The video can bring tears.  But there are certain lessons to be learned here, many of which are clearly-articulated in the film.  That the media plays a key part in not only delivering the news but in the interpretation of the news becomes clear here.

For now I will let you the viewer make up your own mind.  Later, I will have more thoughts on all this.

Media on Trial

The Scandal That Won't Go Away

Two weeks and a day later, I still can't get the pseudo-election of 2014 out of my mind.  Nor should I.  For this was the worst campaign and election I have ever seen -- even worse than 1984 when Ronald Reagan was announced as the king of a new morning in America, while out-sourcing and hunger in America were still in "mid-night" mode.  

Brad Friedman is also one who has not forgotten this travesty.  Indeed we are only beginning to understand what actually happened before and on November 4 (and after?).  What should happen now is a contest in the various states' certification process wherever there has been a credible suspicion of dirty tricks or fraud affecting vote totals.  Even one vote mis-allocated due to outside interference is still a crime.  Thousands and even millions of such votes would be the scandal I speak of.  Who can commit to checking into this?  

Sadly, Jimmy Carter was and is right when he said a number of years ago his institute, The Carter Center, could not now verify elections in America due to interference in the voting process.  

The one hopeful sign I see is the increase in international readership of this blog (and I assume other such blogs).  The apparatchiks in the Republican Party are still operating in 1972.  But now there is a direct international audience.  As long as a free Internet remains, the truth can get out fast.  World opinion may yet be a saving grace for this precious democracy.  

Video Re-Post (Previously Posted Here)

Monday, November 17, 2014

This Changes Everything

Naomi Klein's title is proving to be a very useful one at this time in the nation's history.  There is much to think about and much to understand.

So today I am processing several news items from yesterday, including press reports and a radio news program.  I'll have more on these later. 

Plus, I am thinking about Brad Friedman's contention that those who failed to vote two weeks ago did register a vote -- either 1) for the status quo or 2) against both political parties.  The last one is the plausible theory.  It is one I have hinted at from time to time here.  There are many reasons why people would not vote this year, including illness, confusion, being out of the country at the last minute, and -- sadly -- inability to provide photo identification.  This last issue snared me. 

So there is life.  With turn-out this year the lowest in many years, the electorate surely was sending a message.  That's why the euphoria many on the right felt two weeks ago hasn't lasted very long.  There are just too many people who didn't share in it, including some on the right.. 

I have my own proposed solutions which I have shared here and on my sister blog, Democratic Campaign Watch.  What my approach boils down to is a recognition that this was a pretty horrible campaign, with seriously negative advertising and even more serious efforts to quash Democratic votes.  I call upon all in authority to investigate the allegations of voter fraud.  We simply cannot have a government people have confidence in if the vote cannot be verified. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Election 2014: Following Up

We are entering a dangerous period regarding the elections of last week.  Dangerous in the sense of getting the story straight, an important story for the United States.  At the encouragement of the Democratic Party, some Democrats are attempting to simply "get over" the loss, including allegations of wide-spread Republican dirty tricks.  Because these dirty tricks involve efforts (which seem to be have been successful) to suppress the votes of blacks, and others, this is a Civil Rights issue.  The Justice Department needs to investigate.  And the people need to raise objections vocally.

I will continue doing research in this area and only wish I had the time and resources to do a more thorough job more quickly.  Nevertheless, I'll do what I can.  I encourage all readers here to do your own research and certainly to speak up to friends, press, and members of Congress.  

Will 2015 Be 1937 Again?

With the economy showing signs of improvement after the Great Depression, in 1937 the federal government over-reacted to concerns about inflation and sent the economy back into recession.

With a new Republican majority in Congress such a scenario for 2015 is a real danger. Read more at the link below:

Member of the Fed Expresses Concerns About Economy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More Election News Coming

News about last week's election has not stopped even though the voting is nine days in the past.  I will be going live here soon with more news of the wide-spread voting irregularities around the country.  In the meantime, I have more about all this on my sister blog, Democratic Watch (see link above).  Also, watch the video of Brad from Brad blog below for information on voting irregularities in Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brad from Brad Blog on Voting Irregularities

:...votes are counted by computers that fail all the time."

N. B.  I will continue reporting on the atrocity of November 4.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


After reading the run-down of all the Republican dirty tricks in election 2014 there can be only one conclusion:  If the allegations are true -- and they are quite credible at this point -- the new Congressional majority has no credibility whatever.  As individuals the Republicans may be great guys and gals, nice to children and old ladies.  But to have a Mitch McConnell as "majority" leader is unthinkable.  Why is this so bad?  Again, it is not completely about Mitchell the man.  It is about how he will have gotten to his position of leadership.  

Cheating to "win" is now acceptable in the Republican Party.  Those, even like Susan Collins, who are moderates (now few in number), have found it convenient to over-look the facts; and for reasons of approval and success to remain silent in the face of this dirty scandal.  It has happened before in history -- many times.  It is simply that in America such wide-spread cheating has been relatively rare.  But to have a whole campaign built not on the issues as much as on voter suppression is simply heinous.  And, it is un-American!

I do not intend to "mouse around" on this issue.  I'm not going to lose my head, either.  But it is, in fact, no matter what it may sound like, irresponsible not to speak up about this stinky mid-term election and the rotting mass of drivel it represents.   

*  There are many fine Democrats in Congress.  They are to be lauded for their willingness to serve.  However, they, too, unless we the people stand up, will remain silent.

*  Regarding Republican operatives, I am reminded of the old saying:  Figures don't lie, but liars figure.  The Republicans have been figuring for years.  You may draw your own conclusion from that.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hot on the Trail of the Tricksters

Coming this week --

Last week saw a pseudo election in which literally incredible totals were supposedly piled up by Republican candidates.  This week I will be following up with information disputing many of these totals.  I began my investigation last week with a run-down posted on Brad Blog, much of which I re-posted here.

As we go forward let us remember that it is not he who casts the ballot who has the power, but he who counts the votes.

Friday, November 07, 2014


With thanks to Brad Blog I am posting a significant excerpt of his article on all the problems with voting on Tuesday.  Here is the real story from Tuesday:  the democracy, as in 2000, was subverted at the polls.  Can we not say it clearly?  True Democracy in America is dead.  However, we the people are very much alive.  And, as Thomas Jefferson assured us we the people have the right to change the government when it becomes injurious to the people.  But has this happened?

The Brad Blog excerpt:

It's been happening for years now. On the day after elections like last Tuesday's, media figures begin navel gazing to figure out how pre-election polls, created by dozens of independent pollsters using dozens of different methodologies, could all find the same thing but turn out to be so wrong once the election results are in.
The presumption is that the results are always right, and if they don't match the polls, its the polls that must be wrong, as opposed to the results.
On Wednesday morning, after Tuesday's mid-term election surprise in which Republicans reportedly won handily in race after race despite pre-election polls almost unanimously predicting much closer races or outright Democratic victories, FiveThirtyEight statistics guru Nate Silver declared "The Polls Were Skewed Toward Democrats".
His analysis of aggregated averages from dozens of different pollsters and polls this year found that the performance of Democrats was overestimated by approximately 4 percentage points in Senate races and 3.4 points in gubernatorial contests. Silver's assessment relies on a "simple average of all polls released in the final three weeks of the campaign," as compared to the (unofficial and almost entirely unverified) election results reported on Tuesday night. He doesn't suggest there was anything nefarious in the polling bias towards Dems this year, simply that the pollsters got it wrong for a number of speculative reasons.
Citing the fact that nearly all of the polls suggested Democrats would do much better than they ultimately did, when compared to the reported election results, Silver asserts it wasn't that the polls were more wrong that usual, per se, but that almost all of them were wrong in a way that appears to have overestimated Democratic performance on Election Day.
"This year's polls were not especially inaccurate," he explains. "Between gubernatorial and Senate races, the average poll missed the final result by an average of about 5 percentage points --- well in line with the recent average. The problem is that almost all of the misses were in the same direction."
Silver is much smarter than I when it comes to numbers; I'm happy to presume he has the basic math right. But he seems to have a blind spot in his presumption that the pre-election polls were wrong and the election results were right. That, despite the lack of verification of virtually any of the results from Tuesday night, despite myriad and widespread if almost completely ignored problems and failures at polls across the country that day, and despite systematic voter suppression and dirty tricks that almost certainly resulted in election results (verified or otherwise) that were skewed toward Republicans...

No doubt you're familiar by now with many of the surprising results Silver cites --- he describes them as "missed 'calls'" and "errors". For example, he notes, pollsters erred in the governor's races "including in Illinois and Kansas and especially in Maryland, where Republican Larry Hogan wound up winning by 9 percentage points despite trailing in every nonpartisan poll released all year."
In Senate contests, he wrote earlier on Wednesday, "Some of the worst misses came in states like Kentucky and Arkansas where the Republican won, but by a considerably larger margin than polls projected. There was also a near-disaster in Virginia. It looks like Democratic incumbent Mark Warner will pull out the race, but the polls had him up by 9 points rather than being headed for a photo finish."
There are many more examples you likely know by now. There were similar surprises in some ballot measures and down-ticket races as well. For example, in Kansas, controversial Republican Sec. of State Kris Kobach was reportedly "tied" with his Democratic challenger last week, according to KSN-TV's SurveyUSA poll. Yet, according to the results on Kobach's own KS Secretary of State site, he "won" the election by a remarkable 18 points. (That's a single poll, not an average of many, but you get the idea.)
Those results, as well as the ones cited by Silver, could, in fact, be correct. The trouble is a) we don't know, because nobody bothers to verify the computer-reported results (even in states which use paper ballots systems that could be verified, unlike states that use touch-screen systems) and b) they ignore all of the problems with voting systems and the ability of voters to even access them in the first place.
While many Americans may be familiar with the surprise of Tuesday's reported results, not nearly as many are aware of the problems that plagued voters across the country. So, here, for those who aren't regular BRAD BLOG readers, are just a few examples of those problems where not all, but most, seemed to skew the election and its results away from Democratic voters and towards the GOP:
Polling place Photo ID and other voter ID voting restrictions have been shown, over and over again, in study after study and court case after court case, to adversely and disproportionately disadvantage Democratic-leaning voters. Wendy Weiser of NYU Law School's Brennan Center for Justice released a report on Wednesday, rounding up summaries of data in four states suggesting that "in several key races, the margin of victory came very close to the likely margin of disenfranchisement."
In the Kansas gubernatorial race, Weiser explains, Gov. Sam Brownback (R) beat challenger Paul Davis (D) by "less than 33,000 votes". That, despite a strict Photo ID law "put into effect right before the 2012 election, and a new documentary proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration," implemented by Sec. of State Kobach. "We know from the Kansas secretary of state that more than 24,000 Kansans tried to register this year but their registrations were held in 'suspense' because they failed to present the documentary proof of citizenship now required by state law."
Silver cites the pre-election polling average in the state that gave the Democrat Davis a 2.8 point advantage over Brownback in the days leading up to the election. Brownback reportedly won the race on Tuesday --- Silver calls it the "Actual Result" --- by 3.8 points, a 6.6 swing between pre-election polls and election results.
How many voters couldn't vote because they were blocked due to Kobach's scheme to disallow voters who didn't turn in some sort of "proof" of citizenship, even though they'd registered to vote with the national voter registration form that says nothing about a need to supply such documents?
Weiser goes on to cite the Senate race in Virginia, where Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner, who had been pegged by pre-election polls to win by 8.5 points, beat Republican challenger Ed Gillespie by just .6, or "just over 12,000 votes". That, despite the state's new Photo ID law, enacted last year, which, according to the Virginia Board of Elections, means that "198,000 'active Virginia voters' did not have acceptable ID this year." Moreover, as Silver himself estimated when he worked for the New York Times (he now works for ESPN), such restrictive voting laws reduce turnout by about 2.4%, meaning, according to Weiser, "a reduction in turnout by more than 52,000 voters" in Virginia.
In Alabama, on the Friday before the election, the state Attorney General quietly issued an edict that Public Housing IDs would no longer be allowable for use in voting there under that state's Photo ID voting law. How many lost their right to vote on Tuesday?
In Arkansas, though the state's Photo ID restriction was struck down by the state Supreme Court after being found a violation of the state's constitution, poll workers were reportedly asking voters for Photo ID anyway, leading the Arkansas Times to declare there were "voter suppression reports from all over" on Election Day and a "steady stream of complaints...from voters who say election officials around Arkansas demanded a photo ID before they could vote today."
In that state, pre-election polls predicted that Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor was likely to lose to Republican Tom Cotton by 4.7 points. The results show him as having lost by 17.
In Texas, reportedly, "the number of provisional ballots cast more than doubled since the last mid-term election in 2010." That, after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a strict polling place Photo ID law to be implemented this year, and despite a U.S. District Court finding, after a full trial, that the GOP law was "purposefully discriminatory", an "unconstitutional poll tax" and could disenfranchise as many as 600,000 disproportionately minority and poor registered voters.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in a study earlier this year that polling place Photo ID restrictions in Kansas and Tennessee had decreased voter turnout in those states by 2 to 3% after they were enacted in 2012, and at even higher rates for minority and young voters.
While we'll have to wait to learn more about the specific effect of Photo ID restrictions on voters this year --- and we'll never know how many didn't even bother to show up, knowing that they lacked the specific type of Photo ID now needed to vote --- is it too early to consider how all of that voter suppression affect the reported election results this year in TX, AR, AL, KS and VA? More or less than the "Democratic bias" Silver finds in almost all of the pre-election polling averages?

Suspicions About Announced Results Beginning to Grow

Developing Story --

...nobody bothers to verify the computer-reported results (even in states which use paper ballots systems that could be verified, unlike states that use touch-screen systems) and...they ignore all of the problems with voting systems and the ability of voters to even access them in the first place.

Brad Blog is now questioning the announced results in last Tuesday's election.

I can say now for the first time, I myself was not able to vote last Tuesday due to circumstances related to the state's photo I.D. requirement.  Today, I am continuing to investigate the results of last Tuesday which some are calling "impressive," others "amazing."   I am calling them literally "unbelievable."  I do mean it quite sincerely.  The facts were not available on Wednesday, but they are beginning to trickle in now.  The article below is a start.

Brad Blog: Questioning the Announced Vote

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Beginning the Post-Election Analysis

The Christian Science Monitor on line is reporting that exit polls showed vast voter dissatisfaction with the economy.  This dissatisfaction is, of course, very understandable.  Why the Republicans, who after all have had control of the purse in the House of Representatives for the last four years, didn't appear to share the blame is less clear.

There are a couple of major themes to all this which are emerging.  One theme is that of vast dissatisfaction with the direction in which the country is headed, especially regarding the economy.  The President, fairly or not, has take the brunt of the blame in this election.  And for some reason Senate Democrats have borne the blame, but not House Republicans.

This leads to another avenue of investigation I will be pursuing here:  Why this discrepancy?  More specifically, why is Sam Wang reporting the Republicans performed, on average, more than 5% better than polls predicted?!  First, a further question:  Where are the exit polls this time around and what did they predict?  Also, what was voter turn-out?  Last, which party voted in greater numbers?  If you, dear reader have access to any of this data, could you kindly forward it to me via the comment function below?   I and my readers will be most grateful.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

It's clear that something is wrong in Rome.  But just what?  Elections?  Money?  Morals?  Or all of these?  If you guess all, you'd be right.  But there is a four option called More of These.

In a certain way, the whole history of this blog is about what went wrong last night.  I have been trying to hint at what I think is wrong within the self which leads to national nightmares like last evening.  But since this is mainly a blog about current affairs, not a treatise on philosophy, my deeper explanations must await another place and time.

Still, those looking sharply will see a trend of thought similar to the one in the article below.  If the probablem is really within us, there is hope, because we can change ourselves.  It is much harder to change the make-up of the Fascist Supreme Court, for example.

More on this matter coming.

How Our Democracy Is Broken

Several Items of Good News from Last Night

It is very important now not to minimize the horror of what happened in the soupy election of yesterday.  This so-called election was a concoction of bombast, money, and the worst election "coverage" by the press since the fall of 1984.  (The autumn of 2000 is a close runner-up.)

In keeping with my promise here to provide hope and inspiration I offer the following facts.

1.  Tom Corbett, said to be simply a really bad governor, was defeated.

2.  Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown was defeated in a bid to become the newest Senator from Massachusetts.

3.  The minimum wage was raised in four Republican-led states

4.  Amendments putting "personhood" at the moment of conception were rejected.*

There are many other bright spots including, Democratic governor victories in two of the largest states:  California, and New York.  The election of the great Cory Booker in New Jersey (U.S. Senate), among others.

There will be time soon to begin to analyze this overall disaster once all the facts are in.  For now, perhaps the greatest silver lining of all is the seeing so clearly how money has corrupted our entire process and how the democracy has been seriously weakened.

A Salon article is linked below.
Please ignore, if possible, the claim that legalizing marijuana -- a drug with known major health affects -- is "progressive."  It is nothing of the sort.
Items of Good News From Last Night According to Salon

* The Musical Patriot, while not truly liking abortion, believes it is not the government's right to interfere in this kind of family decision.

N.B.  I'll try to have more data on the dangers of marijuana soon.  
Election 2014:  Fascism Regnant

Around the U.S. yesterday right-wing and far-right candidates stomped their way to victory in an election demonstrating unbelievable strength by economic fascists.  From Rick Scott in the far south to a Gardiner in Colorado, Republican candidates defeated worthy and experienced centrists in a display of chutzpah not seen in years.

In the wee hours of the morning today I found myself reading about the work of Greg Palast who has uncovered yet another Jim Crow scheme by Republicans meant to suppress the vote this year.  I'm sure there were other such efforts.  I'll have more details later.

But the "results" as announced yesterday hardly qualify as an endorsement by the American people of the end of the Civil Rights movement in America.  With relatively low turn-out expected, the large body of the populace has not yet spoken at the ballot box on questions of economic security, health security, and the right to a decent education by all.

What we do have is a kind of putsch by wealthy oligarchs who have just purchased the best Congressional leadership money can buy.

God save America.

Greg Palast on Voter Suppression in North Carolina

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Drawing the Curtains

Sadly, I must draw the curtains on this election night.  

Colorado Lost in the Smoke

In the old westerns, some poor Native American chap would issue the classic line, "Me smoke peace pipe."  Times have changed and the image of native Americans is only marginally better.  But if I may be permitted a rather graceless question at this late hour in the evening, "What were Colorado voters smoking today?"  The defeat of Sen. Mark Udall, if true, is astounding, unbelievable.

I will look up Udall's record later, but I simply cannot imagine what responsible adults would be thinking out there in western land.  

Scouring the Internet Before Things Turn Sour

Races in many parts of the country this past week have remained extremely close.  The wait the country is experiencing now is one result.  As I scour various news sites tonight, I am struck by the weakness of our current election process.  Money has tainted everything.  There remains little legitimacy to much of our government processes.  The National Weather Service gets the weather right some of the time, but at least they are honest.  Can you imagine if the Weather Service suddenly began touting "the best weather prediction experience in the history of the country.  You can trust the National Weather Service to deliver the best forecasting products directly to your intelligent computer or intelligent phone.  Sign up today for our new Severe Weather app and learn where political storms and real storms are likely to intersect.  Click here for the Weather Service app store."  Did I hear someone just say they already have that app.?  Let's hope not.

Still, are we not at the point of having the most commercialized federal government in history -- if the Republicans should win control of the Senate?  Who says these neanderthals won't start up the impeachment machinery over some new technicality or other?  That is, if they win the Senate, still not a sure thing.

Sam Wang, where are you now when we need you?

I Wonder

Hogan, Republican candidate in Maryland for Governor is trailing in very early reporting.  This is the man the Washington Post said had almost tied the race.  Could it be the "Post" had it wrong?  I wonder.   

Democrat Wins in Pennsylvania

Democrat Tom Wolf has unseated unpopular Republican Governor Corbett in Pennsylvania.  Hurray!

Source:  Politico on line


If readers will pardon me a bit of uncertainty, I can report that Politico is reporting the Democrats currently have a net loss of two seats in the Senate.  However, I cannot find which state has the second loss with West Virginia being the one pick-up in an open seat. More later (I trust).

Republicans Not Seeing Major Senate Gains So Far

It is certainly still early in the evening, but at this point, the Republicans are not yet seeing major gains in Senate races.  There is much more to come I am sure.  However, as I have chorused before, the Republicans should have wrapped this election up weeks ago.  That is the real story tonight.  

Much of the Blogging Tonight...

...will be found at my sister blog, Democratic Campaign Watch.  However, I do plan to have reflective work here and even some breaking news if I get it.

Thanks for joining me.  

Democrats Call for Longer Voting Hours After Problems in Hartford

The Hartford (Connecticut)  Courant is reporting voting problems this morning, prompting Democrats to call for longer voting hours.

Voting Problems in Hartford

Voters at Hartford Seminary

N. B.  I will be blogging the election during the day and evening.  Please also visit my sister blog, Democratic Campaign Watch for even more information.  

Monday, November 03, 2014

Polling Now a Part of the Election Process

What I am saying here is not completely new.  However, there is something about the way polls have been used this year which seems to have a new edge to it.  We have been seeing polls used for political purposes ever since Thomas Dewey was the first candidate to establish his own in-house polling unit in the 1948 Presidential campaign.

Over the past several days newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, have in one way or another utilized polling to virtually declare a Republican sweep.  One newspaper yesterday actually had a headline congratulating them!

However, Sam Wang of Princeton University points out polls in mid-term elections are significantly less reliable than those in Presidential years (which are still not completely accurate).  And when you have "ouliers" such as Fox polling and Rasmussen polling, even the polling of the aggregators (those "polling the polls"), seems unreliable.

I'm not going to attempt over the next two days to keep up with polls.  If I see something which is especially accurate or noteworthy I will, of course, pass it on.  But for now, the poll regime, as it were, has come to be used as a tool for maintaining one's preconceived narrative -- in this case a Republican sweep is coming.  Remember:  the Republican sweep is imaginary -- for now, and maybe for good.  

Featured Post

Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism