Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raphael Shore and the Clarion Fund are Nazis

The most sickening of my fellow Jews since Meir Kahane over at the Clarion Fund are now guilty of inciting people to do to Muslim-Americans just what the Nazis did to European Jews in the 1940's-gas them.

From the Dayton Daily News right after their filth went out in swing state newspapers:

Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Yes, the Nazis were on any entirely other scale, and Adolf Hitler specifically directed the "Final Solution." But that was over a process of several years. In the beginning, there was a major propaganda campaign, non-violent/minimally violent overthrow of government and isolated attacks on Jews.

So Raphael Shore is moving in that direction. I hope I never run across him.

Obama Newspaper Endorsements for the General Election

My post on Obama newspaper endorsements for the primary comes up #3 on a Google search for "Obama newspaper endorsements" right now, so I'm now compiling data for the General Election, with daily circulation numbers, and 2004 and 2000 candidate endorsement.
Stockton Record: 70,209; Bush in 2004, Bush in 2000, Dole in 1996, nobody in 1992, Bush in 1988, Reagan in 1984, Reagan in 1980, Ford in 1976, Nixon in 1972, Nixon in 1968, Goldwater in 1964, Nixon in 1960, Eisenhower in 1956, Eisenhower in 1952, Dewey in 1948, Dewey in 1944, Willkie in 1940, Roosevelt in 1936.
San Jose Mercury-News: 204,308; Kerry in 2004
Gunnison County Times: 4,000; No 2004 endorsement
Honolulu Star-Bulletin: 64,305
Storm Lake Times: 3,200; Kerry in 2004
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 281,198/454,998; Kerry in 2004
New Mexico
Santa Fe New Mexican: 25,249; Kerry in 2004
Canton Repository: 66,812/86,357; Bush 2004
Falls Church News Press: 30,500; Kerry in 2004
Seattle Times: 215,311/420,587; Kerry in 2004, Bush in 2000
Seattle Post-Intelligence: 128,012/423,635; Kerry in 2004
West Virginia
The Charleston Gazette: 48,061; Kerry in 2004

McCain: Palin Believes What I Tell Her to Believe

Such a role model for women she is.

From George Stephanopoulos via CNN:

Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position… This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."

What led to this? Last night, Sarah Palin got to experience another part of this country, heading down to South Philly for a cheesesteak, a political ritual that I believe only Joe Lieberman (due to cheesesteak being unkosher) among presidential and vice-presidential nominees has avoided in recent history. Unfortunately, she was questioned by a Temple University grad student about Pakistan:

The governor got a more serious interrogation moments later when Temple graduate student Michael Rovito approached her to inquire about Pakistan.

"How about the Pakistan situation?," asked Rovito, who said he was not a Palin supporter. "What's your thoughts about that?"

"In Pakistan?," she asked, looking surprised.

"What's going on over there, like Waziristan?"

"It's working with [Pakistani president] Zardari to make sure that we're all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border," she told him. "And we'll go from there."

Rovito wasn't finished. "Waziristan is blowing up!," he said.

"Yeah it is," Palin said, "and the economy there is blowing up too."

"So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?," Rovito asked.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin responded, before moving on to greet other voters.

On the plus side, she did get the man's name right, perhaps because she had a nice encounter with him at the UN; he called her gorgeous and I doubt she realized he was a Muslim, so it went great.

So here's the lesson McCain is teaching us: Palin's views are not what she says they are. They are what he says they are. Of course, this means that should he become unable to serve as president, she will have no views at all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Props to "Rape Kit" Letter-Writers

Writing letters to the editor of local papers mentioning Sarah Palin's rape kit billing policy is going to be one of the best ways to get the story out as long as the media ignores it.

Maria Nelson of New Richmond, Wisconsin wrote such a letter today: Props to her!

McCain and Palin have records of requiring rape victims to pay for the “rape kits” used by police to gather rape evidence. While Palin was mayor, Wasilla was the only Alaska municipality charging the costs of rape kits to the victims. This practice stopped in Wasilla in 2000 when Alaska’s Democratic governor, Tony Knowles, signed legislation banning police from billing rape victims for such investigations.

In 1994, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden pushed through the Violence Against Women Act, which required state, local and Indian governments to provide the rape exams to victims free of charge. McCain voted against the legislation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dow Now Below Where it Was at Start of Bush Presidency

In the week of January 22, 2001, when George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd president of the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 10,659.

The current Google Finance quote at 1:07 p.m. EST, September 18, 2008 has the Dow at 10,516

As the man himself would say, "Georgie, you've done a heckuva job!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don Young Declared Primary Victor

By a veritable Gravelanche, Don Young has won his primary in Alaska

Mr. Young defeated Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who had been endorsed by Gov. Sarah Palin, by 48,195 to 47,891.

Yeah, sure, rapist-enabling Sarah Palin is nice, but that margin of victory could've been due to a more high-profile endorsement: Ron Paul, who mailed his supporters (and there are a heavily disproportionate number of batshit insane libertarians in Alaska) to endorse Don Young.

This is good news for Ethan Berkowitz. It means that even with Palin at the top of the ballot, he's got a really good shot at becoming the first Democrat elected to Congress from Alaska since Mark Begich's dad Nick beat Don Young posthumously in 1972 after disappearing on a plane during a campaign trip (Democratic leader Hale Boggs was also on that plane).

Moreover, he's got a good chance at becoming the first Jew elected to Congress from Alaska since the great Ernest Gruening, father of Alaska statehood and one of the 2 Senators to vote against the Vietnam War (the great but crazy Mike Gravel [though now we see why he was elected in Alaska] beat him in a primary in 1968).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Saxby Chambliss Enables the Terrorists

At least that's what he and his campaign would say if his opponent had tried to block the defense bill.

And that is exactly what Saxby Chambliss has done.

Nearly every other Republican facing a semi-competitive race voted to move the bill forward, because they at least recognize that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and needs to be stopped.

But not Saxby Chambliss, Mitch McConnell or James Inhofe. They're giving bin Laden aid and comfort by blocking funds for our troops.

Shame on them.

Sound Transit Expansion Plan Polling Well

The Sound Transit District, serving the Seattle metropolitan area, has a proposition on the ballot to increase taxes to fund expansions of mass transit.

SurveyUSA has polled the measure, and things look promising:

65% lean toward yes while only 20% lean toward no.

It receives nearly unanimous support from young people who will be around to experience the benefits: 77 lean yes, 9 lean no, and Democrats, who believe in investing in our country for the future (81 lean yes, 9 lean no): however, even among Republicans, 45% lean yes, 42% lean no, and conservatives just barely oppose it, with 42% leaning yes and 44% leaning no.

Us young people realize that we may never get a full solution for liquid fuels, and we believe in livability.

Should it pass, it will help Seattle (which has always had a very good bus system back from when my dad lived there as a grad student at the University of Washington in the 1970's) catch up with fellow Western cities like Salt Lake City, Denver and the gold standard of light rail, Portland.

Los Angeles County has a ballot measure to expand its own transit system, still waitin on Schwarzenegger's signature (because for some reason the whole state has to approve the county measure (the state, of course, also has its high-speed rail bonding measure on the ballot).

And of course, Honolulu has a smart measure to put grade-separated commuter rail along the unbelievably congested Highway 1; perfect place for a rail line if there ever was one.

Carly Fiorina: Palin Isn't Even Qualified to Run Hewlett-Packard

She, of course, was also unqualified to run Hewlett-Packard, as she almost ran it into the ground.

However, she is supposed to be a McCain campaign spokeswoman.

Wasilla City Records are Incomplete (gone from pre-FY 2000)

I got this from Wasilla's City Clerk in response to my request for info on the subject:

The Finance Department searched all financial records on our system for fiscal year 2000, 2001 and 2002. There are no records of billings to or collections from rape victims or their insurance companies in our system. The financial computer system goes back to the beginning of fiscal year 2000, and accounts receivable backup documentation goes back six (6) years per our records retention schedule.

A review of files and case reports within the Wasilla Police Department has found no record of sexual assault victims being billed for forensic exams. State law AS 18.68.040, which was effective August 12, 2000, would have prohibited any such billings after that date.

Statistics for sexual assaults reported can be found in the police section of the City of Wasilla website.

If you need anything further please submit a public records request which you may access at

Two reasons for this:

A) It didn't happen after July 1st 1999 (which seems to be the latest data they have)

B) The billing was done by the hospital at the urging of the police department; this was hinted at in either some articles or in the legislative hearings on Eric Croft's bill.

If so, that was a smart way to cover their tracks; it's going to be nearly impossible, if not impossible, to get hospital billing information, even if, as part of a police department investigation, it SHOULD be a matter of public record.

Thank heavens the McCain campaign gave us this new line of inquiry.

New York Times: Wasilla Rape Kit Story "On the Radar"

I'd written to the New York Times yesterday wondering if they were ever planning to cover the Palin rape kit story.

I just received a response:

It's on the radar, yeah. Thanks for writing.

Hopefully this means that the Times has people on the ground in Alaska investigating, or will soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin's Lawyers: Monegan Fired for Seeking Money for Sexual Assault Victims

It seems I spoke too soon about having hit a dead end. Sarah Palin's lawyers are actually claiming that Walt Monegan was fired for being too pro-assault victim for her taste.

To that end, the campaign released a series of e-mails detailing the frustration several Palin administration officials experienced in dealing with Monegan. The "last straw," the campaign said, was a trip Monegan planned to Washington in July to seek federal money for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.
In a July 7 e-mail, John Katz, the governor's special counsel, noted two problems with the trip: the governor hadn't agreed the money should be sought, and the request "is out of sequence with our other appropriations requests and could put a strain on the evolving relationship between the Governor and Sen. Stevens."

I'm not sure how this can be seen as anything other than a confirmation that Governor Palin was fine with billing rape victims for their rape kits.

Perhaps that's the real reason that she fired Irl Stambaugh. His budget priorities were too supportive of assault victims for her taste.

I'm mulling over whether to call Walt Monegan now and ask him about this trip. While he's probably being inundated, I doubt most people are looking at it from my angle.

My Investigation Into Wasilla's Rape Kit Controversy Not Making Progress

Yeah, I'm stuck for now. Mainly because so few of the dozens of people I've asked for information have responded.

I haven't gotten anything good since I learned Charles Fannon now lives a hermit's existence in remote Alaska.

From his son via e-mail

My father lives remotely with no access to phone, electric, or Internet. I'm sure if you were a clever man you could find all the answers you are looking for in the public record system. Wasilla has been very good about displaying an open honest government. The public record should speak for its self.

I wish someone would get back to me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

AP Poll Voter Sample Also Skewed to Bush voters

Either a lot of Kerry voters have died off or aren't planning to vote, or the Associated Press/GTK poll is skewing towards Bush voters and undercutting Obama's likely results.

800 of the 812 likely voters in this survey claimed to have voted in the 2004 presidential election ( the percentage of voters this fall who did not vote in the 2004 election is likely to be at least three times the 1.5% used by the AP; the CNN exit poll found that 17% of those voting in 2004 had not voted in 2000, and while the very high turnout in 2004 means it will be tough to improve THAT much, it will almost definitely be at least 5%)

But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that among these 800 voters, 50% claim to have voted for George Bush, while only 40% claim to have voted for John Kerry. Bush got 50.73% to Kerry's 48.27% of the vote in 2004, and according to exit polls won senior citizens 52-47 (senior citizens being the most likely to have passed away in the intervening time period). Moreover, if anything, one might except people to be reticent to admit to having voted for Bush (the fact that 7% claimed they voted "other" when only 1% in total may mask some Bush voters). Even if that's not the case, their poll still has a 10 point gap when the election had only a 2.5 point gap.

So, if Obama's down by 4 or 5 among such voters (assuming those who haven't voted favor Obama) in this poll, he's doing 5 or 6 points better than Kerry, which ought to be enough to win.

Unless I'm missing something.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why is Democracy Corps oversampling Republicans?

I suppose I can vaguely expect that from non-partisan or Republican pollsters, but shouldn't a Democratic polling organization be taking more care to obtain a quality sample?

Their sample

Among the 92% of people in their poll (90% in the battleground states: given by Democracy Corps as Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin) who claimed to have voted in 2004, they have 52% having gone for Bush, 44% having gone for Kerry (53% for Bush, 42% for Kerry in the battleground states) despite the fact that Bush won 50.73%-48.27% (+2.5) nationwide and 51.44%-47.73% (+3.7%) in 2004.

Given that exit polls showed those over 65 (who are the most likely to have died and thus no longer be likely voters) voting no differently than the nation did, it's pretty unlikely that those voters in 2004 who are likely to show up again this year were 5 points (8 in the battleground states) more likely to go for Bush than those voting as a whole.

Again, let's measure based on facts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Major issues with SurveyUSA's North Carolina Polling Sample

SurveyUSA released a rather shocking poll today showing John McCain leading Barack Obama 58-38 in North Carolina, up from 4 points in the August poll.

They also recorded an 11 point gain for Republican Pat McCrory in the Governor's race, and a 3-point gain for Elizabeth Dole in the Senate race.

A lot of people might have thought, "Hey, maybe we messed something up here." Not SurveyUSA, though.

Republican John McCain suddenly and breathtakingly surges to a 20-point win over Democrat Barack Obama, 58% to 38%, according to this latest exclusive SurveyUSA election poll conducted for WTVD-TV. In 3 previous SurveyUSA NC tracking polls, McCain had led by 8, 5, and 4 points. Today: 20. McCain has gained ground in every demographic group.

Now, first of all, their claim is false. Obama led 71-25 among Democrats in August's poll; today, he leads 74-23.

That fact led me to look at the crosstabs for party affiliation; 41% Republican, 40% Democratic. I wondered if they were going by stated party affiliation or registered party affiliation; those numbers may be accurate for stated affiliation but they are way off for registered party affiliation.

So I took a look at the other 3 months polls that they've done, and it's clear: they've been polling by registered party affiliation.

In August: 46% Democratic, 33% Republican

In July: 45% Democratic, 37% Republican

In May: 49 % Democratic, 33% Republican

The Democratic registration edge in all 3 of the previous polls is within 4 points of the Democratic registration edge among registered voters in North Carolina.

Currently, 45.3% of North Carolina's registered voters are Democrats, 32.7% are Republicans (12.6% edge). This is a gain of 2 points for Democrats since January, when 44.8% were Democrats and 34.2% were Republicans (10.6 point edge)

My point is that this a really, really awful sample of voters. If you take the crosstab numbers by party registration for this poll and adjust them to reflect last month's poll, you get the following:

McCain 51, Obama 42 (still a 5 point gain; not insubstantial but not crazy either)

Hagan 44, Dole 42 (a 7 point gain for Hagan, in line with other polls we've seen from the state)

Perdue 45, McCrory 44 (a 2 point gain for McCrory, within the margin of error)

The point being: McCain may well be safe in North Carolina (and the Obama campaign may realize it as they've cut back resources there), but Dole isn't and Perdue's got a fighting choice.

Or rather, that's what this poll says.

Lipstick on a Pig-as Used by Republicans

Apparently the common expression that "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" is now considered sexist.

If so, there's a whole lot of sexist Republicans out there. Including John McCain.

Tom Tancredo:
"There is a little more lipstick on this pig than there was before, but it's most certainly the same old pig," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, the Colorado Republican who has led the anti-immigrant movement in the House. (Copley News Service, May 16, 2005)

John McCain:
McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the 1990s.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal. (McClatchy-Tribune News Service, October 16, 2007)

John McCain's spokeswoman:

Public relations expert Torie Clarke has some advice for leaders who are tempted to tailor the truth, a process known in the media world as "spin." She says in a recent book called Lipstick on a Pig that openness is the best way to get your message across.

Torie Clarke honed her public relation skills as a spokeswoman for Senator John McCain, then worked for former President Bush's re-election campaign and was chief spokesperson for the Pentagon in the early years of the current administration. Clarke continues her public relations work in private industry and is a commentator on the CNN cable network. (Voice of America News, March 21, 2006)

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour:

"The public doesn't want to pay for politicians' campaigns," added Mr. Barbour, who contributed more than $21,000 to 40 Republican candidates last year. "This is going to be paid for with taxpayer dollars and no matter how much lipstick you put on it, this pig ain't going to fly." (New York Times: March 28, 2000)

Vice President Dick Cheney:

Now, in the closing days of this campaign, John Kerry is running around talking tough. He's trying every which way to cover up his record of weakness on national defense. But he can't do it. It won't work. As we like to say in Wyoming, you can put all the lipstick you want on that pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Applause.) That's my favorite line. (Laughter.) You want to hear it again?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: As we like to say in Wyoming -- (laughter) -- you can put all the lipstick you want on a pig, but at the end of the day it's still a pig. (Applause.) (Regulatory Intelligence Data: November 1, 2004)

Former Rep. Bob Livingston

"You can put lipstick on
a pig and call it Madonna, but it's still a pig"(The Hotline: November 11, 1993

House Minority Leader John Boehner:

Boehner was pointed about what he described as Gingrich's managerial failings. "There was really no clear agenda for the year. And when there's no agenda and there's no real direction, what happens is you can't, you really can't have a message. You can put lipstick on a pig all day long, but it's still a pig," he said.

Schwarzenegger campaign spokesman Rob Stutzman

"Obviously, the Democrats have to rally their base, so it makes sense that they would bring in all the star power they can find to inspire their base," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman. "You can put lipstick on the pig, but voters will still see the pig." (New York Daily News: September 15, 2003)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"Mr. President, it's not that easy. This town is full of people very experienced when it comes to putting lipstick on a pig. (States News Service: April 2, 2004)

California State Republican Chair Duf Sundheim:

"The independent voter is going to be at the crux of how this election turns out because it's going to be very close," Torres told the NBC "Today" show Monday in a joint appearance with state Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim.

Sundheim quickly fired back: "He's in the unfortunate position of trying to put lipstick on a pig. The internal polling numbers are away from Gray."

Former Rep. Richard Pombo's Resources Committee Spokesman Brian Kennedy
"They can use all the lipstick in the world to dress that thing up, but a pig is a pig," said House Resources spokesman Brian Kennedy. "That bill has already been dealt with in congresses past, so it will be dead on arrival here in this Congress."

Rep. Dennis Rehberg Spokesman

Rehberg spokesman Shriber said that Baucus' office had not contacted them about the issue.

"If they had, we may have been able to help them avert these mistakes," he said. "Fixing his mistake is a near impossibility. It's a little late to be putting lipstick on a pig and not expect it to squeal."

PUMAs at the DNC Rules Committee meeting:

From the crowd came:

"Lipstick on a pig!"

"McCain in '08!"

"You just took away votes! (St. Petersburg Times: June 1, 2008)

So, in sum, the Republican party is led by sexists in both Houses of Congresses, nominated a sexist for president in 2008, and nominated a sexist for vice president in 2000 and 2004.

Of course, female Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi is apparently also a sexist (let's be fair, after all):

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrat in the House, said: "I think what the president is demonstrating is the weakness of the argument he is out perpetuating. It's the classic case of you can put lipstick on a pig ... but it's still a sow." (Associated Press: April 1, 2005)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Are Poor Age Samplings Skewing the Polls?

Now, obviously, things aren't looking as good for Barack Obama as they were a month or so ago. The United States is, in fact, seriously at risk of four more years of decline in economic and political strength, unconstitutional power grabs, and environmental degradation under a McCain/Palin presidency. The polls range from a tie between McCain and Obama to a poll (probably an outlier, but still worrisome) showing McCain ten points out.

However, in looking at the sample used by The Diageo/Hotline poll (the only recent poll to have released data from its sample), I can't help feeling hopeful that the sample is skewed to make McCain look more favorable.

The reason I think this is that their polling sample skews far older than the likely electorate. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the following breakdown of those voting in 2004 by age (See Table 1):

18-29: 16.00%
30-44: 27.33%
45-54: 21.32%
55-64: 16.32%
65+: 19.03%

For the Diageo/Hotline poll, the samples are as follows:

18-29: 6%
30-44: 20%
45-54: 20%
55-64: 22%
65+: 28%
Unknown/Refused: 4%

That's a pretty significant skewing. Their sample has 50% of registered voters (like some other firms, they haven't bothered trying to construct a likely voter sample; USA Today/Gallup did, and they had a 6 point gap between their results registered voters (McCain +4) and likely voters (McCain +10)); I have not been able to locate crosstabs) over the age of 55, though this age group made up only 35% of those voting in 2004, and has voters under 45 making up only 26% of voters, though they made up 43% of those voting in 2004.

While the electorate has continued to age, given the massive registration drives by the Obama campaign and the significant enthusiasm among younger voters this election, it's highly, highly unlikely that those over 55 will increase their share of the electorate by even more than 5 points. More than 10 points is pretty much out of the question, much less 15. It's far likelier that their share will remain constant or even stagnate than increase by more than 5 points.

For instance, between the 2000 and 2004 elections:

The percentage of citizens over 18 who were over 55 grew from 29.27% to 31.40% due nearly entirely to the oldest baby boomers (defined here as those born between 1946 and 1964) starting to reach old agehood during that time period; those between 55 and 64 went from 12.2% to 14.3% of those over 18, while citizens over 65 just barely increased from 17.07% to 17.1% (well within the margin of error, though a small increase is likely).

Meanwhile, the percentage of citizens over 18 who were under the age of 45 shrunk from 51.83% to 48.80%, largely due to all but the very youngest boomers having left the 30-44 age group (down from 30.72% to 27.94%); the share of 18-29 year olds remained fairly constant to within the MOE, 21.1%-20.86% as more Generation Yers reached voting age;

Given that even more baby boomers will have moved into this category by November 2008 (including my parents), I'd expect another spike, placing voting-age citizens over 55 at between 32% and 35% of the population, and a decrease in voting-age citizens under 45, placing those citizens at between 45 and 48% of the population.

However, that will likely be lessened by voting trends. For instance, the percentage of those casting ballots who were under 45 decreased only a little, from 44.55% to 43.33%, due to a major increase in registration (and turnout) among those under 30; from 54.87% of citiens in 2000 to 60.03% of citizens in 2004, and a smaller increase (but still larger than for those 45 and over) among those between 30-44.

Similarly, those voting increased from only 55.45% to 56.67%.

Given registration trends in those few states with numbers by age and enthusiasm factors, I expect the percentages of those voting in these age groups to change by less than 1%.

I'm not sure whether polling firms had similarly poor sampling in 2004. However, if it had shown up, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference. Looking at CNN's 2004 Exit Poll (which, while not without its own problems, is far, far more likely to have its margin at within < 5 points of the actual numbers than a telephone opinion poll)

While Kerry did do significantly (15 points) better among those under 30 (won 54-45) than he did among those 30 and up (lost 47-53), among those over 30, there was very little if any differences based on age, where every group listed (30-44, 45-59, 60+, and 65+) was between 51-48 and 54-46, a 5 point margin difference.

This is not going to be the case. Barack Obama has excited the youth of this country, who are more progressive (in particular on social and environmental issues [which we have to live with longer] as well as foreign policy) than older Americans; Obama is expected to do particularly well among those under 30, who came of political age during the era of disgustingly hyper-partisanship in either the good years of Bill Clinton or the awful, awful years of George W. Bush, tired of the way things are in DC but wanting to change them.

On the flip side, several factors are combining to hurt Senator Obama among those over 65. First of all, his being African-American. Those whites who were 65 or older formed their political views either during the civil rights era [those who will be 65 by this November were old enough to vote for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 unless they were born a day or so too late in November] or before, may well have participated in white flight, and for various reasons are more likely to have negative view of African-Americans.

Second of all, older people tend to want "experience," at least aside from the ones who remember and resented the same charge being thrown at JFK (though he and Nixon actually both had 14 years in federal office [though Nixon moved up to the Senate 2 years earlier and then spent 8 years as VP]); at any rate, those generally considered to be our 3 greatest presidents didn't have all that much government experience.

  • George Washington had been appointed a surveyor at one point; other than that, he'd just been a soldier (albeit reaching the office of General).

  • Abraham Lincoln had a grand total of 2 years in office, in the House of Representatives over 10 years before running.

  • FDR had 2 years as Governor of New York before beginning his run for the presidency (he'd also been Assistant Secretary of the Navy for 8 years and a state Senator for 2).

I guess in these scenarios, here's who each person would be.

McCain = Stephen Douglas ("little", long-time Senator, faux maverick who caused somewhat of a breakaway [with Ron Paul/Bob Barr = combination of Breckinridge and Bell; though with less support], died soon after the 1860-election)


George Bush and John McCain combine as Herbert Hoover.

Back to older people and Senator Obama. The third problem is that they're less used to having to be skeptical of the media, because for most of their life, it functioned very well and only recently descended into its current form. Moreover, they are more likely to believe (and be scared by) the "He's an anti-patriotic Muslim" e-mail due to this trust in media and general less understanding of technology.

The point of this long piece being that poor age sampling may be overestimating John McCain's percentage of the vote.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vetting Sarah Palin: Pat Buchanan Ties (Jerry Ward)

I got so many hits from my earlier reports that I'm going to continue the cold, hard, research.

One of the many, many controversial stories surrounding Sarah Palin is that she may have supported Patrick Buchanan, who among other things, is notorious for having campaigned heavily in the 1980's to let genocidal Nazi war criminals like Karl Linnas who had falsified documents and obtained citizenship, retain that citizenship instead of facing justice for helping murder thousands of innocent Jewish, Roma, disabled, homosexual, dissident, Polish, etc. men women and children (fortunately, he failed and Linnas was deported and died awaiting trial for war crimes).

While supporting Pat Buchanan (if in fact she did) does not necessarily make Sarah Palin an anti-Semite, it does make her an anti-Semite enabler, and thus an entirely unacceptable candidate for president.

So, did she support Pat Buchanan in his 1996 primary campaign? The evidence turned up by the traditional media so far is unclear; she attended a rally in 1999 and wore a button, but claimed in a subsequent letter to the editor that it was a courtesy she'd have shown any national candidate from any party. Pat Buchanan himself claims she was one of his brigaders in 1996, but so far, the McCain/Palin campaign denies it.

There was another Republican politician at the 1999 Buchanan rally: "Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage" So, perhaps if we can find out more about State. Sen Jerry Ward, we may be able to find more evidence tying Sarah Palin to Pat Buchanan.

From the Associated Press State & Local Wire, March 5th, 1999:

Former Vice President Dan Quayle, conservative activist Gary Bauer and millionaire Steve Forbes have recruited several members of Buchanan's 1996 campaign team.

State Sen. Jerry Ward is heading Buchanan's campaign in Alaska. Buchanan traveled to Kenai to meet with supporters Friday evening and was heading for Fairbanks Saturday.Ul

This tells us two things. First of all, Jerry Ward was a full-fledged Buchanan supporter in, at the very least, the Republican primaries in the 2000 presidential election. Second of all, several members of Buchanan's 1996 team went to milquetoast candidates Quyale, Bauer, and Steve Forbes. As I've already revealed, Sarah Palin co-chaired the Forbes campaign in Alaska in 2000. Was she one of the recruits from the 1996 Buchanan campaign?

From an October 30th, 1998 Anchorage Daily News article we find out that Ward was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor that November (the Knowles/Ulmer ticket won that year), and that the last book he'd read was "''Great Betrayal'' by Pat Buchanan" (though his favorite book, was, of course, the Bible)

He'd been elected to the state Senate in November of 1996, having served in the Alaska state House from 1983-1984.

From the Anchorage Daily News, November 6, 1996:

With more than half of the precincts counted in the highly contentious District E race, which includes South Anchorage and part of the Kenai Peninsula, Salo conceded to Ward. The scrappy former representative overcame the shadow of a decade-old criminal case with repeated attacks on Salo's voting record, which he characterized as too liberal for the district.

And guess what? Pat Buchanan flew in to highlight a campaign rally for Jerry Ward that same year.

Lisa Demer, reporting for the Anchorage Daily News, October 9, 1996.

The rally was for state Senate candidate Jerry Ward, but the star was Republican agitator Pat Buchanan.

Dozens of conservatives crowded into The Castle on O'Malley late Tuesday afternoon to hear Buchanan stump for Ward and talk about his own presidential campaign, which got a big boost from an Alaska victory last spring but eventually fizzled.
''It's got to be the first time ever when a presidential candidate comes up for a state Senate candidate,'' proclaimed former Anchorage Mayor Tom Fink, who introduced Buchanan.

Jerry Ward, Buchanan told the group, ''represents conservative values.''

''He's in favor of tax cuts, not tax increases,'' Buchanan said. ''He's against the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, unlike his opponent.''

Of course, Buchanan was just returning the loyal support he'd received from Jerry Ward, who had coordinated his 1996 campaign as well.

From an October 5, 1996 announcement of this rally in the Anchorage Daily News:
Ward, who coordinated Buchanan's campaign in Alaska, said the rally is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Castle on O'Malley Road.

But all of that may be Palin' (ha!) in comparison to this last gem from the Anchorage Daily News, January 1st, 1995:


After making the Hickel-Coghill election possible by resigning as the AIP lieutenant governor candidate, Ward collected a state paycheck longer than the governor. Starting as a special assistant in Corrections, Ward went to the ill-fated Alaska Energy Authority in 1991, then back to Corrections.

His job? "He was a political appointee who lacked definition," said former DOC Commissioner Frank Prewitt, carefully. Although paid by Corrections, Ward "was managed out of the governor's office," Prewitt said.

That's right: Jerry Ward was the Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate for the Alaskan Independence Party before resigning from the ticket in 1990, clearing the way for former Republican Governor and Nixon Interior Secretary (and current Obama supporter Wally Hickel) to get elected Governor on the Alaska Independence ticket against the ticket of moderate pro-choice, somewhat pro-environment Republican Arliss Sturgulewski (and a weak Democratic ticket).

As you may have heard, despite the McCain campaign's denial, Sarah Palin was, in fact, a member of the Alaska Independence Party in the 1990's, leaving the party only when she first ran for mayor of Wasilla.

Again, this is all circumstantial evidence. But there may be some more "there" there.

After all, Jerry Ward is not the only 1996 Buchananite with ties to the Alaskan Independence Party. A list of 29 Alaska Buchanan coordinators (not featuring Sarah Palin, but not proof she wasn't a Buchananite) includes one Bob Bird, the Alaska Independence Party candidate for president this election.

From the Daily Paul, a press release of a fundraiser for Bob Bird is being held at the law office of 1996 Pat Buchanan coordinator Les Syren.

So who knows? But this needs more investigating.