about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
This writer is always dead onto something interesting. I have personally never read anything from her that is not relevant and
profoundly interesting. Digby is a sweet additive to our
We live in a world where the right wing ruthlessly and without mercy degrades and attacks by any means necessary what they
perceive as the enemy, and then uses the great principles of democracy and fair play when the same is done to them. They leave the
rest of us standing on the sidelines looking like fools for ever caring about anything but winning.
Click here and read about how the
McCain campaign volunteer base consists of 1,000 national volunteers and Barack Obama has 5 million.
Makes you wonder how it is possible the McCain campaign can win. The volunteers of Obama dwarf the Republicans. The voter
turnout in the primaries and in the early voting is polling more than 2 to 1. Even the McCain campaign itself is showing signs of
acknowledging the coming event.
I don't want to jinx anything. We will find out in 5 days.
Definitely these 23% are ignorant -- which is completely due to the pathetic Texas School system : the void filled in by 24-7
commercial television. If you got your ed'ucation from TV, imagine the boundaries of your global and historical understanding.
But here is what is potentially wrong with this poll.
For starters, the "poll" of 550 votes itself doesn't really tell us much, because it's statewide, and with that small a sample, it
would be tough to correlate the ignorance with the location or type. It is very possible that the percent of those who believe
could be higher in different parts of the state. This poll is really limited to a macro-perspective.
It would also be interesting to know how the poll samples were collected. "A statewise survey of 550 registered voters" means
what? Did they make phone calls? Did they interview voters? Did they have the voters fill out forms? All we know is that the poll
was conducted from Oct 15 to 22. Did they make phone calls at specific time intervals, or during specific times? Were the phone
numbers from land-lines or were the calls random numbers? How many non-responses were there?
Most importantly: Did they do a stratified organizing of the sample to ensure the ratios of the various groups are correctly
proportional? If the percentages in the poll increase or decrease in certain ares, care must be taken that the ratio of the samples
are as close as possible to what they are in the larger population. All sample gathering and analysis techniques must use a
known proportion from the larger population (called a parameter) to base the sample analysis on.
You can't just take the first 550 people who respond to your call and call it a day because Clustering is quite possible and
potentially influential with such a small sample. Anything less than 1% has the potential to be affected by clusters sort of like the
first 500 flips of a coin : it is more probable that you will not have exactly 250 heads and 250 tails, and there will be runs of 5 to
6 similar tosses and maybe 10 straight (or more) during the 500 tosses. The problem of clusters in a small sample is that you
might get 10 such events that aren't balanced because the nature of chance the order of events can never be guaranteed.
In order to decrease the potential bias due to the cluster effect all good statisticians must pair the samples to actual ratios that
exist in the larger population. If 20% of Texas live in the panhandle, 60% live in East Texas, and 30% live in the south by
Galveston, then the ratios of location should exist in the survey. So if you want a sample size of 600, you take 60%, 20%, and
30% of the 600 to get the numbers you need from each region (360, 120, & 180).
There are two ways to do a survey that wants to mitigate the cluster effect:
1) Know what the numbers you have to have and keep doing the survey until all the numbers you need are reached. You will
probably have more than you need in some of the categories, so randomly remove samples until you reach the correct number.
2) Make calls to each region and stop when you get the required count. In this method the entire region is put into groups and a
certain number of random calls go to each region until the number from each group is reached.
It is not clear whether the University of Texas poll did any of these things.
By the way, the so-called margin of error is just 3 times some number called the standard error. Divide the 4.2 by 3 and you get
1.4. This is the average distance from the mean for all of the samples. Squaring 1.4 equals 1.96, which is the average sum of
squares of the differences between the average and the samples. Multiplying by 550 is 1078, and now taking the square root
you finally get the important number : 32.83. (Trust me if you don't understand).
32.83% (or .3283) is the sample standard deviation. Notice that 3 times this number is damn close to one. This essentially
means that anything between 0 and 1 is possible. The average of the numbers between 1 (yes) and 0 (no) is 0.23, with the
average distance from 1 and 0 (representing all the people who answered yes or no) being represented by the important number
Now, since the two numbers subtracted from 0.23 are either one (yes) or zero(no), we are actually just adding a bunch of squared
0.23 and 0.77 values. The square root of this sum after being divided by 549 is .3283. The ratios here are 18% and 82% (.3283-
.23 divided by .77-.23).
This means that we should expect clustering within the population anywhere between 18% and 82%, with the average being
32.83% not 23%.
Most of these surveys really aren't worth their namesakes. Did you realize "a margin of error of 4.2%" actually means the sample
has a high potential for bias due to clustering?
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 at 18h 41m 12s
Socialism a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and
exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Marxism Central to Marxist theory is an explanation of social change in terms of economic factors, according to which the means of
production provide the economic base, which influences or determines the political and ideological superstructure. Marx and
Engels predicted the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the proletariat and the eventual attainment of a classless
Communism a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned
and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
Obama's tax adjustment policy giving the middle class a tax break.
Rearranging the manner in which government tax revenues is collected is not socialist, marxism, communism, or any other
speculative far leftist-extremist conjecture by the idiots that tout this nonsense. The method by which the tax is collected is a
legitimate basis for discussion and exchange of ideas. Businesses don't get owned by the government just because the tax rates
are readjusted to give a tax break to those who earn less than $250,000 a year. Asking multimillionaires to cough up an extra 50
thousand is as much of a burden as asking someone who makes $30,000 a year an extra $30. Get real. Less than two per cent of the
nation makes more than $250,000.
This is the last pathetic attempt by elitists and corporatist lackeys to distinguish themselves from modern discerning adults who
know the difference between adjusting the tax codes and public ownership of all economic enterprises. This rhetoric is ridiculous
and so narrow-minded, it is damn near insulting to have to hear it by others who claim to be authentic and without a hidden
agenda. Ah, me, the foxes and wolves always protest to have the best intentions.
The Republican campaign strategy is to bring out fake pretenders
named Joe-American while using the scare tactics of old-world red scare nonsense, because they have no governing principle
other than win at all cost. If they somehow win, they will install their lobbyist friends network all throughout the government,
rather than pick the best, most knowledgeable, and most qualified for the positions.
It would be an extension of the Bush Disaster, only worse.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 at 19h 8m 2s
Economics in 14 words
les investissements d'aujourd'hui sont les profits de demain et les emplois d'après-demain-- Christian Schmidt
"The investments of today are the profits of yesterday and the employment of tomorrow."
Hagel’s unwillingness to endorse McCain is generally perceived to be a result of their ongoing disagreements over the Iraq war.
But he told me that the gulf between them is much deeper: “In good conscience, I could not enthusiastically—honestly—go out
and endorse him and support him when we so fundamentally disagree on the future course of our foreign policy and our role in
Hagel, citing McCain’s repeated calls for Russia to be expelled from the Group of Eight, the association of major industrial
democracies, said, “You’re not going to isolate Russia—that’s completely crazy!” He told me that McCain’s approach to Russia
was one of the reasons that he could not endorse him.
McCain has often spoken about his desire to create a League of Democracies. Discussing Iran during the first Presidential debate,
he said, “Let’s be clear and let’s have some straight talk. The Russians are preventing significant action in the United Nations
Security Council. I have proposed a League of Democracies, a group . . . of countries that share common interests, common
values, common ideals. They also control a lot of the world’s economic power. We could impose significant, meaningful, painful
sanctions on the Iranians.” He concluded, “So I am convinced that together we can, with the French, with the British, with the
Germans and other countries—democracies around the world—we can affect Iranian behavior.”
Critics have suggested that McCain’s League of Democracies could diminish the role of the United Nations. When I mentioned this
to Hagel, he said, “What is the point of the United Nations? The whole point, as anyone who has taken any history knows, was to
bring all nations of the world together in some kind of imperfect body, a forum that allows all governments of the world,
regardless of what kinds of government, to work through their problems—versus attacking each other and going to war. Now, in
John’s League of Democracies, does that mean Saudi Arabia is out? Does that mean our friend King Abdullah in Jordan is out? It
would be only democracies. Well, we’ve got a lot of allies and relationships that are pretty important to us, and to our interests,
who would be out of that club. And the way John would probably see China and Russia, they wouldn’t be in it, either. So it would
be an interesting Book-of-the-Month Club.
“But in order to solve problems you’ve got to have all the players at the table,” Hagel went on, his voice rising. “How are you
going to fix the problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan—the problems we’ve got with poverty, proliferation, terrorism, wars—when
the largest segments of society in the world today are not at the table?” He paused, then added, more calmly, “The United
Nations, as I’ve said many times, is imperfect. We’ve got NATO, multilateral institutions, multilateral-development banks, the
World Trade Organization—all have flaws, that’s true. But if you didn’t have them what would you have? A world completely out
of control, with no structure, no order, no boundaries.”
McCain has said that an American victory in Iraq will enable the country to become “our stable, democratic ally” against Iran. But
Hagel argues that McCain overlooks the reality of Iraq’s relationship with Iran. “We bluster, we threaten, we say we’re not going to
engage [Iran],” Hagel said. “Yet our ally, the elected sovereign government of Iraq, is talking to Iran every day. Maliki”—Nouri al-
Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister—“and most of the Shia government were exiled in Iran. So we’ve got Ahmadinejad”—the President
of Iran—“in and out of Baghdad, Maliki in and out of Tehran: that’s going on without our even acknowledging it.” Hagel added
that this collaboration should be encouraged, for the sake of stability in Iraq.
“Whether we like it or not, there will be no peace or stability in the Middle East without Iran’s participation,” Hagel said. In early
October, he prevented action on a bill, which had passed in the House, proposing economic sanctions against Iran. Hagel has
long criticized unilateral sanctions as ineffective and counterproductive. (Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign
Affairs Committee and the legislation’s sponsor, told me that he supports unconditional engagement with the Iranians but favors
a twofold approach: “You increase the pressure on them, and you offer to engage with them.” He added that although he shares
Hagel’s negative appraisal of the Bush Administration’s unilateralism, he thinks that Hagel opposes this kind of action “too
The notion of “winning” in Iraq is a “failed way of thinking,” Hagel said. “If we frame this as win or lose, we’ll be there forever.” He
added that this logic is equally flawed with respect to Afghanistan. “I agree with Obama that we’re going to have to put several
more brigades in there,” he told me. “But there is no military solution, so we have to be very careful that somehow we don’t just
ricochet out of Iraq into Afghanistan, with another hundred-and-fifty-thousand-troop buildup.” According to Hagel, confronting
the problems of Afghanistan requires an understanding of its internal politics, its narcotics trade, and its endemic corruption, as
well as a regional diplomatic approach, involving Pakistan, India, and Iran.
McCain “thinks we just need more military,” Hagel said. “I’ve talked to John about this many times. I’ve said, ‘John, we’re limited.
We’re doing tremendous damage to our Army and Marines, we can’t sustain this.’ ”
Hagel may be the only senior Republican elected official who has publicly criticized McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as
his running mate. “I don’t believe she’s qualified to be President of the United States,” Hagel told me. “The first judgment a
potential President makes is who their running mate is—and I don’t think John made a very good selection.” He scoffed at
McCain’s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. “To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees
Russia—and that she’s commander of the Alaska National Guard.” He added, “There is no question that this candidate is arguably
the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.” Hagel’s criticisms have prompted protests from
Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, who said in an e-mail statement to me, “Senator Hagel knows that decades
of foreign-policy experience in the Senate did not stop countless Democrats and some Republicans from declaring the surge a
failure before it started and recommending instead a disastrous policy of withdrawal and retreat in Iraq.”
For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness—in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long
Senate career, for example—to belittle the notion that experience is important. “There’s no question, she knows her market,”
Hagel said. “She knows her audience, and she’s going right after them. And I’ll tell you why that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous
because you don’t want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always strive to define
standards up. If you start defining standards down—‘Well, I don’t have a big education, I don’t have experience’—yes, there’s a
point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of
wild populism, that those things don’t count in a complicated, dangerous world—that’s dangerous in itself.
“There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings,” he continued. “And we’re getting on the fringe of that,
with these one-issue voters—pro-choice or pro-life. Important issue, I know that. But, my goodness. The world is blowing up
everywhere, and I just don’t think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue.
[SOURCE:Connie Bruck | New Yorker | 3 November
Watch this guy very closely. He always gets great publicity.
I think the election booths are going to be swamped on election day. Barack inspires the people to vote. And now that the
internet has made him accessible, everyone really has access. Nowadays even 60-ish years old people are sufficiently functional
on the use of internet as an alternative news distributor. This is much different from even 10 years ago.
I recently saw an ad on the atrios blog, "Who would Cheat first?" --- Which political candidate would cheat first on their wife? --
And i'm like, are you kidding me man? Have we metamorphosed backwards in time?
Pssssst. Barack might sleep with some young 20-ish year old hottie before McCain since McCain is 72 years old.
But don't worry Sarah Palin will be waiting in the wings. And she'd be more than happy to distinguish the "real, pro " America
from its antithesis, the "fake, anti" America. (Uh? Mrs. Palin. What does that have to do with positions and reasoned exchange
about issues of public and foreign policy?) What the hell is "real" vs. "fake" America, anyway ?
Even in my wildest moments of consternation, I have always believed there were three kinds of people. This dates back to the
age of twenty when I was still in college at Tulane University. Here is a quote from a journal at the time, September 1990
There are three kinds of people. The evil, the duped, and the tormented. The evil know exactly what they're doing and don't give
a damn. The duped are just ignorant tools manipulated by symbols and appeal to patriotism. The tormented live in between,
tacking the middle road between cynicism and oblivion, knowing truly what is evil, and all the more, knowing sadly those whom
art duped. Most importantly however, it is the tormented, and the tormented alone who see the paths of both transitions, the
path to evil as well as the path to oblivion, beyond which there is no return without a paradigm shift of consciousness.
September 1990 -- wow that was back in the middle of the Herbert Walker Bush presidency. I was in college during the first
gulf war, and when the invasion of Panama called "getting Manual Norriega" occurred.
I was in college from August 1987 until I graduated in May 1992, which spans the time from the Iran-Contra scandal, through
the 1987 stock collapse, and the economic restructuring recession that followed off and on until 1995. The
history will eventually reveal the first Bush administration on par with the second.
Saturday, 25 October 2008 at 11h 3m 1s
Looking for fault
This piece in the New York Times is an incredible work of legitimate journalism, not just because I agree with what the
says, but because the author representing all perspectives possible of the issue, and also give relevant non-mischaracterized
historical knowledge to enhance the readers knowledge. If only there were more Edmund L. Andrews hired by the newspapers
“You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to
do so by many others,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. “Do you feel that your
ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”
Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by
On a day that brought more bad news about rising home foreclosures and slumping employment, Mr. Greenspan refused to
accept blame for the crisis but acknowledged that his belief in deregulation had been shaken.
He noted that the immense and largely unregulated business of spreading financial risk widely, through the use of exotic
financial instruments called derivatives, had gotten out of control and had added to the havoc of today’s crisis. As far back as
1994, Mr. Greenspan staunchly and successfully opposed tougher regulation on derivatives.
But on Thursday, he agreed that the multitrillion-dollar market for credit default swaps, instruments originally created to insure
bond investors against the risk of default, needed to be restrained.
“This modern risk-management paradigm held sway for decades,” he said. “The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in
the summer of last year.”
Mr. Waxman noted that the Fed chairman had been one of the nation’s leading voices for deregulation, displaying past
statements in which Mr. Greenspan had argued that government regulators were no better than markets at imposing discipline.
“Were you wrong?” Mr. Waxman asked.
“Partially,” the former Fed chairman reluctantly answered, before trying to parse his concession as thinly as possible.
“This crisis,” he told lawmakers, “has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined. It has morphed from
one gripped by liquidity restraints to one in which fears of insolvency are now paramount.”
Many Republican lawmakers on the oversight committee tried to blame the mortgage meltdown on the unchecked growth of
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government-sponsored mortgage-finance companies that were placed in a government
conservatorship last month. Republicans have argued that Democratic lawmakers blocked measures to reform the companies.
But Mr. Greenspan, who was first appointed by President Ronald Reagan, placed far more blame on the Wall Street companies that
bundled subprime mortgages into pools and sold them as mortgage-backed securities. Global demand for the securities was so
high, he said, that Wall Street companies pressured lenders to lower their standards and produce more “paper.”
“The evidence strongly suggests that without the excess demand from securitizers, subprime mortgage originations (undeniably
the original source of the crisis) would have been far smaller and defaults accordingly far lower,” he said.
[SOURCE:EDMUND L. ANDREWS | New York Times | 23
Notice how the Republicans immediately try to blame the other guy. This is their typical partisan tactic. Quickly frame the event
in a way that enables your group of thugs to mischaracterize the event in such a way that they try to place blame on the
opposition group, regardless of the truth.
Fact: Fannie and Freddie were both driven by Republican appointments from the Dubya Bush administration. The "Democrats"
didn't block "measures to reform the companies", and even if they did, Freddie and Fannie only added to the crisis by becoming
engineered by the Republican appointees to shield the lowering of debt standards engineered by the financiers to produce more
"paper" so they could sell it.
Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 18h 19m 41s
$150,000 for Palin's wardrobe
That's right. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the VP candidate of the party that preaches fiscal responsibility.
campaign finance reports confirmed that the Republican National Committee spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks
Fifth Avenue in September for Ms. Palin and her family.