Friday, December 5, 2008
A cursory glance at the World's Terror HotSpots will reveal that a majority (>90%) of the terrorism is being perpetrated by fundamental Muslim extremists. Whether it is the Hamas in Palestine, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Al Qaeda in Pakistan (let's stop kidding ourselves as to where the Al Qaeda are really based in), the so-called "Al Qaeda in Iraq" OR the Laskhar-E-Toiba in Kashmir, they all have a common thread connecting them and that is an extremely distorted view of the world through their lens of fundamentalist Islam principles.
In spite of all of the aforementioned groups, I still believe that Islam is a peaceful religion and that it's not the religion itself but its messengers & leaders that are to blame. Shame upon the mainstream moderate Muslims for letting their religion being defined by these terrorists. Shame on them for not standing up against terrorism and for not condemning these radicals.
Most people in the West believe that Islam is an evil religion and they are wrong but you cannot fault them. When images of AK-47s and Rocket Propelled Grenades flood your mind upon hearing the word Islam, how else would one be expected to perceive Islam?
There are supposedly moderate voices in Islam, as there are in every religion. But, these seem to be either not speaking up in a strong voice OR are being drowned out by the terrorist elements. It's a pity that I can name 10 Muslim terrorists but NOT ONE SINGLE PACIFIST.
So, instead of blaming the other religions for "persecuting" Islam/Muslims OR for having negative views of Islam, it is time that real Muslims (the ones that have actually read the Quran and understand its real meaning) stand up for their religion and repair its tarnished image.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- Tied between Mason-Dixon and ARG
- Tied between FOX News/Rassmussen and Reuters/Zogby (that's a surprise!)
- Tied between FOX News/Rassmussen and Reuters/Zogby (hmmmm...)
- Indy Star/Selzer - Incidentally, this was the only pollster that called Indiana correctly for Obama.
- Tied between ARG and Downs Center/SurveyUSA (they called it a tie)
- Univ of Cincinnati/Ohio Poll
- Tied between Reuters/Zogby (these guys again) and SurveyUSA
- Reuters/Zogby (Wow!!)
So it would seem that while Zogby performed really poorly in the National polls, they were pretty decent in the battleground states. Given that we elect our president through the electoral college, it augurs well for them in future Presidential Elections.
Mason-Dixon performed shockingly poorly in the battleground polls and that should concern them a bit, especially because they performed really well in the National polls.
And with that, we close the lid on the 2008 United States Presidential Elections. Congratulations to Barack Obama and Joe Biden! Hope they can turn this ship around. Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Speaking of which, I decided to put my limited Excel skills to use and try to come up with a Report Card for the 12341521 pollsters (seemingly) that covered this election. In this post, I have compiled a list of all the final National Polls (courtesy realclearpolitics.com) and have tried to rank the pollsters based upon the proximity of their numbers to the actual results.
First, here's the table that I use (Click on the picture for a larger view). The tan row is the RCP average. The green row is the actuals. The yellow highlights indicate the numbers/pollsters who are closest to the actuals.
(Click on the Picture for a larger view).
As you can see, when it came to estimating Obama's support, the top 3 were CNN/Opinion Research, Ipsos/McClatchy and ABC News/Washington Post. They were all only 0.17 percentage points off the actual number (53.17%).
When it ccame to estimating Sen. McCain's support, the top spot goes to Battleground (Lake) who were off by 0.17 percentage points and the second spot is shared by 4 pollsters - Rasmussen Reports, Ipsos/McClatchy, CNN/Opinion Research and Pew Research, who were all off by 0.83 percentage points.
Finally, when it came to estimating the spread, the top spot is shared by Rasmussen Reports and Pew Research who were off just by 0.34 percentage points and the third place is tied between Fox News, Ipsos/McClatchy and CNN/Opinion Research, who were all off by 0.66 percentage points.
So, if we were to grade these pollsters using some basic ranking logic, here's how it would look like:
First Place: Tied between CNN/Opinion Research AND Ipsos/McClatchy
Third Place: Tied between Rasmussen Reports AND Pew Research
Occupying the bottom rungs would be Battleground (Tarrance), Reuters/C-Span/Zogby (no surprise here, Zogby is a really bad pollster by any measure), Diageo/Hotline and Gallup (that's a surprise!).
Some additional thoughts:
1. The narrow margins by which these polls were off tells us how far along election polling has come in this country.
2. None of the polls were incorrect when it came to predicting the winner.
3. We can officially put the Bradley Effect to rest.
In Part 2, I'll look into how the pollsters did in the so-called "battleground" states (mental video of Sen. McCain drawing air-quotes).
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Palin portrays Mr. Graystone as a communist because he and Paul Krugman, another Nobel winning economist were at the same day-care in New York, a year prior to Graystone moving to Hawaii. Mr. Krugman is considered to be a liberal economist who often write for the New York Times. Although Mr. Graystone was awarded the Nobel for his ground-breaking work on free market economy and positive effects of deregulation, Gov. Palin contends that he is a communist by virtue of having been in pre-school with Mr. Krugman.
The accusation was the main piece of primetime news even on the always fair and balanced, Fox News Network. Even one of their most unbiased and neutral analysts, Sean Hannity, expressed shock that Sen. Obama would pal around with Graystone. The reader may recall that Hannity was extremely reluctant to bring up Mr. Obama's association with known domestic terrorist and another Chicago professor, William Ayers, because Obama was only 8 when Ayers indulged in his anti-govt activties. Hannity told his viewers that Obama ought to have known that Graystone was in pre-school with Krugman and that Krugman would turn out to be a communist. Hannity said that this shows Obama's poor judgment in choosing his company.
A snap poll of Fox showed that his viewers agreed with him. 70% of the respondents said that Obama should have known about Graystone and 30% said, 'F*&k Yeah!'.
In an unrelated poll conducted on Fox News, 99.99% of their viewers said that they believe the Earth is flat and that's one of the reasons why they don't visit Alaska (because they're afraid that they would fall off the edge of the Earth if they went too far West). A mysterious lone voter made up the remaining 0.01% and rumors about the lone vote being cast from the Governor's mansion in Alaska are running wild on the internet. Experts suspect that the lone voter may indeed be Gov. Sarah Palin who has repeatedly said that she could see Russia to the West of her house in Wasilla.
Other news media such as NBC, CBS & CNN were criticized by the McCain campaign for not taking this story seriously. McCain complained of blatant bias in the coverage of new events. NBC's Tom Brokaw responded by saying that there was no bias against McCain/Palin and that the only known bias that NBC had was against stupidity. He also said that NBC was working hard at removing the anti-stupidity bias by running shows such as Lipstick Jungle and Kathy & Kim. Sphere: Related Content
Thursday, October 23, 2008
In addition to Saks and Neiman Marcus, Mr. Plumber plans on shopping at Mark Shale and Armani. Mr. Plumber is reportedly looking for suits more expensive than Obama's Hartmarxs and shoes more expensive than McCain's Ferrangamos. When asked about his shopping budget, he replied, "Considering the fact that I am doing more interviews daily than Mrs. Palin has done since the beginning of this campaign, my budget will be at least twice that of her's". Reporters pointed out that while Mr. Obama's suits were purchased out his own money (proceeds from the sale of his two books) and that Mr. McCain's suits were purchased using his wife's beer money, Ms. Palin's clothes were charged to McCain's campaign which has accepted federal funding (taxpayer money). An irritated Mr. Plumber fumed and said, "So it's taxpayer money. Big deal. Aren't taxes supposed to be a redistribution of wealth? How about distributing some of that to me?".
Upon hearing those comments from Mr. Plumber, McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt quickly annointed Steve the Electrician as the official campaign spokesman, saying that Mr. Plumber was becoming increasingly erratic. Backing up Mr. Schmidt's claim are statements from Mr. Plumber such as "You shall refer to me as the 'Maverick formerly known as Joe the Plumber' " and "I'm suspending all my interviews with Fox News and going to Washington to solve the economic crisis".
In other news, Ms. Palin has reportedly setup a 'Presidential Exploratory Committee' named 'Palin 2012'. When asked about her initial thoughts on a running mate, she replied, "I already have a mate, Todd Palin, and Boy, can he run! He's got more executive experience than me, since he's the one really running the governor's office in Alaska now anyway!" Sphere: Related Content
Friday, October 17, 2008
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Joe the Plumber is not really a plumber and is just some rich guy trying to buy a plumbing company. He apparently does not even have a plumbing license. When asked about this, he said, "I don't need no stinkin' license from no government. I just have to charge $300 for replacin' the faucet and I'll do just fine, thank you! And Oh! If the IRS comes knocking at my door to get the back-taxes that I owe, I'll shoot 'em silly, ya hear me?".
Mr. Plumber has changed his last name to Plumber and his middle initial to T. (for The). His old last name of Wurzelbacher was too long for folks to remember and sounded more like a hot-dog than an plumber. On Thursday morning, his house was besieged by an army of reporters trying to get their own angle on him and the state of the election in Ohio.
By Thursday night, Mr. Plumber was refusing to do any more interviews, claiming exhaustion from all those questions and from the mike being stuck in his face. When pressed with more questions, he said, "Why don't you go ask Gov. Palin? Heck, I've done more interviews in 12hrs than she's done in 12 weeks!".
In other news, Barack Obama is seriously considering conceding the race to John McCain after a meeting that he had with President Bush in which he is said to have learned about the 'real budget deficit'. An ashen-faced Obama reportedly came out of the meeting with the President and said, "I can't believe the s**t-house that this guy's leaving behind!". Sphere: Related Content
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Here is a transcript of a debate that This One recently had with That One last night, moderated by NBC's Tom Brokaw:
This One: You know who voted for the Energy Bill of 2005? That One!
Brokaw: Oh! That One.
This One: No, not that one, but the other "That one".
Brokaw: There's another one?
This One: Yes, that what I've been trying to tell the American Public all these days. That One is not what he seems. That one's really another one. The other one is really dangerous and not worthy of your trust.
Brokaw: So that one didn't vote for the bill but the other one did?
This One: NO! That one and the other one are one and the same.
Brokaw: You mean, there's no other one and there's just that one?
This One: No! There this one (pointing to himself) and that one (pointing at his rival).
Brokaw: So who voted for the bill and who voted against?
This One: I voted against; that one voted for.
Brokaw: You mean that one voted for the bill that was floated by the other one?
This One: No, the other one is the evil one.
Brokaw: You're saying that, that one is evil?
This One: No, that one isn't evil, the other one is.
Brokaw: But you said that, that one and the other one were one and the same.
At this point, That One decided that he'd gone long enough without saying anything.
That One: Tom, it's this one and the other one that are the same. Not me. I'm that one, remember?
At this point, the debate ended abruptly after NBC determined that most people had switched off their TVs. The audience in the hall was then woken up, given some coffee and sent home. The post-debate spin-meisters then got together and talked about this one, that one and the other one until one (1am that is).
Meanwhile, a nationwide poll of 1000 undecided voters who viewed the debate came out this way:
This One: 4%
That One: 10%
The Other One: 1% (this ties the lowest score the other one has ever had)
Oh my God! We're really screwed !!: 85%
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Saturday, October 4, 2008
Ticked off that McCain was conceding Michigan, his running mate, Sarah Palin decided that she was going to do some conceding herself. To that effect, she conceded today at a rally in Englewood, CO, that there was no way that her party's ticket was going to win this election based on issues. Instead, she said that the Republican campaign was switching to a tried and tested tactic called Swift-Boating. This, she explained, involves an attempt to assassinate your rival's character with blatant lies and smear. While intelligent and decent people might be put off by such lies and dirt, Palin said that she is confident that a majority of Americans are neither intelligent nor decent and that this "silent majority" has helped her party win 2 elections in a row. She went on to add that at least McCain has a positive IQ, albeit single-digit - GW Bush couldn't even claim that. Offering even more evidence of the voter's lack of intelligence, she laughed aloud and said, "Listen, if they're dumb enough to believe that I have foreign policy experience because we can see Russia from Alaska, then I'm sure they'll believe any nonsense we put out there.". That, she said was "quintessentially American".
When asked if this meant that McCain was also changing the name on his campaign bus from the "Straight Talk Express" to the "Smear Talk Wagon", Palin said, "You betcha!".
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Friday, October 3, 2008
With the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Fuld has lost millions in stock and had fallen back on his yacht loan payments. Repeated attempts by Wachovia Bank who owns the loan, and the Miami Police Department over the past couple of months had been unsuccessful. Fuld owns a 20-bedroom vacation home on the Intercoastal in Miami.
Neighbors said that they have seen mail and packages disappear from the front door and believe that Fuld does indeed inhabit the house from time to time and has been coming out in the dead of the night to clear the mail.
At the time of posting this blog, the news from Miami-Dade County Hospital was that Fuld was recovering well after surgery and had reportedly asked for a bottle of his favorite wine from his vacation home, a 1787 Chateau Lafite. In an extraordinary show of solidarity and bipartisanship, Congress today passed unanimously the Millionaire Yacht Bailout Bill. The bill is designed to ensure that all loans on luxury yachts bought by CEOs/CFOs of troubled Wall Street Firms are forgiven by using taxpayer money to pay them off.
In justifying the loan forgiveness, President Bush explained at a White House Press Conference that this was a great example of trickle-down economics working. Govt. bails out Wall Street and Wall Street bails out their CEOs and CFOs. He added, "What could be a better example of Reaganomical success?".
Meanwhile, Addie Polk, the 90yr old Ohio woman who had her own mortgage forgiven by Fannie Mae after she shot herself in an attempt to commit suicide because of impending foreclosure of her house, is contemplating suicide again as she realized after regaining consciousness that her insurance company had canceled her health insurance and that she'd be left to pay the $234,000 hospital bill herself. Incidentally, the hospital bill was more that 5 times the mortgage payoff, which was $45,000.
Asked by reporters what other homeowners facing foreclosure of their homes would have to do in order to obtain loan forgiveness from Fannie Mae, republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said that he empathized with them and that he and his wife have had to put one of their 12 houses, a 13bdr ranch in Sedona, AZ on sale themselves because of a dip in beer sales, but told the American people not to worry and that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. In responding to the same question, his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, "Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.". While most reporters left the room scratching their heads, Fox News commentators Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were all in praise of Palin's answer, critizing those that questioned her of "gotcha journalism".
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
This time however, the bailout he is referring to is for the bank in the game of Monopoly. After a rash of defaults by players that made some dubious investments, such as building houses and hotels on Mediterranean abd Baltic Avenues, the bank has run out of cash. Their premise that other players would eventually land on these properties and would pay out has repeatedly been thwarted by bizarre behavior by the dice. Players are now jumping from Community Chest to Just Visiting the Jail to Free Parking. Some are even happy to end up in jail and lose 3 turns, so long as they don't have to pay the rent OR do maintenance on their properties.
Even the cards in community chest and chance are coming up as favorable to players. Consider this one that came up recently to a woman from Alaska, "Congratulations! You've won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect VP Nomination!".
Adding to the bank's woes are players that steal from the bank while others aren't looking. Many blame it on the bank for lack of regulation and oversight, Sen. McCain, who has repatedly voted in the past against regulation, is now calling for stringent regulation and oversight of the bank.
In Washington, Sen. McCain hopes to convince members of his own party, many of whom are skittish about supporting a bailout of the Monopoly Bank using taxpayer money. McCain however hopes to have better luck this time around since many Republicans have houses and hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place and don't like to see the value of their own properties go down.
Analysts say that this is a last ditch effort by the senator from Arizona to revive his campaign from the disastrous interviews that his running mate has given on Network television.
In a related piece of news, lukewarm cadavers around the nation are revolting en masse against Scott Adams, the creator of comic strip Dilbert, after Adams reportedly referred to Sen. McCain as one. Lukewarm cadavers feel deeply insulted by the name-calling since they strongly believe that they have a much better economic plan to offer than the republican presidential candidate.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008
There's one thing to be anti-something and pro-other, but to pull off anti-everything requires a special talent and of all the people that I know, only Lou has that. Why, yesterday, he even wrote a commentary against adopting abandoned puppies saying that it would amount to blanket amnesty for people that abandon puppies.
According to insider sources within CNN, Lou is working on a commentary railing against commentaries. Out to prove a point, he's put his own commentaries top on the list of commentaries he's against. The entire country is eagerly awaiting this anti-commentary commentary. Commentators on both ends of the political spectrum are busy commentating on the pros and cons of such a bold tactic, one that is even more bold than John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate (In case you are wondering... Lou is anti-McCain and anti-Palin as well). How he's going to pull this one off has all the makings of a prime-time reality show (he's against those as well).
In other news, there are reports of a spike in binocular sales in the 49th state as more and more Alaskans look West towards Russia in order to gain better foreign policy experience, in case McCain-Palin get elected and they are called upon to staff the State Department. Sphere: Related Content
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Today, McCain's campaign feigned outrage saying that Obama's comments were in reference to the lipstick comments by Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin at the recently concluded Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN.
So, it has started. The mud-slinging, the lies, the swift-boating, the deceit and the smears. Just when I thought that this election was a bit different, I have been proven soundly wrong. Beneath all the shiny suits, the $400 loafers and polished talk, every politician has a streetfighter's mentality and in times such as these (http://www.gallup.com/poll/107674/Gallup-Daily-Election-2008.aspx), it comes out and rears its ugly head.
I am not going to start debating on who was right and who is wrong. I think it would do the citizens of this country a lot of good if the discussion were to get back to the issues (the economy, the nation's security and energy policy), rather than this "you said, she said, I said" Kindergarten routine that we're in right now.
The one interesting thing though is that amidst all this noise, we seem to have completely lost track of the other VP candidate, Joe Biden. Where is he? Wasn't he supposed to be Obama's "Attack Dog"? Isn't he the "loud-mouthed" one? Maybe Obama needs to focus his attacks on McCain and Biden on Palin. The more Obama attacks Palin, the more he frames the comparison in people's mind's between himself and Palin, rather than himself and McCain. The odds for Obama in a comparison against McCain are good but not so against Palin. Likewise, Biden against Palin is a cake-walk for Biden BUT the Republicans are cleverly framing this as Palin vs. Obama rather than Palin vs. Biden and looks like the Dems are falling into the trap.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Was doing some research on Sarah Palin and what she was bringing (or not) to the table and ran into the following excerpt from an interview that Karl Rove did on "Face the Nation" a month ago:
SCHIEFFER: You have said yourself in the past that Obama probably should pick a red state governor, somebody just like Tim Kaine that we just heard just a minute ago from
Mr. ROVE: Yeah. I think it’s going to be in play, but let me clarify. I didn’t say that I thought he ought to, I said that I thought he probably would pick a red state Democrat, because I think he’s going to make an intensely political choice, not a governing choice. He’s going to view this through the prism of a candidate, not through the prism of president; that is to say, he’s going to pick somebody that he thinks will on the margin help him in a state like Indiana or Missouri or Virginia. He’s not going to be thinking big and broad about the responsibilities of president.
With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in
So when Steve Schmidt, disciple numero uno of Rove, feigns anger at the media for apparently questioning Palin's resume and calls them sexist for even asking basic questions on Palin's experience, it reeks of hypocrisy.
I think what the McCain camp is trying to say is this:
If you are a red state Governor and a woman (and hot!) and the name of your state begins and ends with A and your state has more moose than humans and you have been mayor of a village that begins with W and you have extremely conservative social views and you are for drilling everywhere including the Grand Canyon (Hey! The
So let's for a moment go with that assumption. The next question then is, why so much noise around Palin?
It is not because of Palin herself, a lite-featherweight at best, but what her selection tells us about Grandpa McSame:
- He put "winning first" and "COUNTRY LAST" because he realized that his original choice, Joe LIE-berman, would have gone nowhere with the conservative right-wing (think Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Corsi). And he also knows that he's putting a small-town (more like a village) mayor from Alaska who just got herself a passport, a heartbeat away from the presidency. McCain is a two-time cancer survivor and not in the greatest of healths.
- He is desperate to reinforce his Maverick status by doing the unexpected. The problem is that when the unexpected also becomes the "under-vetted" OR "under-cooked", then that's where a Maverick moves quickly turns into a moronic one.
- Again, in order to win at all costs, he is shamelessly pandering to the extreme right-wingers in the Republican party, while he himself is against some of their wierd positions (abstinence only education, creationism and other such nonsense).
And some closing thoughts on Palin herself:
No doubt a strong characted and a good person but one has to question her judgement to thrust her pregnant teenage daughter into the national limelight (think front page of National Enquirer) just to advance her own political career. Whatever happened to the GOP being the Party of Family Values? I'm not saying that she shouldn't run for higher office at all but just questioning the timing of her decision. And Oh, BTW, she cannot hold a candle to Hillary (or Biden for that matter). Sphere: Related Content