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Everything posted by Garth

  1. So, in other words, the polls were wrong. Here’s the thing, I get it. I worked in polling. I still have friends who work in polling. I have friends who are consumers of polling. I know how polls are developed, conducted, aggregated, analyzed and used in political decision making. I also know that they’re more art than science, that the pollsters who get it “right” are oftentimes the beneficiaries of plain dumb luck and that the increasing difficulties of conducting polls are pushing pollsters to protect their reputations by hedging more than ever. Hence the increased use of probabilities in addition to margins of error. And polling is becoming MUCH more difficult, for two big reasons. 1. Thanks to call screening capabilities people just aren’t picking up the phones any more. Getting a representative sample is extremely hard. There’s an increase in reliance on weighting and screening for demographics, essentially predicting what the voting electorate will look like. So back to more art than science. 2. Data-driven GOTV and micro targeting are allowing campaigns to identify and focus on hidden pockets of potential support. Polling methods can’t account for this unless the pollster is aware that the campaign is finding and turning out otherwise unidentifiable voters. It also undermines predictive modelling. Now having said that, polling is still useful in a lot of ways. It still shows trending pretty well, and can be used to identify and hone messaging to different demographic groups. But, like you said, as a predictor of turnout (which is what really matters in politics, right) it is increasingly falling short.
  2. There really is no point in trying to discuss things with someone who’s starting point amounts to “All suspects are guilty, otherwise they wouldn’t be suspects ...”
  3. Exactly why I’m insisting my kids go to public, not private, universities. There’s at least some requirement to provide Constitutional protections (and I have a hunch those protections will be strengthened in the coming years) Since private universities can largely set their own rules, the only viable suits are ones where it can be shown that they violated those rules, and thus violating the contracts they have with their students. However the way to go after them is to tie government funding (scholarships, grants, etc) to adoption of protections. That’s probably still a ways down the road ...
  4. Keep in mind that with all the lighting in there they’ll have the AC cranked seriously up to offset the heat and make sure people aren’t having flop sweats on camera. Recall that Al Gore had such a sweating issue that he negotiated away various things for his 2000 debates with Bush to “win” an indoor temperature in the low 60s. And yes, temperature is a point of negotiation for POTUS debates. Also, there’s some suggestion she suffers from Raynauds. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raynaud_syndrome
  5. So, Jeff my friend, a hypothetical for you ... The political environment is fluid at this point, and Kavanaugh has thrown things up into the air. Polling is all over the place and has yet to settle down, so we don’t know the extent of the #kavanaugheffect, or even if their will be one. And that’s assuming the polls can be trusted after 2016. But if they can they’re showing a lot of generic but rapid movement to the Republicans. For instance in the last three Quinnipiac polls, support from white women (THE crucial suburban voter in the Dem coalition) to the Dems has collapsed from a 13 point advantage two weeks ago to a 5 point advantage last week to a 1 point advantage now. Here’s the hypothetical ... GOP gains seats in the Senate (good chance). GOP actually retains the House (not outside the realm of possibility) Do the Dems: 1. Continue along their current path, further radicalizing in both tone and positioning? Or 2. Look to a “centrist” leader to put the crazies down, move the Party right and lead them out of the wilderness like Clinton did in 1992? And if 2 ... can they still do it? The centrist Southern Dems are gone, marginalized and pushed out of the Party. The closest thing they have is Biden. The superdelegates look to be gone, and the pragmatic money (Pam Harriman) has been supplanted by the likes of Tom Steyer. Not to mention the radicals are on the ascent and hell of a lot more powerful than 30 years ago ...
  6. Case in point: an election campaign where 63 or so million citizens look at each other and ask “Did she (the Left presidential candidate) just call me an ‘irredeemable deplorable’ or was she talking about you”? Also, I know that I haven’t been around in a while and have missed some things, but is it no longer considered bad form and exceptionally rude to carry others’ postings from one thread to another? Especially without notifying the post author of having done so?
  7. Theres also a huge political problem with the it was just a job interview spin. It reinforces the case Trump and a lot of Republicans are now making that ANY male (regardless of public stature) is at direct personal threat from these sort of accusations, without the protections of due process, burden of proof and presumed innocence. It was a smart move in the context of the confirmation ... lower the bar to stop Kavanaugh from getting on the court. But not only didnt it work (because a significant portion of the population didnt buy it) its now handed Trump and the Republicans an incredibly potent weapon with the elections only a month away.
  8. Mark Judge is a red herring. The key witness, assuming an evidentiary standard higher than guilt by accusation is Leyland Keyser. Who not only said she couldnt recall the party but also said she never knew Kavanaugh at all. Which is most certainly why Fords team pressured her to change her statement.
  9. The issue, DKT, is that without evidentiary standards theres no way to judge whether the evidence supports one side or another. Thats the crux here, lack of defined (let alone agreed upon) evidentiary standards. Ill be the first to agree that this isnt a court of law and the high standards required in criminal cases dont apply. But on the other hand principles like due process, burden of proof and presumption of innocence are in the Constitution and law BECAUSE they are larger societal and cultural principles. So the opposite end of the evidentiary spectrum (guilt by accusation) doesnt apply either. The point being to set the evidentiary standard first, before even starting to talk about the evidence.
  10. Thats just it, you need to look at the impact of the cases where theres a close ideological split. Ive argued that Kavanaughs nomination fight wasnt about hot button social issues like abortion or same sex marriage. Its really about the various cases percolating up through the District and Circuit Courts on election related matters. Voter ID, Redistricting/Gerrymandering, ballot protection, even the Census question aboiut citizenship. Why? Because the outcome of those cases will determine who controls the other two branches of government, and under what circumstances. Theres no doubt in my mind that those WILL break along ideological lines.
  11. Two things for consideration this morning. 1. I can’t locate it right now, but there was an excellent article in the past day or two analyzing the Kavanaugh nomination and general political environment in the US against the book “Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914”. ... an analogy being drawn that just as European leaders didn’t want a war, they ended up in one because they believed the other side would back down first. 2. Piece in Politico saying that Democrats now believe they need to be a lot tougher and more ruthless: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/07/kavanaugh-confirmation-democrats-anger-221089
  12. Depends on the which part of the country, north east, major cities, sure thing, would you like drug seizures with your gun searches?However, suburban and rural central, midwest, south, valleys east of the sierra navada, no fucking way. I have cop friends who are unhappy with the temporary gun seizure orders. I know other cops, sheriffs in fact, who would tell someone attempting such to go pound sand. Respectfully, Murph, there arent anywhere near enough FBI agents to do that. And you are making a serious assumption on how many FBI agents would go along with driving into a rural community they know is armed to the teeth to forcefully and illegally overthrow their local elected officials. FBI agents want, at the end of the day, to go home to their families too.
  13. Yup. And social media is designed to make people feel important. Almost 20 years ago I attended a lecture by Ted Leonsis, then of AOL. One of the things he mentioned was the gratifying emotional boost people got from hearing “You’ve Got Mail” ... similar to taking a hit of narcotic. Now view that in a scenario where posting increasingly partisan and inflammatory statements and memes results in more and more “likes”
  14. Goresuch and Kavanaugh were two years apart at Georgetown Prep. They ran in the same social circles and Gorsuch was actually the same year at GP as Ford was at Holton Arms. I don’t believe the rumor that there was a similar letter from Ford about Gorsuch when he was nominated. There’s absolutely no evidence of it. I DO believe that, had the nominations been reversed, Kavanaugh for Scalia and Gorsuch for Kennedy, the same exact scenario (let Kavanaugh pass, go after Gorsuch with the charges) would have come to pass.
  15. And I’m only saying this to highlight the real complexity in a situation the Left assumes to be very simplistic (“People will obey. The Police will deal with those who don’t) ... to the level that, a Murph said, they’re playing with fire without even realizing it.
  16. My take away from that was a bit different as I found it chilling how easily the Boston PD transitioned to removing citizens from their homes at the point of a gun.On one hand youre absolutely correct. But on another they were only after two definitively bad guys and the populace was willing. Start playing with those variables. Are Sheriff Buford T Justice in Podunk KY and his deputies going to obey orders to suppress their family, friends and neighbors? In a scenario where good guy/bad guy isnt clear as all? To what extent is their cooperation necessary in suppressing a scenario where the ambiguously good/bad guys number in the hundreds if not thousands (nationally)?
  17. If it happens, I hope it's while a Republican is in the White House because otherwise, the Left will unleash the full weight of the Executive Branch on the Right and it will be a full on Civil War. A Republican president will show more restraint in trying to get the genie back in the bottle, a Dem will see it as a chance to crush the Right once and for all. This is a sad conversation. Would law enforcement go along? Would the military go along? And I don’t just mean refusal to follow “unlawful orders” ... I also mean foot dragging, inadvertent wrong turns, and the Blue Flu. And in numbers to make any attempted response completely ineffective.
  18. PJ O’Rourke’s “sniveling spoiled brats” comes to mind, As to authority stepping in ... it took all of the Boston PD to go after two guys who were armed with handguns and pressure cooker bombs. At what point, if things cook off, will the “authorities” ability to respond be overwhelmed? That’s assuming the authorities are even inclined to respond (see New Orleans, Charlottesville and Baltimore)
  19. Shortly before Trump’s inauguration a former coworker (known her as a sensible and reasonable Liberal for ten years) who’s FB had previously been a venue for robust and mostly respectful political discussions, but had gone full on pussy hat social justice warrior, posted a link for the Woman’s March. One guy, not sensing the danger, made the mistake of asking whether she planned to burn her bra at it. He got full on doxxed. Employer (school he taught at) and boss (principle) along with phone numbers and addresses went up on her page by a group of far left mean girls. Threats to not only turn him in but also protest in front of the school. He stood his ground and dared them to do it. I PMd her to register my disgust and tell her to get it under control. Her response? Well, he started it. This was a guy she’d been close friends with for over 30 years. At that point ALL those with opposing views points disappeared from her page. Well, except for the guy who got doxxed. He’s still there, just a lot more circumspect in his commenting (also either a moron or a complete cuck, as it turned out) NOW, with Kavanaugh she’s positively glowing about how he’ll never be able to go anywhere without being protested if not threatened. To high fives all around. (Appendix: several months back SHE made the mistake on her own page of indicating she was conflicted about the confederate statues controversy. She was visciously shamed into not only taking the orthodox position on it, but also apologizing for not having always held it. She now takes opportunities to virtue signal the “correct” opinion on the matter)
  20. Were past the tipping point now, imho. All its going to take is one spark (which will be initiated by the Left) to cook things off. We almost had it with the Congressional baseball shooting. Had Scalise not been there, with his security detail, there was NOTHING to stop the Leftist loon from killing as many Republican Congressman and staff as were on that field until he either got tired or ran out of ammunition. And then what? Probably not immediate reprisals, look instead to how the Left did respond (blame the gun, carry on with partisan business as usual ... in the era of Trump). But the snowball would have been pushed down the hill. I think the Left is utterly clueless here. I dont think they (at least the rank and file masses, or the mainstream leadership) want a general societal breakdown. But they are either missing or completely misinterpreting the warning sirens that are going off right in their very faces. To wit: * The rational response to the election of Trump should have been holy shit, what have we done to piss off half the country to the point where they voted for him? How do we cool things down, minimize the damage hell cause im four years and persuade the other side to work with us to vote him out in 2020? Instead they double, triple and quadruple down on the things that got trump elected in the first place. * The rational response major uptick in Left Wing violence would be the same. Now people on our side are physically attacking and trying to KILL the other side and its leadership. How do we shut down those lions before they initiate a trigger event that cant be pulled back from? Instead they continue to fan the flames, offering tacit support to violent radical groups like AntiFA. And blame the tools of violence (GUNS!!) out of political expediency (BAN THEM) rather that the rhetoric, political environment and willingness of people to use them. * The rational response to continued record-breaking firearms and ammunition sales would be why the hell are our fellow citizens arming themselves to the teeth? What are we doing to make them behave this way? Instead the anti-gun rhetoric is only INCREASING, which triggers a reinforcing feedback loop driving more sales. (Aside, great quote from a few years back, not sure who said it ... the record breaking firearms sales isnt indicative of people trying to make purchases ahead of a ban, its indicative of a people prepping to go to war against themselves) * The rational response to the literal disappearance of Conservative voices in response to social media posts by Leftists would be Where have the Conservatives gone? Why arent our ideas being challenged anymore? Are we doing something to drive them away, and if so what? Where have they gone? Instead the disappearance is taken as an absolute sign of triumph and a reason to push even further Left and rhetorically bludgeon ANY contrarian opinion (see Law of Group Polarization) (Aside: youre walking through the woods. The birds are chirping, you can hear squirrels and deer and other creatures rustling in the brush ... and suddenly it goes dead quiet. Should you be concerned?)
  21. Not exactly. You could have made that case maybe 20-30 years ago, but like Tim said this is now well outside those boundaries. In a lot of ways the radicalization we’re seeing in the US is like kudzu. And it’s being given a massive shot of Miracle-Gro by the dynamics of social media. People are rapidly segregating into partisan/ideological echo chambers, which then allows the Law of Group Polarization ( heavily manipulated, I’d add, by organized partisan/ideological interests pushing agitprop) to come into play. The shift I’ve seen in a lot of (formerly) “reasonable” people, particularly on the Left, is stunning. And frightening. And to counter my own biases I’ve been actively reaching out to many decidedly non-political friends about it, and they’re seeing it too.
  22. Not a good analogy. Better would be Reagan, who in January 1983 was at 35% approval and was forecast to lose against several potential Democratic challengers. Including Mondale and Kennedy. What this shows is how closely tied a Presudent’s re-election is to economic performance and right track/wrong track polling as opposed to job approval. Plus the natural inclination of the voting public to stick with a known quantity, in th absence of an economic crisis.
  23. Its especially interesting given the disparity in fundraising (Dems and their groups vastly outrausing and outspending Republicans) and strategic objectives. Democrats are focusing on regaining the House, with the intent of launching multiple investigations of Trump and possibly leading to his impeachment (and I guess the same now for Kavanaugh). Republicans are focused on making gains in the Senate, to continue placing Conservatives on the bench and dominating the Judiciary for the next 30 years. Both sides will most likely meet those objectives ...
  24. Perhaps if the IRS hadnt spent scarce resources targeting Conservatives, we wouldnt be in the position of talking about this? But then again Trump has made few bones about buying off politicians. Including Democrats and specifically the Clintons ...
  25. Thanks Jeff, Barrett has already had her Roman Catholic faith called a cult and, in a clearly unconstitutional religious test, used in opposition to her most recent judicial appointment.
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