October 31, 2012

Top Headline Comments 10-Halloween-12
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Wednesday. I'm back.

Jim Pethokoukis has a short piece on FEMA overuse that could use some passing around.

There are some new polls out today that show the race tightening in the swing states--actually they show Romney losing in swing states--but it looks like more of the same D+8 misdirection that we've seen before and I'll leave it to CAC and Ace to look through it. If Romney pulls this off on Tuesday, political scientists will be studying two issues for years and years. The first, as I've written before, is the unexpected failure of Obama's negative campaigning. The second, though, will be just how hard it has become to do accurate polling.

Gene Hackman slapped a homeless man in New Mexico. In self defense, the police say.

Paul Ryan is campaigning in his home state of Wisconsin today (and he was there yesterday with Ann Romney). I would keep my eyes peeled for some, uh, election activity in Wisconsin. Soon.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:49 AM | Comments (344)
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October 30, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (10-30-2012) - Cop Out Edition
— Maetenloch

Busy all day so you get the 1/8-assed lame ONT.

Accept no ONT substitutes!

How Bout A Lil Battle Hymn


I've always been partial to Elvis' version as well (part of his American Trilogy):


It gives me shivers every time I listen to it.

And Johnny C. was no slouch either. more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:42 PM | Comments (413)
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Provisional ONT
— rdbrewer

I guess Maetenloch is in a blackout area. Here's a bare bones ONT.

Posted by: rdbrewer at 05:34 PM | Comments (113)
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MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Begs Chuck Todd to Give Her Hope
— Dave in Texas

She needs a hug.

Perhaps we should delay the election, on account of the hurricane and all.

If Obama is ahead right now, why wouldn't they want to close the deal a week from today? In a week, you can set up provisional balloting from the equipment in the back of the warehouse (paper, meet pencil), get generators in place, do all the necessary stuff to make sure voting can happen in a timely and on a constitutionally mandated date. Generators. Magical, earth-hating machines that are making electricity all over the northeast tonight.

It is completely possible to hold this election in seven days.

Hey MSNBCry, your guy is ahead? Why lose the advantage?

Unless, and I'm just spitballin here, your guy isn't ahead. And you're hoping/wishcasting/pleading that circumstances change, and somehow Obama can actually swing the momentum back to him. Three words:

He can't.

Let's ask America a more fun question. Would you like to see Obama campaign for another month?

This is desperation (and by desperation, I mean despair)

I like it.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:00 PM | Comments (547)
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Team Obama Buys a Week of Ads in... Michigan
— Ace

In play.

This is an ad purchase aimed at securing Michigan; it is not aimed at crossing into Ohio or any other state. Detroit’s radio market runs into Monroe County which borders the Buckeye State, but it does not cross over, as some metropolitan media markets do.

And Geraghty adds that it's an expensive ad market. You don't play there for fun.

Posted by: Ace at 02:20 PM | Comments (265)
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Ace of Spades HQ's Decision Desk
— CAC

Returns November 6th at 7:30pm Eastern.
There will be numbers.
There will be morons.
There will be maps.

Live Results and Calls for the House, Senate and Presidential races.

This is why I haven't been around much. Well, besides "reacting" to the Pennsylvania and Minnesota and Michigan and Oregon developments.

Anyway, back to making the sausage...

Posted by: CAC at 01:00 PM | Comments (341)
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Disney To Buy Lucas Films, Vows To Destroy Any Remaining Shred Of My Childhood Love Of Star Wars
— DrewM

The deal has a $4 BILLION price tag and ensures that, God help us, there will be Star Wars Episode VII in 2015.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

What more is there to say other than, "Han shot first!"?

Posted by: DrewM at 11:17 AM | Comments (478)
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THAR SHE BLOWS! Romney To Start Running Ads In Pennsylvania
— DrewM

The White Whale....she lives!

The Republican presidential candidate is making a final-week bid to defeat President Barack Obama in territory long considered safe for Democrats. No Republican presidential candidate has carried the state in nearly a quarter century. Recent polls suggest the race there is close.

Republican officials with knowledge of the plan report that Romney's campaign will begin running ads statewide as soon as Wednesday. The buy includes the expensive Philadelphia broadcast market, where Romney's campaign was reluctant to invest earlier in the month. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.

Team Obama reacted to the move with mature insight. Nah just kidding, they lied and made fools of themselves.

"They understand that they're not going to win in Ohio so now they're getting desperate," Messina said. "They are not close in Pennsylvania. We are going to win Pennsylvania."

David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser, said the Democratic ads are a "precaution."

"We're not going to surrender any state to them in terms of airways," Axelrod said. "Make no mistake about it. This isn't a sign of strength on their part. It's a sign of weakness. They're looking for a way out."

Sure guys, sure. Romney expanding the map is weakness but Obama sending Bill Clinton to Minnesota is a sign of....wait THAT'S a sign of weakness. Oh and VP Choo-Choo train was supposed to go campaign in Scranton but the trip was cancelled because of Sandy.

Here's the Romney ad aimed at the fickle teases we call Pennsylvania voters.

more...

Posted by: DrewM at 10:27 AM | Comments (365)
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Special Report Investigates: New Revelations
— rdbrewer

Bret Baier updated his Benghazi investigation. It's in three parts on Youtube. (Below the fold.) more...

Posted by: rdbrewer at 09:04 AM | Comments (359)
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Open Blog
— DrewM

Just got word from the Power That Be, that in honor of the federal government giving "non-essential" personnel the day off, Ace decided that applied to him here at the blog. Or there's storm related problems with his internet connection. One or the other, I forget.

So while he watches an endless loop of Sandy Duncan shows in honor of Superstorm Sandy, it's an open blog!

If you have something, please put your post in draft and one of the co-bloggers will post it. This way we won't have posts piling up on each other.

Until then....Open Thread!

Posted by: DrewM at 08:24 AM | Comments (270)
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Michael Moore: 1, Fat, 2 Not Funny, 3 Fat In a Way That's Not Funny
— Ace

Michael Moore and MoveOn.org have teamed up to produce a hideously acted wannabe-viral ad.

I've never gotten this conceit that Michael Moore is funny. Clapper humor, as usual.

Here he parades out a bunch of old people to say naughty things, including the f-word, making broad threats about civil violence if Romney is elected. (But it's humor, so they're not really threatening this! Wink.)

The writing is atrocious, as usual for Michael Moore.

Hey, do you remember when Betty White first started using all sorts of curses and sexual language in the 2005 film Lake Placid? Michael Moore does. He thinks it's still funny and fresh. Most people got over this by the time the "Betty White says dirty things" schtick entered its fourth year, which itself was... three years ago.

Not Michael Moore, though. He still thinks there's juice in this lemon.

Do you remember when "cockpunch" was the hot meme on the internet, 'round 2007? Michael Moore does. And he still thinks it's just a hoot. Pro-tip: When an internet meme has actually been used in a lame Hollywood comedy (in What Happens in Vegas), it's probably a good sign the meme is officially played.

And that movie came out in 2008. Three years ago, it the cockpunch meme was already well-known enough, and therefore tame enough, to be used in a fluffy romcom starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. And as it was an inoffensive lightweight little non-com they bowlderized the meme to "junkpunch."

So, here's Michael Moore doing what he does best: Offering bad jokes for a leftist audience which applauds him for being "daring" and "so funny."


Michael Moore

Practitioner of cutting edge humor. Like this fresh gem:

Take my insulin level, please.


more...

Posted by: Ace at 07:20 AM | Comments (340)
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NumberMuncher: Ohio's Looking Better Than The Polls Claim
— Ace

Could both the national polls (Romney ahead) and the Ohio state polls (Obama ahead) be right?

Possibly, but probably not. NumberMuncher Josh Jordan suspects the state polls of being out of whack.

It's a Read the Whole Thing deal, with numbers and such, but the math is easy, even for a Moron (TM). Here are some bullet points:

In Ohio, Republicans tend to outperform their share of the national vote: In the last six presidential elections, only in 2004 has the Republican candidate performed worse in Ohio than he did nationally, and even that was a difference of only 0.3 percentage points. In the other five elections, the GOP candidate outperformed his margin of the national vote by an average of 3.1 percentage points.

...

Democrats’ national turnout advantage is usually bigger than their Ohio turnout: Not since 1996, during Clinton’s reelection campaign, have Democrats had a larger turnout advantage in Ohio than they did nationally. In 2000 and 2008, Democrats were 2 points under their national turnout advantage and were actually 5 points under in 2004. Polls are currently showing an average Democratic turnout advantage of 6.3, which is 1.9 points higher than their current advantage nationally.

Now, about those partisan ID splits:

As mentioned above, in current Ohio polls, Democrats have a party-ID sample advantage of 6.3 points. In 2008, Democrats had a 5-point turnout advantage in Ohio. That means that while national polls have the turnout advantage down 2.6 points, in Ohio it has actually increased 1.3 points. It is almost impossible to conclude that while the nationwide party-ID advantage of Democrats has dropped since the wave election of 2008, Ohio has actually increased over the last four years.

I can't quote it all, but he suggests a culprit for these out-of-whack splits that I mentioned a week ago: Early voting's effect on the polls. Many polls (but not all) feature a Likely Voter battery of questions designed to determine who is truly a "Likely Voter" with more rigor than simply asking them "Do you consider yourself a likely voter?"

Actually -- shockingly -- some polls just use that one question as their Likely Voter "screen," making it more of a sieve than a screen. (Yeah and I know those two things are pretty similar but you get my point.) They ask just one question -- how likely are you to vote, or two questions, adding a question asking about the interviewee's level of interest in the race.

But other screens ask a few more things, again, to separate out the people who just say "I'm a Likely Voter" because it's the socially preferred answer from those who are actually, genuinely likely voters.

Now, the point is, if someone says "I already voted," you can't really ask additional questions. You can't follow up that answer up with "Are you sure you already voted?" and "No, seriously, buddy, tell me the truth, did you already vote or are you just jerking my chain?" If they say they already voted, they get put directly into the likely voter pool without those bothersome questions designed to smoke out the bullshitters.

This may also be why there are so many more "already voted" voters in polls as compared to actual state records.

NumberMuncher had similar thoughts in his last column, and also noted the Incumbent rule.

This is a rule that always receives some skepticism, but it’s very likely to benefit Romney at least some on Election Day. In 2004, late deciders broke against George W. Bush heavily, even though he was a wartime president. John Kerry beat Bush by 25 points among voters who decided in the last month, 28 points among voters that decided in the three days prior to Election Day, and 22 points among day-of deciders. Those voters were 20 percent of the Ohio electorate; while this year there are expected to be fewer late deciders, Obama cannot afford to lose among by those margins and still win.

His overall thrust is that tied or slightly behind in Ohio state polls = likely Romney lead in actual votes.

Posted by: Ace at 06:29 AM | Comments (226)
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Gallup: Romney Up 52-45 Among Early Voters;
Obama Down 22 Points Compared to 2008 Edge

— Ace

Despite a lot of jazz about Obama winning the early vote, Gallup finds Romney has a 7 point lead.

In 2008, Obama was way ahead with early voting, up 55-40 over McCain. Interestingly, Obama was only up 3 points with people actually voting on Election Day itself.

It maybe gets a little better. I've mentioned before that the Romney campaign is crowing that Obama is cannibalizing his high-propensity voters -- they're likely to vote anyway, whether early or on election day, but the Obama's team is putting effort into getting them to vote early.

It really doesn't matter all that much when you're talking about a high propensity voter. Sure, you'd rather have the vote in the bank, but a high propensity voter is going to vote 92% of the time anyway (I just made that specific number up).

Romney, meanwhile, is spending more time focusing on getting sporadic voters to vote early. And these are voters who probably would not vote if not for all the hand-holding and encouragement.

In Ohio and Iowa, Obama has gotten 43% of its best voters to vote early; Romney has only gotten about 27% of its best voters to vote early.

I guess there may be some spin here from Camp Romney -- why not get these voters to vote early, too? -- but these early vote tallies are deceptive because Obama's not really "getting out the vote" by getting voters who would vote anyway to vote sooner rather than later. It makes his early vote tallies look nice and fat, but come election day, it doesn't matter when people voted, just that they did vote.

Obama's early vote tallies don't indicate a rush of new Obama voters; it's just the ones he already had, and who have already been counted in his Coalition of 47%, preferring to vote earlier rather than later.

Posted by: Ace at 05:18 AM | Comments (287)
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Fantasy Pick'em Results
— Pixy Misa

Below of the pick'em results as after week 7.

Leaderboard
HailMaryHector 68
dananjcon 65
portnoy 65

Management
Andy 65
JWF 58
Ben 53
CDR M 52
John E. 50
Rdbrewer 48
Russ From Winterset 46

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:47 AM | Comments (105)
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Morning Open Thread
— DrewM

Hope everyone is safe. It's still not over, so if you're in PA, OH, IL, WI and even MI, it looks like you'll get a taste of Sandy.

Posted by: DrewM at 03:06 AM | Comments (277)
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October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 10/30 update (tmi3rd)
— Open Blogger

Hi, Morons and Moronettes. Quite a day on the weather desk... you've all seen the pictures, and I pray our friends in the affected areas stayed safe and have had relatively little property damage. Let's get you updated here...

Okay, the NHC is no longer classifying this as a hurricane as of the 11 PM EDT advisory. That means very little- the winds will still be plenty high, and there's still going to be an IMMENSE amount of rainfall from this. Until the storm passes completely, the water goes down, and the wires are picked up, please continue to treat this as a dangerous situation. More below the fold... more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:01 PM | Comments (284)
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Overnight Open Thread (10-29-2012)
— Maetenloch

OMG 18% of Americans Think Obama is Jewish!

Well that's the breathless coverage that a recent AP poll has been getting:

Eighteen percent of Americans inexplicably think that President Barack Obama is Jewish, according to a new poll.

A survey commissioned by the Associated Press and conducted by GfK asked respondents to identify Obama's religion from a list of possibilities. Thirty five percent said Obama had no religion, 28 percent correctly identified Obama as a protestant Christian, another 28 percent declined to answer, 18 percent said he was Jewish, 10 percent said he was Muslim and five percent said he was Catholic. Another two percent each said they didn't know, or named some other religion.

More think he's Jewish than Muslim? This seems well....just weird.

Is it true? Nope.

No - 18% of Americans Do NOT Think Obama is Jewish

In fact the whole thing was just the result of a typo in the AP's results:

The Associated Press/GfK poll statistic, absurdly indicating that more Americans believe Obama is Jewish (18%) than Muslim (10%), is inaccurate and the consequence of a simple typographical error, AP quickly ascertained and confirmed, after The Times of Israel called to point out the mistake. AP immediately moved to correct the error in its survey data.

The self-evidently ridiculous finding, which was nonetheless widely reported by the Jewish Chronicle, Israel National News, Haaretz and numerous minor websites on Sunday and Monday, is a consequence of a missing zero in the tabulated results of the survey, as the most cursory glance at the polling data immediately shows.

obamaisjewishnot

But apparently cursory glancing is simply beyond the layers and layers of media fact-checking. In fact when it comes to statistics most reporters seem to be dumber than even the average person - who bless their little hearts are quite special themselves in this area.

Other giveaways to the non-retarded that this result might be bogus:

  1. No one thought he was Jewish in 2010 - why would this suddenly jump to 18%? Likewise why would 28% of people start refusing to answer?
  2. All the percentage figures on the right add up to 128%. WTF?
  3. Does this result even make sense at all - has anyone anywhere ever claimed Obama was Jewish?

And this media stats tardation was no exception. For instance how much of this hand-wringing quote from NPR's Robin Young is actually true?

A new survey conducted by Chicago's McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, which has yet to open, finds that only 28 percent of Americans are able to name one of the constitutional freedoms, yet 52 percent are able to name at least two Simpsons family members.

Correct answer: 0%

In the passage quoted above, Robin Young states the survey result incorrectly - actually, 73% of respondents, not 28%, were able to name one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment - and she spins it in a doubtful direction to boot, because only 65% were able to name one of the Simpsons characters.

Was this mere stupidity or journalistic incompetence? Well when it comes to the MSM, the answer is yes!

But one thing you can be sure of is that whenever you see an article titled that says 'Fewer/More Than X% of Americans Believe Y', you can be 98.6% sure it's bullshit.

more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:11 PM | Comments (546)
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Kyle Wood Recants?
— Ace

Damn it, I laid off this story for like three days because of the "possible fake report" possibility. I didn't even want to be the grouch to bring it up.

So after three days, I posted it.

So of course the police now say Kyle Wood has recanted.

In an interview this afternoon with Madison Police detectives, the victim in this case recanted his earlier statements in regards to this crime. This crime, alleged to have occurred on High Street in the South Police District, will be cleared as "Unfounded" for case reporting purposes.

Via @verumserum.

Ech. So are the texts fake, too? If you fake one thing you'll probably fake another.

Jeeze Louise. I was thisclose to not having to issue this egg-faced retraction.


Posted by: Ace at 03:45 PM | Comments (341)
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Monday Night Football Thread
— Dave in Texas

Storm bearing down on a lot of our moron friends, some already without power.

Stay safe boogers.

Here's a Cardinals - SF thread for those of you who care.

60664-sexy-sports-arizona-cardinals-cheerleaders.jpg

If you're in the path of Sandy, keep your head down and your feets up.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:15 PM | Comments (75)
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Are Pennsylvania and Minnesota Really In Play?
— Ace

Why yes. Yes they are.

ABCNews has moved both from "Safe Democrat" to "Lean Democrat."

Romney may have an advantage here if he makes a genuine late play:

Romney has a substantial lead among white men. Minnesota is one of the least diverse states in the country with 90 percent of the electorate in 2008 made of white voters. In other Midwestern states with small minority populations, like Iowa and Wisconsin, the Obama campaign has flooded the airwaves for months with anti-Romney ads. They have done nothing of the sort in Minnesota.

Those ads -- constant, relentless negative attacks on Mitt Romney for a full season -- are cited as a reason why Romney underpolls in Ohio, as compared to his standing in national polls. But the electorate in Minnesota (and maybe Pennsylvania) isn't as poisoned.

The campaigns are suddenly playing in these states, too.

As the presidential race narrows in Minnesota, former President Bill Clinton is planning to visit here this week to shore up support for President Barack Obama.

...

The sudden attention comes as both campaigns have started buying advertising time in Minnesota, which had been lacking until last week.

There are only two reasons Bill Clinton would visit Minnesota, and because I know he's a faithful husband who would never cheat on his wife, I know it must be because he's worried about the state falling to Romney.

Obama's narrowly ahead in Minnesota, a poll says, but narrowly, and his actual level of support is only 47%. So it seems that a majority of people are at least open to the idea of voting for Romney.

The battlefield is changing in Romney's favor. We aren't talking much about Virginia and Florida any more; we're talking about Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and, now, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and of course Wisconsin.

Part of the sudden interest in the other states of the midwest is Ohio's persistent state as a nailbiter and toss-up. That, I guess, is something Obama can take satisfaction in.

But Romney isn't just taking wild stabs and no-hope states. Polls show these states as actually in play.

There are no McCain states, and no Bush states besides Ohio, that are welcoming to Obama.

This seems to confirm that the trend, as we move into the last week (last week -- can you believe it?), is in Romney's direction.

If Obama were actually winning this thing, we should expect some sudden happy surprises for Obama. Say, North Carolina suddenly leaning to him in most polls. Or Missouri (in years past, a bellwether) showing him ahead.

But that's not happening. The dominoes are falling in one direction.

The first storm-front is the expanding campaign battleground. I've long noted that which states become competitive towards the end of the race can tell you a lot about the state of the campaign. In 2008, when "red" states like Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina and Montana suddenly became competitive, it was a clear sign that Obama had a huge momentum advantage. This year, however, it is "blue" states becoming competitive. In the final week, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota are emerging as new battleground states. If Romney's position is improving in states like these, its a good sign that he slated to win states like Florida, Colorado, Virginia and Ohio.

Why Romney Should Pour Money Into Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin: Given the relative lack of political ads in these states, ads could really actually do something. I don't know if ads can change any minds in Ohio anymore. At some point, people are just sick of them, and their feelings have hardened into positions.

I gotta think there is more upside in these relatively-virginal states. More bang for the buck. More actual chance of persuasion.

Posted by: Ace at 02:35 PM | Comments (266)
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