October 2, 2008

Latest Pajamas Media Post (‘U.S. Auto Industry Crashes; Taxpayers Serve as Airbag’) Is Up

It’s here. Nice job by PJM on the title.

It will appear at BizzyBlog on Saturday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

PJM’s subhead is also good, and accurate:

“Paulson’s big bailout has distracted us from yet another that is possibly even less deserved.”

WaPo Ignores Overall Result of Its Own Poll Showing McCain Gain to Focus on Palin Allegedly ‘Dragging Down’ GOP Ticket

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:18 pm

ABCwapoLogoIf Old Media can cook their numbers to make their favored candidate look good, they will.

Earlier today, I covered two cooked AP-GfK polls (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). The pollster dramatically changed the party-ID makeup of the second poll to include a much higher percentage of Democrats, and watered down the strong-GOP component of the Republicans sampled. As a result, the two poll results, taken together, fabricated an illusion of Barack Obama momentum, and John McCain decline. The results couldn’t be more bogus; holding the mix constant from one poll to the next would have caused John McCain’s lead from three weeks ago to shrink by about 1%.

Its also seems that if Old Media can’t use a poll to fabricate its way to the result it wants, it simply ignores it. Two examples from the same poll will demonstrate this.

On Wednesday, NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock noted that ABC ignored its own national poll conducted with the Washington Post that showed a 4% national edge for Barack Obama — down from 9% the previous week.

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta didn’t totally ignore the poll (full results are here). Like ABC, they ignored the topside result just mentioned, which is pictured below:

WaPoABCtopsideResult092908

Instead, the two reporters focused on questions that emphasized potential negatives relating to McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin:

With the vice presidential candidates set to square off today in their only scheduled debate, public assessments of Sarah Palin’s readiness have plummeted, and she may now be a drag on the Republican ticket among key voter groups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Though she initially transformed the race with her energizing presence and a fiery convention speech, Palin is now a much less positive force: Six in 10 voters see her as lacking the experience to be an effective president, and a third are now less likely to vote for McCain because of her.

A month ago, voters rated Palin as highly as they did McCain or his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, but after weeks of intensive coverage and several perceived missteps, the shine has diminished.

Cohen and Agiesta wrote over 1,100 words, yet never named a single “perceived misstep,” let alone “several.” That also seems to be a tacit acknowledgment that the Alaska Governor has committed no real missteps. Naming the ones that are “perceived” would be embarrassing — not to Ms. Palin, but to the reporters and the Old Media establishment they represent. Just take your pick from Charles Martin’s accumulated list of myths and rumors, now up to 97 (the first 85 are here; scroll through his content or search on each relevant number to find the rest), and you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s an obvious question: If Palin’s alleged negatives on experience and readiness are such a “drag,” why did Obama’s lead over McCain get cut by over half in one week in that very same poll? The crosstabs, which are fairly consistent between the two polls, don’t appear to explain McCain’s improvement. Logically, whatever caused McCain to gain has to be a more important factor than the negative items relating to Palin that the WaPo reporters chose to dwell on.

No wonder Mr. Cohen and Ms. Agiesta ignored their own poll’s overall result.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (100208, Noontime)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 12:04 pm

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Correspondence I’m receiving indicates that my condemnation of Ohio’s GOP-controlled General Assembly over the existence of incurably fraud-prone “early voting,” thus allowing voters to register during an “early voting” period is dead-on. The Legislature “intended” for the voter-registration deadline to be 30 days before voting is allowed to begin (i.e., about August 31), not 30 days before Election Day; but the latter is what is occurring. Hence the overlap with the earliest days of early voting. That doesn’t change the fact that anyone who is a resident of another state and has no business registering in Ohio is cheating (and cheating IS what’s occurring), and should be prosecuted, along with those who assisted them.
  • Catch-up I — Final 2nd quarter economic growth came in at 2.8%. That’s down from the August estimate of 3.3%, but up from the original July estimate of 1.9%. A drop of 0.5% in the final report is pretty unusual, and probably doesn’t bode well for the third quarter.
  • Catch-up II  — Wednesday’s ADP employment report came in showing a loss of 8,000 nonfarm private jobs in September, an improvement over a revised -37,000 in August. The early line on seasonally adjusted job losses in Uncle Sam’s Employment Situation Report coming out tomorrow is -100,000 (added at 2:45 p.m).
  • Catch-up III — The Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing index tanked in September, going from 49.9 (contracting by a tiny bit) to 43.5 (significant contraction). Primary thanks for this sordid result go to the architects of the third quarter’s POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy. An additional assist comes from the bailout blackmailers in the US Treasury Department, led by Hank Paulson, who should be fired immediately, whether or not the House is intimidated (and that IS what’s going on) into passing the fictionally estimated $700 billion bailout bill today.
  • Any person with even the most basic understanding of ethics and conflict of interest knows full well that Gwen Ifill is objectively unfit to moderate tonight’s VP debate — not because she can’t be independent, fair, and balanced in fact. That’s conceivable, though not likely. The incurable problem is that no one can claim with a straight face that she is independent in appearance, and that’s all that matters. Further, that she didn’t inform the Debate Commission of her obvious conflcit, and her lack of independence, means that she is objectively unfit to continue in journalism. Unless and until PBS rids itself of Ifill, the network has ceased engaging in journalism, and is irrefutably in the business of propaganda dissemination. Ifill and PBS have outed themselves as being devoid of all honor. Their fundamental breach of the public’s trust will not be forgotten around here.

Cooking with AP: Polls Radically Change Party Mix to Fabricate an Obama Trend

APandGfKlogo1008In the kitchens of the Associated Press, it’s almost as if the wire service asked its chief cook — er, pollster — GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media, to do the following:

  • Whip up a tasty, representative poll after the Republican Convention.
  • Three weeks later, make the same dish, but this time adjust the mix of ingredients by radically oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans, thereby creating a false illusion of momentum in the campaign of Barack Obama, and of decline in John McCain’s.
  • Hope people don’t notice the changes in the recipe.

Of course we don’t know if the differences between AP-CfK’s Sept. 5-10 and Sept. 27-30 results were created deliberately, but the results sure look suspicious (both polls are available at PDF links found at AP-GfK’s home page).

The more recent poll shows Obama with a 7-point lead among likely voters, both with and without leaners; the earlier poll showed McCain with a 5-point lead with leaners, and 4 points without.

Almost all of this 12-point swing (11 points with leaners) is more than likely almost completely due to major differences between the two polls’ samples:

APpollSampleComparisons0908

“Somehow,” the sample make-up changed from 33-31 Democrat to 40-29 Democrat from the earlier to the latter poll — a shift of nine points.

“Somehow,” the Strong-Dem vs. Strong-GOP difference went from nothing to eight points.

“Somehow,” the Strong-GOP vs. Moderate-GOP mix went from +3 to -3, a swing of six points.

Here’s my best estimate of how the Sept. 27-30 poll would have turned out if AP-GfK had used a sample similar to the one it used Sept. 5-10:

APpollImpactOfSampleSkew0908

After correcting for differences in the samples, almost all of Obama’s double-digit pickup disappears, leaving McCain with four- and three-point leads without and with leaners, respectively. Even if one argues that the first poll showed a too-small gap between the two parties in the number of people sampled, substituting the 5-point difference Gallup identified shortly after the GOP convention would still leave McCain with a slight lead.

Either AP isn’t supervising its GfK cooks properly, or it’s directing them to poison discussions of presidential race, while hoping that no one notices the rancid product it is clearly producing.

AP waitress — er, reporter — Liz Sidoti brought out the new poll’s results for our consumption yesterday with this exultant intro:

Barack Obama has surged to a seven-point lead over John McCain one month before the presidential election, lifted by voters who think the Democrat is better suited to lead the nation through its sudden financial crisis, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that underscores the mounting concerns of some McCain backers.

Likely voters now back Obama 48-41 percent over McCain, a dramatic shift from an AP-GfK survey that gave the Republican a slight edge nearly three weeks ago, before Wall Street collapsed and sent ripples across worldwide markets.

As you can see above, her celebration is founded on fabrication; thus, her “explanations” are deep-fried in deception.

Just because AP, GfK, and Sidoti are serving us this rotten recipe doesn’t mean that readers have to swallow it. So don’t.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Owosso officer humble after rescue

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Owosso, Michigan:

Friday, September 26, 2008 10:21 AM EDT

Michael Olsey relishes the fact he gets to protect people from criminals as an Owosso police officer.

But Olsey battled a completely different kind of foe Monday when he raced over to the old armory parking lot at Exchange and Water streets.

Olsey went head-to-head with Mother Nature when he leapt into the rain-swelled Shiawassee River to rescue a 15-year-old girl who had jumped off the bridge on Main Street.

“I could see her struggling,” Olsey said. “She was floating down the river and her head was starting to go under the water.”

He had to pull in behind the Owosso Middle School because the girl was already drifting down stream.

Olsey said he jumped in feet first and waded out to the girl.

Even though he is 6-foot-7, Olsey said the water came up to his chest.

“We’re just grateful we have officers who are willing to do that,” said Mike Compeau, Owosso Public Safety director. “We want them to use good common sense. (The river’s) pretty swift even though it’s chest-deep.”

Olsey said his five years spent as a lifeguard prepared him to keep calm during the incident.

He said the girl hit her head and had scrapes on her feet from going over the dam. She was transported to Memorial Healthcare, where she was treated for minor injuries.

With heavy rains hammering the area as a result of Hurricane Ike, the Shiawassee River is near flood level. Even if the river is not officially at the 7-foot flood level, it still can be dangerous.

Last week 32-year-old Charles M. Orgovan died when he went over the Heritage Park Dam in his kayak. The extreme undertow prevented rescue crews from getting to him sooner.

None of that was on Olsey’s mind Monday.

“I didn’t even think anything of it,” Olsey said. “The way I see it, we’re getting paid to protect people. It doesn’t matter. We protect them from whatever danger they’re in.”

A Clio native, Olsey started his career in law enforcement in Owosso almost three years ago.

Compeau said Olsey is a model officer.

“He’s very humble,” Compeau said. “He said, ‘I don’t need to be recognized for this.’ When he does something outstanding he deserves to be recognized and we’re happy to have him here.”

Go here for the rest of the story.