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October 26, 2008

Comments

clarice

Don't you think Sullivan had to be embarrassed, too, by having missed that the exhibit (Stevens' 2001 disclosure statement) directly contradicted the indictment and only the jury caught it.

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

An observation about the polls:

They rely on telephone contacts. Today, virtually all phones have caller id and a significant number of voters have only cell phones. If the caller id shows me a "caller unknown" or a business, or a "privacy director" I don't answer it. These services are somewhat expensive for the average phone customer. I suspect that the more affluent the voter the more likely they are so equipped.

This might make a big difference in response for the more affluent demographic. How does one control for that?

Charlie (Colorado)

Hey, CBS is actually covering Obama's fundraising, um, irregularities and connections to Lehmann and Goldman.

Jim Ryan

By the way, anyone who hasn't heard of Whittle until recently: his ejectejecteject has been impressing readers for five years now.

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

Yeah, I do Clarice. I wonder about the materiality, though. He was accused of not specifying the labor and materials as a gift. Even if he checked "yes", he still omitted those items from his disclosure.

That arguably strengthens the Gov't's case because it shows that Stephens knew how to properly fill out the form and did not do so in this situation.

Pofarmer

the press is doing something to the Obama audios to give them some kind of auditory halo effect.

They are also ramping up McCain and Palin to make them sound shrill.

Pofarmer

Hey, CBS is actually covering Obama's fundraising, um, irregularities and connections to Lehmann and Goldman

Wow, the problems must have gotten really obvious.

Topsecretk9

commenter over at Ace's place catches Obama downgrading his tax "cut" from $250 to $200,000 in an ad

"if you make 200,00 or under you'll get a tax break"

Next weeks ad will be $150, and election night it will rest at $100,000 I suppose.

http://tinyurl.com/58wkhr

Topsecretk9

crap sorry

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, Jim, let's sort of start from the top.

What we're hoping for the polls to tell us is how people will vote in the future. In order to figure that out, we start by asking some number of people how they would vote today.

Obviously, we don't and can't know how people would really vote (Obama could be caught with a dead girl and a live boy and Fox News with a camera.) But it's everyone's best guess, and they have a chance to answer "O" or "McP" or "undecided".

Now, if we could ask every single person who will be voting this question, we'd get a fairly precise number --- not exact, but pretty close. Asking 130 million people their opinion is pretty intractable, so they ask a much smaller number. There are mathematical reasons to let us make an estimate of the amount of error we get by just asking that smaller number, and that's where this "margin of error" comes from. The wy it works is basically like this: say we have 130 million red and blue marbles, in proportions of 51 percent red and 49 percent blue. Since they're well mixed, we can be confident that most of the time, if we scoop out a bucket full of 1000 marbles and count the colors, there will be something close to 510 red and 490 blue. It's extremely unlikely --- although possible --- that we'd scoop out 1000 blue marbles. It's also very unlikely that every time we scoop up marbles, we'll get exactly 510/490. But let's say we try it 100 times. Roughly 95 times out of 100, we'll get a count between 495/505 and 525/475.

That's exactly what the "margin of error" is: we know, mathematically, that 95 times out of 100, our random scoop will deliver a number plus or minus 1.5 percent (or, total, 3 percent) of the "real" value we'd get if we counted all the marbles.

The problem is that when we talk about a real poll, our "marbles" aren't perfectly mixed. If we were to, say, call the first thousand people in the Cambridge Mass phone book, that wouldn't represent the country as a whole very well. So instead, polling companies call a lot of people, carefully selected, and try to work backwards to what a "perfectly mixed" sample would have been like.

Now, say we were talking about the marbles example again. We know, because they were our marbles to start with, that exactly 51 percent of them were red, 49 percent blue. So when we scoop out 1000 of them, we have an "ideal sample" in mind. A little algebra lets us then compute what the perfect sample would have looked like, and it is going to come up 51/49 every time.

But now let's say we don't know what the real number is; we just think we have roughly 51 percent red when we start. now we scoop out 1000 marbles and apply the same adjustment; we think it's 51/49, and we scoop them out, checking each scoop. If they're really 51/49, the numbers we get should cluster around 51/49. If not, then we can compute what the "real" proportion is.

But now, what if we start with the wrong assumption that they're really 55 percent red, 45 percent blue? When we compute our adjusted values, we're going to "slant" what we think the real value is toward the red ones. we may compute a guess that it's really 53/47.

And that's where the polls are right now. Each one starts with an assumption, or model, of the real electorate. That assumption causes the values to slant one direction or another; how good that initial guess is will determine how good the eventual result is when all the marbles are finally counted.

A lot of the polls have fairly radical assumptions, like that people identify themselves as 40 percent D, 25 percent R, 35 percent independent. Those polls also show Obama with a big leads. Other polls have closer assumptions, and get smaller ranges. That's why I said above that the way to read the polls is really "IF the mix is really like this THEN the election results would be roughly so".

Charlie (Colorado)
They rely on telephone contacts. Today, virtually all phones have caller id and a significant number of voters have only cell phones. If the caller id shows me a "caller unknown" or a business, or a "privacy director" I don't answer it. These services are somewhat expensive for the average phone customer. I suspect that the more affluent the voter the more likely they are so equipped.

Yes. I don't either --- I've been getting 20 or more junk calls a day from 800 numbers; if I answered them all I'd never get any work done. What I've read elsewhere is that polling companies aren't really talking about it, but they're getting 80 percent or more of their calls refused. It's very hard to see how they could be getting a sample to be confident of.

This might make a big difference in response for the more affluent demographic. How does one control for that?

Badly. That's what basically did the "Dewey defeats Truman" poll --- they did it by telephone, and so missed a lot of Truman voters who didn't have phones.

Elliott

For Kathleen Parker: Dressed to impress: Why the boys always fall for a lady in red.

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

Thanks ChaCo. Very comprehensive and understandable. I thought there was something wrong with all of this. It could be the opposite of 1948 undersampling the affluent rather than the less so.

Interestingly, many non-affluent use nothing but cell phones putting another wrinkle into the mix.

Ann hearts Joe Plumber

What a depressing day. The news of Dean Barnett, the election and voter fraud. You guys are something though ...what a heartfelt group. I would move to an island with all of you. Thanks DebinNC for posting that quote from Dean. I would only add humor to that list of family, faith, and love. We all need some today.

Hence my story...

I had a precancerous thing removed from my leg today (no big deal hopefully) and I told my husband not to worry and not to come with me.

I walked out to the waiting room to see my husband sitting there waiting on me. What a guy...right.

Well, I have a big leather weaved bag and I had a bottle of water in it which I quess had a loose top that had fallen over in my purse.
My husband announces to the waiting room "You are leaking".

Thanks Honey!!!

Stupid story I know but you have to laugh along the way and I have been laughing about it all day and realized how lucky I am to have such a great guy and family.

The little things in life never change.

jimrhoads aka vnjagvet

Obviously, he's a plumber, Ann.

Pofarmer

Watched the Megyn Kelly Bill Barnet video.

The Obama campaign certainly has a bad habit of denigrating anyone who disagree's with them. Who would be left in the press box for Presidential briefings?

Ann hearts Joe Plumber

LOL, Jim

I have had so much on my mind today that I didn't even think of that..good one! Thanks!

Pofarmer

Obama campaign.

Give us positive coverage or you will get no coverage at all.

Elliott

Whatever Michelle Obama paid for the outfit she wore on Jay Leno tonight, it was too much.

Pofarmer

Why, whenever somebody from the Obama campaign talks about "middle class tax cuts" does my spidey sense just go absolutely berserk?

Then again, maybe it's a bullshit detector.

clarice

Iowahawk explains statistics and the Margin of error using urns and balls, but his conclusion is more fun:

Works pretty well if you're interested in hypothetical colored balls in hypothetical giant urns, or growth of plants in a controlled experiment, or defects in a batch of factory products. It may even work well if you're interested in blind cola taste tests. But what if the thing you are studying doesn't quite fit the balls & urns template?

What if 40% of the balls have personally chosen to live in an urn that you legally can't stick your hand into?
What if 50% of the balls who live in the legal urn explicitly refuse to let you select them?
What if the balls inside the urn are constantly interacting and talking and arguing with each other, and can decide to change their color on a whim?
What if you have to rely on the balls to report their own color, and some unknown number are probably lying to you?
What if you've been hired to count balls by a company who has endorsed blue as their favorite color?
What if you have outsourced the urn-ball counting to part-time temp balls, most of whom happen to be blue?
What if the balls inside the urn are listening to you counting out there, and it affects whether they want to be counted, and/or which color they want to be?
If one or more of the above statements are true, then the formula for margin of error simplifies to

Margin of Error = Who the hell knows


Because, in this case, so-called scientific "sampling error" is meaningless, because it is utterly overwhelmed by non-sampling error. Under these circumstances "margin of error" is a numeric fiction masquerading as a pseudo-scientific fact, and if a poll reports it -- even if collected "scientifically" -- the pollster is guilty of aggravated bullshit in the first degree.

The moral of this midterm for all would-be pollsters: if you are really interested in how many of us red and blue balls there are in this great big urn, sit back and relax until Tuesday, and let us show our true colors.

Until then, fondle your own balls.

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/10/balls-and-urns.html

Barney's Evil Twin

Whatever Michelle Obama paid for the outfit she wore on Jay Leno tonight, it was too much.
_____________________

WAY too much. And, thanks to the prevailing camera angle I couldn't get late blues great Champion Jack Dupree's "Big Leg Emma" out of my mind. Shame on me.

bmeuppls

Who is Obama.... I found an article from 1990 about Obama and found several "errors" in the current bio.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/09/barack-obama-ha.html

Excerpt...

It is a sobering moment for Obama, 28, who in February became the first black to be elected president in the 102-year history of the prestigious student-run law journal.

The post, considered the highest honor a student can attain at Harvard Law School, almost always leads to a coveted clerkship with the U.S. Supreme Court after graduation and a lucrative offer from the law firm of one's choice.

Yet Obama, who has gone deep into debt to meet the $25,000-a-year cost of a Harvard Law School education, has left many in disbelief by asserting that he wants neither.

"One of the luxuries of going to Harvard Law School is it means you can take risks in your life," Obama said recently. "You can try to do things to improve society and still land on your feet. That's what a Harvard education should buy-enough confidence and security to pursue your dreams and give something back."

After graduation next year, Obama says he probably will spend two years at a corporate law firm, then look for community work. Down the road, he plans to run for public office.

The son of a Kenyan economist and an American anthropologist, Obama is a tall man with a quick, boyish smile whose fellow students rib him about his trademark tattered blue jeans.

"I come from a lot of worlds and I have had the unique opportunity to move through different circles," Obama said. "I have worked and lived in poor black communities and I can translate some of their concerns into words that the larger society can embrace."

His own upbringing is a blending of diverse cultures. Born in Hawaii, where his parents met in college, Obama was named Barack (blessed in Arabic) after his father. The elder Obama was among a generation of young Africans who came to the United States to study engineering, finance and medicine, skills that could be taken back home to build a new, strong Africa. In Hawaii, he married Obama's mother, a white American from Wichita, Kan.

Two years later, Obama's parents separated and he moved to a small village outside Jakarta, Indonesia, with his mother, an anthropologist. There, he spent his boyhood playing with the sons and daughters of rice farmers and rickshaw drivers, attending an Indonesian-speaking school, where he had little contact with Americans.

Every morning at 5, his mother would wake him to take correspondence classes for fear he would forget his English.

It was in Indonesia, Obama said, where he first became aware of abject poverty and despair.

"It left a very strong mark on me living there because you got a real sense of just how poor folks can get," he said. "You'd have some army general with 24 cars and if he drove one once then eight servants would come around and wash it right away. But on the next block, you'd have children with distended bellies who just couldn't eat."

After six years in Indonesia, Obama was sent back to the United States to live with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii in preparation for college. It was then that he began to correspond with his father, a senior economist for the Kenyan finance ministry who recounted intriguing tales of an African heritage that Obama knew little about.

Obama treasured his father's tales of walking miles to school, using a machete to hack a path through the elephant grass-the legends and traditions of the Luo tribe, a proud people who inhabited the shores of Lake Victoria.

He still carries a passbook that belonged to his grandfather, an herbalist who was the first family member to leave the small Kenyan village of Alego, move to the city and don Western clothes.

"He was a cook and he used to have to carry this passbook to work for the English," Obama recalls. "At the age of 46 it had this description of him that said, `He's a colored boy, he's responsible and he's a good cook.' "

Two generations later, at the most widely respected legal journal in the country, the grandson of the cook is giving the orders.
...
At Occidental College in Los Angeles, Obama studied international relations and spent much of his time helping to organize anti-apartheid protests. In his junior year, he transferred to Columbia University, "more for what (New York City) had to offer than for the education," he said.

After graduating, Obama landed a job writing manuals for a New York-based international trade publication. Once his college loans were paid off, he took a $13,000-a-year job as director for the Developing Communities Project, a church-based social action group in Chicago.

There, he and a coalition of ministers set out to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued by crime and high unemployment. Obama helped form a tenants' rights group in the housing projects and established a job training program.

"I took a chance and it paid off," he said. "It was probably the best education that I've ever had."

After four years, Obama decided it was time to move on. He wanted to learn how to use the political system to effect social change. He set his sights on Harvard Law School, where he quickly distinguished himself as a top student. He was soon chosen through the strength of his writing and grades to serve as one of 80 student editors on the law review.


This doesn't seem to match up to the narrative as defined recently.. or am I wrong? I thought his dad "adopted" him and he lived there with him. And some of the stuff on the college time frame seems at odds with the narrative in current use.

I just find it odd that this contemporary piece from 1990 doesn't match what is out there now....

Charlie (Colorado)

Until then, fondle your own balls.

You know, I thought about using that line, and then I thought "nah, that's too cheap a joke, even for me."

Shows what I know.

Charlie (Colorado)

I just find it odd that this contemporary piece from 1990 doesn't match what is out there now....

Why? he can't seem to agree with himself for a day, what's 18 years?

Daddy

Yeah, it took a lot of balls for Iowahawk to write that.

bmeuppls

Charlie, How does it fit in the timeline that you constructed? It seems to tear apart and undercut even his autobiographical books. I agree that he can't agree on ANY narrative on anything. Actually, I'm most surprised that I ran across it. I would have thought the innertubes had been scrubbed of anything that contradictory. Especially from the LA Times...

Charlie (Colorado)

Charlie, How does it fit in the timeline that you constructed?

Um, I think you're thinking of someone else; I've never paid that much attention to him.

bmeuppls

My apologies. I thought timeline and thought of you... but that was the crash timeline you put together...

OH well it's late, late, late here. Maybe a sign I should get some sleep.

fdcol63

Obama could be caught humping Lenin's corpse in Moscow, and his supporters and hacks would still claim it was a "distraction from the larger issues."

Jane

Obama could be caught humping Lenin's corpse in Moscow

I heard that too.

Seriously, someone should start pumping out rumors about the tape the LA times is holding so it becomes more prudent to release it than keep it secret.

(Did you know Obama kisses Khalidi on the lips in the tape and admits to an affair with Dorhn - with Michelle's permission of course.)

fdcol63

"(Did you know Obama kisses Khalidi on the lips in the tape and admits to an affair with Dorhn - with Michelle's permission of course.)"

I heard it was one of those ritualistic group things, too, like in "Eyes Wide Shut".

kim

The blatant demagoguery of this demon is breathtaking. I think the press is just beginning to smell the danger.
=====================================

Jane

A bit late.

Jim Ryan

...of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.

-Federalist 1

Rick Ballard

"He's a colored boy, he's responsible and he's a good cook."

It's just a damn shame his grandson turned out the way he did. His grandfather doesn't sound like a bad fellow - two generations later and you've got a thief, liar and con man rather than an honest worker.

Bill in AZ

Stock market is up - must be the good retail news I heard on ABC News this morning. Guns and ammo sales are up 10-30% on worries that Obama will be elected President.

fdcol63

Jim Ryan,

The prescience of the Founders continues to amaze, doesn't it?

fdcol63

Nancy Pelosi says:

"Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan," said Pelosi.

Who believes this crap?

When you have a super-majority, you can ram just about any legislation through the House and the Senate without bipartisanship ...

especially if you can count on your comrades in the MSM to hide it from the American public until it's too late.

PeterUK

"Obama treasured his father's tales of walking miles to school, using a machete to hack a path through the elephant grass-the legends and traditions of the Luo tribe, a proud people who inhabited the shores of Lake Victoria."

Why didn't the dick us the path between the village and the school? Sheesh,even in Africa there are tracks.

bad

LOL Peter, I walked uphill to school in the morning in blizzards and walked home again, uphill, in oppressive heat with no water.

Seriously, no wonder he feels so guilty and inadequate by comparison to his machete wielding father. Add a little AA in the mix and out comes a Marxist.

fdcol63

And yet Obama still neglects to see that his father hacked his own path, himself.

He didn't wait for government or others to do it for him.

fdcol63

Oh, wait.

Where did Obama's dad get the machete? Did he buy it himself, or was it "redistributed" to "spread the wealth" and to "level the playing field"?

clarice

PUK always takes the romance out of everything...drat..
Did I tell you about the winter of '48 when we kids in Milwaukee walked to school in tunnels hollowed out of the snow? (Actually a true story..

clarice

The winter of '48--http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=T90KAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CU8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4973,274666>I wasn't kidding about it

Bad weather on the east coast today..BTW

sylvia

"At Occidental College in Los Angeles, Obama studied international relations and spent much of his time helping to organize anti-apartheid protests. "

Yes the phrase "spent much of his time" convinces me even more that BHO met Ayers at Occidental. Ayers was in San Francisco, a hotbed for lefty radicalism, around that time and if he didn't catch BHO then, then Ayers returned to spend the summers in CA after he moved to NYC. I'm sure that either Ayers caught Obama in a speech in LA or Obama made a few trips to lefty radical "conventions" in San Fran and caught Ayers in a speech. And the rest is history.

M. Simon

Oil down to $62.

fdcol63

Geez, I mean just what are the odds that Obama and Ayers seemed to be at ALL 3 at around the same time? Occidental, Columbia, and Chicago.

fdcol63

And just are the odds when you throw in a specific law firm, as well ... Sidley Austin?

Sue

Doesn't Obama say the only contact he had with his father was when he came to visit him in Hawaii for a few weeks? Did they share letters that I missed? Phone calls? Just when did Obama Sr relay these touching stories to Obama Jr?

PeterUK

"Did I tell you about the winter of '48 when we kids in Milwaukee walked to school in tunnels hollowed out of the snow? (Actually a true story.."

See,even in snowbound Milwaukee there were paths.You kids didn't have to dig your own tunnels.

"Where's the machete,has Barrack missed the school bus again?"

clarice

Dow up over 7%..

Charlie (Colorado)

Gallup traditional at 49/47, Dow closes above 9000.

That's not a prediction, that's today.

Erica Jong Ill

MSNBC/CPUSA poll:

Obama 79%
McCain 21%

margin of error: +/- 0.3%

link

Porchlight

LOL Erica. Laugh of the day!

Erica Jong Ill

All your polls are belong to us.

Bill in AZ

Polls narrowing;
Dow up 890;
Oil down to $62;
Guns and Ammo retail sales up 30%;

Coincidence?

M. Simon

Charlie,

I used your balls and urns at The PUMA Question with attribution and a link back to your site.

Also at Classical Values.

bad

Charlie,

I used your balls...

Gently, I hope.

matt

erica;

if it was a CPUSA poll, shouldn't it be

Obama 98.5%
Sent to reeducation camps: 1.5%

just askin....

fdcol63

Reminds me of those old Iraqi elections:

Saddam = 99.2%
Executions = 0.8%

Mike Drew

Gun prices up 200% if Obama wins
Ammo prices up 500% if Obama wins
DOW - 9300 if McCain wins, 9900 if Obama wins, but then drops to 6000 before Jan 1st.
McCain will get 48.4% & Obama 49.2%, but McCain wins due to the elector college votes. The illuminati party demands the end of our current election process. (and our freedoms)

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