Friday, October 22, 2004

POLLGATE: Pollsters Are Stealing Democracy

POLLGATE: Pollsters Are Stealing Democracy

Not one cell phone has been called during the presidential campaign. This is because there is no method for polling cell phones. Yet, there are 170,475,160 cell phones in America.

While polls may sound convincing, the foundation for their statistical predictions is shaky, at best. This is no longer a nation of landlines, and this is becoming a real credibility problem for pollsters. Polls are rapidly becoming an antiquated predicting tool.

If the election were to be stolen on November 2, the nation would be more apt to swallow it due to their heads being stuffed, 24/7, with inaccurate statistical poll data in the weeks leading up to the election.

On the positive side of possible poll inaccuracy, if Jimmy Breslin's right about this poll fiasco and Kerry wins by a landslide on election night, soon we could well be singing 'Buh-Bye, Dubya'!

Excerpt from Jimmy Breslin's latest column:

"Yesterday, the polls showed a Bush surge. It never happened because they were basing it on thin air. There also were figures showing Kerry winning states like Ohio in the Midwest. They came up with the percentages without calling one cell phone of the millions and millions of them in the area. I believe nothing.

Everybody maintains that the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat. Nobody knows that. With a huge number of new registered voters, overwhelmingly of color, and young, and with 40 million using cell phones, the only thing going on in this election is how many times George Bush goes under before he drowns on Election Day. As he should. He is the worst president we have had, maybe ever...

..They [the polls] are lies by numbers. The reporters basing their coverage on these polls are lazy, unimaginative and irresponsible. That everything is based on an untruth could be the reason for the dreadful election coverage. What they write or say so often has nothing to do with the times in which they are supposed to live and report.

Paul Krugman writes in today's NYT:
"A lot can change in 11 days, and Mr. Bush may yet win convincingly. But we must not repeat the mistake of 2000 by refusing to acknowledge the possibility that a narrow Bush win, especially if it depends on Florida, rests on the systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. And the media must not treat such a suspect win as a validation of skewed reporting that has consistently overstated Mr. Bush's popular support."

Doing 'Whatever It Takes' To Cling To Power by Sen. Patrick Leahy

Doing 'Whatever It Takes' To Cling To Power by Sen. Patrick Leahy

This week, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) offered a guest column to Howard Dean's 'Democracy for America' readers.

"To hold on to power, to preserve their own political self interest, President Bush and his political allies have tried to smother debate about his policies on terrorism and on Iraq. They have implied that a coronation instead of a real election would be the patriotic thing to do....This is not politics as usual. This is something new and ugly and dangerous...they routinely use fear of terrorism to divide the American people to preserve their political self interest...this Administration has squandered the unity of the American people and our international allies....What they are saying is that the half of all Americans who disagree with this President's policies are less patriotic or are somehow not as American as they are. Have they no self respect? No sense of decency?....This is the American people's election, not al Qaeda's. And it's not Karl Rove's, Dick Cheney's or George Bush's either. As Election Day nears, they can't be allowed to undermine the right that the American people have to an open and informed debate about some of the most important issues of our lifetimes.."

Bravo, Senator Leahy!

Salam Pax in the U.S.A.

Salam Pax in the U.S.A

"There is no way the Bush administration can get away with the mess it created in Iraq by saying it did not know and could not predict this, because for two hours I sat with a man who was so knowledgeable on things I thought no one in the west knew or cared about."

-Salam Pax/The Baghdad Blogger

I hope you've been reading Salam Pax this week at the Guardian. His diary is filled with unique bits of observational wisdom. These paragraphs caught my eye in today's installment:
"The state department had, through its Future of Iraq project, detailed plans on how to proceed. There were plans for all the ministries. Months were spent preparing reports that once they reached the Pentagon ended up in the waste basket. Chalabi was in; everybody else was out. It really is strange how often his name comes up when people start talking about Why Things Went Wrong."

"..When we talk about possible Iraqi elections in January, he doesn't sound very optimistic. He doesn't see it happening because, to start with, there are no internal parties; only the exiles are ready. Actually, the religious parties are ready as well, and this is something not many people have considered. What would the US government do if we had elections and we in Iraq choose someone like Sadr - or even Ayatollah Sistani?"

Virginian-Pilot Endorses Kerry

Virginian-Pilot Endorses Kerry

"Resolve is no substitute for results."

A course change: The Virginian-Pilot endorses John Kerry

Terrorists for Bush, no matter what GOP tries to feed us

Terrorists for Bush, no matter what GOP tries to feed us

A new Bush ad is hinting that terrorists want Kerry to win this election. I found that to be preposterously hilarious, knowing that Iran (one member of Bush's "axis of evil") strongly endorsed him this week. (Democrats press human rights issues, you see).

The Abu Ghraib torture probably won Tehran over for Bush.

An endorsement from the government Bush considers to be 'evil' should give us all a startling pause. Breathtaking pause.

Why Iran Wants Four More Years by David Jagernauth

Massing Taking on the Press; Bradlee Calls Bush "a liar"

Michael Massing: Taking the press to task for buying into the war

The Seattle Times discusses a compendium of pieces written for The New York Review of Books by Michael Massing, a contributing editor of Columbia Journalism Review titled "Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq".

"So here's the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain working the bowels of the bureaucracy — low-level intelligence, defense and diplomatic analysts — and publishing on Oct. 8, 2002, a forceful story reporting the doubts analysts had about the Iraqi threat, and more significantly, making a case that the civilian leadership was deliberately exaggerating the threat.. but because Knight Ridder has no newspapers in New York or Washington, it was all to no effect..

Is American-style journalism — weighted with the misnomers "objective" and "impartial" — so reliant on government sources, and blind sources in particular, that it is prone to being duped by those willing to deceive to advance their agenda?"

Pierre Salinger and days of solid investigative reporting memorialized

Which leads me to a quote from the NY Times article about yesterday's funeral of former White House press secretary and bon vivant Pierre Salinger:
"....when the mourners prayed for "those who serve in government or the press," they prayed for themselves, marking the passing not only of Mr. Salinger but also of an era when journalists considered themselves reporters and thought of "media" as a Greek sorceress, "usually played by Dame Judith Anderson," as the veteran NBC and ABC correspondent Sander Vanocur recalled in a written remembrance read aloud..."

Ben Bradlee says, flat out, that Bush is a liar.

I read an alleged 'exclusive' piece on the internet about Ben Bradlee calling Bush a liar.
From Spiegel Online:

"He [Bradlee] says US President George W. Bush is a liar. Journalists should stop dancing around the issue and name Bush for what he is, the ever surly Bradlee says in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview. Bradlee also bemoans a worsening Washington climate in which politicians regularly hide behind lies - his favorite being that they can't discuss an issue "on the grounds of national security." Nixon used that line, too, Brandlee says. Bradlee admonishes reporters at both the Washington Post and the New York Times to get a backbone and to do more homework. Journalists today should not only question what politicians say but also their motivation, he says. He faults both news biggies for not asking enough questions before the Iraq war broke out and for not investing enough time or money into researching tough-to-get stories. Calling Clinton a liar was easy, Bradlee says. With Bush, the trail is less transparent."