Monday, December 6, 2010

Can we believe polls?

Rasmussen, Gallop, Pew, and Real Clear Politics.  These are all polls that some of us live by from day to day.  Marketers rely on polls.  Politicians live and die by polls.   Sadly, some vote by polls.

But now comes an article in Scientific American by Charles Seife that sheds new light on polls and those who report on polls.  The poll in question was released in September and concerned a “religion test” of 32 questions.  It pitted atheists/agnostics against several groups of believers.

The poll seemed to show that non-believers know more about religion than believers.  Time magazine headlined “Atheists know more about religion than believers”.

The article’s author pointed out that a Pew’s research was flawed because the sample for non-believer was small and the statistical margin of error revealed that there was no difference between the two groups polled.

Nevertheless, the headlines screamed and once again the public shrugged it shoulders and some once again may have accepted these polls on face value.

But should we accept the results of polls?  Back in the 1970’s a scandal rose over the so-called push-polls.  Candidates conducted bogus polls by polling only those groups who would ordinarily voted for said candidate.  The results was released to the media and touted in political ads.  Sure enough, the results in the other polls followed the bogus push-poll.

“The press leaped on the atheists versus believers headlines without critically examining the numbers.  The Pew study revealed less about our faith in God than it did about our faith in polls – which, far too often, is blind.”  Seife said.

The article is in the December 2010 edition and is  entitled, “The Science of ‘Disestimation’; Why we shouldn’t put our faith in opinion polls”.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dems poised to lose Senate seats

The Democrats are poised to lose U.S. Senate seats in — Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana and North Dakota, says pollster Rasmussen. 

This came from Rasmussen’s web site at

The pollster believes the Democrats will hold onto the Senate:

…there are just nine states currently in the Toss-Up category. Outside of the Toss-Ups, current projections indicate that Democrats can probably count on having 49 Senate seats after Election Day, while Republicans will hold 42.

Conservatives need to win eight (8) of the nine toss up races to take over the Senate.

One Senate race that should be watched.  Barbara Boxer (D-CA.) leads former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina by 48% to 43%.  Some 5% says they would vote for some other candidate and 5% are undecided.  It does not look good for Fiorina, whose conservative credentials are not that good.

Tea Party members need to support

these races now.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Obama economist melts down on Cavuto Show

Obama spent a TRILLION DOLLARS and has produced no net jobs gained.

When Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel put that question to Obama’s chief economist his answer was to obfuscate and to change the subject.  Then when Cavuto pressed on the subject, he reverted to swearing.

This is the Obama economy:

  • On Friday the Dow ended the week down 400 points!
  • June unemployment was up by 125,000. LINK
  • 500,000 jobless workers stopped receiving unemployment payments.  They ran out of benefits.
  • The unemployment rate rose to 9.5% only because of the 500,000 workers lost their benefits.
  • The state of Illinois stopped paying it’s bills.  LINK
  • 7.9 million jobs have been lost.  It’s likely many will never come backLINK

Friday, July 2, 2010

Obama’s Approval: Long-term trends

President Barrack Obama has reverted to the campaign mode. 

This became apparent Thursday in his “major speech” on immigration.

Fox News analysts say that Obama is in the campaign mode.  This week besides his campaign style exaggerations about the failing economy, Obama seems to be reverting to what he believes worked for him in 2008.  

Just maybe it won’t work this time.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that:

The economy shed jobs in June as meager private-sector hiring failed to make up for the end of thousands of temporary census worker jobs, the latest signal that an already-slow recovery might be shifting into an even lower gear.

The graphic on he web site was more telling. LINK

The Journal added:

The unemployment rate declined to 9.5% from 9.7% in May, but not because more jobs were available. Instead, 652,000 workers dropped out of the labor force, meaning they weren't counted as unemployed and looking for work.

The Rasmussen Poll reported that only 29% of the voters believe that Obama Stimulus helped the economy.   Some 43% believe it harmed the economy.

Perhaps what really turned Obama to the campaign mode was his poll ratings.  Rasmussen stepped back today and showed a graphic of Obama’s ratings going back to January 2009.  Here it is:

Rasmussen Approval Index

Obama has hit a new low.  If the ratings get any lower, will they go off the  chart?

Mark Steyn said it best

Journalist Mark Steyn, who blogs and writes columns for the London (U.K.) Telegraph, said it best.

“Where Nice Obama got us”.  His blog outlines all the failures of the Obama regime and the  feckless NATO allies.   Read it here. LINK

“MARK STEYN: Why would Ahmadinejad take [Obama] seriously when even Karzai flips him the finger?“

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Liberal Shows His Spots?

Woody Allen, the aging comedian and liberal, wants a Obama-run dictatorship.  

Yes!  That’s right!

I remember back in the 1960’s and 70’s when I was a newspaperman, crowds of angry left-wing demonstrators were screaming for more freedom and rights.   Now that they are in charge, they want to shut up the opposition.  What’s next?  Death camps?

Woody speaks for a lot of left-wingers when he said, “It would be good...if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly," Allen is quoted as saying.

If the Obama Dictator came what could be expect?  All one has to do is look at the last extremist left wing dictatorships in the Soviet Union and Maoist China.   Perhaps 100 million were murdered in these left wing regimes.

Here’s the whole story as printed in the Los Angeles Times  (LINK)  and Fox News (LINK)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are Toyota’s Problems like the Audi 5000?

Fox News has been broadcasting a sound bite from Congressional hearings concerning the allegations that Toyota cars have a sudden and unintended acceleration problem.

The teary-eyed woman related her experience in Congress when her car went out of control on a highway. Reports are coming every day of people who say their Toyota and even Luxus’ are reported to be experiencing sudden and unintended acceleration problems. Toyota has said they are trying to fix the problem, but has denied that there is a sudden and unintended acceleration problem.

Congress is investigating. The owner and CEO of Toyota Motor Co. will testify before Congress. Fingers are pointing in every direction. So what is the problem? Who is at fault?

My mind flashes back to 1985. The German luxury car, the Audi 5000, came under attack. It started with a CBS 60 Minutes piece which presented several owners saying that sudden and unintended acceleration caused the death of their loved ones. CBS even showed an Audi’s accelerator moving on its own.

However, no one ever found a problem with the Audi 5000. The 60 Minutes producers admitted that they rigged the car to depress the accelerator. However, Audi lost sales. Owners lost the re-sale values in their luxury cars, and dealerships closed.

One thing is certain. A car will not move if the brakes are held down and the accelerator depressed all the way. Brakes have more power than the engines. Click here to read an article on that subject.

The small Japanese and European cars do have pedals close together. American are accustomed to widely spaced pedals. Could that be the fault? I don’t know.

I remember my aunt used to drive with her right foot on the accelerator and her left foot on the brake. I had a girlfriend who drove the same way. Many older women in my experience do drive that way. Could that be the problem? A panicked driver depresses the accelerator but honestly believes they are pressing the brake with their right foot?

Cars were made to be driven with the right foot operating both the accelerator and the brake – one at a time!

Back in 2006 through 2009, high gasoline prices drove many people to abandoned American-made cars and purchased smaller, Japanese cars.

One thing is certain. A 5,000-pound hunk of metal powered by a 150-horsepower engine is a dangerous machine. I grew up working on around heavy machinery. My twin brother and I have a healthy respect for machinery. Rule No. 1: Never stand behind or in front of a machine. After three decades, I still respect that protocol in the garage when my wife pulls in or backs out. Same is true in a parking lot. It’s my observation, that fear or respect for machines is not universal.

If it turns out that Toyota’s problem is all driver error, will the news media report it? I doubt it. They have their story. A major Japanese automaker is on the chopping block. Goodbye Toyota.