SMATTERINGS – June 22, 2012

English: A map based on the candidates running...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While working on this blog I come across all sorts of information.  I would like to share more of it than can be squeezed into a couple of posts a week, yet not so much as to produce psychic  overload, so periodically I will have posts that combine a little of this and that….


Is this presidential election going to be close?  Not according to Nate Silver’s recent “chance of winning” prediction  in his Fivethirtyeight blog.  He regularly gives  Obama a large betting edge, today 62.7 % to 37.3% over Romney.  A lot of this has to do with Obama having a strong lead in the projected electoral vote despite only a narrow one in likely overall voters.

Silver analyses the polls and made a name for himself in predicting all but one state, Indiana (a 1% vote difference) in the 2008 presidential election.   Rather than listen to the political chatter –  like the impact of Romney not vetting Marco Rubio for VP – check in with Silver when you’re curious how the tide is turning.  To make that easier for you, I’ll put his blog in my Blogroll to the lower left.


Both Democrats and Republicans have “war rooms”, staffed with people whose job is to find every weakness in the “enemy” and exploit it.  Jake Tapper of ABC got a guided tour of the Republican war room in April.   Check out the video.   All the flack produced is one more reason to save time and just check with Nate.

I would have mentioned the Tapper video earlier, but was waiting for him to do a similar piece on the Dem war room.   I’m still waiting.   Maybe the Democrats  changed their minds after seeing the Republicans look like vultures.


Adam McCay in Huff Post yesterday reminded me of me, decrying the current state of our media news :  “… instead of useful information we get opinions decorated with misleading info. And the result is that we are a shockingly misinformed country.”

His suggestion:  “We must create an INFORMATION BUCKET BRIGADE…Once a week every one of us must pass on a rock-solid fact with context at the ready to someone else we know. If it’s someone who disagrees with you, you get bonus points. Whether it’s through email, Twitter, Facebook, text, or conversation, all that matters is that fact is passed on and the person you pass it on to passes it on.”  He does add that in passing it on it should not include something snotty about the recipient’s politics or I. Q.

To me illuminating a misleading “fact” is in keeping with McCay’s suggestion and here’s one:   One Republican talking point is to hammer Dems for having large majorities in both houses the first two years of their administration with  little to show for it.  They say it often and I never see it challenged.  

Yes, the statement is factually true, but the former big majority in the Senate – 60-to-40 – just seems big.   With the Dem party caucus stretching from socialist independent Bernie Sanders on the left to conservative Ben Nelson on the right, this was never a solid 60 votes, the number required to avoid a  veto by the filibuster-happy Republicans.   The need to corral all of the Dem caucus, including independents Sanders and Joe Lieberman, helped create a mishmash of a health care act.

And for the first six months the Dems didn’t even have 60 because Al Franken’s election win was challenged in court.  


In case you thought I was being just flippant or downright weird in my post haling the power of boobs, I’ll have you know that I was on the curvaceous edge.  Huff Post now has a whole section devoted to those tangential talking points.   No lie.