Monday, October 24, 2016

The ABC/Washington Post Poll of People Not Likely to Vote

Noto Bene: The duty of candor requires that I mention that the October 23, 2016, poll included 874 LIKELY voters. But it also included 517 NOT LIKELY TO VOTE participants.

Here's another example of using oversampling to steer the outcome of a poll.
ABC News Washington Post Tracking Poll today is being reported to show that Clinton has opened a 12 point lead over Trump. Fascinating stuff. Odd, too, considering that less than two weeks ago, a similar poll reported by ABC/WaPo showed Clinton leading by 6 points.
Let's call today's poll the "new poll" and the other poll the "old poll."
The old poll was conducted by interviewing fewer than 800 "LIKELY VOTERS."
The new poll was conducted by interviewing just over 1300 subjects, of whom 874 were LIKELY VOTERS.
The results of the new poll, however, are not the results of just those 874 likely voters. That poll interviewed 1391 people. Nearly 500 people were interviewed and their responses included in the results of the poll despite the fact that they were NOT LIKELY TO VOTE.
Say What?
The total result of the poll included 874 folks that are likely to vote and FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN respondents who ARE NOT LIKELY TO VOTE.
Think about the meaning of that phrase and how it connects to the matter with which we tend to ASSUME news organizational polling is concerned. Maybe that is the place to start.
Why do you look at news reports of polling?
Is it a search for confirmation? Sort of an internal dialog, "See, the majority of folks agree with me" kind of thing?
Is it an effort to see into the future? Sort of a "Well, let's see how this is going to turn out? kind of thing?
I think these are two of the most common responses to expect when you get honest responses from folks as to why they are interested in such polls.
But suppose what you are looking for in polling is not what campaigns and/or news agencies are seeking?
You realize that "push polling" exists. Those polls that, rather than gauging the temper of the people seek to put fire under them or dump cold water on them.
Let's not jump to any conclusions yet. But, suppose a polling agency and its partners wanted to steer the outcome of a poll. If they did, which approach do you think might be more effective. I'll give you two choices.
Choice A.
After confirming that the interview subject fits poll requirements (likely voter or not; party affiliation or not; racial and cultural demographic or not), ask one question:
"In a two way race between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, for whom would you vote?"
Choice B.
Again, after confirming that the interview subject fits poll requirements (likely voter or not; party affiliation or not; racial and cultural demographic or not), ask three questions:
"First, Donald Trump says the election may be rigged through election fraud. Do you think he is expressing a legitimate concern or that he is making excuses for a possible unfavorable outcome?"
"Second, Donald Trump refuses to say if he will accept the outcome of the election. Do you approve or disapprove of his remark?"
"Third, In a two way race between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, for whom would you vote?"
Now, you make your own judgment. But for me, asking a couple of good ground penetrating bomb blast questions might just be the kind of thing that deforms outcomes that might otherwise be gotten by simply asking for whom the likely voter is likely to vote.
But Choice A above is not what Langer Associates did in its polling for ABC News and the Washington Post. Instead, it took Choice B, peppering participants with those questions.
The ABC/WaPo poll also engaged in modeling. This approach looks at some past election, determines participation percentages by party and then skews its sampling according to those numbers.
Here, the Langer agency skewed its sample. Here's how they described their skew: "Partisan divisions are 36-27-31 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents." In other words, the agency set itself a quota task: 36% of those interviewed must be Democrats, 27% must be Republicans, 31% must be Independents. These kinds of partisan divisions are included in most polls. The exact percentages change. For example, why 36-27-31 when the Pew Center says that, currently, the breakdown in partisanship is 33-29-34?
You can see, I'm sure, then, that the specific, formulaic breakdown used in selecting polling participants can skew the numbers, and it becomes important, if polls are something you have to deal with or choose to deal with, to KNOW what the pollster is using for partisan division, and to know WHY they are using any particular spread.
I'm going to wrap here by returning to that 517 number.
Remember, this poll was one conducted by interviewing 517 people, according to the polling methodology, who were not likely to vote and 874 who were likely to vote. I've read the poll. I've read the research methodology. No other information appears on the polling agency's page to explain who those 517 folks were (I mean demographically, rather than personal identity) or WHY their responses are a part of the survey.
The questions not answered in the survey or its methodology include whether, and to what extent, the inclusion of those NOT LIKELY TO VOTE in the survey, skewed the outcome. But given the substantial shift from ABC/WaPo's survey of two weeks ago, which was of LIKELY VOTERS ONLY, it seems reasonable to ask about that group, and in the absence of a forthright explanation, it seems reasonable to conclude that was the purpose of the group’s inclusion in the poll.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Four Minutes in October: The Sieve That is Hillary Clinton

[Location: Deep in strategic command bunker well outside Pyongyang, North Korea] 
[Present are Kim Jong Un and senior military and party officials] 
General: Great Sun of Life, just as the cowardly American dogs had to use, with little testing, their atomic weapons against the dogs in Japan, we should act now. 
Kim Young-nam: Great Leader of our Party and of our Nation, we must act to coalesce the People under the demonstrated strength of you as Leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. We humbly request your direct that the Taepodong-2 missiles be fired, targeting the military targets of Hawaii and California. 
Sun of the Communist Future: should I command this daring act of superior might, how long until the craven Americans see the bright sun of our power. 
General: the expected flight time is 30 minutes, oh Great Sun of Life. 
Great Man, Who Descended From Heaven: once I give the command, if I do, how long until the rockets are fired? 
[nervous laughter, and no one answers] 
Invincible and Triumphant General: do you all want to be tied to the rockets? Answer me! 
General: Guiding Star of the 21st Century, the time from command to firing is a national security secret of the highest order. I cannot say in the presence of many here, who while respected and loyal servants of your Glorious Sun, are not cleared for that information. 
Kim Jong-Un: Damn it man! Hillary Clinton told the world it was a FOUR MINUTE period for American missiles to launch after the command, what is our interval!

As a bit of late-night sketch comedy, Kim Jong-Un and Hillary Clinton are perfect foils. If it had nothing to do with the lives we lead. And, Kim will not, under most estimates, be a threat to the mainland United States anytime soon. The Clinton Threat, however, is real and imminent. The nuclear interval leak Clinton made during the last debate evidences the kinds of threats she presents.

You may have been watching that last debate between Trump and Clinton.

At last, we were offered an actual, worthwhile, unbiased moderator, conducting an even-handed, if tough, examination of both candidates. Trump continued to display his down to earth, relatable, and human aspect. Clinton continued with her robotic repetition of scripted nonsense.


Until this:

Did you catch it?

Four minutes.

Four minutes from an order to launch nuclear weapons until that order is given effect at nuclear launch sites.
Now you and I might presume to know that a certain interlude, possibly quite brief, follows the issuance of a nuclear launch command, before that order is given effect at the launch sites. But ours would be, after all, a presumption, not a calculable certainty.
That is, until the former Secretary of State, who, in that position was high in the structure for command and control of nuclear decision-making, told us, our neighbors, our high school buddies, the drunks at the bar, Englishmen tippling at the tap in late night rounds, and virtually anyone -- friend or foe -- something that we only could have suspected until the mouth that should have stayed shut refused to do so.
Now, there's a much more disconcerting point she made in her "nuclear" free fall. She as much as intimated that nuclear launch officers might mutiny if a launch order came from a President named Donald Trump when she reported their views uncritically. 
Hollywood, of course, has given us the occasional peak into its vision of the American nuclear launch sequence. Here's one such vignette, from "Wargames:"

The fact that four former launch officers support her campaign and expressed concern at Donald Trump's possible assent to the the First Chair of Nuclear Devastation, was, I suppose, meant as a kind of blackmail to America from Hillary. It came across as, essentially:
You elect him, and you may well be destroyed by a surprise nuclear attack, and that without the satisfaction of knowing that there will have been a superior, mutually destructive, attack unleashed by the USA.

As a citizen, I find her intimation, and its unspoken intimidation, offensive at the highest order. While I respect the duty of every person to determine the morality of orders, the former launch officers have made no such moral judgment. Rather, they have said, 
Donald Trump ... has shown himself ... to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs. 
They have not said that they would have disobeyed launch orders in their times of service, or that they would urge nuclear launch officers to disobey such orders from a President Trump. So we are left to wonder why, precisely, Clinton would raise the subject.

Presumably, she raised the question because the judgment made by a handful of junior military personnel support her contentions regarding the fitness and judgment of Donald Trump. If that were the case, however, what would be the reason to connect the identity of a group that disputes Trump's judgment with the nuclear launch interval, except her implicit blackmailing of the Nation with a non-existent declaration treachery of launch officers that would refuse to launch nuclear strikes because of personal judgments?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tim Kaine: The Reset Failed Because Hillary Was Grifted by the Best

The more I think about one particular segment of the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, the more I get a sense of just how deeply stuck up in Hillary's buttocks Senator Kaine has his head shoved.
The question was, essentially, "so then, Senator Kaine, what went wrong with the Russian reset?"
Kaine's response was, in a word, "Putin."
Now, Kaine had already blabbered on about how Trump was servile to Putin and that Clinton understood Putin and knew who he was and what he was capable of doing. And, in response to the question, "why did the agreement with Putin fail," his answer was, "Putin." To put some finesse to his response, he then explained to America that Putin wasn’t a leader, he was a dictator.
I don’t know that I agree that Putin is more a dictator than Barack Obama. But let’s suppose Tim Kaine is right: Putin is a DICTATOR. That answer doesn’t explain why the Russian reset FAILED. Unless, by saying that the reset failure is to be blamed on Putin, Kaine was actually saying that the failure of the reset could not have been predicted, could not have been anticipated.
That would certainly be a strange claim from a man that had just “schooled” Pence and America about the prescience and wisdom, the insight, the skill, the acumen, the judgment, of his topside running mate, Hillary Clinton.
OK, if you buy Kaine’s reasoning, then life is going to be full of hurts for you.
For example, go to a used car lot.
Let the USED CARE SALESMAN tell you about how this “beaut” was owned only by one owner, driven only to church on Sundays, purrs like a kitten, has all its maintenance records up to date, and only has 34,939 miles on it.
Buy that car.
As you're driving down the road and the transmission falls out on the road and you come to an ugly and abrupt stop, ponder what you know about USED CAR SALESMEN.
You know they'll tell you anything. You know that they'll lie to move product. You know that their markup is shocking. Yet, here you are, sitting on a $9,275 collection of ruin.
Is he to blame?
Are you innocent?
Well, he is more to blame and you are more innocent, if you are an innocent naif fresh from the country. But if you are an experienced player, with a highly developed grasp of the games used car dealers play, HOW THE HECK ARE YOU NOT TO BLAME FOR YOUR POOR JUDGMENT?
One of my favorite episodes of “The Simpsons” pits Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa against a crafty carny, Cooder, given voice by Jim Varney, the character actor that brought Ernest P. Worrell to life. The Simpsons lose their home to the invading Cooder clan.

As the episode approaches its climax, Homer and the family are outside their home, looking in, and Cooder and clan are inside the home, looking out. Homer challenges Cooder to a game of ring toss. If Homer fails to hook a hula hoop over the chimney, then he promises to sign over the deed to the house to Cooder.

Cooder and clan come outside. Homer reaches to pick up the hula hoop as though he’s actually going to try and throw it up on the roof. Then, in a flash, he and Marge, Bart and Lisa all run inside the house, shutting and locking the door as they go.

The last scene shows Cooder and his son, Spud, on the sidewalk, looking wistfully at the home they just lost:
Spud: Hey! They just ran into the house! That Homer fella grifted you good, Dad.
Cooder: Well, there's no shame in bein' beaten by the best.
Spud: But he didn't seem all that...
Cooder: We were beaten by the best, boy. 
Now we all know, Homer never has been, never was, and never will be the best. But he still came out on top in his witless duel with the carny. Tim Kaine wants us to believe that Hillary is “the best.” But the recent history of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea proves that Hillary possesses no more judgment or acumen than Cooder or Homer.

No, Senator Kaine, you can't have it both ways. You can't blame Putin for the failure of the reset and praise the wisdom, knowledge, and foresight of the American architect of that agreement, Hillary Clinton!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tyrant Unmasked: Clinton Wanted to Conduct Drone Strike on Ecuadorian Embassy in London

Growing up, most of us had that one friend in our group, the one whose judgment was reliable only in the sense that it was always bad. 

"Your parents won't even know we took the car."
His squeaky, early adolescent, 14 year old's voice, cajoled you and the others to take the car for a joy ride.
"They don't have cameras in the bathrooms, stupid, they'll never know who set fire to the trash can. Man, it's too nice a day to be stuck in school!"
"The back doors on these places never have alarms, let's just pry the door open and see what we find!"
The difference between you and that moron is that you knew your parents would know, that someone would tell who set the fire, and that lots of businesses use alarm systems to protect themselves from economic harm.

On the not so shady side, maybe it was just the bad idea of building an underground fort ... who knew underground structures should be reinforced against collapse? Or his idea for fun around the campfire, playing a game of tossing matches at a gas can?

Here you are, though. You survived his completely insane disconnect with reality.

Today, if he were to say these things to you, you'd ask him when he might be growing up. And if you learned that one of your kids had a friend like him, it would be time for one of those cozy conversations about how you nearly didn't survive your teenage years.

Now that you have developed a mature judgment about such things, you can chuckle about his insanities, but you would never again be tempted by them.

Just imagine that knucklehead being put in charge of a Nation's relationships with other every other nation on the planet. Imagine such a person being made the Secretary of State of the United States.

In fact, rather than imagine such a circumstance, just think about our near bellicose collision with the United Kingdom and Ecuador when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed conducted a drone strike on the Ecuadorian Embassy to kill Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.

Talk about collateral damage.

H/T to @ColumbiaBugle and @TruePundit for the story of Hillary's "it would be hilarious if it weren't a story about a serious contender for the presidency." You can read the details here.

I just thought, in case things weren't clear, we ought to look at what Hillary thought the Obama Administration should do to stop embarrassing leaks coming from @Wikileaks.

First, to get a clear perspective, understand that Hillary, as Secretary of State, was in Washington, DC, here in America, and Julian Assange, then as now fleeing a trumped up charge out of Sweden, had taken residence in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, England.

This map shows the USA and the UK in relation to each other:

This map shows "Foggy Bottom," the headquarters of the US Department of State, which is located in Southwest Washington, DC, near the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The George Washington University:

Apparently Hillary gets her craziest ideas when she's there (odd that she didn't direct a drone strike, or a dozen, against the murderous terrorists attacking Benghazi, though).

Now, if we go, as the Brits say, "across the pond" to England, we can get an idea about what it was that Hillary "Major Kong" Clinton proposed to do.

The Ecuadorian Embassy is located in London. You can see London's location here:

Now, London has been around for some two thousand years, so it's had a long time to grow. It is a large metropolis. So here is a map shows the location of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London:

You might not have noticed, so go back and look at that last map again. Do you see the property located about 4000 feet to the east of the embassy? Yes, that's right. That is Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace is home to some famous folks. In particular, England's Monarch, Queen Elizabeth spends time there. Sometimes, as here, she spends that time waving to her loyal subjects. We've seen so many photos of this sort: the young Queen, the Queen with her young children, the Queen with her adult children and their spouses, and then with grandchildren.

Now, at 3 am Eastern Standard Time today, October 4, 2016, we all expected Julian Assange to make a major, and long-awaited announcement of information regarding our deeply disturbed former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Here you can see Assange at the very window where he might have appeared to make that announcement.

Remember, that window is less than a mile from the one where the Queen thrills the hearts of her loyal subjects with an appearance and a wave.

And Hillary Clinton, who thinks that Donald Trump cannot be trusted to have access to America's nuclear arsenal, wanted to conduct a drone strike targeting Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador (which, by international law, is the sovereign territory of Ecuador) in the heart of London, in the sovereign territory of the United Kingdom, all within a mile of Buckingham Palace.

In case you forgot about it, Hillary Clinton stated her case against Trump's fitness quite distinctly:
"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."
Yes, that was her standard. She laid it out in her dreadful nomination acceptance speech. Odd thing though. Look how easily it can be transmogrified to fit Clinton's insane proposal to send a drone to strike the Ecuadorian Embassy in London:
"A woman you can bait with document leaks is not a woman we can trust with nuclear weapons."
Seriously, there are deeply disturbing aspects to this revelation.

Yes, it is surprising that Clinton, as Secretary of State, proposed attacking Ecuador and the United Kingdom. I wasn't aware we were then in a state of war with either nation, or, for that matter, that we were at war with the non-existent State of Wikileaks.

And, given collateral damages reported with virtually every US-orchestrated drone strike, it is surprising that Clinton proposed such a strike in the largest metropolis in the United Kingdom, and in such close proximity to the home of Queen Elizabeth.

Perhaps Clinton thought drones were, well, the size the balsa wood gliders we liked to throw as kids? Here's a drone on the tarmac in Italy, ready to take flight. The serviceman on the tarmac in front of it gives you some perspective on size. Depending on the particular mission and drone, these may be equipped with Hellfire Missiles or other ordinance.

When the US military conducted a drone strike on the Syrian city of Kobani, the immediate aftermath was captured in a photograph, shown on the left here.

Imagine the mind that suggests that we inflict this kind of attack on TWO SOVEREIGN NATIONS AT ONCE!

Actually, you don't have to imagine that mind, the Democrats nominated that mind to be the next President of the United States:  Hillary Clinton.

Of course, you'll tell me to calm down.

You'll say, "but it never happened" or "cooler minds prevailed." Small comfort. As President of the United States, the contents of cooler minds do not TRUMP the orders of the President.

Do we really want a raving lunatic, whose first response to embarrassment, is a tantrum proposing a war-like assault on our longest standing ally, near the gears of war, the arsenals of destruction, the seat of American might?