About Those Polls

Polls used to be statistically scientific studies of trends and thoughts. Today not so much.  Due to technological changes and just plain laziness polls just don’t have the validity they once had.

2016-11-04_08-54-31.png1. Over time, the percentage of Americans who say they would participate in polls has declined significantly, from nearly one out of three in 1997 to one in 10 in 2016, according to Pew.

2. Half of American households don’t even have landlines. The younger you are, the less likely you are to have ever used a telephone with a cord attached to it.Again, pollsters try to correct for these skews by weighting and finding other ways to sample voters. But every interpolation creates additional room for error, quite apart from the survey’s statistical “margin of error.”

Source: Breaking news: The presidential race is stable

I recently discovered that many of the polls being viewed today come from internet sites which have  pointed political views. These type polls have little to do with a general population but are called “polls” so too many think they are true.

It will be interesting to see just how this election turns out on Tuesday.  Will any of the polls be accurate?  Will one side dominate or will it be a close race? I don’t put too much confidence in polls anymore but I do put confidence that most of us still cling to the idea of civility and decency so my poll says an extreme egomaniac narcissist will not be elected as leader of the free world three days from now.

Its Time For The People, Not State Governments, To Elect The President..

Almost all of these states give their electoral votes based on a winner-take-all system. A candidate receiving 50.1% of the vote in New York, for instance, will garner the state’s 29 votes. Collect 270 total votes, and the presidency is assured. As the National Review’s Jim Geraghty explains, however, there is no constitutional requirement that states allot their electoral votes this way, however. They could do it based on a simple vote in the statehouse. They could even, legally, decide to apportion them based on a coin flip, or whichever candidate is taller. Both Maine and Nebraska, for instance, divvy their votes based on the winner of individual congressional districts. SOURCE: BBC News – A rule change that could lock Republican 2016 victory.

I love the look from a different angle that my British friends give me over at “The Week” website. Given the extremes that the GOP seems will do to maintain control of U.S. politics I can clearly see more red States going the way of Maine and Nebraska in making their own rules in how to cast votes in presidential elections. That seems to be the logical next shoe to drop. But I have a radical view that would thwart that plan.

Lets allow the people to elect a president. Let every vote count! I know that is a radical idea but I think its time has come. 🙂  The electoral college served a purpose during early U.S. history when information took days or even weeks to pass through the country. It made sense for each State to send people to report their State’s votes.  Flip forward to today and this concept has no validity whatsoever!

Let the people’s voice elect the president as it does for all other Federal and State offices. Quit this electoral college stupidity. I hear there are laws still on the books in various State that deal with the times that a horse driven vehicle approaches a motor driven one. I know the one in Indiana that was finally nullified a few years ago said that the motorized vehicle had to leave the road until the horse passed. Its time to get rid of this archaic election rules and let the people elect the president.

I have lived in Indiana most of my life and have voted in each presidential election since 1968. But my vote has only counted during two of them. My first vote was for Richard Nixon. I was a naive Republican in those days, The second time was  in 2008 when most people in Indiana were, like me almost overwhelmed by the rhetoric of Barak Obama. All the other times my vote was thrown out. It is time to allow people, not State governments, to decide who will be their president.

We Cuss The Lawmakers….

2014-08-03_08-55-51“Well, we cuss the lawmakers . . . but I notice we’re always perfectly willin’ to share in any of the sums of money that they might distribute.” – Will Rogers, 7 April 1935

Being that we are coming up on an important election day in America I thought I would ramp up some of my feelings about politics here. I know for most, including me, this is a gutter issue in our country. We simply disdain those who we have currently chosen to represent us at the national level.

But as Will says in this quote. We seem to have disdain for all those other politicians but ours are OK as long as they get us more than our rightful share of the money they might distribute. By almost every poll taken in the last ten years we simply can’t stomach the goings-on in Washington but we seem to have no idea how to change that condition.

The first step in that  process is to accept that we are in denial when it comes to those we personally choose. In order to break the gridlock and dysfunction within the DC beltway means that we have to send a clear message to those folks. Attacking this problem around the edges has simply not had much of an effect. We send our local representative back to do the same thing over and over again and somehow expect a different result. How utterly stupid is that?

The only way things will change is to vote those currently in office out until they finally get the message. Yeah I know that might mean voting for someone who you don’t agree with on some or even many issues but you must hold your nose and do it anyway. I don’t think it would take more than a couple of total replacement for the candidates to get the message.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel in some of our current elections. It seems that an independent is leading the Kansas race. Kansas has never had a senator from a different part for over sixty years I think but that just might change this time around. If our friends in Kansas can do it surely the rest of us can also??

 

Something About Running the Country…

 

There is people so excited over this election that they think the President has something to do with running this country. – 30 October 1932   Will Rogers

I am going to leave the quote above to pretty much stand on it own.  Many want to blame the president on everything that happens in the country. “It rained so much today, it must be the president’s fault”.  I am more of a realist maybe.  I don’t think any of those yahoos in Washington have much to do with what happens in the country. And thanks heavens for that!

Power to the People…..

source:  Nonwhite voters and changing values make 2012 election pivotal – Los Angeles Times.

The 2012 election marked the point at which a new American electoral coalition solidified its hold on politics, one built on the country’s growing nonwhite population and on cultural changes that have given younger voters of all races a far different outlook on political issues from that of their elders.

It is still not clear just who made up the majority that swept President Obama into a second term and seemingly muted the Tea Party’s power in today’s politics. But it is obvious that the $1 billion spent by the 1% had little effect on who won elections. It is obvious that the common people, many of color, gained power from this election cycle.

The old rural white, mostly southern, men are running scared. They now make up the majority of a shrinking GOP so it is panic situation for them. They are signing petitions to secede their States from the Union.  They are running about as scared as the McCarthy Republicans after they fell from grace in the 1950s.  If they can’t accept that our nation actually celebrates diversity then good riddance to them. Let them hunker down in their bunkers.

The vast majority of the current national office holders in the GOP are also old white men. It is exciting to see so many women even if they are all of the other party going to the Senate next year. I hope they bring a new perspective to that end of Capital Hill. Women are now the majority in this country and in my mind the sooner they also become the majority in congress the better. Many of the grumpy old white men who now occupy those offices need to retire.

One group of voters that have dramatically increased in the last two elections are the young people. That is the most exciting news to me. Those under twenty-nine make up the largest increase in those who voted in the last two presidential elections and that is a good thing. Now if they also can just take over more of the seats in our congress maybe gridlock can become a thing of the past. It seems young people just don’t have the political baggage that us older folks have.

Of course people of color also came out in groves in this and the past election. I celebrate that also.  Many of them steadfastly stood in hours long lines in Florida and Ohio to vote.

The Grand Old Party (GOP) is indeed living up to its middle initial and becoming old.  While I myself am an old man I celebrate all these new voters. Diversity is what makes our country different from most others in the world. We should all be celebrating that fact. When the GOP sets out to stifle, instead of encourage, the vote in order to win elections they are putting a stamp of doom on their party and for the most part they don’t even seem to realize that fact.  I hope they wake up soon.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….

Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’

Source: Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’ – CSMonitor.com.

“He succeeded by suppressing the vote, by saying to people, ‘you may not like who I am, and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself,’ ” Rove said.

By his definition of suppression, it sounds just like traditional “opposition research” and negative advertising. Does Rove (himself a purveyor of negative ads in his work for George W. Bush and now at the Crossroads GPS group) have some different point to make, or is this just sour grapes over the election outcome?

Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do. He took over a $1 billions from some very rich folks and delivered virtually nothing for them.  Not only did their candidate Mr. Romney lose the election but many of the tea party also came up short. Mr. Rove has a lot of explaining to do but even I did not imagine he would blame it on President Obama suppressing the vote?

Before the elections we heard news that Republican governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were doing things to make it harder for people to vote. They were instituting last minute voter ID laws and such; thank heavens our judicial system cancelled most of them before they were implemented.   They were shutting down early voting because it looks like minorities were the predominate participator in that process.  They made some, mostly in Democratic districts, stand in line for over seven hours when they tried to vote early.

So, to hear Mr. Rove explain why he wasted so much of his donor’s money is a total surprise to me.  He wants to blame it on the very thing that he so successfully instituted for George W. Bush.   He practically invented the modern day version of mud slinging.  I just couldn’t help but laugh out loud (that’s “LOL” to you young folks) when I saw the above title.  I laughed even louder than when I heard of his childish rants about not conceding on election night.

Mr . Rove has done a great disservice to the GOP with much of his meanness  over the years.  He is sixty-two this year so maybe it is time for him to retire. I’m sure he siphoned all a pretty big chunk of that $1 billion in personal fees so he shouldn’t have to worry about money.  But of course for people like him it is all about power so I doubt that he will leave the playing field voluntarily.

I wonder if any of the GOP hopefuls coming up will go to him for any advice? We would all probably be better off if they didn’t. Maybe the next generation of GOP leaders will be more tolerant of differing views.

But I am just a simple guy so what do I know….

The World is Ending….

Here is my favorite cartoon about the 2012 election results. Whenever the minimum wage is raised there are those who claim it will cost millions of jobs and basically cause the end of the USA. Now that President Obama has been given four more years the same rhetoric bumped up by a factor of ten is echoing now. These guys just seem to be totally shell-shocked! Some one needs to tell them that the world goes on no matter who occupies the Oval office. After all, we survived Reagan and baby Bush didn’t we? 🙂

All Politics Is Local?????

Today I will be doing something I have done every four years for the last forty-four years and that is to cast my vote for who will be the next president of the U.S.  I, unlike a predicted 40% of my fellow citizens, take this duty very seriously. I study the candidates and choose the person who I believe will do the least harm to the country. 🙂  It didn’t use to be that way. In my early voting days up I usually voted “for” someone instead of “against” someone.  Does that mean that there are now no contenders that are desirable? I don’t know.  Almost as important is who will be in the Senate. I have a choice in that make-up also.  But again I am mainly voting against Mr. Mourdock for that office. I really don’t know much about what his opponent stand for and it really doesn’t matter in this instance. Read more

Two Holidays of Equal Importance….

Come pretty near having two holidays of equal importance in the same week, Halloween and the election, and of the two, the election provides us the most fun. – 2 November 1930   Will Rogers

This one doesn’t need any explaining and it is equally true as it was 82 years ago.

There You Go Again….

via Romney Reframes Donor Remarks to Refocus on Economic Issues – Businessweek.

Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who is running for re-election in a close race against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a former Harvard University professor, told The Hill newspaper: “That’s not the way I view the world. As someone who grew up in tough circumstances, I know that being on public assistance is not a spot that anyone wants to be in.”

While Romney said he was talking about people who don’t pay income taxes, his comments about Americans who feel “entitled” to government help prompted some Republicans to say that they might alienate veterans as well. Richard Armitage, former deputy Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush and a former Defense Department official, said the remarks showed “that Mr. Romney doesn’t know what this country looks like, and he has no idea how government works.”

If Mr. Romney stands any chance of winning the presidency he needs to quit coddling the Tea Party folks in his Republican base. He continues to alienate one group after another with his remarks meant to keep his base in line.  In yesterday’s post here he called me a freeloader because I collect Social Security and Medicare. In today’s source he does the same for veterans!

I don’t think Mr. Romney really believes that we seniors or many in the military are leeches but his messages seem to say that. It is getting so bad that now many in his party are also coming out against his statements. Especially those who might be in close elections. They don’t want to go down in flames because of his remarks or reverse coattails. Most of these types of comments come when he is addressing those $50,000 a plate fund-raisers but surely he knows that he can’t keep those messages in the room. They always get out one way or another.

I really don’t think that Mr. Romney is the uncaring person but he is just too embedded in the business mentality of profit at any costs. He seems to forget that the government is primarily in the people business. You can’t turn a profit, or in this case, reduce a deficit by downsizing or outsourcing U.S. citizens as it is typically accomplished lately in his business world.

I do believe that we are for the most part a Christian nation who believes in being our brother’s keeper and giving a helping hand to the “least of these”. I don’t know how the Mormon religion aligns with that philosophy but maybe Mr. Romney needs to bring some of his spiritual compassion into his persona. It might cost him some Tea Party votes but it would show his human side to the rest of us.

But What do I know…..

Taste…..

Elections are a good deal like marriages, there’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. – May 10, 1925   Will Rogers

You did it again Will. You perfectly described an election eighty-seven years in the future. There is just no accounting for the taste of the people who will be voting Republican this year.  But then again we will have to wait to see just how many actually vote for that yahoo who will face Obama this year.  He does seem pretty good at accumulating wealth but doesn’t seem to have a clue of how people live on less than $1 million per year.

We know that over half the marriages now days end in divorce. I think the same thing will likely happen if by some remote change Mr. “Bain Capital” does get elected. It won’t be long before the one who voted for him are seeking a divorce. Looking at the statistics I know that about 25% of the population are die-hard Republicans. But that number seems to shrink daily so it might be lower than that now. Of course those guys, and for the most part they are guys, would vote for anyone on the Republican ticket so there is no accounting for their taste.

Now I’m not saying that the Democrat who now holds the White House is much better. He has been a major disappointment to me. But at least we know what he might be up to for another four years. We have no idea what the damage that the other guy might do. He, and all the super rich guys in the super pacs , and I do mean guys (ha)) who run all the commercials for him seem to want to put the final screw to us retired folks by taking away our Medicare and Social Security among many other “handouts” as they call them. But they are an equal opportunity screwer as they want to take food stamps and the likes away from poor folks. The only thing they seem to be for is more tax breaks for themselves. They claim they are the job producers and need every cent to accomplish that. What they don’t want you to remember is that they have had their big tax breaks for eight years now and have produced little in the way of jobs but lots in the way of personal income.

There is a saying that “their is power in numbers”. There are a lot more of us folks who are getting screwed than there are those who are doing the job on us. When will we realize that we can dump these guys, yes in both parties, anytime we want to. We just have to realize that in a democracy there is power in numbers.

But what do I know…..

Daring ’em to Make Good…

We elect our Presidents, be they Republican or Democrat, then go home and start daring ’em to make good. – April 1, 1935  Will Rogers

Sometimes I can really get down to that deep thinking. I mean the pure foundational stuff.  I think what Will said above is foundational stuff for a democracy. We elect our presidents and all the other people’s representative and then go home and dare them to get it right!  This worked pretty well for the first two centuries of our existence. There were a few duds during that period but generally the people we elected  at least tried to “make good”.

But something in the process seems to have broken as we entered the 21st century.

  • Maybe  it got broken because we have done something that prevents the really good guys/gals to come forward to “live up to the dare”?  —  Being a guy that has done some pretty serious studying of history I can see that the political processes we have now is pretty raunchy.  It has been bad in the past but never to the extreme as now. I can’t see where anyone would want to put themselves through the process of becoming one of our political leaders.  Have we just ground out the civility in seeking elected office so that only the “pretenders” with hyper-inflated egos will even attempt to endure our election process?
  • Maybe it is got broken  because the people doing the choosing got lazy?  —  Being a representative democracy is tough stuff. It takes work to choose the right leaders. Maybe we have just become too lazy in choosing our leaders. We don’t do our homework any more to try to wean the pretenders and wannabes from the crowd. We fall victims to 30 second sound bites instead of studying the issues. Maybe we are just too lazy to maintain a democracy anymore?
  • Maybe it got broken because of all the money that corrupts the process?  —  When the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and they should have free exercise in buying the candidates and elected officials we started down a road with no return. When we as individuals must compete with $trillion corporations it is pretty easy to figure out who is going to come out ahead.  Maybe we have sold our democracy to corporate and elitist greed?
  • Maybe it go broken because we have outlived the positive aspects of a capitalist society?   —  This one gets really deep! I don’t want to blow a gasket in my brain so will only touch the surface.  Our capitalistic society is based on greed. That is not a bad when there are checks and balances to add in a moralistic factor. Pure capitalism just doesn’t have any compassion for anything but profits. Everything else is a very distant second if it is even considered. This type of greed was also pretty dominant about 100 years ago but it was stomped down by hard-fought unions and a Republican President named Roosevelt. But, even compared to that time the moralist factor seems to have died out in the 21st century. Our society seem to have devolved down into the survival of the fittest mentality.  Another way of saying that is “I got mine so screw you!!” We just seem to have lost the compassion for our fellow-man any more and no one seems to be able to rescue it.  Are we  finally succumbing to the dark side of capitalism?

To wrap this up it is probably a combination of all of the above. I just hope that we can come back from the edge of the cliff once again but I have my doubts this time around.

But what do I know…..

Leave Politics to the Politicians….



This year I decided to make a life change. Up until that point I was an avid follower of the political process. I watched every convention and heard most of the speeches present there.  I followed most of the candidates positions; even those who I could not vote for.  I worked actively and supported with my rather generous donations one of the presidential candidates in the 2008 election. But starting that day in the Spring of this year I decided to leave all politics behind and I can say I am now a much happier person for it.

Politics in the last few years has just become too ugly for my sanity.  It seems that whoever is elected is automatically doomed to failure in this highly partisan atmosphere.  I am totally disillusioned with the idea that our democaray can survive the idoicy of the current political process.  Jefferson said many years ago that the success of a democracy is dependent on an informed electorate.  If that is the case we should be counting the years. What will replace it I just don’t know or even care at the moment.

So, in my mind it is better to just abandon any thoughts of something that seems currently unfixable.  I will leave it up to others to try and get us out of this current quagmire. As for me I am following the saying that “ignorance is bliss” and enjoying every minute of it.  Standing back and looking at our current political processes is nothing but amusing to me now.

And the journey goes on….