More mail from the masses.
I’m certain you recall my story of the pair of CFL bulbs, where one died after a few weeks and the other was still good? Tonight, the other one died. I found that rather amusing.
Nothing is beyond our reach. Glad you are at least amused by our reckless display of power.
To start the new year off right I have included a brief snippet from a news site I perused this morning, and I quote:
“After a year of seeing President Obama’s approval ratings plummet, the president’s pollster is offering a strikingly candid and pessimistic New Year’s resolution.
Reporters should go the next “year without reporting any public polling data,” Joel Benenson, president and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, said.
His comments were made to reporter Mike Allen, who published them in his daily “Politico Playbook” morning newsletter on Tuesday.
Benenson explained that he thinks the polling often reported by news organizations lacks the proper context.
Asked his New Year’s resolution: “Here’s one — with a variation, if mine is too extreme: Go one year without reporting any public polling data.”
“Rationale: Most public polling continues to be reported on strictly from a topline, horserace-type perspective that does nothing, or at best very little, to illuminate the news of the day.”
Benenson offered an alternative if “this is too strict.”
“Go one year without reporting any public polling data that doesn’t provide in an in-depth analysis of the underlying dynamics that are truly shaping the data,” he said.
If reporters actually did forgo reporting on the president’s polling data for a year, the next time the public would hear about Obama’s approval numbers would be after the 2014 midterms.
According to Wall Street Journal/NBC news polling, Obama’s job approval fell from 52 percent at the start of the year to 43 percent today.
Benenson’s group describes themselves as “energetic, agile” and with an “analytically aggressive approach,” concerned with the “hidden architecture of opinion.” I understand Benenson, along with at least one other contract pollster, is one of the people DL leans on heavily to gauge the temperament of the American electorate.
In regard to the public’s opinion of Obama’s administrative talents, political acumen, political philosophy, leadership ability, and ability to motivate and inspire, I wonder what sort of hidden architecture they have noted in their recent polling – that would cause the positing of the idea of reporting public polling results on the President to be suspended for one year – by his own pollster?
Immaterial. The President is not up for re-election, and even so has never shown the slightest interest in modifying his positions to improve his poll numbers like Bill Clinton frequently did (as did FDR). Indeed, Barack Obama probably has no idea how to modify his positions on anything. Reporting or not reporting his numbers will have no effect on how people judge his presidency.
Of course, polls can have an impact on elections. Imagine if you did not know whether Republicans or Democrats were trending more favorably. Imagine if you did not know whether people agree or disagree with a candidate. Or who, indeed, the front runners were?
As a result, any political party or candidate remotely curious about standings will continue to poll and continue to publish the results. Asking the news media to withhold poll numbers from the public is as futile a windmill tilt as asking the news media to withhold reporting on celebrity gossip. It wont happen: no news organization is going to ignore an easily written story that requires low effort, and that makes journalism appear scientific. They cant resist polls.
So the CEO of Benenson appears, to be blunt, woefully naïve or at least disingenuous.
Retired Spook has a two-fer:
One reason that the yuan will never replace the dollar (barring a major world war that the Chinese win) is that no one trusts the Chinese. If Xinhua says the sun is shining, intelligent people take a flashlight and an umbrella before they go outdoors. It’s a fact of life, and nothing is going to change it, except as mentioned above.
No one who can avoid it does business in China. The costs, combined with the “flexible” business laws make it nearly impossible, and the attitude in the Celestial Kingdom is sorta like SuperChicken’s, i.e., “I’m sorry, Fred, but you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.” (You may need to look that one up.) There are countless horror stories of people who wound up losing their asses because they took the Chinese at face value, and assumed that contracts in China were the same as contracts in the rest of the world. Hint: They ain’t.
The Chinese, as you noted, can’t afford a devaluation of the dollar, they have too much invested at current values. If the dollar is devalued, China is going to take a bigger bath than anyone. So the current blather about the yuan replacing the dollar is propaganda aimed at the lower-to-middle class Chinese who depend on state news agencies to tell them what’s going on in the world. Buck up the troops, doncha know.
Of course, given the current fiscal mess in the U.S., some might like to see something replace the dollar. At least until they have to contend with a currency whose value changes, depending on which faction is in power at the moment. At that point, the Zimbabwe dollar will look solid.
I’m not a money person, and my intel geek days (which concentrated on military, rather than civilian info) are ‘way behind me now, so I may indeed be as full of s**t as a Christmas goose. But I don’t much think so.
By the by, thanks for that article. It was informative, as well as interesting.
Now I’m gonna go spritz the ribs in the smoker,
Happy New Year
Happy new year! But perhaps more importantly:
At the risk of sounding like I’m bragging (which I am) I’ve gotta tell someone about my Hunting Buddy. She’s the 13-year-old daughter of my stepson, and this is her first year actually hunting (as opposed to sitting in the blind watching someone else do the shooting).
Our season ended, for all intents and purposes, today, since it’s the last day that her days off and mine will coincide. So we knocked off early, allowing us time to have some dinner, pick up her (second of the season!!) deer and get her home to Tennessee. When we picked up the deer from the processor, she insisted that I take some of the meat. (Her family runs a pretty low-budget operation, and the meat from one deer makes a huge difference in their grocery bill.) She said “Papa, you pay for the gas to pick me up and take me home, you pay for the processing, and you’ve paid for the ammo and the doggone rifle! If you don’t take some of this home with you, I’m not taking any of it!”
(I made the mistake, last year, of using the “hunting party” rules to make sure she took home half the meat from the deer we killed together. Guess she remembered too well.)
So I drove home tonight, after dropping her off at her home, in a very dusty truck. Even with the windows down it was pretty dusty, and I’m gonna hafta get those air filters changed pretty soon.
She is a pretty good shot, could field dress a deer by herself if she had to, and can figure out wind and travel patterns to set up a pretty good blind. Combined with the patience of Job, and the willingness to wait for the right shot, I can see the deer in her neck of the woods having a tough time in years to come. To say that I’m proud of her is to seriously understate the case.
Did I mention that I love this kid?
What welcome news! Congratulations, and your pride in her is well deserved, indeed. Congratulations! The Czar loves venison, by the way, if you just happen to have some left over and are wandering near the Castle this week.
Speaking of the Castle, Island Dweller throws this our way:
I have recently seen fleeting references to a miniseries on a cable TV network, a portion of said references referring to one Val Kilmer – otherwise known as the 13th Imam.
The miniseries is called The Spoils of Babylon, and is set to air I believe within the next 90 days or so. This will allow you to set an approximate time for his return from occultation.
Due to your devotion to this personality, I thought you may have wanted to know this.
Yours in isolation
Certainly Volgi is all over this. Possibly, even.
Finally, Uncle Jay himself wants to suggest:
Our fingerprints? That could be a Mandarin-like laser shot from a satellite. Maybe his fingerprints. Not the Czars, surely: he has been busy blowing out the CFL bulb over at Scotts house.