11/04/2006

A judge who dislikes deer hunters

Small improvement in exit poll reporting

Given the damage that early election recalls have had on voter turnout (1980, 1996, and 2000), I really wish that there were no exit polls. With 25 percent of votes being done by absentee ballots this year, the potential for mistakes is greater than ever and 2004 was bad enough with Republicans apparently not telling exit pollsters how they voted. Quarantining exit polls until 5 PM eastern is fine, and it is still hours before polls close on the East coast and six hours or so before they close on the West coast. I understand the ratings benefit from a network that can call an election quickly and the exit polls may also provide some insight into why people vote the way that they do, but the costs seem very high (just look at the election troubles in Florida which likely would have been avoided if 8,000 plus Republicans had voted in the western Panhandle). The competitive issue between the networks would be solved if none of them used exit polls.

Exit-poll data will be under lock and key Election Day to help networks avoid the Bush-Gore debacle of 2000 - and prevent bloggers from trumpeting results before the polls close.

The crucial info - which could provide an early hint if a Democratic wave is in fact under way - will be squirreled away in a windowless New York office room dubbed the "Quarantine Room," the Washington Post first reported.

A media consortium established to track polling results has set up ironclad rules to prevent leaks to news-hungry Web sites like the Drudge Report.

Only two staffers from each of the TV networks and The Associated Press will be authorized to tear through the exit-poll data at the vote vault.

Those staffers will have to surrender their cellphones, laptop computers and BlackBerrys - it's the price of admission.

And they won't be able communicate with their offices until 5 p.m. . . .

11/03/2006

Where is Nancy Pelosi?

Nancy Pelosi is AWOL?.

I normally wouldn't link to something that was noted on the Drudgereport, simply because so many people would have already seen it, this raises an important question. What mandate can Pelosi claim other than being against Bush?

Vote Fraud in Missouri?

Acorn, the liberal activist group that has registered millions of voters, have been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board. But hey, who needs voter ID laws . . . .


Of course, the Missouri Supreme Court claimed that " There was no evidence of any voter impersonation fraud in Missouri since the general assembly enacted the previous version of section 115.427, which was passed in 2002 . . . ."

UPDATE: Amazingly there is now even another story of vote fraud in Missouri.
William Phillippe is one of 10,520 deceased citizens who remain registered to vote in Missouri, and one of 235 who — according to a state database created earlier this year — managed to cast a vote after death.

Dead people remain on the voter rolls of every county in Missouri. St. Louis County leads the state with 2,270 registered voters who are dead. Adair County has only one.

Some of those registered to vote died long ago. One, William Bennett of Kansas City, died in March 1972. . . .


So is anyone going to prosecute the people who used these deceased individual's identities?

Is it ever possible for the News Media to Report "Good" economic news without a "But"? At least not when there is a Republican administration

From Reuters

The unemployment rate fell in October to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in September. It was the lowest unemployment rate since 4.3 percent in May 2001 and was likely to fan concerns that labor markets are growing tight and could contribute to inflation pressures. . . . .


From the AP via Foxnews:

Workers' average hourly earnings climbed to $16.91 in October, a sizable 0.4 percent increase from September. That increase was bigger than the 0.3 percent rise economists were expecting. Over the last 12 months, wages grew by 3.9 percent.

Growth in wages is good for workers, but a rapid and sustained advance makes economists fret about inflation flaring up. That's not good for the economy or workers' pocketbooks, ultimately, because inflation can eat into everybody's buying power. . . . .


Have any of these guys ever heard about the monetarism? If the money supply and output are constant constant and some prices are rising, other prices will be going down and the overall price level will be unchanged. In this case wages are probably rising since productivity is rising, so if the money supply was constant, prices would fall. Obviously the money supply is rising, but it is the increase in the money supply (not the increased productivity of labor) that is causing prices to rise.

We must really be in the election silly season. From the New York TImes (this is so biased):

Jobs Statistics Report Offer Fuel for Both Sides

By JEREMY W. PETERS
Published: November 3, 2006
Businesses reported adding just 92,000 workers to their payrolls in October, a sign that job growth is starting to slow, the Labor Department reported today. But the department also reported, based on its monthly survey of households, that the unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, a five-year low.

The pace of job creation fell short even of the 138,000-a-month average pace of the last six months, the statistics show. Economists say that at least 150,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth.. . . .


Of course the New York Times failed to emphasize this (from AP):

Employers added 148,000 jobs in September, versus the 51,000 first reported. Payrolls grew by a robust 230,000 in August, stronger than the 188,000 slots previously recorded. . . . .


I guess that it would undercut their story line.

Bloomberg taking away concealed handgun permits from New Yorkers

The city should slash the number of people who are allowed to carry concealed weapons, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.

"We've taken a look at it to see whether we couldn't have fewer," Bloomberg said. "I can tell you one thing: We will keep it to as a minimum as we possibly can."
Bloomberg added that he has asked Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to tackle the issue. . . . .


OK, Mayor name me one single case in NYC where a permit holder has caused a problem. The problem with NYC permits is that they are issued only to the most well to do people. 38,544 New York City residents have permits. Does Bloomberg ever bring up any evidence for his anti-gun positions?

11/02/2006

Bob Casey doesn't get it

Will Bob Casey Jr.'s Senate campaign suffer for his defense of Kerry? With many Democrats calling for Kerry to apologize, Casey isn't one of them.

"John Kerry is not only a great leader for the Democratic party and a great U.S. senator, but he's a patriot," Casey said after a morning political rally in Allentown. "He said he botched a joke and I think that is the beginning and the end of it. He was talking about the president and I think he has every right to criticize this president."

Casey's comments came just hours before the Democratic candidate was scheduled to appear at a rally with Kerry in Philadelphia. Kerry canceled that appearance this morning. Kerry spokesman David Wade said in a statement that Kerry didn't want to "allow the Republican hate machine to use Democratic candidates as proxies is the distorted spin war." . . . .


John O'Neil sees it this way:
Bob Casey’s decision to stand with John Kerry and attempt to explain away this appalling statement represents a disgraceful disregard for our troops and their families. Not only should Mr. Casey apologize for his blind partisanship, he should forcefully repudiate John Kerry’s remarks and issue a statement of support to our men and women in uniform who are bravely serving in Harm’s Way.” . . . .

11/01/2006

Going after Ann Coulter, Isn't this the same prosecutors who went after Rush Limbaugh?

This is amazing. I bet the number of previous prosecutions on the violation that they are considered against Ann Coulter is zero. I bet that they have never even seriously considered going after someone else on this. Of course, in Rush's case the same thing was true. They had never prosecuted a similar case previously, but that didn't stop the prosecutor from making an example of Rush. This is pretty scary when you have these politically motivated prosecutions.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said his office has been looking into the matter for nearly nine months, and he would turn over the case to the state attorney's office by Friday.

Coulter's attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday. Nor did her publicist at her publisher, Crown Publishing.

Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. . . . .

10/31/2006

"Buy A Truck, Get A Gun: Promotion Has Residents Up In Arms"

"I was disgusted with the fact that somebody would actually offer a weapon as an incentive to purchase anything let alone a car," said Hampton.

Why is it more disgusting to offer this with a car? I have no clue. My guess is that if she doesn't want the gun, the dealer will give her the cash equivalent to put forward for the car.

That's the new promotion at one Chester County auto dealership, and it has some resident's up-in arms.

They want it stopped, and similar promotions banned for good.

Anabella Hampton says the promotion goes beyond irresponsible with the Nickel Mines shooting fresh on people's minds.

"I was disgusted with the fact that somebody would actually offer a weapon as an incentive to purchase anything let alone a car," said Hampton.

Hampton fears the guns could go into the wrong hands and hopes a petition she started encourages lawmakers to ban the practice.

"This is not the direction I want my community or country to going," said Hampton.

But Country Dodge Chrysler and Jeep General Manager Gordon Atkisson says the promotion started in September and that it's to target a certain group of buyers during deer hunting season.

"Hunting is big. School is still closed in the beginning of hunting season and kids go out with their dads and it's a way of life out here," said Atkisson. . . .

The closest congressional elections in 50 years

If you were wondering whether your vote counted this election, read this statement by John Fund:

As of now, Congressional Quarterly has Democrats favored to win 210 of the 218 seats they need to wrest the gavel from Speaker Denny Hastert. Republicans are ahead in 207 seats. A total of 18 seats are in the tossup category. That means Republicans would have to win 11 of the 18 seats without a current clear favorite -- or 60% -- to keep their majority.

In the Senate, the contest is equally close. Republicans are favored to hold 49 seats after November 7; Democrats are predicted to hold 48. Three seats are tossups -- the Missouri seat of Republican Jim Talent, the New Jersey seat of Democrat Bob Menendez, and the open Tennessee seat fought over by Republican Bob Corker and Democrat Harold Ford Jr.


To translate, if the Republicans and Democrats divide the 18 seats where the polls show them tied, the Democrats will win the House by three seats. Three seats where the margin of victory is likely to be very tight. I would also add that the trend seems to be slowly going in the Republican direction so this might even get closer before the end.

Do the Democrats think that voters agree with them?

Apparently not. Can't Pelosi even take a stand on a windfall profits tax on oil companies? She could a year ago (see below). What is she afraid of now? I really wish that Kudlow would have nailed her by being able to reference her own previous statement.

Stephen Moore sent this out as part of his posting on OpinionJournal.com:

KUDLOW: [Are you for] a windfall profits tax on oil companies?
Rep. PELOSI: Oh, well...I'm not -- you won't find me friendly to that.
KUDLOW: All right. You are against the windfall profits tax?
Rep. PELOSI: Yes, I am.
KUDLOW: Oh, OK. I'm not sure a lot of people know that. Thank you for that....
Rep. PELOSI: Oh, not the tax. I'm against the windfall profit.
KUDLOW: You're opposed to the so-called windfall profits on oil.
Rep. PELOSI: Opposed to the windfall profits.
KUDLOW: So you would favor a tax?
Rep. PELOSI: Yes, I would favor something that was shaped in a way that did what it needed to do. And that is, we've got to -- we have to have energy independence in our country. We don't have to have excessive profits for the oil industry.


Now compare that with another statement by her that I found here:

CQ Transcriptions

November 10, 2005 Thursday

TYPE: NEWS CONFERENCE

LENGTH: 2566 words

HEADLINE: U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) HOLDS WEEKLY NEWS CONFERENCE

SPEAKER:
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER

BODY:
. . .
QUESTION: Do you have any comment on a bill just introduced by Representatives Markey and Emanuel introducing a windfall profits tax on oil companies and funneling that revenue into LIHEAP?

PELOSI: I fully support a windfall profits tax, I am speaking for myself personally, but I know I represent the feeling of many in our Caucus. The windfall tax is in place when a price of oil gets into a certain place, the profits beyond that are called the windfall profits, and they should be taxed.

10/30/2006

Even the BBC acknowledges that hunting helps protect vulnerable species

Even the French admit that deterrence matters

Swedes think US Poses Biggest Danger in World

Is it just that people eventually dislike others who stand up to bullies? Victims appreciate it at first, but after a while they feel uncomfortable that they keep on having to be rescued. (Thought voiced by Dennis Prager)

Swedes think that the United States and North Korea pose the greatest threats to world peace, according to the results of a poll released on Sunday.

Nearly one in three Swedes, 29 percent, think that the US is the biggest threat to peace on earth, the poll, commissioned by Axess Television, reveals.

Around 1,000 people answered the question "Which of the following countries do you consider to be the greatest threat to world peace". Respondents could choose between six countries - Israel, China, Russia, the United States, North Korea and Iran.

North Korea was a close runner up to the United States - 28 percent of respondents thought that the secretive communist dictatorship was most dangerous.

Iran was in third place, at 18 percent. The poll results showed that more people between the ages of 16 and 29 saw America as the biggest threat, while a majority of those over 60 picked North Korea. . . . .

Control of the Senate and Judges

It is, oh, just about now that Republicans should say to themselves: Wish we had done more on judges this year. That would have reinforced a message they now need to construct: If the GOP loses the Senate, precedent shows that more than 60 Bush judicial nominees will never get even a Judiciary Committee hearing under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Republicans will be unable to stop a filibuster of a next Supreme Court nominee and countless circuit court picks. This will dwarf Democrats’ past six years of obstruction.

Is it too late to tell the voters? By failing to invest Senate time on judges this past year, Republicans ignored the political lesson of the Harriet Miers debacle: Supporters are forgiving on every issue so long as Republicans are solid on judges. That’s the kind of love GOP candidates need come Election Day. The Miers lesson corresponds to getting out the vote; supporters may be upset on other issues, or be otherwise unmoved, but they will come out and vote over the judges’ issue.

No, it doesn’t traduce into large numbers, though it could with effort. Prior to the 2004 election, polling showed that efforts to spotlight Democrat obstruction on judges, culminating in a 40-hour Senate debate in November 2003, had significantly grown public support for Republicans, 2-to-1. One study concluded that “a determined effort on the part of congressional leadership can shape public opinion” and that it was “possible for Republicans to use the permanently stalled, half-dozen judicial nominations to impress voters that Democrats are, at best, interested mostly in obstructing.” . . . .

Gun Control and the West

Tony Snow (at least partially) tames the press

The White House, like any castle, has its own peculiar rituals, and in the five months that Tony Snow has been President George W. Bush’s press secretary, he has begun to learn them. . . . . And a man named Lester Kinsolving, a radio host and reporter for a Baltimore station with a big grin and game-show-host wavy hair, will interrupt a back-and-forth on, say, the operational capacities of Al Qaeda to read confounding questions he has written out, word for word, before the press briefing began.

“Tony,” Kinsolving began one morning in September, “The Washington Times noted on Page 1 that the Congressional Black Caucus will remain exclusively black. Does the president support or oppose this racial segregation, which excluded California Congressman Pete Stark — who risked his life for civil rights in Mississippi — because Stark was born white?”

Snow grinned and shook his head and began to point to some other reporter, any other reporter.

“No, wait a minute,” Kinsolving said, “are you just going to evade that question?”

“No,” Snow said, beginning to laugh, enjoying the exchange, his deep voice booming, “I’m going to laugh at it.” He did. So did the rest of the room. . . . .

10/29/2006

Vote Fraud in New York State

New York State is not normally pointed to as a hot spot for vote fraud, but these numbers indicate that it is even occurring there:

The new statewide database of registered voters contains as many as 77,000 dead people on its rolls, and as many as 2,600 of them have cast votes from the grave, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal computer-assisted analysis.

The Journal's analysis is the first to examine the potential for errors and fraud in New York's three-month-old database. It matched names, dates of birth and ZIP codes in the state's database of 11.7 million voter registration records against the same information in the Social Security Administration's "Death Master File," a database of 77 million records of deaths dating to 1937.

The state database was current as of Oct. 4, the master death index through the second quarter of 2006.

The same process has been used to identify deceased registrants in other states, but is not yet being used in New York. . . .

Among the Journal's findings:

· The Journal identified dead people on the voter rolls in all 62 counties and people in as many as 45 counties who had votes recorded after they had died.
· One address in the Bronx was listed as the home for as many as 191 registered voters who had died. The address is 5901 Palisade Ave., site of the Hebrew Home for the Aged.
· Democrats who cast votes after they died outnumbered Republicans by more than a 4-to-1 margin. The reason: Most of them came from Democrat-dominated New York City, where higher population produced more matches. . . .


There is also this little interesting fact about Chicago.

In one of the more notorious examples, inspectors estimated as many as 1 in 10 ballots cast in Chicago during the 1982 Illinois gubernatorial election were fraudulent for various reasons, including votes by the dead. . . . .

CT Police oppose letting names of permit holders being made public

NBA Commissioner David Stern on guns