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A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
My head just might explode!
- The Racine School Board has decided to RE-submit a referendum on increasing taxes to cover their 9 million dollar shortfall in June. This despite the fact that the referendum was shot down by a substantial margin, 10,188 to 8,492 back in April. Lucky, lucky us-- the School Board has decided in their infinite wisdom that the public was just too stupid to know what the right thing to do was last time, so we'll let you try again. Mulligan!
- The Republican state congress sends the Voter ID Bill to Jim Doyle after fixing all of Doyle's "substanative objections" and yet Doyle has "vowed to veto it." Can anybody give me a good reason why the Voter ID bill is a bad idea? Before you answer, realize that the new version has provisions for those that can not afford the $7-$9 for the card and makes an exception for those that normally vote absentee because they are homebound/disabled.
- I find out that the Democrats and AARP have done their job, as private accounts appear to be dead, yet the Senate is going to figure out how to fix the problem. Most likely solution? TAX US SOME MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look, Bush's proposal is OPTIONAL people. If you don't want to participate, DON'T! What the fuck is so wrong with letting me take my own fucking money and invest it in a government approved T-Bond or Money Market where it can earn a historical average of 3-7% which is WAY more than Social Security's rousing 1%? Stupid, stupid old people. Young people, too. Stupid people. All over the place. Sigh.
- On top of all that, TC is doing some sort of voodoo with statistics to make the case that the Washington Post poll wasn't really flawed:
Ackphblllt! Sorry, hairball. Too much nashing of teeth, I think, and holding my brains inside of my ears probably didn't help. All right, I'm off to sleep. Could be light blogging over the next few days. On the plus side for some, I hope to use the time to do some writing.
First off, the (supposed) skew in that poll is not 7%. First, you remove the 5% of other (which is usually an unintelligible or unreadable response) leaving 95%. Now you can approach the reaminder two ways: split it three ways (which is what you seem to be suggesting, since your complaint seems to be based around the poll showing fewer Republicans than Democrats). So each of the Repubs, Democrats, and INdependents should be 31.67%. Thus At 35% and 25%, the sampling would be 3.33 % off, which is less than half of what you were claiming, and approximately the MOE of the poll.
Which doesn't make much sense to me, since I see no reason to expect 31.67% democrat, 31.67% republican and 31.67% independent. Independents are irrelevant-- the point is that given studies like this and the obvious trend in the last decade to elect more republicans, I see no reason to think that the % of self-identified democrats or republicans shouldn't be equivalent or nearly so, not seperated by 7 percentage points in favor of democrats. Indeed, if you factor out the Others and Independents, the skew is even more striking. Let's dump the 50 Others from our pool of 1007 and the 32% of Independents from our pool, leaving 635 individuals that identify themselves as one party or the other and might reasonably be expected to answer most of the poll questions along party lines. Of the remaining pool--635 remember-- 352, or 55.4%, of respondents identified themselves as democrats, compared to 283, or 46.6%, identifying themselves as republican. A skew of 8.8 and well beyond the MOE of the study. Ain't statistics grand?
And yes, I know the questions I proposed were biased-- my point was that the question that actually WAS asked has an inherent bias against republicans rather than being value neutral. By way of comparison, I offered alternatives that were clearly biased against democrats. And not having the word filibuster is also prejudicial as that is the term the argument has been framed with in nearly every piece I've read on the dispute-- that's what people associate with the argument, should we or shouldn't we get rid of the filibuster. Leaving it out, takes the whole thing out of context and leaves people with some sort of theoretical "should we change the rules" question rather than asking the actual question they want studied.
Finally, while filibusters have been in use for nearly 200 years, they have never before been used to stop up and down votes on sub-Supreme Court nominees, and only once for a Supreme Court nominee. And changing the rules on cloture is certainly no new addition to senatorial conduct, either, no matter how many times the democrats call it the nuclear option. But whether the democrats are justified in their use of the filibuster (I don't believe they are-- if the nomination makes it out of committee, the nominee should be, and always has been, allowed an up or down vote) was not the point. The point was that the question was misleading, but touted as significant despite this, by the Washington Post and ABC News.
removing them from the equation would be like if I objected to the last election by saying that if you removed the Republicans from the equation, Kerry won.
You start by saying the numbers of republicans are underrepresented, then remove independents altogether to exaggerate the differences that you claim are because of bias.
the object of a sample is to SAMPLE, Nick, not to pick and choose. If the results don't agree with your preconceptions of what you think it should come out, you have to take it up with reality, not me.
I stand by my math.
There's only a couple of slots left in the JJ Ace Bait, Story, and Taxidermy Emporium. If you want to know more, or perhaps actually cut some bait yourself, please get hold of me at Pretty Lights as soon as possible.
The above will tell you all you need to know about judicial filibusters.
From the article:
Sen. Barbara Boxer is a longtime opponent of judicial nomination filibusters. Or she was. Suddenly the light has dawned, and she realizes how wrong she was to oppose them: "I thought I knew everything. I didn't get it. . . . I am here to say I was totally wrong."
Other Democratic senators have had similar changes in belief: Joe Biden and Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, Pat Leahy, Chuck Schumer and their erstwhile colleagues Lloyd Bentsen, and Tom Daschle have all vigorously opposed the use of the filibuster against judicial nominations. Mr. Schumer was for voting judicial nominations "up or down" without delay. Mr. Leahy flatly opposed a filibuster against Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court nomination: "The president and the nominee and all Americans deserve an up-or-down vote." Mr. Harkin believed "the filibuster rules are unconstitutional," Mr. Daschle declared that "democracy means majority rule, not minority gridlock," and Mr. Kennedy that "senators who believe in fairness will not let the minority of the Senate deny [the nominee] his vote by the entire Senate."
But that was then, when Democrats controlled the Senate. Now, they are a frustrated minority and it is different. Mr. Leahy has voted against cloture to end filibusters 21 out of 26 times; Mr. Kennedy, 18 out of 23. Now all these Senators practice and defend the use of filibusters against judicial nominees.
It wasn't me who coined the term "situational ethics" on this blog, but that term sure describes the democrats.
I am not against the idea of private accounts, although I worry about who would really benefit from them. But just tell me where the money comes from so I can make a real decision.
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See ya soon.. :)
Hotmail News by www.infopage.cc - Oct. 17, 2005
Microsoft to Test New Hotmail Interface (AnandTech)
For those of you that use Hotmail, Microsoft is testing a new user interface for the popular web-based email client: Microsoft is preparing to publicly test its new front end Hotmail, code-named "Kahuna" and simply branded: Mail Beta. The upgrade will support an AJAX-based interface that has been rewritten from the ground up using...
AOL Offers $299 PC (Connected Home Media)
Everyone's favorite dominant ISP introduced an intriguing offer this week: Agree to use AOL for a year, and you can purchase a low-end PC from the company for just $299. Although the deal seems like a bid to stem the flow of subscribers eager to get out from under the multicolored, dumbed-down AOL interface, the offer actually appears to be decent, assuming you're not into playing the latest 3-D games. Of course, you can get a decent Dell system for not much more than the cost of the AOL PC plus the service (about $585 when you add it all up).
Preview of New MSN Hotmail (Slashdot)
An anonymous reader writes "Here is a Preview of a new MSN Hotmail system, using AJAX. Currently in Beta testing." Most interesting is how the user interface more closely resembles a traditional local application. It's definitely a big step in that direction.
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