Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some things on my mind.

POLLS I saw a poll today from Pew that said Obama would kick Romney or Santorums butt by double digits in a general election, and that his approval rating was 56%. Previous polls this week said his approval was dropping, and a general election would be close. Meahwhile, Nate Silver, who was pretty damn accutate about the 2008 election, and now can be found at his 538 Blog at the NY Times, didn't have Santorum winning either MS or AL last night. What gives?

Well, unlike most other things, technology is ruining, not improving, polling. First, many people no longer have land lines,which makes them hard to reach. Or, they have caller ID which makes them hard to reach. And people are too damn busy to answer a bunch of poll questions. I believe that leaves pollsters with lonely old ladies to talk to. It is actually amazing that these guys are even close. Getting a representative sample of the voting population has to be damn near impossible today.

Silver, by the way, is not a pollster, but an aggregator. He takes the data from all the polling sources and combines them, with adjustment for timing and bias. This idea seems to make sense, as he is using thousands of responses, instead of 1000 or fewer an individual poll would have. But he is having a hell of a time getting the primaries right. Meanwhile, every poll is reported by all the news sources because.....well, they need something to talk about.

Can't anyone just say "I have no idea what is going to happen"?

GAS PRICES: Okay first, quit your fucking whining you spoiled Americans! You have the cheapest gas by far in the developed world. Second, there is little the President, either Obama or the guys who want to replace him, can do about the price. And if you throw out the things that are just plain stupid to do, like a price ceiling or emptying the strategic reserve, there is nothing.

Gas prices have gone up because world oil prices have gone up. World oil prices have gone up because of increased world demand, and because of political unrest in the Middle East. Drilling every possible well in the US won't solve the problem, and won't even help in the short run.

And for the GOP "Drill Baby Drill" idiots, here is a fact you don't want to admit: US oil production is higher now than when Obama became President, not less. And another question for the GOP presidential candidates: What will the price of gas be after you start that war with Iran that you are itching for?

NCAA HOOP March Madness is here, and it leaves me with a dilemma similar to my feelings about XMAS. I love the tourney, hate the NCAA. It is a monopoly and should be illegal. It has a set of rules that rival the US tax code in complexity and lack of good sense. And the idea that the players not only don't get paid, but that their images are used to make money for others is outrageous, if not just plain criminal.

So that means I will ignore the Big Dance for moral reasons, right? No, I will be heading to the sports bar for lunch tomorrow and Friday to watch 4 games at once. But I'll feel dirty doing it!

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