intended to forestall an alliance of the Sadrists with Sunni Arab parties, which would have the effect of dividing the Shiites. [E.A.]
I obviously don't understand Iraq: Aren't the Sadrist militias the ones ethnically cleansing Baghdad by killing Sunnis? (I know Sadr has tried to make alliances with Sunnis in the past, but you'd think it would be beyond that point now, especially after the Sadrist mocking of Saddam on the gallows.) Update: See Juan Cole's explanation. ... 2:44 A.M.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Mystery Pollster answers the call, delves deep into the competing methodologies of those crazily conflicting Iowa polls and discovers ... that the methodologies are pretty much the same. Which leaves him stumped along with everyone else, except for the possibility that "voters are not yet engaged in the race enough to have strong allegiances." ... kf's nominee for likeliest possible explanation (informed by an email from Iowa reader G.M.): There's a big difference between 1) asking voters if they "definitely plan" to go to the caucuses, and 2) asking voters if they actually participated in the 2004 caucuses. Lots of people say they "plan" to attend. That's normal! But those who have attended are the sort of pathetically unrepresentative hard core activi ...sorry, committed citizens who make up the tiny sliver (6%) of Iowa voters who actually show up and choose the winner. ... In this case, the merely aspirational caucusgoers pick Clinton, while the hard core goes for Obama--a result consistent with the idea that Obama is capturing those who think a lot about politics, while those who don't think as much about politics haven't yet been hit by the wave. ... P.S.: The Dem hard core would also be more anti-war, and thus anti-Clinton. ... P.P.S.: And the same strategic 'electability' worries that led the hard core geniuses to light on John Kerry in 2004 might cause them to reject Hillary now. ...
Update: MP says the theory is "plausible" and notes that more numbers from the competing pollsters--showing how many people their filters filtered out--might resolve the issue. 8:27 P.M.
Soft hothouse quirkiness pays off in Eat the Press'2006 Honorable Mentions--much more fun than ETP's actual, predictable (except for Hodgman) Winners. ... P.S.: "What did you do this year?" is not a question we like to ask around here, though. ... 7:21 P.M.
Arguments that Only Work in a Cocoon Dept.: Another sneering op-ed arguing the Mexican border fence has an "effectiveness" problem because in San Diego, when 14 miles were built, people stopped crossing there! They went elsewhere to cross!
A little-noticed Congressional Research Service report issued Dec. 12 indicates that expanding the California wall makes little sense. After the San Diego wall went up, apprehensions in the area were reduced, the CRS reports. But "there is ample evidence that flow of illegal immigration ... shifted to more remote areas of the Arizona desert."
See? It won't work because where it's been tried it worked. Q.E.D. ... 6:53 P.M.
If you can't lick the mob of salivating morons, join 'em! Even MSM-friendly blog victim Eason Jordan is officially frustrated by the inability of anyone to locate the AP's mysterious key Iraqi source, Capt. Jamil Hussein:
But efforts by two governments, several news organizations, and bloggers have failed to produce such evidence or proof that there is a Captain Jamil Hussein. The AP cannot or will not produce him or convincing evidence of his existence.
It is striking that no one has been able to find a family member, friend, or colleague of Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP told us who in the AP's ranks has actually spoken with Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP quoted Captain Hussein once since the story of the disputed episode.
Therefore, in the absence of clear and compelling evidence to corroborate the AP's exclusive story and Captain Hussein's existence, we must conclude for now that the AP's reporting in this case was flawed.
To make matters worse, Captain Jamil Hussein was a key named source in more than 60 AP stories on at least 25 supposed violent incidents over eight months. [E.A.]