Monday, Ap ril 16, 2007
Obama has climbed to within 2 points of Hillary in the latest Rasmussen robo-poll. Hillary has a big problem with men--Obama leads her by 11% among men. ... Inevitable robo-poll-based theory: Hillary leads by 8 in the most recent comparable CNN Poll (comparable meaning with Gore not included). The CNN Poll** appears to be a conventional telephone survey conducted by human interviewers. Why might Hillary do worse in a robo-poll, like Rasmussen's, where the pollee doesn't have to talk to an actual person but simply presses buttons? There's an obvious possible answer: Men don't like Hillary but they're reluctant to say so in public. They'll tell a robot. But they chicken out when they'd have to tell a human interviewer--especially, maybe, a female interviewer. They're scared of looking like sexist pigs. They don't want to get grief from female Hillary supporters. But in the privacy of the voting booth, they might be expected to vote as they vote in the robo-survey. ...
P.S.: It would help confirm the theory if I could find a breakdown of the CNN survey by gender. If the female vote in the two polls was similar, but the male vote for Hillary plummeted in the robo-poll, that would tend to support the "Don't Tell Mama" explanation. ... Backup DTM theory: Of course (if it turns out the gender gap in the two polls is roughly comparable) it could be that many men and many women don't like Hillary but are reluctant to say so in public. ... Bonus extra heavy duty nondisprovable gender-related DTM theory: Men and women don't like Hillary, and neither group wants to admit that to a human. The difference is that women, unlike men, don't dare admit it even to a robot. ...
Backfill: See Chris Bowers' alternate explanation for Hillary's consistently weak Rasmussen showing. ...
Paul Krugman still knows how to make an unconvincing argument. Here he's railing against the "infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda--which is very different from simply being people of faith." Seems like an easy target, after the Monica Goodling resignation. I was ready to be alarmed, until Krugman began deploying his killer examples [Emphasis added in boldface, followed by kf commentary in italics]:
For example, The Boston Globe reports on one Regent law school graduate who was interviewed by the Justice Department's civil rights division. Asked what Supreme Court decision of the past 20 years he most disagreed with, he named the decision to strike down a Texas anti-sodomy law.
Isn't there a legitimate, highfalutin' legal argument against what appears to be a "substantive due process" argument in Lawrence v. Texas, the anti-anti-sodomy decision? Why do we assume a Regent law school graduate isn't making that legitimate argument?
Or consider George Deutsch, the presidential appointee at NASA who told a Web site designer to add the word ''theory'' after every mention of the Big Bang, to leave open the possibility of ''intelligent design by a creator.''
The Big Bang isn't a theory?
But did you know that Rachel Paulose, the U.S. attorney in Minnesota -- three of whose deputies recently stepped down, reportedly in protest over her management style -- is, according to a local news report, in the habit of quoting Bible verses in the office?
Quoting Bible verses in the office? Say no more! How crazy can these people get? ... Would Krugman be as exercised if a lawyer quoted the Torah? The Vedas? What's wrong with quoting the Bible? How is this "very different from simply being people of faith"? Could Martin Luther King Jr. get a job in Krugman's administration?
I'm not saying theocratic incompetents from the "700 Club" aren't fanning out through the government. Maybe they are. I'm saying Paul Krugman is not convincing on this issue. He doesn't even seem to be trying to be convincing. Why should he try? There's always been a market for anti-hick editorializing in the New York Times, especially anti-Southern-hick editorializing(see Steve Oney's account of the Times' counterproductive crusade in the Leo Frank case of 1913, which presaged its more recent counterproductive crusade against Augusta National). Krugman's select Times readers aren't exactly going to demand rigor when it comes to attacking Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. ... 1:42 A.M.
Sunday, Ap ril 15, 2007
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
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It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.