Archive for September, 2012

Meet Dean Chambers, The Virginia Republican Who Is ‘Unskewing’ The Polls


Meet Dean Chambers, The Virginia Republican Who Is ‘Unskewing’ The Polls.

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David Taintor September 28, 2012, 4:38 PM 1870

With Republicans up in arms over poll after poll showing President Obama ahead, conservatives have latched on to a new polling site that promises to “unskew” the data, correcting what the site believes are polling samples with too many darn Democrats. Rick Perry has tweeted his approval of the site — which shows Mitt Romney ahead by 7.4 points — and even Stephen Colbert expressed his faux appreciation.

Here’s what the site’s founder, Dean Chambers, does. He changes the baseline assumption on how much of the electorate is Republican and how much is Democratic. Initially, he used Rasmussen’s real numbers on party identification to re-weight various polls. Rasmussen’s numbers break down to 37.6 percent Republican, 33.3 percent Democrat and 29.2 percent Independent. As of Thursday night, Chambers began using party identification numbers from his own web-based poll.

Chambers’ project started in July after he noticed an ABC News/Washington Post poll that “just didn’t look right.” An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted this month showed Obama up over Romney 49 percent to 48 percent. “Unskewed,” however, after applying Rasmussen’s numbers on party ID, Romney leads Obama 52-45 in the poll. It’s like magic. But Chambers insists he isn’t “changing” or “making up” data. “The only thing I’m doing is weighting.”

But that’s exactly what most pollsters don’t do. “We don’t have any preconceived notions about the party breakdown of a poll before we conduct it. The only things we make any adjustments for are gender, race, and age,” Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen told TPM in an email. “It makes sense that as support for Obama increases, more people also identify themselves as Democrats. I know conservatives want to think it’s more Democrats in the poll causing Obama to do better, but it’s actually Obama doing better causing more Democrats in the poll.”

“The reality is that (Republicans are) losing, they can’t accept it, and they’re going to find some reason to dismiss every poll that makes them unhappy no matter what its composition is,” Jensen added. “This isn’t really about Party ID, it’s about hardcore denial.”

In every poll Chambers has reworked — save for a recent “unskewed” Fox News poll that has Obama up 2 points — Romney leads the incumbent. While Chambers, 45, of Duffield, Va., is a Romney supporter and longtime Republican, he said he is simply reporting the numbers “as they are.”

It doesn’t quite work that way, though. Scott Rasmussen told BuzzFeed this week: “you cannot compare partisan weighting from one polling firm to another.” Different firms ask about party identification differently, he explained. It’s not apples to apples. Rasmussen added:

“Some ask how you are registered. Some ask what you consider yourselves. Some push for leaners, others do not. Some ask it at the beginning of a survey which provides a more stable response while others ask it at the end.”

Missing from Chambers’ model is the fact that party identification is not a static metric. The current PollTracker average of party identification, which tracks the broader samples of American adults, shows 33.3 percent of citizens consider themselves Democrats, 22.1 percent Republicans and 34.3 percent independents. In 2010, when Republicans swept the House of Representatives and made gains in statehouses across the country, Republican party identification was much higher, around 31 percent. Based on a web poll he is currently conducting on his site, Chambers found only a 0.4 point spread between Democrats and Republicans today, with Democrats holding a narrow edge.

Still, Chambers said he believes pollsters aren’t skewing the data with malicious intent. They are just operating under faulty assumptions, he said, believing there are many more self-identified Democrats in the country today than Republicans. But the media, Chamber said, are over-reporting the polls showing Obama ahead. “That’s driving the analysis,” he said. “If one were to believe all these polls, you would think (the election is) over. It’s not over.”

Meanwhile, here’s the PollTracker average of where the presidential race stands today:

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Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News


Census Bureau clarifies poverty numbers – U.S. News.

Officials at the U.S. Census Bureau moved Friday to clarify widely reported figures meant to estimate the number of Americans living in poverty.

Dueling Census reports – one based on official poverty estimates that was released just last week and another based on an experimental calculus used in November – differed from one another by 20 percentage points regarding the number of people viewed as living in poverty. The widely reported figure showed that one out of two Americans are in poverty or are low-income. Other Census figures put the figure closer to one out of three Americans.
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That’s because the experimental measure, a supplement to the official poverty figures meant to take into account such factors as whether a family is receiving food stamps and how much people pay in taxes, uses a poverty level of $24,343 for a family of four instead of the $21,113 used by the official measure.

Read the original story on NBCLosAngeles.com

In expensive states like California and New York, the supplemental measure classified families making as much as $32,869 as impoverished.

However, Kathleen Short, the Census Bureau economist who spearheaded the supplemental report, said it would be wrong to extrapolate from those numbers that Americans are falling into poverty at greater rates.

In fact, she said, the experimental calculation indicated that poverty among children is actually lower than the official poverty rate shows.

On Thursday, reports in multiple news outlets suggested that people making roughly twice the poverty level under the experimental program were “scraping by” and should be considered low-income.

The Census Bureau does not support that interpretation of the data, Short said.

“Below 200 percent of the poverty threshold is the lower end of the distribution,” Short said. “But we would not call it low-income per se.”

A number of news reports on Thursday correctly said that more people fell under the definition of living in poverty under the experimental calculation, but then went on to say that people making twice that would be considered low-income.

However, the practice of using such figures as “150 percent of poverty” or “200 percent of poverty” to determine whether people were of moderate or low income is a practice that grew up around the older, traditional method of identifying poverty, which uses a lower threshold.

More from NBC4 on the Census reports: Assessing poverty

In parts of California under the supplemental approach, a family that owns its own home and earns about $66,000 per year would be earning 200 percent of the poverty level, and not necessarily be considered low-income.
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NBC4, relying on figures and analysis from the Los Angeles office of the Census, reported the newer, official poverty figures on Thursday, and questioned reports that used the supplemental figures.

A widely distributed news story by the Associated Press (and published by msnbc.com) relied on the supplemental report.

“We did not misunderstand the data,” AP spokesman Jack Stokes said in an email. “The AP story was vetted by the Census Bureau in Washington.”

However, Short said that she did not agree with the news service’s conclusion that the report showed one out of two Americans to be low-income or impoverished.

Short stressed that the supplemental measure was a work in progress, and that it should not be considered a replacement for the official poverty rate.

The AP’s calculations were correct, Short said, “but I’m not agreeing with any adjectives that are placed on being in that category.”

“In fact we stressed the Census Bureau does not have a definition for low income.” Short said

In the supplemental report, “we’re not characterizing what it’s like to be below 200 percent of the poverty line,” Short said. “We don’t have any information to characterize what that would be like.”

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Ohio voters face challenges from tea party groups – latimes.com


Ohio voters face challenges from tea party groups – latimes.com.

CINCINNATI — Lori Monroe, a 40-year-old Democrat who lives in central Ohio, was startled a few weeks ago to open a letter that said a stranger was challenging her right to vote in the presidential election.

Monroe, who was recovering from cancer surgery, called the local election board to protest. A local tea party leader was trying to strike Monroe from the voter rolls for a reason that made no sense: Her apartment building in Lancaster was listed as a commercial property.

“I’m like, really? Seriously?” Monroe said. “I’ve lived here seven years, and now I’m getting challenged?”

Monroe’s is one of at least 2,100 names that tea party groups have sought to remove from Ohio’s voter rosters.

The groups and their allies describe it as a citizen movement to prevent ballot fraud, although the Republican secretary of state said in an interview that he knew of no evidence that any more than a handful of illegal votes had been cast in Ohio in the last few presidential elections.

“We’re all about election integrity — making sure everyone who votes is registered and qualified voters,” said Mary Siegel, one of the leaders of the Ohio effort.

Some Democrats see it as a targeted vote-suppression drive. The names selected for purging include hundreds of college students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans in counties President Obama won in 2008.

The battle over who belongs on the voter rolls in Ohio comes as supporters of Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are making elaborate plans to monitor the polls and mount legal challenges after the Nov. 6 election if necessary.

Obama’s reelection campaign and Romney allies are already fighting in court over Republican efforts to block Ohio voters from casting ballots the weekend before the election. In 2008, Ohio’s final weekend of early voting drew tens of thousands of African Americans to cast ballots, mainly for Obama.

The racial dimension of the 2012 clash over weekend voting burst into the open last month when one of Ohio’s most powerful Republicans, Franklin County GOP Chairman Doug Preisse, told the Columbus Dispatch, “We shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African American — voter-turnout machine.”

Some Democrats see the developments in Ohio as part of a national drive by Obama’s opponents to minimize turnout of his supporters, one that includes efforts elsewhere to impose new voter ID rules.

“Too much of this is going on for this not to be a coordinated effort,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party in the tea party stronghold of southwestern Ohio.

The Rev. Rousseau A. O’Neal, one of a group of black ministers from Cincinnati who provided buses to take African Americans to the polls in 2008 and plan to do so again in November, described the tea party project and the curtailment of weekend voting as “bigotry of the highest order.”

“Who ever thought we’d be fighting for the right to vote in 2012?” he asked.

The tea party groups, scattered around the state, have joined forces under the banner of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. It is an offshoot of True the Vote, a Texas organization that has recruited volunteers nationwide to challenge voter rosters and work as poll watchers.

True the Vote was founded by Catherine and Bryan Engelbrecht, a couple who run an oil field equipment manufacturing firm in Rosenberg, Texas.

In Ohio, election records show, one of the project’s top priorities has been to remove college students from the voter rolls for failure to specify dorm room numbers. (As a group, college students are strongly in Obama’s camp.)

Voters challenged include 284 students at the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, 110 at Oberlin College, 88 at College of Wooster, 38 at Kent State — and dozens more from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Lake Erie College, Walsh University, Hiram College, John Carroll University and Telshe Yeshiva, a rabbinical college near Cleveland.

So far, every county election board that has reviewed the dorm challenges found them invalid.

In some cases, the Ohio tea party researchers have correctly identified voters who have died or moved, speeding up the official updating of registration files. They also found voters registered at a Cincinnati trailer park that no longer exists.

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

Are the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?


The Koch Brothers Are Vultures

Are the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?.

re the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?

By: Adalia WoodburySeptember 21st, 2012see more posts by Adalia Woodbury

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In the name of fulfilling their number one priority of making Obama a one term president, Republicans dedicated millions of dollars (2 million in Texas alone) to suppress the vote. Manipulating the vote is nothing new, be it with flawed voting machines or circulating misinformation to deceive Democrats into staying home.

These pale in comparison to the Republican war on the vote through legislative measures that include restricting early and absentee voting, restricting registration drives; and new voter ID requirements . In some cases like Florida, Republicans have gone to the extreme of purging voter registration lists.

Civil Rights Groups and the DOJ have battled these vote suppression laws in the courts and some cases are still working their way through the judicial system. In most cases (exception being Pennsylvania) voter suppression tactics were struck down because they violated the Voting Rights Act.

All voters should confirm that you are registered to vote no matter what state you live in. You should also confirm that the information is accurated. Make sure that the name you are registered under is exactly the same as the name on the ID you present at the polls.

The ALEC designed new rules are meant to make voting harder and in some cases impossible. It is important that you know if there are changes in your state and what those changes are. This is especially true if:

• You’re married and changed your name

• You’re a student and want to vote where you go to school

• You’ve recently moved

• You don’t have a birth certificate and can’t afford to get one

• You’re a working parent, a small business owner, or a young professional who relies on weekend voting

Perhaps the most insidious tactic is the change in voter ID requirements which unsurprisingly adversely affect minorities, people who work for a living and seniors. Generally, states that have enacted these rules require government issued photo ID that is current.

The reasons for this begin with the fact that Republicans don’t like the vote because when people vote, Republicans don’t do very well.

There are other more insidious reasons, like racism, whereby there are some people who believe the vote is a privilege only to be enjoy by old, white men who are ideally rich and own property.

Of course, Republicans won’t come out and say any of these things. Rather they resort to disinformation and propaganda about voter fraud. When it comes down to it, however, voter fraud is statistically non-existent in the United States. When pressed to point to examples of voter fraud in their state or in others under oath, Republicans will finally admit they cannot point to one example in their state or in another state.

Lipstick Liberal http://www.politicususa.com/gop-holds… explains the possible source for the tactics Republicans are using in their war on the vote.

Video:

Transcript

Lipstick Liberal – KOCH Bros. Voter ID ENGLISH Dialogue

Tea-partier, Republican and Conservative American, Russia is very impressed with way your American KGB men, Take control of country!

(Envelope “KGB Tactics for Voter Suppression”)

Mind Control!

Disinformation!

Propaganda!

Smoke Screens!

Censorship!

Just like my KGB man.

Now to suppress Russian voters, he just paid little money to many people, so they knew who to show their love too!

But, I mean…Just look at him.

Your Two KGB Men, they pay many, MANY more money to little people…so they know who to show their hate too!

But, I mean, just look at them?

Now, their comrades scream, “We must…

Interrogate!

Ask for papers!

Limit their freedoms!

Give them a little hope!

Then CRUSH them!

So now mjority who do not want American KBG Men to have such power, become little minority with no power at all.

Yes, very impressed with way KGB men take control of country! Just like my KGB Man!

Lipstick Liberal – KOCH Bros. Voter ID Russian Dialogue

Tea-partier, Republican and Conservative American, Russia is very impressed with way your American KGB men, Take control of country!

End of Transcript

In Memory of Jannan W. Ransom who worked tirelessly throughout her life in the name of protecting our freedoms, including the right to vote.

Whites with No Diploma Live Shorter Lives – Truthdig


For White People Who Vote REPUBLICAN You Have Alot To Think About

Whites with No Diploma Live Shorter Lives – Truthdig.

Life expectancy for the least-educated Americans has shrunk by four years since 1990, a reminder that social inequality is not just a matter of having fewer things than those who are better off than you.

Exactly why the decline occurred isn’t understood, but a rise in prescription drug overdoses among white youths, higher rates of tobacco use, growing obesity and a lack of health insurance were offered by researchers as possible explanations.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The New York Times:

The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, said S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study found.

White men lacking a high school diploma lost three years of life. Life expectancy for both blacks and Hispanics of the same education level rose, the data showed. But blacks over all do not live as long as whites, while Hispanics live longer than both whites and blacks.

“We’re used to looking at groups and complaining that their mortality rates haven’t improved fast enough, but to actually go backward is deeply troubling,” said John G. Haaga, head of the Population and Social Processes Branch of the National Institute on Aging, who was not involved in the new study.

Read more

OWS Is a ‘Tactic’ That Is ‘Far From Over’ – Truthdig


OWS Is a ‘Tactic’ That Is ‘Far From Over’ – Truthdig.

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Posted on Sep 20, 2012
YouTube/RT America

Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges was in Zuccotti Park—the plaza in lower Manhattan known to Occupy Wall Street as “Liberty Square”—during the movement’s one-year anniversary. The genie of protest it let loose can’t be returned to the bottle of society’s margins, “identifying the centers of power and how to respond to them,” he told RT America.

That fact is visible in the behavior of Wall Street bankers, Hedges told RT America’s Marina Portnaya. “The ruling elite is nervous. I was standing, I’ve been here since 6 this morning, and you saw all these bankers, when it came time for work, coming out of the subways and none were dressed in suits, because they were scared. They were scared to walk through the crowd and be identified as part of that speculative class which has not only trashed the American economy but trashed the global economy, looted the U.S. Treasury, and essentially is a parasitic force.”

“So, look, you know, the 19-, the 1765 Stamp Act Rebellion was the precursor to 1776. The 1905 rebellion in Russia was the precursor to 1917. It takes that long. But what we have unleashed, or what Occupy unleashed a year ago, I believe ultimately spells the end of the corporate state.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

RTAmerica:

Our War With The 1% Is Far From Over They Fund The Global Corporations

Top Documentary Films – Watch Free Documentaries


Top Documentary Films – Watch Free Documentaries.

Ethos, a powerful new documentary hosted by Woody Harrelson, is an investigation into the flaws in our systems, and the mechanisms that work against democracy, our environment and the the common good.

With a stunning depth of research and breadth of analysis, this film delves deep into the inter-connected worlds of Politics, Multi-National Corporations and the Media.

Most of us have wondered at some point how we have arrived at a situation where democracy is touted as having created an equal society when all we see is injustice and corruption.

Politicians openly deceive the public with the support of major corporations and the mainstream media. Wars are waged, the environment is destroyed and inequality is on the rise.

But what is the source of these institutional mechanisms which – when we scratch the surface – are so clearly anti-democratic, so contradictory to the values we hold in common and yet so firmly embedded that they seem beyond discussion?

Ethos opens a Pandora’s box that has it’s roots in the cross-roads where capitalism-meets-democracy, implicates every power-elite puts profit before people and finally offers a solution whereby you – the viewer – can regain control using the one thing they do care about – your cash.

Watch the full documentary now

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