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Saturday, February 01, 2014

OTP - Feb 2014: Politics remains a hurdle for immigration reform

Yet Obama might find his best-chance legislative compromise in an issue that lately has seemed to be on life support: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Curiously, immigration was an issue the president barely mentioned in this year’s speech. Maybe he does not want to interfere with those Republicans who actually agree with him on the need to bring the nation’s millions of undocumented workers out of the shadows.

Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2014 at 04:01 PM | 3524 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   401. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4651984)
   402. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4651991)
The earliest remains of Jericho go back to at least 9,000 BC.

The Clovis culture, with its distinctive stone spearpoints, was widespread in the Western US (and further afield) 11,000 years BCE. (It's named after a nice little town in New Mexico about a day's drive west of DFW.) And that's the edge of one of the further radiations of humans from African origins, of course. It took us a long period before 11,000 BCE to get this far.


The world's oldest known calendar is 10,000 years old.


But none of that matters if you can just hand wave it away by saying God made it that way. There is no possible evidence that will convince somebody if they believe a superbeing with unlimited powers can create whatever the hell fits his fancy.
   403. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4651996)
I'm at the creation museum's website now, and they actually have a planetarium show "Fires in the Sky. Learn about Comet Ison. Find out how comets support a young Universe". Fires in the sky?

Also:

Prepare to Believe. The state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers.


I thought that God only created dinosaur bones, at least, according to Carl Everett...

edit: 250,000+ annual visitors to this ridiculous place

   404. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4652000)
But none of that matters if you can just hand wave it away by saying God made it that way. There is no possible evidence that will convince somebody if they believe a superbeing with unlimited powers can create whatever the hell fits his fancy.
... and this is why I didn't watch last night's debate. Like #330 said, it's not about science, it's about religion and its cultural supremacy. For religious culture warriors, anything that challenges Christianity's power in America has to be taken down a notch, no matter how important and useful it is. If that means promoting something like creationism as "science", or re-writing text books with ideas they know to be false, then so be it. It's all in the name of God.
   405. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4652007)
The solution is actually quite simple. Add a intro to philosophy and world religions elective to high school work.

My high school had this, I thought it was pretty standard?
   406. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4652009)

But none of that matters if you can just hand wave it away by saying God made it that way.


I think very few Christians, even YECs, adopt that view of the Creation.
   407. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4652035)
I think very few Christians, even YECs, adopt that view of the Creation.


I don't know... Here's an amalgam of some recent polling and the results are, frankly, a little darn scary... There are a lot of ways to slice and dice the question - all yielding different answers -- but the most germane to YECs is probably this Pew result:

Removing religious context and human origins, people are much less likely to say that we’re living on a young earth. In another 2009 survey, only 18 percent agreed with the statement that “the earth is less than 10,000 years old,” for example.


Sure, you can slice and dice that further... a decent chunk of people may lack the mathematical conceptual understanding of the difference between billions and 10,000, for example. Perhaps you also have cultural warriors that don't really believe this, but never pass up an opportunity to extend the middle finger to ideas or groups that they see as the dark forces of liberalism.

However, any way you slice it -- we're almost certainly looking at more than 10% of society... and that's a scary thing, IMO.

I'm not at all saying they need some sort of reeducation camp nor am I calling for any sort of outlawing of religion... It's a free country, people are free to believe whatever they wish.

But - the core problem is that number wields a far, far too outsized degree of influence in society. They run - and win, and sit - on school boards. That reach extends beyond just local schoolboards - textbook companies and other various curricula development industries are still just "industries", which means they'll chase the dollars... so when this nonsense makes into, say, the Texas school curriculum, it inevitably worms its way into say, Vermont books, too.

Again - individuals are free to believe whatever they wish. They are even free - sad as it is - to pass this rejection of basic, centuries old enlightenment thinking (beyond young earth - I'm talking just basic things like evidence, discovery, and well... how to rationally think through issues) to their children.

The reason it's an issue is because they're not just 'protecting' their own faith... they're insisting on foisting it onto everyone else... they're using EVERYONE's tax dollars to do it... and they're harming future generations by doing so.

I'd be more than happy to have nationally issued excuse slips to skip science classes... but it's improper that a science class need deal with this nonsense.
   408. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4652040)
However, any way you slice it -- we're almost certainly looking at more than 10% of society... and that's a scary thing, IMO.


I never know what to make of this, because I believe some of the polling results is just an FU (put a nicer way, putting a cultural stake in the ground), rather than actual belief. It is a tribal marker rather than a statement of fact.

Then again 10% might just be morons, that can't be dismissed.
   409. The Good Face Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4652050)
However, any way you slice it -- we're almost certainly looking at more than 10% of society... and that's a scary thing, IMO.


Meh. Somewhere between 10-20% of society will believe almost ANY stupid/crazy theory. What's the % of people who are birthers? 9/11 truthers? Anti-vaxxers? Alien coverup conspiracy theorists? It's annoying perhaps when they're in your face or doing stuff that goes against one's personal cherished beliefs, but it's just people being people.
   410. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4652051)
In a poll you can get 10-15% of the population to agree with any statement, it's better I think to give a menu of options, then it's less of an issue when you're dealing with low percentages.
   411. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4652058)
What's the % of people who are birthers? 9/11 truthers? Anti-vaxxers? Alien coverup conspiracy theorists?


The trouble being, as zonk put it just 2 posts before yours, that it's doubtful those people meet this criterion --

But - the core problem is that number wields a far, far too outsized degree of influence in society. They run - and win, and sit - on school boards. That reach extends beyond just local schoolboards - textbook companies and other various curricula development industries are still just "industries", which means they'll chase the dollars... so when this nonsense makes into, say, the Texas school curriculum, it inevitably worms its way into say, Vermont books, too.


   412. BDC Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4652061)
In a poll you can get 10-15% of the population to agree with any statement

Watching Jeff Francoeur as your team's regular rightfielder is preferable to beating yourself over the head with a polo mallet. Strongly agree, agree, indifferent, disagree, strongly disagree.
   413. GregD Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4652062)
I think the two points above capture the issue: 1) lots of people believe crazy things, 2) most of those people have zero influence.

On #1, the PPP conspiracy theory poll has 6 % thinking Osama is still alive, 7 $ believing the moon landing was faked, 13 % Obama is the anti-Christ, 28% fearing the authoritarian New World Order, 9% think flouride is a conspiracy, 4 % believe in lizard people (!) who control society, 14 % believe in Bigfoot, 5% believe exhaust behind planes are chemicals sprayed by the govt for sinister reasons, 5% think Paul died in 1966...

But none of those things can affect policy.

It's the power not the size of the young earth and anti-evolution people that pose the problem.
   414. The Good Face Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4652067)
The trouble being, as zonk put it just 2 posts before yours, that it's doubtful those people meet this criterion --


But - the core problem is that number wields a far, far too outsized degree of influence in society. They run - and win, and sit - on school boards. That reach extends beyond just local schoolboards - textbook companies and other various curricula development industries are still just "industries", which means they'll chase the dollars... so when this nonsense makes into, say, the Texas school curriculum, it inevitably worms its way into say, Vermont books, too.


I think the anti-vaxxers are a much bigger problem. Those idiots are compromising herd immunity against infectious diseases, and are largely responsible for the resurgence of things like measles and whooping cough.
   415. BrianBrianson Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4652068)
It is a tribal marker rather than a statement of fact.


Maybe. But if that's all it is, it'd be much better if they adopted a tribal marker that's not harmful to society, like gluing waffles to their pants.
   416. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4652072)
5% think Paul died in 1966...


The apostle, the pope or the Beatle? Or maybe the kid who was my best friend around the time I started first grade?
   417. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4652074)
I think the anti-vaxxers are a much bigger problem. Those idiots are compromising herd immunity against infectious diseases, and are largely responsible for the resurgence of things like measles and whooping cough.


Good point. Didn't occur to me in part, I guess, because I don't have kids.
   418. Tilden Katz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4652076)
I think the anti-vaxxers and the creationists are equally dangerous in that their claims are taken seriously and treated as legitimate theories deserving of respect (and not ridicule) by the media and political establishment. Those who believe in NWO conspiracies, chemtrails, and 9/11 truthers (obviously a huge overlap there) are not afforded that same respect, driving those weirdos to ill-designed blogs and circle jerk message boards.
   419. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4652077)
like gluing waffles to their pants.


Where does Smitty* glue his waffles?







Ummmmm ... never mind. Forget I asked that. Please.
   420. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4652078)
There are lizard people who control society?!? Other than Rupert Murdoch?
   421. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4652079)
On #1, the PPP conspiracy theory poll has 6 % thinking Osama is still alive

I read that as "thinking Obama is still alive", which I thought was an disturbingly low number.
   422. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4652081)
Duh. Obama died in 1966 & was replaced by a shape-shifting lizard person who helped fake the moon landing 3 years later. Everybody knows that.
   423. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4652083)
Duh. Obama died in 1966 & was replaced by a shape-shifting lizard person who helped fake the moon landing 3 years later. Everybody knows that.

Well, 94% of Americans anyway. As noted earlier, there will always be a handful of loonies out there.
   424. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4652086)
That pit clock in Scotland is fascinating.
   425. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4652088)
I think the anti-vaxxers are a much bigger problem. Those idiots are compromising herd immunity against infectious diseases, and are largely responsible for the resurgence of things like measles and whooping cough.


That's true.

Though, taking the longview -- if we end up with too many 'future scientists' praying over microscopes or looking for divine intervention to engineer antibodies rather than chemistry, biology, etc... maybe it won't matter anyway.
   426. Howie Menckel Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4652098)
"On #1, the PPP conspiracy theory poll has 6 % thinking Osama is still alive, 7 $ believing the moon landing was faked, 13 % Obama is the anti-Christ, 28% fearing the authoritarian New World Order, 9% think flouride is a conspiracy, 4 % believe in lizard people (!) who control society, 14 % believe in Bigfoot, 5% believe exhaust behind planes are chemicals sprayed by the govt for sinister reasons, 5% think Paul died in 1966..."

If someone called me asking those questions, I would be inclined to say yes to all of them, just for fun. But I'd probably pick my spots so as not to make it too obvious. The pct of people who would do that is way above 1 pct, too.

   427. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4652100)
It would probably be helpful to peel off the rational Creationists from the irrational ones. To distinguish people of faith who believe in divinity and divine input into "creation," vs "Biblical literalists" and "Young Earth Creationists." It's not completely beyond the pale to read Genesis as an historical-allegorical narrative in much the same way you might read the Iliad as vaguely historical narrative. It's not beyond the pale to say "God created the world, but the idea of "seven days of Creation" is obviously a metaphor." There are far more "creationists" than there are Young Earthers. It would behoove secular realists to wedge the rational believers off from the crazy folks.
   428. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4652118)
On #1, the PPP conspiracy theory poll has 6 % thinking Osama is still alive

Well, since we know that Osama was born in the Bavarian alps during the mid-to-late 1930's, at this point it's probably a reasonable assumption that he's parked somewhere down in Argentina.
   429. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4652122)
372:

God: Noah! They shalt build thyself an ark, measuring 300 cubits in length!
Noah: [Jotting this down with a jumbo marker] 300 cubits, give or take.
God: <Exactly> 300! And thou shalt taketh two of every creature!
Noah: [Writing it down] Two creatures.
God: Two of <every> creature!
Noah: Even stink beetles?
God: <Especially> stink beetles!

-- Troy McClure as Noah, "Das Bus"
   430. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4652126)
"On #1, the PPP conspiracy theory poll has 6 % thinking Osama is still alive, 7 $ believing the moon landing was faked, 13 % Obama is the anti-Christ, 28% fearing the authoritarian New World Order, 9% think flouride is a conspiracy, 4 % believe in lizard people (!) who control society, 14 % believe in Bigfoot, 5% believe exhaust behind planes are chemicals sprayed by the govt for sinister reasons, 5% think Paul died in 1966..."


Yeah, it's about 4%. No one except people sufficiently insane to already be institutionalized seriously thinks lizard people control society.

But it does mean about 2% sincerely think Osama is still alive and 4% sincerely believe fluoride is a conspiracy.

There is a lot of overlap between anti-vaxxers and Young Earth Creationists.
   431. steagles Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4652127)
has anyone posted about rapper DMX agreeing to fight george zimmerman in a boxing ring and pissing on him after he rakes his eyes out and knees him in the crotch?

because that's a thing.
   432. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4652128)
There are people on another site I visit making fun of people who believe the winter blizzard is a conspiracy by the government, and I can't tell if this is an actual thing or if they're joking.
   433. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4652130)
   434. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4652132)
The solution is actually quite simple. Add a intro to philosophy and world religions elective to high school work. Teach comparative religion.


That's not a simple solution, since those behind this don't want comparative religion taught, they want their religion taught.

I would welcome a religious class. I took one in college, and if anything, it made me realize what an utter crock of #### it all was.
   435. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4652135)
Vice President Biden says there are many reasons to run for president, but "one overwhelming reason" not to -- the ability to drive a car.

Especially a fast one.

In a speech Wednesday to the United Auto Workers, Biden said he would especially love to drive the new Corvette Z06; he rattled off its acceleration time and other performance statistics for his car-making audience.


Even if you don't like his politics, Joe Biden is a cool guy. He has had some major ups and downs in his life.
   436. Ron J2 Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4652137)
#394 Terry Pratchett explained that. The creator is a practical joker.
   437. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4652141)
The Onion's six best pieces on Joe Biden.

Corvette? Guess he got rid of the Trans Am.
   438. CrosbyBird Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4652145)
Well, yeah. How is this a surprise? This is why a profitable debate between scientists and Biblical literalists is impossible. They may as well be speaking in different languages.

It's about exposing snake oil for what it is. This is a place where, as much as I loved Hitchens, Nye might be the better man for the job. Hitchens was great for preaching to the choir, but he was a bully, and that isn't really a way to convince people to listen to you. Hitchens went into a debate with the intention of belittling and embarrassing his opponent.

Nye, on the other hand, had an atypical agenda for these debates. It wasn't about Ham so much as to be diplomat for science to the audience. I think it's important to demonstrate that you can advocate for evolution and against YEC without treating people of faith like ignorant children.

If I want to rally the base and feel good about my current beliefs, and I want to see a worthy pinata face the stick, I want Hitchens. But if I want to convince other people, including the billions of people on this planet that are people of faith, I want the guy that has spent most of his career evangelizing science in an approachable, humble, and interesting way.

There's your observational evidence for you.

Ham's answer to this is superficially coherent. That's not "observational evidence" because you don't know if the laws governing the universe have remained fundamentally the same over time. It may be the these temples were built and built over in a timeframe that seems unreasonable by today's standards because the universe behaved differently prior to man's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Of course, he's clearly arguing in bad faith, because he'll say out of the other side of his mouth that the immutability of scientific law and our ability to rely on static principles in observational science is proof of a divine creator.

I would like to think that the best way to convince people of the folly of YEC is to calmly and politely rebut their beliefs publicly. Most people are not motivated to absorb even a fraction of the overwhelming scientific evidence favoring evolution, particularly outside of a sound bite. We're talking about centuries worth of accumulated scientific knowledge, refined over time, and still growing.
   439. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4652146)
When you consider the way any species of creationism is not only tolerated, but contortionists efforts are put forth to make them in some tenuous way credible, is it any wonder that most people not only can't think critically, they don't want to. Think about that. That's really horrible in the totality of what it suggests and portents. Yet, they insist there is a there there.
   440. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4652151)
Nye, on the other hand, had an atypical agenda for these debates. It wasn't about Ham so much as to be diplomat for science to the audience. I think it's important to demonstrate that you can advocate for evolution and against YEC without treating people of faith like ignorant children.

I agree this is how Nye saw his task, and despite my earlier reservations, I agree that after a shaky start, he came across well. Perfect for the cover of Lisa Simpson's favorite magazine, Non-Threatening Boys, Science Version.
   441. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4652156)
On the whole, did Nye's participation in this event accomplish his stated purpose? He engaged his direct ideological enemy, on his enemy's home turf, in the hopes of the attention the event generates encouraging children to learn about science. Ken Ham engaged his direct ideological enemy in the hopes of energizing Christians to give him money to build his Noah's Ark Theme Park. The two sides are so opposed that they are effectively playing a zero-sum game; they can't both win. I think it's probable this event is beneficial to Ham, and thus by necessity harmful to Nye and what he went there representing.
   442. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4652161)
On the whole, did Nye's participation in this event accomplish his stated purpose? He engaged his direct ideological enemy, on his enemy's home turf, in the hopes of the attention the event generates encouraging children to learn about science. Ken Ham engaged his direct ideological enemy in the hopes of energizing Christians to give him money to build his Noah's Ark Theme Park. The two sides are so opposed that they are effectively playing a zero-sum game; they can't both win. I think it's probable this event is beneficial to Ham, and thus by necessity harmful to Nye and what he went there representing.

How is it a zero-sum game if both guys achieved their purpose? Ham gets his ark money and Nye may have convinced a child or 10 to study science.
   443. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4652165)
Clay Aiken is running for Congress.

Sandra Fluke is not.
   444. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4652169)
On the whole, did Nye's participation in this event accomplish his stated purpose?


Christian Today conducted a (admittedly online) poll:

Who won the debate tonight?

Ken Ham: 8%
Bill Nye 92%
   445. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4652170)
It may be the these temples were built and built over in a timeframe that seems unreasonable by today's standards because the universe behaved differently prior to man's expulsion from the Garden of Eden.


Built over and over again by Adam & Eve? I thought they were the only humans in the garden.


   446. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4652176)
Built over and over again by Adam & Eve? I thought they were the only humans in the garden.

Kids today just don't know the meaning of hard work.
   447. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4652180)
Built over and over again by Adam & Eve?


Well they lived for 900+ years. They could take their time.
   448. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4652183)
Christian Today conducted a (admittedly online) poll:

Who won the debate tonight?

Ken Ham: 8%
Bill Nye 92%


Whew!
   449. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4652186)
Highly recommend Mark Twain's The Dairies of Adam and Eve.
   450. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4652199)
has anyone posted about rapper DMX agreeing to fight george zimmerman in a boxing ring and pissing on him after he rakes his eyes out and knees him in the crotch?


When I saw this, my first thought was DMX must have gotten a really bad suit...
   451. Delorians Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4652200)
Highly recommend Mark Twain's The Dairies of Adam and Eve.

I'm thinking Eve was providing most of the dairy, especially immediately after giving birth to Cain, Abel, and Seth.
   452. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4652206)
They are alternate, separate diaries, and Twain creates pretty endearing characters, considering what he has to work with. Adam coming back from an excursion to find Eve in possession of this strange creature is pretty damn funny. Ever the scientist he tries to conduct experiments to find out what the thing is. Then he searches for another specimen. His searches take him far afield and, when he returns, she presents him with another little creature that she has found. "What luck," he exclaims. Eve convincing Adam that it wasn't her eating the apple that resulted in their expulsion from the Garden, but instead Adam's chestnut, is also vintage Twain.
   453. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4652215)
In the latest polling news, the Rasmussen Poll, which had been a distinct outlier in the Presidential Job Approval Polls (with Obama often only a couple of points down or even a point or two up since the ObamaCare rollout debacle), is now more in alignment with other polls, showing Obama at a -9; 45%-54% Approval/Disapproval rating, causing Obama's average in the RCP Presidential Job Approval Polls to again fall below 43%.
   454. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4652220)
In the latest polling news


<clap, clap, clapclapclap>
   455. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4652221)
Hey, YC, what's the latest on that Truman-MacArthur thing?
   456. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4652225)
I hope YC is getting paid to post this stuff.
   457. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4652231)
Perhaps it is the masochist in me, but I kind of like the YC poll posts. It shows what one side thinks, and shows the worst of all possible worlds. It helps set the floor on my expectations. A public service actually, and when I am not in the mood it is easy to ignore.

I must say though that if 2014 is not to be a disaster Obama will have to start having better numbers soon (where soon is the next couple of months).
   458. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4652232)
Christian Today conducted a (admittedly online) poll:

Who won the debate tonight?

Ken Ham: 8%
Bill Nye 92%


Remember, these poll numbers are not binding, unless Prop 137 passes, and we all pray that it will.
   459. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4652244)
. . . It shows what one side thinks, and shows the worst of all possible worlds. It helps set the floor on my expectations. A public service actually, and when I am not in the mood it is easy to ignore.

Actually, it isn't "what one side thinks" - it's fairly objective evidence of President Obama's popularity, or more accurately, his lack thereof. Now I understand that many here prefer to tilt at creationist straw men rather than discuss political news or developments that are unfavorable to their preferred outcomes, however it's a historical fact that mid-term elections are referendums on the sitting president. How do you think Democrats are going to do in 2014 if Obama's Job Approval Rating remains at (or below) 43%?
   460. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4652253)
Actually, it isn't "what one side thinks"


I was talking about what you think. The polls you choose to post and how they are highlighted by you - I was not talking about the polls as what you think. Sheesh, I even defended you and this is the reward I get. Poor poor me.
   461. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4652257)
I must say though that if 2014 is not to be a disaster Obama will have to start having better numbers soon (where soon is the next couple of months).

Well he could...you know....improve the country. I'm not sure that's occurred to any of his campaign people though.
   462. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4652260)
ow I understand that many here prefer to tilt at creationist straw men rather than discuss political news or developments that are unfavorable to their preferred outcomes, however it's a historical fact that mid-term elections are referendums on the sitting president.


You have been told before. Everyone here expects the GOP to gain seats in the midterms. Midterms skew old, angry and white. Always have. You're the one arguing with a strawman, numbnuts. No one here is suggesting that the GOP won't gain seats in the midterms. You're just posting this #### because you need an outlet for your cheerleading tendencies and you know it's probably best to get it out before 2016 when a larger electorate will come out and the midterm conservative skew will disappear. Again.
   463. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4652261)
Well he could...you know....improve the country. I'm not sure that's occurred to any of his campaign people though.


How? What policies might he enact as President, that would get through Congress, to improve the country? If not that, what Executive Orders might he sign instead?
   464. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4652266)
You have been told before. Everyone here expects the GOP to gain seats in the midterms.

So, I should have ignored the folks here who said Obama's poll numbers were ticking up, would continue to do so as ObamaCare's "success" became more apparent, and would be much different by Election Day 2014? Good to know. Does that mean "everyone" now expects the GOP to win the Senate, too?
   465. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4652271)
Now I understand that many here prefer to tilt at creationist straw men rather than discuss political news or developments that are unfavorable to their preferred outcomes, however it's a historical fact that mid-term elections are referendums on the sitting president. How do you think Democrats ar

They are not straw men--not at all. They are very real and very dangerous, and as worthy a subject of discussion as your RainMan dithering about one-sided political transitory trivia.
   466. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4652273)
So, I should have ignored the folks here who said Obama's poll numbers were ticking up,


Most of those people were posting to mock you. They were not making a real argument about day to day opinion polls. They were making fun of you. Because the easy targets are easy.

Does that mean "everyone" now expects the GOP to win the Senate, too?


The Senate is a toss up as best, as it has been for months. You're the only fool obsessed with daily opinion polls, Gimli. You're the only one with your head stuck so far up the GOP ass that you can't see daylight.
   467. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4652274)
I was talking about what you think. The polls you choose to post and how they are highlighted by you


And 453 is a great example

- RAS was an outlier, more favorable to Obama, showing Obama at even to -4 when everyone else had Obama at -10 to -15 or so

RAS has moved back towards the pack's position- BUT the pack has also moved towards RAS's position-

but YC only highlights the poll showing unfavorable movement away from Obama, that's his pattern he's the most relentless cherry picker I've ever seen (possibly excepting when SBB is on one of his Jack Morris kicks)
   468. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4652276)
Well he could...you know....improve the country. I'm not sure that's occurred to any of his campaign people though.

what campaign people? He's not running again.
   469. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4652279)
but YC only highlights the poll showing unfavorable movement away from Obama, that's his pattern he's the most relentless cherry picker I've ever seen
YC's trolling is metronomic. Unceasing, unchanging.
   470. spike Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4652280)
Latino Outreach, Ingraham style!

Ingraham suggested that using the term "undocumented immigrant" demonstrated a failure of Sotomayor's duty "to defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America." According to Ingraham, the word choice shows that Sotomayor's "allegiance obviously goes to her immigrant family background and not to the Constitution of the United States."

Sotomayor, of course, is a native citizen and the child of two native citizens.
   471. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4652286)
. . . but YC only highlights the poll showing unfavorable movement away from Obama, that's his pattern he's the most relentless cherry picker I've ever seen . . .

So my consistent advocacy for a seriously underrepresented position here bothers people who never seem to criticize the posts from those that consistently post from a pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view? That seems like a double standard, no?
   472. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4652291)
So my consistent advocacy for a seriously underrepresented position here bothers people who never seem to criticize the posts from those that consistently post from a pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view? That seems like a double standard, no?


So you've never seen anyone criticize Andy? Or Treder (who doesn't seem to post much anymore), or Kevin or our charming Georgian headcase?


It's not the fact that you argue from a partisan position, it's the relentless trawling for and posting of cherry-picked factoids.
   473. Lassus Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4652292)
people who never seem to criticize the posts from those that consistently post from a pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view?

Clapper, I advocated voting for a cat over a Democrat on this board recently. I said another should be barred from office in the last one. Have you ever even frowned in the general direction of a Republican around here, ever?
   474. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4652293)
Now I understand that many here prefer to tilt at creationist straw men rather than discuss political news or developments that are unfavorable to their preferred outcomes


Heh... poster, heal thyself!

Or have I missed all the polling you've posted or discussions you've engaged in regarding the popularity of the GOP, its various leaders, and policies in general?

I get you want to stick with the tried and true tactic of ALWAYS BE ON OFFENSE!!! But if it's a discussion you want, then I'd encourage you actually engage in a little retrospection and examination of your side of the aisle because it gets awfully boring to just continually comb over the same turf over and over again.

I'll even give you a topic... The GOP caucus now appears to even be backing off its just released "principles" for immigration reform and looks likely to not even bother crafting a bill. Given the terrible standing the GOP has in poll after poll of non-old white male voters, when do you foresee that being problematic? And on a policy level, is it a good idea? If not, what policy proposals from the even-now-shredded "principles" do you think could stand a chance of even making into a bill?
   475. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4652294)
Ingraham was a speaker at a conservative benefit gala I attended last fall. She completely mailed in her remarks, which were unfunny and unenlightening.
   476. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4652296)
It's not the fact that you argue from a partisan position, it's the relentless trawling for and posting of cherry-picked factoids.
Srsly. YC, it's not that you're a troll; it's that you're a boring troll.
   477. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4652297)
So my consistent advocacy for a seriously underrepresented position


BOOO Democrats!!! BOOO Obama!!!! is not a position.

It barely qualifies as a chant.
   478. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4652301)
So my consistent advocacy for a seriously underrepresented position here bothers people who never seem to criticize the posts from those that consistently post from a pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view?


No. Your laughable cherry picking of data points that support your preferred vision of how the future will be makes people designate you and your incessant carping about trivial day to day polling (and not even a full sample of it, only that which comports with your preferred narrative) to the trash bin out of hand. Your inability to do anything BUT post repetitive cherry picked poll results in a desperate attempt to create an anti-Obama narrative makes you a joke, and no one can get around that joke until you get around the root cause of it. To repeat: virtually every regular in this thread acknowledges the likely GOP skew of the upcoming midterms. You're arguing with a ghost, in much the same way you're tilting at windmills with this "pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view" nonsense. The fact that few of us fall in line with the insanity that is the current GOP doesn't make you a poor, put upon victim of groupthink, Jimbo.
   479. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4652304)
o you've never seen anyone criticize Andy? Or Treder (who doesn't seem to post much anymore), or Kevin or our charming Georgian headcase?


I do appreciate that I get my own special designation as "headcase," so I'm not confused with either of the mainstream parties. That's progress.
   480. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4652314)
Or have I missed all the polling you've posted or discussions you've engaged in regarding the popularity of the GOP, its various leaders, and policies in general?

Am I the only one allowed to post polls? Nothing is stopping other people from posting polling news that they consider more accurate or more favorable to their point of view. Others used to post quite a few poll results, but they seem to have stopped. That seems to have been when the polls started tilting toward the GOP. What a surprise. And more directly to the point, Presidential Job Approval polling has been shown to correlate with mid-term election results, Congressional popularity polling has not.

To correct a few misstatements others have made, I don't post daily polls, just those I find interesting. Obama's sharp drop in the Rasmussen Poll seems newsworthy to me, and those that don't want to hear the "bad news" are the ones sticking their head in the sand. As far as cherry-picking, I always provide a link to the poll cited, and usually reference the RCP poll average to provide further context, so that's pretty much the opposite of cherry-picking. It is laughable that folks think there is too much pro-GOP posting here. You're embarrassing yourselves.
   481. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4652320)
But - the core problem is that number wields a far, far too outsized degree of influence in society. They run - and win, and sit - on school boards. That reach extends beyond just local schoolboards - textbook companies and other various curricula development industries are still just "industries", which means they'll chase the dollars... so when this nonsense makes into, say, the Texas school curriculum, it inevitably worms its way into say, Vermont books, too.


A little while ago I read a piece on what foreigners who spent some time living in the US viewed as the major differences between here and their home countries. One person specifically highlighted the fact that Creationists have real political power here instead of being a generally ignored minority back home and at least one other person was surprised at the huge influence religion has here.

Edit: Here it is. It's well worth reading the whole thing.
   482. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4652321)
So my consistent advocacy for a seriously underrepresented position here bothers people who never seem to criticize the posts from those that consistently post from a pro-Obama, pro-Democratic Party point of view? That seems like a double standard, no?


Dude, I defended your posts. Me! Liberal guy.

I kind of like the YC poll posts


And then I agreed with your general thrust.

I must say though that if 2014 is not to be a disaster Obama will have to start having better numbers soon (where soon is the next couple of months).


And now, after attacking me for being semi-supportive you are whining? Climb down off the cross buddy. Sheesh. You want most people to think you are not boring, I suggest being less boring.

In the meantime I still gain a glimpse into the GOP id through your posts and use them to see the what the worst possible version of opinion against Team Blue is, so I find value in them.
   483. Tilden Katz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4652322)
Why is RCP polling average fine when its relatively few data points 10 months before an election, but needs to be "unskewed" when it's exponentially more in the days leading up to an election? You were able to presto chango those 2012 poll numbers into Romney winning by well over 100 EV's. You're just as guilty of the hypocrisy you're accusing everyone else of.
   484. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4652327)
You're just as guilty of the hypocrisy you're accusing everyone else of.


who here are you accusing of this?
   485. Tilden Katz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4652329)
who here are you accusing of this?


Sorry...YC.
   486. spike Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4652331)
nm
   487. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4652333)
who here are you accusing of this?
I'd like to think this is meant for every Primate, in this thread and not.
   488. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4652344)
A little while ago I read a piece on what foreigners who spent some time living in the US viewed as the major differences between here and their home countries. One person specifically highlighted the fact that Creationists have real political power here instead of being a generally ignored minority back home and at least one other person was surprised at the huge influence religion has here.

Edit: Here it is. It's well worth reading the whole thing.


Actually, this makes me feel pretty good (and proud) of my country--except for the comments about our religiousness: there, we're completely demented.
   489. Lassus Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4652346)
It is laughable that folks think there is too much pro-GOP posting here. You're embarrassing yourselves.

What's both laughable and embarrassing is that you think this is anyone's complaint.
   490. Guapo Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4652353)
Others used to post quite a few poll results, but they seem to have stopped. That seems to have been when the polls started tilting toward the GOP. What a surprise.


Polls are tilting toward the GOP?

   491. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4652362)
Am I the only one allowed to post polls? Nothing is stopping other people from posting polling news that they consider more accurate or more favorable to their point of view. Others used to post quite a few poll results, but they seem to have stopped. That seems to have been when the polls started tilting toward the GOP. What a surprise. And more directly to the point, Presidential Job Approval polling has been shown to correlate with mid-term election results, Congressional popularity polling has not.

To correct a few misstatements others have made, I don't post daily polls, just those I find interesting. Obama's sharp drop in the Rasmussen Poll seems newsworthy to me, and those that don't want to hear the "bad news" are the ones sticking their head in the sand. As far as cherry-picking, I always provide a link to the poll cited, and usually reference the RCP poll average to provide further context, so that's pretty much the opposite of cherry-picking. It is laughable that folks think there is too much pro-GOP posting here. You're embarrassing yourselves.


I thought you said you wanted a "discussion"... it sounds like what you want is a facebook wall.
   492. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4652375)
Edit: Here it is. It's well worth reading the whole thing.

I like how one of them is actually about a Chilean moving to Canada. But for the purposes of his comments (or rather his spouse's relation of his comments) it may as well be America.
   493. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4652381)
I thought you said you wanted a "discussion"... it sounds like what you want is a facebook wall.

If you read the posts that follow #453 it should be obvious who is avoiding the "discussion" - at least of how Obama's popularity will affect the mid-term elections. I realize folks here, or at least the ultra-partisan Democrats, much prefer to focus on their own predictions of inevitable Republican decline, but this is an election year. That may have more to say about the future than many seem willing to concede.
   494. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4652394)

If you read the posts that follow #453 it should be obvious who is avoiding the "discussion" - at least of how Obama's popularity will affect the mid-term elections. I realize folks here, or at least the ultra-partisan Democrats, much prefer to focus on their own predictions of inevitable Republican decline, but this is an election year. That may have more to say about the future than many seem willing to concede.


Clapper is feeling happy. :-)

Like | Comment | Share | posted 28 minutes ago near OTP thread
   495. spike Posted: February 05, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4652401)
I wonder who got the role in the facebook movie - Jimmy Stewart or Gary Cooper?
   496. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4652430)
This seems sexist - Realistic Statue of Man in Underwear Sparks Controversy at Wellesley College:
A realistic-looking statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear near the center of Wellesley College has created a stir among the women on campus, especially as more than 100 students at the all-women’s college signed a petition asking administrators to remove it.

Rather appalling how eager some are to censor others. But was a Primate the model for the statue?
   497. Morty Causa Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4652434)
Nah, the underwear looks clean.
   498. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4652438)
But a nice looking Mohawk haircut.
   499. zonk Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4652439)
This is pretty underhanded -- in fact, it's pretty much the very definition of "phishing"...

There's a Florida special election next month that former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is running in (FL-13, open following the death of Republican Bill Young). It's a swingy district (R+1) - and Sink is up in the polling.

The RNCC -- that's the official congressional committee itself -- registered the domain http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com. That in and of itself isn't all that unusual - DNS reservations and squatting is a time-honored tradition in digital politics. The Democrats have registered Jollyforcongress.com, for example.

But that's where things get awfully sleazy... you'll notice the subdomain "contribute"... and while no one landing on the Jollyforcongress.com site is going to in any way be fooled into thinking they're reading a pro-Jolly site -- check out the RNC's fake "Sink" site... it's a contribution page and if you don't read the small, innocuous looking text right under the big "Alex Sink" and "Congress" closely -- you'd never know your donation is actually going to the RNCC.

Google chrome actually flags it as a phishing site...

If this congressional election thing doesn't work out, maybe the RNC can outsource its online services to random hackers.

   500. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4652445)
But that's where things get awfully sleazy... you'll notice the subdomain "contribute"... and while no one landing on the Jollyforcongress.com site is going to in any way be fooled into thinking they're reading a pro-Jolly site -- check out the RNC's fake "Sink" site... it's a contribution page and if you don't read the small, innocuous looking text right under the big "Alex Sink" and "Congress" closely -- you'd never know your donation is actually going to the RNCC.

It looks like that page has 6 different sizes/types of fonts. The language that says "Make a Contribution Today to Help Defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her" [emphasis added] is in the second largest type. It's hardly small or innocuous, as others have noted, including this Democratic leaning election law expert who notes:
I find it hard to believe too many people are being fooled by these ads. Before one would donate, it seems pretty clear it is a donation to the Republican Party.
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