Wanna Be An Expert Poll Analyst?

It is that time in the political cycle when polls are a daily occurrence…..this is how the system makes people think about voting and the candidates…..

But how can all these polls be read and understood?

I can help you with that and at the same time I can be the FYI blog……this is the suggestions from fivethirtyeight.com…..

Check the pollster’s track record. Some pollsters have long-standing reputations for accuracy, and others are more error-prone. You can check which are which using the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings, which assign (most) pollsters a letter grade based on their historical accuracy and whether they follow best practices in their methodologies. In our view, the “gold standard” of polling methodology is using live phone interviewers, calling cell phones as well as landlines, and participating in the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative or the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archive.2 These gold-standard polls tend to be the most accurate, although there are exceptions — some online pollsters, like YouGov, are quite reliable as well. If a pollster doesn’t show up in our pollster ratings, it’s probably new on the scene, which means you should treat it with more caution because it doesn’t have an established track record we can judge; at worst, it might even be fake. (If you’re not sure if a pollster is trustworthy and want us to do some investigating, feel free to email us at polls@fivethirtyeight.com.)

  • Avoid comparisons between pollsters. Anytime you see a new poll, check to see what the pollster said previously before declaring that the race has shifted. Some pollsters consistently overestimate one candidate or party relative to what other pollsters find, a phenomenon called “house effects.” Similarly, especially for non-horse-race polls, pollsters often word the same questions in different ways — for example, asking someone’s opinion about “Obamacare” can yield different results from asking about “the Affordable Care Act” — which makes direct comparisons difficult.
  • Note who’s being polled. For elections, polls of likely voters tend to be more accurate than polls of registered voters, which in turn tend to be more accurate than polls of adults. That said, many pollsters won’t start surveying likely voters until the fall, and registered-voter polls are perfectly good substitutes until then — just be aware that the results may be a few points too Democratic. And polls of adults have their place too — such as when you want to know how the entire nation feels about something, like the coronavirus.
  • Pay attention to the margin of error. Reputable polls will always include a margin of error or confidence interval — it’ll look something like “± 3 points.” This reflects that polls can’t be exact, but they do promise to be within a certain number of percentage points (in this example, 3 points) almost all of the time (the industry standard is 95 percent of the time). In practical terms, that means that if a poll puts President Trump’s approval rating at 42 percent with a 3-point margin of error, his approval rating could be anything from 39 percent to 45 percent. Note that, in head-to-head polls, the margin of error applies to each candidate’s vote share, so if the same poll gave Trump 46 percent and gave former Vice President Joe Biden 51 percent, Trump could actually be leading 49 percent to 48 percent. (Though he could also be trailing with 43 percent to Biden’s 54, or fall anywhere in between those extremes.)
  • Consider the source. Partisan groups, or even campaigns themselves, will sometimes release their own polls, but of course, they have an ulterior motive in doing so: Make their side look good. On average, these “internal polls” tend to be about 4 or 5 percentage points too favorable to their sponsor, so don’t take them at face value. Be extra skeptical of internal polls that don’t release full methodological details, like the name of the pollster or the dates of the poll. Similarly, partisan media outlets may exaggerate their side’s standing by extensively covering good polls for their candidate while ignoring bad ones. Even mainstream news outlets can mislead, albeit in a different way: They may be tempted to overhype polls they conduct themselves (e.g., calling it a “shock poll” even if it’s not that shocking) in order to get clicks.
  • If a poll has an odd result, there might be a reason for it. Check the poll’s wording — is it accurate and unbiased? For example, some campaigns will release polls showing their candidate doing better after respondents hear a positive statement about them. Check when the poll was conducted; the survey may reflect an outdated reality or have been taken after some major event (e.g., a major military victory) that temporarily swayed public opinion. Even something as basic as the order in which questions are asked can affect the results; for example, if a poll is mostly focused on immigration but then asks about the presidential matchup, respondents may subconsciously choose the candidate they feel is best on immigration, not necessarily whom they support overall.
  • That said, don’t try to outguess or “unskew” the polls. People who pick apart a poll by claiming it has, say, too many Democrats or too few black voters in its sample are generally wasting their time (and they usually have an agenda). Polls are almost always weighted to match their target population’s demographics, such as race and age. This doesn’t mean all pollsters assign weights in the same way, though, and there are practices like weighting by education on which the industry is split. Not weighting by education likely contributed to some of the most consequential polling errors of 2016, and many pollsters have now begun to factor education into their weighting, but others are still holding out. In an era when graduating from college has a significant bearing on white people’s political preferences, we recommend putting more stock in polls that weight by education than those that don’t. (On the other hand, weighting by partisanship, an idea that’s received some attention lately, is dicey3 and not something most pollsters do. That’s because party identification, unlike many demographic traits, is fluid, so setting it as a constant risks predetermining the poll’s outcome.)
  • Heed averages, not outliers. If a poll’s result differs from every other poll, treat it with caution. Although an outlier poll can sometimes represent the beginning of a new trend (especially after a major event like a debate), they’re usually just flukes. Instead, we recommend looking at an average of the polls, which will more accurately reflect the polling consensus.
  • In the aggregate, polls are pretty accurate but not perfect. Since 2000, polls of presidential general elections taken within 21 days of Election Day have a weighted average error4 of 4.0 points. (Polls of Senate, House and gubernatorial races have slightly higher historical error.) That means you can trust the polling average to get pretty close to the final result, but it will rarely nail the election exactly. When an election is close enough that a normal-sized polling error could change who wins, prepare yourself for either outcome.
  • Polls are snapshots, not predictions. Even if a poll is a perfectly accurate measure of what would happen if the election were held today, things can always change between now and Election Day. Early general-election polls have been pretty predictive in the last few presidential elections, but with huge uncertainty surrounding major issues like the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, we don’t know if that will hold true this year. In general, polls gradually become more accurate the closer you get to the election.

Follow these steps set up by fivethirtyeight.com and you too can be an expert and political analysis.

If you would like the article to check my post……https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-read-2020-polls-like-a-pro/

The most important one is the last one…..polls are a snapshot……not a prediction……but yet the media reads so much into the polls…..makes for good and continuous speculation.

Look at this week…Biden is winning by far in the national polls…..which is good news if you are Biden supporter….but is it all that good?

The respected stats site FiveThirtyEight.com is out with its first batch of polling averages for the presidential election, and it’s good news for Joe Biden—at least on the surface. Biden is up 50.5% to 41.3% nationally, and he also leads in nearly all the swing states. But Nate Silver points out that Biden’s lead in many of those swing states is not as great as it is in the national polls. In Minnesota, for example, Biden is up by 6.6 points, less than his 9.2-point margin nationally. The upshot: If the polls tighten, Trump could again lose the popular vote but win via the Electoral College.

“While a Biden landslide is possible if he wins all these swing states, so is a Trump Electoral College victory, depending on which way the race moves between now and November,” writes Silver. At Politico, Steven Shepard writes about another issue that may favor Trump: the unreliability of state polls. The Trump campaign maintains that polls this year, as in 2016, are underestimating the president’s support. And the campaign “has a point,” writes Shepard. One example: People with more education are more likely to fill out these surveys, and they’re also more likely to vote Democratic. But the polls again may be undercounting others, particularly lower-income white voters who favor Trump.

You are now capable of reading polls and getting the most information out of them without the use of your favorite news media…..try it you may just like it.

Plus do not trust all the polls….do your own research and pick a candidate from knowledge and information not some popularity contest.

Think 2016 and just how badly all the polls were in predicting the outcome.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“Illiberal” Democracy On The Horizon

I know there is lots of speculation about the direction of this country now and in the future.

First of all…”Illiberal”…against liberal principles(that is the political philosophy not some political party)…..

Personally I feel that this nation is approaching this tipping point for it has already begun….

Consider the following:

  • A coordinated mobilization of armed militias threatens elected officials in Democratic states, with open White House backing;
  • The most powerful member of the national legislature interferes in judicial appointments to gain his party permanent dominance over this branch of government;
  • A top official who has admitted his guilt in a major breach of national security is released from prosecution by the nation’s chief judicial officer.

The biggest threat to our republic is the loss of an independent judiciary…….

For good reason, many people will snort at the notion that the U.S. has ever lived up to the core premises of liberal democracy: the rule of law applied equally to all citizens; majority rule through free and fair elections. As the author of “Why the United States is Not a True Democracy, Parts 1 and 2,” I can hardly disagree! Majorities do not rule in this country. Basic citizenship rights, whether the right to vote or to be secure in one’s own person, are routinely violated by local and state governments.

But it could get much worse if Trump wins again. In a second Trump administration, with Republicans controlling the Senate and the federal court system, it is more than possible that the U.S. will move sharply towards illiberal democracy.

An “Illiberal Democracy” if Trump Wins Again

And there is a way to fight this possible coming storm….but not as long as the people are too goddamn lazy to look beyond their news organization….those the echo their biases and hatreds.

Look beyond the “divide and conquer” mentality of ignorance.

It is hard to see the signal amid the noise in the best of times, but the everyday chatter is especially difficult to comprehend in times of war, disaster, and infectious outbreak. Imagine a game of broken telephone with billions of speed-of-light internet connections – chances are the message will look nothing like the original at the other end, touched up by systemic misfirings and our own bias. But can we separate truth from pixie dust, fact from fiction? Can any of us agree if the sky is or is not falling?

To Divide and Conquer: Science, News, and Hate in the Age of Instant Media

But not to worry there are some Americans that want this so they can discriminate…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Redefine!

As we get closer to the election in 2020 the MSM will continue to define the candidates as Left or Right and in some cases Centrists…l.all this defining is just a ploy to drive the conversation and to define the country politically as they see fit.

I am what use to be called a “Hard Leftist” and some people call Trump a Rightist and people like Biden as a “Centrist”…..all this needs a redefining program….none of the old definitions are accurate in these troubling times.

One of the most persistent—and destructive—myths in politics is that America is a center right country politically.  It is reinforced by both parties, the press, and pundits and it has become generally accepted by much of the public.  This myth explains why folks warn against going too far to the left; about the dangers of embracing—gasp—”socialism,” and why most attempts to divine the “electability” of the multitude of candidates in the Democratic race are misguided at best.

For example, from the center right, New York Times columnist and NPR commentator David Brooks said:

According to a recent Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent call themselves moderate and 26 percent call themselves liberal. The candidates at the debates this week fall mostly within the 26 percent. The party seems to think it can win without any of the 35 percent of us in the moderate camp, the ones who actually delivered the 2018 midterm win.

First of all, any objective analysis of the 2018 midterms shows it was progressive candidates and voters who delivered the win.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/03/its-time-redefine-left-right-and-especially-center-us-politics

I agree this redefining is needed….I hate that moderates are calling themselves progressive these days and fascists are calling themselves conservative.

As a lifelong “Leftist” I despise the comparisons the media and ill-informed bloggers makes these days……they are defining who YOU are and you are allowing them to do so.

NOT ME!

Time to stand up for who you are!

“lego ergo scribo”

We Need New Rules Of Engagement

This is not my take on something foreign policy or one of our many wars….but rather the pundits on the Tube that are doing everything but what we need them to do.

I am an old fart and I always believed that the media should be neutral and give all sides to a story….I was naive back in my early informative years.  Even before corporations could own media outlets (thanx Bill Clinton) outlets were controlled by corporations through advertising dollars….now they just own them outright and their bias is f*cking obvious.

I am think that most pundits are soulless assholes that their principles are for sale to the highest bidder….that is NOT what this post is about…..

Nope!  This opinion is about these pundits, no matter which network they work for, hawking their books and personal appearances…..book signings, band dates, speeches and seminars…..plus most have reverted to their days in Congress….that is work 3 days off 4 with long breaks in between their non-work.

This crap has nothing to do with the news of the day…..pushing their personal books or those of the parents is sad and disgusting.  Pushing their seminars is also.

If they need these things to supplement their pay then maybe they should step back and look at their expenditures….or re-negotiate their very lucrative appearance contracts.

Then there is the subject of the Summer…..that of electability….who can best beat Trump……in other words screw principles it is about the win not the nation.

What is being said about the Great Lie of Electability…….https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/electability-the-lie-that-keeps-on-giving/

All that aside…..there are a wealth of ambitious proposals from every candidate…..the problem I have is they never tell me how they will set about getting these plans through the blockade in DC.

Then there is the lying toad of the DNC, Tom Perez, who tells how they try to protect the Dem candidates…and yet they spend millions protect Biden and not so much the other candidates.

We need to get the big money trolls out of the DNC….the Clintonians.

No one acknowledges the partisan crap that is the nation’s capital……no wants to admit that promises are just hollow words thrown at the voter during elections.

When one of these candidates has a plan for getting these programs into action then I shall give them my vote…..but until then……

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Here Come The Ladies!

2020 will be an interesting election….there will be more women running than ever before. (I will give my analysis a bit later in the post)

Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge”—four or more women running for president in 2020, the AP reports. To many activists, that means a field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc. But the prospect of multiple women in the race also presents obstacles, with no single candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The women’s vote, and groups that provide financial and grassroots support, could split. Looming over it all is persistent gender bias and the question of whether Americans are ready to elect a female president. “We do realize there’s still sexism in this country, and what we’re trying to do is change minds,” says EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group aids the campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights.

In the early days of the Democratic primary, leaders of many advocacy organizations are thrilled that so many women are seeking the presidency, but are not backing any particular candidate. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month became the first woman to launch a presidential exploratory effort, joined shortly afterward by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also are considering running. Among those candidates, Gillibrand is particularly vocal in invoking her gender as a driver of her campaign, while Warren’s campaign has emphasized economic inequity. So is gender still a problem for candidates? “Because there are so many women running, it doesn’t totally inoculate women from sexism, but it does provide some guardrails,” says a gender-equality activist.

(Amy has weighed in after this draft was written)

I think it is great that so many women are running but that does not mean that I think any would make a good president.

Warren…a populist message but I am not convinced that she is all that progressive.

Amy…..corporate shill

Kamala……resume padder

Gillibrand….another Clinton-esque corporate shill

Tulsi……seems to be a true progressive and an antiwar person (she is the closest to an antiwar candidate so this will probably get my vote)

Did I forget anyone?

Let us not forget a passing word for the men running…..

Castro……a DNC construct…..too ambitious

Booker…..a media savvy and a corporate shill….a made for TV candidate.

Some guy with a name NO ONE can pronounce….who knows?

And for God sake do not forget the media favorite….BETO!

I am sure there is more to come and my worthless analysis will follow.

Pick a candidate and vote!

The Coming Democratic Candidates

The long awaited 2020 election is speeding to a conclusion…..each month the events seem to speed up….after 700+ days of Trump all eyes look to the next election.

So far we have 4 announced Democratic candidates for the presidency….and more in the wings waiting for the best time to announce….we are doing good we have 4 women, one Hispanic and counting (as they say…whoever “they” are)……

The fun thing is that the Dems in 2020 will look like the GOP field in 2016…crowded…and some good ideas will be lost in the rush to the front runner position.

But so far the field has many prospects and all have a track record to run on not like the GOP of old.

For fun the site fivethirtyeight.com has a list of the Dems and how they will be broken down…..I know it is early but it will be fun to see just how accurate the site is this time around.

So for the 2020 Democratic nomination, we’ve resolved to entertain multiple hypotheses about the contest simultaneously. Perhaps the party will decide, and so we should be looking at how much support each candidate has from party elites. Perhaps the candidate most dissimilar to Trump will win, and so we should be evaluating the candidates based on that criteria. Perhaps the primary is just so hard to forecast that you might as well look at the polling, crude as it might be. (It has more predictive power than you might think.)

We’ll see. But we nonetheless think that (despite its mixed success in 2016) the coalition-building model is also a useful tool, especially if we make a few tweaks to how we applied it four years ago.

Just as with the Republicans in 2016, the concept this time around involves considering five key groups of Democratic voters. Here are those groups:

  1. Party Loyalists
  2. The Left
  3. Millennials and Friends
  4. Black voters
  5. Hispanic voters (sometimes in combination with Asian voters)

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-5-key-constituencies-of-the-2020-democratic-primary/

The field keeps expanding and the diversity of the Party will be brought forward…….but is it really a diversified group?

The country wants “new” candidates….we are tired of the same promises and the same lies and the same inaction….we want “new blood” for DC….

A new USA Today national poll shockingly showed that Democratic voters and Democratic leaning independents overwhelmingly prefer “someone entirely new” to any of the current field of potential presidential candidates. This cannot be for lack of choices; there are potentially four times the number of candidates lining up at the starting gate as the most recent Democratic presidential primary.

Yes, this is one poll, but maybe we should refuse to dismiss voter feedback too easily.

Lots of woman announced and some waiting…..but what will this uptick in gender equality could mean to politics…..

Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge”—four or more women running for president in 2020, the AP reports. To many activists, that means a field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc. But the prospect of multiple women in the race also presents obstacles, with no single candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The women’s vote, and groups that provide financial and grassroots support, could split. Looming over it all is persistent gender bias and the question of whether Americans are ready to elect a female president. “We do realize there’s still sexism in this country, and what we’re trying to do is change minds,” says EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group aids the campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights.

In the early days of the Democratic primary, leaders of many advocacy organizations are thrilled that so many women are seeking the presidency, but are not backing any particular candidate. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month became the first woman to launch a presidential exploratory effort, joined shortly afterward by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also are considering running. Among those candidates, Gillibrand is particularly vocal in invoking her gender as a driver of her campaign, while Warren’s campaign has emphasized economic inequity. So is gender still a problem for candidates? “Because there are so many women running, it doesn’t totally inoculate women from sexism, but it does provide some guardrails,” says a gender-equality activist.

Questions Asked….Waiting For Answers!

Learn Stuff!

Isolationism? Fascism?

In the days of Hillary and her pundits on the tube we were lead to believe that Trump was an isolationist……those incessant babbling from the pundits and what happened?

It’s nearly impossible to read major newspapers, magazines, or online publications in recent months without encountering a plethora of articles contending that the United States is turning inward and “going alone,” “abandoning Washington’s global leadership role” or “retreating from the world.” These trends supposedly herald the arrival of a new “isolationism.” The chief villain in all of these worrisome developments is, of course, Donald Trump. There is just one problem with such arguments; they are vastly overstated bordering on utterly absurd.

President Trump is not embracing his supposed inner isolationist. The policy changes that he has adopted regarding both security and international economic issues do not reflect a desire to decrease Washington’s global hegemonic status. Instead, they point to a more unilateral and militaristic approach, but one that still envisions a hyper-activist U.S. role.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/where-trumps-alleged-isolationism-32996

I admit that I do not like many of Trump’s foreign policies but as an analyst I just do not see a lean toward isolationism……just another broken promise?

Then there are those that kept saying that the election of Trump and some of his policies were ushering in a time of fascism in the US……actually the calls for fascism were loudest in Europe from the pundits……what happened?

Were fascism to ascend again in Europe, international security would be menaced and the liberal international order be even more imperilled. However, Europe’s current far-right parties fail to meet the minimum fascist criteria.

Just as the taxonomy of European far-right parties is not settled, there is no unanimously agreed definition of 1930s fascism. Differences over generic fascism or a recognisable fascist ideology punctuate the scholarly literature.

Even the two fascist exemplars, Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany, had important differences as well as similarities. However, the fascist movements that arose after 1918 and their shallow imitators—like Franco’s Spain and the Romanian Iron Guard—can be distinguished from today’s far-right movements.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/10/10/fascism_has_not_returned_113881.html

To be honest I could find fascism in the policies of Reagan and both Bush….just as those “people” on the Right want to find aspects of the Dems that they think smacks of socialism…..

These two stories were nothing more than sensationalism and speculation that drives the MSM these days….

Turn The Page!

Closing Thought–15Oct18

I know that it is October….but stop and think about the incidents and events that were reported in September…A new book, an anonymous Op-Ed and an Obama speech in the first seven days of September appeared to reveal dangerous insider moves against a dangerous, but constitutionally elected president.

An interesting piece written in Consortium News…..

In the first seven days of September efforts to manage and perhaps oust a constitutionally elected president were stunningly made public,  raising complex questions about America’s vaunted democratic system.

What unfolded appears reminiscent of the novel and film Seven Days in May: the story of an attempted military coup against a U.S. president who sought better relations with Russia. The fictional president was based on the real one, John F. Kennedy, who opened the White House in 1963 to director John Frankenheimer to film the only scenes of a Hollywood movie ever made there.

Kennedy was well aware of the Pentagon brass’ political fury after his refusal to proceed with a full-scale assault against Cuba in the Bay of Pigs operation. It was compounded by his desire for detente with Moscow after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Kennedy expressed forcefully in his seminal American University address, five months before his death.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/10/03/seven-days-in-september/

If nothing else watch the embedded video……

We are making history day after day…a history that we will eventually try to run away from….people like me will not let that happen…I will keep reminding the voter just how important it is to vote for issues and not slogans or promises.

 

New Politics, Old Ideas

As we keep an eye on yet another hurricane…this one is named Michael……and we wait to see……

The mid-terms are upon us and the so-called “blue wave” and we have a crop of “new faces” for the election……and some are even calling it a New Left.

Personally I think that is so much garbage to sell papers….there are very few new ideas just new faces on the Left….but that does not make it a change of direction.

Several articles on this subject……

Remember the “libertarian moment?” Not so long ago, commentariat from Reason magazine to the opinion pages of The New York Timesnoted a resurgence of libertarian ideas, driven by economic and technological fragmentation of power, and by the rise of a new generation of libertarian candidates such as the Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Yet the “libertarian moment” has not ushered in a new golden age of free-market thinking and innovative market-based policies. The Tea Party movement, of which the “libertarian moment” now seems an epiphenomenon, radicalized the Republican base into demanding ever-more extreme measures only to create a zombie—Donald Trump—whom nobody could control.

The bourgeoning “democratic socialism” on the Left carries echoes of the Tea Party movement. Both may seem refreshing after decades of groupthink and complacency in the political center. But neither is offering genuinely new ideas or a coherent governing strategy.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/09/11/radical-politics-old-ideas/

More information…….

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2018-08-13/brand-new-left-same-old-problems

Will the “Blue Wave” change anything?

Americans across the country will be bracing for the coming Blue Wave; a self-induced disaster that will outpace even the climate change induced storms sweeping the country. The Blue Wave is inevitable as the inaction on climate change that will come with it. Democrats feel entitled to fill more seats with hot air now that the Not-So-Great Pumpkin is an international embarrassment. Donald Trump’s speech to the U.N. was similarly full of hot air, despite the encouraging words against globalization. Trump wants less foreign aid, diplomacy and immigration. But he also wants more war and handouts for the global elites. Add this all up and it’s a pitiful resistance to the devastation to working people that globalization has caused across the globe.

Down with the globalists! Trump says he was being funny on purpose. But Trump is never funny, and he never does anything on purpose. But he is right. Down with the globalists! The words may be hallow but they are correct.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/28/the-blue-wave-is-awash-with-hypocrisy/

Of course when we talk about a New Left……the minds will go to Democratic Socialism…..which I do not agree with….but to get my readers caught up…….

Occasionally a phrase supports a wide range of political posturing while bearing little determinable relationship to actionable politics. ‘Income inequality’ is one of these phrases. Few using it are communists, a politics that recognizes concentrated economic power as both cause and effect in the skewed distribution of income and wealth. And the entire point of capitalism is the concentration of these that functions as (circular) proof of the social utility created by capitalists. As corollary to American democracy, the phrase ignores centuries of evidence that political power is determined by economic power.

Of current relevance is its place in the programs of Democratic Socialism, a rebranding of New Deal type social welfare programs that proponents (I am one) apparently intend to fit into existing American political economy. As one of ‘a multiplicity of tactics,’ the lives of the poorer 90% of the country could be vastly improved by Medicare for all, Federal government funded college educations and a job guarantee that pays a living wage and benefits. However, the improbability that Western capitalists, particularly American capitalists, will loosen their grip to facilitate functional versions of these programs was better understood in the late nineteenth century than it is today.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/28/democratic-socialism-and-political-power/

We will know one way or the other the first of next year…..

Closing Thought-30Apr18

When you turn your TV on to your favorite news channel you get very little actually news and a whole lot of opinion……and every day a whole line up of experts to ask questions to and allow to give their paid opinion….we see lots of “experts without expertise”……

The strong ratings of the first episode of the revived Roseanne set off an avalanche of commentary. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, for instance, John Podhoretz, a columnist for the New York Post, called the show’s success a “wakeup call for Hollywood.” Given how well it had done in Middle America, he said, the lesson was clear: for those who serve underserved Donald Trump voters, there are “riches to be reaped.”

Anand Giridharadas, a Brooklyn-based writer and MSNBC analyst, saw a broader truth: “Working-class white people may claim to be against identity politics, but they actually crave identity politics.” They want to be “seen and witnessed” in the same way that women and people of color do. With its glimpses of Maxwell House coffee and kitchen towels stitched with football logos, the show made an effort to pay respect to the details “of a certain demographic’s life.”

This is the problem I have with most news organizations……there are a couple of “fake” experts that give a fake look to several very serious subjects.

Plus there have been terrible comparisons that are nothing more than a variation of “fake news”……

After the justified uproar over pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcast Group forcing its scores of affiliates to humiliate themselves by reading an on-air script condemning “misleading” news, one would think other media outlets would be a little more careful not to mimic such behavior. Nonetheless, MSNBC—which rightfully tore into Sinclair Broadcast (4/2/18) for having its news reporters read off a corporate script—did a toned-down version of the same thing last Friday on Morning Joe (4/20/18).

Comcast corporate forced its nominally independent pundits and news anchors of Morning Joe to air a cultish 8-minute commercial for Comcast’s “Comcast Cares Day,” the lowlight of which was MSNBC host Al Sharpton comparing Comcast to Nelson Mandela:

“This is, I think, the way we can bring the world to where Mandela wanted us, where corporations don’t become expansive and influential just for personal wealth, but for a purpose, so that we have the ability to do good.”

http://theantimedia.com/comcast-msnbc-nelson-mandela/

It is no secret that I have been a staunch critic of the corporate media……where news is just propaganda.