Tag: Polls

I So Wish that Sanders Were the Nominee

Elon Musk, welfare queen and libertarian, decided to go after Bernie Sanders’ proposal for a wealth tax, Sanders notes that most of Musk’s wealth is from government subsidies. (Literally, Tesla would not have generated a penny of profit without the various subsidies that it has benefited from and resold)

Elon Musk believes that everyone should have the initiative that he had, and inherit an emerald mine:

Bernie Sanders showed Friday he isn’t afraid to call out hypocrisy – particularly when it comes from someone like Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk on Friday tweeted out a meme critical of Sanders and his brand of socialism. The tweet was in response to an article about a bill Sanders introduced Thursday that would place a 60% tax on the wealth gained by billionaires such as Musk during the coronavirus pandemic. The meme, dubbed the “Official Bernie Sanders drinking game!” showed a picture of Sanders along with the text: “Every time the Bernster mentions a free government program, chug somebody else’s beer.”

Sanders, who’s no neophyte when it comes to defending his leftist views and programs, wasn’t about to back down from such criticism. In a tweeted response, he called out Musk for benefiting to the tune of billions of dollars from government subsidies and linked to an article from The Los Angeles Times that detailed the assistance Musk and his companies have received.

“Every time Elon Musk pokes fun at government assistance for the 99%, remember that he would be worth nothing without $US4.9 billion in corporate welfare,” Sanders wrote. “Oh, Elon just l-o-v-e-s corporate socialism for himself, rugged capitalism for everyone else.”

Elon Musk is one disfiguring accident away from being a super-villain.

The Polls Do Not Matter Here

This does not matter.

The politics of the matter is that whenever the Democrats act like cowards, (Spoiler, most of them are cowards) it neutralizes their generally popular policy initiatives, because people do not believe that cowards will keep their promises.

Also, it is clear that Trump has committed impeachable offenses, obstruction of justice, abuse of office to harass opponents, attempted bribery, etc.

In a conference call with House Democrats this weekend, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her case for impeachment by pointing to some recent polls.

“I will only close by saying, the polls have changed drastically about this,” Pelosi said, as she laid out her plans for moving forward with impeachment, according to an aide on the call. While there are only a few new polls on the subject, and their findings certainly have the potential to fluctuate, early surveys back up Pelosi’s point.

Since House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry last Tuesday, support for impeachment has grown, according to polls from Politico/Morning Consult, HuffPost/YouGov, NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist, CBS News/YouGov, and Quinnipiac.

These shifts suggest that public sentiment could continue to change as the inquiry proceeds. Such increases in support could bode well for Democratic leaders, who have been reluctant to pursue impeachment out of concerns that negative public sentiment may hurt the party’s chances of keeping the House majority.

The narrow investigation currently being mooted is not a good idea:  You need to show the deep and pervasive corruption that permeates the Trump administration at all levels.

The alternative is to pass bills that never get a hearing in the Senate.

Also, Proctological Exams and IRS Audits Far Exceed Cable in Customer Satisfaction

Not a surprise. I would have higher consumer satisfaction ratings that cable companies if I sold people radioactive asbestos kale salads:

There’s just something about terrible customer service, high prices, and sketchy quality product that consumers oddly don’t like. American consumers’ dislike of traditional cable TV providers was once again made clear this week in a study by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which, as its name implies, tracks US consumer approval of companies on a 100 point scale. As has long been the case, the full report shows most traditional cable TV, satellite, or IPTV providers languishing somewhere in the mid 60s — scores that are bested by a long line of industries and government agencies (including the IRS).

Not too surprisingly, the report shows that American consumers far prefer streaming video alternatives, which provide them with lower costs and greater package flexibility. According to the ACSI, streaming services scored significantly higher than traditional TV, phone, broadband, video on demand, and wireless providers:

People hate their cable companies, and they do so with good reason.

It’s not for nothing that Comcast had to rebrand itself as Xfinity.

Dealing with cable company customer service is less pleasant than Dick Cheney scat porn.  (Not seen, not gonna see, not gonna Google it.)

Oh No, Not Again

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore leads the field of potential Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D), a year and a half after Moore lost what was supposed to be an easy election in a deep-red state.

A new poll shows Moore leading a still-evolving field of Alabama Republicans competing for the nomination. He is the top choice of 27 percent of Alabama Republican voters, according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. survey.

 Someone needs to check the water supply in Alabama, because someone has dosed it with something strong.

The American People Get It, and Congress Does Not

Almost half of Americans say Wall Street banks have made the “American Dream” more difficult to attain, according to a national poll released Wednesday that also shows capitalism still has strong support.

The RealClear Opinion Research survey shows 45 percent of Americans say Wall Street and investment firms make it harder for them to achieve the American Dream, while 26 percent say they make no difference and 13 percent say they make the goal easier to win.

Ordinary Americans get it: Wall Street is a bunch of parasites who make their money by running a rigged casino with our retirement money.

I would expect that these poll results will encourage members of the finance industry to increase their political donations, because it takes money to get politicians to tell the voters to go Cheney themselves.

Millenials Get it Right

It appears that the young generation has had a much needed epiphany over US foreign policy.

Since the fall of the USSR, the goal of US foreign policy has been the maintenance of a unipolar world which sustains US military and economic hegemony, and the results have not been good for the United States or the world:

Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996, see America’s role in the 21st century world in ways that, as a recently released study shows, are an intriguing mix of continuity and change compared to prior generations.

For over 40 years the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which conducted the study, has asked the American public whether the United States should “take an active part” or “stay out” of world affairs.

This year, an average of all respondents – people born between 1928 and 1996 – showed that 64 percent believe the U.S. should take an active part in world affairs, but interesting differences could be seen when the numbers are broken down by generation.

The money quote is, “In a related response, only one-quarter of millenials saw the need for the U.S. to be the dominant world leader.”

It gives me a little hope for the future of this country.

The Swedes are the Greatest People on the Face of the Earth

Swedish passenger operator MTR Express opened up a new line between Stockholm and Gothenburg, and they held an online contest to name it, the obvious happened, but unlike the killjoys at the Natural Environment Research Council, they decided to name the line Trainy McTrainface:

A Swedish rail operator has vowed to name one of its trains Trainy McTrainface after a public vote, saying it would bring joy to people disappointed when Britain rejected the name Boaty McBoatface for a polar research ship following a similar poll.

Trainy McTrainface won 49% of the votes in the naming competition, conducted online by train operator MTR Express and Swedish newspaper Metro, beating choices such as Hakan, Miriam and Poseidon.

“[This is] news that will be received with joy by many, not just in Sweden,” MTR wrote in a statement.

The train will run between the Swedish capital Stockholm and Gothenburg, the country’s second-biggest city.

MTR said another train had been voted to be named “Glenn”, an apparent tribute to an IFK Gothenburg soccer team of the 1980s that featured four players of that name – uncommon in Sweden – including Glenn Hysen, who later captained Liverpool.

This is so cool.

Some Context for the Comey Firing

Click for full size graph pop up

The New York Times had a very interesting analysis of the effects of Comey’s “October Surprise” on the elections. The takeaway is that if you look at when the poll was taken, rather than when it was released, there appears to be little if any effect:

On Friday, Oct. 28, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sent a letter to Congress about new evidence in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Politicians, analysts and journalists are still debating whether the letter cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency. It’s certainly possible. But I am not at all sure, in part because of the final Upshot/Siena College poll in Florida.

I had learned the results of our survey that morning. It showed Donald J. Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton in the state by four percentage points, 46 percent to 42 percent.


But it’s now clear that Mrs. Clinton was weaker heading into Oct. 28 than was understood at the time. Several other polls were conducted over the same period that showed Mr. Trump gaining quickly on Mrs. Clinton in the days ahead of the Comey letter. And the timing of these polls — particularly the gap between when they were taken and when they were released — has probably helped to exaggerate the effect of Mr. Comey’s letter on the presidential race.


But the Upshot/Siena poll of Florida is one of several surveys that challenge this interpretation. That poll was completed the night before the Comey letter, but it was not released until Sunday, two days later — a longer lag than usual, since Sunday is seen as a better day for news media coverage than Saturday.

Some analysts have used poll aggregators or forecasting models to measure the effect of the Comey letter, and they have implicitly treated this Upshot poll, and others conducted before the news but released after, as evidence of a Comey effect. But it can’t be; for example, none of the people we polled for our survey knew about the letter.


In retrospect, there is virtually no evidence to support the view that Mrs. Clinton really had a six-point lead by Oct. 28, even if it was a very reasonable interpretation of the polls that had been released to that point. She didn’t have a six-point lead in any of the 16 (sometimes low-quality) national surveys that went into the field on or after Oct. 23 and were completed before the Comey letter, including her steadily shrinking lead in the ABC/Washington Post tracker.

A new report from the American Association of Public Opinion Research on 2016 polling reached a similar conclusion.

Of course, I don’t expect this to change the narrative being being promulgated by the Democratic Party establishment and the Clinton camp.

As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

I Want to Move to Iceland, Part XLII

In Iceland, the Pirate Party is leading the polls, and they have announced that they will not be in coalition with either of the current ruling parties:

Iceland’s Pirate Party (‘Píratar’) has issued an up-front refusal to work with either of the two current governing parties after the next elections – in a move unprecedented in Icelandic political history.

“These early elections have come about as a result of the corruption revealed to the world by the Panama Papers,” explains Pirate MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir. “Five ministers have been exposed as corrupt since the current government took power.”

“In some of the biggest protests in Icelandic history, the public expressed their desire for change,” she says.

In a press conference yesterday, the Pirates ruled out any possibility of entering a coalition with either of the current two governing parties, the centre-right Independence Party (‘Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn’) and the centrist Progressive Party (‘Framsóknarflokkurinn’).

Instead, the Pirates have sent a letter to a leaders of the three other opposition parties currently with MPs in the Icelandic Parliament (‘Alþingi’) and to the brand-new Regeneration (‘Viðreisn’) party, inviting them to pre-election coalition talks.

The may be aided in their goal by a surge in the polls by the Green Party:

A brand-new opinion poll now gives Iceland’s Left-Green party (‘Vinstrihreyfingin – Grænt framboð’) a 19.2% share of the vote – four points higher than in the previous similar poll.

The latest survey, conducted by Icelandic daily Fréttablaðið (link in Icelandic) and dated 17-18 October, puts the Left-Greens hot on the heels of the second-place Pirate Party (‘Píratar’).

Iceland is perhaps is the only nation on earth that has actually experienced meaningful and positive political change as a result of the financial crisis, as opposed to the rest of the world, which has given us, Nigel Farage, Marine le Pen, Gert Wilders, Frauke Petry, Donald Trump, and those of a similar ilk.