Somebody said we were allowed to think out loud. Pardon the mess.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Personal toiletries: Dove® or Safeguard® or Lava®?

500 upscale shoppers, Household income 60k+

Survey says:
50% : Lava
30% : Safeguard
15% : Dove
05% : Garden hose and a wire brush
"Damn, what's wrong those women?" we say to the survey firm.

"Whadaya mean?", they say.

Well, they do all the shopping, right?


So what's with the Lava action? And, wire brushes?

Uh, you wanted us to include women in the sample?


From Steve Soto:
Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning - And Maybe All Of Theirs

This morning we awoke to the startling news that despite a flurry of different polls this week all showing a tied race, the venerable Gallup Poll, as reported widely in the media (USA Today and CNN) today, showed George W. Bush with a huge 55%-42% lead over John Kerry amongst likely voters. The same Gallup Poll showed an 8-point lead for Bush amongst registered voters (52%-44%). Before you get discouraged by these results, you should be more upset that Gallup gets major media outlets to tout these polls and present a false, disappointing account of the actual state of the race. Why?

Because the Gallup Poll, despite its reputation, assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. You read that correctly. I asked Gallup, who have been very courteous to my requests, to send me this morning their sample breakdowns by party identification for both their likely and registered voter samples they use in these national and I suspect their state polls. This is what I got back this morning:

Likely Voter Sample Party IDs – Poll of September 13-15
Reflected Bush Winning by 55%-42%

Total Sample: 767
GOP: 305 (40%)
Dem: 253 (33%)
Ind: 208 (28%)

Registered Voter Sample Party IDs – Same Poll
Reflected Bush Winning by 52%-44%

Total Sample: 1022
GOP: 381 (38%)
Dem: 336 (33%)
Ind: 298 (30%)

In both polls, Gallup oversamples greatly for the GOP, and undersamples for the Democrats. Worse yet, Gallup just confirmed for me that this is the same sampling methodology they have been using this whole election season, for all their national and state polls. [more]

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

True Lies? False truths?

Colin Powell and Dan Rather: Forgery victims.

What a mess. Powell seems to have reached his peace with bad WMD intel. Is Rather far behind?

Are the memos later computer- or typewriter-transcribed versions of hand-written orginals? Whose originals? Fake memos, but accurate and dispositive of Killian's mind and that of other TANG higher-ups at the time? Some of whom said "yes, that's what I recall" before seeing the actual memos or hearing of their new-found doubtability and formatting challenges. Somebody ain't talkin', and some are. But the one's who were talking are clamming up, and new players are seemingy popping up to fill the vacuum.

Drudge has found COL. Killian's secretary:
The DRUDGE REPORT has found Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's former secretary who claims that the Texas Air National Guard documents offered by CBS in its 60 MINUTES II report filed by Dan Rather last week are indeed 'forgeries'.

"I did not type these particular memos. I typed memos like these," Knox told the DRUDGE REPORT from her home in Houston.

"I typed memos that had this information in them, but I did not type these memos. There are terms in these memos that are not Guard terms but that are Army terms. They use the word 'Billets'. I think they were using that to refer to the slot. That would be a non-flying slot the way we would use it. And the style... they are sloppy looking."

But Marian Carr Knox stands by the accusations contained in the allegedly fraudulent documents that Bush skirted a medical and flight exam without suffering institutional repercussions.
Knox is now 87, so many are going to "wonder out loud" how reliable her memory is.

After a radio interview, theNY Daily News has:
First Lady Laura Bush told an Iowa radio station on Monday the documents "probably are altered and they probably are forgeries." When the story broke last week, the White House did not question the veracity of the Killian memos.
And, after her interview was aired in Iowa and on CNN, the White House was quick to point out that that is the First Lady's opinion "not an 'official' White House statement.

Geez, is that pushing the limits of non-denial-denial or plausible deniability? "Is your product really better than your competitors? Yes, but you can't quote me and I'll deny that's my company's stated belief because we don't know." How encouraging.

USAToday seems to be on top of the central storyline of this--if that's even possible.
So far, neither the White House nor former officers in the Texas National Guard have challenged the central assertions in the documents: that Bush's performance as a pilot was under scrutiny by commanders beginning in 1972 and that Killian, his supervisor, was unhappy with him.
Oh, yeah, by the way. It's been a horrendous week of "catstrophic success" in Iraq.

As Dick Morrris wisely noted, slimy as he may be, "If you want to call yourself 'a War President,' you have to be winning the war." I personally like less generic talk about "War" and more specific, reasonable doable talk about "Winning" and what it takes. So far, this ain't it.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Turbocharged entropy. Battlefield mess.

Key General Criticizes April Attack In Fallujah

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- The outgoing U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq said Sunday he opposed a Marine assault on militants in the volatile city of Fallujah in April and the subsequent decision to withdraw from the city and turn over control to a security force of former Iraqi soldiers.

That security force, known as the Fallujah Brigade, was formally disbanded last week. Not only did the brigade fail to combat militants, it actively aided them, surrendering weapons, vehicles and radios to the insurgents, according to senior Marine officers. Some brigade members even participated in attacks on Marines ringing the city, the officers said.

The comments by Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, made shortly after he relinquished command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Sunday, amounted to a stinging broadside against top U.S. military and civilian leaders who ordered the Fallujah invasion and withdrawal....
Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con 'crazies' row

A furious row has broken out over claims in a new book by BBC broadcaster James Naughtie that US Secretary of State Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq.

Powell's extraordinary outburst is alleged to have taken place during a telephone conversation with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. The two became close friends during the intense negotiations in the summer of 2002 to build an international coalition for intervention via the United Nations. The 'crazies' are said to be Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz....
Indeed, The grown-ups are in charge.

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