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Fiendish Thingy

Fiendish Thingy's Journal
Fiendish Thingy's Journal
July 15, 2024

The New Statesman: The alarming rise of BlueAnon

https://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2024/07/donald-trump-conspiracy-theories-blueanon

I’m really worried about my adoptive homeland, the United States. It isn’t just that a would-be assassin targeted Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday 13 July. Horrifying as the public attempt on the life of one of the two major-party presidential nominees was, it was far from unprecedented in an extraordinarily violent, heavily armed country with a veritable tradition of murdered political leaders. Equally alarming was the speed with which the event became the subject of feverish conspiracy theorising, particularly among liberals who normally mock Trump supporters for doing the same thing.

Behold the rise of “BlueAnon” – the Democratic, upscale equivalent of the right’s QAnon conspiracy theories, according to which an elite cabal of child-molesting Satanists has manifested in the Democratic Party and is out to “steal” elections while destroying the “Make America great again” movement. Now, it seems, it is the left who see covert plots everywhere.

-snip-

Think through what is being claimed here: that Donald Trump, presumably with an assist from the US secret service and security apparatus, staged a shooting that resulted in the death of at least two people, including the attempted assassin, and that almost lodged a bullet in his own temple – all in order to get a polling boost in an election he was widely predicted to win before the events of 13 July. Such claims are no less absurd than those that say Hillary Clinton runs a paedophile ring.

-snip-

The purveyors of these left-coded conspiracy theories laugh at their right-wing counterparts, depicting them as delusional and malignant. And that’s the most depressing dimension of all this. Though one side still claims to be above such behaviour, Americans have reached a point in our national life in which those both sides of the partisan divide immediately resort to spinning conspiracy theories over any historical event.


It’s going to be just that much harder to defeat Trump if we don’t stay firmly rooted in the reality based community, and allow ourselves to be distracted and manipulated by evidence-free conspiracy theories.
July 15, 2024

It's times like these that I *really* wish the Creative Speculation forum wasn't retired

Earl G, I wish you would consider reactivating the Creative Speculation forum, so that those of us who don’t wish to engage in such speculation don’t have to scroll through the multitude of such posts in GD.

The CS forum served DU well in the past, sequestering the numerous threads about 9/11, JFK, UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc., de-cluttering the GD forum so that non-speculating DUers could focus on reality based discussions of electing Democrats and supporting Democratic legislation.

July 3, 2024

How Dems can "Work The Refs" all summer long...

From now until the convention, any time, every time a Dem party official or elected politician is approached by a member of the press, blogger, or influencer and asked their opinion or perspective on Biden’s fitness for office or whether he should withdraw from the race, they should answer thusly:

“There has been enough discussion and speculation on this question, and far too little time spent doing the rest of your job - informing the American people of the five alarm fire facing our democracy and our freedoms (list freedoms at risk) from the One Man Crime Wave, the convicted felon known as Donald J Trump!
The stakes are too high to limit your coverage to business-as-usual horse race polling headlines.
You’re either on the side of protecting freedom and democracy as millions of Democrats, Independents and MAGA-rejecting Republicans are, or, by normalizing Trump’s lies and ignoring his unfitness for office, you are on the side of fascism and you are enabling America to be conquered by a self-professed dictator!”


Brooklynite, feel free to forward this to your party insiders, and double-dog dare them to stick to the script for the next 30 days.
July 1, 2024

For all our fantasizing about Biden ordering Seal Team 6, here's what he really needs to do ASAP:

Address the nation in prime time, about this SCOTUS ruling.

Biden needs to outline the immunity and powers the ruling gives the president, including the ability to assassinate opponents.

He needs to compare this ruling to Germany’s enabling act, and how it sets the stage for America’s descent into dictatorship.

He should specifically label this ruling as a threat to democracy.

He should call out Thomas and Alito as two supporters of the insurrection who refused to recuse.

He should announce proposed legislation, and perhaps even constitutional amendments on court reform and presidential accountability, and call on Americans to pressure congress to pass/ratify them before the summer recess/Labor Day.

Biden should then state, unequivocally (using his best Dark Brandon/Clint Eastwood glare), that if congress doesn’t act, using the powers vested in him by the constitution and the Supreme Court, he will.

UPDATE, Tuesday 7/2:
Sadly, Biden's response yesterday was, IMO, woefully inadequate; in addition, according to Rolling Stone, the WH also released a statement yesterday reaffirming Biden's opposition to expanding SCOTUS.

May 30, 2024

In other news...here's a chart that might explain folks ongoing malaise over inflation:

https://twitter.com/byHeatherLong/status/1796194799579525180/

Admittedly, the framing by the tweeter is biased, but the chart reveals just how hard inflation has impacted consumers over the past four years. For many millennials and Gen Z’s, it’s the worst inflation in their adult lives.

Illustrated this way, it explains clearly (to me anyway) why so many folks don’t acknowledge the successes of Bidenomics.

The Biden campaign and their surrogates need to sharpen their economic message to intensify their empathy while continuing to hammer the improvements in unemployment, wages, domestic manufacturing, etc.
April 20, 2024

Hopium Chronicles: 16 polls have Biden ahead

https://www.hopiumchronicles.com/p/hopium-in-the-nytimes-16-polls-show

16 Polls Have Biden Up/Other 2024 Election Notes - It’s been a very good week of polling for Joe Biden and the Dems. With Data for Progress coming in this morning at 47-46 for Biden, and Marquette University 52-48, there are now 16 polls taken since late February showing Biden ahead: (via 538):

52-48 Marquette (this week)
47-46 Data For Progress (this week)
50-48 NPR/Marist (this week)
42-40 Big Village (this week)
44-42 Morning Consult (this week)
48-45 Quinnipiac
44-43 Noble Predictive
44-43 Economist/YouGov (March 19)
47-45 FAU/Mainstreet
44-43 Morning Consult (March 11)
46-45 Public Policy Research
50-48 Ipsos/Reuters
45-44 Civiqs
47-44 Kaiser Family Foundation
51-49 Emerson
43-42 TIPP

-snip-

In 2022 there were polls showing Republicans with an advantage (many paid for or conducted by GOP aligned organizations), and lots of other polls showing the election close and competitive. Many commentators choose to dismiss the polls more favorable to Dems, and focused on those more favorable to Rs. (Note: that is the likely reason Nate Silver got fired from 538) It is how so many fell for the red wave that that never came.

The responsible thing for commentators and analysts to do now, in 2024, is to point out that not all the data is pointing in the same direction; that there are polls favorable to the Rs (like the new WSJ polls) and there are all these other polls favorable to Biden and the Dems. Another responsible thing to do is to point out that in a week of very good polling for Biden and the Dems the one major poll showing good news for Rs - the low-sample size/high margin of error WSJ polls - was paid for by Rupert Murdoch and conducted by Trump’s own pollster; and thus centering one’s understanding about the 2024 election around data they provide is, um, not a reasonable thing to do. This is particularly true given Murdoch’s Fox News was found guilty in court of maliciously lying about the 2020 election.

My view is the election is becoming bluer, we are gaining ground. Trump is no longer ahead in the election or favored - saying so is outside the data in front of us. It has long been my view, and the view of the Biden campaign, that as we got deeper into the general election and our coalition started paying more attention, Biden would jump out to a modest lead. That appears to be what is happening now.

I also do not subscribe to the school of thought that the battleground leans more Republican than the popular vote. It may happen. But it didn’t happen in 2022, and the 2024 battleground knows and has repeatedly rejected MAGA. Post Dobbs MAGA had a disastrous showing in the battleground in 2022, and we just don’t know what is going to happen this year. I think Dobbs changed everything, and so comparisons to 2016 or 2020 are in my view very very risky.


(Italics mine)

Now, I haven’t examined the methodology behind each of these polls, and some may have flaws worth noting. In any case, I never put much stock in any single poll, and neither should you. It’s the trend that batches of multiple polls can capture that is often the most revealing and valuable information.
March 27, 2024

My Eulogy for Lieberman:

https://twitter.com/jeremysaul/status/1773101266274562196?

Fuck That Guy.

(Note: The speaker in the clip is John Lovett, the Jewish former Obama staffer who is now a co-host of the Pod Save America podcast)
March 27, 2024

What can we do about a SCOTUS packed with corrupt extremists?

?1711449391

I know which option I would pick.

This issue should be a litmus test for every Dem running for federal office, right along with codifying Roe.
March 10, 2024

Former polling house staffer: The data says we are winning, even though the media says we aren't

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2024/3/10/2228469/-The-data-says-we-are-winning-even-though-the-media-says-we-are-not?utm_campaign=trending

In addition, polling is getting sloppier and much less rigorous. Back when I was more involved with the stuff, we were not allowed to analyze cross tabs with a low number of respondents because the margin of error in doing this is so high. Now, Nate Cohn and others are writing headlines for voter segments predicating national outcomes for voting groups based on the answers of a few hundred respondents (just 205 non white no college age votes in the poll that has driven so much coverage). It is mind blowing to me that the pollster, Siena College, is allowing this to happen. The result? 15 point plus swings in the responses of demographic groups from poll to poll (which is what happens when you have small sample sizes and a margin of error over 10%). This crosstab data that the Times and others (like Axelrod) are basing predictions that the voter electorate is making massive changes is basically worthless. This is why there is so much inconsistency in the polls.

Finally, pollsters are increasingly weighting responses to get the results they want. The Times poll — for some reason — weighted the voter poll to make it go from a +1% Democratic electorate to a +3% GOP electorate. The electorate in 2020 was +1% Dem and the trend is that the electorate is getting more Democratic and not less. The Times did not explain why they did this but presumably believe that the Trump electorate will increase from past historic levels of turnout (in 2020 and 2016). It’s a massive assumption that was made somewhat casually. Unfortunately, this kind of weighting to result seems to be happening more and more as pollsters try to work with models and responses they don’t view as ideal or that correspond to the results they want or believe is correct.

In addition, while it has gotten more expensive to do good polling, it has gotten cheaper to do bad polls (via robocalls, email, internet response). Polling has also now become widely accessible (whereas in the past it was a specialized field). You or I could do a very bad poll right now via existing online tools. The margin of error for polls done cheaply (and with small samples) is huge and not predictive. Unfortunately, the prominence of the polling averages — a valid way to reduce margin of error when the average was of a lot of high quality polls — and the low cost and availability of bad polling has meant that political actors can and are flooding the polling averages with bad polls designed to support their candidate (and the narrative they are pushing to further that support). You just need to create a seemingly credible group name for the pollster and you are in, like this one from “Mainstream Research” that polled only 250 respondents to make claims about North Carolina. It’s absurd.

So, polling, while another point of data, is a much diminished tool and is no longer nearly as predictive of actual electoral outcomes as it was in the past. .


It’s a great, informative article, and I highly recommend everyone read the whole thing.

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