Campaigns/Elections

Polls If You Want 'Em: Obama By 2 Percent to 4 Percent

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Zogby reports that in a three-way race, Obama pulls 43 percent, McCain 40 percent, and Barr 6 percent.

Over at RealClearPolitics, the tracking poll average has Obama up by 3.8 percent, though support for both candidates is tailing off of late.

And a blast from the past: An image of polls between John Frankenstein Kerry and George Weapons of Mass Destruction Bush.

NEXT: Friday Funnies

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  1. So, uh, what happened on September 1, 2004?

  2. The Republican Convention.

  3. What, did the GOP learn how to broadcast mind-control signals?

  4. After the Convention bounce, the Dan Rather memo thing broke.

  5. This is very useful information. It will guide my future actions.

  6. What’s the reason the polls started going the other way sharply in early October? The first presidential debate was Sept 30th.

  7. Polls are like reading entrails or tea leaves. Sure, you can always see something in them, but all you’re really doing is interpreting something that you’re going to throw out as soon as you’re done anyway.

  8. After the Convention bounce, the Dan Rather memo thing broke.

    Yeah, that was a shitshow.

  9. LMNOP:

    yes, but all of the internet font experts was hilarious.

  10. It was kind of funny (no, not ‘ha ha’ funny) how that all panned out. I had no dog in that scrum (I reluctantly voted for Badnarik in ’04), but I still managed to feel especially disgusted.

    Especially when that Swift Boating shit started up. Man, it takes a special kind of disgusting to turn a meritorious war record into a liability.

  11. After the Convention bounce, the Dan Rather memo thing broke.

    Yeah, that was a shitshow.

    I remarked on this recently:

    “I blame Dan Rather for this shit. The moron got suckered into an idiotic smear attempt on Bush, and then continued to defend something that had such a powerful visual debunking (the overlaid memo and Word doc) that even if it was real people probably wouldn’t have believed it.

    This filled the LGF/neocon crowd with absolute gleaming certainty that the left and the media were constantly lying, covering up, and conspiri-ma-cizing about everything else too.

    So now they search endlessly for the next ‘Rathergate’ with the passion and energy of true believers who have been thrown a bone of confirmation. They’re like Mulder finding a boxcar full of alien-looking bodies in the desert: he’s never gonna stop looking now.”

  12. The more they talk, the less I care who wins.

  13. Yeah, I saw that comment of yours. Made sense then, makes sense now.

  14. What strikes me is how volatile that race was compared to this year. There has been one noticeable period of movement in this campaign – Obama losing 10 points when the Rev. Wright mash-up surfaced in late March, then gaining them back a couple weeks later when the gave the Philadelphia speech – and it’s been remarkably steady since then.

  15. joe,

    That strikes me too.

    I can’t help thinking that it’s gonna strike me in the face, like an unbidden facepalm from an alien hand.

    I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  16. El,

    The shoe is up in the air already, it’s just biding its time until the Olympics and conventions are over.

    I think dirty tricks crews have figured out to not to go too early. October is going to be a smear-o-poloosa.

  17. I can’t help thinking that it’s gonna strike me in the face, like an unbidden facepalm from an alien hand.

    Cigarette Smoking Man is watching you, LMNOP.

  18. Cigarette Smoking Man is watching you, LMNOP.

    At least you can beat him in a foot race.

  19. At least you can beat him in a foot race.

    Or just toss his wheelchairing ass down a convenient flight of stairs.

  20. I think dirty tricks crews have figured out to not to go too early. October is going to be a smear-o-poloosa.

    Great. I’m sure I’ll vomit more than once between now and then.

    And I have an iron stomach.

  21. Oh, Jeebus, Corsi’s a Troofer.

    A YouTube video making the rounds, especially among Obama supporters, mocks Mr. Corsi for a Jan. 29 interview on Alex Jones’s radio show, a forum for those who take a deeply skeptical view of government claims about the attacks. (Mr. Corsi also frequently talks about the “North American Union” and other threats from globalization during his appearances).

    The clip has Mr. Corsi discussing the findings of Steven Jones, physicist and hero of the “9/11 Truth” movement who claims to have evidence that the World Trade Center towers collapsed due to explosives inside the building, not just the planes hitting them, during the attacks.

    “The fire, from jet fuel, does not burn hot enough to produce the physical evidence that he’s produced,” Mr. Corsi said.

    Swift Boat Veterans for Troof? Is Corsi LoneWacko?

  22. So now they search endlessly for the next ‘Rathergate’ with the passion and energy of true believers who have been thrown a bone of confirmation.

    I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing. A little skepticism, the Army of Davids, all that is a bug, not a feature, no?

    You’d think that True Believers would also have learned that if the Other Side’s weak shit won’t stick to their guy, their Weak Shit won’t stick to the Other Side’s guy. But:

    Oh, Jeebus, Corsi’s a Troofer.

    Apparently not. Which, again, is a shame – just as some of the more interesting episodes in Bush’s past probably got thrown out with the Rathergate garbage, some of the more telling aspects of Obama’s past will get thrown out with the “fake birth certificate” garbage. Its all about the signal to noise ratio, and neither side can seem to figure that out.

  23. Got my bugs and features mixed up there. You know what I mean.

  24. A little skepticism, the Army of Davids, all that is a bug, not a feature, no?

    Unquestioning acceptance of theories that lack evidence isn’t skepticism. Interspersing extreme gullibility and denialism depending on political convenience isn’t skepticism.

  25. I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing. A little skepticism, the Army of Davids, all that is a [feature], not a [bug], no?…Its all about the signal to noise ratio, and neither side can seem to figure that out.

    This is why trolls are great and spammers are scum.

    Trolls occasionally throw poo and hit the right target. Spammers just poo.

  26. joe —

    Yes it is. It just isn’t *rational* skepticism.

  27. Episiarch,

    CSM is dead.

  28. Is that a misprint? Barr at 6%?

  29. Ha ha, that’s what he wants you to think, Seward. TRUST NO ONE.

  30. OK, LMNOP, fair enough.

  31. Polls are like reading entrails or tea leaves. Sure, you can always see something in them, but all you’re really doing is interpreting something that you’re going to throw out as soon as you’re done anyway.

    Not me. Entrail soup is yummy.

    Mayeritsa (Greek Easter Soup) Recipe Ingredients

    1 entrails (liver, heart, lungs, intestines) of a very young spring lamb.
    4 tbsp butter
    1 each med. onion, chopped
    2 tbsp scallion, chopped
    2 tbsp dill, chopped
    1 salt & pepper to taste
    1 meat broth
    1/2 cup raw rice
    2 each eggs (or 3)
    2 each lemons, juice only

  32. Ewww. Greeks are yucky.

  33. Man, it takes a special kind of disgusting to turn a meritorious war record into a liability.

    Exactly what Kerry did when he falsely accused his old comrades of being a bunch of genocidal maniacs.

    I imagine he never thought that would come back to haunt him, but people can have really long memories.

  34. Man, it takes a special kind of crazy to insist that there weren’t atrocities in Viet Nam.

  35. Polls are meaningless. At best, they are a self-fullfilling prophecy, at worst, they are false prophecies. Never trusted them and never will. IMHO, you are better off looking for gold in your own backyard.

  36. Man, it takes a special kind of crazy to insist that there weren’t atrocities in Viet Nam.

    It takes a special kind of stupidity to think that there haven’t been atrocities in every single war that has ever happened, and that Vietnam was somehow unique.

    And it also takes a special kind of gall to accuse people of doing horrible things without having anything to back it up, and not thinking they’ll resent it.

  37. It takes a special kind of special to argue about who is more wrong in a situation like this.

    Kerry witnessed what he believed to be atrocities. He reported as much to the congressional committee with jurisdiction.

    The purpose of which was not to jam up “his buddies” but rather to get the atrocities to end.

    You do know, don’t you, that when Republicans start reflexively defending war criminals, they sound really fucking stupid and/or amoral to anyone who hasn’t drunk the kool-aid?

  38. Thank god! If that Moron McSame gets elected, I am leaving the US for good. I have already established a citizenship in another country and will not look back if that MORON is the next US Dictator.

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.to/udi

  39. Spambot misfire. I’m pretty sure that was meant for Crooksandliars; it was a spot-on imitation anyway. I wonder if they got a parodic libertarian rant?

  40. Kerry witnessed what he believed to be atrocities.

    He was, and is, a lying disgrace. Get of of your little ivory tower and try and get to know some real Vietnam veterans someday. You might learn something.

  41. It takes a special kind of stupidity to think that there haven’t been atrocities in every single war that has ever happened, and that Vietnam was somehow unique. Uh, yeah, remember how John Kerry and the anti-war movement in general emphasized that Vietnam was unique, and that war in general doesn’t involve widespread atrocities?

    And it also takes a special kind of gall to accuse people of doing horrible things without having anything to back it up, and not thinking they’ll resent it.

    I’m going back to “it takes a special kind of stupid to argue that there weren’t atrocities in Viet Nam.”

  42. He was, and is, a lying disgrace.

    It takes a special kind of stupid to argue that there weren’t atrocities in Vietnam.

  43. It takes a special kind of deranged psychosis to make the same dumb statement over and over again, when no one ever said that not even one man ever committed any atrocities in Vietnam.

  44. Man, it takes a special kind of crazy to insist that there weren’t atrocities in Viet Nam.

    And a special kind of assholery to contend

    … war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….

    Do you belive that?

  45. Do I believe that atrocities were committed daily in Vietnam?

    Yup.

    Do I believe that atrocities were committed with the knowledge of people holding each of the following ranks: E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, E-5, E-6, E-7, E-8, SPC1, SPC2, SPC3, SPC4, 1st Lt, 2nd Lt, CPT, Major, Lt. Colonel, Colonel, One-star, two-star, three-star, four-star, SecDef, President?

    Yup.

  46. J sub D,

    What do you think of the bombing of Cambodia from 1969-1970?

  47. Kerry witnessed what he believed to be atrocities.

    Did he? Personally? From his boat?

    I mean, other than him shooting the fleeing Vietnamese guy in the back, of course.

    Or was he just passing along the commonplace accusations of the anti-war movement?

    Kerry was a ticket-puncher in Vietnam, not a hero. His service, brief as it was, is probably best characterized as adequate. I think the blowback came mainly from his attempts to capitalize on his oh-so-brief tour politically, both at the Congressional hearings in the ’70s and later in his campaign. Anyone else remember “Reporting for duty”?

    You make your military exploits a political issue, don’t be surprised if someone makes them, you know, a political issue.

  48. joe,

    I know many of those guys. I’ve gotten drunk, stoned, and had long honest discussions with them about LBJ’s misadventure. You certainly have a low, uninformed opinion of the honorable people who served their country in an unpopular and stupid war.*

    Be sure to wear flowers in your hair.

    * There may be ladies reading this so I deleted some more heartfelt inflammatory text.

  49. joe-
    a ‘spec-4’ is an E-4.
    I don’t think SPC1, SPC2, SPC3 exist.

  50. What do you think of the bombing of Cambodia from 1969-1970?

    Illegal. Not war crimes committed by the armed forces. War crimes committed by the President. Kinda like the Gulf of Tonkin lie that Johnson used to sucker the nation into the conflict.

  51. And you forgot E-9’s and Warrants.

  52. Kohole, I not sure about Warrants, but E-9s are godlike and unable to do anything wrong. 😉

    J sub D
    FCCM, USN Ret.

  53. Kolohe that is. Dyslexia is burden a such.

  54. Thank you for sharing your feelings, J sub, but your personal feelings about the individuals you have known personally really don’t matter.

    We know Tiger Force existed, and what they did. We know, for certain, it has been well-documented, that “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” was common. We know that indiscriminate fire was used in areas with lots of civlians.

    It really doesn’t matter what you think of some number of individuals you’ve met.

  55. You certainly have a low, uninformed opinion of the honorable people…

    And you certainly like to adopt bullshit talking points about da troops in place of educating yourself about history.

    Did he? Personally? From his boat? Yes, as you would know if you’d ever bothered to read the Senate testimony you have a such strong opinon about. He discusses “reconnaisance by fire” – shoot at a boat and see if they shoot back as a way of determining if it’s a threat – as a standard tactic employed by all of the swift boat crews. Just to provide one example.

  56. There were widespread atrocities in Vietnam.

    Nuh uh! I know some guys who totally didn’t commit any atrocities, and they’re cool to have a beer with.

    See the problem here?

  57. Kerry was a ticket-puncher in Vietnam, not a hero. His service, brief as it was, is probably best characterized as adequate.

    His service during the war was more than honorable enough. His conduct AFTER the war was as low and dishonorable as it gets.

    I don’t think anyone seriously disputes that My Lai was an atrocity in the field and that Lt. Calley was a pure war criminal.

    But at least one man, Steve Pitkin, is officially on record as saying that his testimony at the hearings was entirely false, and that the VVAW coerced him into making these completely false claims. This casts serious doubt upon the entire credibility of the hearings. The VVAW had a political agenda, and quite likely they were willing to say anything in order to try and achieve it.

    And these hearings were primarily responsible for perpetuating the myth of the average Vietnam veteran as a drugged-up, stressed-out psychopath; a myth which many people still have to this day.

  58. Look, joe saw Platoon, so he knows more than anybody. Case closed.

  59. If one is going to discuss war time atrocities in Viet Nam it might be best to take it out of the context of the 2004 election.

    J sub D,

    This question was directed at joe, but I’ll answer it as well:

    Do you belive that?

    The history of human warfare makes me inclined to think that warfare conducted by any nation will come with systematic violations of human rights which are known by those higher up on the food chain. This seems to especially be the case during long and difficult wars when whatever “moral sense” a military and its nation’s political leadership has is eroded by, well, the length, etc. of the war that is being fought. The U.S. military doesn’t seem to be any more immune than any other country from such problems; though from what I understand it has made efforts since Viet Nam to better educate soldiers in the rules of war, etc. In other words, it wouldn’t surprise me in the very least.

  60. And these hearings were primarily responsible for perpetuating the myth of the average Vietnam veteran as a drugged-up, stressed-out psychopath; a myth which many people still have to this day.

    In other words, it’s about feelings, not facts. John Kerry’s testimony statement must be false, because of its political impact.

    Have you ever read Kerry’s statement, Mike M, or are you just taking the word of his political opponets?

    Episiarch | August 15, 2008, 1:14pm | # Idiotic even by your standards. The equivalent of a creationist saying evolutionary biologists weren’t there 6000 years ago.

  61. Ladies, [please go to the next post. Thank you.

    joe, you are a cowardly little disingenuous fucking twat. You are cordially invited to the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter on Woodward here in Detroit to explain how you know sooooo much more about the widespread routine atrocites commited or at least witnessed by them in Vietnam.

    Wait, here’s one more convenient for ya.

    VVA Chapter #338 — Nam Vets Association
    565 Main Street
    Hyannis, MA 02601

    Stop in and explain it all to them.

    Fuck you.

  62. Episiarch | August 15, 2008, 1:14pm | # Idiotic even by your standards. The equivalent of a creationist saying evolutionary biologists weren’t there 6000 years ago.

    Are you particularly humorless today, joe, or just tired from a long night of being the tuff gai of the internets? Maybe you shouldn’t chase the Jameson with Red Bull.

  63. Jim Webb wrote a rather infamous article, while he was Sec. Navy and a *Republican*, which not only describes Viet Nam vets as stressed-out and drugged up, but also animalistic monsters. He was one of them, BTW.

    It’s infamous only because he was launching an argument against women serving in combat.

    I don’t think he was kidding about the stuff he wrote. Do you?

  64. Wow, Vietnam really just brings out the crazy in *everybody*, now doesn’t it?

    I thank my lucky stars I’m too young to have a dog in that generational fight. I’ll stick to the guys I know, fighting (and occasionally unjustifiably killing) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Good guys, incredible pressure, occasional war crimes. Yes, I know. The subtleties are *immense*.

    I sincerely hope my generation doesn’t get as fucked up about it as you fuckers.

  65. Feeeeeeeeeliiiiiiiinnnnnggggggggsssss.

    Nothing more than…feeeeeeeeelllliiiiinnnggggggsssss.

    There couldn’t have been atrocities committed in Vietnam, despite all of the easily-available research on the question, because J sub knows some people.

    Now I see the flaw in my thinking:

    There were widespread atrocities in Vietnam.

    Nuh uh! I know some guys who totally didn’t commit any atrocities, and they’re cool to have a beer with. And Fuck You

    See, that’s the part that didn’t occur to me. It’s all so clear now.

  66. Episiarch, you just aren’t that funny. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

    Also, the women who won’t sleep with you? Not lesbians.

  67. Episiarch, you just aren’t that funny. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

    joe, this is exactly what I’m talking about. You have some sort of humor impairment, kind of like a humor cataract. You should see a comedian doctor.

    Also, the women who won’t sleep with you? Not lesbians.

    So you’ve finally realized that it was you all along. This is an important first step in what will be a long journey, joe. I’m glad to see you taking it.

  68. Yes, as you would know if you’d ever bothered to read the Senate testimony you have a such strong opinon about.

    Years ago, I scanned it. My recollection is that much of it was a regurgitation of the standard anti-war screed. I’m sure it was sprinkled with personal anecdotes.

    Still, Kerry is pretty much a nobody, right, joe? No sense wasting time on him these days.

  69. Webb’s “Women Can’t Fight” article was written years before he was the Secretary of the Navy, and you’re considerably exaggerating his description of his fellow Marines and other combat veterans.

  70. You scanned it enough to know its political leanings, and based on that, you decided it was factually incorrect and an attack on the troops.

    Typical.

    Still, Kerry is pretty much a nobody, right, joe? No, John Kerry is a United States Senator, rated 12th in the recently published listing of the most powerful Senators. I don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but John Edwards hasnt’ held political office in years, and hasn’t even bee in the news for half a year, before this story about his penis broke.

  71. Webb’s “Women Can’t Fight” article was written years before he was the Secretary of the Navy…

    True, it was a few years before he was Reagan’s Secretary of te Navy.

    …and you’re considerably exaggerating his description of his fellow Marines and other combat veterans.

    [Ahem]

    “We became vicious and aggressive and debased, and reveled in it, because combat is all of those things and we were surviving. I once woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of one of my machinegunners stabbing an already-dead enemy soldier, emptying his fear and frustrations into the corpse’s chest. I watched another of my men, a wholesome Midwest boy, yank the trousers off a dead woman while under fire, just to see if he really remembered what it looked like.” – Jim Webb, “Women Can’t Fight”

    Animalistic? [Check!]
    Monstrous? [Check!]

    WTF was your point again?

  72. I’ve never picked on Joe before, but he’s really being an asshole, so I guess I’ll start. Kerry claims to have witnessed specific atrocities by the men in his outfit. Joe generalizes this that since some generalized atrocities occured in Vietnam, then the specific atrocities claimed by Kerry must have happened. This is stoopid logic.

    You cannot argue that a specific instance on the basis of generality. “White cats are known to exist therefore my specific cat is white.”

    Imagine Kerry is on the witness stand of a murder trial. He claims to have seen the defendant pull the trigger and murder Ms. Trueheart. Joe is the prosecution, and argues that murders have indeed occured in the past, and therefore Kerry must be telling the truth when he says he witnessed a murder.

  73. If John Kerry observed war crimes/atrocities and did not charge his fellow servicemen, he fails in his duty as an officer. That is a violation of multiple UCMJ articles.

    How many servicemen did John Kerry bring charges against?

    Anybody?

  74. Joe generalizes this that since some generalized atrocities occured in Vietnam, then the specific atrocities claimed by Kerry must have happened.

    No, I did not. I answered a specific question:

    R C Dean | August 15, 2008, 12:32pm | #

    Kerry witnessed what he believed to be atrocities.

    Did he? Personally? From his boat?

    I mean, other than him shooting the fleeing Vietnamese guy in the back, of course.

    None of the atrocities Kerry describes having personally participated in – the “recon by fire” episodes, for example – are in any way controversial. They were standard procedure for people doing his job, and not even the other swift boat captains who worked so hard against him even challenged the factual accuracy of his statements about those practices, even while they challenged his truthfulness about so many other things.

    If John Kerry observed war crimes/atrocities and did not charge his fellow servicemen, he fails in his duty as an officer. Not if he didn’t realize they were crimes at the time. Had you ever read Kerry’s statement to the Senate, you will find him discussing his experience, and how he assumed their standard practices were acceptable, and only came to realize how bad they were when he came home.

  75. Had you ever read Kerry’s statement to the Senate, you will find him discussing his experience, and how he assumed their standard practices were acceptable, and only came to realize how bad they were when he came home.

    So he’s a fuckin’ idiot. Or a liar.

  76. Uh, yeah. Only an idiot or a liar would later come to regret things he did in battle. Or later come to realize that the orders coming down from the chain of command, which he considered his duty to carry out, crossed the line.

    Yeah, anyone who did that is an idiot or a liar. Please, tell us again how much more you respect veterans than everyone else.

  77. joe,

    The UCMJ is taught to even the great unwashed (enlisted men) in boot camp. Officers receive considerably more instruction about it. Can you give me an example of a war crime/atrocity that Kerry may have witnessed that isn’t covered by that document? One that upon reflection he decided was an atrocity.

    Lastly, does “war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command” include everybody but himself?

  78. I am not sure why Joe is being so picked on here? He merely pointed out that Mike M was unfairly lambasting Kerry and/or supporting the Swiftboaters. Meanwhile, Mike M. said two contradictory things.

    “It takes a special kind of stupidity to think that there haven’t been atrocities in every single war that has ever happened, and that Vietnam was somehow unique.”

    and

    “He [Kerry] was, and is, a lying disgrace.”

    So there were atrocities but Kerry didn’t see them? Remember, just 25 years before that we were prosecuting Germans for war atrocities that we said those officers should have stopped.

  79. I suspect that almost every man who has ever been in real combat has some regrets about the actions he took. If you kill people and don’t have questions about that, then you’re not a fully normal human being.

    Obviously, certain things are war crimes without question, such as raping women and lining up rows of unarmed civilians and gunning them down. But some people these days seem to want to stretch the definition of an “atrocity” to almost ridiculous levels.

    Even something like shooting a man in the back who’s attempting to flee from you in a war, while it may seem appalling to most of us, isn’t necessarily an atrocity or a war crime. The seemingly innocent noncombatant guy who successfully escapes from you is quite often the guy who radios in your position to the hostile forces, who then come to kill you and all of your men.

  80. Thank you Dan Rather.

  81. Can you give me an example of a war crime/atrocity that Kerry may have witnessed that isn’t covered by that document? One that upon reflection he decided was an atrocity.

    I’ve already explained this to you twice, but what the heck: the practice of “reconnaissance by fire.” For a 20-something year old kid taking his life in his hands every day, receiving orders to perform this act and getting patted on the back for doing so, it would very easy to simply accept it as S.O.P. and assume the entire chain of command above you is not, in fact, authorizing a war crime. Particularly when the people around you are all going along with it too, and particularly when the enemy is fighting a guerilla insurgency and disguising himself as a civlian. Nonetheless, shooting at civilians or unknown targets that might be civilians, when not being fired on yourself, is a war crime.

    For someone who likes to get drunk at the VFW, you don’t seem to have a very good understanding of how socialization works for men in combat.

  82. I’m glad we didn’t elect a self-admitted war criminal as president in 2004. Talk about setting a bad precedent.

  83. Uh, yeah, much better to elected presidents who commit war crimes and live in denial.

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