Thursday, 03 January 2008
THE IOWA POLLS
Readers of this blog know how little I think of political polls, so there is
no point in rehashing it again. Even if this is your first visit, the
previous sentence brings you up to speed on my opinion.
That said, I am going to post the latest Iowa polling from Zogby, via
Reuters. Let's see how it compares with reality (if Iowa caucuses can be
characterized as reality) when the results are in tomorrow:
Obama grabs Iowa lead from Edwards
By John Whitesides, Political
DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama
surged to a four-point lead over John Edwards in Iowa, with Hillary Clinton
fading to third just hours before the first presidential nominating contest,
according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday.
Obama and Edwards gained ground overnight in the
tracking poll, and Clinton fell four points to third place -- a finish that, if
it held, would deal a dramatic setback to the one-time Democratic
Obama was at 31 percent among likely Democratic
caucus-goers, Edwards at 27 percent and Clinton 24 percent. No other Democrat
was in double digits.
In the Republican race, Mike Huckabee expanded his
lead to six points, 31 to 25 percent, over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney, the one-time leader in Iowa who has attacked Huckabee for his record as
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is in third
place in the Republican race at 11 percent and Arizona Sen. John McCain slipped
two points to 10 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul also registered 10
"There is a clear Clinton fade," pollster John
Zogby said. "None of it has been dramatic, but it has been steady."
He said Clinton, a New York senator, was losing
ground to Obama, an Illinois senator, among Democrats -- as opposed to
independents -- and self-described liberals.
"Under any circumstance, a 31-27-24 spread is
still very close," he said of the margins for the top three Democratic
contenders. "Edwards is right in the mix and he has made gains too."
About 6 percent of Republicans and 5 percent of
Democrats remain undecided, leaving room for late swings.
The rolling poll of 905 likely Democratic
caucus-goers and 914 likely Republican caucus-goers was taken Sunday through
Wednesday and has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points for each
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was fourth with 7
percent and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden was at 5 percent. Connecticut Sen. Chris
Dodd was at 1 percent and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich was under 1
Iowa opens the process of choosing the next U.S.
president on Thursday night, kicking off a state-by-state battle to choose
Republican and Democratic candidates for the November election to replace
President George W. Bush.
Obama, Clinton and Edwards have battled for the
lead in Iowa for months. Clinton, who would be the first woman president, holds
a slight lead among women and is still strong among older voters. Obama leads
among men and younger voters.
Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, remained
the top second choice of Democrats. A candidate must have 15 percent support in
each precinct to be viable or their supporters can switch to another
In the Republican race, Huckabee gained three
points on Romney. The gains followed Monday's news conference where he said he
would not air an ad attacking Romney because he wanted to keep the race positive
-- and then showed it to reporters.
The move was heavily criticized in the media --
but his numbers have climbed since, Zogby said.
"Everyone outside of Iowa laughed at what appeared
to be a Huckabee gambit, but Iowa Republicans seem to think it was genuine," he
"Huckabee is not pulling away, but it's now a
six-point lead and he has moved above 30 percent."
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has
largely bypassed Iowa to focus on later voting states, is at 6 percent.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter is at 1 percent.
The rolling tracking poll concludes with these
results. In a rolling poll, the most recent day's results are added while the
oldest day's results are dropped in order to track changing momentum.
It will be especially interesting to see how Hillary Clinton makes out
here. Hubby Bill tried his best to lower expectations a week or so
ago, saying it would be "a miracle" if she won. And, of course, she can
try to use a loss in Iowa as a parallel to the path of Hubby Bill, who also lost
Iowa in 1992 -- but then declared himself the "comeback kid" after the New
Here's something a lot of people don't remember, though. Bill
Clinton lost New Hampshire too. Paul Tsongas won that primary
and Clinton finished second. It is a measure of his transcendental
political talents that Mr. Clinton talked Democratic voters into seeing
his second loss in a row as some kind of win.
Does Hillary Clinton have that capability? In a word, nope.
If Senator Clinton finishes behind Obama and Edwards, the aura of
inevitability that she has worn for the last year is going to look pretty
ridiculous. And if she isn't inevitable, more and more Democratic primary
voters may start thinking about who they want as their nominee instead of
reflexively pulling the lever for Ms. Clinton.
In other words, she damn well better win one or both of these two primaries or she's going to
sink faster than the Titanic. And importantly, if the flying monkeys in
her campaign staff (many of whom performed so capably for Hubby
Bill) sense this, they are going to take down Obama and Edwards any
way they can so that neither of them can win the presidency either.
Look at it this way;
-If Hillary is not the nominee and a Republican wins, she can run in 2012
on the basis that Democrats made a mistake by nominating the loser of
-If Hillary is not the nominee and a Democrat wins, she can't run until
2016, at which point it will be way too late (she'll be too old and too far
removed from her white house years by then).
So the bottom line is that, for Ms. Clinton's ambitions to be served in
2008, either she is the nominee or a Republican wins the
That should give you an idea of the importance Iowa and New Hampshire hold
for Ms. Inevitable.
If you think I'm talking about something that happened in Sudan or Saudi
Arabia or Iran, think again.
Here is the story, courtesy of www.sweetness-light.com. I've
left their comments at the end:
January 3rd, 2008
From those defenders of the faith at the Dallas Morning
Lewisville cabdriver sought in slayings of 2
Bodies of 2 Lewisville teens found in taxi;
dating issues probed
Thursday, January 3, 2008
By WENDY HUNDLEY / The Dallas Morning
Area police continue to search for a man who
they believe killed his two teenage daughters and left their bodies in a taxi
at an Irving hotel.
Police sealed off a street and surrounded the
mans home in Lewisville for more than five hours Wednesday but found that
Yaser Abdel Said, 50, a cabdriver, was not inside.
He is sought in connection with the deaths of
Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17.
Both victims died of multiple
gunshot wounds, the Dallas County medical examiners office ruled
Police provided no clues about the
motive for the killings. "There are several things were looking into," said
Irving police Officer David Tull, noting that the suspect faces
capital murder charges.
Officer Tull said there have been some
"domestic issues" with the family, but he did not elaborate.
Police did say they are looking into the
possibility that the father was upset with his daughters dating activities.
"Its something well worth looking
into," Officer Tull told WFAA-TV (Channel 8).
Officer Tull said at a news conference that the
mother of the victims is cooperating with police and that she and her
19-year-old son are in a safe place. He believes the couple is married, but he
didnt know whether they had been living together.
Lewisville police responded to a call at the
residence on Dec. 26 on a report of a missing person, Capt. Kevin Deaver said.
He did not know who was reported missing or what action was taken to resolve
Mr. Said, who is from Egypt, has
lived in the Dallas area since at least the mid-1980s, records
Its unclear which of the sisters called 911
from a cellphone around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. She said she was dying, according
to an Irving police report. She did not provide her location, but police
traced the call to OConnor Road and Riverside Drive.
They couldnt find the caller but an hour later,
police received another call about two unconscious females inside a taxi at a
service entrance of the Omni Mandalay Hotel. Police located the vehicle and
found the sisters.
"The victims mother provided information that
pointed to the victims father as the suspect," the police report
Liz Marines, secretary of the Lewisville High
School Student Council, had classes with both of the sisters and remembers
their scholastic abilities.
"Amina was very nice with everybody. She helped
me in [Advanced Placement English] class," she said. Sarah was a sophomore
when she took an Algebra II class with Liz, who was a junior at the
She said the sisters, who wore typical American
clothes, didnt talk much about their family. "I didnt know they were
Muslims until she told me they were Egyptian and Muslim," Liz
Now everyone will know that the girls were Muslim.
What an honor.
By the way, note that our hero has been in this
country for more than twenty years.
When reading this horror story, it is very important to understand what
the term "honor killing" means. It means that, within this man's
understanding of culture and religion (which apparently is unaffected by 20
years in the USA), it is not only dishonorable for his children to stray from
his beliefs, but perfectly honorable to kill them if they do.
I have pointed out many times and point out again that this is not - repeat,
not - every Muslim's view of things. Not by a long shot. But it is
radical Islam's view, and they are the ones telling us that they want the entire
world to live by their rules. And if they succeed? Then YOUR
daughters can be treated to the same lovingkindness.
We play politics with the war against radical Islam at our own
WHEN THE REFEREE IS ON THE OTHER GUY'S SIDE.....
Ed Morrissey at www.captainsquartersblog.com has
an excellent analysis of how and why we lost Fallujah to al qaeda in 2004.
It is the kind of fact-based logic and common sense that, lamentably, you will
have trouble finding in mainstream media.
Hey, why would they talk about the problem if they are the
Let me show you what I mean:
According to the Washington Times, the
military reviewed the loss of Fallujah to Iraqi insurgents and al-Qaeda
terrorists in 2004 to determine how the US lost control of the city. The Marine
Corps should have beaten the terrorists in a straight up fight, but the Pentagon
believes that the enemy had a lot of help from a surprising source -- surprising
for everyone except those who watched it happen in real time:
"The outcome of a purely military
contest in Fallujah was always a foregone conclusion coalition victory,"
read the assessment, prepared by analysts at the U.S. Army's National Ground
Intelligence Center, or NGIC.
"But Fallujah was not simply a military action,
it was a political and informational battle. ... The effects of media
coverage, enemy information operations and the fragility of the political
environment conspired to force a halt to U.S. military operations," concluded
the assessment. ...
The authors said the press was "crucial to
building political pressure to halt military operations," from the Iraqi
government and the Coalition Provisional Authority, which resulted in a
"unilateral cease-fire" by U.S. forces on April 9, after just five days of
During the negotiations that followed, top Bush
administration officials demanded a solution that would not require the
Marines to retake the town, according to the assessment.
What happened? During the initial effort to retake
Fallujah in April 2004 -- following the brutal murders of four Blackwater
contractors -- Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya began broadcasting propaganda that
Western media immediately repeated. The two Arab news services showed video of
babies in hospitals and claimed the Marines had wounded these and killed more.
Both channels made explicit comparisons to the Palestinians, and the American
and European press ate it up.
The propaganda efforts worked. The Marines
withdrew and the terrorists made Fallujah the center of their oppression over
the people of western Iraq. It took months for the US to mount another
offensive, this time with media embeds to counter the propaganda that the
Western press seemed eager to indulge. In November 2004, the US finally cleared
Fallujah, but not before losing a lot of credibility with the Iraqis who felt
abandoned to the terrorists.
This is just a repeat of the Peter Arnett story.
In the first Gulf War, Arnett famously repeated without any hint of skepticism
the notion that the US bombed a baby-milk factory instead of a weapons factory.
Years later, Eason Jordan would admit that CNN cooked its reporting to curry
favor with Saddam Hussein, and would occasionally just read copy into the camera
provided by the Saddam regime as though it was CNN's own. Rather than treat the
Al-Jazeera propaganda with any skepticism at all, the Western media instead
regurgitated it while insisting that American military sources could not be
trusted to provide honest accounting of the fight.
We saw this at the time, and tried to point out
the contradictions. It cost the lives of American Marines and soldiers, and it
cost many more Iraqi lives. The media lost Fallujah, and had it not been for the
determination of the Bush administration, they would have lost the entirety of
Iraq to al-Qaeda terrorists as well.
For years, a great many media venues have tried to convince us that Iraq
is another Vietnam. In point of fact, when it comes to their coverage, it
With all the talk about how influential conservative talk radio is - and all
the ratings success for people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham
and others - it cannot come close to having the impact of the media
If the New York Times, LA Times, Time
and Newsweek, the network news shows, etc. do not want to act as if they root
for the USA over al qaeda terrorists, it would be nice if a few of them
would at least consider indifference.
JOHN KERRY: TWO MONTHS AND COUNTING......
During the 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry's single biggest nemesis
was a group called Swiftboat Veterans For Truth. The group, comprised of
swiftboat veterans like Kerry, made a series of claims about his service in that
capacity. It is likely that the "Swifties" changed enough votes to
kill Kerry's chances for election.
For the past 3 years, Democrats and their willing mouthpieces in the
media, have taken to using the term "swiftboating". To be
"swiftboated" in their eyes, is to be accused of something
aggressively and falsely.
But what exactly did the Swifties accuse John Kerry of that was false?
That's the issue.
By November of last year, Texas Oilman and avid supporter of the US
Military, T. Boone Pickens, had enough of the derisive "swiftboating" term.
He offered $1,000,000 to anyone who could disprove any claims by the
Swiftboat Veterans For Truth against John Kerry's military
Here is what has happened since:
-Kerry immediately took Pickens up on his challenge.
-Pickens said to prove the Swifties were wrong Kerry would have to provide
his complete military records - records, it should be noted, that he has
promised to provide for years.
-Kerry said that he could disprove charge after charge but that Pickens was
changing the rules (i.e. in Kerry's view, expecting documentation is changing
-Pickens has yet to pay the $1,000,000 because Kerry has not disproved
-Kerry has yet to show any proof that any of the Swifties' charges were
lies and has not released his military records.
I don't know enough about T. Boone Pickens to conclude that he is
an honorable or dishonorable man.
But I do know enough about John Kerry to conclude that he is a dishonorable
man who has lied over and over again about his military service and has
lied over and over again about releasing his military records.
Because of the swifties' charges, Kerry had to change his story about being
in Cambodia during Christmas, 1968. Because of the swifties' charges,
Kerry had to change his story about his first purple heart being won in
combat. I have yet to hear of even one thing that the swifties, as a
group, said which they subsequently had to change based on facts supplied by
Kerry had three years to show the Swiftboat Veterans For Truth were
liars before the $1,000,000
challenge was made and he didn't do so. If these were easily proven lies, how come
he didn't disprove them during his presidential campaign or in the years
But then, when Mr, Pickens' challenge was issued, Kerry used
his press muscle to make a grandstand promise that he would debunk just about
everything the Swifties said.
Well, two months have now passed. Where is his proof that anything said
about him was a lie? Did you see it? I know I didn't.
Maybe it's stored in one of Kerry's closets, along with the statement he
made on Saint Patrick's Day which began "For those of us
who are fortunate to share an Irish ancestry..." to mine Irish votes
in Massachusetts (Kerry doesn't have a drop of Irish blood).
A liar is a liar is a liar. And anyone who pays attention to John
Kerry will know as much. Swiftly.
HUCKABEE AND LENO
Just a quick thought:
We will never know for sure, but did Mike Huckabee help or hurt himself by
leaving Iowa yesterday to do the Leno show?
I've been rolling this around in my mind and trying to think about how
Huckabee's natural base of support - religious conservatives with strong
family values - will react to him wisecracking with a TV star in LA
instead of staying in Iowa to speak to them about the issues that
affect their daily lives.
I can't come up with a way that this helps Huckabee, but I sure can come up
with a few ways it hurts him.
Mike Huckabee has made several serious mistakes over the past couple of
weeks. But I wonder if his jaunt to the coast may be the biggest of
THE LAST IOWA POLLS BEFORE REALITY SETS IN
Ok, this is it.
Here are the final polls from all the research companies compiled at www.realclearpolitics.com. And one look at the differences
from one to the next should tell you how unreliable they can
Illustratively, there is a 16% difference between the American Research Group
(run by Stan Greenberg, who has worked for the Clintons, it should be noted) and
the Des Moines Register. ARG has Clinton up by 9% and DMR has Obama up by
On the Republican side, Strategic Vision has Romney up by 2% versus a 6% lead for
Huckabee in three other polls, including Zogby.
There are also considerable differences from poll to poll for each individual candidate. For example, there is
a 9% range from the highest to lowest percentages for Obama (34% - 25%), 10% for
Clinton (34% - 24%) and 12% for Edwards (33% -
21%). Interestingly, however, the ranges are much tighter
for Republican candidates.
Now let's wait just a few hours and see how this "intelligence" compares to reality.
I fully expect to be laughing at a lot of these data tomorrow
morning. Wanna bet you'll be laughing along with me?
Election 2008 Iowa