Few Obama voters knew potential negatives

In the 2008 election, voters knew lots of negatives regarding McCain-Palin but very few about Obama-Biden – so says a poll conducted by Zogby International. Conducted for documentarian, John Ziegler, the poll seems to indicate most voters consumed media which placed McCain-Palin in a more negative light than Obama-Biden.

“After I interviewed Obama voters on Election Day for my documentary, I had a pretty low opinion of what most of them had picked up from the media coverage of the campaign, but this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace,” said Ziegler.
Ninety-four percent of Obama voters correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter, 86% correctly identified Palin as the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe purchased by her political party, and 81% chose McCain as the candidate who was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. When asked which candidate said they could “see Russia from their house,” 87% chose Palin, although the quote actually is attributed to Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey during her portrayal of Palin during the campaign. An answer of “none” or “Palin” was counted as a correct answer on the test, given that the statement was associated with a characterization of Palin.
Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden — 83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and 88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry. Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of Obama voters did not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who had to quit a previous campaign for President because he was found to have plagiarized a speech, and nearly half (47%) did not know that Biden was the one who predicted Obama would be tested by a generated international crisis during his first six months as President.

During the campaign, I pointed out a Rasmussen poll which suggested the media leaned Obama’s way. Another way of interpreting this outcome is that voters cared more about the issues correctly identified than the others. I think I am biased, but the MSM certainly seemed to overlook relevant issues. I felt like Obama’s record as a State Senator was largely untouched, whereas Sarah Palin’s record as Governor was mined in detail.

Hillary Clinton to become Secretary of State

Via Drudge, this news comes in. With an eye to 2012 perhaps, Barack Obama offered the Secretary of State position to Hillary Clinton and according to the Guardian (UK), she will accept.
UPDATE: There has been little follow through on this announcement from the Guardian. Politico.com is reporting that the deal is not yet done and is upsetting Progressives.

Post Prop 8 – Ugly scene in the Castro

I didn’t write about Proposition 8 in CA during the election season, primarily because I had become preoccupied with the general election and the historic campaign. However, as all know, Proposition 8 in CA passed and has set off a firestorm of reaction. Protests this past weekend were widespread nationally (see this link for more than most people will want to read).
However, I want to post this video because I hope it serves as a caution to those on both sides of the gay rights issue. I am saddened by the treatment of the Christian believers who apparently were not there to celebrate the passage of Proposition 8, but as a resumption of an outreach. I also believe that the anger and ugliness reveals the rejection that many gays feel from the Prop 8 defeat. I hope leaders of both sides will step up and call for calm and cooling off.

Rejecting violence while experiencing empathy for the angry is not likely to be a popular position. I watch this video and I wonder, how can we live together? How can such divergent value positions co-exist in a society that often changes by degrees and not by fiat? Mostly, as I watched the impromptu march, I just felt sad and long for a better resolution.
Update: Some reactions to this from both sides of the spectrum. Pam’s House Blend says, “This kind of activism isn’t helping” and this blog offers more from the perspective of the group of Christians chased out of the Castro.
GayPatriot has some good advice for activists…

Auto makers bailout – Open Forum

Apparently, no one likes my suggestion to sell Obama gear to bail out the (Sorta) Big Three automakers, so Congress is debating giving billions to them.

This week, Congress will consider whether to cough up billions of dollars to bail out the troubled companies.
There are loud advocates with strong arguments on both sides.
Proponents of a bailout say that the industry is a victim of the global financial crisis. Wall Street has been bailed out, so why not Detroit?
They say millions of jobs could be lost and more than $100 billion in wages sliced out of an already-fragile U.S. economy.
“It would be a travesty for the irresponsible, reckless behavior of Wall Street to result in the sweeping away of the American automobile industry,” said Mike Jackson, CEO of Autonation, the nation’s largest auto dealership group. “If indeed it came to bankruptcy, it’s going to make what happened with Lehman Brothers and all the consequences of that a nice day.”
On the other side are those who feel just as strongly that the automakers’ problems are their own doing, born of bad business decisions, uncompetitive labor agreements and vehicles that Americans have decided are second-rate.

In my very small sampling of friends, radio DJs, and Internet blogs, the verdict appears to be running against a bailout. Youngstown, Ohio’s Hot 101 radio station is running their own auto bailout promo, giving away a car, since the Washington DC version doesn’t help anyone except execs (at least that’s what the promo suggests).
What say you?

Saturday at the movies: Pink Panther Strikes Again

Probably the funniest comedic sequence I have ever seen in a film, this interrogation of suspects from Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) is my all time favorite scene from the entire Pink Panther franchise.

Clouseau is interrogating the staff of a Professor Fassbinder who has been kidnapped by Clouseau’s nemesis, the former Chief Inspector Dreyfus. He begins in the gymnasium and makes a rapid and dramatic entrance to the parlor where the staff is gathered. After the “interrogation,” he manages to shoot his British inspector counterpart with buckshot, requiring immediate “surgery.” It is well worth the 5+ minutes.

Ayers defends terrorist past and relationship with Obama

I can’t find an embed code but the ABC News video is here and the article is here.
He says they didn’t hurt or kill anybody but then he says about whatever they did,

“We knew it was wrong. We knew it was illegal. We knew it was immoral,” he said, but the group’s members felt they “had to do more” to stop the Vietnam War.

And then he urges action today to stop the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

He urged people today “to participate in resistance, in nonviolent, direct action” to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He says non-violent but he says they didn’t hurt anyone before when apparently the Weather Underground bombed buildings with people in them.
This blog claims to have an excerpt of Fugitive Days where he is fuzzy but claims responsibility for bombing. I am looking for a copy where I can verify it.
If he is trying to come across as someone who is noble in his activism, it doesn’t sell well to me.

Weblog Awards – Blogkeeping note

If you are so inclined, you can vote for yours truly in a blog competition (just click the plus sign in the green circle) or nominate this blog in another category.
If you nominate in another category, here is the info to place in the comment section:

Warren Throckmorton – A College Psychology Professor’s Observations About Culture, Mental Health, Sexual Identity, and Religious Issues
https://www.wthrockmorton.com/
http://feeds.feedburner.com/WarrenThrockmorton

There are many other great blogs being nominated as well. Go have a look…

New Danish study reviews mortality among married gays

In April, 2007, I posted a rebuttal to Paul and Kirk Cameron’s claims that gays die 20-plus years sooner than straights. That post was the first of a nine-part series, Only the Gay Die Young? The links will show up if you click here, here and here. Also, I brought them all together in an article with additional commentary in an article presented at a research summit I conducted in 2007.
Participating in that exchange was Morten Frisch, Danish epidemiologist. I initially corresponded with Dr. Frisch concerning his 2006 article on environmental influences in homosexual versus heterosexual marriage decisions. When Paul and Kirk Cameron produced their mortality study at the Eastern Psychological Association, I contacted Dr. Frisch for comment. Dr. Frisch dismissed the Camerons’ methods saying,

Cameron and Cameron’s report on “life expectancy” in homosexuals vs heterosexuals is severely methodologically flawed
It is no wonder why this pseudo-scientific report claiming a drastically shorter life expectancy in homosexuals compared with heterosexuals has been published on the internet without preceding scientific peer-review (http://www.earnedmedia.org/frireport.htm). The authors should know, and as PhDs they presumably do, that this report has little to do with science. It is hard to escape the idea that non-scientific motifs have driven the authors to make this report public. The methodological flaws are of such a grave nature that no decent peer-reviewed scientific journal should let it pass for publication

In this case, Dr. Frisch did more than critique the Camerons. He, along with colleague Henrik Brønnum-Hansen, conducted a study using the data from Denmark regarding married gays and straights. The study will be published in the January, 2009 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, but is being released today via the journal’s website. Dr. Frisch was kind enough to forward a copy which I summarize here.
Frisch and Brønnum-Hansen found that Danish men marrying soon after the Danish same-sex marriage law was enacted had markedly higher death rates than men in the general Danish population. They speculate that these men were ill, ordinarily with AIDS or AIDS related illnesses, but also from other life-threatening diseases, and wanted to marry to establish rights of survivorship or other benefits for a surviving spouse. However, the mortality for homosexual men marrying after 1996 is virtually the same as for heterosexual men in Denmark. Thus, since HIV/AIDS has been more successfully managed, the mortality rates have declined dramatically.
During the height of the AIDS crisis, life expectancies were understandably depressed. This study indicates that mortality has improved substantially.
In the article, Frisch and Brønnum-Hansen directly address the methods of the Camerons.

Flawed Claims of Major Excess Mortality
Authors from the Family Research Institute, a US-based institution fighting to ‘‘restore a world . . . where homosexuality is not taught and accepted, but instead is discouraged and rejected at every level, ’’have produced a series of reports in which they claim homosexuality is incompatible with full health and as dangerous to public health as drug abuse, prostitution, and smoking. In a recent
report, the authors obtained data from Statistics Denmark and Statistics Norway and compared the average age at death among men and women who had ever been in a same-sex marriage with the average age at death among people who had ever been heterosexually married.
Because the age distribution among persons in same-sex marriages was considerably younger than that of people who had ever been heterosexually married, the average age at death among those who actually died during the observation period was, not surprisingly, considerably younger in the population of same-sex married persons. The Family Research Institute presented the lower mean age at death (by 22–25 years) for persons in same-sex versus heterosexual marriages as evidence that persons who married heterosexually ‘‘outlived gays and lesbians by more than 20 years on average.’’ Elementary textbooks in epidemiology warn against such undue comparisons between group averages because they lead to seemingly common-sense yet seriously flawed conclusions.

I am still reviewing the details and will add more as I complete my review. For now, I will say that I appreciate Dr. Frisch’s work and efforts to gain an objective look at this controversial topic.
The study reference is: Frisch, M. & Brønnum-Hansen, H. (2009). Mortality Among Men and Women in Same-Sex Marriage: A National Cohort Study of 8333 Danes. American Journal of Public Health 99,(1), available online at http://www.ajph.org/first_look.shtml.

Berg vs. Obama: Update and current status

As I noted previously, Philip Berg petitioned on October 30 to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in regard to his citizenship challenge against Barack Obama. Mr. Berg also asked the Supreme Court to stay the election in order that Mr. Obama’s citizenship could be verified. As we all know, Justice David Souter denied the request to stay the election but curiously did not dismiss the application for certiorari. Instead in accord with Supreme Court rules, December 1 was set as the deadline for President-elect Obama, the DNC and the FEC to respond to Berg’s writ. Because the Supreme Court docket 08-570 indicated that the defendants had until December 1 to respond to Berg’s application, some bloggers have erroneously proclaimed that Obama has until December 1 to produce his birth certificate. Not so. He might respond but then again he could choose not to do so.
Yesterday, I spoke with Patricia Estrada, spokeswoman for the Supreme Court, who filled in some additional details. She clarified that none of the defendants are required to file a brief in response. She also indicated that about 10,000 certiorari petitions are filed per year and under 100 are granted and then argued by the full court.
I then called the Office of the Solicitor General to ask if a response was planned by December 1. Evan Peterson emailed the following statement.

Under the Supreme Court rules, the government has until Dec. 1 to respond to the petition for certiorari. No decision has been made as to whether or when the government will file a response.
Evan Peterson
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

So Mr. Berg’s odds don’t look good and it is unclear if the Solicitor General will get involved. If the Justices grant certiorari (review), I suspect it would be on the question of whether Berg had standing as a citizen to bring suit challenging the citizenship of Obama. As I understand it, then the case would go back to the District Court for trial.
UPDATE: Berg has an ad in this week’s Washington Times weekly magazine asking for donations and people to call their Congressional representatives over Obama’s citizenship.

Bailoutarama – First the banks, now the cars, who's next?

Maybe the DNC; check out this email from Obama’s uber-campaign manager David Plouffe.

Friend —
Our friends at the Democratic National Committee laid it all on the line to bring change this year.
We’ve been reviewing the books, and the DNC went into considerable debt to secure victory for Barack and Joe. It took unprecedented resources to staff up all 50 states, train field organizers, and build the technology to reach as many swing voters as possible.
It worked.
But it also left the DNC in debt. So before we do anything else, we need to help pay for this winning strategy.
Make a donation of $30 or more now and you’ll get a limited edition 2008 Victory T-shirt.
The DNC’s 50-state field strategy was crucial to our campaign’s success, as well as victories for Democrats up and down the ballot. Their organizing infrastructure allowed us to compete — and win — in states that seemed insurmountable just four years ago.
They took out substantial loans to make it happen. The DNC didn’t hold back, and now, neither can we.
You were there for this campaign when we needed to reach out to more voters and compete in more states. Now we’re relying on grassroots supporters like you to come through for this movement once again.
We’ll get to work transforming this country. But first, we need to take care of the DNC.
Please make a donation of $30 or more today and receive your Obama Victory T-shirt:
Thank you for everything,
David
David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Can we take care of the DNC first? Yes We Can!
How about we fix the liquidity problems by selling off Obama brand name products?
Union guys who helped elect Obama can surely afford a few more t-shirts. Check out how the UAW fixes up the members.
Charles Martin points us to a brief but fine analysis by Larry Kudlow at National Review of the bailout biz. Kudlow point out how much the Big (shrinking) Three pay their employees versus the competition.

Total compensation per hour for the big-three carmakers is $73.20. That’s a 52 percent differential from Toyota’s (Detroit South) $48 compensation (wages + health and retirement benefits). In fact, the oversized UAW-driven pay package for Detroit is 132 percent higher than that of the entire manufacturing sector of the U.S., which comes in at $31.59.
I don’t care how much money Congress throws at GM. With that kind of oversized comp-package they are not gonna be competitive. It’s throwin’ bad money after a bad cause. What a way to start the new Obama era.

Billion t-shirts should cover it.