Fishing Polls

Somehow, I am one who gets a Zogby poll in my email from time to time. Yesterday I got one dubbed Zogby International and was interested in what questions it would have vs. the usual plain old Zogby.

Every time it asks standard  background info such as age, state, political party, income and education level. It also wants to know how often I shop at Walmart,   how often I attend church and whether  I consider myself a fan of Nascar. Do I consider myself a social networker is a new one. Has anyone in my family gone without food , lost a job or suffered a decrease in pay. I wonder if elements of these answers mean they throw your answers away. After all, as we know from NPR, there are a lot of dangerous gun toting churchgoers – perhaps brain starved from lack of food in the Obama economy – who need to have their opinions thrown out.

Zogby presents statements to which I am to reply whether I agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree or no hold no opinion on various  statements. Here were the current ones:

“Most politicians who want to pass laws preventing public employees from negotiating their benefits are union busters.”

“Most public employees are greedy and unwilling to make concessions in their union contracts.”

“Republicans in states where they want to prevent public employee unions from negotiationg benefits want to weaken unions and their ability to campaign for Democrats.”
“Democrat politicians now defending public employees know that these workers are too highly compensated and are just trying to protect the campaign cash and support they get from unions.”

“Many public employees do not have the skills and ambition to find similiar jobs in the private sector.”

“If compensation, including benefits, for public employees such as teachers, police and firefighters is decreased, fewer qualified people will want those jobs and the services they provide will suffer.”

Rather slanted, don’t you think? Some answers put you in the Simon Legree category. Some are too broad brushed. For instance, most public employees do have skills to get a job in the private sector; but undoubtedly, some don’t.

How about the poll phrase it like this: “States that find themselves in a critical economic situation need to cut back on minor negotiations so as to save as many jobs as possible.”

“Politicians  who find the coffers empty do not have enough money to pay bus drivers a salary of $157,000 a year (as they do in Wisconsin) so they need to make cutbacks so that the state functions at all.”

“Do you think that the winning party in a state that took control of the governorship, house and senate can consider their voters’ wishes a mandate?”

“Credit ratings for bankrupt states mean states will no longer be able to fund themselves and belt tightening is one solution.”

Zogby’s questions are framed as to look for certain answers. But wait; there’s more.

Usually there is a political match up or several that it wants to know about. For instance, the list of contenders includes Chris Christie, who has said he will not run for president, along with Huckabee, Romney, Palin, et al. I’m asked whether I would vote for him, does he represent my views and could he defeat Obama. At one point, you wonder if this is opposition research.

Zogby likes to throw in a few outside-politics questions in a bid, I suppose, to put the poll taker at ease or maybe to distract us from the “hard” issues we’ve had to handle. The poll this time veered to whether I purchase anything from Amazon or am a Netflix subscriber. Curiously, this is followed by a commentary on Amazon’s streaming of TV and movies without any question to answer. Previously he’s thrown in such oddball questions as whether I believe in horoscopes and whether I ever urinated in a neighbor’s pool. 

Finally, Zogby throws in the Tea Party. Do endorsements by the Tea Party organization make you much more likely to vote for a candidate, somewhat likely, somewhat less, much less, no difference, not sure or I refuse. Perhaps they could ask whether the network news shows  have the same effect.

I never did find any question that had any international bent. Nothing about the Middle East, world economy or China.

Maybe that one is for the next time.

Where’s My BBQ Poetry Festival Pork?

What has the world come to when our House representative for the 9th district,  Steve Cohen, gets outdone in the pork by Harry Reid?

I had to read in Politico about Harry Reid’s heroic defense of money for his cowboy poetry festival. As they relate it: “In the middle of his tirade against House Republicans ‘mean spirited’ budget bill on the Senate floor Tuesday, the Senate Majority Leader lamented that the GOP’s proposed budget cuts would eliminate the annual cowboy poetry festival in his home state of Nevada.”

It seems Reid has been funneling money to this festival in Elko for years through the National Endowment of the Humanities for this “week long celebration of life in the rural West.”

What about life in the urban South, Steve? Cowboy poetry festival?  Do we not produce the best barbecue  in the country? Our sandwiches are poetry themselves.  Do we not have the biggest barbecue  festival in the country? Well where have you been, Steve? Where’s money for us? In the land of pork, how could you forget your own?

And let’s n0t stop at a barbecue  grillers poetry contest. How about an ad lib competition for rib cookers? Haiku for whole hog smokers? Surely there’s taxpayer money for swine rhyme. Steve, the mind reels with ideas for this kind of stuff.

Because it’s pork, doesn’t form follow function in a thrilling way?

You need to get on this bbq pdq. There’s only so much room at the trough. Time you bellied up.

Juan Williams Fires Back

After the James O’Keefe tape came out yesterday, displaying NPR’s true attitudes in an undercover report, Juan Williams had a few choice words.

“This was an act of incredible condescension. The rank hypocrisy of his (Schiller) remarks was telling for me. They will say things to your face about how there’s no liberal orthodoxy at NPR, how they play it straight, but now you see it for what it is. They prostitute themselves for money.”

Williams said remarks about Jews controlling media are “outright anti-Semitism.” About the Tea Party, it is “their real feelings. This is how they talk in boardrooms. This is how they really feel.

“They’re up on Capitol Hill saying we need money, asking for an increase in fact, telling everyone else to sacrifice so they can have icing on their cake…just to preserve their biased agenda when we’re $14 trillion in debt.”

About his firing Williams comments, “This shows a real lack of remorse…these people say one thing in public, then candidly say I need to see a shrink and they’re proud of what went down.. it shows eactly who the villains are.”

All Things Considered, Well, Not Quite

Put down your coffee cup, get your blood pressure medicine or defribrillator handy, remove anything breakable within reach, buckle up and strap yourself in before watching the video that just surfaced this morning.

That is, unless you consider yourself  as a Republican/conservative “fanatically involved in peoples’ lives,” “Islamophobic, but really xenophobic, white, middle-American guntoting, seriously racist people,” “anti-intellectual ,” “less educated and less fair and balanced ” than liberals.

If you’re OK with this you won’t be upset by the interview with National Public Radio official Ron Schiller videotaped by conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe of the ACORN fraud videos.

O’Keefe filmed Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving, meeting with two men posing as members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yes, that Muslim Brotherhood that spawned and supports Al Qaeda. The two met them at Cafe Milano, a well known Georgetown  restaurant, to express an interest in donating $5 million to NPR. They do not hide their organization from the NPR people which leads to a  Jew bashing by all four. Of course, only two of them were sincere.

They all share a laugh when the fake Muslims joke that NPR in their community has stood for National Palestinian Radio. Schiller admits to being “very proud of” how NPR fired Juan Williams, chuckling with them that being on Fox News was reason enough for the firing.

Watch the video at It’s really breathtaking. It appears there will be more coming, too.

Fighting Back

On Saturday in Nashville the NEA, ACLU, Teamsters, IBEW, Organizing for American and Moveon .org bused in activists by the thousands as they did in Wisconsin to demonstrate against pending legislation that would limit collective bargaining.

In Tennessee our legislature wants to pass HB130 which would end special treatment under the law to unions and their collective bargaining. As in Wisconsin, the socialist/leftists are trying everything they can to sway public opinion to their side and protect their special interests. Ostensibly this is all about teachers; in reality it’s about union power and money.

The proposal goes to the House Education Subcommittee next and could be voted on on Wednesday. Republicans hold an 8-5 majority, however three of them appear to be squishy. You can contact them by phone or email and let them know what you think. The relevant information:

Rep. Richard Montgomery from Sevierville, phone: 615-253-0303 or;

Rep. Ron Lollar from Shelby County,

Rep. Harry Brooks, Knoxville, 615-741-6879,

In addition, you can contact Governor Haslam, phone 615-741-2001;, and Speaker Beth Harwell, 615-741-0709,

Numbers Fun at the Labor Dept.

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with an 8.9% unemployment rate on Friday, many analysts failed to get excited about the drop.

That’s because of another statistic the BLS  brushed aside.  They look at the Civilian Labor Force Participation rate. As analyzed at, the rate is a ratio of working age population to labor force. In November 2008, the BLS estimated that out of a working population of 234.5 million, 154.6 million people were employed. This translates to 65.5% of the population.

In February 2011, estimates pegged the work age population at 239 million. About 4.5 million Americans joined the number of people eligible to work in those years.  Out of those, 153 million are employed. In other words, 64.2% of our population. Translated, the number eligible to work  increased by 1.6 million, but they haven’t found jobs.

This would put the true labor picture at an unemployment rate of 10.8%, which is closer to Gallup’s estimate. Gallup saw  the unemployment rate tick up, putting it at 10.3%.

Looks like the Obama administration is determined to get the unemployment rate at 8% whether facts support it or not. That percentage would greatly enhance his reelection chances since no president in recent times has been reelected when the unemployment rate was above 8%.

That’s Illinois For You!

Democrat Illinois Governor Pat Quinn bet Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker that the Chicago Bears would beat the Green Bay Packers. The loser agreed to go to the other’s state and volunteer at a food pantry.

The Bears lost.

Pat Quinn showed up at a Milwaukee food pantry.

But it wasn’t Governor Pat Quinn. It was a Pat Quinn from Lansing, Illinois. Seems a liberal talk radio show arranged for the phony governor to go. The real governor didn’t want to step on union toes. He has said he will fulfill his bet in the future.

Want to bet he does?