Archive for President Obama

Why Polls are for Nerds… Usually.

Battleground Logo- 220x220

OK, Point 1 on why polls are for nerds, at least usually: it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I read a Washington Post blog article on some recent polling from the Tarrance Group for Politico and George Washington University that I think has limited usefulness at best, and I proceed to start writing about it immediately. That’s nerdy.

But while there is much we can learn from public opinion polls, especially in politics, it’s important to keep them in perspective — particularly the perspective of media framing and institutional norms of journalism that are usually all but allergic to a long view.

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Of Presidents and Turkeys

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Later today, I’m going to eat lots of turkey. So will millions of Americans celebrating Thanksgiving (and steeling themselves for the ravages of Black Friday, which this year is blasphemously beginning on Thursday). But of the 46 million turkeys that will be gobbled down today (that works out to 3 pounds of bird per person — really???), at least two will be spared. Liberty, and his understudy Peace, were officially pardoned by President Barack Obama yesterday at a White House ceremony.

At a time of overseas war, national and global economic distress and virulent partisan political bickering, is it a worthy use of the President’s time to pardon a turkey? Actually, yeah, it is.

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