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Math Politics

Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers 546

Posted by kdawson
from the transparency-wins dept.
jamie found a story up on Daily Kos revealing that the polling firm they had contracted with for 18 months, Research 2000 or R2K, apparently made up or at least manually tweaked its polling results. The blog published a preliminary report by a team of statistics gurus (Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman), and it is an exemplar of clarity and concision. The team reports, "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls." Daily Kos will be filing a lawsuit against its former pollster. "For the past year and a half, Daily Kos has been featuring weekly poll results from the Research 2000 (R2K) organization. These polls were often praised for their 'transparency,' since they included detailed cross-tabs on sub-populations and a clear description of the random dialing technique. However, on June 6, 2010, FiveThirtyEight.com rated R2K as among the least accurate pollsters in predicting election results. Daily Kos then terminated the relationship. One of us (MG) wondered if odd patterns he had noticed in R2K's reports might be connected with R2K's mediocre track record, prompting our investigation of whether the reports could represent proper random polling. ... This posting is a careful initial report of our findings, not intended to be a full formal analysis but rather to alert people not to rely on R2K's results."
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Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers

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  • by flitty (981864) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:27PM (#32735228)
    In this case it was Lies, Damned Lies, and "stuff we made up".
  • by Anonymusing (1450747) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:30PM (#32735274)

    I'm not Republican, but ... [citation needed] for the Rasmussen reference.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:37PM (#32735396)

    Perhaps you misread the summary? The Daily Kos is not at fault here.

  • of course this will turn into a "bash the left" and a "bash the right" thread. when ideology isn't the point. polling is the idiocy in question

    and the guy who manipulated the numbers is clearly an amateur. the way you do proper poll manipulation is LOAD THE QUESTION. you poll people with a question with the proper turn of phrase to lead them towards the answer you want. then, when you present the answers to the poll, you also cage the results in such a way to lead the audience in the way you want them to interpret the results

    polling is fucking joke. all results from the left, or the right, is complete bullshit, and a waste of your time

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Volante3192 (953645) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:44PM (#32735506)

    First one, then the other.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by osu-neko (2604) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:46PM (#32735522)

    Actually, I do. And now They're suing the pants off of R2K. [fivethirtyeight.com]

    If this was the National Review Online, or Free Republic, or what have you, there would be a huge push to cover this up and blame the "liberal media"(whatever the hell THAT is) for any accusations that they did something wrong.

    I doubt they would have questioned the results to begin with, much less investigated...

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:49PM (#32735560)

    +1 on this.

    If Stephen Glass worked for a conservative rag like the National Review, he wouldn't have been fired, he would've been promoted.

    You mean the way that NYT promoted Jayson Blair several times even though his superiors were complaining about his inaccurate stories, until it became public knowledge that he just made things up?

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:54PM (#32735640)

    You're assuming the motive was to manipulate the outcome.

    Did it not occur to you that maybe the motive was to provide any outcome that would look real enough to get paid, while not doing as much work?

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ccarson (562931) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:55PM (#32735654)
    I wonder if she still does that at the beginning of her program? It seemed that when Bush was in office, the left screamed bloody murder when it came to the war(s). Now that their guy is in office, you can hear chirping from crickets.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @02:59PM (#32735710) Homepage

    polling is fucking joke. all results from the left, or the right, is complete bullshit, and a waste of your time

    Or, to put it another way, it's absolutely impossible to know what the people want without asking every single one of them.

    Genius.

    No, wait, sorry, I meant "bullshit". Polling is a tool, and an extremely important one. Can it be done very poorly? Yes, of course, But that needn't necessarily be true. And it's the only option for understanding a population when there's millions and millions of individuals.

  • by sycodon (149926) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:02PM (#32735752)

    Tin Hat Alert doesn't begin to cover this.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:04PM (#32735766)

    teabaggers

    And thus you lose all credibility. Try again next time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:10PM (#32735850)

    Hey! Let's play Google Confirmation Bias!

    Let's see... are there aliens in Area 51 [google.com]? Yep -- google finds 6.9M results.
    Um... did NASA fake the moon landings [google.com]? Yep - 300k results say yes.
    How about: was there a conspiracy to cover up the WTC attacks [google.com]? Wow - 2.7M results, so it must be true.

    Using Google to search for information to support your hypothesis is a lousy way to find the truth.

  • by Anonymusing (1450747) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:15PM (#32735940)

    You're also lazy, and ill informed. You could have spent a fraction of a second (0.15 seconds) with Google to find about 3,860,000 results for the search term "Rasmussen bias" to discover that, yes, in fact, there is some discussion of this point.

    I know there is discussion. Even your quote says differences "can emerge from legitimate differences of opinion about how to model the electorate" and FiveThirtyEight has, in the past, noted Rasmussen's surprising accuracy in predicting election outcomes. Your link would not support the GPP's description of "horribly flawed" to Rasmussen -- merely "hmm that's interesting".

  • nothing's shocking (Score:0, Insightful)

    by electron sponge (1758814) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:23PM (#32736060)
    A website that has an openly biased point of view published data that backed up their point of view for a year and a half without looking at it critically? Why are we surprised at all? By that same token, why would anyone care what dailykos or any of those other rabble-rousing political bitchfest sites (from either side, a pox upon both their houses) have to say about anything?
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:28PM (#32736124)

    Nobody expects the Daily Kos to be accurate. It would be like trusting Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or anything ever aired on "Air America" before it went bankrupt.

    On matters of fact, they're pretty scrupulous, especially when it comes to owning up to their own mistakes, like hiring R2K.

    On matters of opinion and ideology, well, it's a political blog. What exactly is an "accurate" opinion?

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:35PM (#32736226) Homepage Journal

    "Only if you're fond of false equivalencies, or an Obama fanboy. Of which there definitely are some on Dkos..."

    Some? Get real. The agenda on DKos is Liberalism, pure and simple. Its says so right on the front page. If you want a politically left view point, then DKos is for you. If want a right, then its Limbaugh. If you want pure news with out a slant... well, I guess you're SOL.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:36PM (#32736234)

    I wonder if she still does that at the beginning of her program? It seemed that when Bush was in office, the left screamed bloody murder when it came to the war(s). Now that their guy is in office, you can hear chirping from crickets.

    She doesn't do that on her tv show on MSNBC, but she goes after Obama all the time on lots of other stuff, as does Keither Olbermann, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. To think that 'the left' doesn't go after Obama for anything is to completely ignore some of the biggest names of the left media. Obama is not a liberal, as many on the left have discovered to their consternation since the election.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:38PM (#32736282)

    The difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are disappointed by liars.

    No, the difference between liberals and conservatives is which liars disappoint them. They're both disappointed by somebody they're paying to get an accurate snapshot of the zeitgeist lies to them. But which politicians lying piss them off depends on which side of the aisle they sit on.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skids (119237) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:53PM (#32736560) Homepage

    Olbermann continued to close his show with the number of days since "Mission Accomplished" right up until a month or so ago, when he switched to the number of days since the deepwater horizon leak started. Much of the left does not pull punches against Obama for taking his time extracting us from these debacles.

    The far left idealists can get quite heated against Obama. Me, all I have to do is imagine how McCain would have responded, then after I've wiped off all the cold sweat and stopped gritting my teeth, I have no regrets about 08.

  • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BabyDuckHat (1503839) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:55PM (#32736588)
    How? Lots of hand-waving, misdirection, and questionable assumptions. The whole research industry is in total denial about it, because there aren't any good alternatives yet.
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skids (119237) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @03:56PM (#32736608) Homepage

    They explain the criteria by which they selected R2K, and it seemed fine. (RTFA)

    That they caught R2K at this, and were willing to expose it, while other polls have also exhibited some of these patterns and continued to be used by their clients, says more good things about dkos than bad.

  • by Wildfire Darkstar (208356) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:01PM (#32736672)

    They did look at it critically. Research 2000 was fired by Daily Kos before anyone noted any impropriety in the figures, simply because the numbers weren't matching up with reality. Shortly after this happened, Grebner, Weissman, and Weissman approached Markos with evidence of deliberate impropriety.

    Does Daily Kos have a responsibility to not promote questionable information as truth? Of course, and they've apologized for the situation. But keep in mind that this information is only coming to light because someone with sufficient statistical background took the time to pore over the data. That sort of expertise is hard to come by, which is the reason why smaller media/news outlets contract out to firms like Research 2000 in the first place!

    It's only relatively recently that there's been much interest in the science of polling. Before the emergence of aggregation sites like FiveThirtyEight or Pollster.com, it was extremely rare that you'd ever see this kind of statistical analysis of polling data. The traditional method of testing a pollster's reliability was simple trial and error over a period of several elections. Really, that's *still* the primary method. If anything, Research 2000 only got scrutinized in this case because of the issues with their accuracy that led to them being dropped in the first place.

    For me, it's not really a partisan issue, despite the highly politicized nature of Daily Kos. It has more to do with the size of the media outlet. I would expect a major news organization with dozens or hundreds of employees, like Fox News or MSNBC, to be able to detect problems like these very quickly. A relatively small blog with maybe a dozen part-time employees like Daily Kos, or Red State, or whatever, I'm more willing to give a pass. At least at first: I'd expect Markos to learn his lesson from this and be more proactive in ensuring that it doesn't happen again.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:02PM (#32736678) Journal
    To an educated mind, snarky ad-hominem attacks do more to discredit you than your opponent.
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:21PM (#32737028) Journal
    Obama is certainly a liberal. He's simply not doing all the things the liberals who supported and elected him want. As to why, my guesses boil down to:
    • He got into the Oval office and realized that things aren't as simple as he previously thought. A lot of his foreign policy falls into this one. Eg, what to do with Gitmo detainees, or how to pull out of a war zone without making things worse. How to "engage" with ass-backwards countries like Iran.
    • He hasn't gotten around to it yet. Spending enormous amounts of political capital passing a kludged-together, loophole-filled healthcare bill has drained his ability to push other agenda items he wants. The situation in the Gulf of Mexico isn't helping either.
    • He liked how some things sounded during the election, but has since changed his mind.
    • He's a politician; of course he said what people wanted to hear in order to get elected.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:37PM (#32737276) Journal

    There's a difference between being sold defective product and knowingly selling said defective product. Will Daily Kos likely and deservedly lose some credibility from this? Probably. But to say that they're a culprit is to imply that they were knowingly complicit in the fraud that they are alleging.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by level_headed_midwest (888889) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:38PM (#32737282)

    The Tea Party people use the term "Tea Partiers" to describe themselves. It was liberals in some media outlets that started to use the term "teabagger" as a snarky, derogatory comment. If you're going to try to sound smart, at least get your own facts straight first.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:50PM (#32737490)
    Yes, the NYT fired Jayson Blair once they could no longer hide the fact that he made things up. The NYT had known for years that his "news" articles were fabrications before they fired him. BTW, unlike Bill Kristol, who writes opinion pieces, Jayson Blair was supposedly writing news articles.
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:32PM (#32737918) Journal

    Well, you just stick to bantering about terminology and calling names while we prepare to slaughter and gut the Big Government incumbents in November. You can camp out on the articles on Wikipedia and spend your time that way, I guess. Enjoy your broken-winged Chicago thug, by the way. He's your albatross for awhile longer. Shoulda picked Hillary, I guess.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Americano (920576) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:35PM (#32737944)

    For the FY2009, the federal budget was approximately 3.1 trillion dollars. Of that, 1.89 (~61%) trillion was mandatory (entitlement) spending - Social Security, Medicare, National Debt service, Unemployment, welfare, and the like. The remaining 1.21 trillion (~39%) was discretionary spending.

    Of that 1.21 trillion, about 515 billion (~42%) was spent on the Department of Defense.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_United_States_federal_budget [wikipedia.org]

    For FY2010, the planned budget is ~3.55 trillion dollars. Of that, 2.184 trillion (~61%) is mandatory spending. The remaining 1.368 trillion (~39%) is discretionary spending.

    Of that 1.368 trillion, 663.7 billion (~49%) is slated for the DoD.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget [wikipedia.org]

    While these numbers are big, they are nowhere near the 66% of discretionary spending you're asserting is being spent on the military.

    And frankly, we should be scared shitless about the way "mandatory" spending is ballooning, and expected to balloon, over the coming years - that's stuff we "don't have a choice" about because NO politician is going to get elected on a promise of "Vote for me and I'll slash your Social Security payouts." These entitlement programs have serious funding problems, and no politician is seriously (credibly) attempting to address them, we're simply kicking the can down the road for our kids to pay the bill later.

  • by hibiki_r (649814) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:39PM (#32737988)

    When you are attempting to do as little work as possible and still get the million dollars a year kos spends on polls, mocking with the data in such a way that nothing amiss can be detected is rather counter productive: You might as well do the polls right anyway.

  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @05:54PM (#32738170)

    Every Single Health Care Reform Idea is... ... a Republican idea.

    You seem to forget that the National health reform model is modeled after the Massachusetts one, instigated by Mitt Romney, a Republican.

    The Republican Party is only out for itself. If it's their idea,

    Oh fuckit. I'm not writing this for the billionth time. Fuck the GOP, Fuck the Teabaggers, and Fuck you and your fucking short term memory.

    --
    BMO

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @06:21PM (#32738432) Homepage

    All the real liberals are pissed as fuck at Obama, because he's a conservative in lib clothing, and we all see that now

    Obama is the antithesis to Conservatism, as was Carter. And NO, liberals do NOT get to define what conservatism is.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maxume (22995) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @07:03PM (#32738816)

    What is "leadership or sense of urgency"?

    Should he be down there trying to clean the gulf with his fucking kidneys? Shutting down other drilling was a pretty big step, and anybody who thinks that there is something more that could be done is ignoring the enormous scope of the problem (there are lots of dumb-shit PR things that could be done, but not much that would really do anything about the oil, the biggest problem is that there were not enough resources to deal with it in place before it happened, not that the response has been tepid relative to the available resources).

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @07:53PM (#32739132) Journal

    The fundamental problem with the Tea Party movement is that, the libertarian (economically), interventionist (with regard to foreign policy), and xenophobic (with respect to our relationship with the rest of the civilized) ideas that are underlying their platform are demonstrably awful for any society that adopts them. Sometimes there is a right and a wrong answer, all opinions are not equally valid and worthy of debate - yet we will tolerate all of them. The Tea Party movement is wrong, plain and simple. They do not have a legitimate contribution to make to the debate of how to govern society because their answer to that question is, "Don't."

    That's not an ideology, it's an emotional response. It is essentially fear based isolationism taken to the extreme and applying it as far down as it will go; to the individual person. That, mixed with religious zealotry, and a sub-culture that worships guns and violence has the potential to set the US back 50-100 years in terms of social progress, equality, and the expansion of rights (as is understood by the ability to actually make life choices and have the MEANS to carry them out).

    We have to tolerate them, as Americans they are within their right to express themselves, but anyone who does not stand up and say, scream, "NO!" to their hateful, backward, intolerant, reactionary rhetoric is the very antithesis of patriotic.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @07:58PM (#32739182) Journal

    Then by your metric, the Republican party is not conservative. We should think up a new word for them then, how about just 'Wrong'?

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jbeach (852844) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @08:51PM (#32739556) Homepage Journal
    I'd be happy with any definition of conservatism.

    Right now it seems to be:
    - against big government, but for the Patriot Act
    - against a Health Care ID card, because that's big brother - but the Arizona "Show us your papers" law? No problem
    - for State's rights, unless it's Bush v. Gore, Bush v. California EPA laws, or SCOTUS vs. state gun laws
    - against deficits, unless a Republican's in the White House
    - against "Islamofascists", unless their Saudis, in which case nothing to see here
    - against abortion, but for the death penalty

    I mean, what ties all that together?
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @09:24PM (#32739790) Journal

    Rush is highly factually accurate. That doesn't mean he's right.

    He, like many people educated in a day and age where truth is no longer held to the rigorous standards it once was, simply begins his line of thinking with his beliefs, and find the facts that best support those beliefs. Even if that means extracting them from their surrounding context entirely.

    But, oh yes, many of the facts he uses are technically true. He's downright wrong on occasion, for sure, the point is that he's not wrong because his facts are wrong, rather, he's wrong because a comprehensive, holistic look at the facts does not influence his opinion at all. They're just a tool to him to propagate his beliefs.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Machtyn (759119) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:28PM (#32740500) Homepage Journal
    Conservatism is about the protection of individual rights and liberties, freedom. It is about the reduction of government intervention. Let's see what Obama has done and his responses to certain topics:
    1. The lower class needs healthcare: response is to increase government spending with entitlements
    2. The economy is tanking badly: response is to create a slush fund of a trillion of dollars (give or take a billion)
    3. BP screwed up and caused an oil spill: response is to send in the lawyers, SWAT?, setup several more bureaucracies, etc.
    4. A car company is going belly up, Wall Street actually paid back their debts and rewarded themselves: response punish the risk takers by taking over the car company and threaten wall street with excessive taxes.
    5. Government spending is wildly out of control and the coffers need refilling: response let the Bush tax cuts expire (thus causing a tax increase). Which will result in fewer companies hiring, fewer company startups, an even more depressed economy, etc.

    Obviously, there are more than just these that blatantly expose Obama as a progressive liberal, if not a communist and/or socialist. And I haven't even touched the foreign policy aspects where our allies are our enemies and our enemies are our friends (with a knife aimed at our back).

    It's just that the DKos is SOO far left they think Obama is right. But it's the same people that think Fox News is so far right. I wouldn't call them center, but if you watch O'Reilly, you'll see that he is giving Obama a large amount of leniency that the right is not affording the President. That indicates to me that they are not as far right as the left seem to think (because they've had ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC, not to mention the majority of newspapers, movies, and TV shows that have catered to the left for so long.)

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Machtyn (759119) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @11:32PM (#32740524) Homepage Journal
    Show me where Rush Limbaugh has lied and I'll show you selective (honest?! haha) left-wing reporting, misinformation, and quoting out of context.
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @07:54AM (#32743010) Journal
    When they started gaining traction, the Republicans, fresh off their '08 defeats, tried co-opting the movement.
  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @08:15AM (#32743268) Journal

    "what you said is false because you said teabaggers"

    That's not what I said, is it? If you are going to put words in my mouth, try not to put quotes around them.

    What I actually said was:

    To an educated mind, snarky ad-hominem attacks do more to discredit you than your opponent.

    The only thing I did was point out his rhetorical fallacy, and indicate that through it he was damaging himself more than his opponent.

  • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @09:28AM (#32744182)

    This is late but...

    The fact is that the "tea party" and those that back it were utterly silent.

    They were utterly silent when GWB enacted the PATRIOT Act and people like me are *traitors* for opposing it.

    They were utterly silent when GWB suspended Habeas Corpus. Hello?

    They are *utterly blind* when a Republican does something that is supposedly against their principles, but when a Democrat adopts a Republican idea, woe be unto him. He's a TRAITOR to the US.

    They're just a branch of Republicanism and nothing more.

    --
    BMO

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @10:23AM (#32745186)

    Right and Left both suck in the US right now.

    At least the scandals on the right are Republicans with rent-boys and gay flings. The left has Al Gore getting all handsy in Portland.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @02:42PM (#32749230) Homepage Journal

    Moot or not, it is now a disgusting slur used to denigrate a large group. This cannot be excused by claiming that they (actually, a tiny subset of the group you refer to) used it first without knowledge of its connotations.

    That would be the same as looking at the origins of a racial slur, and finding that "Well, slaves from Niger called themselves that long ago, so it's perfectly neutral to refer to all African-descended people with that term now."

    So, yes, they are offended by it, you know that they are offended by it, but you defend your use of it, claiming that no one can view your use as intentionally pejorative. You're as obstinate in your belligerence as a 17th-century plantation master.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @05:17PM (#32750884)

    Obama is certainly a liberal.

    You're using that word, liberal, but it certainly doesn't mean whatever it is you think it means. If Obama were liberal, he would have signed an executive order halting DADT his first week in office, appointed an Attorney General that would be laying waste to Bushco and Wall Street with indictments, pushed for at least a 70% top marginal tax rate, withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, pushed for single payer, pushed for a real green energy bill....

    At this point, it's an open question if Obama will finish his presidency to the left of Reagan, who raised taxes to reduce the deficit, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants, and signed a treaty requiring the prosecution of torture (hint, hint Obama).

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Uberbah (647458) on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @06:21PM (#32751418)

    Conservatism is about the protection of individual rights and liberties, freedom.

    Abortion.
    Drug war.
    Pornography.
    Patriot Act.
    Warrantless wiretapping.
    Gulags at Gitmo and Bagram.
    "Show your papers" law in Arizona.

    You were saying?

    The lower class needs healthcare: response is to increase government spending with entitlements

    ...and force people to buy insurance from the same greedy insurance companies that would just as soon watch you die in the street than pay out claims.

    The economy is tanking badly: response is to create a slush fund of a trillion of dollars (give or take a billion)

    ...fantasy with no basis in reality.

    BP screwed up and caused an oil spill: response is to send in the lawyers, SWAT?, setup several more bureaucracies, etc.

    ...and thanks for letting us know you're a political hack. The conservative/libertarian line is that we don't need no stinkin regulation because companies will be held responsible for their fuckups. Well, a company has the most spectacular fuck-up in American history, but any mention of any kind of accountability, and the political hacks start whining about frivolous lawsuits.

    A car company is going belly up

    ...Detroit is only the basis for 3 million American jobs.

    Wall Street actually paid back their debts

    ...with a combination of our own money and the profits they made by taking zero interest loans from the government and then handing them out to consumers at 20-30%.

    and threaten wall street with excessive taxes

    ...on what planet is that? A fair basis for taxation would be taxing investment income at the same rate as regular income, eliminate the cap on payroll taxes, and bring back the 91% tax bracket.

    Government spending is wildly out of control

    Funny how that's only a problem when Democrats are in charge, and only on budgetary items that don't go through the CIA or the Pentagon.

    Which will result in fewer companies hiring, fewer company startups, an even more depressed economy, etc.

    Which is complete nonsense. There has never been a single income tax cut in history that has created a single job. If a business owner will make more money expanding his business and hiring more workers - then he'll plow the profits of the business back into expansion, and write it off on his taxes. His personal income tax rate is utterly irrelevant.

    It's just that the DKos is SOO far left they think Obama is right.

    If you think that's "far left", you need to see a nice proctologist in North Korea about that little "problem" of yours. Once he's done extracting your head from your ass, you can take a good look around and see what "far left" actually looks like.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 30, 2010 @09:04PM (#32752466)

    I don't know, perhaps he could have suspended the Jones act and accepted the offer from the Dutch to provide us with cleanup ships that were offered 3 days after the spill started. http://www.eagleworldnews.com/2010/06/15/obama-refuses-dutch-help-for-gulf-oil-crisis/ [eagleworldnews.com]

    Instead the government sat on their collective political butts and pointed fingers trying to score political points for the next election.

    Is it not the Republicans that have told us time and time again that the government should stay out of the way of industry because they know how best to do their jobs? BP is responsible for the disaster and is also responsible for the cleanup, as they have the expertise to know how to do it, the money to buy any and all aid needed for it, and the incentive to do so as quickly as possible for their own financial sake. If we start bringing in others to start doing things without the approval of BP, they'll just blame any failure on the government for interfering, and I think it's rather obvious that Republicans would be all over that, talking about how the incompetent government just had to try to run the cleanup and of course screwed it all up. If BP wanted the aid, they could have had it at any time.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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