July 25, 2012

Posted by orrinj at 9:13 PM


Obama's poll spending is obscene (Dr. David Hill, 07/24/12, The Hill)

Some of you may be saying that spending $15 million is no big deal given that this is a presidential election. You are mistaken. This is an obscene, over-the-top amount of money. Obama faces only about 12 to 15 electorates that are worthy of sampling separately. There is the national electorate, and then there are the individual electorates of swing states, and then there are special targets like his partisan base of Democrats and swing voters like independents. Even if he polled each of these sub-samples every week since the first of the year, he couldn't come close to accounting for the amount that's supposedly been spent.

Just by normal ratios or rules of thumb for campaign spending, the research outlays are out of whack. For presidential campaigns, polling should fall into a range of 3 to 4 percent of the total budget. In this case, the percentage is much higher. It is being reported that the Obama campaign has spent $100 million thus far on campaign ads. If they have, in fact, spent $15 million researching those ads, they are genuinely out of control over at the Democratic "research institute" where all this political science is percolating.

It's interesting to try and follow the money, but it's also disturbing. Why must Obama spend so much money to find his way?

Because he'll try to be whatever we tell him we want him to be.

Posted by orrinj at 4:59 PM


Israel confronts a flood of African refugees (Ruth Marcus,  July 24, 2012, Washington Post)

Israel faces a demographic threat to the Jewish state from its fast-growing Arab population, even without a deluge of African refugees with no religious ties or political loyalties to the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that "60,000 infiltrators are liable to become 600,000 and lead to the eradication of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

Infiltrators is an unsettling word but mild compared to others' rhetoric. Knesset member Miri Regev of Netanyahu's Likud Party termed the Africans a "cancer in our body" -- and, although she later apologized, a poll found 52 percent of Jewish Israelis agreeing with that ugly sentiment.

Posted by orrinj at 4:53 PM


Russia accuses US of justifying terrorism in Syria (REUTERS, 07/25/2012)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States on Wednesday of justifying terrorism against the Syrian government and berated Western nations he said had not condemned attacks that killed top members of Syrian President Bashar Assad's inner circle.

Referring to what he said were comments by US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland indicating such attacks were not surprising given the Syrian government's conduct, Lavrov said, "This is a direct justification of terrorism."

...but by the target.  It's not terrorism when we approve.

Posted by orrinj at 5:29 AM


Why You Should Take a 10-Minute Nap Every Day (David DiSalvo, (7/24/12, Forbes)

 Few of us enjoy jobs that allow an afternoon siesta, but we'd probably all be better off if they did-including our employers.  According to new research, all we'd really need is a solid 10-minute power nap to boost our focus and productivity.

Researchers tested four nap time spans: 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes (and a control group that didn't nap).  They then tested participants across several benefits for three hours after the nap.  Here's a summary of the results:

The 5-minute nap produced few benefits in comparison with the no-nap control. The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes. The 20-minute nap was associated with improvements emerging 35 minutes after napping and lasting up to 125 minutes after napping. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, indicative of sleep inertia, followed by improvements lasting up to 155 minutes after the nap.