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2 September 2004

Gallup insights into election

The Gallup organization has gleaned eleven insights into the electorate from its recent rounds of polls.  Here are some highlights that I find socio-politically fascinating:

4. Moderate Republicans constitute a relatively small but important target segment of voters in this election.

Moderate Republicans (that is, Republicans who describe their
political views as “moderate” or “liberal”) constitute about a third of
the group of Republican likely voters in Gallup’s recent polling, and
are somewhat cross-pressured by the conflict between their party
affiliation and their ideology. Gallup polling finds that moderate
Republicans are about three times as likely as conservative Republicans
(25% vs. 9%) to be swing voters (that is, either undecided or willing
to consider changing their vote). Additionally, 13% of moderate
Republicans say they will vote for Kerry, compared with 4% of
conservative Republicans. All of this suggests that moderate
Republicans are less likely to be locked into a vote for the party and
are therefore more susceptible to campaign blandishments from both

6. Public opinion has turned slightly more supportive of U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Fifty-one percent of Americans now say that the situation in Iraq
was worth going to war over. In early May, that number was 44%.

Similarly, the two most recent Gallup Polls have shown that about
50% of Americans believe that the U.S. involvement in Iraq was not
a mistake. That is up from three polls in late June and early July when
only about 45% thought that sending troops to Iraq was not a mistake,
and the “mistake” number was up to 54%.

Bush is now in his strongest position vis-

Posted in Politicks on 2 September 2004 at 5:56 pm by Nate

Vengeful Mass cop

I ran into my friend Bart last night, and he told me about an
altercation he had with a Mass State cop on his way home last
night.  It doesn’t surprise me, because with only a couple of
exceptions, I have found the police here in the Boston area to be
unhelpful, fairly rude, and capricious in their enforcement of the law.

So Bart was driving home, smoking, and he dropped his cigarette out the
window (which I think he shouldn’t have done, but there you go). 
Statey pulls him over, tells him he shouldn’t have done that, and asks
for his license.  Bart just bought his car about a week and a half
ago, and previous to that, he had his Arizona driver’s license. 
The clerk at the DMV told him he had 30 days to get his out-of-state
license converted to a Mass license.

Statey asks why he has an Arizona license, and Bart responds that he
had been told that DMV said he had 30 days, so he was in the process of
converting it, but the thirty days had not yet expired.  Statey
tells him he’s wrong and that he was supposed to do it the moment he
arrived in state.  Statey then asks Bart if he’s ever been
arrested; Bart responds that he’s been arrested three times, in three
states, for civil disobedience protesting.  Statey orders him out
of the car, calls a tow truck, and has the car towed to an impound
lot.  Ninety-five bucks to get it out, and ninety to convert the
license.  And the clerk at DMV tells him that Statey was wrong,
that he truly did have 30 days to change the license over.  Bart
probably got towed because he’d been arrested for protesting, not
because he dropped a cigarette from his car. 

This is not the first time I have heard or experienced Mass cops do
something like this.  Cops here in the Boston area act like jerks much of the time — they swagger, seems to like
exerting power over people (Like Cartman on South Park: “Respect my
AU-THOR-I-TAY!”), and speak abusively and rudely to many of the people
who address them.  Protecting and serving don’t seem to be on the agenda.

And they’re got some temerity, too.  Recently, the Boston cops
just got a guaranteed 14.5 percent raise over the next three years, but
they thought that still wasn’t enough, and they threatened to walk out
over it.  Who else is getting that much in guaranteed pay in this
economy?  And then, they had the chutzpah to call our house and
ask for donations to the Police Activities League, to support the
purchase of safety equipment for cops.  Use some of the raise, for
heaven’s sake!  Besides, the only reason people give the PAL money
is so that they can obtain a bumper sticker that indiactes they donated, and
thereby avoid the casual abuse of authority that Bart experienced.

No, I’m not against cops.  But I’m against them abusing their
authority in such blatant ways.  When they do this, they show
themselves little better than the criminals out there.

Posted in Day2Day on 2 September 2004 at 12:15 pm by Nate