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March 2009

John Zogby on the Electorate

Last night I attended a President Associates Dinner at OU where the pollster John Zogby was the speaker.

I've admired Zogby's work and analysis since the early 90's and was excited to hear him.  He is one of the good conservatives, the sort of Republican I was.

Zogby lectured on his optimism that America is becoming a better place, mainly because of the trends in young people who are very global in their thinking and relationships, who are very open to diversity, who exhibit more sophisticated and less ideological thinking, and who volunteer at record levels.

He said that the criteria the electorate used in 2008 were these four in this order:

1)  They wanted a problem solver

2)  Who would use consensus to solve the problems

3)  Who could competently manage the government

4)  And was a person of good character

He said that the electorate continues to desire consensus problem-solving and that the next election or two will keep this theme.  Voters will judge the individual congressperson or Senator with whether or not that individual has helped to solve problems through consensus and, if they haven't, will vote against them.  Party and ideology will not be major factors.


I never understood why Monster led to a collapse of R. E. M.'s popularity which had been riding high.  It was even more inexplicable as the mid and late 90's were dominated by the alternative rock sound which they had helped to birth. 

Sure it was no Document, Green, Out of Time, or Automatic for the People.  But it isn't a bad album.  It was still a pretty good seller.  It is their most "rock" album. 

But I too don't listen to it very often.  None of its songs are among my favourites.

Seriously, Senator?

According to the Daily Oklahoman, in th discussion over whether to place a Ten Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds, Sen. Randy Brogdon--the guy who has publicly announced that he's waiting for God to tell him whether to run for governor or not--who is supporting the monument said, the monument had "nothing to do with religious viewpoints.”  Seriously?  Nothing to do with it?  Nothing at all?  Take a moment.  Think before answering.  Okay. Ready?  Nothing at all?

Oklahoman Blog Poses Questions for Local Weathermen

Read the full post here.  These are the questions:

1. Are you the final word on forecasts at your station? Is there anyone in a position to second guess your forecast or call it into question?

2. Do you believe your judgment is better than that of the National Weather Service? If so, why?

3. When you are about to broadcast a forecast that is dramatically different than that of the National Weather Service and other stations (as with Friday’s call for a “significant icing event” and power outages in Oklahoma City), do you put a call out to the National Weather Service to ask why they’re not making the same call?

4. Should television weather forecasters be in contact with the National Weather Service when their forecasts are at odds?

5. Is there pressure by producers or station management to add drama or excitement to your forecasts?

6. How aware are you of the loss that is sustained by businesses by bad forecasts?

Automatic for the People

Whereas I might roll around in my office chair "dancing" to Out of Time, one doesn't do that with Automatic for the People.  In fact, it didn't feel quite right listening to it while sitting her working.  It is best listened to at night.  Probably when you are home alone.  With a glass of wine.

Or at night driving in your car.  Maybe commuting back from night class.