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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

News Roundup, 5/6/2008: Margins of Error and You

Yes, yes, there are some primary contests today. But there are also very exciting things happening here at home, like some new polling data that looks great for Texas Democrats.

Patrick McLeod and I both wrote about the Rasmussen numbers yesterday that show Cornyn with only a weak lead over Noriega. Patrick makes the point that the below-the-fold numbers on Noriega's "very unfavorable" rating of 17% indicates that perhaps there's an ever lessening amount of AutoHate for Democrats among the Texas electorate. I think this is an interesting point and indicates some telling things about whether Democrats might be able to find votes this cycle in places where they have had no luck in the last decade or so.

I, on the other hand, briefly discussed that these numbers will be informative in context when other polls come out, and I'm hearing there will be another poll on Texas out on Thursday. So we'll see soon enough.

Conservative reliance on public sector solutions continues to shake out as a bad idea, as evinced by the problems in several states with private Medicare insurance. The fear-mongering ideas about the world at large also got the reality treatment from Fareed Zakaria, who thinks the world isn't nearly as violent or dangerous, comparatively, as everyone makes it out to be.

Iraq is definitely violent and dangerous, though, and it was disconcerting to hear Senator John McCain imply that our military misadventures there and elsewhere in the Middle East come down to oil. And why not? Soon it will be more valuable than platinum or opium or any kind of -um you can think of. I thought the wars of the 21st century would be fought over water rather than oil, but I'm willing to bet that there are still a few oil wars remaining.

I think that of all the recent news about Iraq, I was most interested to see this story on conflicting stories and sources about Iranian and Hezbollah support for Shia insurgents in Iraq. From Editor and Publisher:

Michael Gordon, the military writer for The New York Times who contributed several false stories about Iraqi WMD in the runup to the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2002, has written several articles in the past year about Iran’s alleged training of Iraqi insurgents -- or supplying them with weapons to kill Americans. He produced another major report on this subject for today’s Times – based solely on unnamed sources -- which is at odds with an account from McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau.

This brings two questions to mind: Why does Michael Gordon still have a job, and why isn't anyone double checking this kind of stuff? (And also, why does Michael Gordon still have a job?)

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