CRANKY SURVEYOR: The latest salvo in the ongoing and expanding controversy over polling and standards from John Zogby, who penned an "open letter" to fivethirtyeight.com's Nate Silver tonight: "You are a statistician--a very good one
but you are not a pollster. You should conduct some polls and learn that the
rest of us good pollsters survey people, not statistics. The numbers tell the
story; pre-conceived ideologies and fuzzy-math statistical models do not."
SHALE ACCESS: The folks from Resurgent Republic will release new polling tomorrow on oil drilling. RR is the GOP version of Democracy Corps; Whit Ayres, Ed Gillespie, and Leslie Sanchez designed the survey. The following two messages were tested with the sample:
"Congressman A says the Gulf oil spill shows the danger and enormous environmental damage of offshore oil drilling. We should stop any new offshore wells from being developed."
"Congressman B says we should not let one bad accident in the Gulf divert us from the importance of more offshore drilling to create jobs and make us less dependent on foreign oil."
By a 56 to 37 spread, folks sampled prefer the message of Congressman B, according to RR.
ANGRY WIND: The folks at HuffPost Hill went on a jeremiad against the White House after the New York Times reported over the weekend that the White House economics team favors demand-side stimulus policies and the political side favors an emphasis on deficit reduction. They drop the phrase "Terry Schiavo." They coin the term "Mayberry Machiavellis." And they conclude: "Mayberries have already taken those steps: by using the bully pulpit to
highlight deficit fears, by proposing an across-the-board spending
freeze, by creating a commission to reduce the deficit and stacking it
with hawks, by making it clear to progressive allies that the
White House political team believes a deficit-reduction focus is
important for the midterm elections." The polite, contentless White House response was conveyed by spokesman Matt Vogel. The non-polite, private response: "Find us *$#*!& votes for #&$*!# spending, and you can have it." As a reminder: Obama did call for $50 billion to help shore up state budget deficits a few weeks ago, but he did so in a radio address that was largely ignored.
-- If you happen to see Attorney General Eric Holder, ask him how quickly (or slowly) he came to believe that a case against Arizona's immigration law was worth his department filing.
-- Tomorrow, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will discuss the appointment process for Sen. Robert Byrd's successor. He will not name said successor.
-- Whether the good show put on by Netanyahu and Obama today was simply a show or not, Israel seems happy that the White House will not further apply pressure to declare information about or disclose the fact of its nuclear weapons program.
-- The UAE's ambassador to Washington said his country would be OK if Iran's nuclear facilities were bombed.
-- China sent a couple of ships through the Miyako Straight. Japan noticed and issued a statement. China is mad that Japan felt it necessary to issue a statement.