Monday, October 25, 2004

to the extent that it's absurd

I had one of those Fridays where you desperately scramble to get from one place to another- work, dinner, the theater, home... a marathon that can't be won or finished. But I can't complain really, because the show I saw was fantastic. The concept was inventive, the production was beautiful, and they used Welcome to the Jungle and Come as you are to good use, no small feat. Speaking of Welcome to the Jungle, I don't know why exactly, but every once in a while when I'm in a meeting with a new hire, I just have this urge to get all Axl and screech: "You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby!" Yes, I am immature. And yes, I also am tempted to interrupt arguments at meeting with "What would Jesus do?" Of course, these types of things work much better in sitcoms than in real life.

On Saturday, I did what I dread most in the world. I went shopping. I swear I have two X chromosomes, but somehow the genetic coding that gives women the shopping bug was left out of my make up. Every once in a while, the retail therapy gene will kick in, but Saturday was not one of those days. It was a bit of a rainy day on Saturday, so apparently everyone thought that it was a good time to be shopping. Also, I am very particular, and am not someone who feels it necessary to walk out of a shopping experience with an item in hand. The most comical fight I ever had was with a friend of mine, who had a meltdown in the middle of Banana Republic because we had been shopping all day and I had managed not to buy a single thing. I came home empty-handed on Saturday, but also vexed. Not vexed because I was empty-handed, but because of the spectacles presented everywhere I went. The most notable of these was a woman in a bikini in front of a MAC counter being painted from head to toe with glitter, while a mob of people watched in fascination. What the...????

When I think back on Saturday and what I enjoyed about it, it was restricted to the weather. I should have spent the whole day wandering around in the rain, which was but a drizzle for most of the day. In my raincoat, without an umbrella, I was happy walking around the city, letting the cool mist fall on my face.

On NPR this morning, Jim Hightower tore the pollsters a new one:
Everywhere I travel, I hear the cries of anxious progressives who fear that George W is about to be elected. "The polls, the polls," they wail, pointing to constant reports that the election is nip & tuck.

Let me say it plainly to you: The polls are horsehockey. And George W. Bush is a one-term president, just like his daddy was. Here's why:

First, the sad little secret of pollsters is that roughly a third of the people in their "scientific sample of voters" hang up when called. This wreaks havoc on the validity of their sample. Second, noted independent pollster John Zogby says flatly that this year's polling has largely been skewed to Bush because more Republicans than Democrats are being called.

Third, pollsters are working from lists of "likely voters" – Americans who've been voting regularly in past elections. This leaves out the one-half of the electorate that has not been voting in recent presidential runs. This time – surprise, George! – a significant percentage of these "unlikely voters" are going to show up at their polling booths. They're motivated by Bush's failed economic policies, the ongoing mess he has made of Iraq, and a growing sense that America is headed in the wrong direction.

Fourth – and this will be a big source of George's November surprise – young people are headed to the polls in droves. Registration of 18-29 year olds is through the roof this year, mostly motivated by the war, the expectation of a draft being imposed after the election, and by the disappearance of middle-class opportunities for their generation.

Why isn't this surge in the youth vote reflected in the polls? Because young folks mostly don't have home telephones. They use cell phones, and pollsters don't have these numbers, so practically none of them have recieved a call from pollsters.

I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I think Kerry is going to win, and win big – despite what the polls keep telling us.

I hope he's right. It doesn't fail to crack me up though, when I listen to Hightower, because he has such a southern twang, that it's all the more endearing to hear progressive talk coming out of his mouth (no offense to the South).

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