CSotD: Spin Cycle

Got in later than I’d hoped yesterday, so nothing to report on the AAEC/CXC confab yet. Meanwhile, the globe apparently continued to spin.


Jeffrey Koterba offers a two-edged gag, or, at least, a cartoon that has both a superficial and a deeper meaning.

Polls seem to have been wrong a lot recently, or maybe we’ve become too reliant on them. The validity of polls, as with weather forecasts, as with scientific research, is dependent on how they’re carried out, and, for instance, a poll of 1400 people is more reliable than a poll of 140 people, and a poll of 140,000 would be more reliable than either of those.

Depending on how the questions were asked.

Journalism majors should be required to take statistics, and perhaps a course in logic as well, but it sure would ruin horserace election coverage, wouldn’t it?

And horserace election coverage may not be all we get, but it’s a lot of what we get, and that’s an issue given the number of people who seem to think voting means picking the winner, or at least who get discouraged from voting if they are told their candidate has no chance, or encouraged if they feel they’re on the winning team.

Or who respond to pollsters based on what they think is the “right” answer rather than providing their own opinion, which creates a kind of feedback loop.


And then there’s this odd device seen in Lio today but rarely seen anywhere else, and certainly not in the homes of anyone much under 35.

It’s getting harder and harder to conduct a representative poll by telephone, because a lot of people don’t answer calls from unknown numbers and a lot of young people don’t answer their phones at all. As for the common cartoonist’s image, seen in Koterba’s piece, of the door-to-door pollster, they’d be lucky to find anyone at home during the day in the current world.

Then add the newer complication of people who still have a phone number from three moves ago, or who, like me, get their Internet from cell towers rather than cable, and it’s hard to even know where anybody lives anymore, even if you can get them to respond.

But let’s not let that slow down our horserace coverage, right?


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Joe Heller)


(Mike Luckovich)

I don’t watch a lot of broadcast TV until football season, but then I get a heapin’ helpin’ of network promos to remind me of what my fellow citizens seem to care about.

Our political ads have been pretty tame, though “local” TV here includes NH, VT and NY. However, what I’ve seen of network promos has been an endless procession of “We’re all gonna die!” cop shows, in which life is a continual horror show of rape, murder and terrorism, with only the brave police standing between us and a gruesome death.

And sometimes they have to break the rules to bring the bad guys to justice.

Joe Heller’s cartoon notwithstanding, then, it isn’t simply the political season, and it’s not just Halloween.

We love to be scared. We love to feel threatened.

And Mike Luckovich points out that, as much as we scream when the murderer appears on screen, we don’t seem to have the same response at the ballot box.


And he sure got this earlier one wrong: The latest Herschel Walker revelations should have ended his candidacy. But he’s been a horror show from the start, with a series of outrageous lies that would make Donald Trump blush.

However, the GOP continues to embrace him, and let’s note that we’ve known from the start that he lied about graduating at the top of his college class (he never graduated), and about his “police work,” and we’ve known about his domestic abuse, including pulling a gun on his wife.

He’s admitted to being mentally ill, and Newt Gingrich helpfully explained that the fellow has simply taken a lot of blows to the head.

So, yes, Freddy Krueger would be a perfectly acceptable candidate for the GOP, and, not only that, he’d have a good chance of winning. Name recognition is more important than character, mostly because character doesn’t matter at all.

Unless you are the son of a prominent Democrat, at which point your failings become his, and are disqualifying.

Not that Democrats don’t hit a few bumps in the road, besides occasionally having their drivers drive over a curb and bust a tire.

Which is also a scandal to be shouted from the rooftops.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(John Deering – Creators)


(David Rowe)

When Biden visited Saudi Arabia, he drew criticism for greeting Mohammed bin Salman with the fist-bump that, in pandemic days, took the place of a handshake. But he succeeded in gaining some promises of solid oil production, which, as both cartoonists suggests, have blown away like dust.

Deering takes it as a disappointment, while Rowe sees it as a far more dramatic betrayal. I suspect the difference is because Deering is in the US, where our own resources, both stored and potential, can make it more of a disappointment than a disaster.

Rowe, however, is based in Australia, and whatever their energy sources, his more international viewpoint brings in the impact on worldwide fuel prices, including how OPEC’s decision to cut prices will benefit not only the murderer of Jamal Khashoggi and despoiler of Yemen, but the invader and war criminal sitting beside him.

It’s bad news for Biden, since the expected rise in gas prices is coming just before mid-terms, but OPEC is to blame, and, while Rowe has the gleeful liars pegged, I’m not sure he and Deering aren’t fairly close on the response from a president who didn’t expect it.

Response so far, at least.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Gary Varvel)


(Chris Britt)

I’m not so thrilled with this pairing, because, while Biden has expressed more than disappointment in OPEC’s decision, I haven’t seen him begging, while, on the other side of the aisle, he never made Ron DeSantis crawl to get disaster aid for Florida.

There’s plenty of spin, blame and finger-pointing to go around. No need to make stuff up.

Though it does prompt a lovely earworm.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: Spin Cycle

  1. Regarding Herschel Walker’s alleged monetary support for at least one abortion, would anyone be surprised if evidence were found that Trump had financed not one but dozens of abortions?

    The only real question would be whether, when Trump first paid for an abortion, abortion was legal. The future pussy grabber in chief was 26 at the beginning of the Roe era.

  2. Terribly, terribly disappointed that Biden’s first words upon taking the podium in Florida weren’t “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  3. In Wisconsin, we get bludgeoned by six or seven political ads during every commercial break (I have been surprised to find that’s not the case in Ohio). The GOP candidates and their associates gleefully showcase the Kenosha riots and the pick-up plowing into the Waukesha Christmas parade, tying them to our Democratic governor, Attorney General, and candidate for US Senate — hence Joe Heller’s cartoon. Oh, and hundreds of murderers and rapists supposedly released from prison because immigration isn’t scary enough at the moment.

  4. @Paul We suffer the same bludgeoning here in my state.

    And from the few other-state ads I’ve seen, I think they run pretty much the same ads in every state, with minor tweaks, playing on the same perceived fears.

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