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What will wingnuts do now that Obama is gone?

  Today’s transfer of power in the White House is fraught with ironies, not the least of which is that polls show that the outgoing president is much more popular than the new guy. More to the point, the departure of Barack Obama deprives the right-wing crazies, a noisy minority, of the principal target of their political invective. The time has passed for Obama to do all the evil deeds the wackos have long predicted. He wasn’t born in Africa. He’s not a Muslim.  He didn’t seize everyone’s guns. He...

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Polls that aren’t rigged can still be worthless

  In a post published here the other day, I faulted Donald Trump for whining that polls that produce results  that don’t favor him are “rigged.” I argued that The Donald apparently doesn’t understand the scientific efforts that go into reliable polling. Well, today I’m here to concede that some polls — too many of them, actually — are unscientific and consequently are worthless. These polls aren’t rigged, at least not in the sense that Trump implies, but they’re highly misleading....

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The future of religion in America is increasingly murky

  If we Americans bother every once in a while to take a serious look at how our society is profoundly changing from what it used to be, we’re often surprised at what we find. Take religion, for example. The long-held stereotypes of religious people in this country simply don’t apply any more. Daniel Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, wrote this last summer on the website FiveThirtyEight.com.: “The U.S. was once a predominantly white Christian country, but fewer than half of Americans (45...

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Donald Trump doesn’t understand the science of polling

President-elect Donald Trump’s says that polls showing his approval ratings at historically low levels as his inauguration draws near should be taken with a big grain of salt. . “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls, Trump said today. “They are rigged just like before.” . The problem with that analysis is that there’s little or no evidence to support it. Trump, like so many other Americans, simply doesn’t understand the science of polling....

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Interesting inaugural firsts

  The following is a list of inaugural firsts culled from material obtained from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies: In 1793 in Philadelphia, George Washington delivers what remains to this day the shortest inaugural address – 135 words. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first president inaugurated in Washington D.C. In 1809, James Madison held the first inaugural ball. Tickets were $4. In 1825, John Quincy Adams became the first president to wear long pants, instead of knee breeches, for his swearing-in. In...

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Obama has less than a week to take away our guns

  With only a few days left in Barack Obama’s presidency, one wonders if the paranoid bed-wetters at the National Rifle Association are still afraid that the jack-booted thugs in his employ will soon descend upon our homes to seize all our firearms. Indeed, one wonders why anyone ever had any such fears. Never once did Obama ever propose a blanket ban on guns. Most of the measures he’s advocated — stronger background checks for firearms purchases, for example — are supported by a majority of Americans.  But Wayne...

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