Pew Research: Majority of Hispanics Say Candidate’s Immigration Position Not Deal-Breaker

While the Republican establishment, Democrats, and the mainstream press repeatedly say Republicans have to pass amnesty legislation to appeal to Hispanics, a majority of Hispanics believe a candidate’s position on immigration is not a deal-breaker. 

An extensive Pew Research Hispanic survey found that 54% of Hispanic registered voters said they would vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on immigration “if that candidate shares their views on most other issues.” A majority of Hispanics were for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but, consistent with other surveys of the Hispanic electorate, immigration was not the top concern for Hispanic voters. Education, jobs and the economy, and health care were issues that Hispanic voters were more concerned with than immigration.

The survey also found that while “65% of Latino registered voters backed the Democrat in their congressional district and 22% favored the Republican candidate” in 2010, only “57% of Latino registered voters support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district or lean Democratic, while 28% favor the Republican candidate or lean Republican” this year. 

The number of Latinos who identify as Democrats is also down. The survey found that “63% today say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, down from 70% who said the same in 2012.” Pew Hispanic Research noted that “Republicans have made some progress among Hispanic voters” since 2012—”about one-quarter (27%) today say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. In 2012, 22% said the same.”

Many recent polls and studies have gone against the Beltway’s conventional knowledge about Hispanic voters. An ABC News poll found that Hispanics this year prefer a GOP Congress, and two recent studies have shown that Republicans can win elections in 2014 and in the future without pandering to Hispanics with amnesty legislation.

The Pew poll, conducted from Sept. 11 through Oct. 9, “was fielded after President Obama’s decision to delay any executive action” until after the midterms.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Junk Science Pollster with History of Mistakes Pushes Poll Declaring Scott Brown Down 8 Points

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Pollster Andy Smith of WMUR is pushing a poll that shows former Sen. Scott Brown down 8 points, contradicting the results of most other polls that have come out.

The poll results were announced on local television here on Thursday afternoon just a couple hours before the final debate between Brown and incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The poll shows Shaheen with 50 percent and Brown with 42 percent. The poll was conducted from Oct. 22 through Oct. 26 and includes a sample of 555 likely voters with a margin of error of 4.2 percent.

The poll is definitely an outlier, as Brown and Shaheen are within the margin of error of each other in polls from just about every other pollster in business.

If he ends up being wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time Smith has done polling that’s drastically inaccurate right before elections. On January 10, 2010, while working for the Boston Globe, Smith released a poll that showed Brown—then running for Senate in the special election for the late Ted Kennedy’s seat—down 15 points to Democrat Martha Coakley.

“Democrat Martha Coakley, buoyed by her durable statewide popularity, enjoys a solid, 15-percentage-point lead over Republican rival Scott Brown as the race for US Senate enters the homestretch, according to a new Boston Globe poll of likely voters,” Matt Viser and Frank Phillips wrote for the Globe, citing Smith’s poll for the newspaper. 

“Half of voters surveyed said they would pick Coakley, the attorney general, if the election were held today, compared with 35 percent who would pick Brown. Nine percent were undecided, and a third candidate in the race, independent Joseph L. Kennedy, received 5 percent. Coakley’s lead grows to 17 points – 53 percent to 36 percent – when undecideds leaning toward a candidate are included in the tally. 

“The results indicate that Brown has a steep hill to climb to pull off an upset in the Jan. 19 election. Indeed, the poll indicated that nearly two-thirds of Brown’s supporters believe Coakley will win.”

Smith, who was quoted in the story, was even bold enough to chide Brown for seemingly failing, according to his results. “She’s simply better known and better liked than Brown,” Smith said of Coakley. 

Smith worked for the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, which conducted the poll for the Boston Globe. 

“If there ever was a time for a Republican to win here, now is the time,” Smith continued. “The problem is you’ve got a special election and a relatively unknown Republican going up against a well-liked Democrat.”

Of course, nine days later, Smith was proven incredibly wrong. Brown beat Coakley for the seat by five points, winning 52 percent to Coakley’s 47 percent. Smith was off by 20 points nine days before an election.

In 2008, Smith conducted a poll for CNN, WMUR, and UNH that showed then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama winning the Democratic primary in New Hampshire by 9 points. Smith’s survey of 599 likely voters had Obama at 39 percent, Hillary Clinton at 30 percent, and the other candidates well below that. However, Clinton’s 39 percent beat Obama’s 36.4 percent by about 3 points—meaning Smith’s poll was off by a 12-point swing, despite being conducted just a few days before the primary.

Smith’s failure with that poll was even highlighted by the Denver Post; the paper interviewed him over it, and he blamed evolving technology for his misreads.

“Technology has made it easier not to respond,” Smith said. “Before answering machines, everyone picked up the phone and didn’t want to miss calls. Now there’s caller ID and call blocking and call waiting, which makes it easier to screen calls, which led to the decline in the response rate.”

Smith also likened accurate polling to having ice cream. “It’s like walking up to an ice-cream stand,” he said. “What flavor do you want?”

Then there are a couple examples of wacky polling Smith’s done just this year. A poll he conducted three weeks ago showed New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District Republican candidate Marilinda Garcia up 4 points, leading incumbent Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) 41 percent to 37 percent.

Then a poll released on Tuesday of this week shows Kuster beating Garcia by 23 points. The new poll shows Kuster with 53 percent and Garcia with 30 percent—meaning that somehow over three weeks, the race took a 27-point swing, if one were to believe Smith’s polling. That doesn’t happen in politics unless a candidate is caught up in a drastic scandal—on the magnitude of being found with a hooker in the trunk of their car—especially in the final weeks of a campaign.

Then, in several polls over the course of this year that Smith conducted in Maine, Smith used the wrong language to poll the public to gauge interest on a hunting ban in the state. When Smith was caught, he refused to retract his statements on the matter despite protests from local reporters.

“The polling organization that conducted a statewide poll on Maine’s bear baiting referendum for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram says there is no need to retract the results even though pollsters mistakenly asked prospective voters if they wanted to make it a crime to hunt bears with bait, traps, or dogs,” the Portland Press Herald‘s Dennis Hoey wrote on Wednesday. “Polls conducted in June, September, and October by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center each included questions that used language from the 2004 bear baiting referendum.”

The question from the 2004 measure asked voters: “Do you want to make it a crime to hunt bears with bait, traps or dogs, except to protect property, public safety or for research?”

The question on the upcoming ballot in Maine, Hoey wrote, “uses slightly different language.” It asks voters: “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs, or traps in bear hunting except to protect property, public safety, or for research?”

Smith wouldn’t retract his polling when asked, because, in the words of the local reporter, “the words used in the survey don’t really matter now.”

“We’ve found that the knowledge around this question is quite high for a referendum,” Smith himself said. “People are not likely to change their minds (when they vote). Despite the differences in language, the way people vote won’t change.”

But a different polling firm, Pan Atlantic SMS which is based in Portland, Maine, did announce it was retracting its polling data because it made the same mistake.

“Pan Atlantic SMS, a Portland polling firm, said it was retracting poll results released Tuesday on the bear-baiting question because the poll used the language from the 2004 referendum,” Hoey wrote.

After taking all that into consideration, comparing the polling from respected pollsters in New Hampshire to Smith’s indicates his poll coming out is an outlier. New England College, the most accurate pollster in the 2012 election according to Real Clear Politics as its final three polls were the closest to the final result, has Brown up one point at the beginning of this week. Several other polls released over the past few days have Brown down anywhere from one to three points. A poll released earlier on Thursday by American Research Group (ARG) shows Shaheen and Brown tied at 49 percent, after previous polls from that firm showing Shaheen leading by one or a few points.

Shaheen herself—who certainly has access to her own campaign’s internal polling—has been saying over the past several days at campaign stops that this election will come down to turnout. Sure, it’s still a tossup and could go either way—to Shaheen or Brown. But this poll is an outlier from a pollster with a checkered history, and if the media reports it aggressively, it could be used inaccurately and unfairly as a momentum killer against Brown.

For what it’s worth, bloggers at the liberal Daily Kos came to the same conclusions as Breitbart News about the accuracy of Smith’s polling in a post before this new Shaheen-Brown race poll was announced.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Michael Bay in Talks with Paramount to Direct Benghazi ’13 Hours’ Film

Michael Bay has his sights set on directing Paramount Pictures’ 13 Hours, which is based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s novel Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.

The book recounts the tragedies on Sept. 11, 2012, in which Islamic militants attacked the U.S. Special Mission Compound and CIA annex building in Benghazi, Lybia, killing four Americans.

Paramount acquired rights to the book in February before it was published, according toVariety, and sources close to the film project say that, while no contracts have been signed, “Bay read the first draft of the script and like it.”

Bay, represented by WME, announced in August that he will not return to the “Transformers” franchise. 

Some speculate that 13 Hours might be a good fit for the director, due to its action-packed content, and say that it could even bear resemblance to Black Hawk Down

13 Hours reportedly has a budget of $30 to $40 million, which takes it away from the massive Hollywood blockbuster range that Bay is used to.

Chuck Hogan wrote the screenplay and Erwin Stoff will produce the film through 3 Arts Entertainment. Production will begin on March 9 should the project advance.

Source: Breitbart Feed

NY Times Funds Blendle’s Pennies for Your Thoughts

A Dutch start-up called Blendle is taking global the equivalent of “a penny for your thoughts” by pioneering a Spotify-style market for copyright journalism. To begin to touch a world of seven billion people, Blendle just raised $3.8 million in a first round venture capital deal from the New York Times Company and dominant European publisher Axel Springer, through their Digital Ventures subsidiary, according to TechCrunch.

Blendle intends to expand across Europe first, to test how responsive national publishers are to uploading their proprietary journalistic content onto Blendle’s cloud. Almost every media company has tried to sell their printed word content by subscription to individuals with very limited success. The only broad exception has been the legal profession and academic institutions, where attribution use is mandatory. But Blendle intends to operate as a sort of pay-per-view revenue stream on top of their major print media partners’ digital subscription services.

Co-founder Alexander Klöpping told Tech Crunch, “We are now actively pursuing publishers in other countries in Europe to make sure that we get into contact with them and trying to get them on board to sell their content on Blendle,” He added that, “We’re dealing with quite low margins. We get just 30% of all the articles that we sell. That means that we need to sell a whole lot of articles to make Blendle really profitable.”

Major print media, including the New York Times, have tried to rationalize that the reason they are financially failing is younger people are uninterested in reading. Yet millennials are constantly texting rather than making phone calls. Major print media has likely withered in the digital age because people want greater choice than the rigid fixed aggregations that newspapers and magazines have offered. 

Blendle says its mission is to make writing about news and opinion online a sustainable business. It believes that digital advertising revenues have not been a “like-for-like replacement” for major print media.  

Klöpping makes the point that, “It’s just so amazing to us that it’s so annoying to buy journalism, to register at all these different websites. If you want to buy an app on your iPhone it’s just two clicks. But if you want to read an article on the Wall Street Journal you need to fill out a form.”

Blendle launched two years ago in the Netherlands, where many publishers were not putting content online in fear that it would cannibalize their print offerings. Because of this conflict, Blendle believes that publishers only offered subscription models online in an effort to perpetuate the way they had done business for decades.

Blendle launched in the service in April of this year with 130,000 registered users. Individual articles by major print media are currently offered individually for $.13 to $.40 for news reports and up to about $1.00 for lengthy magazine stories. Blendle gives 70% of the revenue to the publishers, and pockets 30%. 

“The content that’s not available online is working very well in Blendle, especially in non-English speaking countries,” according to Klöpping. He believes that the fact that quality European journalism is still not available for free online gives Blendle an advantage as the first mover to be able to market individual articles.

Most of Blendle’s customers have been very young. Blendle believes that their service is the first experience these millennials have had with purchasing journalism and that their transaction model is similar to the way millennials interact with Spotify and Netflix.

Read more at TechCrunch.

Chriss Street suggest that if you are interested in California, please click on California Teachers’ Pension Still Insolvent

Source: Breitbart Feed

Saudi Activist: Why I Removed the Veil

This article originally appeared in The Daily Beast:

No piece of cloth throughout history has sparked more controversy as the veil. Many Muslim women are forced to wear it daily. The hijab has a spectrum, of course, from its most radical embodiments, the niqab, which covers the entire face, to loose fitting headscarves.

Saudi Arabia comes come second only to Iran in using the power of the stick (the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or the religious police) to impose a particular form and color of hejab on all our women. And when I say all our women, I mean all: Saudi and non-Saudi, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

The sheer size of the country means that each and every region of Saudi Arabia contains a great diversity of cultures, dialects and religious sects. Until the seventies, women here were free to wear almost whatever they wanted. Bedouin women wore bright clothes and burqas, the parting of their hair and their kohl-lined eyes left exposed. The women of the city donned their abayas, the fabric drawn in around their waists. The Arab women wore their colored hejabs, and the non-Muslim women dressed modestly and without a veil.

The women in my father’s village, Tarfa, to the north-west of Mecca, wore bright clothes with pink and white scarves wrapped around their heads and necks. Like the Bedouins, they left their faces and the parting of their hair exposed.

This all changed when the state-supported wave of religious fanaticism struck our society. The black abaya and facial covering was imposed on all female government employees, and on schools and universities. And the black hejab was imposed on all non-Saudi women, regardless of their religion or creed. It was unthinkable to see a woman in my hometown, Mecca, who did not wear the niqab; revealing your face was a social taboo and was haram in the eyes of religion. Leaflets were widely distributed during that era saying that facial covering was what separated the Muslim woman from the infidel. The fanaticism spread even to children: even before I took off my niqab for good, a ten-year-old-girl next to me on a plane called me an “infidel” when I lifted my veil to eat a meal.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.

Source: Breitbart Feed