I wish that everyone who is upsetting you would not only get circumcised, but would cut off much more!
I write stuff! Now read it:
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
Down in Joo-ville
Liked Chanukah as such…
But the Kvetch,
Who lived just north of Joo-ville,
… not so much.
The Kvetch hated Chanukah, the whole Chanukah season.
Now don’t ask me why. What? Should I know the reason?
It could be he wasn’t a mensch, that is all.
Or his petzel, perhaps, was two sizes too small.
Such meshug’as comes from one thing or another,
But like most Joo-ish boys, we should just blame his mother!
The reason, whatever,
His mom or his putz,
The Kvetch hated Chanukah. Oy, what a yutz!
For he knew every Joo down in Joo-ville tonight
Was busy preparing menorahs to light.
“And they’re giving out gelt!” he sighed as he said
“I need waxy chocolate like holes in my head!”
Then he nervously whined as his fingers tapped horas,
“I MUST stop the Joos from igniting menorahs!”
The Kvetch knew that soon…
… All the Joo girls and boys
Would say the baruch’ha, then unwrap their toys!
And then! Oh, the oys! Oh, the Oys! Oys! Oys! Oys!
If it’s not what they wanted, the OYS! OYS! OYS! OYS!
Then the Joos, young and old, would sit down for a nosh.
And they’d nosh! And they’d nosh!
And they’d NOSH! NOSH! NOSH! NOSH!
They would nosh on Joo-latkes, and Gefilte-Joo-Fish,
Which was surely the Kvetch’s least favorite dish!
They’d do something
Which made the Kvetch plotz!
Every Joo down in Joo-ville, Bar Mitzvahed or not,
Would sit down together, their proud ponim’s grinning.
Then dreidels in hand, all the Joos would start spinning!
They’d spin! And they’d spin!
AND they’d SPIN! SPIN! SPIN! SPIN!
And the more the Kvetch thought of this Joo-Dreidel-Spin,
The more the Kvetch thought, “I can’t let this begin!
“Oy, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
“Chanukah, Schmanukah! Stop it!
… But HOW?”
Then he got an idea!
And the moment he had,
“I’m no Einstein, but this… not half bad!”
“I know just what to do!” Then he donned an old sheet,
And dug up some sandals to wear on his feet.
“I’m the Prophet Elijiah! They’ve set me a plate!”
(For the Kvetch couldn’t keep Joo-ish holidays straight.)
“The Joos ‘ll oblige ol’ Elijiah, no doubt!
“I will simply walk in. Then I’ll clean the place out!”
“All I need is a camel…”
He looked far and near,
But this wasn’t the desert, and camels are dear.
Did that stop the old Kvetch…?
That pischer? No, never:
“If I can’t find a camel,” the Kvetch said, “…whatever.”
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took an old sack
And he tied a hump onto the front of his back.
He climbed on this
You never have seen
Such a schmuck on a camel.
Then the Kvetch cried “Oy vey!”
As old Max started down
Toward the homes, while the Joos
Where still schmoozing in town.
All their driveways were empty. Just SUV tracks.
All the Joos were out last-minute-shopping at Saks,
As he rode to a not-so-small house on old Max.
“It’s a good thing I brought” the old Prophet Kvetch thought,
“All these bags with to stuff all the stuff the Joos bought.”
Then he looked at the chimney. It seemed quite a stretch
That a fat goy like Santa could fit, thought the Kvetch,
“Still, the goyim believe stranger things, that’s for sure.”
Then the Kvetch shrugged his shoulders, and walked through the door
Where the little Joo dreidels were all strewn about.
“These dreidels,” he grinned, “are the first to go out!”
And he schvitzed, as he shlepped, with an odor unpleasant,
Around the whole house, as he took every present!
Barbie dolls! Mountain bikes! Brios! And blocks!
Pokemon! GameBoys! And all of that shlock!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then his arms spread akimbo,
He shlepped all the bags, one by one, out the wimbo!
Then he shlepped to the kitchen. He took every dish.
He took the Joo-latkes. The Gefilte-Joo-Fish.
He cleaned out the Sub-Zero so nimbly and neat,
Careful to separate dairy from meat.
Then he shlepped the Joo-nosh right out the front door-a.
“And NOW!” kvelled the Kvetch, “I will shlep the menorah!”
And he grabbed the menorah, and started to shlep on,
When he heard a whine, like a cat being stepped on.
He spun ‘round with shpilkes, and coming his way,
It was Ruth Levy-Joo, who was two, if a day.
The Kvetch had been caught by this small shaina maidel,
Who’d been watching TV on her big RCA’dle.
“The Prophet Elijiah?” she quizzed the old fool,
“You visit on Pesach, they taught us in shul.”
And although the old Kvetch was surprised and confused,
It’s not hard to lie to a girl in her twos.
“Bubbeleh… sweatheart…” he started his tale,
“Your dad paid full price, when this all was on sale!
“And like any good merchant, I just want to please ya.
“I’ll ring it up right, then I’ll refund your VISA.”
Then he patted her tush. Put a Barney tape in.
And she spaced-out as fast as the spindle could spin.
And as Ruth Levy-Joo watched her mauve dinosaura,
HE went to the door and shlepped out the menorah!
Then the match for the shamas
Was last to be filched!
Then he shlepped himself out to continue his pillage.
On the walls he left nothing at all. Bubkes. Zilch.
And the one speck of food
That he left in the house
Was a matzoh ball even too dense for a mouse.
He did the same schtick
In the other Joo’s houses.
For the other Joo’s mouses!
It was quarter to dusk…
All the Joos, still at Saks,
All the Joos, still a-shmooze
When he packed up old Max,
Packed him up with their presents! The gelt and the dreidels!
The chotchkes and latkes! The knish and the knaidels!
He hauled it all up to his condo in haste!
(A Grinch might have dumped it, but why go to waste?)
“Shtup you!” to the Joos, the Kvetch loudly cheered,
“They’re finding out Chanukah’s cancelled this year!
“They’re just coming home! I know just what they’ll say!
“They’ll ask their homeowners insurance to pay,
“Then the Joos down in Joo-ville will all cry OY VEY!”
“All those Oys,” kvelled the Kvetch,
“Now THIS I must hear!”
So he paused. And the Kvetch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising up from the shtetl.
It started to grow. Then the Kvetch grew unsettled…
Why the sound wasn’t sad,
It was more like the noise
Of a UPS trucker
He stared down at Joo-ville!
And then the Kvetch shook,
As truck after truck
Replaced all that he took!
Every Joo down in Joo-ville, the Golds and the Steins,
Re-ordered their presents by going online!
Chanukah HADN’T been cancelled!
…On UPS trucks… but it came just the same!
Then the Kvetch, staring down at the gifts where they sat,
Stood kvitching and kvetching: “For this, I did that?
“It came without traffic! It came without tax!
“It came without shopping at Bloomie’s or Saks!”
And he kvetched on and on, til he started to shvitz,
Then the Kvetch thought of something which might make him rich!
“Maybe stores,” thought the Kvetch, “don’t need mortar and bricks.
“Maybe toys can be bought with a few well-placed clicks!”
And what happened then…?
Well… in Joo-ville they say
That the Kvetch raised
Ten million in venture that day!
And the minute his web site was ready to go,
He raised ten billion more on his new IPO!
He sold back the toys to the homes they came from!
… he the Kvetch…!
©2000 by David Goldstein
All rights reserved
[An HA holiday tradition (and with perfect timing what with the first night of Chanukah and Christmas Eve lining up this year), with apologies to the late, great Dr. Seuss—but not to those greedy, litigious bastards at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LLC. So there. Happy Christmukah.]
Why didn’t you put my money in the bank? On my return, I could have had the money together with interest.”
Then he said to some other servants standing there, “Take the money away from him and give it to the servant who earned ten times as much.”
But they said, “Sir, he already has ten times as much!”
The king replied, “Those who have something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don’t have anything. Now bring me the enemies who didn’t want me to be their king. Kill them while I watch!”
I then saw an angel standing on the sun, and he shouted to all the birds flying in the sky, “Come and join in God’s great feast! You can eat the flesh of kings, rulers, leaders, horses, riders, free people, slaves, important people, and everyone else.”!
Jesus Christ, I just have to take a moment to remark on what is perhaps the stupidest fucking editorial ever from the Seattle Times, a newspaper that has turned stupid fucking editorials into a veritable art form:
PRESIDENT Obama should pre-emptively pardon Hillary Clinton to protect her and the United States from a vindictive, showboat prosecution by the incoming Trump administration.
No, NO, NO… President Obama should not pardon Hillary Clinton under any circumstance! A pardon would be understood by the vast majority of Americans both as an admission of guilt and as conclusive evidence of endemic corruption in the Democratic establishment! How fucking stupid can the Seattle Times be not to see the politics of the situation through to its logical conclusion?
While I understand and even agree with the editorial board’s impulses (“The danger to America is not Clinton’s freedom but in having a presidency that even threatens to use its power for vendettas and jailing opponents”), it is far too late for such democratic high-mindedness. The threat has already been made! And the American people (well, the Electoral College) rewarded Trump for it with the White House. Obama pardoning Clinton would only embolden and enrage the trumpenproletariate, while freeing Chancellor Trump from the responsibility of fulfilling one of his most disturbing campaign promises.
Rather, cold political calculus tells us that we must let Trump be Trump. We must not allow him to escape this defining moment. He must either demonstrate to his base the weakness that is at the vile heart of all tyrants, or demonstrate to the world how little he honors the rule of law, let alone our nation’s two-and-a-quarter centuries of peaceful transfer of power.
A Clinton show trial would no doubt be a shock to the American psyche and a permanent scar on our nation’s world standing. But so would the show trials of Clinton underlings that would no doubt ensue should the Trump regime be denied its promised revenge (a Clinton pardon should be a sign for Huma Abedin to flee the country). It may be too late to avoid this trauma. But at least it would finally and totally rip away the fiction that there is anything normal about the alt-right regime that has seized the White House.
If Trump prosecutes Clinton, he turns her into a martyr of the democratic resistance. But if President Obama pardons Clinton, he transforms the two of them into political villains against which the Republicans will effectively run for decades to come. It isn’t fair. It isn’t comforting. But that is the America in which we now all live.
It is also an America that newspapers like the Seattle Times helped create through their endless coverage of the trumped up email witch hunt, and a shameful campaign of false equivalency that now trivializes “go hang yourself” and “go back to India” as mere “complaints” while characterizing Breitbart’s obvious and indisputable white nationalism as a mere he-said/she-said allegation of “critics say“—the critics explicitly othered on the paper’s front page as “angry … Jewish and Muslim groups.”
— (((Goldy))) (@GoldyHA) November 15, 2016
— (((Goldy))) (@GoldyHA) November 15, 2016
Like most of the rest of media, the Trump-normalizing Seattle Times has surrendered the moral authority to even report the news, let alone comment upon it. It does not matter if the editorial board’s motives were good: their advice is more than just wrong, it is dangerous.
The sole purpose of a free press is to safeguard democracy. On this the Seattle Times and the rest of the old guard news media utterly failed. So please, Seattle Times, for the sake of our nation, shut the fuck up before you do more harm.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
There’s been a lot of bedwetting in recent days over a flood of new polls that threatened to undermine the foundation of Hillary Clinton’s once formidable electoral college firewall. Key swing states like Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina, which for weeks had shown small but consistent leads for Clinton, suddenly plunged into Trump territory, while once solid leads in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Pennsylvania appeared to melt into the margin of error. As a result, polling aggregation sites from Nate Silver’s widely-followed 538 to Darryl’s less well known but equally pedigreed analyses here on HA showed Trump’s chances of winning surge into the disturbing realm of the remotely possible.
But what if some of the polls that introduced all this late uncertainty weren’t just wrong, they were, well, intentionally wrong?
Ignore for a moment the reasons why, but if your goal was to game the polling aggregation sites you would probably want to wait until the final weeks of the election to release a flood of new polls with absurdly large sample sizes (and absurdly low margins of error) surveying a handful of key swing states while providing little or no prior track record on which to judge your credibility. In other words: Meet the Remington Research poll.
Coming out of virtually nowhere, the Remington Research Group in collaboration with Axiom Strategies suddenly emerged as one of the most prolific pollsters of the fin de cycle électoral, simultaneously surveying eight “battleground” states on October 23, October 30, and again on November 3. This sudden displaying of polling prowess is particularly remarkable given the incredibly large size of its voter sample—and by “incredibly,” I do mean that these numbers are not credible.
For example, Remington’s November 3 poll (surveyed Nov 1-2) includes and analyzes the responses of 19,640 likely voters across eight states, ranging from a robust 1,793-voter sample in Nevada to an inexplicable 3,076-voter sample in Virginia. Compare that to the ten most recent Virginia polls posted to 538:
The second largest sample size of the group is SurveyMonkey’s 2,109, and even that’s an outlier given that it’s an online poll that typically uses larger samples in order to compensate for selection bias and other errors. Remington claims to be conducting its surveys via IVR (interactive voice response) technology—good old fashioned robocalling—a method that normally would suffice with about a 1,000-voter sample in a state the size of Virginia. A similar pattern can be seen in survey after survey, state after state, with Remington standing out by far as the largest sample size in any state (and generally one of the most Trump-leaning).
Darryl continues to include Remington in his analysis because it fits his inclusion criteria, and he correctly does not want to change criteria mid-cycle. But those large sample sizes immediately jumped out at Darryl as odd. As Darryl explains, response rates for IVR are notoriously low—probably around 10 percent. That means Remington would have needed to dial about 200,000 voters over two days to achieve its 19,640-voter sample, and then analyze all these results. That may not be beyond the capabilities of a large, established pollster, but it’s not the sort of operation one builds overnight. Further catching Darryl’s eye is Remington’s unusually low reported margin of error: “+/- 1.77” in that Virginia poll, for example. That’s not only weirdly low, it’s weirdly precise; experienced pollsters don’t tend to present that number out to the second decimal place, says Darryl.
Remember: polling is expensive. A typical 600-800-voter IVR survey might cost a campaign or media outlet about $8,000 or more, and a live interviewer telephone survey would cost several times that. (A high-quality live-interview bilingual internal poll of the sort statewide campaigns use might cost $30,000 or more.) So why would Axiom/Remington put in the extra time and money to survey four times as many voters as the typical public state poll?
One obvious answer would be to game the average margins calculated by all these polling aggregators everyone is obsessing on. I’m way oversimplifying it, but the way these polling aggregators generally work is that they add up all the samples from various polls over a specified period of time, and then do some math to them. They essentially create one giant poll out of many in an effort to smooth out the variation and find (as Silver would say it) “the signal in the noise.” (Darryl could explain it better, but in many more words. If you’re curious, you can read his entire simulation FAQ here.)
And what that means is that Remington’s 3,076-voter survey that had Clinton at just +2 influences the average about 4.7 times more than Roanoke College’s 654-voter sample that had Clinton at a robust +7. (Well, not exactly. But again, ask Darryl.) In fact, under most models, Remington’s extremely low reported margin of error would overweight its impact even more.
Thus, flood the media with some very-large-sample Trump-leaning polls, and the state of the race in some of these battleground states starts to look very different. For example, as of last night, Darryl had Clinton with only a 27.9 percent probability of winning Florida—but remove the Remington polls and Clinton’s probability jumps to 68.2 percent! In other words, a single pollster can flip Florida. Likewise, Clinton’s probability of winning an Electoral College majority would’ve climbed from 80 percent with Remington to 94 percent without. For many nervous poll-watchers, that’s the difference between wet sheets and dry sheets.
But what’s in it for Remington? Well, to know for sure, you’d have to ask the Remington Group. Or maybe their partner, Axiom Strategies. Or better yet, Ted Cruz’s former presidential campaign chief strategist Jeff Roe, who happens to own both the Remington Group and Axiom Strategies. But I have three theories:
Whatever the reason, the fact is that these Remington polls just don’t pass the smell test. (Clinton is winning only 65% of African-Americans in Virginia, and only 48% of Hispanics in Nevada? I don’t think so.) And Remington isn’t the only late-comer to flood the swing state polling swamp with suspiciously pro-Trump results. Republican consultancy shop Trafalgar Group (infamous robocaller and former Chris Christie advisor Robert Cahaly) has generated a wave of weirdly-worded surveys that purport to reveal a “shy Trump-voter” demographic that every other pollster has missed! Trafalgar too calculates its margin of error to the second decimal place, a level of precision that feels out-of-place amidst their outlier results. (Trump is up 2 points in Michigan, or something!)
Yeah, sure, all of the aggregators will ultimately call this election correctly, in that Clinton will win by some margin or another. And at this late stage there’s little if any argument over who is leading where. But I’ve no doubt that Republicans are attempting to game the system in a way that makes this whole poll aggregation endeavor far less useful than it was in the past two presidential cycles. So don’t be surprised on Tuesday night if the presidential election turns out to be less competitive than we’ve all been led to believe.