This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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May 2017 Update: A look at Trump favorability vs job approval

Back in March I took a look comparing Trump’s favorability rating (% saying they have a favorable opinion minus % saying they have an unfavorable opinion) to his net job approval (% approving of his job performance minus % disapproving of his job performance). This was interesting because these two ways of measuring Trump’s popularity were not really moving together.

I’ve updated those charts through today. (Once again using pollster.com data for the smoothed trends.) Here is what we have:

Net job approval is much more volatile than favorability rating. This makes sense. People are basically answering, “How do I think Trump is doing RIGHT NOW?” vs “How do I like Trump overall?”. Both have been trending down… down meaning worse for Trump… with the job approval swings looking much more impressive than the slow gradual decline for favorability.

I actually think the favorability number is the more critical one to look at though. Job approval going down just means Trump had a bad week or two. It can easily bounce back if the next week goes better. Favorability going down though probably means people who voted for Trump are actually losing faith in him. They are not just saying he didn’t do great recently, they are saying they no longer like him. Big difference. And that has been slowly heading down since the beginning of February, and seems to have accelerated since the second half of April.

Favorability swings can be reversed too of course, it just seems harder to move than job approval. Having said that, these charts are extended back before the election for a reason. Note the huge swing upward in Trump’s favorability that started a couple weeks before the election and peaked in December. That was a big move in Trump’s direction. A big part of that was just an election bump and people “giving him a chance”, or giving him a boost simply for being President Elect. But it just shows that the right events can move things a lot pretty quickly.

And it shows that Trump has still not come anywhere close to losing all of the additional people who started thinking more favorably about him during that time period. Some of them, sure, but he is still looking a lot better now than he was right before the election. To all the folks hoping for Congressional Republicans to turn on Trump, I’m thinking you have to see the blue line above break the October low before you start seeing any of that sort of thing happen.

But we shall see. :-)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Facepalms and Headdesks

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, guest host Jenn joins Sam to talk about the latest developments in the Trump/Russia saga, as well as Trump’s big overseas trip. Those are the big topics, and there is lots to talk about there, but they also touch on Jenn’s love of the Bay Area, healthcare for women, the Manchester attack, ransomware, electronics on planes, and something Sam’s wife is doing. Oh, and another WotD update too.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-27
Length this week – 1:36:06

  • (0:00:13-0:10:22) But First
    • Ivan Out
    • Agenda
    • The Bay Area
    • WotD Update
    • Brandy running
  • (0:11:00-0:51:04) Trump/Russia
    • Note taking apps
    • Just Stupidity?
    • Lack of Trust
    • More on Kushner
    • Trump fatigue
    • Nixon comparison
    • Republicans Afraid?
    • Draining the swamp
    • Follow the money
    • Collusion? Or just alignment?
    • Other Russia stuff
  • (0:52:24-1:08:02) Trump Trip
    • Success?
    • Trump and Melania
    • The non-stories
    • Body Language
    • Language Deterioration
    • Saudi Policy
    • NATO Policy
  • (1:09:10-1:35:45) Lightning Round
    • Hotel Lounge
    • Healthcare for Women
    • Search for new FBI Director
    • Manchester
    • Ransomware attack
    • Electronics on planes

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Russia Trump Hour

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about… well… could it be anything else? Almost the whole show is on the many Trump-Russia developments from the last week. Developments in the Mike Flynn story. Trump talking about tapping conversations. Trump meets with Russians and says things that get him in trouble. Reports on Trump-Comey conversations. The Special Counsel. The continuing investigation. Talk of Impeachment and the 25th amendment. Basically all Trump this week. Except for a Wiki of the Day update.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-20
Length this week – 1:57:21

  • (0:00:54-0:14:08) But First
    • All Trump
    • Things not covered
    • Negative news tone
    • Wiki of the Day update
    • Alex interlude
  • (0:14:56-0:45:31) Trump-Russia Part 1
    • Ignored warnings about Flynn
    • Trump tapes?
    • Trump meeting with Russians
    • Trump is a moron
    • Fox effect
  • (0:46:36-1:25:09) Trump-Russia Part 2
    • Taking notes at meetings
    • Trump/Comey meetings
    • Coverup vs Crime
    • Special Council
    • Follow the money
    • McCarthy/Ryan on Trump/Russia
    • Kushner is a person of interest
    • Trump still likes Flynn
    • Russians bragging about Flynn
    • Who Trump people trust
  • (1:25:50-1:57:01) Removal Options
    • No President Hatch
    • Impeachment Route
    • 25th Amendment Route
    • What next?

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Digging A Hole

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan spend most of their time on all of the events surrounding Donald Trump firing James Comey. That really is enough for a whole show! But they also talk a bit about bitcoin, Wiki of the Day, the travel ban court cases, and they respond to a listener’s comments on the healthcare debate. Then Sam’s son Alex comes to shut down the show.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-12
Length this week – 1:34:54

  • (0:00:15-0:21:11) But First
    • The Big News
    • Agenda
    • Digital Hoarding
    • Bitcoin
    • Wiki of the Day
  • (0:22:54-1:04:36) Crazy Trump of the Week
    • Comey Firing Logistics
    • Win-Win Scenario?
    • Trump’s Reason(s)
    • Trump’s surrogates
    • Trump’s NBC Interview
    • FBI Reaction
    • Investigation Next Steps
    • Trump making it worse
    • Reactions
  • (1:06:35-1:34:33) Immigration and Healthcare
    • Travel Ban Arguments
    • Our response to Bruce on Healthcare

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Secret Project Done: Wiki of the Day podcasts

I just finished a secret project! It is THREE brand new podcasts I am officially launching as of right now. I hope you will check them out!

These are quite a bit different than Curmudgeon’s Corner, the podcast I have done with Ivan Bou since 2007 where we talk about current events each week. That podcast will continue as always. (If you aren’t already listening to that, you should of course check it out too!)

Instead, these are short quick hit podcasts. Little bursts of knowledge to enlighten your day. Just a few minutes long each. Often shorter than 2 minutes long in fact. The podcasts consist of the summaries of Wikipedia articles. Each of the three choose which articles to highlight in a bit different way. Because it is just the summaries, not the whole articles, they are quick digestible chunks of information.

I of course don’t have the time or consistency to create three podcast episodes every day, even 2 minute podcasts. So the trick here is that these are fully automated podcasts. There will be new episodes every day, even if I am super busy and swamped with other things. Now that things are all set up, they will (hopefully) just run on auto-pilot unless I decide I need or want to change something.

The idea for these had been percolating in my head for a couple months, and a little over two weeks ago I pulled the trigger and started working on it an hour here and an hour there as I had time. Basically, the daily topics are chosen from Wikipedia APIs or RSS feeds, I pull the content from Wikipedia using another API, then I generate the actual audio for the podcast using Amazon Polly and assemble the Podcast RSS feeds. I also set up a website… wikioftheday.com… that dynamically shows the most recent episodes of each Podcast, gives easy access to old episodes, and has a detail page for each episode with the text of the episode script. I did most of this with PHP since I’m pretty familiar with that, with a few Unix shell bits where that was more convenient.

It was fun to do, and I hope at least a few people will find the actual podcasts interesting too. Go to wikioftheday.com and you can check them all out and listen to a few of the episodes that have been produced so far. There are just a handful so far, but there will be new ones every day!

They are indeed read by computerized voices… a bunch of different ones episode to episode for variety… but that technology has come a long way in the last few years, and they are actually pretty decent to listen to.

I’ve started to submit the three podcasts to the directories for this sort of thing, but it will take awhile for them to start actually showing up when you search for them in your podcast player of choice. So for the moment if you want to subscribe, you’ll have to tell your podcast player app to subscribe manually using the link to the feeds. Below are descriptions of the three podcast along with the feed links. Please subscribe! And listen!

For each of the three, I exclude articles with no summaries or really short summaries. I exclude “articles” that are just lists, disambiguation pages (which John Smith did you want to know about?), and other pages of that type. I also have each of the three podcasts set to not repeat the same article within 100 days, even if it comes up again in the source feed. Stuff like that.

Anyway, please check them out, and subscribe if you enjoy them! And let me know what you think of them! :-)

Oh… and tell your friends about them too!

I appreciate it!

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Count the Bits by Hand

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan’s main topic is Trumpcare passing the House, the implications of that, and what comes next in the healthcare debate. But they spend plenty of time on other things too. From the latest book Sam has read, to Ivan changing data plans, Puerto Rican bankruptcy, Clinton on why she lost, violence on Facebook Live, and much more. Oh, and at the very end Sam reveals his new secret project.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-05-05
Length this week – 1:37:10

  • (0:00:12-0:17:53) But First
    • Agenda
    • Book: The Fellowship of the Rings (1954)
    • Mobile Data Plans
  • (0:18:32-0:54:16) Healthcare
    • House succeeded!
    • Voting for “something”
    • Big win for the R’s?
    • Counting the Losers
    • Preexisting Conditions
    • Other impacts
    • What will the Senate do?
    • Getting things done
  • (0:55:58-1:36:50) Lightning Round
    • Puerto Rico Bankruptcy
    • Violence on Facebook Live
    • Clinton on why she lost
    • Georgia 6 Runoff
    • Impact of Healthcare on 2018
    • Trump leaving the country
    • Bill O’Reilly and Fox News
    • Zuckerberg 2020? Others?
    • Budget Deal
    • Sleep Deprivation
    • Secret Project

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Squeaky Chair

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan deviate from politics for a little while to talk some tech! Namely, Juicero, cord cutting, and Apple’s pro strategy. Of course after that they get back to the news and politics of the week… That would be Trump’s 100 day milestone, Trump’s tax plan, the budget deadline and Obama making money on speeches on the domestic side. Internationally they discuss tariffs on Canada, “The Wall”, and NAFTA. Along the way there are also some corrections, a milestone for this podcast, and Trump’s Big Red Button.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-28
Length this week – 1:52:35

  • 0:01:13-0:14:28 But First
    • Agenda
    • Corrections
    • Milestone
  • 0:15:08-0:55:28 Tech
    • Juciero
    • Cord Cutting Update
    • Apple Pro Strategy
  • 0:56:36-1:33:39 Domestic
    • 100 Days of Trump
    • Tax Plan
    • Budget Deadline
    • Obama Speeches
  • 1:34:55-1:52:14 International
    • Canadian Tariffs
    • The Wall
    • NAFTA
    • North Korea
    • Electoral Maps
    • Big Red Button

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Because We Just Can’t

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Ivan and Sam cover all sorts of developments, both foreign and domestic. From the latest events in Turkey, the UK, and North Korea to the latest with Trump-Russia, healthcare reform, tax reform, and the death penalty. Along the way they also touch on flight simulators, random trips, a band from the 70’s, some feedback, and more!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-21
Length this week – 1:43:44

  • (0:00:55-0:20:43) But First
    • Agenda
    • X-Plane
    • Movie: War Greatest Hits Live (2008)
    • Random Trips
  • (0:22:43-1:06:18) International
    • St. Petersburg
    • Axis of Adults
    • Approval Ratings
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom
    • North Korea
    • Russians in Alaska?
    • Julian Assange
  • (1:07:39-1:35:09) Domestic
    • Trump Russia
    • Jason Chaffetz
    • Healthcare
    • Tax Reform
    • Death Penalty
  • (1:36:51-1:43:24) Not a Lightning Round
    • Feedback from Ed
    • Feedback from Jenn
    • Contact Info

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Clear Thoughted

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner: WAR! PIVOT! LIGHTNING! More specifically, Sam and Ivan talk about the situations in Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea… then they move on to Donald Trump’s changing positions on a number of issues, and what that means for both his supporters and opponents. Rounding out the show, bits about the guy pulled off the United plane, Wikileaks, planespotting, a movie Sam watched, the congressional special elections, and even more!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-15
Length this week – 2:06:12

  • (0:00:15-0:22:02) But First
    • Show Edits
    • Agenda
    • Ignored Topics
    • Reorgs and Layoffs
    • Movie: The Terminal (2004)
    • Planespotting
  • (0:22:40-0:59:46) WAR!
    • Legal Authority
    • Pictures of War Victims
    • Trump ignorance
    • Missing Volta?
    • North Korea Escalation
    • Spicer on Nazi Germany
    • What is a chemical weapon?
    • MOAB in Afghanistan
    • More on North Korea
  • (1:00:21-1:24:20) PIVOT!
    • List of Flip Flops
    • He is still Trump
    • Healthcare
    • Trump learning?
    • Difficulty Legislating
    • No agenda
    • Title origins
  • (1:26:02-2:05:53) LIGHTNING!
    • United troubles
    • Congressional special elections
    • Blackmailing Trump
    • CIA on Wikileaks
    • More ignored topics
    • Contact us

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Magic Eight Ball

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner the main topics are the end of the SCOTUS filibuster, the US attack on Syria, a Trump-Russia update, and infighting within the administration. Ahead of that, we do squeeze in a little on the pace of the news these days, healthcare, “the wall”, and the latest audiobook Sam finished. A full and busy show!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-04-08
Length this week – 2:24:17

  • (0:00:35-0:38:13) But First
    • Agenda
    • Pace of News
    • Healthcare Debate
    • The Wall
    • Book: With the Night Mail (1905) and As Easy as ABC (1912)
  • (0:38:59-1:05:50) SCOTUS Filibuster
    • Oops on odds
    • Democratic strategy
    • Impact on the court
    • Better without filibuster?
    • Legislative Output
    • Checks and Balances
    • Fate of Legislative Filibuster
    • Gold Coffee Table
  • (1:07:06-1:32:39) Syria
    • Different Kinds of Death
    • US not innocent
    • Why did Assad do it?
    • How does airstrike help?
    • Why did Trump do it?
    • Telling the Russians and Syrians
    • What is the strategy?
  • (1:33:19-1:59:12) Russia Stuff
    • Corruption story
    • Nunes story
    • Unmasking
    • Obama handling
    • Flynn immunity
    • Mark Cuban theory
    • Who will they get?
    • The Pee Tape
  • (2:00:55-2:23:57) Administration Infighting
    • Sirens in Dallas
    • Method of management
    • Presidential Ages
    • Seating Arrangement
    • Alt-Right Unhappy
    • Trump the Mastermind?
    • Moderating Influences?
    • Self Dealing

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.