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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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Cause It’s A Book

We’re here. We’re finally at the election. So of course Sam and Ivan talk about the definition of Univeral Time. Well, just for a few minutes. Then they skip the rest of the usual random stuff and just get to the politics. We know that is what you are all here for. They do a final look at the Election Graphs analysis of the polling situation. They talk about the latest attempts to make something happen with Hunter Biden. They talk about both the possibilities of Trump pulling out another win by the skin of his teeth and the possibility of a Biden landslide. Of course, they touch on voter suppression, SCOTUS, and the pandemic as well. Oh, and Ivan might be live streaming election night. So watch out for that! So here we go. The last show before election day!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2020-10-30
Length this week – 1:57:13

  • (0:00:01-0:04:46) Cold Open
  • (0:05:11-1:56:52) Politics
    • Universal time
    • Hunter Biden nothing burgers
    • Glen Greenwald resignation
    • Old media vs new media coverage
    • Election Graphs update
    • Early vote numbers
    • Trump odds vs blue wave odds
    • Voter suppression and SCOTUS
    • Pendemic trends and the campaign
    • CC livestream
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 For The Bar

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan continue the countdown to the election. A new polling update via Election Graphs, discussion of the last debate, talk about Hunter’s laptop, a review of current Covid trends. All the politics you would expect this close to the election. Before that they talk a bit about recalled messages and changing norms on social media sharing and sexting, school reopening choices, and once again Sam talks about a movie he watched almost a year ago. So pretty much what you would expect from the Corner.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2020-10-24
Length this week – 2:06:13

  • (0:00:22-0:45:15) But First
    • Recalled messages
    • Shaming for sharing
    • Misc Misc Misc
    • School choices
    • Sam movie: Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • (0:47:15-2:05:51) Politics
    • Election Graphs update
    • The last debate
    • Hunter’s laptop
    • Foreign interference/li>
    • Covid numbers
    • Rudy
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: Candy Stones

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan start by arguing about live views from the International Space Station. Then they move on to everybody’s feelings in isolation and Sam’s broken hand before moving on to actual real news about the pandemic this week. Then some talk about Biden, Trump, and Amash. And if you stay for the very end, you’ll find the resolution to the argument the show began with. Enjoy!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2020-05-02
Length this week – 2:06:23

  • (0:00:01-0:08:39) ISS HDEV Argument
  • (0:09:03-0:36:36) Isolation Update
  • (0:38:38-1:20:26) Pandemic News
  • (1:22:14-2:03:13) Election 2020
  • (2:03:33-2:06:23) ISS HDEV Answer

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: Slower than the Rise

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan again spend most of the show on pandemic related developments. But before that, they discuss buying a MacBook Air, and a movie Sam watched about a couple of frogs. After exhausting the pandemic topic, they talk a little bit about Election 2020 polling.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2020-04-25
Length this week – 2:06:06

  • (0:00:01-0:31:35) But First
  • (0:32:51-1:39:43) Pandemic
  • (1:40:20-2:05:35) Election 2020

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: A Very Big Tree

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan note a couple of significant passings, they answer some listener questions, and then they get into the latest Trump shenanigans, and finally the Democratic nomination race. Enjoy!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2020-02-22
Length this week – 1:58:58

  • (0:01:20-0:58:49) P’s and Q’s
  • (1:00:33-1:31:30 ) Trump Misbehaving
  • (1:32:39-1:58:35) Election 2020

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: Gone Quackers

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Ivan starts out with a couple of select rants on things that have been bugging him. Then Sam and Ivan discuss Election 2019, Election 2020, and the polls. And of course, they don’t miss the latest impeachment developments. Also, at the insistence of Sam’s son Alex, this week’s show has been cleansed of the usual salty language. Instead, you get ducks. Enjoy!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2019-11-07
Length this week – 2:03:26

  • (0:01:05-0:27:04) A couple of rants
  • (0:28:20-1:29:24) Elections and polls
  • (1:30:33-2:02:41) Impeachment

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: Proper Strategy

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about… things other than Trump! Amazing! Topic include the Senate healthcare bill, Philandro Castile, Charleena Lyles, Grenfell Tower, useless press briefings, escalation in Syria, the special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, layoffs at pollster.com, Uber, Sam’s thoughts on recording candidate forums… and even some movies Ivan watched recently! A lot packed in this week… but relatively Trump light! OK, we couldn’t avoid him entirely. But closer than we have come for awhile!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-22
Length this week – 2:29:24

  • (0:00:15-0:34:25) But First
    • Paper
    • Agenda
    • Overshadowed
    • Forum adventures
    • Ivan movie: Interstellar
    • Alex interlude
    • Ivan movie: Sully
  • (0:35:40-1:04:51) But Second
    • Leaks on the Senate healthcare bill
    • Will they get 50 votes?
    • Healthcare cost drivers
    • Repeal or tweak?
    • Cynical ploys
  • (1:06:34-1:34:04) But Third
    • Philando Castile verdict
    • Charleena Lyles shooting
    • Grenfell Tower fire
    • Dealing with emergencies
  • (1:35:24-1:56:40) But Fourth
    • Useless Spicer briefings
    • Critical press, not stenographers
    • Spicy’s future
    • Syrian drones and planes
  • (1:57:19-2:29:04) But Fifth
    • Special election spin
    • Pollster.com layoffs
    • Approval ratings
    • Polling accuracy
    • Uber

 

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: Uninhabited Atoll

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about the Baseball shooting in Virginia and the related issues about the tone of our political discourse these days. Of course they can’t forget the Trump scandal developments of the week too. In between they squeeze in some talk about healthcare, Puerto Rican statehood, the great butter shortage, and a few other things. But most importantly, a very rare but special gift from Ivan. Tune in to hear what it is!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-06-15
Length this week – 1:25:11

  • (0:00:15-0:32:27) But first
    • Agenda
    • Healthcare Own Goal?
    • Not visiting the White House
    • Puerto Rican statehood
    • iTunes U: Lord of the Rings I
    • Weekend Plans
    • But first at the but end?
  • (0:33:07-1:04:34) Baseball Shooting
    • Butter shortage
    • The shooting
    • Heated rhetoric
    • What do you do?
    • Partisan differences?
    • The Trump Wing vs Mainstream R’s
    • Any changes?
    • Trump influence in Europe
    • Polling
  • (1:06:34-1:24:51) Trump Scandals
    • Obstruction investigation
    • Self inflicted wounds
    • Sleepy Ivan
    • Talking points
    • Sleepy Ivan 2
    • Expanding investigations
    • Attacking the investigators
    • Investigative duty

 

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.

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. :-)

A look at Trump favorability vs job approval

With all the hype today about the latest Gallup poll showing Trump’s job approval rating hitting a new low, I thought I’d look at the polls a little further. First of all, the usual advice…  never look at single polls, look at averages. So look at pollster.com job approval trendlines rather than just looking at the Gallup trend. Also though, I’ve been looking at favorability trendlines as well as job approval, because it goes back prior to Inauguration Day. And in both cases, I prefer looking at the “net” numbers (positive ratings minus negative ratings). So time to make my own graphs based on Pollster’s trend lines:

I’ve gone all the way back to the beginning of October to show the last inflection point prior to the election. Trump’s favorability reversed direction and started improving around the middle of October after bottoming out at -25.4%. (Bottoming out for that time period anyway, he was worse than -30% at a couple times prior to winning the nomination.) Roughly speaking this last pre-election reversal came somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd debate.

Then after he won the election the improvement in his favorability accelerated dramatically, moving to by far the best levels he had ever seen. Presumably this comes from people just feeling more positively about him simply because he won the election. Since December 1st, Trump’s net favorability has stayed in a very narrow 1.8% band from -5.6% at the best, to -7.4% at the worst. For all intents and purposes, Trump’s favorability has been flat for over three months now. Now, it has never been positive, but it has not been getting worse for Trump…  or better. Just flat.

As of inauguration day though, there was an additional measure. Job Approval. This actually started out positive, with more people approving of Trump’s performance in the job than disapproving. But this didn’t last long. Aside from a slight bump toward the end of February, the trend has been down. The longer Trump has been President, the lower his net job approval is going. It will be interesting to see how far this trend continues.

The favorability line has been the line I have watched more, leaving me with the impression that the public is so polarized that virtually nobody is changing their mind (in either direction) about Trump. But the job approval numbers tell a different story. This number is indeed shifting, and shifting away from Trump dramatically. Why the difference?

Well, of course, these are different sorts of questions. Favorability essentially measures how the public feels about a person in general. How much they “like” them. Job approval specifically measures how people think the person is doing in the job. It is very possible for someone to feel favorable about Trump (that is, they like him), while still thinking he is doing a bad job.

That is exactly what we seem to be seeing. Quite a few people are shifting toward thinking that they don’t approve of how Trump is actually performing in the job of President… but they still aren’t at the point where they will say they don’t like him.*

My gut feel is that while the job approval number is important, the real signal of a change in Trump’s political fortunes will be if the favorability numbers start to drop as well. We haven’t seen that yet. In fact he is still doing quite a bit better than he was right before the election. But surely if job approval keeps falling, at some point favorability will too… right?

(Meanwhile, I noticed another curiosity, which is that even while all this other stuff has been going on, ever since last summer… so well before the election… right track / wrong track numbers have been been moving dramatically toward right track… although wrong track does still win… What is up with that?)

*This is also where looking at separate trend lines on job approval for approve and disapprove rather than just the net value is interesting despite my preference for the net, because it looks like approve numbers are flat, while disapprove numbers are growing, which means that it isn’t so much people shifting from approve to disapprove, as folks who were undecided picking a side… the disapprove side. But I don’t think this changes the overall picture I’ve described.