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The US Observer Enters Mark Turner’s Case

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 05-01-2011

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Some of you may remember my articles about Mark Turner. Mark was sent to a Florida prison in September, after losing his appeal. He and family live in Pensacola, Florida. The charges are confusing, but the main conviction was money-laundering [his own money]. Looking at all the court documents – a mountain of them are available online – Mark was framed…or said another way, knowingly unjustly convicted.

Mark Turner

A few months ago, a reader, whose name I will not disclose yet, sent me the name of an investigative group that specializes in false criminal charges. US Observer has taken Mark’s case. I believe I am correct in saying hey will be writing Mark’s Post Conviction Appeal, and taking the case to federal court.

My main writings about Mark can all be found among the black menu buttons just under my banner at Maggie’s Notebook – or click here: Mark Turner Case. Those articles will lead you to others.

Read the US Observer’s first article on Mark Turner.  And while you are reading, keep in mind that all the court documents are online. You’ll find links to them on my blog or on Mark’s website. Mark’s page may take a few seconds to load. What you read among my writings comes from those documents. If I give an opinion, I state that it’s my opinion. It appears the US Observer has read the same documents I have spent hours culling through.

The US Observer article ended with this:

We have just got our feet wet concerning this investigation – with full intentions of getting to the bottom of this apparent travesty of justice. We have been warned to “watch our backs,” that people involved in this case are fully capable of “getting rid of us.” We have one response – we are coming…

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 – all sources will be held strictly confidential.

I’m asking, again, for prayers for Mark, his wife Nancy and their three boys. This is a critical time.

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Smith gives Krzyzewski a pat on the back – News & Observer

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 30-12-2010

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Seattle Post Intelligencer
Smith gives Krzyzewski a pat on the back
News & Observer
"I congratulate Mike on this milestone victory. I am sure he would want to share the credit for the wins with all his players and staff. I enjoyed competing against Mike's teams throughout the many years I was at UNC. I wish him continued health and
Next Play: Mike Krzyzewski Continues Quiet Climb Up Wins ListSan Francisco Chronicle
With Win, Krzyzewski Is Second to OneNew York Times
Duke downs UNC-Greensboro for Mike Krzyzewski's 880th winBoston Herald
The Detroit News –Austin American-Statesman –Burlington Times News
all 454 news articles »

Sports – Google News

Arkansas pulls upset, makes case for spot in BCS bowl game – Washington Observer Reporter

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 28-11-2010

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ABC News
Arkansas pulls upset, makes case for spot in BCS bowl game
Washington Observer Reporter
AP AP LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Ryan Mallett threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns as No. 12 Arkansas made its case for the school's first BCS bowl game with a 31-23 win over No. 6 LSU on Saturday. Mallett finished 13 of 23 passing and had touchdown
LSU defense foundersThe Daily Advertiser
Ryan Mallett's 3 TDs lead Razorbacks to upset of LSUESPN (blog)
Recap: Arkansas vs. L-S-UKansas City Star
Shreveport Times –NOLA.com –Monroe News Star
all 579 news articles »

Sports – Google News

WaPo Boosts Its Outlier Md. Gubernatorial Poll; Veteran Political Observer Dismisses It, Citing Oversampling of Dems

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 01-10-2010

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In my beloved home state of Maryland, this year’s governor’s race is a rematch of the contest four years ago, and most polls show a close race, with current Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) up a few points over former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R), but at or below the crucial 50 percent mark.

Enter the Washington Post, which two days ago released a poll that shows O’Malley up by 11 points, breaking the 50 percent mark. As might be expected, Post journalists are hyping the results, casting the race as possibly starting to break decisively in O’Malley’s direction.

In an online chat, the Post’s Chris Cillizza vouched for the poll by stating that  pollster "Jon Cohen is the best in the business, so yes," O’Malley has indeed opened up a wide lead over Ehrlich. Today, the Post’s Mike DeBonis penned a column about how O’Malley is "right now, in a place where a lot of his fellow Democrats around the country sure wish they were."

Eh, not so fast, veteran Maryland political observer Blair Lee argues in an October 1 article for Gazette.net.

The Post poll oversamples demographic groups that are O’Malley-friendly and doesn’t take into account the heightened energy among Maryland Republicans and depressed primary turnout from Democrats this year, Lee argues (emphasis mine):

[S]ince July virtually every national expert, professional handicapper and pundit has called Maryland’s governor’s race a neck-and-neck tossup. So how can O’Malley be ahead by 3 points (Rasmussen poll) on Sept. 15 and by 11 points (Post poll) less than two weeks later?

Well, not surprisingly, it’s all in the methodology. Specifically, it’s the different ways pollsters arrive at their sample.

On Election Day, more than 1.5 million Maryland voters will go to the polls. But obviously, pollsters can’t call up 1.5 million voters, so, instead, they consult a small group of voters (730 likely voters in The Post poll) that is designed to reflect, as closely as possible, the same characteristics (race, gender, age, party affiliation, geographic residence, etc.) as the 1.5 million voters expected to actually vote.

This weighted microcosm of the electorate is called the sample, and a poll is only as accurate as its sample. In other words, if 52 percent of the voters on Election Day are women, then 52 percent of the 730 voters in the pollster’s sample should be women. Likewise with every other category — race, party affiliation and so on. To the extent that a pollster’s sample fails to accurately mirror the characteristics of Election Day voters, the poll is flawed.


The first red flag in The Post’s poll was O’Malley’s 4-point lead among male voters. In every poll since 2005 (and in the 2006 election itself) Ehrlich wins among men. The latest Gonzales Poll has Ehrlich ahead by 8 points with men. The Post poll is the first time O’Malley has led among male voters, ever.

The next alarm bell was The Post poll’s finding that in Montgomery County, Ehrlich gets only 27 percent of the vote. Impossible. In the 2006 election, he got 36 percent; in 2002, he got 38 percent.

Then, I saw O’Malley’s favorable/unfavorable ratings. Post poll: 64 percent favorable, 26 percent unfavorable (+38 differential); Rasmussen’s Sept. 15 poll: 54 percent favorable, 38 percent unfavorable (+16 differential). Too big a difference — something’s wrong.

To The Post’s credit, its pollster, Jon Cohen, shared his backup data and methodology with me. Here’s what I discovered:

Most pollsters build their sample by looking at actual past voter turnout and exit polls from prior elections. Then they feed in current trends, what they’re seeing in the field and, finally, their educated estimates based on experience and hunches. This is the art of polling.

The Post poll builds its sample much differently. Instead of using past elections, trends and hunches, it uses Census data. So, if blacks are 29.7 percent of the population, they are 29.7 percent of the Post poll’s initial sample. If Republicans are 28 percent of the registered voters, they become 28 percent of the sample. Then, after building its sample based on this generic data, The Post refines its sample to final form by asking respondents a series of questions about their voting likelihood and intensity.

As you might expect, this difference in methodology leads to different samples, which, in turn, lead to different poll results.


My problem with The Post poll’s Census-based approach is that it misses a lot of political data, such as September’s primary election returns. The Post poll says that O’Malley’s and Ehrlich’s supporters are equally enthusiastic, yet this year’s low-turnout primary saw a Republican surge (37,901 more voters) and a big Democratic drop (125,628 fewer voters) compared with the 2006 primary. Something’s going on.

The bottom line? (emphais mine):

I believe The Post’s sample over-counts African-Americans (who vote 9 to 1 Democratic) and undercounts Republicans, which accounts for O’Malley’s startling lead. I further believe that O’Malley is leading Ehrlich by 3 to 4 points, primarily because O’Malley, with three times more campaign cash than Ehrlich, has had the airwaves to himself since June. But, trust me, O’Malley’s lead is not 11 points. That may be the way some folks want it to be, but it’s not the way it is.

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias