Tuesday, October 19, 2004



It's all based on what Soros has often written about as his "theory of reflexivity." It's when financial markets affect the real world, and then the real world in turn affects financial markets. It's a vicious cycle set in motion on purpose. Here's a speculation of a different sort: could Soros be behind the manipulation of the Tradesports Bush futures? The amounts of money involved are pocket change to Soros. And it would fit his avowed intention to unseat the President. It would be a cheap way for Soros to damage Bush's credibility and panic his troops. I have no idea whether Soros is behind this or not. But it would fit.

Electoral reflexivity has been with us for some time. Here is Theodore White on how it worked in the 1960 election:

When it is eight in Connecticut, it is only five in the afternoon in California. If, as in 1956, the early returns from Connecticut show a Republican landslide, it makes the efforts of the Democratic poll workers in California seem hopeless, and they fade for their homes and their headquarters to nurse their wounds among friends. If, on the contrary, Connecticut shows a strong Democratic lead, it inspires the Democratic workers in California-or so the theory runs-to redouble their efforts to bring the last registrants, the laggard voters, to the polls before seven o'clock Pacific Time. The psychology of the bandwagon, of being with the victor, may affect ten, twenty or fifty thousand California votes; conversely, the psychology of emergency may, if there seems the slightest hope, rush sluggards out of their homes to vote their convictions. Both parties focus down tightly on Connecticut on election evening to transmit early results in order to influence the California vote. (The results, historically, in 1960 were open to two contradictory interpretations. California went for Nixon by 35,623 votes out of 6,507, 000, or one tenth of one per cent. It was won, one may argue, because Elsenhower took to the air waves at eight o'clock Eastern Standard Time-five o'clock Pacific Time-to counteract the Connecticut influence in California; or it was close, one may argue, because the Democrats had so effectively prepared to get the results there that fast.)

We saw a new wrinkle in the 2000 election. This is from Bill Sammon's At Any Cost:

The vice president's margin of victory in Michigan was a slim 4 points, the same spread by which Bush had won Ohio thirty minutes earlier. Yet the networks were still mum about the Bush win. The tiers of Democratic bias were now working unmistakably in Gore's favor.

"The fact that we projected Florida and Michigan before we projected Ohio for Bush is very telling;" Tim Russert told NEC viewers, hinting that Bush was lagging in states that should have been his and losing close states far too easily.

Michigan and Ohio were both important battleground states that held large numbers of electoral votes. Both were won by four percentage points. Although all polls closed in Ohio at 7:30 P.M., the networks waited an hour and forty-five minutes to declare Bush the winner. Yet they raced to call Michigan for Gore the instant the first polls there closed-even though voters west of the time line had another hour in which to cast their ballots

The lopsided calls in Gore's favor continued all night. The clarity of the double standard is downright jarring when one examines the calls made by CNN, which was typical of the networks:

Gore won Illinois by 12 points and CNN crowned him the winner in one minute. Bush won Georgia by 12 points and CNN waited thirty-three minutes.
Gore won New Jersey by 15 points and CNN announced it in one minute. Bush won Alabama by 15 points anci CNN waited twenty-six minutes.
Gore won Delaware by 13 points and CNN waited just three minutes. Bush won North Carolina by 13 points and CNN waited thirty-four minutes.
Gore won Minnesota by 2 points and CNN waited thirty-seven minutes. Bush won Tennessee by 3 points and CNN waited twice as long-an hour and sixteen minutes.

Withholding Tennessee from Bush was especially mendacious because news of the vice president's failure to carry his home state would have sent a powerful political message to the rest of the nation. If Gore couldn't carry Tennessee, how could he be expected to win the presidency? Even Walter Mondale managed to carry his home state of Minnesota in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won the other forty-nine states in a landslide.

Similarly, the networks were reluctant to call President Clinton's home state of Arkansas for Bush, which would have sent another potent message. Arkansas was one of the few states in which Gore had given Clinton permission to campaign for him. Timely news of Gore's failure to carry the state would have shocked Democrats and heartened Republicans nationwide. Instead, CNN waited three hours and thirty-three minutes before awarding Arkansas to Bush, who had won the state by six points. This inexplicable delay was even longer than the two hours and forty-one minutes CNN waited before giving Bush West Virginia, which he had also won by six points. By contrast, CNN waited only thirty-six minutes to give Maine to Gore, who had carried the state by only five points.

The pervasiveness of the double standard was shocking. Whenever Gore won a state by double-digit margin, the networks projected him the winner in three minutes or less. But in state after state, Bush posted double-digit victories that the networks refused to acknowledge for at least thirty minutes.
When Bush won Missouri by 4 points, CBS waited two hours and six minutes to hand it over. When Gore won Pennsylvania by the same margin, CBS shortened the lag time to forty-eight minutes. This was an enormously important call because it told America at 8:48 P.M. Eastern Time that Gore had already pulled off the trifecta, which was tantamount to winning the White House.

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