2. Glass Half Empty?
More than two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. economy is either in recession now or will be in the next year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.
* Yes, despite low core inflation readings (excluding food and energy), an economy that continues to show growth and strong employment, 67% of Americans are convinced that if we aren't already in a recession, we soon will be, according to the Wall Street Journal.
* The poll also shows a dramatic lack of confidence in economic leaders.
* That includes not just President Bush and Congress, the Journal says, but the financial industry, large corporations, and energy, drug and insurance companies.
* Even worse, in the same poll only 14% of Americans say they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in professional sports.
* Meanwhile, in related polling data, Minyanville has learned that only 23% of Americans say they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in confidence polls.
* Similarly, a full 87% of pollsters say they have very little or no confidence that the answers provided by Americans they poll are truthful and accurate and not just attempts by those being polled to get off the phone with pollsters.
* Not surprisingly, only 15% of news and polling organizations that employ pollsters say they have a great deal of confidence that the data reported by the pollsters is an accurate reflection of the attitudes held by Americans being polled.
* And only 21% of people who track polls say they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence that the polls are believable in the first place.
* In a separate poll of pollsters and polling organizations, a shockingly low 7% of pollsters and polling organizations that were polled reported that they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence that they are being accurately polled.
* Even worse, a full 64% of pollsters and polling organizations reported stealing the questions of that poll and using them immediately in a new poll of Americans about their attitudes and feelings toward polls.
* When those pollsters and polling organizations who reported blatantly plagiarizing the poll in the last bullet point were asked asked how frequently they steal polling questions, 46% answered by asking the pollster how frequently they steal polling questions themselves. (75% said very frequently, 23% re-asked the question, 2% reported having a seizure.)
* Which leads us to the following question, why not simply skip the middle men and ask the poles themselves.
What do the poles think?