985: Percentage Points
Senator Grayton is a fictional name, made up for this comic, which is a bit surprising as the names used in xkcd are usually references to something.
A line on each of the issues that Grayton fictionally supports:
- Tax Breaks to Drunk Drivers - Grayton proposed to give money back on their taxes for people who have been convicted of a DUI or DWI. Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated
- Predator Drones and the War on Christmas - The War on Christmas is a not a real war, it is simply (some) Christians who believe that non-Christians are trying to get rid of Christmas trees, Christmas music and the endless barrage of Christmas-themed nonsense we get from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
- College Scholarships to Sexually Active Teens - Not sure how they would test for this on the scholarship application, but it is funny nonetheless.
- Illegal Immigrants Who Murder - This is an argument for immigration, but only if they make "room" and possibly an open job for themselves by getting rid of another person. This one is pretty evil.
- Income Tax Based on Penis Size - Wow, this one would never pass! (depends on what they did with it ... i.e.: are we taxed less if we're smaller - sign me up!)
On To the Names:
- Tracy Morgan is an actor in the TV Show 30 Rock, who plays Tracy Jordan, he is known for his outlandish statements on politics and everything else in the world. He has been reprimanded for controversial comments on homosexuals and Sarah Palin (in separate incidents).
- John Wilkes Booth is the person who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. He was a sympathizer with the Confederate cause and was for slavery and all its trappings.
- Time Cube Guy is Gene Ray, also known as Otis E. Ray. He has a website known as Time Cube (Thanks Wikipedia) where he sets out his personal model of reality, which he calls Time Cube. He suggests that all of modern physics is wrong, in addition to claiming religion to be evil, specifically Christianity, and the idea of family is poisoning children.
Ok, finally to the numbers:
If his polling is at 20% and drops by 19%, without specifying percentage points, that means that his support has only dropped 3.8 percentage points, because 19% of 20% is only 3.8%. That would mean after all his outrageous statements, his support dropped from 20% to 16.2%. However, if they had said his 20% polling dropped 19 percentage points, that would mean his support has dropped to 1%. Therefore, the distinction is important.
[An average news anchor reading news copy of below average intelligence appears on a TV, with one person watching it in utter disgust]
News Anchor: Senator Grayton's campaign has imploded following the candidate's promise to give tax breaks to drunk drivers and to authorize the use of unmanned Predator drones in the War On Christmas. Grayton had been polling at 20%, but his support has since plunged by 19%.
I hate the ambiguity created when people don't distinguish between percentages and percentage points.
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