Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22

Morning Joe sort of apologizes to Nate Silver but not really

Joe Scarborough penned a spectacularly snotty op-ed in which he sorta not really apologizes for mocking Nate Silver's election forecasts.

It's the sort of apology issued by people who can never admit that they were wrong about anything. In other words: Republicans. And of course it attempts to revise history, because that's what Republicans do.

Here's what Scarborough claims in his "semi-apology":

Since the president's reelection, liberals have been cluttering my Twitter feed with demands that I apologize to Nate for dismissing his 74.8374629% prediction in October that Barack Obama would win. I have ignored those requests because as is usually the case for ideologues on Twitter, their rage is unfocused and based in ignorance. These critics conveniently forget that I consistently predicted an Obama win throughout the year and even said on Election Day that the president's stubborn lead in swing state polls would doom Romney.

I won't apologize to Mr. Silver for predicting an outcome that I had also been predicting for a year. But I do need to tell Nate I'm sorry for leaning in too hard and lumping him with pollsters whose methodology is as rigorous as the Simpsons' strip mall physician, Dr. Nick. For those sins (and a multitude of others that I'm sure I don't even know about), I am sorry.

But on October 29, Scarborough called Nate Silver and anyone who doesn't believe in the almighty tossup, "jokes":
"Nate Silver says this is a 73.6 percent chance that the president is going to win? Nobody in that campaign thinks they have a 73 percent chance — they think they have a 50.1 percent chance of winning. And you talk to the Romney people, it's the same thing," Scarborough said. "Both sides understand that it is close, and it could go either way. And anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a tossup right now is such an ideologue, they should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops and microphones for the next 10 days, because they're jokes."
And here's what he said three days prior to that:
If the President is sitting at 47 percent in the polls, boy, I'd be shocked if he won. I've seen he's in 48 in some of these polls. So that's my gut. That said, he's got an incredible ground game and a lot of early voters are coming out and those early voters that are coming out are voting for Barack Obama. So you have… if you're a behavioralist — and I am too when it comes to these things — if you're undecided about Barack Obama and you've known him for give years and followed him for five years and he's been on the front page of your newspaper for five years and been on your TV set every night for five years and everybody's been talking about him for five years and you still don't know if you're going to vote for Barack Obama, history would suggest you're not going to swing in the last ten days.
Scarborough dismissed math in favor of his gut and got his ass handed to them by Nate Silver. And instead of outright apologizing, and figuring out a way to turn the egg on his face into a delicious omelette, he demonstrates that he still doesn't get it.

Here's the thing, Joe—Nate Silver was not "predicting an outcome." He was calculating the probability that one outcome would come to pass as opposed to another.

It's not magic—it's math.
I'd be thankful if this guy lost his job.
So, Mr. O'Reilly here is really cheesed at You People for calling him a racist. All he did was point out that Barack Obama was reelected by a bunch of poor nonwhite people who want productive white Americans to give them All The Things, and then people started calling him bad names. Like "racist," which is certainly a new one for Bill O'Reilly that he has never been called before! But look, children, Mitt Romney came out just a week after the election and said pretty much the same things himself, as Mr. O'Reilly points out. It's just the truth! Nobody called Romney a racist (sure they did! Really! More than once!), but Romney also didn't actually come out and say "White America is over, man." He just implied it, like. READ MORE »
Pope Ratzi: This Year Is 2019 Not 2012

Pope Palpatine has issued a book declaring that the birth of Jeebus is off by several years.
"The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years," the Pope writes in the book, which went on sale around the world with an initial print run of a million copies. "The actual date of Jesus's birth was several years before." The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC. But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world's one billion Catholics is striking.
Many people, of course, don't believe that Jeebus was ever born at all and is actually a composite figure fictionalized from multiple earlier savior mythologies.

Today President Obama continued the White House tradition of "pardoning" a turkey. But he couldn't resist a jab at Mitt Romney during the ceremony.
"They say that life is all about second chances and this November I can't agree more," Obama said. "So in the spirit of the season I have one more gift to give," Obama joked in apparent reference to Mitt Romney's claim after the election that Obama won by giving "gifts" to minority groups, Obama said he was going to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, named Cobbler, and his stand-in, Gobbler. "The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward," he added.
The president closed by joking that Nate Silver had already predicted which turkey would be chosen.
Dan Senor, one of Romney's neocon foreign policy advisers, thinks there's a "systemic" crisis with presidential polls. You know, because two or three of them were wrong.

There's "some kind of systemic crisis today in the world of polling," Senor said. "I think particularly on the right-of-center polling — the modeling was way off."

"The Republican establishment needs to do an audit here," he added, and "figure out how our understanding of what the electorate looked like was way off."

Yes, Gallup and Rasmussen were wrong because their sampling was way off, but everyone else was just about right. However, the real problem was the fact that Republicans and the Romney campaign refused to look at the broader polling averages especially at the state level. Instead, they cherrypicked the best-looking polls and stupidly judged their odds based on crowds and yard signs. Amateur mistakes.


The deficit is shrinking faster than any time since WWll

From the (totally not liberal) Investor's Business Daily:

Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.


From fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012, the deficit shrank 3.1 percentage points, from 10.1% to 7.0% of GDP.

That's just a bit faster than the 3.0 percentage point deficit improvement from 1995 to '98, but at that point, the economy had everything going for it.

Other occasions when the federal deficit contracted by much more than 1 percentage point a year have coincided with recession. Some examples include 1937, 1960 and 1969.

Listen closely… that PBTPBTPBT! balloon-deflating sound you hear is another right-wing myth about the president dying at the hands of mathematical reality.

No comments: