Posts Tagged ‘election’

Obamalamadingdong!

November 5, 2008

pa_pdn

He’s just like John F. Kennedy!  (Russians are already putting nuclear weapons on the EU border).  He’s just like Jimmy Carter!  (The stock market is already tanking.)  He’s just like Bill Clinton!  (Obama picks Clinton appointee, and shady Chicago political fixer Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of Staff.) 

I’m happy for the black folks who are excited to see a guy with dark skin in the biggest job in the country.  I’m happy for the little black kids who can aspire to the biggest job in the world. 

But the (white) idiots screaming outside my window last night?  The (white) morons I saw riding down the street yelling on a motorcycle, wrapped in a (stolen) flag?  The (white) dipsh*ts that rioted in downtown Portland last night?  Not so happy for them.   And I see they waved a communist Russia flag in D.C. last night.

I’ll give Obama credit, he got over 50% of the US. vote, something no Democrat has done since Johnson in 1964.  The problem is, now Obama can’t be criticized.  The U.S. press just became the biggest P.R. firm in the world.

Sorry, I’m not feeling very funny today.  And Michael Crichton died.  (Today’s front pages here)

The Brilliance of Twain

October 30, 2008

Imagine if the NBA advertised tonight’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Hornets this way:  “Cleveland to beat Charlotte by four points tonight”.

How many people do you think would show up at Cleveland’s Fast Cash Payday Loans Arena to see Lebron and company beat the Bobkitties, featuring the miraculous stache of Gonzaga?  Probably not a lot.

But in another contest, our US presidential election, the media feels quite comfortable telling us “this thing is over, Barack Obama has already won”.

Millions of Americans, who look at Yahoo’s home page every day, are presented with this graphic:

A casual observer (also known as a “voter”) looks at this graphic and says “I guess this thing is over.  I’d be wasting my time to go and vote for McCain, plus, it would make me a LOSER.  I guess I’ll stay home and watch According to Jim. ”  (Note:  This will also make you a loser.)

You may remember, back in 2000, George W. Bush’s disputed win in Florida, was originally called by TV networks as a Gore win, which presumably tipped the presidential election to the tree-hugging Tennessee robot.  The problem was, voting booths in parts of Florida HADN’T EVEN CLOSED YET, meaning the networks were not just wrong (literally), they were wrong (morally).  Again, the message to Republicans was “you might as well stay home, your guy lost.” 

Mark Twain was fond of Disraeli’s quote “‘there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'”  If we’ve learned anything in presidential politics, it’s that for all the effort put into polling, it’s a snapshot, and nothing more

Back in my college days, I thought I’d coast past the math requirement, by taking Statistics.  How hard could it be?  Recently, I came across the following statistics story problem:

“You take a simple random sample of 1000 balls from an urn containing 120,000,000 red and blue balls, and your sample shows 450 red balls and 550 blue balls. Construct a 95% confidence interval for the true proportion of blue balls in the urn.”

“the correct formula is: 95% confidence interval for P = p +/- 1.96 * sqrt( p*(1-p) / n) * FPC”

Seeing this problem brought back the SHEER TERROR I felt in that class…in other tough courses like Philosophy or Biology, at least I felt like I had a chance.  But Statistics 125?  My main reaction was “what in the hell are they talking about?”  I’d flip the pages in the book over and over again, for hours, and get absolutely nothing out of it.  I was helpless. 

So I respect anyone who understands this stuff.  But the numbers don’t mean a thing, if the underlying data is unreliable.

McCain Pollsters in Dead Heat with Obama Pollsters

October 24, 2008

Recent polling shows Americans who believe the pollsters that show Obama is leading, lead the pollsters who show McCain in a dead heat, by just two percentage points, within the +/- 3% margin of error.

These contradictory polls confuse us, because without reliable information about who is ahead, how are we supposed to know whom to vote for?   We’re already befuddled; tens of thousands of Americans are still sitting in stunned silence, wondering why the Boston Red Sox aren’t playing baseball on their televisions. 

And without accurate information about who’s leading in these races, and by how much, how are elections officials supposed to know exactly how much fraud to commit?  Felons AND dead people, or just felons?  And should they limit the vote to illegal aliens currently IN the country, or should they also include those who mail in absentee ballots from Oaxaca?   It’s all very confusing.

Of course absentee ballots make the fraud much easier…as you know baby boomers can’t be bothered to leave their ridiculous overbuilt homes to vote (further cementing their legacy as “The Lamest Generation“.)  And you may have seen the Drudge Link last week that shows Californians are now voting at DRIVE THRUs.  There is little doubt in my mind, that some politicos see absentee ballot voting as a “gateway” to internet voting. 

Of course, the media can’t be bothered with any of these minor matters, they’re concerned with more important thingsThey aren’t interested in reporting that Obama and his party are responsible for the housing crisis, and are not interested in reporting that McCain fought to reign in the abuses at Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac that led to it.

All of this has me in a funk.  This seems the most reasonable choice, at this point.  (Hic.)

Opie-ate of the masses

October 23, 2008

No matter which way you lean politically, this is pretty awesome.