Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Call

Greg Sargent catches Liz Cheney doing naughty things to the truth again, but really, that's her job.  Bees gotta be, birds gotta bird, Cheney's gotta lie.
Officials in a small Michigan town featured in a new video about Guantanamo by Liz Cheney’s national security group want her to know that they’re not falling for her “fearmongering” — and tell us they want Gitmo detainees in their town.

Cheney’s group, Keep America Safe, has released a short documentary starring several residents of little Standish, Michigan, slamming the Obama administration over a proposal to transfer some Guantanamo detainees to the town’s maximum security facility, one of several facilities being discussed.
Now, keep in mind that Michigan has, oh, about a 15%+ unemployment rate right now.  Maybe the actual people in Standish would want the detainees rather than being jobless?
But Standish’s City Manager tells us that local leaders and residents want the facility, and dismissed Cheney’s efforts as “fearmongering.”

Cheney is “certainly not representing the views of our community,” the City Manager, Michael Moran, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson.

While some local residents do appear to have expressed mixed feelings or opposition to the plan, Moran says that they’re an isolated minority that Ms. Cheney’s video elevates out of proportion in a way that’s “off base.”

What’s more, the Standish city council recently passed a unanimous resolution expressing support for bringing Gitmo detainees, citing job losses in the wake of the closing of the facility.
Unanimous.  Yeah, seems like the people of Standish are just terrified...of being out of work, that is.  Maybe Liz Cheney should talk to them as well.

Oh wait...that wouldn't be pushing her agenda.  She's got a job to do, after all.  Scare the crap out of you.

Welcome To The Obama Derangement Syndrome, Rookie

Obama does this Thanksgiving PSA for the NFL's Play 60 program to get kids to play outside 60 minutes a day.

Naturally, Obama must now be attacked for being an attention whore and for making a joke of sport.

Unlike, say, Sarah Palin...

Class Is In Session

Your instructor for Stats 101 is Professor Yggy.
Suppose I invent a magical device that can be pointed at a Muslim and say with 90% accuracy whether or not he’s an al-Qaeda operative. Well, if I start waving it around and it starts beeping on one guy, what should we conclude about him? A terrifyingly large number of people are going to say “there’s a ninety percent chance he’s with al-Qaeda! Let’s panic!” In fact, that’s not the case. There are a billion Muslims in the world. A test with 90 percent accuracy is going to mistakenly classify about 100 million of them as al-Qaeda operatives. And al-Qaeda actually has fewer than 10,000 people working for it. I’m going to get something like 10,000 false positives for every actual terrorist I find.

Meanwhile, applying the test to people is going to have severe consequences. The public doesn’t understand this correctly and is going to be put into a wholly unwarranted state of panic about the prevalence of terrorists. People will, of course, demand that those flagged by my machine be subjected to extra-heightened scrutiny. It’s easy to imagine lots of innocent people being mistakenly killed or subjected to discrimination or shunning. And that sense of beseigement and unfair treatment would ultimately heighten tensions between the world’s Muslims and the West, while wasting massive quantities of law enforcement resources chasing basically worthless leads.
For the record, he's talking about Bayes' Law, which basically is used to show that the more rare the event, the more accurate the test for that event has to be.

In other words, in the above example from Yggy, the Magic Terrorist Test gives false alarms 10% of the time (0.1). The actual odds of a Muslim being an AQ terrorist is 10,000 out of a billion, or .00001. Our test is 10,000 times more likely (0.1 / 0.0001) to find a false positive than a real terrorist, making the Magic Terrorist Test effectively useless.

Now, the real question is "How bad of a press situation are 10,000 false positives going to be?" If it's profiling Muslims, it's horrible. If it's 10,000 tornado watches on the other hand, well...that's socially acceptable.

But now pretend you're not sure how accurate your Magic Terrorist Test really is. Because of that, you really have no choice but to test every Muslim. You're not sure what your test means because you don't know how accurate it is. Therefore the only way to be sure...yep, you got it: assume all Muslims are terrorists. You'd have 999,990,000 false positives, but you'd win your AQ hunt. Now how socially acceptable are your 999,990,000 false positives?

Kinda getting the point as to how ridiculous profiling Muslims really is?

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

No, still not worried about 2010. Why? The GOP still has yet to move past "But if Obama is in charge, terrorists will rape your nubile daughters!"

That worked well for them in 2008, you see. They're still using it in 2009. They will use it in 2010, too.

Golden State Of Siege

So, yesterday's $10,000 plus tuition hike on a four year degree at a California state university? Not going over well with the college crowd.
Students were occupying buildings Friday on several campuses of the University of California system in protest of a 32 percent tuition hike.

Students had take over portions of buildings on campuses in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Davis late Thursday, and at least some were still occupied Friday morning.

Student organizers said they would escalate their protests after the system's regents approved the tuition hike during a meeting Thursday on the UCLA campus.

Authorities arrested dozens of angry students at the Davis campus late Thursday after they refused to vacate the school's administration building.

(More after the jump...)

I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Moose Garden

Not everything is sunshine and starbursts and Also on the Moose World Holidaze Tour 2009 as the Rumpies discover dissent in the ranks.
Teabaggers just aren’t happy about anything these days. I guess the Noblesville, Indiana Going Rogue book signing didn’t go very well yesterday because 300* or so of the 1000 people with wristbands were asked not to tread on Sarah Palin and then she tried to make a getaway with Baby Trig and several duffel bags full of cash but wingnuts have learned to protest about everything these days, so they were having none of it.  This is the best thing you will see about horrible, horrible Sarah Palin on the internets all day and until the end of time.

The Joseph-Beth Booksellers here in Cincy is bascially under armed lockdown due to Queen of Mooseilles' official state visit to the Queen City today, and things ought to be interesting.  I wonder if it'll be as bad as the Noblesville incident yesterday?

(More Moose sightings after the jump...)

Following The Money, Honey

Nate Silver crunches the numbers on Obama's overall favorability ratings at and his favorability ratings on the economy and health care:

Gee, notice any similarities?  It looks very much so that America's spotting Obama about 5-8 points, but the perception of the economy is driving everything, including health care.

(More percecption as reality after the jump...)

The Count Of Charlie Crist, Oh! Part 5

Big Orange Kos takes a look at the Crist/Rubio primary battle and comes to some interesting conclusions as the 57-7% lead Crist had in January is now down to 10%: 47-37%.
The crazier the Republican, the better Rubio does. Of the sanest Republicans -- those who don't buy into the crazy birther conspiracy theories, only 16 percent support Rubio compared to the whopping 73 percent who support Crist. The governor's problem is that only 35 percent of Florida Republicans fall under that category. Note the birther crosstabs for both the general and GOP primary election samples -- the general election sample is less crazy, with 57 percent of Republicans saying Obama was born in the US, compared to 35 percent of likely GOP primary voters.

These trendlines are bleak for Crist, and there's little chance of him surviving. Remember, Rubio hasn't spent a dime on media yet. This is all grassroots driven, and the teabaggers are engaged, angry, and looking for the next Scozzafava. Crist is in their crosshairs, and the governor has been flopping all over the place hoping to stem this growing tide against him, and failing. Note -- 50 percent of Republicans still don't know who Rubio is. The more he raises his name ID, the better he does. 
But here's where things get interesting:  what if Crist pulls an Arlen Specter?
On the two-way matchup with Crist as a Democrat, a third of Democrats are undecided. They'd like proof that Crist was a real Democrat, I'm sure. But ultimately, most would come home rather than give the birther-teabagger candidate the Senate seat. A quarter of independents are also undecided, though I won't pretend to guess what they'd do. Those who know what they want break 40 percent for Crist, 34 percent for Rubio.
If I'm Charlie Crist, I realize that I'm toast in the Republican primary. I note that a three-way race is a coin flip at best. But as a Democrat... switching parties and making an earnest transition on the issues would be the cleanest path to a Senate seat.

Whether we'd want him as a Democrat is another story, and one that would depend heavily on how he managed his party switch. But it's clear that he's no longer welcome in his own party. And he has a choice to make -- remain as a hated interloper in his existing party, or try to find a more hospitable home elsewhere.
Granted, Kos giving Republicans advice isn't exactly non-partisan, but he has a point:  Crist would win if he ran as a Democrat.
The question is this:  does he wait for the Rubio Teabagger Express to run him and his political career over, or does he risk jumping to the Donks?  Crist's choices are pull a Lieberman, or pull a Specter.  Neither's going to be fun for him...but the alternative is to get screwed over by the GOP.

What's he thinking, I wonder?

Angry Johnny, Meet The Hoffman Effect

John McCain lost the Presidential race, but he's still a shoo-in back home for Arizona's senior Senator in 2010.

Or is he?
A new Rasmussen poll finds that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) could potentially be in trouble with Republican voters back home in Arizona, where he's often faced criticism from the right for his views on immigration.

In a potential Republican primary for his 2010 re-election, the 2008 GOP nominee for President is in a dead heat with former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a hard-line conservative who lost his seat in the 2006 Democratic wave.

The numbers: McCain 45%, Hayworth 43%, with a ±4% margin of error. A third candidate who is already in the race, former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox, gets 4%.

From the pollster's analysis: "For McCain, the GOP Primary appears to be his biggest challenge since no major Democrats in the state have stepped forward yet to run against him."
Now the problem here is that J.D. Hayworth hasn't even actually decided to run yet. He'd be in one of those statistical dead heats with McCain if he did.

In other words, McCain just became a shining beacon of a target for the Hoffman Effect.  Now, in Arizona, that may be enough to see the GOP win, depending on who's running for the blue team.  But Arizona is trending a bit blue lately (or more blue than it was) and that means it's possible that the Dems could have an opening here.  Maybe.

But Angry Johnny McCain?  He's probably pretty mad this morning.  Pretty mad indeed.

Your ODI Update

Rasmussen's Made Up Presidential Number is -14, and's reality-based average is 55.7%, meaning we've got a new record ODI low: -19.7%.

Suddenly that poll yesterday showing 52% of Republicans thinking ACORN stole nearly 10 million votes across America to give Obama the win and another 21% going "Yeah, ACORN's probably that powerful!" makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it?

(9% of Democrats thought Obama stole the election too, according to that poll. Hi PUMAs! How are you?)


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