Monthly Archive for June, 2008

The Name of the Shoe is Total F***ing Bumblebee

It has captured my heart, but for me to achieve New Balance* I must conquer the prejudices of conservative society, a society that frowns upon Total F***ing Bumblebee. Shall I venture into a trend-destroying fashion rampage, one that may see a veritable cascade of urine splashing down upon our venerable institutions? Or will my hubristic sartorial hubris allow my shining bright star to be recognized as a blur of be-Bumblebeed assorted foots?

You be the judge.


Complete Misunderstanding of Internet Traditions

I was under the impression that one would merely have to mention the name Michael Berubé, and he would appear as if a genie summoned, deigning to leave an effortlessly witty and amusing bon mot, one so witty and amusing the preceding statement would be rendered non-redundant. This has pointedly not been the case regarding his Celebrity Dream Cameo appearance. Perhaps he was saddened to observe that his subconscious travails warrant not a one commento from the gabbering croud. Do not make Michael Berubé sad. You might have to take several of his classes.

Some New Stuff

at Celebrity Dream Cameo. We’re building the audience for an unbelievably meta and recursive Kathleen cammy-cam later in the week.

Tuesday Recessional-Sammieflation and the Islamofascist Menace

A nicely regressive across the board inflation amoeba-ing from fuel prices to food costs zeroes in on the regular folks of American society. Small business owners doing their best to provide a really good sandwich at a competitive price to the sandwich desiring working public. I shot the below pic at the University of Suck last month when a vendor there had to raise prices across the board. These price increases came after price increases on various add-ons (like bacon or cheese to a sandwich). Clearly those increases weren’t enough, so prices went up on sammies 9%. Add that to 25-40% increases in the price at the pump to I don’t know how much at the grocery store. I thought the image kind of summed up the inflationary web being spun around our economy.

[Click for larger]


I expect this is not the last of this type of posting we’ll be seeing. To bad it is nothing but a tissue of lies. John McCain clues us in on the real problems faced by Sandwich-eating people everywhere. Islamofascism, didn’t we just know it. AS it turns out, I also have a cell phone of truth, that allows us to peak inside the insidious and hidden world of Islamofascist driven economics.

[Click for larger]

To even discuss the existence of Sammieflation is to succour the Islamofascists. First they came for the ham sandwich, but I preferred roast beast, so I said nothing. Then they raised prices so I would complain, and insult the freedoms of our market economy, and in tricking me so, I did, hurting American morale. Finally, I couldn’t afford an exorbitant sandwich payday loan, with which I would stimulate our great economy while providing comfort for the beleaguered EZ check cashing convenience community, resulting in several kittens being slaughtered in the name Sushiitunni hegemony. The terrorists have won, because you didn’t take Islamofascism seriously.

Food For Your Thought

Obama, FISA, and the rest. I agree with Hilzoy here. Actually, I think Hilzoy agrees with me. What I most agree with myself about is that we can’t know what is going on int he backchannels unless someone explicitly provides those details. Everything else is hot air. I’m not convinced that Mr. Barack Obama has all the pull that has been ascribed to him. Therefore I’m kind of not on the train for the inevitable posturing and anger you see in comments here. It’s just red meat for the angry train. We can’t win them all. Bring the pressure to bear. I AM angry, very much so. Just keep up the pressure, give the money where you can.

fish vs shorebird file — part “Gators for Nader”

Back in February, on the occasion of Ralph Nader again declaring his intention to run headfirst into a brick wall for President, Sifu Tweety Fish of The Poor Man Institute decided that, a sufficient amount of something having somethinged, that the time had come around to annoy Nader supporters.

The current post, however, is not intended to annoy anyone and is not really about Nader, but rather about inconsistencies of American politics that make analyzing voting patterns very difficult.

In the comments to the aforementioned thread, fish posted the following:

Gore lost by around 750 votes. Nader got 97K votes in Florida. Bush got 200,000 votes from registered Democrats. 50% of all registered Democrats didn’t even bother to fucking vote in Florida.

Yeah, your right, it was Nader’s fault.

The part of this I want to focus on is “Bush got 200,000 votes from registered Democrats”.

While I have never looked at detailed data from the 2000 election, I did end up toying with data from Florida in 2004.

An early statistical analysis of the data from the 2004 election indicated that there might have been problems with the voting machines in Florida. My opinion at the time appears to have been that various articles had “quot[ed] these statistics indiscriminately” and that people on all sides had failed to recognize that “it was an incomplete analysis and [thus one should] not jump to conclusions”.

In the course of the discussion of that analysis, I took my own look at some of the data to try and figure out what was going on in some of the counties.

For example, the numbers for Taylor County looked like this:

Registered Republican 18.90%
Registered Democratic 75.60%
Total Registered 11481
Voted Republican (Bush) 5466
Voted Democrat (Kerry) 3049
Total Votes 8580
Expected Republican Votes 1622
Expected Democratic Votes 6486

The “expected” numbers just being the registration percentage applied to the actual turnout. Ignoring for the moment anyone not registered D or R, Democrats voted for their own candidate at less than half the rate expected and Bush received votes at over three times the rate expected and amounting to two-and-a-half times the number of registered Republicans.

When one considers that there were almost certainly Kerry voters who were not registered Democrats, the Democratic turnout looks even worse. And even if one assumes that:

  • every registered Republican turned out to vote and voted for Bush (2170), and
  • every registered voter who was registered neither Republican nor Democrat turned out to vote and voted for Bush (631)

that total (2801) would still require that 2665 registered Democrats voted for Bush. (Call this measure of required Democratic votes for Bush R.)

There are twenty-eight counties in Florida which voted for Bush in 2004 at nearly or over twice the “expected” (that is, percent registered R times total actual votes) rate (for eleven counties it was over 3x). These are all low-population counties: more than a third have fewer than 10,000 registered voters, and only two have over 30,000.

At the time, some people were pointing to results like this and screaming that it was clear evidence that the Republicans were stealing votes. If I recall correctly, I, too, may have believed this at first. In any case, I decided to check out what the voting history was in such counties in prior Presidential elections. For Taylor County, I found the following:

         Democrat       Republican         Third       Other
2004  Kerry    35.5%  Bush      63.7%                  0.8%
2000  Gore     38.9%  Bush      59.6%  Nader     0.9%  0.6%
1996  Clinton  44.8%  Dole      39.9%  Perot    14.3%  1.1%
1992  Clinton  35.6%  Bush      37.3%  Perot    26.7%  0.3%
1988  Dukakis  30.0%  Bush      69.1%                  0.9%
1984  Mondale  30.0%  Reagan    70.0%                  0.0%
1980  Carter   50.5%  Reagan    47.3%  Anderson  1.3%  0.9%
1976  Carter   62.3%  Ford      36.7%                  1.0%
1972  McGovern 15.5%  Nixon     84.5%                  0.0%
1968  Humphrey 18.6%  Nixon     15.7%  Wallace  65.7%  0.0%
1964  Johnson  39.1%  Goldwater 60.9%  Unpledged 0.0%  0.0%

Note especially the 1968 results.

The conclusion I came to at the time (based, to my recollection, both on this data and some independent confirmatory information) is that the counties in Florida which follow this pattern are rural counties with very conservative populations which are governed on a local level by Democratic establishments of a form little changed since Reconstruction. Thus, many people are registered Democrats because of how local politics works, but this does not correlate meaningfully with how these voters make their choice in a Presidential election.

Applying measure R — which is obviously an underestimate — to the twenty-eight counties in the group I’ve described one finds that there is an absolute floor of 47,314 Democrats who voted for Bush (17% of registered Democrats).

If one uses the number of votes by which Kerry underperformed estimated expectations, something like 85,000 votes for Bush probably came from registered Democrats in these twenty-eight counties. That too may very well be an underestimate1 as it assumes no one voted for Kerry who is not registered Democrat. These counties are home to around 4% of Florida registered voters. There are, it stands to reason, rural areas in counties which include urban centers where this pattern also holds but where it is not visible in a coarse-grained dataset.

What I think this shows is that an unqualified statement like “Bush got 200,000 votes from registered Democrats” can not be effectively employed in an argument applied to a state where there exists a significant population for whom party affiliation with the Democrats is not predictive of Presidential preference. I have no particular point here to make about Nader or the 2000 election; I just consider this a useful example of the slipperiness of political statistics.

  1. A better figure would require the turnout figures broken down by party affiliation, which are not in the data I’m looking at. [back]

Howler on Russert and Reality

Take your medicine.

3Bulls! LLC is aware of all internet traditions

This is not a filler post.

This is a post to address certain minor issues which have been clawing for the attention of the Ombudsmoose for various periods of time. Kindly bear with us, as there is important news below.

Today, we address nefarious outside influences, since there is nothing to complain about here. If there is, you should know the drill by now (or, preemptively, at least a bit).

We begin, in true half-assed fashion, with the important news that trolls on certain other fine blogs are aware of all internet traditions.

This may be the first instance of a troll doing something useful in the history of the ol’ tubes, and we applaud the success of their continued mocking. The estimable John Cole has much, much more on this meta-meme.

Second, Pinko Punko notes the suspicious silence of the Canadian Curling Association on the Strange Mystery of the Severed Feet in the Water. He writes:

could the ombuds address the Canadia Severed Foot issue, and not to belittle this macabre situation, but has the CCA commented? It is irresponsible not to speculate. If we were CNN we would pronounce our conventional wisdom as fact.

Sadly, the facts of the matter are that six [EDIT: the sixth was a hoax] severed shoe-clad feet (five right, one left) have washed ashore in various parts areas of the Lower Mainland. Their origin has yet to be confirmed, but marine accidents have been suggested as a possible culprit.

Also, there is at least one woman’s foot which has been found in this fashion, putting at least one particular theory to rest.

The CCA has declined to launch an internal investigation. Speculation, as always, is heartily encouraged. Grippers or sliders? Only time will tell.

M. Night Shyamalan, remarkably, has yet to purchase the movie rights.

More importantly, we should like to remind the Editor that “Canadia” is a purely imaginary place, inhabited by poutine-eating bilingual chain-smoking ice fishermen who uptalk a lot. No such area exists in the Great White North. We suspect PP has been using Conservapedia as a reference. Or possibly Bob and Doug McKenzie.

HOWEVER, because you have all been so good as to read this far, we have received persimmon to declare a new contest!!!!1!1!!! In the spirit of redundancy, the contest is to determine the best idea for a contest. Ideas for contests, methods, and prizes may be entered below, with the winner getting… a chance to enter the contest along with everyone else.

Out of respect for our imminently pupating colleagues, this contest will run until the end of the month, at which point a vote will be held in the traditional fashion. Which is to say: the most complex variation of the democratic process we can determine. Consider it practice for the upcoming election.

Don’t say we never do anything for you, dear readers, but if you find that this is indeed the case, complaints may be submitted to the usual address.

Cornyn = 143?

Real John Cornyn campaign video (no really):

First thing I thought of:

The Super Genius Club Regrets

That membership will be limited this year to Tim Legler.


As to the rest of our expert panel, just playing out the string, cashing the checks, punching the clock, etc. I note that Accuscore called this one. Probably slumming with PECOTA.