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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   3201. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4678357)
I understand this, but I'm damned curious what has happened in the past two weeks that has made this necessary for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera for this website only and not a single other that I go to.

BTF was pretty much inaccessible to me in both FF and Safari from yesterday at noon or so until maybe an hour ago. And like Lassus, no other site gave me this much trouble.
   3202. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4678363)
And now I can only get into BTF on my laptop. Not either browser on my desktop.

Well, I still had a productive day, as I crossed off "fight with someone from Senate Majority Leader's office on Twitter."
   3203. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4678365)
BTF was pretty much inaccessible to me in both FF and Safari from yesterday at noon or so until maybe an hour ago. And like Lassus, no other site gave me this much trouble.

Well, my experience on the desktop has gotten worse. Don't know wtf is going on with it. Don't have problems with anything else.

Chrome's just giving me "No data received" Error code: ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE
   3204. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4678369)
Actually, my browser has crashed a few times today, but I can't diagnose whether it's BBTF or my terrible workplace network that's doing it.

The culprit may well be the anthropomorphic Sara Lee treats that keep appearing at the top of my screen. If nobody else can see them, then I assume I'm simply hallucinating.
   3205. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4678371)
Rush Limbaugh exposes the leftwing conspiracy behind the California legislator arrests and investigations:

"It is entirely possible that what is going on here is that the head honchos of the Democrat party are basically behind an effort to take out all of their bad apples before the election, make then old news by the time the election comes around. The timing here is obviously curious, and it really is hard to believe the FBI would be working against the wishes of the regime."
   3206. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4678373)
Well, I still had a productive day, as I crossed off "fight with someone from Senate Majority Leader's office on Twitter."

Careful, Dan: One of those 40-something blokes plays left field on my softball team. OK, his shoulder is shot to hell but last season he reached base at least 50 percent of the time.
   3207. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4678374)
"No data received" Error code: ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE


There is a great slam on certain posters here (not you DJS), but darn if I can think of it. Snark fail.

And hey look some new(?) demographic info:

That said the long view worries many Republican strategists. The US electorate is becoming progressively less white – and as noted above, ethnic and racial minorities tend to vote Democratic. Stalwart GOP elderly voters may decline as a share of the population while a huge number of currently young Democrats move into their thirties and forties.

In that context the coming midterms might give Republicans “false hope,” writes veteran political expert Charlie Cook in the National Journal. They are set to make gains in 2014 in large part because the Democrats are defending a number of vulnerable Senate seats in red-to-purple states, and mid-terms favor the party out of the White House.

But that won’t help in 2016.

“The fact that midterm electorates are generally older, whiter, and more conservative than their counterparts in presidential elections exacerbates the difference between the world of 2014 and the one that will exist in 2016,” writes Cook. “The Republicans can win in 2014 without having fixed their problems.”


For Team Red there is an interesting nugget (fairness in excerpts):

As George Washington University political science Prof. John Sides wrote earlier this month, 18-year-old voters casting their initial ballot in 2012 broke for Mitt Romney over Obama. Romney won 19 and 20-year-olds, too.
   3208. madvillain Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4678380)
Careful, Dan: One of those 40-something blokes plays left field on my softball team. OK, his shoulder is shot to hell but last season he reached base at least 50 percent of the time.


Every team seems to have this guy... Played against a team that had a guy that was probably 5-10 300lb, both his knees were braced up like an NFL left tackle and when he would hit a home run (not that hard as the field was roughly 280 feet out to left) he could skip running the bases. I protested that he should at least have to touch all the bases but nobody gave a ####. Of course, I think that Casey guy should have to walk the course too, I'm a real hardass.

“The fact that midterm electorates are generally older, whiter, and more conservative than their counterparts in presidential elections exacerbates the difference between the world of 2014 and the one that will exist in 2016,” writes Cook. “The Republicans can win in 2014 without having fixed their problems.”


People going one way; Republicans the other.
   3209. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4678381)
This, too, would appear to be another new low - AP Poll: Only 26% Support ObamaCare. Seems like public opinion is not moving as some here have predicted.
   3210. Greg K Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4678382)
Yes. I read this before and agreed with it then. I admit it, I adore competence porn.

I think I agree with you in terms of Star Trek and science fiction, but the examples of competence porn the article cites (investigative procedural) I absolutely hate. Everytime I see an episode of CSI or a show like that I immediately root for the heroes to be wrong, convict an innocent person, and then have the guilt destroy their lives for the next 40 years. They are seemingly never wrong, and always smug...not just to those accused, but to the other branches of criminal investigation. If the show is about a forensic team then forensic teams are genuises and investigators of all other stripes are morons who need their job done for them.

Bah, this is how I get worked up!
   3211. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4678384)
I protested that he should at least have to touch all the bases but nobody gave a ####.

In our league, the excuse given is that they want to conserve time. (We have a 1h20m limit on all regular-season games.)
   3212. Greg K Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4678385)
Rush Limbaugh exposes the leftwing conspiracy behind the California legislator arrests and investigations:

I'm currently visiting my parents at their winter place in Florida. My dad, for reasons I will never fully grasp, finds it endlessly entertaining to listen to people he vehemently disagrees with politically. So I've heard more Rush Limbaugh in the past week then I've ever heard in my life. As with Florida as a whole, it's been...an experience.

As a side note, the various local guys on the radio who are doing their own version of Limbaugh really, really, really don't like this Noah movie. Frankly it doesn't look too promising to me either, but I'm guessing we are seeing different flaws.
   3213. Topher Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4678389)
Has anybody else had the problem using this site via iPad or iPhone where you redirected to AppStore to download a "free game" that is almost assuredly a trojan to get inside iOS? It isn't persistent and typically happens just one per session when I load a page, but over the course of a day, I'm trying to get tricked into download a game once or twice. (And I get redirected to different games but I'm assuming they are all coming from the same source.)
   3214. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4678391)

This, too, would appear to be another new low - AP Poll: Only 26% Support ObamaCare. Seems like public opinion is not moving as some here have predicted.


Interestingly the level of opposition has also gone down slightly, down from a high of 53% to 43%. The percentage of "don't support or oppose" has gone from 14% to 30%. Seems like many are taking a "wait and see" attitude.
   3215. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4678392)
Looks like Harry Reid (D-Nev) has a new whipping boy - Harry Reid: Nate Silver Bad Most Of The Time. Might be a case of Shoot The Messenger.
   3216. Greg K Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4678393)
In our league, the excuse given is that they want to conserve time. (We have a 1h20m limit on all regular-season games.)

Outfield fences in softball are lame! If a guy wants a home run he should have to sprint for it. Guys can play 350 feet back and catch most fly balls. If a guy is too slow to turn balls that land infront of the outfielders into doubles or triples than he could use the exercise.
   3217. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4678394)
Seems like many are taking a "wait and see" attitude.

The 17% margin of disapproval is the largest for any time period listed in the AP Poll, which goes back to January 2010.
   3218. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4678395)
Outfield fences in softball are lame! If a guy wants a home run he should have to sprint for it. Guys can play 350 feet back and catch most fly balls. If a guy is too slow to turn balls that land infront of the outfielders into doubles or triples than he could use the exercise.

Thank you, no. If I wanted the winning time to score 35, I'd have signed up for flag football.

By the way, doesn't your indoor game played at midnight have fences or some other kind of outfield barrier?
   3219. madvillain Posted: March 28, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4678396)
Outfield fences in softball are lame! If a guy wants a home run he should have to sprint for it. Guys can play 350 feet back and catch most fly balls. If a guy is too slow to turn balls that land infront of the outfielders into doubles or triples than he could use the exercise.


For all the NYC primates, the Chinatown field is especially lame, as all HRs are counted as outs. It's rumored that Manny once hit a ball onto the Manhattan bridge, but that's roughly 600 feet from home plate, so that probably never happened. However, if he did hit one say 480 ft, entirely possible with an aluminum bat, it would appear from the field to have gone on the bridge, so that's still pretty cool.

   3220. Greg K Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4678397)
By the way, doesn't your indoor game played at midnight have fences?

Actually no, two games are played at once, home plate at opposite corners. So outfielders stand pretty much beside each other facing opposite directions. Technically there is a back wall (ie. hitting it to the other diamond's catcher), but if you can't get around all the bases by the time the guy gets the ball you may as well be dead.

That layout is lame too, but for a whole different set of reasons...though it is better than playing outdoors in Toronto in February.

I'd think having fences would increase scoring wouldn't it? A competently positioned outfield can work wonders. Identify the guys who can hit it over your head and play them conservatively (give up the single or double, take away the HR) Be more aggressive for line drive hitters.
   3221. Lassus Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4678399)
Looks like Harry Reid (D-Nev) has a new whipping boy - Harry Reid: Nate Silver Bad Most Of The Time. Might be a case of Shoot The Messenger.

I'll be happy to mock Reid for this flatulent stupidity.
   3222. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4678400)
I'd think having fences would increase scoring wouldn't it? A competently positioned outfield can work wonders. Identify the guys who can hit it over your head and play them conservatively (give up the single or double, take away the HR) Be more aggressive for line drive hitters.

Not having fences is the worst of both worlds, Greg, particularly when left field slopes downward. It's easy for power hitters to lift the pitched ball over the infielders for singles (which frequently become doubles unless the balls are picked up right away) or hit gappers that don't stop rolling until the bases are cleared.
   3223. Greg K Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4678404)
I guess it depends on the make up of the roster. In the leagues I play in you generally only have 2 or 3 guys on a team capable of hitting the ball really deep (which they tend to try to do everytime they're up regardless of where the fielders are). Plus you've got a 4th outfielder than can just fill in shallow wherever the batter is likely to hit it. Admittedly you are right, you need a large enough field that you can't hit it down a hill. You also need fairly fleet footed outfielders. I don't have as much experience with softball as I do with baseball, but softballs seem to hang in the air forever. Your elite power hitters who you are playing WAY back on can easily bloop one in*, but if it's just a run of the mill above average hitter, you should be able to catch mostly anything that's not a line drive.

*but they rarely do. This may be the key difference here. Sure hitting the ball short may be the better strategy for winning, but who plays softball to win? It's softball! If you can hit the ball really far, in my experience most guys do that, even if the odds are against them. Hitting it over people's heads is fun. Plus, in my mind the whole point is softball is to have as many balls in play as possible and run around and dive all over the place.
   3224. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4678408)
Sure hitting the ball short may be the better strategy for winning, but who plays softball to win?

Remind me to introduce you to my coach the night before our opening-round playoff game.
   3225. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4678409)
I'll be happy to mock Reid for this flatulent stupidity.

Speaking of flatulent stupidity, it appears that the White House wants to regulate cow flatulence. Might be an overreach.
   3226. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4678418)
This, too, would appear to be another new low - AP Poll: Only 26% Support ObamaCare. Seems like public opinion is not moving as some here have predicted.

And yet if you scroll down that poll just a bit, you see that of the 62% opposed, the leading reason (27%)** for the opposition is that they "don't know enough about it". Only 1% mention "too much government involvement" as a reason, which is the same percentage as those who volunteered "It isn't a single payer system". And 2% of respondents oppose the ACA because "forcing the poor to pay is wrong". When you look at the list of actual reason for opposition, you'll find very little repetition of the key Republican talking points, which may be why even with all the mess, the poll also shows that more respondents still think the Democrats do better on health care than the GOP.

**That's 27% of the total respondents, not 27% of 62%

Of course there's a much more accurate assessment of how the ACA is really working in the story that I posted earlier today, but since it doesn't scream any final advantage for either party, I guess it's not worth reading. But it's nice to know that our micro-poll watchers are paying attention to what's truly important: The day-to-day fluctuations of polls whose results tell us a lot less than meet the initial eye.
   3227. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4678424)
And yet if you scroll down that poll just a bit, you see that of the 62% opposed. . .

Did you notice the whopping 1% that opposed ObamaCare because it wasn't a single-payer system?

EDIT: Ah, I see you did mention it, although without specifically noting that it contradicts what some here have suggested.
   3228. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4678425)
I also like the numbers in that AP poll for two aspects of Obamacare that have remained consistently very popular: the mandate to sell insurance to everyone, regardless of prior condition (53 favor, 32 neutral, 13 oppose) and the mandate for policyholders' children to be covered through age 26 (57 favor, 27 neutral, 13 oppose). IOW, and why am I surprised, mandated paying for such benefits is roundly unpopular. Americans, as always, are strongly in favor of a Magic Money Tree :)
   3229. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 28, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4678426)
Did you notice the whopping 1% that opposed ObamaCare because it wasn't a single-payer system?

EDIT: Ah, I see you did mention it, although without specifically noting that it contradicts what some here have suggested.


What I noticed is that trying to make much sense of a poll like that, where 44% of the opposition to the law is "don't know enough about it", is a fool's game that only a fool would try to play. If you actually want to know what's going on, read that Times article that I've linked twice. Or is that too subtle a task to require?
   3230. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 28, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4678432)
"He gave me a 16 percent chance of being reelected, he gave Heidi Heitkamp an 8 percent chance of being reelected, he gave Jon Tester a [34] percent chance of being reelected,” Reid said of Silver’s previous forecasts. “So all polls are about like Nate Silver’s predictions: good sometimes, bad most of the time."


I believe that was before the GOP nominated Angle...
   3231. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4678435)
Meanwhile, the Onion consistently has the most accurate reporting of all:

Poll: Most Americans Would Trade Health Care Benefits For Build Your Own Sundae Bar
   3232. spike Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4678439)
WOULD EVERY PUNDIT AND POLITICIAN, INCLUDING NATE SILVER, JUST SHUT UP ABOUT NATE SILVER?

It was an assessment of percentage chance at a specific moment in time, not an unalterable doom. That almost every quote or article elides this in favor of Ohhhh, Nate is picking Republicans to Win!!! Sick Burn libs! makes me loathe the state of political coverage even more tha n I already do.
   3233. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4678441)
To be fair, most of the Silver coverage I've seen in the past few days has been in all those DSSC fundraising appeals that have been flooding my inbox at the rate of about 15 or 20 a day.


new Nate Silver (STAGGERING)

Andy -- The Koch brothers have been gloating ever since Nate Silver forecasted a Republican Senate takeover by a single seat.

But you’re about to shut them up, fast: Since just this morning, a STAGGERING 6,742 Democrats have stepped up!! You’re making this the strongest fundraising day we can remember in AGES!

If the Kochs thought grassroots supporters couldn’t turn Nate Silver’s forecast around and stop a Republican takeover, you’re about to prove them DEAD WRONG. [That paragraph was in Fire Engine Red font.]

But the most important FEC deadline yet in this election hits in just 72 hours, and it’s absolutely CRITICAL that we raise $750,000 more to turn Silver’s projections around and stop a Republican takeover. Will you step up tonight?
   3234. madvillain Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4678442)
I also like the numbers in that AP poll for two aspects of Obamacare that have remained consistently very popular: the mandate to sell insurance to everyone, regardless of prior condition (53 favor, 32 neutral, 13 oppose) and the mandate for policyholders' children to be covered through age 26 (57 favor, 27 neutral, 13 oppose). IOW, and why am I surprised, mandated paying for such benefits is roundly unpopular. Americans, as always, are strongly in favor of a Magic Money Tree :)


It's a well known phenomenon in environmental politics. The public will poll overwhelmingly on a generic platitude like "we should clean up the air" but when you rephrase it as "would you pay ____ to clean up ___" support goes down dramatically.

If America wants cheap healthcare and cheap infrastructure and cheap schools, eventually it will get it. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

WOULD EVERY PUNDIT AND POLITICIAN, INCLUDING NATE SILVER, JUST SHUT UP ABOUT NATE SILVER?


Peak (Nate) Silver
   3235. spike Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4678443)
Nice. I donated to Carter and Nunn (feels like old times) yesterday, so I assume I will start getting those now.

Apparently the knucklehead Silver hired to write about AGW threatened some folks who criticized his article with legal action, and Silver had to apologize on his behalf. Of course today's kerfuffle along with Reids quote has spawned a new cascade of the articles I weas referring to.
   3236. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4678452)
I have seen every ST film at least twice,


This is what is known as a cry for help, is it not?
   3237. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4678454)
Aaaaaaand I see I can post here at home, though not at work, regardless of the browser I use, as has been the case since I started back yesterday after a week off, during which time my CPU was replaced. Weird.

Blocking sites is hardly unheard of, but blocking posting only? Is that even legal?
   3238. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4678457)
re: #3233 - Sounds somewhat panicky, no?

And how can anyone stand 15-20 fundraising e-mails a day? MasOchist.
   3239. The District Attorney Posted: March 28, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4678458)
the Joker has nothing to do with Batman's creation myth.
*pushes glasses up nose* I think you'll find that, in the 1989 film, he does. (However, that was a truly dumb idea.)

When I was able to get back on yesterday, it was clear from Hot Topics that no one had been able to post for hours. So it can't be a question of a particular browser, something Adblock can avoid, etc. The site was just down. (Of course, the "male gamers only" ads are abhorrent on their own merits.)
   3240. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4678459)
Aaaaaaand I see I can post here at home, though not at work, regardless of the browser I use, as has been the case since I started back yesterday after a week off, during which time my CPU was replaced. Weird.

Blocking sites is hardly unheard of, but blocking posting only? Is that even legal?


Same here. Posting at work, in any browser, freezes the site, and sometimes the browser. At home, I can post, but the site still sometimes freezes my browser.
   3241. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4678466)
And how can anyone stand 15-20 fundraising e-mails a day? MasOchist.

By deleting about 99% of them without opening them. I just quoted that last one to demonstrated the point about Nate. And since "Nate" or "Silver" has been on the subject line of those messages for the past week or two, it's not hard to see that they're using his predictions to scare people into donating.

EDIT: It is really comical. I just checked my inbox for the first time in about two hours, and among the new messages were "NEW NATE SILVER (ASTONISHING)" (from "Democratic Victory", 8:15 PM) and "JAWDROPPING" (from "Democratic Headquarters", 8:28 PM).

And at 6:15 PM, "Stop The GOP" sent an appeal with the title "NEW NATE SILVER (STAGGERING)". I'm beginning to suspect that there's a bit of collusion going on here.
   3242. CrosbyBird Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4678476)
I understand why people deeply involved in the emotional arc of the original universe are less than thrilled with the new universe, but the options for the franchise were either 1) remake the original universe with new actors (which fans would have hated more) or 2) die. The ST universe as originally scripted was nearing heat death. I particularly like that in the reboots the entire universe is thrown into chaos by the original ST's most favored deus ex machina; time travel. It was nice, in the first reboot, to see one of those "let's just send them back in time" maneuvers have dire consequences.

While I really enjoyed both movies, I think there was still plenty to mine in the old universe. One big problem is that the box office draw is going to be "Kirk and Spock." There wasn't much to mine in Roddenberry's original pie-in-the-sky vision, but there's tons of stuff out there to explore that doesn't involve those characters directly. I want to see brand-new characters in the same universe, with maybe a couple of cameos and references here and there for nostalgia's sake, telling brand-new stories.

Another real problem is that Star Trek as most people appreciate it just works better as a long-term television show. The best of the series involves plot development that takes more time than a movie can offer. It's why DS9 was my favorite of all of the TV series.

That said, I actually do have some interest in retelling a lot of major moments in this universe to see what happens. I want to see how this universe looks in another hundred years with a weaker and less emotionally restrained Federation, especially once the Borg show up.
   3243. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4678480)
Hold your horses, Spike:

The criticism against Pielke's climate change piece hasn't gone unnoticed. Silver acknowledged to Stewart that the article is "a piece where we did have a lot of concern from our readers. We don't pay much attention to what media critics say, but that was a piece where we had, you know, 80% of our commentators weigh in negatively, so we're commissioning a rebuttal for that piece."

And here's an extended excerpt from Nate's printed response:
Reception to the article ran about 80 percent negative in the comments section and on social media. A reaction like that compels us to think carefully about the piece and our editorial process.

The responses have fallen into about four broad categories. I list these in order of most to least concern to us:

Criticisms of Roger’s central thesis about disaster costs
Concern about how FiveThirtyEight will be covering climate topics
Criticisms of other claims Roger made in the article, such as those about the overall incidence of weather-related disasters
Criticisms of things Roger has said or written in other venues, sometimes including ad-hominem attacks against Roger
Let me deal with category No. 4 first. Roger and his critics can kick up a lot of dust everywhere they go. Some of the criticisms of Roger have been unfair. For instance, Roger is not a climate “skeptic” or “denier.” He has written at FiveThirtyEight — and he has testified before Congress — that he believes in the thesis of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), that he considers it a serious problem, and that he thinks society should make efforts to mitigate it.

Another line of criticism is that Roger is unqualified to write about climate change because his training is as a political scientist rather than a climatologist. However, the scientific consensus on the climate — as embodied in the extensive list of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authors — is formulated not only by climatologists, but also statisticians, meteorologists, engineers, economists, ecologists, physicists and those from many other disciplines in the hard sciences and the social sciences. Most have expertise within some relatively narrow part of the literature. Roger has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles on estimating the incidence of climate-related disasters and their associated costs. That was the subject of his FiveThirtyEight piece.

We’re much more sympathetic to the other three categories of criticism, however.

Criticisms of other claims Roger made in the article

As I mentioned, the central thesis of Roger’s article concerns the economic costs associated with natural disasters. But we also allowed a number of peripheral claims into the piece. For instance, Roger made a number of references to the overall incidence of natural disasters, as opposed to their economic cost.

We think many of these claims have support in the scientific literature, specifically including the 2013 IPCC report. But there is a range of debate among experts about others. Either way, these claims shouldn’t have been included in the story as offhand remarks. We should either have addressed them in more detail or scrubbed them from the article.

Roger’s article also contained an implicit policy recommendation in its closing paragraph. Whether or not the recommendation was justified by Roger’s thesis and evidence, we generally prefer to avoid these kind of recommendations, and instead allow readers to draw any policy conclusions for themselves. Furthermore, there was some loose language in the article. We pride ourselves on precise, matter-of-fact language. These things reflect a poor job of editing on our part.

Concern about how FiveThirtyEight will be covering climate topics

We understand the urge to make extrapolations about FiveThirtyEight’s overall coverage of the climate (or scientific topics more generally) from Roger’s article about disaster costs. We also recognize that even if Roger were right on the specific points he made — and obviously, some people dispute that — it’s possible to lose the forest for the trees.

However, the article is a sample size of one. Roger’s piece is not the complete story about climate change. Nor is it the complete story about how FiveThirtyEight plans to cover the climate. We didn’t hire Roger to write solely about climate (instead, we hired him to have a relatively broad portfolio, such as writing articles about sports statistics). Nor do we plan for Roger to be the lone person at FiveThirtyEight writing about climatology and climate data.

I see an explanation and assurance that other views will get aired, not an apology.
   3244. Srul Itza Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4678483)
I see an explanation and assurance that other views will get aired, not an apology.


I see all three:

Either way, these claims shouldn’t have been included in the story as offhand remarks. We should either have addressed them in more detail or scrubbed them from the article.


and

there was some loose language in the article. We pride ourselves on precise, matter-of-fact language. These things reflect a poor job of editing on our part.



Those comments sure have the ring of a "mea culpa" (though not a "mea maxima culpa")
   3245. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4678485)
Same here. Posting at work, in any browser, freezes the site, and sometimes the browser. At home, I can post, but the site still sometimes freezes my browser.

Those HuffPo/538 quotes I addressed to Spike above couldn't get posted using my home WiFi but successfully posted using a nearby coffee house's signal. Weird.
   3246. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4678486)
Those comments sure have the ring of a "mea culpa" (though not a "mea maxima culpa")

If you want to call that an apology, Srul, it's for what he considers shoddy editing.*

* I am not evaluating Pielke's work in the piece. For all I know, his mere existence at 538 is what's motivating the climate change alarmists to freak out.
   3247. spike Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4678487)
In any event, that's not the apology I was referring to - I said

"Apparently the knucklehead Silver hired to write about AGW threatened some folks who criticized his article with legal action, and Silver had to apologize on his behalf"

in regards to this -

"Nevertheless, Silver told the Huffington Post that he apologized to both Mann and Trenberth and made clear that "Roger's conversations with them did not reflect FiveThirtyEight's editorial values."

link
   3248. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4678491)
"Nevertheless, Silver told the Huffington Post that he apologized to both Mann and Trenberth and made clear that "Roger's conversations with them did not reflect FiveThirtyEight's editorial values."

I hadn't seen that line. OK, so Nate is apologizing for the content of Pielke's conversations, not the content of his printed work.

Meanwhile, UN Backtracks: Will Global Warming Really Trigger Mass Extinctions?
Humans have shrunk the habitats of many life forms, through unsustainable agriculture, fishing or hunting. And it is going to get even worse. Global warming is said to be threatening thousands of animal and plant species with extinction. That, at least, is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting for years.

But the UN climate body now says it is no longer so certain. The second part of the IPCC's new assessment report is due to be presented next Monday in Yokohama, Japan. On the one hand, a classified draft of the report notes that a further "increased extinction risk for a substantial number of species during and beyond the 21st century" is to be expected. On the other hand, the IPCC admits that there is no evidence climate change has led to even a single species becoming extinct thus far.

'Crocodile Tears'

At most, the draft report says, climate change may have played a role in the disappearance of a few amphibians, fresh water fish and mollusks. Yet even the icons of catastrophic global warming, the polar bears, are doing surprisingly well. Their population has remained stable despite the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap.

Ragnar Kinzelbach, a zoologist at the University of Rostock, says essential data is missing for most other life forms, making it virtually impossible to forecast the potential effects of climate change. Given the myriad other human encroachments in the natural environment, Kinzelbach says, "crocodile tears over an animal kingdom threatened by climate change are less than convincing."

The draft report includes a surprising admission by the IPCC -- that it doubts its own computer simulations for species extinctions. "There is very little confidence that models currently predict extinction risk accurately," the report notes. Very low extinction rates despite considerable climate variability during past hundreds of thousands of years have led to concern that "forecasts for very high extinction rates due entirely to climate change may be overestimated."


More here:

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will shortly publish the second part of its latest report, on the likely impact of climate change. Government representatives are meeting with scientists in Japan to sex up—sorry, rewrite—a summary of the scientists' accounts of storms, droughts and diseases to come. But the actual report, known as AR5-WGII, is less frightening than its predecessor seven years ago.

The 2007 report was riddled with errors about Himalayan glaciers, the Amazon rain forest, African agriculture, water shortages and other matters, all of which erred in the direction of alarm. This led to a critical appraisal of the report-writing process from a council of national science academies, some of whose recommendations were simply ignored.

Others, however, hit home. According to leaks, this time the full report is much more cautious and vague about worsening cyclones, changes in rainfall, climate-change refugees, and the overall cost of global warming.

It puts the overall cost at less than 2% of GDP for a 2.5 degrees Centigrade (or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature increase during this century. This is vastly less than the much heralded prediction of Lord Stern, who said climate change would cost 5%-20% of world GDP in his influential 2006 report for the British government.

The forthcoming report apparently admits that climate change has extinguished no species so far and expresses "very little confidence" that it will do so. There is new emphasis that climate change is not the only environmental problem that matters and on adapting to it rather than preventing it. Yet the report still assumes 70% more warming by the last decades of this century than the best science now suggests. This is because of an overreliance on models rather than on data in the first section of the IPCC report—on physical science—that was published in September 2013. ...

The IPCC's September 2013 report abandoned any attempt to estimate the most likely "sensitivity" of the climate to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The explanation, buried in a technical summary not published until January, is that "estimates derived from observed climate change tend to best fit the observed surface and ocean warming for [sensitivity] values in the lower part of the likely range." Translation: The data suggest we probably face less warming than the models indicate, but we would rather not say so. ...

In climate science, the real debate has never been between "deniers" and the rest, but between "lukewarmers," who think man-made climate change is real but fairly harmless, and those who think the future is alarming. Scientists like Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Richard Lindzen of MIT have moved steadily toward lukewarm views in recent years.

Even with its too-high, too-fast assumptions, the recently leaked draft of the IPCC impacts report makes clear that when it comes to the effect on human welfare, "for most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers," such as economic growth and technology, for the rest of this century. If temperatures change by about 1C degrees between now and 2090, as Mr. Lewis calculates, then the effects will be even smaller.

Indeed, a small amount of warming spread over a long period will, most experts think, bring net improvements to human welfare. Studies such as by the IPCC author and economist Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University in Britain show that global warming has probably done so already. People can adapt to such change—which essentially means capture the benefits but minimize the harm. Satellites have recorded a roughly 14% increase in greenery on the planet over the past 30 years, in all types of ecosystems, partly as a result of man-made CO2 emissions, which enable plants to grow faster and use less water.
   3249. Lassus Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4678492)
The site's obviously a bit of a technical mess. I don't suppose anyone wants to actually tell Jim?
   3250. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4678499)
The site's obviously a bit of a technical mess. I don't suppose anyone wants to actually tell Jim?

Per his FB page, Jim is aware.
   3251. tshipman Posted: March 29, 2014 at 12:53 AM (#4678515)
Re: the site: I had to install AdBlock to use the site, as I was prevented from logging in. I feel badly about this, but the ads have been truly miserable for some time. There are all the male gamer ads, but also the random video ads at the bottom of the screen that autoplay with audio. I am really unhappy to adblock the site, but I see no alternative for the foreseeable future.

Re: Obamacare:
Clapper's numbers are off/misleading. The gold standard is the Kaiser Health Tracking poll:
http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-march-2014/

It found that opposition peaked at 50% in January, and is now at about 46% oppose/38% in favor.

Also, more than 6 million people have signed up on the exchange. So can we shut down all the ridiculous "death spiral" talk? It seems like 6.5-7 million is more likely than death spiral.

Edit: oh, and repeal/replace is down to 29%
   3252. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 29, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4678520)
Clapper's numbers are off/misleading. The gold standard is the Kaiser Health Tracking poll . . .

The numbers are the AP Poll's not mine, but there are others. Or you can cherry pick.
   3253. Ron J2 Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4678539)
#3203 Pretty sure it has/(had I hope) something to do with account management. I got the same messages with Chrome until I tried an incognito wind. At which point I could navigate everything but could not post (because I had to login -- at which point I'd get the same errors)
   3254. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4678547)
Hey, while the site was down ACA passed their initial goal of 7 million. Coincidence?

Anyway good to be back, but I am out of town over the weekend so I am going to miss catching up.
   3255. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4678557)
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