Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 81 of 114 pages ‹ First  < 79 80 81 82 83 >  Last ›
   8001. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4302711)
So is it surprising that out of seven white votes, non-voted for Romney, or that 12 Republican's did not bother to vote for him either?


While we're at this, we might as well take some small moment to recognize the fact that the subset of "white people" who choose to live in North or West Philadelphia are probably not listening to Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis.
   8002. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4302712)
The problem you guys have is with the number 0. Zero. Zero. Zero. And it happened 59 times.

And all people here have said is that it's implausible. The fact that you can't stipulate to that is hilarious, but, sadly, not unexpected.


Until you're able to conceptualize what a precinct is -- how many of them there are nationwide, how many there are in Philly, and then also understand how some urban precincts tend to be very concentrated with like-minded voters for any number of sundry reasons, this is pointless.

Or -- how many zero vote Obama precincts do I need to find before "that's weird" too?

We've already got 3... do I need to find 20? 30? How many Obama zero vote precincts before it's worthy of 'investigation'... or - again - is there some specific aspect of these particular 59 precincts that makes them more suspicious than those in other areas?
   8003. JL Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4302713)
Zonk: What is the likelihood that a precinct has Obama at 332-0? Well, it's possible. Even plausible. Sure. I mean, we'd expect to see 5-15 Romney votes in the precinct or whatever, but instead we see 0. Fine.

If in one of the remaining precints we see results of "only" 250 for Obama and 83 for Romney (75% vs. the 83%, for example), should that be investigated?
   8004. Danny Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4302717)
Ty Cobb was zero for 7245 in one sample of his at bats. What are the chances of that?
   8005. Poulanc Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4302723)
And all people here have said is that it's implausible. The fact that you can't stipulate to that is hilarious, but, sadly, not unexpected.


I'd call it unlikely. But certainly not implausible.
   8006. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4302725)
I'm pretty sure Ray is just a few comments away from saying that it's a lock that there was some vote counting shenanigans in those cherry-picked Philly districts.

   8007. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4302727)
Ty Cobb was zero for 7245 in one sample of his at bats. What are the chances of that?

I'm not denying those 7245 at-bats are cherry-picked. But Cobb had ~600 hitless games. What are the chances of that?

EDIT: would be a lot cooler if we actually knew the number of hitless games, but BB-Ref's game logs "only" date back to 1918. What a worthless site. ;)
   8008. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4302728)
Ty Cobb was zero for 7245 in one sample of his at bats. What are the chances of that?


But this is more like: there were 5 months in Ty Cobb's career where he didn't get a hit.
   8009. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4302729)
Zonk: What is the likelihood that a precinct has Obama at 332-0? Well, it's possible. Even plausible. Sure. I mean, we'd expect to see 5-15 Romney votes in the precinct or whatever, but instead we see 0. Fine.

If in one of the remaining precints we see results of "only" 250 for Obama and 83 for Romney (75% vs. the 83%, for example), should that be investigated?


In Philadelphia's 21st Ward (containing 45 precincts) -- I find no less than 15!!! precincts where Romney outperformed his city-wide split! He got 30-35% in some of those precincts even though he got less than 15% city-wide!

This should be investigated.
   8010. Shredder Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4302731)
However, I don't see how anyone can claim there are no voting problems or that fraud is under-detected. It would be trivial to pull off.
In person voter fraud is the only type of fraud that would be uncovered by voter ID, and I will claim that it is virtually non-existent, and statistically completely insignificant. There is no benefit to doing so that is anywhere near commensurate with the punishment one would receive if caught. The only way to have an impact on an election through in person voter fraud is to organize thousands of voters, which would completely imperil the conspiracy from the get go. I will also claim that the solution to the essentially non-existent "problem" of in person voter fraud is not the de facto disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. Sorry, but disenfranchising even one voter is just as big of an election integrity issue as allowing a fraudulent vote.

If there's fraud that is going to impact the outcome of an election, it's not in the voting, it's in the counting.
   8011. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4302732)
Ty Cobb was zero for 7245 in one sample of his at bats. What are the chances of that?



But this is more like: there were 5 months in Ty Cobb's career where he didn't get a hit.


Sure - November, December, January, February, and March.

   8012. JuanGone..except1game Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4302733)
But it is implausible that there were _59_ such precincts.


I think that using "implausible" when confronted with statistics that don't meet your expectations is a risky game right about now. It was also "implausible" that the electorate would look like 2008.

I live outside of Philadelphia and have done a ton of volunteering in some of those North Philly districts, and while zero is a bit suprising I'm not completely shocked. I'm actually a bit suprised that Romney did as well as he did with African-Americans overall. Obviously the Republican brand is a damaged one with AAs, but couple that with Voter ID which was a huge issue and Mormonism's history with AA, the thought of people voting in such overwhelming terms isn't "implausible" especially in the all AA areas.
   8013. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4302734)
Ty Cobb was zero for 7245 in one sample of his at bats. What are the chances of that?

But this is more like: there were 5 months in Ty Cobb's career where he didn't get a hit.

If there were 5 years when Cobb was ~98% likely to NOT get a hit, then yeah, 5 months where he went hitless probably isn't implausible.

But that would be a hell of a nagging injury, eh? Probably should have shut him down and let him rehab or something.
   8014. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4302735)
Implausibly, this strange vote also happened in the state where more congressional votes went to democrats yet they won only 5 of 18 races.

   8015. Famous Original Joe C Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4302736)
Like I said, I could post lots of links from local sources all over the country. The site on which they are aggregated would lead to me being called names like tin foil hat guy, etc., so I'm not going to bother.

Based on your posting history, one could call you that already, so fire away.
   8016. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4302738)
In person voter fraud is the only type of fraud that would be uncovered by voter ID, and I will claim that it is virtually non-existent, and statistically completely insignificant. There is no benefit to doing so that is anywhere near commensurate with the punishment one would receive if caught. The only way to have an impact on an election through in person voter fraud is to organize thousands of voters, which would completely imperil the conspiracy from the get go. I will also claim that the solution to the essentially non-existent "problem" of in person voter fraud is not the de facto disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. Sorry, but disenfranchising even one voter is just as big of an election integrity issue as allowing a fraudulent vote.

If there's fraud that is going to impact the outcome of an election, it's not in the voting, it's in the counting.

Agreed 100%. Written better than my post making the same point, which served as the "flip" to the current page...
   8017. Ron J2 Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4302739)
#7988 Though sAM has already covered it much more succinctly, you may think you're making a valid argument but I'm quite confident that you're not.

We're not talking normal distributions. We're talking about cherry-picking the extreme right edge of groups which on average skew 315-17 (or something close)
Shutouts are probably less surprising than one of these precincts going 280-52.

But yeah. Investigate anyhow. Not that any finding short of "stolen election" will satisfy the critics from the right.
   8018. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4302740)
Is there anyone else here who has voted in one of these Philadelphia precincts? I have (in 2006). Philadelphia is divided into many tiny precincts. These areas don't have huge numbers of voters, and they are predominantly black, and the whites tend to be pretty liberal as well. Out of thousands of such precincts, it's not unusual that some don't have any Romney votes.

And for comparison, Lincoln got 0.9% of the vote in his home state.
   8019. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4302741)
If my math is right, if you have districts of 332 voters in which the each voter are 99% likely to vote for Obama, you would expect that about 3.56% of those precincts would vote 332-0. At a 98% it's 0.12% of precincts, and at 95% it's a very very small number.

This assumes that each vote is an independent random trial with 99-1 (or 98-2 or 95-5) odds, which of course it isn't. But there you go.
   8020. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4302742)
Like I said, I could post lots of links from local sources all over the country. The site on which they are aggregated would lead to me being called names like tin foil hat guy, etc., so I'm not going to bother.

Dude, the link you already posted presented a bunch of tweets about voting multiple times as evidence of voter fraud. I don't think you could get much worse than that.
   8021. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4302751)
In 1927, Ty Cobb went 5 games (17 AB) without getting a hit.
His average that year was .357.
The odds that he'd go 17 consecutive at-bats without a hit are about 1-in-1822, or 0.05%.

Implausible, but it still happened!
   8022. BDC Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4302752)
Is the precinct size 332, or was that the average turnout? A bunch of 50-0 or 75-0 or even 150-0 results are in turn more plausible than a bunch of 332-0 results.
   8023. Poulanc Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4302753)

If my math is right, if you have districts of 332 voters in which the each voter are 99% likely to vote for Obama, you would expect that about 3.56% of those precincts would vote 332-0. At a 98% it's 0.12% of precincts, and at 95% it's a very very small number.



Thanks for doing the heavy lifting!
   8024. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4302756)
Actually, Lincoln got 0 votes in 9 entire states in 1860. Looking into the reasons for that might be instructive, even for the 2012 election.
   8025. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4302757)
There is no benefit to doing so that is anywhere near commensurate with the punishment one would receive if caught.

While I'm not on the Voter Fraud is Significant bandwagon, this is one of the worst non-crazy arguments imaginable. You can find a multitude of instances in which people do something in which the benefit is disproportionately small compared to the costs or the possible punishment. We just spend pages talking about one of probably a billion examples you can find. It would legitimately rape logic if someone said "David Petraeus did not cheat on his wife because the benefits of having sex with a particular woman not his wife is not anywhere near commensurate with the punishment, losing his CIA director post and ending his career and life's work in disgrace and becoming the thing he is most known for by history."

It takes all of 5 seconds on google to find a man convicted of murder because of a dispute over a sandwich. I didn't even know about the case, I just typed murder and sandwich in Google. Then I typed in murder and hat and got multiple hat-related murders on the front page.
   8026. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4302761)
Is there anyone else here who has voted in one of these Philadelphia precincts? I have (in 2006). Philadelphia is divided into many tiny precincts. These areas don't have huge numbers of voters, and they are predominantly black, and the whites tend to be pretty liberal as well. Out of thousands of such precincts, it's not unusual that some don't have any Romney votes

In Minneapolis, my precinct had just under 2000 votes -- that's about equal to 6 of Philly's precincts.

And in north Minneapolis, whose neighborhoods range from 30-60% black, these larger precincts were still voting 90-95% Obama. Isolate some of those into near-100% black populations, and you may have seen a couple shutouts here too -- and this is a city of 17% black population, as compared to 44% for Philly proper.
   8027. Ron J2 Posted: November 14, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4302764)
#8018 Lincoln's vote totals in various states are reflective of different times. It was flat impossible to vote for Lincoln in many places.
   8028. Kurt Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4302766)
#7988 Though sAM has already covered it much more succinctly, you may think you're making a valid argument but I'm quite confident that you're not.

I don't think you're understanding my point.

We're not talking normal distributions. We're talking about cherry-picking the extreme right edge of groups which on average skew 315-17 (or something close)
Shutouts are probably less surprising than one of these precincts going 280-52.


We started out with the fact that in 59 precincts, Obama got 19,605 votes and Romney got zero. 7970, 7971 and everything that flowed from them are compelling responses, to the point that I'm persuaded that it's at least possible that the vote totals are legit. "But there were three precincts in Utah where Romney SHUT OUT Obama 45-0!" is total nonsense.
   8029. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4302768)
While I'm not on the Voter Fraud is Significant bandwagon, this is one of the worst non-crazy arguments imaginable. You can find a multitude of instances in which people do something in which the benefit is disproportionately small compared to the costs or the possible punishment.

It's not a matter of being disproportionately small, though -- the benefit is essentially zero, and never mind the risk: the work involved is fairly high. (Insert jokes about getting a law degree here)
   8030. Howling John Shade Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4302770)
It would legitimately rape logic if someone said "David Petraeus did not cheat on his wife because the benefits of having sex with a particular woman not his wife is not anywhere near commensurate with the punishment, losing his CIA director post and ending his career and life's work in disgrace and becoming the thing he is most known for by history."


Well, at least we know that logic can't get pregnant from that sort of thing.
   8031. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4302771)
Shutouts are probably less surprising than one of these precincts going 280-52.


59 of them?

But yeah. Investigate anyhow. Not that any finding short of "stolen election" will satisfy the critics from the right.


Come on. Obama's decisive victory was too big for even extreme right wingers to claim stolen election. Did one person on Fox News, to pick a ship of extreme right wingers, claim this?

What they will claim - as liberals well know - is further justification for voter fraud laws.

Which is why some of the liberals here have such a hard time accepting that, gee, these results are implausible.
   8032. The Good Face Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4302774)
It takes all of 5 seconds on google to find a man convicted of murder because of a dispute over a sandwich.


In all fairness, the article doesn't tell us what was on that sandwich. It might have been justified; perhaps even self-defense!
   8033. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4302775)
Well, I sent the question off to Nate as a suggestion for a future column... unless Dan wants to address it...

I understand that "zero" makes people's eye bug -- the same way '20 wins' or 'most hits in the 90s!' does... because we get attached to big round numbers, or, numbers like zero.

But it makes sense to me that if you win 85% of the vote... and that spread is divided into UNEVEN 1687 chunks... we ought to expect some shutouts. I would imagine we need to know more than just the "precinct" -- we probably also need to wash it through demographic filters of voting results -- but whatever...
   8034. Poulanc Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4302776)
Come on. Obama's decisive victory was too big for even extreme right wingers to claim stolen election.

What they will claim - as liberals well know - is further justification for voter fraud laws.

Which is why some of the liberals here have such a hard time accepting that, gee, these results are implausible.


So what are you suggesting happened?
   8035. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4302777)

#8018 Lincoln's vote totals in various states are reflective of different times. It was flat impossible to vote for Lincoln in many places.


But he was on the ballot in Kentucky, which is why we have number for him, unlike Deep South states.
   8036. Shredder Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4302779)
While I'm not on the Voter Fraud is Significant bandwagon, this is one of the worst non-crazy arguments imaginable. You can find a multitude of instances in which people do something in which the benefit is disproportionately small compared to the costs or the possible punishment. We just spend pages talking about one of probably a billion examples you can find. It would legitimately rape logic if someone said "David Petraeus did not cheat on his wife because the benefits of having sex with a particular woman not his wife is not anywhere near commensurate with the punishment, losing his CIA director post and ending his career and life's work in disgrace and becoming the thing he is most known for by history."
I'll withhold judgment until I have sex with Paula Broadwell.

Jokes aside, sorry, but for any cost/benefit analysis to make sense, the benefit has to be more than zero. Even if in this case the alleged fraudster believes the benefit is greater than zero, the benefit is still zero. Spend all of your own free time investigating in person voter fraud if you want, but the ultimate impact on real elections will be zero. Someone may really get their rocks off by surreptitiously voting twice. Still doesn't really matter. It just doesn't happen in any statistically meaningful way. And as noted before, even people who go in with the intent of doing it only to show how easy it is have a bad habit of actually getting caught.

Put another way, does in person voter fraud potentially exist? Maybe. Should anyone care about it? Almost certainly not.
It takes all of 5 seconds on google to find a man convicted of murder because of a dispute over a sandwich. I didn't even know about the case, I just typed murder and sandwich in Google. Then I typed in murder and hat and got multiple hat-related murders on the front page.
And you're accusing me of raping logic? That's pretty rich.
   8037. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4302781)
But he was on the ballot in Kentucky, which is why we have number for him, unlike Deep South states.


But Kentucky wasn't his home state anymore than Reagan's home state was Illinois or Obama's is Hawaii.

edit: And while he was on the ballot, there is no way of knowing if he was on the ballot everywhere in the state. He might have been on the ballot only in a few counties around Cincinnati.
   8038. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4302782)

59 of them?


It took me five minutes to find that 37 precincts in Kansas recorded 0 votes for Obama in 2008. 37!

   8039. Greg K Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4302787)
A "murdered over..." google search comes up with the suggestsions
Murdered over facebook
Murdered over cheetos
Murdered over jordans
Murdered over bike

Killed over world of warcraft
Killed over a fart
Killed over a video game
Killed over film

Whatever happened to a good old fashioned murder of a spurned lover?
   8040. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4302789)
What they will claim - as liberals well know - is further justification for voter fraud laws.


Show me a voter fraud law that would have stopped this from happening, if it really happened?

Voter Id? That wouldn't have helped anyone to vote Romney. In fact, it might have even stopped someone from voting Romney by mistake!

Culling voter rolls based on crappy criteria? That wouldn't have helped anyone to vote for Romney. In fact, it might have even stopped someone from voting Romney by mistake!

So what voter fraud law would actually have stopped this "engineered" 59-district shutout?
   8041. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4302792)
We're not talking normal distributions. We're talking about cherry-picking the extreme right edge of groups which on average skew 315-17 (or something close)
Shutouts are probably less surprising than one of these precincts going 280-52.


FWIW, if there's a 95% chance of each individual vote going to Obama, you'd expect Romney to get 52 or more votes 0.0000000000003% of the time (EDIT: I'm not entirely sure I got the number of zeros correct, but you get the point). The expected median result at 95% for Obama would be about 315-17. At 99% the median is about 329-3.

These medians are instructive. I think that if you take them and then factor in human nature, a bunch of shutouts doesn't seem especially unlikely.
   8042. Greg K Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4302793)
Maybe it's just me, but in trying to determine whether shutout precincts are unusual or not I'd have gone with historical precedent over mathematical probability. I suppose even a precedent in that case may not be confirmation as every election could have similar cases of fraud.

What is the normal number of precinct shutouts in any given election?
   8043. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4302799)
59 of them?



It took me five minutes to find that 37 precincts in Kansas recorded 0 votes for Obama in 2008. 37!


Ahhhh-haaaahhhh!

Clearly, Kansas is a bastion of voter fraud... since this means Obama's 2008 win would have been larger and as such, he'd have had a larger mandate - he'd have obviously carried Kansas without the Republican machine fraud - the only fair thing to do is waive the 22nd amendment.
   8044. Ron J2 Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4302800)
What they will claim - as liberals well know - is further justification for voter fraud laws.

Which is why some of the liberals here have such a hard time accepting that, gee, these results are implausible.


Look. I was talking about the possibility of systemic fraud quite some time ago. If you're going to steal an election that's the way to go.

So sure, have verification standards at the level required of a video poker machine. Make sure a true audit trail is possible.

But this has absolutely zip to do with voter ID based voter fraud laws. And anybody who brings up voter ID in the context of these discussions is an absolute moron.
   8045. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4302802)
Maybe it's just me, but in trying to determine whether shutout precincts are unusual or not I'd have gone with historical precedent over mathematical probability.


Oh, absolutely. My numbers are what would happen if every voter went into the booth and determined his or her vote by rolling a 100-sided die and comparing the result against a percentage table. That's obviously not how people vote. (Though for some people it would probably represent an improvement.)
   8046. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4302803)
But Kentucky wasn't his home state anymore than Reagan's home state was Illinois or Obama's is HawaiiKenya.

FTFY.

   8047. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4302805)
Things I learned today:

Liberals don't know that petitions to secede were filed in 2004.
Apparently CONGRESS kept Obama from closing Gitmo. Congress probably held a gun to his head and made him uphold Bush's detention policies too.
   8048. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4302811)
So how would "voter fraud" laws "fix" the issue of Romney getting zero votes? Typically the ID laws are all about stopping illegitimate votes, and I am pretty sure Ray is not suggesting illegitimate votes (because how do you vote your way to zero?).

Second question: what kind of fraud would lead to zero votes? Why counting fraud, where the ballots were counted incorrectly. So the hypothetical guy in Philly who voted for Romney and had his vote removed or repurposed in the counting. Which of course none of the Voter ID laws would prevent at all.

EDIT: And because my sister called me and delayed my post I owe cokes. Drat.
   8049. Danny Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4302814)
Apparently CONGRESS kept Obama from closing Gitmo.

Did this not happen?
   8050. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4302817)
Liberals don't know that petitions to secede were filed in 2004.


I probably knew at the time and made fun of it then. If it happens again in 2016 I'll probably make fun of it (and have forgotton the previous instances).

My memory is that terrible.
   8051. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4302818)
Apparently CONGRESS kept Obama from closing Gitmo.


You do realize this is functionally true, right?
   8052. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4302819)
Did this not happen?

Well, apparently you are going to believe that leftist propaganda rag.
   8053. Ron J2 Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4302820)
But he was on the ballot in Kentucky, which is why we have number for him, unlike Deep South states.


Fundamental misunderstanding of the way an election worked in 1860.

There was no state provided ballot. Various agencies provided them for the voter. In effect you voted by choosing your ballot provider.

There were places in Kentucky you couldn't get a ballot with Licoln's name on it. Any attempt to distribute one would be met with extreme violence.

As I've mentioned before, politics in Kentucky at that time was dangerous. In Catton's book about the run-up to the civil war he notes that Kentucky's only truly prominent abolitionist politician had a formidable reputation as a knife fighter.
   8054. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4302821)
Apparently CONGRESS kept Obama from closing Gitmo.


Did this not happen?


This WaPo piece sums it up best...

Obama signed an EO, he did get a vote -- that went down in complete flames... and in effect, Congress can keep Obama from closing Gitmo because the executive branch doesn't have a slush fund checkbook they can whip out to just buy a prison. Congress has to allocate the funds for it.

As the article notes - the WH clearly wasn't willing to expend much political capital, but what were their chances of success if they had? Hell, pre-twitter-penis tweeting Anthony Weiner came out publicly against closing Gitmo... Democrats were cowards about it, the WH didn't want to spend capital on it, and thus it was...

If congress had approved the measure to fund the transfer and detention, then Gitmo would be closed... it's really as simple as that.
   8055. DA Baracus Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4302822)
Liberals don't know that petitions to secede were filed in 2004.


Those people were nutjobs too. So what's your point?
   8056. Kurt Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4302827)
It took me five minutes to find that 37 precincts in Kansas recorded 0 votes for Obama in 2008. 37!
--
Clearly, Kansas is a bastion of voter fraud... since this means Obama's 2008 win would have been larger and as such, he'd have had a larger mandate - he'd have obviously carried Kansas without the Republican machine fraud - the only fair thing to do is waive the 22nd amendment.


You guys are better off focusing on the arguments that aren't transparently stupid. Tiny precincts in Kansas are not equivalent to larger precincts in Philadelphia. 13 of those 37 Kansas precincts also had zero votes for McCain; 16 others had fewer than 20 McCain votes.
   8057. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4302828)
re Gitmo: Would it not be more true to say, "Congress doesn't want Gitmo on US soil?" Than to say "Congress wants to keep Gitmo open"?

Just asking.

edit: Zonk sort of answers my question.
   8058. Poulanc Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4302829)
It took me five minutes to find that 37 precincts in Kansas recorded 0 votes for Obama in 2008. 37!



In fairness to Ray, those 37 precincts totaled 295 votes, with the largest total being 41 votes in a precinct. Several of those precincts had zero votes cast in them.


EDIT : Coke to Kurt
   8059. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4302830)
re Gitmo: Would it not be more true to say, "Congress doesn't want Gitmo on US soil?" Than to say "Congress wants to keep Gitmo open"?

Just asking.


How would they be different in action?

And if they can't send them to a prison in the US, where could they send them?
   8060. Greg K Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4302831)
Oh, absolutely. My numbers are what would happen if every voter went into the booth and determined his or her vote by rolling a 100-sided die and comparing the result against a percentage table.

That's a stupid way of thinking about it. Obviously he/she would roll two d10s and assign one to be a multiple of 10. Let's be serious!
   8061. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4302832)
Would it not be more true to say, "Congress doesn't want Gitmo on US soil?" Than to say "Congress wants to keep Gitmo open"?

Just asking.
How is that relevant to your first question?
   8062. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4302833)
where could they send them?


Any number of secret CIA bases? Or they could you know...do the human thing and let them go if they don't have evidence to try them.
   8063. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4302834)

There were places in Kentucky you couldn't get a ballot with Licoln's name on it.


Oh, I know. But I doubt a totally free, fair and anonymous election in Kentucky would have given Lincoln more than a few percent of the total vote. Similarly, Breckenridge got 0.8% of the total vote in Iowa, where I doubt asking for a Breckenridge ballot would have gotten one lynched.
   8064. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4302835)
re Gitmo: Would it not be more true to say, "Congress doesn't want Gitmo on US soil?" Than to say "Congress wants to keep Gitmo open"?

Just asking.


I suppose... except I find the whole 'soil' thing pretty stupid, too. But then, even 10 years on - it's still the case where roughly half the country (or, I suppose, half our elected officials) are pretty cowardly about the whole thing while the other half are cowardly about the other sort of cowards making their electoral life miserable over such things.

   8065. spycake Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4302836)
Several of those precincts had zero votes cast in them.

That must have been one VERY menacing Black Panther!
   8066. bunyon Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4302837)
A "murdered over..." google search comes up with the suggestsions
Murdered over facebook
Murdered over cheetos
Murdered over jordans
Murdered over bike

Killed over world of warcraft
Killed over a fart
Killed over a video game
Killed over film

Whatever happened to a good old fashioned murder of a spurned lover?


Murder over internet dispute? I get something about neck-stabbing.
   8067. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4302838)
Any number of secret CIA bases? Or they could you know...do the human thing and let them go if they don't have evidence to try them.


Sending them to secret CIA bases makes both the moral and image problems worse. That's not really a solution.

And letting them go if they lack evidence is what they should be(and should have been) doing anyway. But it doesn't solve the Gitmo problem because there are plenty on which they do have admissible evidence.
   8068. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4302840)
From an Examiner article on secession petitions:

Residents in three Texas cities, Houston, Austin and El Paso, have signed petitions asking to secede from Texas if Texas secedes from the Union.


I actually really like this. I've long thought that the fundamental problem of the US is that it's too damn big. Lots of secessions and sub-secessions would fix this. We could keep an extremely loose federation on the model of the Holy Roman Empire, with a series of minor despots electing a figurehead emperor to do nothing. Then you could have free cities. Austin is probably screwed by being in the middle of Texas, but El Paso and Houston could easily become free cities (Houston would probably have to annex all of Galveston Bay and the surrounding towns, but that's fine with me). Houston could be ruled by a prince-bishop, and El Paso could pride itself on being the Trieste of West Texas.
   8069. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4302841)
And ragging on Mrs. Petraeus, for her looks, in this situation seems a slimy style of ####### to me.
I don't think that's what's happening, though, at least not here. What a few people, including myself, have noted is that Holly Petraeus looks old enough to be Petraeus' mother, and appears to outweigh him by a good thirty pounds. That's not all that unusual, as couples age unevenly, but I'm honestly a little surprised at how often people seem surprised that one spouse cheats in this kind of situation. I almost never hear the disparity in appearance mentioned, but it seems at best unrealistic to fail to take it into account. What do you do when your spouse simply becomes physically unattractive?

It's all well and good to point ones forefinger and in a mighty voice thunder 'You took a vow', and in so doing condemn another to a lifetime of sexual death, but I don't think it's realistic or even sensible. While it's far more European to peaceably take a mistress as ones wife ages, it's certainly entirely human. The practice hasn't developed because men and women age comparably.

(long marriages are built on "lust and determination," Paul Newman once said)
Yes, they are. So what happens when all you've got is determination?
   8070. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4302844)
That's a stupid way of thinking about it. Obviously he/she would roll two d10s and assign one to be a multiple of 10. Let's be serious!


"You voted for Romney, but were then killed by an owlbear."
   8071. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4302845)
Another q: Why does the Prez need permission from congress to move the prisoners to Leavenworth?
   8072. zonk Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4302846)
It took me five minutes to find that 37 precincts in Kansas recorded 0 votes for Obama in 2008. 37!
--
Clearly, Kansas is a bastion of voter fraud... since this means Obama's 2008 win would have been larger and as such, he'd have had a larger mandate - he'd have obviously carried Kansas without the Republican machine fraud - the only fair thing to do is waive the 22nd amendment.

You guys are better off focusing on the arguments that aren't transparently stupid. Tiny precincts in Kansas are not equivalent to larger precincts in Philadelphia. 13 of those 37 Kansas precincts also had zero votes for McCain; 16 others had fewer than 20 McCain votes.


How is it stupid?

It's a simple matter of the geographic realities and distribution of partisan voters in the country... It's no different than looking at county-level color-shaded map and expressing disbelief that Romney didn't win in a walk.

Democratic voters are highly concentrated in urban areas; rural voters tend to be much more Republican.

Incidentally, there's a neat map here which color codes votes, but also uses intensity shading to show population centers by county.

Out of the... what... 1 million? 500K? precincts nationwide -- we had, what... 61/62/whatever million Obama voters? Well, those Obama voters simply tend to be heavily concentrated in urban areas.

There were precincts in the last Chicago mayoral election where candidates got shut out, too...
   8073. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4302848)
Another q: Why does the Prez need permission from congress to move the prisoners to Leavenworth?


Because Congress banned money from being spent on housing those prisoners on US soil. If the President can't use money to house them, he can't afford to guard them or feed them. Or really even house them there, since they'd soak up part of the overhead inherent in Leavenworth and thus have money spent on them indirectly.
   8074. Danny Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4302849)
Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as "Delphi" to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That's according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.


   8075. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4302850)
Holly Petraeus looks old enough to be Petraeus' mother

How old does Holly appear to be?
How old does the General appear to be?

It'll be amusing to see if your answer has a difference of at least 18 years.

   8076. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4302851)
That's a stupid way of thinking about it. Obviously he/she would roll two d10s and assign one to be a multiple of 10. Let's be serious!


Dragons are hard to kill.
   8077. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4302854)
Obviously he/she would roll two d10s and assign one to be a multiple of 10. Let's be serious!


Obviously, he (or she, but who are we kidding?) would roll two d20s. Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
   8078. DA Baracus Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4302855)
Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot


I love the fear of Agenda 21. It's my favorite conspiracy theory right now. You can use it for so many things.
   8079. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4302859)
might be 15 years her husband's senior.

As far as I can tell from the interwebs, he is about one year older than her.

There are some real pigs on this thread.
Speaking as the pig who wrote that, I'll note you did cut off context. I wrote "To continue in this vein, Mrs. Petraeus looks like she goes 5'-2", 190, and might be 15 years her husband's senior."

So... its piggish of me to notice? Are we supposed to pretend that appearance is irrelevant and never has anything to do with why people cheat? What's your point?

edit: just saw your post 8075--I'll go with Pet in his early 50s, Mrs. Pet in her late 60s. I'm amused by your amusement.

   8080. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4302861)
Because Congress banned money from being spent on housing those prisoners on US soil. If the President can't use money to house them, he can't afford to guard them or feed them. Or really even house them there, since they'd soak up part of the overhead inherent in Leavenworth and thus have money spent on them indirectly.


Well ####, stuff them all on Air Force One, pull Secret Service off all Republicans using them (I guess that's just the Bush's now) and have the SS guard them.

That would be a great film. It's Air Force One, Con Air and In the Line of Fire rolled into one!
   8081. Lassus Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4302863)
Liberals don't know that petitions to secede were filed in 2004.

Pardon?
   8082. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4302864)
So... its piggish of me to notice? Are we supposed to pretend that appearance is irrelevant and never has anything to do with why people cheat? What's your point?

The General is nothing to write home about. I don't know why you keep saying his wife looks super old and he doesn't.

If you want to justify his cheating, just say he wanted some hot young thing, don't keep insisting his wife looks 15 to 20 years older than he does, when that is false.
   8083. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4302865)
The GITMO rebuff was about as classic of a case of Democratic #####-assed wilting as you can imagine. It combined a good deal of NIMBYist whinging with a lot of D congress critters refusing to go into a midterm having voted to be "soft on terrorism."
   8084. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4302866)
Liberals don't know that petitions to secede were filed in 2004.

Pardon?


Just my overreaction to Neolibs on Huff Report.

And thank you all for the informative links on Gitmo.
   8085. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4302868)
   8086. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4302869)
The General is nothing to write home about.


Hey, I've made this point a couple-three times now. So I get points for that. Take David Petraeus out of the uniform and he's basically Nate Silver. (Well, Old Nate Silver, obviously. Not Nate Silver as played by Zach Quinto in the reboot.)
   8087. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4302870)
I will admit my initial viewing of Mrs. Petraeus greatly reminded me of the Phil Hartman skit on SNL, "George is my husband".
   8088. JL Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4302871)
I actually really like this. I've long thought that the fundamental problem of the US is that it's too damn big. Lots of secessions and sub-secessions would fix this. We could keep an extremely loose federation on the model of the Holy Roman Empire, with a series of minor despots electing a figurehead emperor to do nothing. Then you could have free cities. Austin is probably screwed by being in the middle of Texas, but El Paso and Houston could easily become free cities (Houston would probably have to annex all of Galveston Bay and the surrounding towns, but that's fine with me). Houston could be ruled by a prince-bishop, and El Paso could pride itself on being the Trieste of West Texas.

I would like to be a despot. Where do I need to send my resume and application?
   8089. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4302872)
Tiny precincts in Kansas are not equivalent to larger precincts in Philadelphia. 13 of those 37 Kansas precincts also had zero votes for McCain; 16 others had fewer than 20 McCain votes.


It was my mistake: I sorted on precincts with zero Obama votes, and the McCain vote appeared to range from 50 to 335, so not tiny. What seems to have happened is that the Excel sort didn't operate as I expected. Mea culpa.
   8090. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4302873)
I'm not saying that you have to stay in a loveless marriage, but man the #### up.
You realize that just because ones husband or wife ceases to be sexually attractive doesn't mean the marriage is loveless, right?

There are all kinds of marriages, and couples often make adjustments. Mrs. Pet was obviously not a party to Gen'l Pet's solo adjustment in this case, and that's obviously a problem. What I'm shocked at is how doubly shocked a few people seem over why this happens, and how absurd it seems to me to try to remove from the conversation any notice of how age tends to differently affect men and women, as though such notice was 'piggish', and could only be meant to denigrate.
   8091. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4302875)
I would like to be a despot. Where do I need to send my resume and application?


The question already disqualifies you.
   8092. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4302876)
Oh, and when people accuse me of not giving Republicans a fair shake on the issues, or whatever, please remind yourselves of that link to the GA GOP caucus.
   8093. Dale Sams Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4302877)
Re Pot legalization: So do tobacco free laws cover pot? Cause that's some nasty ass smelling #### to me. Makes me puke...(deep seated family issues)

I've often joked that if I were Prez, I would:

Close Gitmo (let em go if I have to)
Cut the defense budget in half.
Institute prison reform
Stop Drones
Close some bases
Bring troops home
Legalize drugs...except for Pot.
   8094. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4302878)
The General is nothing to write home about. I don't know why you keep saying his wife looks super old and he doesn't.

If you want to justify his cheating, just say he wanted some hot young thing, don't keep insisting his wife looks 15 to 20 years older than he does, when that is false.
'Justify his cheating'? Sigh. Explaining it, really, and using it as an opportunity to think about a longstanding issue in affairs of the heart. So, fine, we'll do it your way. What should men do when what happens is what not infrequently happens***, and by their late 40s their wives are no longer sexually attractive, even to an obvious granny-snogger like you?

***I'm being gender specific here because that's the way it usually works, but if you like, substitute whatever gender you like. I'm not saying this isn't equally worth understanding if the spouse that ages out of being sexually attractive is male.

   8095. JL Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4302879)
The question already disqualifies you.

D@m! I will just have to keep trying to figure out a use for my political goegraphy degree. Any ideas?
   8096. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4302880)
Thanks for backing down from your erroneous claims that she appears 15 to 20 years older.
   8097. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4302881)
So do tobacco free laws cover pot? Cause that's some nasty ass smelling #### to me.

When President Obama legalizes it, all tobacco free laws and all open container laws will apply to pot.
   8098. Greg K Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4302883)
If I were president my biggest goal would probably be to implement something like the plan outlined in #8068. Or if I was feeling really crazy, decree that major league baseball teams were no longer allowed to affiliate with minor league teams.

It's for similar reasons that I will never have children. Given any kind of power over people I will inevitably get bored and try out hare-brained schemes just to see what happens.

I don't really smoke much pot anymore, but I quite enjoy the smell. Cigarette smoke always smells like stale coffee and barren wombs to me...smells grey and lifeless. At least pot smells like something alive. I am willing to concede that this is all relative and depends on your own experiences.
   8099. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4302891)
If I were president my biggest goal would probably be to implement something like the plan outlined in #8068. Or if I was feeling really crazy, decree that major league baseball teams were no longer allowed to affiliate with minor league teams.


I'm not sure why people want to *president* in their fantasies. What's the point of having fantasies and then simply be head of one of the coequal branches of government, ultimately answerable to the electorate?

It's like being in little league and having daydream-fantasies of growing up to be Rick Helling.
   8100. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4302894)
I would like to be a despot. Where do I need to send my resume and application?

I'd like to be figurehead emperor doing nothing. I'm really, really good at doing nothing. Please elect me!
Page 81 of 114 pages ‹ First  < 79 80 81 82 83 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
dirk
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5278 - 10:46am, Dec 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9281 - 10:45am, Dec 22)
Last: Win Big Stein's Money

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(186 - 10:44am, Dec 22)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-22-2014
(1 - 10:41am, Dec 22)
Last: Dan Lee is some pumkins

NewsblogRuben Amaro Jr. says it would be best if Phillies move on from Ryan Howard
(52 - 10:40am, Dec 22)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(779 - 10:40am, Dec 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor

NewsblogYankees will pay for education of children of NYPD cop Ramos - NY Daily News
(11 - 10:38am, Dec 22)
Last: Chip

NewsblogFree Agent Spending By Division – MLB Trade Rumors
(1 - 10:37am, Dec 22)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogMurray Chass On Baseball » THE PIONEER AND THE GAME TODAY
(32 - 10:33am, Dec 22)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogGetting ready to gamble on Jung-Ho Kang | FOX Sports
(9 - 10:24am, Dec 22)
Last: AROM

NewsblogMarty Noble's HOF Ballot
(48 - 10:05am, Dec 22)
Last: TJ

Hall of Merit2015 Hall of Merit Ballot
(100 - 9:57am, Dec 22)
Last: rawagman

NewsblogOT: Soccer December 2014
(348 - 9:54am, Dec 22)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogThe Yankees’ plan in case A-Rod can’t play at all
(27 - 9:48am, Dec 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogThe Jeff Jacobs HOF Ballot: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair
(57 - 9:44am, Dec 22)
Last: zonk

Page rendered in 0.8357 seconds
48 querie(s) executed