The Bookworm Beat 5-9-15 — the “I’m not all here” edition
Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, despite the fact that I’ll be celebrating a family event this weekend, I can still feed my blog. If some shocking headline happens over the weekend, I probably won’t have a lot to say about it, but I can definitely keep you current about yesterday’s news!
More on Shy Tories
Nate Silver, who nailed the 2008 and 2012 elections, had a total fail when it came to predicting the 2015 British election that saw the Tories gain an easy victory, despite poll results showing that Labour would win. Silver offers a few arguments in his own defense. The funniest is his claim that “everyone else was wrong too.” As every high school kid knows, that’s not a good defense.
What Silver finally admits, though, is that voters lied, just as they did in 1992:
The most obvious problem for all forecasters was that the polling average had Labour and the Conservatives even on the night before the election. This was not just the average of the polls, it was the consensus. Nearly every pollster’s final poll placed the two parties within 1 percentage point of each other. Based on the polling average being level, we predicted Conservatives to win by 1.6 percentage points on the basis of the historical tendency of polls to overstate changes from the last election. This kind of adjustment is helpful for understanding how the 2010 result deviated from the national polls on election day, as well as the infamous 1992 U.K. polling disaster, when the polls had the two parties even before the election and the Tories won by 7.5 percentage points. The Conservative margin over Labour will be smaller than that when the 2015 totals are finalized, but not a lot smaller (currently it is 6.4 with all but one constituency declared). So our adjustment was in the right direction, but it was not nearly large enough. Part of the reason Fisher did better is that he applied a similar adjustment, but made it party-specific, leading to a larger swingback for the Tories than for other parties because of that 1992 result.
Since I’m always averse to hiding my light, such as it is, under a bushel, I’ll provide a discrete hyperlink to my post yesterday, in which I said exactly the same thing; namely, that 2015 is a repeat of the “Shy Tory Factor.”
The really important thing — and it’s something that all honest, decent people should ask themselves — is why do conservatives feel compelled to hide their political views? I don’t know about England, but perhaps it’s because, here in America, we get audited to death, not to mention the insults, the cars that get keyed, and the harangues attacking conservatives as evil people. All of those are good reasons to lie in public and, in the privacy of the voting booth, to do anything we can to return some semblance of sanity to our world.
I think Nancy Pelosi is getting senile — really
My 92-year-old mother is mostly compos mentis, but she definitely has times when, as my sister says, “She boards the magical bus and doesn’t get off.” She’s still absolutely certain that, when she was in the hospital a few years ago recovering from a minor surgery, the nurses roused her in the middle of the night and insisted that she spend the rest of the night helping them run their online clothing catalog business from the nurses’ station. Nothing will convince her that this didn’t happen, including the fact that she knows that her computer skills are so nonexistent, she hasn’t even mastered email. That’s just one of dozens of moments that have seen Mom part ways with reality.
I’m wondering if 75-year-old Nancy Pelosi hasn’t boarded that same magical bus. It’s really the kindest reason I can think of for her claiming that Hamas is a “humanitarian” organization based upon assurances from Qatar:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.
The only other explanations for Pelosi’s delusion statement about Hamas as a humanitarian organization are that Pelosi is dumber than a rock or that she’s a very evil woman who considers the Devil her partner in the dance. Calling her senile is really the kindest thing one can do.
American kids are not morons, but Nicholas Kristof is
I’ve enjoyed attacking Nicholas Kristof before, since he’s the kind of Leftist who never lets facts slow him down. No wonder, then, that I enjoyed a post at Sense Made Here, in which Eugene explains that, whatever else Kristof is, he’s not smarter than an 8th grader.
The death of our Republic?
Wolf Howling uses the fact that the federal government is forcing schools to allow kids to pick whatever gender they want when it comes to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams as an opportunity to ruminate about the way a passive legislature, a power hungry White House, an aggressive administrative system, and activist judges are all working together to destroy the republic that the Founders created for us.
You’ll get depressed reading his post, but you should still read it. After all, the only bulwark against all of these evils is an informed public.
The only people for whom black lives don’t matter are black leaders
A few days ago, I did a post saying that, since blacks insist that everything whites do or have done is destructive to blacks, blacks might want to stop demanding our help and try to rebuild their culture without white interference. I even had proof that Martin Luther King felt the same way I do, at least when it came to responsibility (and for more on the subject of responsibility, you can go here):
I now am certain I’m on the right track with my suggestion, because Daniel Greenfield has said much the same thing (emphasis mine):
Baltimore has the fifth highest big city murder rate in the country. The four cities ahead of it are Detroit, New Orleans, Newark and St. Louis. All these cities have something in common. Not racism, but race.
The killers and the dead are black.
The murder rate in Baltimore stood at 37.4 to 100,000 people. There have already been 63 murders this year. Fifty-six of the victims were black. Of the 16 murders in the last 30 days, 14 of the victims were black.
If black lives really mattered, then black violence would matter. But that would mean taking responsibility for a broken culture which few leaders in the black community are ready to do.
Hillary the incompetent
In a politely worded public letter to the American media, Peter Wehner explains that Hillary’s ability to hop a plane while Secretary of State has nothing to do with core competency:
Not only is Mrs. Clinton not “hyper-competent,” she is not even minimally competent.
What exactly are her brilliant achievements? Is it HillaryCare, a substantive disaster that led to a political disaster (the Republican sweep in the 1994 mid-term election)? The multiple ethical problems she’s encountered during her years in politics? Here fierce opposition to the Petraeus-led surge in Iraq long after it was obvious it was succeeding? Perhaps the Russian reset? Referring to Bashar Assad, the genocidal dictator of Syria, as a “reformer“? Or maybe her masterful handling of the Iranian Green Revolution, relations with Egypt, Libya, Israel, the attack on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Poland, the Czech Republic, the “pivot” to Asia and countless other failures during the first Obama term?
What exactly are her achievements – her concrete, tangible, exceptional achievements – as First Lady, senator, and secretary of state? They don’t exist. In fact, the things she has her fingerprints on have, much more often than not, turned into disasters. The case that her supporters put forward on her behalf — she has flown nearly a million miles, visited more than 100 countries, read briefing books (!) and had tea with local power brokers (!!) – highlights just how pathetic her achievements are.
Hillary is not competent, and it will be a shame if the American voters are flimflammed into thinking she is.
Did you know that Antoine Lavoisier met his end on the guillotine?
I did not know that, but it’s true. It’s a reminder never to mix science and politics.