Archive for May, 2009

Why can’t “liberals” do basic stats?

May 28, 2009

The idiots at “Think Progress’ have the following ignorant post up:

As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained to Garrett, it is Chrysler — not the federal government — that is in charge of selecting which dealerships will be closed. Further, as Nate Silver explained in a post that was published just hours after the Examiner’s initial report yesterday, “There is just one problem with this theory. Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren’t being closed.”

Silver explained, “It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats — not just those who are having their doors closed.” In all, Silver found that “88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates,” while, the list of Chrysler dealerships being closed “gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans — not really a significant difference.”

As I write this there are 258 comments over there. Not one of the references the hypergeometric probability distribution, which indicates that not one of their commenters knows what he or she is talking about. Short version: you have a urn full of black and white balls. You take a number of balls out, and don’t put them back in before taking other balls out. If you know the number of balls of each color in the urn, then you can calculate the probability that, by random chance, you will draw out ‘x’ white balls in ‘n’ draws from the urn.

There are 3000 Chrysler dealerships. 750 got told they’re getting closed. Using Nate Silver’s numbers, there are 2640 “Republican” dealerships, and 360 “non-Republican” ones. Of those dealerships, 690 R and 60 non-R dealerships were closed.

Using R, we can calculate the probability that, by random chance, 60 or fewer non-R dealerships would be closed out of 750

phyper (60, 360, 2640, 750)

Unfortunately for Nate, and for the TP big talkers, the result is 3.671535e-05. Or 9 in 250,000.

So yes, that is a significant difference.

Some of the posters over at Nate’s are claiming 3500 dealerships. Keeping all percentages the same, we get

phyper (70, 420, 3080, 875)

That takes the chance down to 8.738693e-06.  Less than 9 in 1,000,000.  IOW, fail.

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Judge Arthur Gonzalez is Criminal Scum

May 6, 2009

This is utterly disgusting news

The White House said Wednesday that a US court ruling clearing the way for the sale of Chrysler , likely to Fiat, cleared the way for a quick and orderly bankruptcy for the collapsing auto giant.

…Gonzales told a packed federal courtroom in New York on Tuesday that the plan was “a fair and ordinary process,” stressing the “urgent need for the sale to be consummated.”

Dear “Judge” Gonzalez:

I don’t think that phrase “a fair and ordinary process,” means what you think it means.  Giving secured creditors < 35 cents on the dollar, while giving unsecured, politically connected creditors > 50 cents on the dollar, isn’t “fair and ordinary”, it’s political corruption,  Your willingness to spit on bankruptcy law and allow this political theft is arguably criminal.  You are a contemptible and worthless human being.  Given a chance to do your job, you violated your oath of office, and allowed political thugs to steal from a group of politically unpopular people in order to give the money to their campaign donors.

This is the kind of corrupt behavior we expect from Third World hellholes, not the United States of America.

I don’t know what kind of payoff you expect to get for this behavior, but whatever it is, understand it has cost you your honor, and your reputation.

Senate Dems to Collins and Snowe: We don’t want you

May 6, 2009

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a lovely little article titled Senate Dems to Specter: Hello, rookie. I think he has the wrong title. First, the news:

The Senate dealt a blow tonight to Sen. Arlen Specter’s hold on seniority in several key committees, a week after the Pennsylvanian’s party switch placed Democrats on the precipice of a 60-seat majority.

But Democrats placed Specter in one of the two most junior slots on each of the five committees for the remainder of this Congress, which goes through December 2010. Democrats have suggested that they will consider revisiting Specter’s seniority claim at the committee level only after the midterm elections next year.

Definitely worthy of a laugh.  But it’s worth more than that.  Ed swerves near the point here:

If Reid really did make a similar deal with Specter, then his caucus just sent him a message as well, a humiliation that will make Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins think twice before following Specter into rookie status.

And that, to my mind, is the big point.  The just told any other Republicans considering jumping that they can’t trust anything Reid says, and that the Senate Dems really don’t want them to cross over.

Specter, Collins, and Snowe used their official “Republican” status to posture, preen, and suck up media attention before voting for the Porkulus.  All the other Senate Democrats had to just sit down, shut up, and do what they’re told.  Not a position any Senator likes to be in.  This is their repayment: “we don’t need you, so you can go get stuffed.”

The Republican Senate leadership should be laughing their asses off right now.  Because they can go to Snowe, Collins, Graham and say “look, you have a choice: you can start voting like a Republican, and backing the Republican Party positions, or we can strip you of your committee positions, and you can go beg the Democrats for some scraps.”  (“You can see how well that worked for Specter” can be left unsaid. 🙂 )

This move by the Democrat Caucus was a great blow for Republican Party unity.  I extend the Democrats who made this happen my sincere thanks.

The Joys of Socialized Medicine

May 3, 2009

From England comes the following heart warming story

YouTube helped father deliver baby

A proud father has explained how watching video clips on YouTube helped him deliver his baby son.

Marc Stephens said he had to act quickly when his wife Jo went into labour three weeks early as she had a history of fast births with her previous three children.

The 28-year-old Royal Navy air engineer, from Redruth, Cornwall, searched “how to deliver a baby” on the internet and after viewing a few clips said he was ready to help deliver healthy baby Gabriel.

Mr Stephens said: “I didn’t even have time to panic. She started complaining of pain around 10.30pm. I went on Google and watched a couple of clips on YouTube.

“At 2.30am she woke me up, but when I rang the midwife to come out she said they were busy at the hospital.

Woman with a history of fast births goes into labor three weeks early.  She started having pains, and four hours later labor began.  What would an American do with those four hours?  Go to the hospital.  What did the Brits do?  Stay at home, because going to the hospital wasn’t worth it.  Instead the husband went on YouTube to find some clips on how to deliver a baby.

Labor starts.  They call the midwife.  Sorry, too busy.  So he delivers the baby.

Try to imagine this happening to someone in the US who has health insurance.  Because in Great Britain, they all have health insurance.  That have “Universal Coverage.”  Which means, the care they got is the care that everyone gets (unless they’re politically connected, or rich enough to be able to avoid the system).  (Note: this guy’s a Royal Navy air engineer.  His equvalent in the US would certainly have health insurance.  And I don’t believe that even the VA is this bad).