Friday, April 04, 2014

News that's not breaking

Between the Supreme Court's decision on McCutcheon and the shootings at Ford Hood, a lot of other important developments got drowned out this week.   If you want to read something about those two things, there's plenty elsewhere; you can click away now.  We'll catch up on some lesser news here today.

-- The new CEO of Mozilla was forced out by public protests over his support of the anti-gay marriage initiative in California.  This is another example of the rapid evolution of tolerance in American society, and the haste with which it has happened.  This, and the same evolution of attitudes about marijuana legalization -- not just decriminalization, mind you -- are among the very few things that give me great hope about progressivism in this country.

-- Nate Silver seems to be hearing the critics of his hire of a climate change skeptic for FiveThirtyEight.  But his response is also tepid; he's going to air "both sides" of the issue.  He's already apologizing for the man, and that apology does not include the flawed data that underlie the opinions the man was employed to write.

Silver has growing problems with his "data-driven" analysis model of news outside of polling data.  This summarizes the dilemma.

It's not that Nate revealed himself to be a climate change denier; he accepts that human-caused climate change is real, and that it represents a challenge and potential threat. But he falls victim to a fallacy that has become all too common among those who view the issue through the prism of economics rather than science. Nate conflates problems of prediction in the realm of human behavior -- where there are no fundamental governing 'laws' and any "predictions" are potentially laden with subjective and untestable assumptions -- with problems such as climate change, which are governed by laws of physics, like the greenhouse effect, that are true whether or not you choose to believe them.

In short... Nate Silver has never been so wrong about so much.  An extremely rare, unforced error on his part.  Stick to the polls, Nate.  Or them and baseball.

-- I wonder what new whine the conservatives will be drinking now that Obamacare has served over seven million?  I mean besides "the numbers are skewed".

(Go back to last Sunday's Funnies for the above to have the greatest meaning.)

If Democrats all across the nation do not run on the success of Obamacare -- and the failure of certain states and their governors not to expand Medicaid -- then the chances to overcome their historical disadvantages in midterm elections will be reduced to nil.

This is the issue all Democrats should proudly own.  This is the issue they can win on.

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