To the Progressive Concern Trolls…

There is a substantial difference between the candidates even if President O isn’t all you want.

October 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, politics, politics/social | Leave a comment

Deer in Bradley Park and the State of the Presidential Race

Workout notes 4.2 mile Cornstalk (classic) route; 59 minutes for the walk. I saw a deer near the old iron bridge. That was sort of cool. And yes, the weather was very cool; this is the beginning of the “tons of sweaty gear” season.

Bookie odds: mostly 75-80 percent for Obama (1/3, 2/7, 3/10, 1/4)
Intrade: 64.5 for Obama. Note: in terms of “electoral votes for Obama”, the 50 percent mark (as of last night) was 290 EV.
Nate Silver 77.4 percent.

So what does this all mean?
Nate Silver’s model: though it was painstakingly crafted and very competently designed, it is impossible to properly verify. We’d need to see the model in action over 100’s of times and, well, there aren’t 100’s of presidential elections with roughly the same circumstances.

And: it is probabilistic. Even if you say that Obama has an 83 percent chance of winning reelection (and the chances are NOT that high) this would mean that you could model the election results by the roll of a die: say, Obama wins if 1-5 comes up and Romney wins with a 6. And we know that 6’s do show up.

Betting lines an Intrade these are models of what the public thinks, period. Accurate? Possibly. Foolproof? Hardly.

So, both campaigns are sweating bullets right now, though Obama’s campaign is in better position than Romney’s. Not in commanding position, but in better position; the Romney team would gladly trade places. But Romney still has a bona-fide shot at winning.

October 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Peoria, Peoria/local, politics/social, poll, statistics, walking | Leave a comment

Running FAIL

Screaming Pumpkin 10.5 km (6.55 mile) race; trying to catch those cuties in spandex. Couldn’t catch any of them. 😦

Place: 61/269 was what one would expect, but I was hoping for 58 minutes instead of the 61:41 that I ran (by my watch). I slowed too much on the hills. Note: the winning pace (6:40 minutes per mile) was way slower than one would expect.

Workout notes Cornstalk 8 mile course (hilly): 1:24:09 (42:01,42:08). Chilly, breezy. Mind wandered. Saw a large group of young women in colorful shiny spandex; some had on Screaming Pumpkin shirts; it is easy to understand why I couldn’t stay with them. Grrrrrr….

October 30, 2012 Posted by | running, time trial/ race | Leave a comment

My Map a Week Out

From here. Let’s see yours!

Note: this is Intrade’s map:

Note: Romney needs to peel off some leaners and win both toss-ups. Tough road, though it is possible.

October 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election | Leave a comment

Presidential Election 2012: almost one week out

Ok, back from a basketball game (exhibition); Bradley played Upper Iowa (NAIA-II team) and won by 14; they lead by 3 at the half. 3 point shooting in the second half lead the way; these shots won’t be so open in Missouri Valley competition. My guess: the team will improve though it might not be a huge change in the win column.

2012 election:

Intrade and Iowa Electronic both have Obama at 62 percent (roughly).

The bookies:

Low 70 percent range.

Nate Silver: roughly the same:

So, what about other sources? Today I’ll talk about Electoral Vote.
This is how they see it:

They see Obama at 280 (strong, likely and leaning) and 23 toss ups.

How did they do in 2008? A week plus a day earlier (October 27, 2008) then had it 375-167; the difference is that they had Obama winning Missouri which he lost narrowly; also they didn’t show NE-2.

In 2004, (October 25) they had it Bush 285-247 with 5 tied; it ended 286-252 (faithless elector turned it to 286-251). The difference: Colorado and Wisconsin were flipped; Bush got Arkansas (?) and Kerry won Hawaii (still don’t understand that late poll…must have been an outlier).

So the track record isn’t that bad for Electoral Vote.

Romney might win, but he’ll have to draw an inside straight to do it.

October 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, basketball, politics | Leave a comment

Inches, Magicians and the delusional

Workout notes
I did an untimed 5 miler from the Markin center; I left at 12:02 and finished at 12:55, and that included a couple of lengthy waits at the light. It was sunny and breezy; I felt bad prior to the run but much, much, much better once I got going.

The Cowboys lost to the Giants; they were down 23-0 but rallied to take a 24-23 lead; they were down 29-24 with 10 seconds to go when they threw this bomb and:

That’s right; fingers 1/8’th of an inch closer to the body or if his butt hit before his hand, the Cowboys win the game.

Vote for Romney if you like Zombies:

I KNOW people like this:

But to be fair, I voted yesterday and there were many older people voting; they were dressed as if they had come from church. And many of them had a lot of trouble working the voting machine….had they been from a Republican demographic I might have had some snarky remarks.

Mitt the Magician

No matter what he does
If Obama campaigns, he is putting campaigning above his job. If he comes back to take charge, he is accused of seeking photo ops:

October 29, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Barack Obama, economy, football, Mitt Romney, NFL, political humor, politics, politics/social, republicans, running | Leave a comment

Republican Paranoid World View….

Nate Silver is getting slammed by the right wing for what his models are predicting.

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to say “hey, your model formula is bad and here is why….”. But that isn’t what is happening:

Nate’s model continued to show an Obama edge even after Denver, and has shown that edge widening over the past couple of weeks.

This could be wrong, obviously. And we’ll find out on Election Day. But the methodology has been very clear, and all the election modelers have been faithful to their models, letting the numbers fall where they may.

Yet the right — and we’re not talking about the fringe here, we’re talking about mainstream commentators and publications — has been screaming “bias”! They know, just know, that Nate must be cooking the books. How do they know this? Well, his results look good for Obama, so it must be a cheat. Never mind the fact that Nate tells us all exactly how he does it, and that he hasn’t changed the formula at all.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science and much more. On the right, apparently, there is no such thing as an objective calculation. Everything must have a political motive.

Conservatives are notorious for this these-a-days. Witness how they view evolution:

Why does it matter that almost half the country rejects the overwhelming evidence of evolution, with or without the hand of God? After all, Americans are famously ignorant of many things—like where Iran is or when World War II took place—and we are still here. One reason is that rejecting evolution expresses more than an inability to think critically; it relies on a fundamentally paranoid worldview. Think what the world would have to be like for evolution to be false. Almost every scientist on earth would have to be engaged in a fraud so complex and extensive it involved every field from archaeology, paleontology, geology and genetics to biology, chemistry and physics. And yet this massive concatenation of lies and delusion is so full of obvious holes that a pastor with a Bible-college degree or a homeschooling parent with no degree at all can see right through it. A flute discovered in southern Germany is 43,000 years old? Not bloody likely. It’s probably some old bone left over from an ancient barbecue. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, has installed a holographic exhibit of Lucy, the famous proto-human fossil, showing how she was really just a few-thousand-year-old ape after all.

Patricia Princehouse, director of the evolutionary biology program at Case Western Reserve University, laughed when I suggested to her that the Gallup survey shows that education doesn’t work. “There isn’t much evolution education in the schools,” she told me. “Most have no more than a lesson or two, and it isn’t presented as connected with the rest of biology.” In fact, students may not even get that much exposure. Nationally, Princehouse said, at least 13 percent of biology teachers teach “young earth” creationism (not just humans but the earth itself is only 10,000 years old or thereabouts), despite laws forbidding it, and some 60 percent teach a watered-down version of evolution. They have to get along with their neighbors, after all. In Tennessee, home of the Scopes trial, a new law actually makes teaching creationism legal. “No one takes them to court,” Princehouse told me, “because creationism is so popular. Those who object are isolated and afraid of reprisals.” People tend to forget that Clarence Darrow lost the Scopes trial; until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1968, it was illegal to teach evolution in public schools in about half a dozen states.

Kenneth Miller, a biology professor at Brown University and practicing Catholic who is a leading voice against creationism, agrees with Princehouse. “Science education has been remarkably ineffective,” he told me. “Those of us in the scientific community who are religious have a tremendous amount of work to do in the faith community.” Why bother? “There’s a potential for great harm when nearly half the population rejects the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. It’s useful for us as a species to understand that we are a recent appearance on this planet and that 99.9 percent of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct.” Evangelical parents may care less that their children learn science than that they avoid going to hell, but Miller points out that many of the major challenges facing the nation—and the world—are scientific in nature: climate change and energy policy, for instance. “To have a near majority essentially rejecting the scientific method is very troubling,” he says. And to have solidly grounded science waved away as political and theological propaganda could not come at a worse time. “Sea-level rise” is a “left-wing term,” said Virginia state legislator Chris Stolle, a Republican, successfully urging its replacement in a state-commissioned study by the expression “recurrent flooding.”

Today’s Republicans are basically a whiny, paranoid group that fully embraces the culture of victimhood. Remember when THEY were the steely eyed objective people who pointed to the data and statistics and were called “heartless” for doing so?

Now, intellectually, these people are a complete joke. I really don’t know what happened to them.

Yes, we do have our kooks; I remember the anger that came forth when new mammogram protocols were announced; many of my liberal friends didn’t understand the statistical risks of increased radiation exposure or of increased anxiety due to false positives, nor were they interested in statistical measures like “prediction power” of a test.

But mostly the Democratic political leadership runs away from our kooks.

October 29, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, politics, politics/social, poll, republicans, statistics | Leave a comment

How Bad is Illinois Football?

The University of Illinois Football Team is rated 6’th…IN THE STATE.

According to the Sagarin ratings:

38 Northwestern A = 76.97
39 Northern Illinois A = 76.30
94 Southern Illinois AA = 63.82
06 Eastern Illinois AA = 61.68
112 Illinois State AA = 61.27
126 Illinois A = 58.17

Note: “A” means FBS and “AA” means FCS (formerly I-AA).

That is right: the Illini are behind Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Illinois State. How is that possible???

October 28, 2012 Posted by | college football, football | Leave a comment

Republican Dirty Tricks in IL-17, with video (and yes, I voted today!)

Workout notes Weights plus an untimed 5 mile walk. Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, 3 super sets of (rows: 10 x 200 Hammer machine, 10 x 160 pull downs, 10 x 52.5 curls (pulley)), bench press: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, 6 x 165, 5 x 165, incline: 2 sets of 7 x 135, 2 sets of 15 x 45 (dumbbell) military press (seated). I did vertical ab crunches as rest between sets.

IL-17 is a redistricted Congressional District in Illinois; it was redrawn after Illinois went from having 19 Congressional Districts to 18.

Historically: Lane Evans won it in 1982 and represented it until Phil Hare won it in 2006. But in 2010, Phil Hare was upset by a Tea Party Republican named Bobby Schilling.

However the district has been redrawn to be even more Democratic; currently Barack Obama leads by 15 points.

The Bustos-Schilling race has been close; by Election Projection:

10/25/12 Stuart Rothenberg Pundit Change: Tilt DEM to Toss-up
10/15/12 Public Opinion (R) Schilling 51% – Bustos 44%
10/18/12 GBA Strategies (D) Bustos 49% – Schilling 45%
10/13/12 RATING CHANGE: Weak Schilling to Weak Bustos
10/09/12 WeAskAmerica Bustos 46% – Schilling 46%
10/10/12 RATING CHANGE: Weak Bustos to Weak Schilling
10/04/12 Anzalone Liszt Research (D) Bustos 45% – Schilling 44%

So, the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to hold this seat. So watch out for the dirty tricks!

We have this ad from the NRCC:

Wow! There are some problems here though. For one, Ms. Bustos isn’t a member of that country club and never was. Also, this improvement was for water main repair, and had started BEFORE she took her seat.

More here.

Now there is this:

What you are seeing is a newspaper tabloid style mailer called “The Illinois Democrat” which is an extended ad for Bobby Schilling. You have to dig deep into the ad to find a mention that Mr. Schilling is the Republican candidate.

That isn’t a surprise; at the last Schilling-Bustos debate, Mr. Schilling failed to mention Mitt Romney once, but did have a few good words to say about President Obama.

Here is my (7 minute) video commentary.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Cheri Bustos, IL-17, IL-18, Illinois, Peoria, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, walking, weight training | 3 Comments

Republican dirty tricks: IL-17

I got this (a newspaper-like mailer) in the mail today: it is called “Illinois Democrat” but is advertising for Bobby Schilling, the Republican (tea party) candidate for IL-17. This is outrageous.

What a dirt bag….typical Republican behavior in this area.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | 2012 election, Cheri Bustos, Political Ad, politics, republicans political/social, republicans politics | 4 Comments