Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Nate Silver

For the record, I long ago called out Nate Silver.

This is from Nathan J. Robinson's piece at CURRENT AFFAIRS:
On the whole, it’s a humiliating record. In the primaries, Silver didn’t even do as well as Carl Diggler, a fictional parody-pundit who literally just makes stuff up based on whatever his gut tells him. Presuming Silver is supposed to be something different from the rest of the jabbering punditocracy, his career should be over.
Yet bizarrely, in the days after the election, Silver was bragging about his performance. Silver insisted that after Election Night, he felt vindication, and scoffed that some major pundits had been “smugly dismissive of Trump’s chances.” Looking back on Silver’s record of statements on Trump, one wonders to which pundits he may have been referring. For over a year (July 2015 to Aug. 2016) he wrote smug “dear media” letters about Trump-hype and called Trump’s strategy “delusional,” insisting that Trump just didn’t understand the math. Having expressed regret after the primary for “acting like a pundit” and underestimating Trump, in the general election he was still acting like a pundit and underestimating Trump.
Thus Silver took a cheerful victory lap, despite having totally failed, repeatedly and embarrassingly, to provide any information of use. He bases his claim to have succeeded off his having given Trump a somewhat higher probability of a win than some other people, despite still thinking Clinton was the definite favorite. But it doesn’t take a statistical genius to be cautious in a situation of high volatility. (The main reason Silver is being praised for being wrong is that a man named Sam Wang of something called the Princeton Election Consortium was even more wrong, giving Clinton a 99% probability of a win.)
The myth of Nate Silver’s continued usefulness is based on a careful moving of goalposts. His initial claim to fame was based on number of states correctly predicted. But in 2016, if we measured by that number (especially if we subtracted the states whose outcomes were most obvious), Silver wouldn’t look good at all.

Again, I called him out long ago.  For example, from December 1, 2012, "The always disgusting Nate Silver:"

Sunny printed up an e-mail from George who asked me to listen to something called The B.S. Report with Bill Sammons.  It's an ESPN radio program and bookie Nate Silver was on.

I've written before about how damaging the New York Times' bookie is to political coverage.  After I called that out, you may have noticed that Pew released a study about how the last weeks of the presidential campaign the press based coverage on polling.

Instead of issues, Nate Silver creates distraction.  He is the problem.

So to hear him accuse anyone else of covering politics "like its sports"?  He lodged that accusation at POLITICO.

You know what?  He is right.  They do reduce politics to that.

But so does he.

He's kidding himself if he thinks any makes any contribution to democracy.

Instead his work robs us of information and makes us collectively dumber.

We don't need the 'who's hot and who's not' that Nate Silver and POLITICO offer, we need serious discussions on issues.

Nate Silver's basically a subway flasher calling out a panhandler for bothering people.

That's all he is.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, January 4, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, journalist Afrah Shawki is released by her kidnappers, the Mosul slog continues, Barack Obama couldn't throw a parade for the troops who served overseas despite promising he would but today Barack stages a military parade for himself, and much more.

Obama's central 2008 campaign promise was to extricate the US from Iraq. In that, he unequivocally failed.

At MEDIUM, Michael Tracey expands on that:

Oddly omitted from the ongoing evaluations of Barack Obama’s “legacy” is the fact that the U.S. is currently waging a ground war in Iraq, the country Obama was elected with a specific mandate to withdraw U.S. troops from. He launched his campaign in 2007 firmly on the premise that the Iraq War was a mistake, not just that it had been managed incorrectly (as his opponent Hillary would claim, much to her detriment) — but that the fundamental philosophy which undergirded George W. Bush’s misadventure was inherently wrongheaded.

Fake news is "What did Donald Trump say on Twitter!!!! I'm so outraged!!!!"

Real news is an ongoing war.

Real news is that Barack broke his promise to end the Iraq War -- the promise that got him elected in the first place.

Eight years later, the Iraq War continues.

We highlighted one of his speeches -- where he took shots at Hillary -- yesterday.

Barack's never kept any of his promises.

It's amazing how the media can ignore his broken promise on Iraq -- until you remember how he promised to end veterans homelessness and then the date for that passed and it wasn't ended and the media swept that under the rug as well.

Eight years ago, Barack was sworn in as president and he won the primary and the election on his promise to end the Iraq War.

He leaves office having failed to do so and fake news is what the press serves up to avoid reporting that basic fact.

Fake news is all around.

But it's coming from 'trusted' names and outlets in news.

Doubt it?

Yesterday, we posted this good news:

A rare bit of good news out of Iraq

Journalist Afrah Shawqi was kidnapped last week (Monday night) from her home.

She has been released alive.

  1. Afrah Shawqi, Iraqi journalist kidnapped last month after writing critically of armed groups, was just released

Libération de la irakienne Afrah Shawqi, enlevée il y a une semaine à Bagdad (famille)

QT "RT MustafaNajafi: Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi that was abducted by terrorists has now been released. Some "e…

She's free -- Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi freed Tuesday, a week after her in

Release of Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi

Iraqi journalist freed week after kidnapping: sister

Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi was released Tuesday, a week after being abducted from …

Around the same time, 'reporter' Jane Arraf also posted this:

journalist Shawqi freed after being taken in apparent militia kidnapping in Baghdad.

That Tweet led to Mike's "Jane Arraf remains The Whore of Baghdad."


Because it's typical Jane Arraf and a typical whore move from her.

Last week, at this site, Afrah was noted in the following entries:

  • Iraq snapshot

  • Iraq snapshot

  • Iraq – Freedom of the press – Kidnapping of journa...

  • Iraq snapshot

  • Iraq snapshot

  • Elaine covered Afrah with "A kidnapped journalist matters -- if you can leave your celeb death parade" and Ruth covered Afrah with "Help Afrah!!!!."  We all covered it Monday in THIRD's "Editorial: Afrah Shawqi is the name everyone should be repeating" and Afrah was also noted in "2016: The Year of WTF."

    All of that's before Afrah is released.

    Jane first noted her when?

    After she was released.

    That's why Jane Arraf remains The Whore of Baghdad.

    Working for CNN beginning in the 90s, Jane worked out a deal where she wouldn't offer any 'reporting' too objectionable so as to be allowed to remain in Iraq.

    Eason Jordan would publicly confirm the whispers in his now infamous NYT column.

    Jane would continue this under thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    The Hawija massacre was an especially problematic 'report' for Jane.  Long before the slaughter took place, Nouri was shaping what was about to come.  For example, the Friday before.  And Jane had Tweeted that day a Tweet that, after the massacre was carried out, would reveal that Nouri was a liar.

    At the time she Tweeted it, she didn't realize its importance.

    Once it became obvious, it was time for her to disappear the Tweet.

    And she'd never mention, in any of her 'reporting,' that man shot dead on Friday.

    Because now she knew it might embarrass Nouri.

    And good whores don't ever piss of their johns.

    To be clear, for a few dollars more, Jane will probably piss on a prime minister but she'll never risk pissing him off.

    So it was with Afrah.

    While she was kidnapped and needed the attention, Jane Arraf was silent.

    While her life hung in the balance, Jane was more interested in bad NEW YORKER cartoons.

    But once the woman was released and her kidnapping was no longer a global embarrassment to prime minister Hayder al-Abadi, The Whore of Baghdad could finally mention her.

    And Jane's left to sing her theme song:

    Sometimes it's hard to be a ho dog
    whoring out your name for just one man
    You'll have bad times
    And he'll have good times
    Doin' things that you don't understand
    But if you love him you'll whore for him
    even though he's hard to understand
    And if you love him, Oh, cover for him
    Cause after all he's just a thug
    Stand By Your Thug

    And she has, over and over, for each prime minister.

    As we noted last week in the December 29th snapshot:

    Every now and then, a media friend will object to my dubbing Jane Arraf The Whore of Baghdad.  They'll agree that she's sucked up to every prime minister in Iraq and lied on their behalf but they'll try to make a plea for her.  "She [tries]."  They like that one a lot.

    Well this morning, I thought, let's see.  Let's see if Jane tries.

    She hasn't reported on Afrah's kidnapping but maybe she found time to Tweet?

    If so we'll just include her in the snapshot and make no comment about her.

    But true to form, The Whore of Baghdad avoids any topic that might embarrass a sitting p.m.

    And we're going to pause on Iraq for just a minute because a DoD friend just called to say, "You'll want to take a look at our website."


    You won't believe what the little fancy boy has done now.

    A farewell parade.

    For himself.

    He couldn't be bothered with doing one parade for any returning service members.

    Remember that?

    But fancy boy can do a parade for himself?

    He lied to veterans and told them in 2011 that there would be a parade in 2012.

    He lied.

    There was never a parade.

    But the celebrity in chief can stage a parade for himself?

    While US service members are stationed in multiple war zones, fancy boy can do a parade to himself.

    His vanity knows no bounds.

    If you missed it, check out THIRD's "Barack Gone Nuts" and pay attention to the photo -- official White House photo -- accompanying it of Barack (as he talks to Kevin Costner) standing in front of a photo of himself . . . pointing at himself in the mirror.


    Today you can live stream the parade Barack's staged for himself -- with taxpayer dollars.

    You can't live stream a parade he staged for service members because . . . well . . . in eight years of the presidency . . . despite promises . . . he never got around to staging a parade for the troops.

    What a sweet little fancy boy Barack's been.

    Okay, before that phone call, we were working up to noting that CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq had Tweeted at least twice on Afrah while she was missing and that, with two other CNN reporters, he covers her release here.

    On the topic of CNN, remember back in that October State Dept press briefing when a journalist termed it a "slog" and CNN's Elise Labott (still thinking she'll soon be Mrs. John Kerry) screeched "NO!"?  She's gone on to offer purple prose on her Johnny.  (Elise, will you still be interested in him without the money?  You do realize the bulk is Teresa's money and there is a pre-nup in effect?)

    But she's yet to apologize for that October moment.

    And yet it's day 79 of the Mosul slog.

    It is a slog.

    Back in October, Elise just knew her "full f**king throttle" (her term, she put it in the mouth of a non-existent person, she's the Gina Chon to John's Brett McGurk) man was going to be a hero -- why?  Because she's demented.

    But it's day 79 and the operation continues.

    Poor, stupid Elise Labott.

    That poor, dumb idiot.

    : 13,000 people flee over five days as anti-terrorist operations intensify -

    That's where things stand on day 79.

    More refugees created.

    Mosul still not liberated.

    It's a slog.

    Elise disagrees but then she also thinks it's appropriate to pursue another woman's husband and do so while covering that man for CNN.

    Maybe, when they told her to cover him, she heard "covet"?

    Poor dumb Elise.

    What some hard up women won't do for a little dick -- and I do mean "little."

    Elise may be forgotten as John leaves office.

    She can take comfort in the fact that those of us who are personal friends of Teresa will never, ever forget.  That's a promise, Elise.

    The following community sites updated:

  • And let's close with some Tweets on the good news that Afrah Shawqi is safe:

    1. : po tygodniu przetrzymywania uwolniono dziennikarkę
    "Thank God, I'm fine," Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi the /i kidnapped in Baghdad who has been released
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi was kidnapped for more than a week by a terrorist Shiite militia in
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi released week after kidnapping
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi released week after kidnapping
    Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi has been released over a week after gunmen posing as security forces stormed her home,Baghdad.
    Female Iraqi journalist freed after week in captivity: Outspoken Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi, who was…
    Irak - Libération de la journaliste Afrah Shawqi (03.01.17)
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi released week after kidnapping via
    journalist is free.
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi released week after kidnapping via
    Kidnapped Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi Al Qaisi is released via
    is free. Iraqi journalist kidnapped a week ago is back home thanks to campaigners #

    Kidnapped Iraqi Journalist Afrah Shawqi has been released earlier this day
    Iraqi journalist Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi freed week after apparent kidnapping
    Afrah Shawqi: Iraqi journalist kidnapped from Baghdad home
    Journalist : Kidnappers treated me well 
    I am happy to hear that has safely returned to her family and friends.
    Such a great news!
    Shawqi released upon orders from -Sadr: Baghdad Post sources 
    Trying to picture how happy her kids are now that she's been freed!