Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Robert Bork and Ted Kennedy

Robert Bork is dead at 85.  To the extent that Ted Kennedy was ever worthy of any respect after he left Mary Jo Kopechne to die in his car, he forfeited all of it with his ugly, vicious defamation of Robert Bork during Bork's confirmation hearings in 1987.  The verb "to bork" is a legacy of Kennedy's that continues to haunt the nation a quarter of a century later.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stephen Curry got a technical foul

I happened to notice his name in the box score under technicals.  What?! So a little googling and this blog post came up.  It seems that Steph is really becoming a star.
Coming into this week, Curry had a grand total of one technical foul in his career. Just one. It came so inconspicuously that I can’t find a single reference to it anywhere, other than that it happened. Personally, I can’t remember it either. This one against the Nets was memorable. After going down off a hard screen, Steph was visibly upset with the referees, not only picking up the technical, but also having to be held back before getting a second one. He was more visibly angry than I’ve ever seen him, and he made sure the referee knew it.
As a fan of the Warriors, I’m not a fan of Warrior technical fouls, as a general rule. But I didn’t mind this one. There were clearly points in the first half where he hadn’t gotten calls, and he began the second half not getting them, as well. The Warriors trailed at the time, and from that point on, they really controlled the game.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Brooks SoCon player of the month

He averaged 17.2 points and 5.7 boards against a very tough schedule.

"Gratuitous, vicious hatred"

Neo writes of the viciousness with which liberals hate and the connection to Obama.  I would note that it is the hatred which binds liberals and all the disparate special interests together in the Democratic party.  They have little in common, other than a love of government, and often find that they are in direct conflict.  The glue is the viciousness with which they hate their chosen enemy.

Now that the election is over, and Mitt Romney has retired to private life, I’ve noticed that many of the newest articles about him in the MSM and posts about him in the blogosphere seem to engender a host of incredibly vicious personal comments from the sore winners on the left.
the hatefest goes on. Much of it is just an example of the free-floating rage on the left, a relic of the extreme Bush Derangement Syndrome in which they macerated for eight long years. But there wasn’t a similar post-election rage at John McCain. Why?
I think it’s because Obama sets the tone and the rest follow. Obama’s campaign against McCain was neither especially vicious nor especially personal. But Obama’s fight against Romney was almost entirely that, and relentless too. The focus was class warfare (one of Obama’s favorites) and attacks on Romney as a person, and the minions picked up on the “rich white guy out to exploit the people” meme and ran with it. They are still running, hard and fast.
 The most frightening thing to me is that many people seem to have internalized the hate. They cannot turn it off. It is not a thoughtful reaction, but instead a reflex. It demonstrates the power of the media in relentlessly teaching the Obama followers their talking points. Now that the talking points have been internalized, [they] are apparently not easy to exorcise.
 there was gratuitous, vicious hatred, a kind of group festival of contempt for him.

Peyton's House

This is funny.

And true.

More  in this video.  And this video.

Zig Ziglar -- 10 quotes

Zig Ziglar died last week.  His 10:
10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Douhat is right

The declining US birthrate is a problem for the future.  It is also a symptom of a society that is not healthy.
Finally, there’s been a broader cultural shift away from a child-centric understanding of romance and marriage. In 1990, 65 percent of Americans told Pew that children were “very important” to a successful marriage; in 2007, just before the current baby bust, only 41 percent agreed. (That trend goes a long way toward explaining why gay marriage, which formally severs wedlock from sex differences and procreation, has gone from a nonstarter to a no-brainer for so many people.)
 The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.
Such decadence need not be permanent, but neither can it be undone by political willpower alone. It can only be reversed by the slow accumulation of individual choices, which is how all social and cultural recoveries are ultimately made.

Nice article on Davidson's Clint Mann

I love this.  Clint has made enormous improvement in his game since last season.  Cohen and Brooks may get the starts and the ink, but Mann may have been more valuable than either of them so far this season.

Costas doubles down on jackass

After having time to consider how stupid and inappropriate his remarks about guns were, Bob Costas chose not to apologize.  Jackass squared.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bob Costas

I always liked the persona that Bob Costas projected on television.  But I had no idea he was such a stupid, dishonest jackass.  It is reprehensible to inject politics into a sports broadcast during a story about a player's murder/suicide.  It is even worse to lie to people in the midst to interjecting your politics.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Super-rich lefties had a conference. Their media lapdogs averted their eyes.

Matthew Continenti:
If a campaign finance story is not about David Koch or Sheldon Adelson, do liberals care?
Consider the reaction to Kenneth Vogel’s important report on the winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance, the secretive organization of progressive millionaires and billionaires who finance an extraordinarily byzantine network of liberal foundations and Super PACs that operate with undisclosed “dark money.”
What reaction? Exactly. There wasn’t any.
The left-wing VIPs assembled at the luxury W Hotel across the street from the White House, but only Vogel reported on the story. The gathering did not merit inclusion in either the Washington Post or the New York Times, both of which have offices within blocks of the W, and both of which have devoted reams of newsprint to Mitt Romney’s donor retreats and various Koch-affiliated fundraising summits.

Taxpayers' 4 mil for Obama vacation is small change

Some people might get upset at the large amounts the taxpayers have to pay for the Obamas lavish vacations.  But that money is just a tip of the iceberg.  The real news is that spending on the president's family last year was estimated to be $1.4 billion.

Climate Science -- if you don't like the facts, change them

Paul Homewood points out the way that infamous climate alarmist, James Hansen, has manipulated the facts in presenting temperature trends.

Yes, they think you're stupid

David Middleton explains why the environmental propaganda on global warming is even worse than we thought.  It's all BS, all the time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Warren Buffett -- dishonest, partisan hack

Adam J. White gives examples of Warren Buffett's own life which contradict his latest screed on taxes.  It should be noted that Buffett's example is beyond stupid.  Investment options include more than those which are considered slam dunks.  Many proposed investments carry serious possible risks and uncertain potential rewards.  The cost-benefit analysis is heavily reliant on after-tax returns.

For Buffett to pretend that all investments are obviously profitable is brain-dead stupid.  Perhaps he's gone stupid in his old age.  Or perhaps he thinks we're all stupid.

Hatred -- it's what defines the Democratic Party

James Taranto:
One way of holding together such a disparate coalition is by delivering prosperity, so that everyone can feel he's doing well. Failing that, another way is by identifying a common adversary--such as the "white male." During Obama's first term, the demonization of the "white male" was common among left-liberal commentators, especially MSNBC types. The Post has now lent its considerably more mainstream institutional voice to this form of bigotry.

Of course, demonization isn't limited to white males via slanderous claims of racism.  Demonization is the standard campaign tactic used against anyone they oppose.

Obama -- "a waste of time"

Another sucker wakes up.
She said she was honored to meet Obama, but she is also frustrated that she has yet to receive help from either her insurance companies or the government. “The president told me I would get immediate help,” she said.
“Looking back on it, it wasted a lot of people’s time,” she said of the visit.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Arm strength? Arm Strength?

Just looked at the NFL Stats page for quarterbacks.  Interesting stat.  The player with the most pass completions of 20+ yards is Peyton Manning.  Not bad for a washed up old man who can't throw deep any more.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Davidson -- Gonzaga

Cats are big underdogs in the championship of the Old Spice Classic.  Coach Greenberg says that the Zags are the best team on the West Coast and will play for the national championship.  On paper, this doesn't look good.  But they don't play 'em on paper.  Let's see what we can do.

Up 4-2 early. Can't make cheap fouls. Gotta get better on the defensive glass. 8-2.  1st media TO Cats 13-4.  Doing a good job of taking it to the rack.  Zags have had some looks, but haven't made many.

2d media TO -- didn't press the advantage.  Cz with a silly charge.  Tyler has to be smarter. Can't drive into the middle of the pack.  We have some serious size problems down low defensively.  We can't foul every time they get it in there or we'll foul all our bigs out.  At some point, just gotta make some shots. Up 15-14.  Zags really making us work hard.

Well, Mark Few figured out that we can't handle a full court press.  Uh,oh.  We desperately need a guard with some quicks handling the ball.  Cz can't shoot that 3 falling away and to the side.  certainly not before he's got a rhythm. Got to be smarter.  Jake with 2 fouls already and nothing to show.  Nike throws the ball to Coach Few on the bench and we're at the 3d media TO. Cats 18-15.  Start now with a little zone.  Nik, gotta move your feet. Don't reach.  Great drive and dish by Tom.  DeMon has to make that.

JP just can't keep jumping in the air, hanging on way, way, way, way too long and then straining just to graze the front of the rim.  Horrible form.  Horrible result.  Fundamentals and physics -- they matter.  Down 21-18.  Now 25-18, after DeMon's foul gives them 2 throws and the ball.  That's 10 straight for the  other guys. 

Our bigs just aren't strong enough.  We can't compete inside because we're too small, too weak.  Down 12.  Nice take to the rack by Barham. And good defense by him.  Silly foul by Brooks.  Then he charges to get his 3d foul.  Crap. Down 11.  Zone again. Jordan shows some hops going for that rebound.  And a nice jumper by him at the end of the half.  Down 33-24.

2 nice buckets.  Nik with another good drive, bad shot.  gotta use the glass.  Good job Jake. Within 3. Timeout by Few.  Like the fight in our guys early in this half.  Zone looks better. Clint from 3! down only 2.  How many of those little 3 footers can we miss?!  Grrrr.  Media TO sees us down 39-34.

 Nice move and dunk Clint.  Another point blank miss by JP.  42-36. 3s by Nik and Cz. and another by Cz.  within 2.  49-47.  Worked a little 1-3-1 during this stretch.  media TO.  Cmon Cats.  keep it going.

Maybe we can learn to hit those baseline shots from them. They keep making, we keep missing those little shorties from the side. Good inbounds.bucket by Nik. TIED up after fast break hoop by DeMon.  Started by a smart steal by Mann. 51-51.  TO by Few.

Ouch. Brooks gets 4th. Nik with 2 straight turnovers.  Back to 2-3 zone, but they heat up from 3. 58-53 at the after 8 min media TO.  let's finish strong now.

Cz puts up the worst airball ever.  61-55,  Cohen hits 4 throws. Down 5,  Jake gets two quick fouls.  Mann fouls and all 3 of our bigs have 4 fouls now.  Make that Cz now with 4, Mann with 3.

5 min to go and we are down 7. Another freakin 3 by them.  -9. Now 7.  They just assault DeMon to rip away the ball.  Tenn football Vols don't even tackle that aggressively.  Cohen gets slammed to the fall.  We are getting assaulted now.  Don't have the strength or size to fight back.  Trailing by 11.

2:39 down 9. Now 11.  Jake gets pushed out on board, fouls in response.  He's gone. Brooks gets his 5th.

This is over.  Let it go guys.  Don't make the margin worse.  81-67.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Davidson/WVa live blog

1st TO -- Cochran continues to make silly turnovers.  Jake fouled because he didn't move his feet.  Fundamentals.  Brooks gets blocked because he didn't go up strong and dunk.  A recurring bugaboo for the Cats. TK with two big threes and Nik had a nice left-handed take to the rack.  Tyler really feeling it.  I like all the switching on defense.

2d TO  -- We are going to get 5 sec count calls if people don't move to help out the dribble.  Jake blows another layup.  Dude you are 6-11 and one foot from the hole.  Dunk the damn ball.  This weak scared BS ain't gonna work.  And now you have 2 fouls.  GRRRRR.  Brooks misses again from close.  And picks up a silly foul. Elmore doesn't understand that Bob loves to push tempo.  This fast tempo is fine provided we have the depth.  With JP out, we will need to go deeper on the bench.

3d TO -- Cats come out in zone. Mann shooting much better this year. Jordy makes HS turnover. Droney moves feet well, but WVa still too quick.  Whole team needs to make this a priority in the offseason.. Gotta make the FTs, DeMon.  Clint!

Concern right now isn't tempo up and down as much as the intensity of every possession.  WVa is making us work really, really hard just to run our offense.  We aren't shaking anyone free and having to rely on one on one moves isn't a recipe for us to succeed on offense.  21-16 bad guys.

4th TO --  Brooks sneaks a steal and 2.  And a post up. 21-20.  Mann is playing strong.  And gets a cheapie, silly foul.  But the previous mins were solid for him, other than a turnover. Cz nice pass to Brooks. 2 FTs. down 2.  Back to man defense. May be getting a little quick on the 3 trigger now. Uh oh, Brooks is limping. down 26-22 with 4:43 left.

DeMon trying to shake it off. But he's not right.  Barham in for him. Mann isn't backing down on defense.  Cz turnover.  Dammit Nik -- pocket picked.  Can't happen gotta get strong, play strong with the ball. Mann has to foul on the breakaway.  Uh oh, we got foul trouble with 2 bigs and the other is hobbling.  Now is when we really, really wish that Bob had focused on bulking up Ali Mackay so he could give us some mins.  Could we end up trying to play 5 guards in the 2d half?

Down 6 with 3:44 left. Gotta get it under  control here.  Barham out of control turns it over with a charge.  Big off board for Cz. Poor miss on FT. Big foul on their big guy.  We keep scrapping on the def boards. Cz is good at that.  Nice look by Nik on assist to Cz.  Cats within 3 and Huggy needs a TO.

Cz with a good def board.  And a 3! Tied with a min left.  Cz offensive foul. crap.  Good defense on that last possession.  32-30 at the half.  We are playing much better than yesterday.  If we can get Jake to show up and Brooks can get taped up to play, we have a solid chance.

Brooks is playing.  Jake shows up for 4 quick pts.  3 on 13.  Grr. Jake gets 3d.  Nik another dumb turnover out of control.  Mann for 3! Who is that Mann?

39-32 Cats. 17 mins. Gotta be smarter about the fouls DeMon. Oh Clint for two.  WVa spreads and isolates on Nik.  Easy layup for them.

OK Cats. 1st media timeout 2d half.  Up 7.  Nik gets beat to the hole and fouls on the shot.  I sense a theme building here. Getting physical. TK slapped. Turns it over  Every time WVa doesn't isolate and go one on one is good for us. Brooks hits two throws and sits. up 8.  Barham stays aggressive to the hole and gets to the line. Gotta fix his stroke.  Misses.  Then Cz with violation.  Grrrrrrrr.  Barham gets beat on drive.  Nik tries a tough runner and misses like yesterday.

2d media TO -- 11:50 up 43-37.  Cz for 3! up 9.  Clint gets two fouls in 1 second. He has four. Damn, damn, damn, damn. TK gets it swiped. damn. Cz gets a dumb offensive foul. damn. Cz gets a great off board, gets fouled and comes up with a limp. Shoots it too flat again and misses. damn. makes 2d now up 10. Cz hurting. Jake in. Nice ball movement and Jake 2.  TO Huggy.

7:59 left Dav up 51-40.  Note -- Cz would be an 85% FT shooter is he started his FT stroke with the ball at his waist or went straight up with it off a dribble.  Bad shot Cz/  Turnover Jake -- never a very good passer.  Brooks gets his 4th foul. 6:43 to go up 8. TK has missed 6 straight but thinks he's hot because he hit his first 2.  TO Bob.

We got up 11 and got stupid on offense the last 2 mins.   We aren't talented enough to win with stupid. Up 5 with only 5.45.  Jake with a hook. WVa knocks us over to get a bucket no call.  Jake scores.  then gets a dumb fourth foul on defense.  Grrrrrrrrrrr. 4.10 to go up 6. Cz not even close jacking a 3.  They score.  Cz for 2.  3 mins to go.

Up 57-51 with 2:40. Our ball after timeout. We're on the edge of our seats and nervous/excited level keeps elevating.  Let's get a good possession here guys.  Execute.  Strong and confident. Work for a great shot.  I'm pacing now.  We suck vs. the press.  Can't even get it inbounds. Up 4.  Under 2 mins.  Jake draws a 5th on one of their bigs.  Cmon Jake.  Damn.  Jake misses second win.  Gets ball then gives it to them and they score.  Crap.  They press and Nik tries a dumb behind the back dribble,  loses the ball.  Gotta get a clue guys.  We run it down and call time.

Up 3 with 1:34.  We've only scored 7 pts in the last 7 mins.  Way to dribble into a double team Nik.  Crap.  We use up another timeout.  1.20 Brooks misses an easy layup because he doesn't use the glass.  Backboard damnit.  And Jake fouls out.  They miss the first throw. Again.   The Nik gets it stolen from behind.  gotta be strong.  I know he got smacked. Only up 1.  Cz hits the 3!

Huggins timeout. 61-57 with :46 sec.  Their ball.  Hearts stopped here. Jump ball. They get it. 29.2 secs left.   They miss, they rebound, hit 3.  crap.  TO

OK.  Our ball 13.6 secs, up by 1 pt. Take care of the ball.  Get the foul.  Hit the throws.  cmon guys.  Play smart.  Got the ball to Nik.  Foul.  Cmon Nik, do your thing.Makes one.  Smooth. Up 2 with 11 secs.  Make.  Up 3. They rattle the 3 attempt and CATS WIN. CATS WIN! CATS WIN!



College Recruiting and the Pretty Girl Paradox

Glenn Reynolds linked to this post by Auren Hoffman in which he discusses the 'Pretty Girl Paradox':
The “pretty girl” is the object of desire, rare and easy to spot. For our purposes, the “pretty girl” (gender neutral here) can be a potential mate, a company where you may want to work, someone you may want to hire, or an entrepreneur in whose start-up you may want to invest.
For purposes of this post, the obvious object of desire is the stud recruit. Hoffman makes this interesting observation:

When looking for a mate, everyone wants that “pretty girl.” For some, that means good looks, for others it might mean wealth, and still for others, an Ivy League education. Most people looking for a mate are influenced by one overriding and particular trait over the rest. In fact, even if the other traits are negative, a person will likely go on at least one date with someone if that key trait is positive. And so, perhaps fairly or unfairly, these Pretty Girls have opportunities not available to the rest waiting behind the red velvet ropes.
But as experience dictates, not all “pretty girls” are created equal. Some beautiful people are ugly on the inside. Some rich people are vapid. Some erudites are emotionally stunted and Ivy League schools have their share of the lazy and entitled.
Uncovering those deal-breaking faults takes time and effort.
Closer to the recruiting meme:
Hiring, like dating, is fraught with (frequently costly) errors. Depending on their culture, companies over-optimize one single trait: intelligence, hard work, hustle, experience, friendliness, pedigree, etc.  And that trait, like all pretty girls, is usually easy to spot. But, of course, you don’t wait to hire someone that only has that trait and miss major flaws.
Here's an example of falling in love with a single trait.  When I played pro baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates system, Chuck Tanner was the manager of the Pirates.  Reportedly, he had an extraordinary belief in the value of speed when evaluating position players.  It was said by coaches in the system that he believed that he could take a fast athlete who'd never played baseball and turn him into a major league quality outfielder.  Uhhh, wrong.

Speed is an object of worship by a lot of football coaches as well.  Note -- I am big believer is speed.  Given a choice between two defensive players where one lacks size and the other lacks speed, I'm generally inclined to go with the smaller, faster player.  Speed kills.  But I've seen lots and lots of examples where coaches fall in love with speed where it is obvious that a player simply can't play.

When I was coaching there in 1989, we had an incredibly deep roster of talent at wide receiver at Tennessee.  We had several backups who would go on to be starters in the NFL. But I was shocked when a 5th team receiver that year was chosen by an NFL team a year later in the spring of 1991 in the 5th round as a projected defensive back despite never playing a down on offense or defense in college.  Simply because he had blazing track speed and a football body. 

I've seen coaches fall in love with single traits -- toughness, smarts, hustle, size, strength -- and play (or recruit) players who weren't the best available.  Always a good reminder not to fall in love with simple metrics or single traits.  The answer is never as simple as we want to believe.

Friday DC Hoops Thoughts

-- A W.  Not pretty.  An opponent with serious problems.  But a BCS win over a program that had beaten us the last two years.  Thank you sir, may I have another?

-- Whoa. I had layup nightmares last night.  I think Vandy just drove right by a Wildcat defender to score another easy layup.  And did Davidson just miss another layup?

-- Jordan Barham had a huge impact on the game. How is he not playing 25+ minutes? Barham and Brooks (and Mann) are the only players Davidson has who will take the ball to the hole without being totally intimidated.  I hope that Jordan (the 6-4 freshman) will show Jake (6-11 senior) what it takes to be strong around the basket.  Jake put up some really weak stuff yesterday.

-- What's up with the turnovers?  Vandy didn't force any.  The Cats made some really, really dumb ones.  Nik, DeMon -- c'mon guys.

-- I haven't checked the replay yet, but initial reports are that Bob McKillop was NOT back in the locker room when Davidson employed this new-fangled zone defense thingy.  If true, this may be evidence that Bob has been kidnapped and replaced by an imposter.  Or maybe he had a high fever.  Or maybe, just maybe, watching his defense allow guards to penetrate at will for the last 3 years and seeing that this season looks to be just as bad or worse caused him to decide to do something about it.  Long-time Wildcat fans are still trying to come to grips with what they saw.

-- Vandy fans at Vandymania are depressed.  They have good reason.  The Dores are bad.

-- Davidson got a win.  Badly needed.  We'll take it and gladly.  But we'd better be a whole lot better today against West Virginia.

-- Last time we played WVa, we won in Madison Square Garden in a strange game.  We gave up a world record 293 offensive rebounds, but the Mountaineers shot a negative percentage from the free throw line to allow us to hang around.  Steph Curry missed a ton of shots, but came up with a steal and two huge 3s from downtown in the final moments to lead the Cats.

EDIT -- oops.  The last time we played Huggins was in PR and a loss two seasons ago.  The MSG win was four years ago.

-- Davidson and West Virginia at 12:30 today on ESPN2.  Go Cats!

Oops again. game is on ESPN.

UN Climate Chief excited about transforming the world

Christiana Figueres:
what we are doing here is we are inspiring government, private sector, and civil society to the biggest transformation that they have ever undertaken. The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn’t a guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective. This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science. So it’s a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different.

USCHN Adjustments

I am shocked, shocked to hear that government reports about the government's manipulation of data on a highly politicized subject turn out to be fraudulent.

 Just shocked.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Davidson--Vanderbilt Preview

The Wildcats look to recover from consecutive losses when they play Vandy this afternoon in the Old Spice Classic at the Mouse near Orlando.  Davidson has lost to the 'Dores in each of the last two seasons and has lost the first two DI games of the year (@New Mexico and @ UW-Milwaukee).  The 'Cats were unable to hold a big lead at New Mexico and lost down the stretch after leading by as many as 7 at UWM.

Two years ago in Nashville, Vandy completely dominated in every possible way.  Davidson was too weak, too slow, too small, and too timid to compete.  The only positives from the game were that we got to see the potential of Chris Czerapowicz as a shooter and Jake Cohen got a strong dose of motivation to begin the summer weight-lifting program that made such a difference in his play as a junior.

Last year in Belk Arena, Vandy jumped out to a big lead as their guards were able to penetrate at will.  On one memorable play, Vandy's Jeff Taylor toyed with his DC defender by beating him to the right and then beating him to the left before scoring easily.  Taylor finished the night with 30 and his running mate at guard, John Jenkins, added 22.  Fortunately for the Cats, Vandy has a habit the last few seasons of collapsing at crunch time.  DeMon Brooks started a 2d half surge with some amazing moves inside for scores and Vandy decided to stop giving the ball to Taylor to penetrate. The big lead melted down to a one possession game in the final minute, but Vanderbilt managed to hang on for a 4 point win, 87-83. Brooks had 24 and served notice that he could be an offensive force inside and out against quality BCS defenders.

This year, Vandy is young and inexperienced due to the loss of all five starters.  They are reeling from a beatdown at Oregon.  Coach Kevin Stallings:
“We just have to get better at everything,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “Our post play in the game the other night was really bad. I mean, just from top to bottom — offensively, defensively, we fouled too much, we didn’t get picked up in transition, we made careless turnovers, we took bad shots. We just did a lot of things you do when you play poorly.
“It’s a process. These guys are young and eager and they want to do well, but sometimes they don’t know what to do or they don’t do the right thing.

Davidson has all of its top 8 players returning. Vegas has Davidson as a four point favorite.   If the Cats finally play up to their veteran capabilities for the first time this year, they should win comfortably.  Game is at 2 pm on ESPN2.

Monday, November 19, 2012

NFL losses from fears of a boo-boo

There's a very disturbing trend developing in the NFL and in college football.  Wide receivers are losing games because of their fear that falling to the ground will give them a boo-boo. 

Several weeks ago, Dez Bryant lost a game for the Dallas Cowboys in the final moments against the NY Giants.  He leaped in the air near the back of the end zone, caught a pass that would have been a touchdown, but put took one hand off the ball as he was falling to the ground.  He put that hand behind him in a futile effort to cushion his fall and his fingers were out of bounds.  No catch, no TD. Video

He's not the only one.  I have seen a number of players in college and the pros who have lost receptions because they took one hand off the ball in order to cushion their fall and the ball was jarred loose when they made contact with the ground.  It is much easier to hang onto the ball with two hands than with one.  Earlier this year, Vanderbilt's best receiver dropped a long pass doing exactly that against Northwestern.

Perhaps the most famous example of a receiver losing the ball upon contact with the ground because one hand was cushioning the fall rather than clutching the ball is that of Detroit's Megatron, Calvin Johnson.  Here's nfl video of the play in the final minute of a game 2 years ago against the rival Chicago Bears. Had he held the ball tightly with both hands as he fell, the Lions would have won the game.

The fear of a boo-boo manifests itself another way -- on sideline/endline catches.  We saw it last night when Mike Wallace of the Pittsburgh Steelers cost his team the game against the Baltimore Ravens because of his fear of falling to the ground.  He caught the ball next to the sideline in the end zone, got one foot down, but failed to get the second one down inbounds.  He didn't get his second foot down because he was unwilling to fall to the ground.  It was more important to him to stay upright than to win the game.  The fear of a boo-boo must be strong.  Had he been willing to fall to the ground, he would have easily gotten his second foot in.  Not possible if he needs that foot to keep from falling. 

Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos has already lost on TD because of his fear of falling.  In a game a few weeks back, Peyton Manning hit him in the back of the end zone on a long pass.  He easily got his first foot down.  Had he been willing to fall, he would easily have gotten the second foot down with two or three yards to spare.  But he didn't want to fall down.  So he took a long step with his second foot to keep himself upright and it landed on the endline -- incomplete.

Yesterday against the Chargers, Thomas' fear of a boo-boo falling nearly cost the Broncos a TD again. Here's the highlight video.  Initially, the refs call him out.  After a challenge by Denver's coach, the call is reversed.  Fortunately for the Broncos, they weren't out of challenges.  Of course, if Thomas had not been so obsessed with staying upright, he would have easily gotten both feet down inbounds decisively and there never would have been need of a challenge.

Clearly, there is no excuse for this kind of silliness costing teams big plays, touchdowns, and ballgames.  Hold the damn ball with both hands, get the feet down, and fall to the ground.  Just like a big boy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Best 9 game stretch ever?

On NFL Network this morning, former coach Steve Mariucci said that the 9 game stretch that Peyton Manning has played to start the season is the best 9 game stretch ever.  Not the best season for Peyton.  The best 9 game stretch for any QB ever.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Optimums and Dark Ages

There is a reason that experts (e.g. historians and geologists) refer to periods in earth's history where temperatures were warmer than today's as "Optimums".  And periods of colder temps are known as "dark ages".  Optimums were times when humans and other living things grew and prospered.  Dark ages were times when humans and other living things died in large numbers and suffered grievously.

Wildcats at UW-Milwaukee tonight

Game is at 8 pm EST.  Davidson SID notes.

Ron Green at the Charlotte Observer.

Milwaukee S-J --  Panther coach Rob Jeter:

"They've got a lot of size and a lot of disciplined players," Jeter acknowledged. "It's a lot like playing a Wisconsin team, the way I look at them. And they have a lot of similarities to some of the Butler teams when they had five guys that could shoot the basketball from the perimeter.
"They'll put a lot of pressure on you from the perimeter and they also have an inside game. It's going to be a tough game for us."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More evidence that Climate data is crap

Paul Homewood has a post noting some audit type work done by Peter O'Neil on GISSTemp, one of the climate databases.   I am shocked, shocked to learn that large number of stations are classified improperly because of incorrect location data.

Same old, same old.  Does it impact temperature trends?  Yes.  And, as always, the mistakes tend to make official estimates of warming too high.  Strange how it always works out that way.

A Latina's Spin On the Election

She has an interesting take.  I have no doubt there is much truth in what she writes.

SNL skit re: Obama press conf

If SNL wasn't a bunch of wimps, they'd have a skit with the prez saying --

 "Let me be perfectly clear.  I will not rest and will leave no stone unturned until I discover the truth about what the hell I have been doing about Libya for the last few months.  What did I do?  What orders did I give?  What did I know?  And when did I know it?  Rest assured, when I learn those answers I will immediately inform the American people.  I know that they are as anxious to find out as I am."

Obama's claiming to be utterly incompetent as a president. 
Dude, those people work for you. They prep daily briefs for you. If you went to the intelligence briefings, you could meet them. You say jump, they jump. You ask a question, they drop everything else they are doing and get you the answer. Like yesterday. What the hell is all this BS about you conducting an investigation to find out what you know?

Millionaires want higher taxes

CNBC has a story on about millionaires who claim to be patriots because they want their taxes raised.  Hey, they can write a check to the Treasury any time they want.  Nothing stopping them from being "patriotic" with their money.  What they really want is to impose higher taxes on others.  In the name of patriotism, of course.


All Spin All the Time

Tyler Durden makes fun of the propagandists trying to pin the horrible unemployment numbers on hurricane Sandy:
Basically, just as we said 3 weeks ago, ignore every negative data point: it is Sandy's fault. However, for the snapback, when there actually is good news to be had, well, "four more years." Finally, to all the Sandy apologists: is the logic here that: if Hurricane, then Fire everyone? Because that is what is implied. To summarize: a hurricane is good for GDP (lots of broken windows), but any actually negative news (surge in firings) is perfectly expected.
Sure.  Everyone fires people because of a hurricane.  First thing that comes to mind.

The whole thing is worth a read.
Bottom line: guesswork, no actual data reporting, and hurricane excuses. Spin, Spin, and more post-election Spin.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

John Moc's take

SoCon game of the week:
What they need is to make sure that they develop the inside game as the year goes on. Davidson shot thirty threes out of their 64 shots. They need to be able to get the ball inside better than that if they are going to win big this year. They can win in the SoCon with their inside game. They can obviously contend with teams like New Mexico. But if Davidson is going to make a run at the Final Four, they're going to need a better inside game.

Not a bad game for Davidson on the whole at all. They showed a lot and impressed everyone who stayed up (or got up) to watch it. This was good for Davidson. But they do have a ways to go. They could certainly play well in Orlando next week.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Albequerque Journal

N. M newspaper:
“Openers are difficult,” Alford said. “They’re just really hard and Davidson has had an opener and Davidson is an outstanding team. We knew they were good just by watching them play from last year, but they’re even better than advertised.”
I haven't watched the recording yet, but this doesn't sound promising.  Penetration has been a problem with this group of guards at DC their entire careers.

Snell drove to the rim with regularity Tuesday morning, often times getting around flatfooted Davidson defenders, found open teammates when needed and stepped up on defense in the biggest moments.

EDIT -- some video in this tv news report.

NBC Sports -- DC/UNM

Eric Angevine:
Snell’s heroics eclipsed a strong effort from the visiting Wildcats, who felt every minute of a 2:00 am ET start. The shots that fell in the first half began to go awry in the second, as altitude and sleep deprivation took hold. De’Mon Brooks led the visitors with 22 points, but could not replicate Snell’s Iron Man showing. No Wildcat played more than J.P. Kuhlman’s 31 minutes, but Davidson’s troops looked worn by the end, nonetheless.
Davidson’s future opponents should be forewarned – few places sap the vitality from a team like the Pit can. Your venue’s mileage may vary. Bob McKillop’s team is smart, tough and talented, and they’ll be ready to snatch the SoCon crown by season’s end.

SB Nation blogger on DC-UNM

Mike Rutherford  provided blogging throughout the game.  Worth a quick read.  Best lines:

3:18 - Bob McKillop is one of the best coaches in college basketball, regardless of conference or program prestige. Davidson never rattles, they always have tremendous spacing and appear to know exactly what they're supposed to be doing at all times. A really, really fun team to watch. They lead it 52-41 as we approach the under 16 timeout.
3:30 - Davidson is an incredibly hard team to play from behind against. New Mexico has played very well since starting the game down 0-10, and they've found themselves seemingly perpetually down by 9-12 points. It's 58-47 here with 12 minutes to go.

CBS on Davidson- UNM

Jeff Borzello:
Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Monday night (and soon-to-be Tuesday morning) …
Game of the Night: Tony Snell and the altitude help New Mexico come back and beat Davidson.
Davidson, one of the top mid-major teams in the country, jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half against host New Mexico. Then altitude kicked in. And so did Snell. Those two (along with other factors) combined to help the Lobos win, 86-81. After losing Drew Gordon from last season, coach Steve Alford needed one or two of his role players to step forward and become a go-to-guy. That player could be Snell, who went for a career-high 25 points. New Mexico stopped relying on its perimeter shooting, and started to go inside -- where Davidson had trouble stopping the Lobos. Alex Kirk made several timely plays inside, and Davidson couldn't avoid foul trouble. New Mexico ended up going 38-for-44 from the free-throw line, whereas Davidson went 15-for-20. Moreover, the Wildcats hit just four 3-pointers in the second half. De'Mon Brooks was dominant when he was on the floor, scoring 22 for Davidson.
These game was telling for both teams. Despite the loss, the Wildcats are still certainly a game or two in March. As for New Mexico, it comes down to Snell. If he provides this sort of production on a nightly basis, the Lobos will be tough.

ESPN on Davidson -- New Mexico

Myron Medcalf:
You missed a great game between Davidson and New Mexico. Davidson took a 22-6 lead eight minutes into the game. But the Lobos fed off the energy in The Pit and surged in the second half as they secured an 86-81 win. The teams were locked in a 70-70 tie with 3:20 to go. Tony Snell’s 3-pointer with 1:10 to play gave the Lobos a six-point lead. Davidson just couldn’t close the gap. But the Wildcats fought hard. Great effort by both teams.
Grab another notebook. Write this down: “Dear NCAA tournament selection committee: Please don’t pit my favorite squad against Davidson in the early rounds. Please.” Buy some stamps and ship that note to Indianapolis. Trust me, Davidson is on the “teams to avoid in March” list. I knew it was stacked -- this is basically the same team that beat Kansas in December -- but I didn’t realize that Bob McKillop’s squad had this level of depth. De’Mon Brooks (22 points, 7-for-14) is one of the top combo forwards in the country. And I just can’t see his co-star, Jake Cohen, going 2-for-12 again. Yes, the Wildcats couldn’t maintain their lead in the second half, but they looked really good most of the evening … morning.

A sign that the end is near?

Think about this.  There charities raising billions in fundraising and politicians raking in lots of votes by making the following claim -- if we give up much of our freedom, pay enormous amounts in taxes, and adopt of lifestyle of poverty and deprivation, they will make the weather better.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Does CO2 cause brain damage?

Good question.  Hurricanes are down.  Tornadoes are down.  Drought is down.  Yet, the argument is made that global warming is proven by their going up.

Why climate science is crap

The models are crap.  And all claims of catastrophe depend on the models.  The models are crap because the models fail to grapple with the inadequacy of basic understanding of the system.  Peter Berenyi goes off:
The fundamental issue with computational climate models is an epistemological one. Fitting multiple models, and computational ones of high Kolmogorov complexity at that, to a single run of a unique instance is not science, never was and never will be. The very paradigm of climate modelling, as it is practiced in the last several decades is flawed, and should be abandoned immediately.
The proper approach is to seek a simple theory, that fits many experimental runs of multiple physical instances, but GCMs are as far away from this requirement, as anything ever can get.
Therefore it should be realized, there is no such thing as “climate science” as an autonomous field, independent of the general and as yet unresolved problems of physics.
Non-equilibrium thermodynamics of complex systems (with a vast number of non-linearly coupled degrees of freedom) in the presence of significant radiant heat is one of the few areas of semi-classical physics, where little progress is seen, basically because of difficulties around proper lab models of such systems. That is, we still do not understand on a general level what’s going on.

But terrestrial climate is just one example of such systems. Why would anyone at her right mind expect to understand it better than the general case?

Unnatural Stupidity

Thinking is hard -- which is why so few people try it.  Chiefio exposes some for whom thinking is really foreign.  All these claims that nature is no longer natural, that climate is in a place it has never been before, simply ignore history:
The weather NOW is substantially identical to what it was in the 1950s. It is not “dirty weather”, nor is it “unnatural nature”. It is the absolutely natural and consistently historical pattern of weather prior to the warm / stable phase of the PDO that we’ve had for the last 30 years. It is a 60 year cycle, so not all that surprising that the last similar storm to hit the New York / New Jersey area was about 60 years ago. (Though that one was stronger). Similarly, it is absolutely normal that glaciers that had relentlessly ADVANCED during the Little Ice Age would turn around and retreat during the rebound to normal warmth when that Little Ice Age ended. As we are at the end of that period, the retreat would be maximum now. As we enter the next cold phase, they will again advance after the turn is well underway.

More evidence that Michael Mann is wrong

Not that there is any doubt by people who have looked at the statistical trash that makes up the hockey stick, but Matt Ridley discusses the mounting scientific evidence of the MWP.

LT's Peyton story

On NFL Network this morning, LaDanian Tomlinson told an interesting story about Peyton Manning.  He said that several years ago both of them were in Los Angeles filming commercials.  They were staying in the same hotel.  After a day of film work, LT was back at the hotel when he got a call from 18 -- would he like to go throw the ball?  This morning, LT said he was thinking "sure! Who wouldn't want to go throw with Peyton Manning?"  They drove to a nearby community college field where Peyton meticulously worked on his craft explaining precisely how he wanted LT to run the routes.  Of course, they drew a crowd.

Imagine how cool that would be -- go to the track to jog and find that two NFL stars, certain hall of famers (who play for different teams) are practicing on the field.  The greatest quarterback ever and one of the greatest running backs.  Just hanging out where you jog.

LT's point in telling it was to show how hard 18 works and how focused he is on doing everything properly to the smallest detail, even just throwing the ball in the offseason with a RB for another team.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lame and Desperate is being kind

Warren Meyer demonstrates the gross stupidity that underlies the global warming "facts" with which idiots inundate us.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Popular Upset Pick

Yahoo Sports:

College basketball season tips off Friday with 14 members of the AP Preseason Top 25 in action. To celebrate the end of the offseason, here are 64 65 ... wait ... 68 fearless predictions for the new season.
1. A team from outside the six power conferences will make the Final Four. Five of those teams are ranked in the AP Preseason Top 25, with VCU, Butler, Saint Louis and a handful of others lurking on the fringes.
2. Whichever No. 5 or 6 seed draws Davidson in the round of 64 of the NCAA tournament will be a popular upset pick. The Wildcats have their best chance to make a deep run since Stephen Curry graduated with five starters back from last year's 25-win team.

Romney e-mails

I am still getting multiple e-mails each day from the Romney campaign reminding me to vote.  Really, somebody please make it stop.

Don't you hate it when this happens

Gosh.  It appears that the critical work that global warmists use to try to present some scientific veneer for their claims of catastrophic sensitivity to CO2 contains some basic statistics screwups.  Hmmm, where have we seen this show before?

Here is the original Nic Lewis post at Climate Audit which led to the explanations provided in several Bishop Hill posts which I noted earlier today.

Wouldn't it be nice if scientists had someone check their work for basic errors before we spend hundreds of billions of dollars?  Wouldn't it be nice if they were transparent in providing data and code so the public could check?   I know, we all once thought that such simple things were essential to the very core of doing science.  Silly us.

Not understanding the question

I like Roger Pielke, Sr.  He seems to be earnest and honest in his efforts as a climate scientist.  Even though he is not a global warming skeptic, he has been willing to point out many times where alarmist advocates have gone off the rails and adopted bad science.  Because of his honesty, alarmists view him with deep suspicion.  They can't control him or keep him on message.

However, he has always had a very simple-minded approach to the science.  First, he seems to worship the peer review process and seems totally unwilling to come to grips with the reality that it is a complete failure as a method to assure quality.  He's never addressed the extraordinary number of flawed studies or the fact that similarly high percentages of flawed studies have been demonstrated in other scientific fields.

An example of the second problem is demonstrated in his answer to this question from a group of retired NASA people.  He gives his opinions in answers to their questions, but it is obvious that he fails to understand the questions.  When they ask about human influence on climate, he says it is obvious -- look at the increase in carbon dioxide and the increase in aerosols.  But that isn't their question.  They want to know if the climate is affected in any significant, material long term permanent way by human impacts.  We all know that humans make initial changes in the climate.  Every building, every farm, every fire ... everything humans do will cause a reaction in the system that would not have been but for the presence of humans.

The essential question is all about how the climate system responds in terms of permanence.  After all, all kinds of changes in radiation from the sun and from other bodies in space also make initial changes in the climate.  As can meteors and other impacts from space.  We also know, however, that the earth appears to have a number of different mechanisms in the climate which tend to return it to some equilibrium.  History shows that enormous volcanic eruptions can cause massive disruptions in climate all around the world which can last longer than a year.  Yet the earth eventually processes the extreme disruption and returns to a normal climate state relatively quickly (in earth terms).

So this is the real question.  Perhaps it would be easier for Pielke to understand if the NASA group asked him how discernible in our present climate are the impacts of major volcanic eruptions of the past.  I suspect he will say he has no idea.  And thus we know the answer to the NASA question.  Humans make initial changes in the state of local climate.  What is the long term impact and how well does the climate return to 'normal'?  Neither he, nor anyone else, knows.  But negative feedback toward normalcy is certainly a huge factor.

IPCC vs. Science

Anyone who is foolish enough to think that the IPCC has anything to do with science needs to read this.  Politics is always the trump card.  After all, the IPCC is run under the UN which is the most corrupt political organization in the world. Here is the money paragraph at the end:

It took me several months, with the help of another climate scientist, to find out why Myles Allen thought that Gregory et al "implicitly use a uniform prior on transient climate response" and then ultimately to persuade him, and thus Gabi Hegerl, that this statement also was incorrect - and that I had been right all along in saying that in fact this study implicitly used a nearly uniform prior in the climate feedback parameter.
Gabi and Myles were not keen to get the IPCC to issue a further Erratum, which would obviously be embarrassing, so I agreed not to pursue the matter further.

Wouldn't want any embarrassment.  Not will hundreds of billions of dollars at stake.

Edit --  This was a comment by Nic Lewis in a thread on this post.  Errors on top of more errors in key areas of the global warming argument.  Climate sensitivity is absolutely crucial to the argument.  That the studies relied upon are so poorly done speaks volumes about the sloppiness of the alarmist cast.  But it shouldn't be surprising.  Sloppy seems to be the standard.

Davidson mentions 11/9/12


Also here in a story about UW-Milwaukee:

That left UWM as the winningest program in the league over the past 12 years, having averaged more than 10 conference victories per season over that span, but also with some significant gaps in its schedule. Jeter did well to land the game with Davidson, which is expected to be an NCAA Tournament team, but now no Horizon League games will be played until January.
"We can go on the road and play, but then we're not giving our fans what we think they deserve - at least 14, 15 home games," Jeter said. "So we really stuck to that. That's why by losing Butler, we got put in a jam. We were very fortunate to get Davidson, and you can see why no one wants to play Davidson - they're very good. But we're going to lace them up, play, and it's going to be a great experience for us."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bilas -- Davidson in top 25 nationally

The Charlotte Observer has a good article about the potential for this year's Davidson hoops squad.  ESPN analyst Jay Bilas offers some quotes:

-- ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, a Charlotte resident and former Duke player, has them ranked among his top 25 teams nationally and says he “expects them to rise a little from there.”

--  this Wildcats team shatters the notion that it must rely on careful, ball-control basketball to compete against major programs. If you’re looking for a team built on finesse, you won’t find it on the northern edge of Lake Norman.
“Davidson is really physical. They’re a high IQ gang. They will beat you up,” Bilas said.
“They’re not afraid of contact. They’ll seek you out. If you think this is a stereotypical Princeton-type team that’s going to beat you with back cuts, no. They’ll play you chest to chest. It can be a hard lesson.
“They scrimmaged Texas recently and Texas was beaten up.”

--  “They’re as together a unit as I’ve seen all year,” said Bilas, who has visited several programs during the preseason. “They do not have as big a gap from where they are to where they’re going to be.”

--  “They are good enough to beat Duke,” Bilas said.

Read more here:

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This is not good

John Ekdahl has a story about his own frustration with Romny GOTV coordination.  Not good.

More here .  Oh my.  This is horrible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Davidson Under the Radar?

CBS Sports has a good write up on the Cats.

The Manchurian Candidate

If we wanted to do a modern version of the story, how would we construct it?  Jack Feldman presents a chilling synopsis of the plot.  Read it all.  Twice.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuning Climate Models

Lucia has a post on a topic that doesn't get enough discussion -- how climate models are tuned.  Those who are so heavily invested in models (any claim of CAGW requires dependence on the models) stamp their feet and insist there isn't any tuning.  But any look at the influence of aerosols will note that every model uses precisely the amount of aerosol forcing needed to bring their model into coherence with past climate.  This is despite the fact that so many models vary dramatically in their claims of sensitivity to CO2.

What Michael Barone knows

Michael Barone is the most knowledgeable person in the country about voting trends.  He knows the subject right down to the precinct level.  He predicts Romney in a romp.  He may be wrong, but I would think that the liberal pundits who are so confident of an easy Obama victory would have been advised to wonder what Barone knows.

We'll see in about 12 hours.

My Predictions

I predict Romney wins.  He takes Florida, NC, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire and Iowa.  That puts him at 267.  I think he takes Ohio, but my prediction is that he will not need it to win because Wisconsin's 10 will put him over.  I would give him Pennsylvania but I believe the vote fraud in Philadelphia will be too much to overcome.  Reports out of Philly show that the cheating has already started.  Last prediction -- Romney pulls off at least one upset from Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon (or Penn big enough to overcome the Philly theft).

UPDATE -- Wed. 11/7

Hmmm.  that didn't turn out very well.  Crystal ball needs a tune up.

Monday, November 5, 2012

This is so wrong

The police state is out of control:
Imagine you own a million-dollar piece of property free and clear, but then the federal government and local law enforcement agents announce that they are going to take it from you, not compensate you one dime, and then use the money they get from selling your land to pad their budgets—all this even though you have never so much as been accused of a crime, let alone convicted of one.

Recent history of state polling

Pretty bad.  Dustin Hawkins looks back over the last few election cycles and shows that state polling is regularly off by large margins. 

BTW -- I'm no stats whiz, but I have a serious question about the RCP methodology of averaging polls.  I understand the notion that adding more and more respondents from multiple polls should theoretically improve the poll by increasing the sample size and decreasing the statistical margin for error.  My problem is whether this should be employed when various pollsters are known to be tilting their results to fit a given turnout model.

If 3 pollsters use a turnout model that assumes Obama exceeds all historic levels of turnout and only 1 pollster uses a turnout model that assumes 2010 levels, an average of the 4 polls skews heavily to Obama -- even if all four polls have exactly the same raw data.  In essence, all the average does is give priority to how many different polls make the same assumption with the same data.

The RCP averages are not really an average which boosts the size of the sample.  It's simply a measure of how many pollsters chose assumption A vs. how many choose assumption B.  The assumptions dominate so dramatically, that they dwarf any meaning from the actual responses in the samples.

Strong Problem Solver, Good Manager

Joe Asch discusses his time working at Bain Consulting:
The current election campaign has focused solely on Mitt’s time at Bain Capital. For some reason, his work in Bain & Company’s consulting practice from 1977 to 1984 has not made the news. It should, for it shows that Mitt is a strong problem solver and a good manager.
I never worked directly under Mitt — he was based in Boston and I was in London — but he had a strong reputation in the firm for doing brilliant analysis and getting ideas implemented, and for being an excellent vice-President for whom to work: he was sharp, extremely well organized, and on his cases client presentations always seemed to take place on Thursday or Friday, so that consultants could count on a weekend off. Some of us were jealous. 

Bad Process

What he said.  This drives me nuts, too.  It is amazing how often we find ourselves in situations where the organization is so dreadfully inefficient, yet no one seems capable or interested in fixing the problem.

I guess way too many people are influenced by inertia.  We do what we do because it's what we do or have always done.  Too few question.  Even when a better way seems so obvious.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

David Mamet

Pulitzer prize-winner, David Mamet, asks some tough questions of Jewish voters who plan to vote for Obama:
To those Jews planning to vote for Obama:
Are you prepared to explain to your children not the principles upon which your vote is cast, but its probable effects upon them? 
Irrespective of your endorsement of liberal sentiments, of fairness and “more equal distribution,” will you explain to your children that top-down economic policies will increasingly limit their ability to find challenging and well-paid work, and that the diminution in employment and income will decrease their opportunity to marry and raise children?
Will you explain (as you have observed) that a large part of their incomes will be used to fund programs that they may find immoral, wasteful and/or indeed absurd? And that the bulk of their taxes go to no programs at all, but merely service the debt you entailed on them? 
Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?
Will you tell them that, in a state-run economy, hard work may still be applauded, but that it will no longer be rewarded?
Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?
Will you explain to them that it is impossible to make a budget, and that the basic arithmetic we all use at the kitchen table is not practiced at the federal and state level, and to suggest that it should be is “selfishness?”
Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?
Are you prepared to sit your children down and talk them through your vote on the future you are choosing for them?
Please remember that we have the secret ballot and, should you, on reflection, vote in secret for a candidate you would not endorse in public, you will not be alone.

What a tangled web ...

Regardless of what one thinks about conspiracy theories, there can be no question that Obama has not been honest or forthcoming on the issue of his birth certificate.  The most interesting question is not where, but why.  Why won't he just tell the truth?

Krugman -- sloppy, foolish and blind

Sloppy, foolish, and blind is no way for Paul Krugman to go through life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hubbard, Mankiw, Taylor and Hassett

Four outstanding economists describe Romney's economic plan.

Sensing on flash traffic

If you haven't seen this linked around the web before, you need to read it.

Fund on Vote Fraud

Uh huh.  We have a long, long history of election fraud.  With the stakes getting higher and higher as the role of government expands, it defies all logic to think that the temptation to cheat has somehow receded or that the ambitions of the power hungry are less controlling.

The claims of liberal liars are so preposterous.  These examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

Silly climate alarm -- Where is the trend?

Climate Skeptic reiterates what should be an obvious concept -- a single point does not make a trend.  This is a quote from his longer article at Forbes:

With a tedious inevitability, certain quarters of the climate advocacy world are rushing to blame Hurricane Sandy on global warming and man’s fossil fuel consumption (one example).  I simply can’t believe that, as a skeptic, I have to constantly endure self-righteous lectures on my being “anti-science” from folks who attempt to prove multi-decadal trends from a single data point.
This is all the more frustrating because it is amazingly simple to provide historic context for hurricane activity.  It takes about a tenth of the time to find the relevant data as it does to put hairspray on Brian Williams. 

Positing a trend from a single database without any supporting historical information has become a common media practice in discussing climate.  As I wrote several months ago, the media did the same thing with the hot summer, arguing frequently that this recent hot dry summer proved a trend for extreme temperatures, drought, and forest fires.  In fact, none of these are the case — this summer was not unprecedented on any of these dimensions and no upward trend is detectable in long-term drought or fire data.   Despite a pretty clear history of warming over the last century, it is even hard to establish any trend in high temperature extremes  (in large part because much of the warming has been in warmer night-time lows rather than in daytime highs).  See here for the data.
As I said in that earlier article, when the media posits a trend, demand a trendline, not just a single data point.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is Ohio a must-win for Obama?

Big Lizards makes the case.  If Romney takes Florida, NC and Virginia as expected, he's at 248 electoral votes.  Ohio's 18 would give Romney 266.  Winning any one of the many remaining swing states would then be enough to give Romney the big W.  Ohio is crucial for BO.

Sandy and Global Warming

There are storms like Sandy all over the world every year.  Apparently, the global warming wackos whose religion has them desperately seeking a sign of the impending apocalypse just know, they just KNOW, that Sandy is proof of their religious beliefs. 


Davidson to the Title Game?!

Benjamin Miraski  with an interesting quote:

Davidson comes in at No. 51, in a cluster with VCU, Murray State, St. Mary's, Cincinnati and Oklahoma. The Wildcats are definitely ready to have one of those dream seasons. Heck, I think they might be ready to go to the NCAA Championship game.

Sporting News story features Davidson

RPI encourages the big boys to play teams like DC.  The Cats love it.

Law of Unintended Consequences

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the media's desperate attempt to keep a lid on the Benghazi scandal is that the media may accomplish the opposite of their intent.  That can be no doubt that the MSM is trying to protect Obama and help him win the election.  They've forfeited all credibility and have become an embarrassment to sluts and whores.  The failure to cover the story, however, may well end up hurting the president even more than would have been the case had it been covered competently and honestly. 

Election day will be almost two months after 9/11/12.  Had the story been covered properly, Obama might have had a chance to deal with it, take his lumps and move on.  Instead, the anger and outrage that permeates through the nation is peaking in the week before the election (a time when a lot of people are voting in early voting periods).

In the era of talk radio and the internet, the old, establishment news outlets no longer have a monopoly on news.  They can't keep the lid on stories they don't like; certainly not really important ones.  And the Benghazi attack and Obama's failure to respond, or rather his active interference with our military's efforts to respond, is a huge story.

The effort to bottle up the story has only delayed its transmission to the public.  It has leaked out slowly and with devastating effect.  As facts come out day after day, a few at a time, the anger builds and builds.  The story has lasted for weeks now.  And the regard that independents have for Obama continues to collapse.  The MSM refusal to cover the story has only resulted in it becoming an election issue at the worst possible time for the president.  And with even greater impact.

One note -- ultimately, this is the president's responsibility.  He chose the coverup option.  The MSM has only been following his lead and playing the hand as he has directed.  It is his own petard upon which he finds himself.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sports Bank ranks Davidson #41

Preseason picks of the 75 BCS teams plus the best mid-majors.
With all eight rotation players returning from a team that won 26 games a year ago, the Davidson Wildcats will be one of the more dangerous mid-major teams in the country.
2012-2013 Outlook:
All five starters averaged at least ten points per game last season so Bob McKillop returns a balanced line-up.  The biggest asset of that group is that all five guys on the floor can stroke it from deep.
 A major conference team would be incredibly fortunate to return as much proven talent as Davidson does this season.  With that being said, they are without question the team to beat in the SoCon and will be a very difficult out come March Madness.

Wildcats get 5 votes in preseason AP poll


Panetta's bizarre foolishness

Jonah  is correct.  Panetta's explanation for not responding precludes the US military from ever responding.  And I would point out that any attack in a city or any other environment with the potential for non-combatants to be present is similarly precluded.  Frankly, I don't know how the US military could operate in Iraq or Afghanistan under the Panetta doctrine.

If the circumstances in Libya didn’t meet the “enough information” threshold for a rescue attempt or some other form of intervention, then what does? And, note, Panetta & Co. make it sound as if the decision to let the Americans on the scene twist in the wind was sort of a no-brainer, not a difficult decision. So what happened in Libya didn’t even come close to the threshold for intervention. 
What does that mean? Well, it seems to me that any embassy or consulate subjected to a surprise attack will likely catch the administration off guard. That’s why they call them “surprise attacks,” after all. According to the Panetta doctrine, the very essence of what makes a surprise attack a surprise attack likely precludes any commitment of U.S. forces to repel it. The message to our diplomats and troops: You’re on your own. The message to terrorists: As long as you keep your attacks minimally confusing, you win.  
That’s outrageous.

Will Romney lose Ohio, win election?

One of the least appreciated expressions by far too many analysts in far too many contexts is "ceteris paribus".  The expression is generally used in economics, but it's application applies to nearly all areas.  It is translated as 'all other things remaining equal or the same'.  For example, someone might claim that their economic model predicts that a change in interest rates will produce some calculated change in economic growth (all other things remaining unchanged).  Of course, all other things never remain unchanged.

We see a failure to appreciate this important caveat in a lot of current economic analysis.  The Fed, and a number of economists who support quantitative easing, point to models which predict that large increases in the money supply with spur growth.  But the models assume a normal economy with functioning markets, typical regulatory burdens, typical attitudes by business owners toward their future prospects and a lack of fear by said owners that the government is going to destroy their businesses. So -- if ceteris ain't paribus, throw the models out the window.

Political pundits are in full pontification mode as the election looms just days away.  Everyone wants to focus on Ohio.  We hear all kinds of observations about voters in Ohio being a good microcosm of voters in the US, that Ohio is crucial in the electoral college calculations and other assorted reasons involving various historical trends as to why Ohio explains everything.

Just one small problem.  Ohio may not be typical this year.  First, because Ohio was the focus of both campaigns from the beginning, the amount of money spent, the number of visits by both campaigns, and the intensity of the get-out-the-vote effort have and will dwarf any normal election.  Ohio has become an atypical, special case election.   There may be an extraordinarily high percentage of casual voters who make it to the polls.  This tends to favor Democrats.

A lot of polling now seems to point to the likelihood that Romney will carry the national vote.  A lot of states that were once thought to be Obama locks are now viewed as tossups.  If Romney wins the national vote by any kind of significant margin, some of these tossups will likely end up in his column.  Especially if they haven't been subjected to a great deal of spending and attention from either campaign.  They become better barometers of the national mood than Ohio.

So here's a possibility -- what if Ohio goes to Obama in a squeaker because of an extraordinary amount of money and organization focused on the state by the Democrat, but Romney, as the winner of a national wave election wins a number of other tossup states and wins the electoral college by a comfortable margin?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Obama as Father Figure??!!

This  may be the most absurd crap I've ever read.  Anyone who thinks that an undecided voter is going to view Obama as more fatherly than Romney has lost all touch with reality.  Mean, nasty, snarky, thin-skinned, narcissistic, dishonest, irresponsible, disengaged, ignorant, unfeeling, incompetent and hubristic are not qualities that most people think of when they consider attractive father figures.


Bruce McQuain  explains why the 'answers' we are getting from the administration are unacceptable.  Good men died in Benghazi because assholes didn't give a damn.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dog Wagging?

It appears that the Obama White House must be freaking out about now with the breaking story that repeated requests to save the men fighting for the lives in Libya were turned down. 

Does BO launch some kind of missile strike or attack in Libya and claim he's killed the perps?

Distract from the stench of the scandal and give him a chance to spike the football.

Michael Mann and Barack Obama

Anyone else notice all the ways they seem similar?  The hubris, the thin skin, the narcissism, the fawning from sycophants, the lies, the lack of talent, the elevation of politics over duty .....

Coaches, Media pick DC to win

And place three players on the all-conference team.

Vote Suppression by Dems in Florida?

Tampa Tribune
Attention voters! We have begun to witness locally, and at least in 14 other counties, efforts to suppress Republican votes in the upcoming election.
Suspicious letters questioning voters' legal status and citizenship began arriving in Florida over the past four days with a postmark from Seattle, Wash., accompanying a $.45 stamp.
Much has been made of efforts to suppress the vote in recent months, but this effort is most disturbing. First, it is clearly well-funded and widespread as evidenced by the sheer number of counties and individuals involved, as well as the use of stamps. Second, the effort is targeting a crucial swing state that has been at the center of recent close elections and had elections called into question in the past. Third, the research necessary to conduct such an operation and the money needed to fund the research and stamps to send these letters from Seattle to Florida are enormous.
This is not a small effort — it is, in fact, a very calculated and detailed effort needing money, knowledge, technology and a motive to influence the outcome on a grand scale.
Finally, it is important for all to understand the seriousness of voter fraud efforts. This election, like all federal elections, stands to place into power those individuals who will have the ability to direct billions of taxpayer dollars in a multitrillion-dollar budget.

Civil Rights Lawyers for Voter Fraud?

Christian Adams  explains that there is so much more to the active assistance of Congressman Moran's son in a vote fraud scheme:

the clearest and most revealing part of the Pat Moran tapes is the extent to which the left’s election protection lawyers are seen as a tool to consummate voter fraud. At least one top operative saw these lawyers as polling-place muscle to ensure that every fraudulent vote is counted, rather than caught.

Sarcastic, Insulting, Hateful, Scornful, Contemptuous

Matthew Continetti   has a good piece titled "A brief history of Obama: how sarcasm and insult took over the Democratic Party.  Read it all.
The untold story of the last four years is President Obama’s squandering of that good will. There’s no need to go into every detail here. Part of it was the spending. Part of it was not abandoning his unpopular health care law after Scott Brown’s shock election to the Senate in January 2010. Part of it was the failure of his economic policies to produce a durable recovery in line with historical norms. But the most important part of the story is the gradual unmasking of Obama—not as a Kenyan Marxist, but as a thoroughly typical liberal Democrat who believes there is no trouble in the world not created by George W. Bush.
It turns out the people who supposedly knew better did not, actually, know better.

Even a narrow win for Obama, though, would not reestablish anything like the mandate and amity the president enjoyed on his Inauguration Day. The reason is that, as the Obama coalition diminished, Obama no longer disguised the prejudices, inflections, outlook, and approach of the progressive movement. A confessed reader of Andrew Sullivan’s hysterical web site, the president has taken on the maximalist characteristics of the liberal blogosphere. He is scornful and contemptuous of Romney, as could be seen in his patronizing lecture on aircraft carriers and submarines during the third debate. His campaign seizes on the most trivial comments—“I like Big Bird”; “Binders full of women”—to engage in juvenile jibes that would not make the first cut at the Late Show writers’ meeting. His rallies have become self-congratulatory comedy hours in which the assembled Democrats laugh heartily at the insults and zingers the president throws Romney’s way. Obama has been on a seemingly nonstop tour of television shows hosted by late-night comics. His new attack line that the Republican nominee has “Romnesia” was, as the vice president might say, literally taken from liberal blogs. The vice president even asked his audience at a recent rally whether it had watched The Daily Show the night before. The men who hold the highest offices in the most powerful country in the history of the world have been debased to the point where they look like fill-in guests on Up with Chris Hayes.

"slashing, interjecting, interrupting, desperate"

Charles Krauthammer  provides his own adjectives to describe our incredibly shrinking, melting president:
Obama would have made a very good Bourbon. He’s certainly not a very good debater. He showed it again Monday night.
Obama lost. His tone was petty and small.

Throughout the debate, Obama kept it up, slashing, interjecting, interrupting, desperate to gain the upper hand by insult if necessary. That spirit led Obama into a major unforced error. When Romney made a perfectly reasonable case to rebuild a shrinking Navy, Obama condescended: “You mentioned . . . that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”
Such that naval vessels are as obsolete as horse cavalry?
Liberal pundits got a great guffaw out of this, but the underlying argument is quite stupid.

Boston Globe ouchie

Howie Carr  leaves a mark or two on the Boston Globe:

Here’s how old I am. I can remember when the Globe was a newspaper, not a pathetic rag and errand boy for the Democrat Party.
The bow-tied bumkissers have suffered through a lot of lows during the past few years — the plagiarizing and fabricating columnists; the porno picture they claimed was U.S. soldiers raping Iraqi women; the sob story about a cop killer who couldn’t get a good job; the Vietnam veteran junkie killer who’d never been to Vietnam; identifying the wrong killers of the Dartmouth professors; the phony poll that had Scott Brown losing by 15 points; the Whitey-kept-the-drugs-out-of-Southie meme, etc.
And he keeps putting the hurt on.  Good read.