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(Grantland)   After a week of coo-coo bananas reactionary predictions, portents, and doomsday prophecies from all angles regarding the shutdown, here's Nate Silver to inject a little bit of reason and restraint   (grantland.com) divider line 32
    More: Interesting, Blasio, thin-slicing, swing voters, FiveThirtyEight  
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3819 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Oct 2013 at 7:50 PM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



32 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-10 07:53:46 PM
And here's that one mong to "unskew" what he says. Mong?
 
2013-10-10 08:01:18 PM
no comment.
 
2013-10-10 08:05:23 PM
Man I miss 538.  Razor sharp analysis with good writing.  No empty boneheaded pontificating and chin stroking.  I guess that's the problem the times was faced with - they hired a "half-ass" blogger to run his stat nerd blog on their site and he ended up making them and 90% of the commentariat look like rank amateurs.  It's as if the Bulls hired a waterboy in the 80s and he turns out to be Michael Jordan.  Except they would want to win so they keep him - which is probably why ESPN is on that shiat like white on rice, sports people want to WIN.  The old grey lady by contrast is too much of a dried up coont to care about anything but smearing another layer of olay on her face.  So let's all laugh at what witty thing Maureen Dowd penned this week, or see what deep insight Mustache Friedman has based on what a taxi driver in Mumbai said, because that's totally as good as what Silver wrote.
 
2013-10-10 08:08:44 PM
If they give him the freedom they give Grantland, that site is going to kick ass.
 
2013-10-10 08:10:48 PM
i1326.photobucket.com
LOL!
 
2013-10-10 08:57:27 PM
FTFA: "However, very few generic ballot polls have been released since the shutdown began, and the exceptions are from dubious polling firms like Public Policy Polling and Rasmussen Reports."

This September(read from bottom up):
 
2013-10-10 09:00:22 PM
static5.businessinsider.com

#shotsfired
 
2013-10-10 09:06:05 PM
Nate's presence is soothing.
 
2013-10-10 09:07:06 PM

He_Hate_Me: [static5.businessinsider.com image 512x463]

#shotsfired


That seems to be an unwise move. I don't think that is an argument they have a chance in f*cking hell of winning.
 
2013-10-10 09:20:52 PM
That was a good article. I think he's right about the current crisis not necessarily having much effect on the 2014 elections. The voting public has the memory of a goldfish with Korsakoff's; you can't rely on people to hold the Republicans responsible for something they're doing right now.
 
2013-10-10 10:09:19 PM
1. The media is probably overstating the magnitude of the shutdown's political impact.
...
None of this applies if the United States actually does default on its debt this time around, or if the U.S. shutdown persists for as long as Belgium's.


Well, duh.  That's the thing that everybody is afraid of.

Having said that, it is disappointing that the political impact of this mess is only slight.  It really show how polarized and how idiotic a majority of the voting population is.  The nation is polarized, but both sides have different reasons to angry.

The left is pissed that the Republicans are always making the rich richer, interfering with Congress, and are genuinely evil and amoral, even if a few of them have "good intentions".

The right is pissed because the left is pissed.  That and some shiat about a blah president, and whatever Fox News stuffs down their throat.

I'm pissed because I have no earthly idea how anybody could actually de-fark the media and propaganda problem, and in a way that more center and center-right would listen to the correct message.  Even if Citizen Kane and the Koch Brothers died in a brutal and painful thresher accident, other corrupt evil fraks would just fill in the power void.

Maybe revive the 90+% tax caps on wealth (along with tighter controls on tax shelters) would be a good start.  I don't know.  But actually implementing that would require more voters to vote correctly, rather than listening to whatever some propaganda outlet told them to feel.
 
2013-10-10 10:18:55 PM
Man i missed silver.
 
2013-10-10 11:04:51 PM

blue_2501: 1. The media is probably overstating the magnitude of the shutdown's political impact.
...
None of this applies if the United States actually does default on its debt this time around, or if the U.S. shutdown persists for as long as Belgium's.

Well, duh.  That's the thing that everybody is afraid of.

Having said that, it is disappointing that the political impact of this mess is only slight.  It really show how polarized and how idiotic a majority of the voting population is.  The nation is polarized, but both sides have different reasons to angry.

The left is pissed that the Republicans are always making the rich richer, interfering with Congress, and are genuinely evil and amoral, even if a few of them have "good intentions".

The right is pissed because the left is pissed.  That and some shiat about a blah president, and whatever Fox News stuffs down their throat.

I'm pissed because I have no earthly idea how anybody could actually de-fark the media and propaganda problem, and in a way that more center and center-right would listen to the correct message.  Even if Citizen Kane and the Koch Brothers died in a brutal and painful thresher accident, other corrupt evil fraks would just fill in the power void.

Maybe revive the 90+% tax caps on wealth (along with tighter controls on tax shelters) would be a good start.  I don't know.  But actually implementing that would require more voters to vote correctly, rather than listening to whatever some propaganda outlet told them to feel.


Almost. The right is pissed because those sort of people are perpetually angry.
 
2013-10-10 11:32:58 PM
I thought the gerrymandering piece was the most interesting part. The idea on how we are split in the US and just the way people live being a major component to the weird breakdown of Presidential votes vs. house seats
 
2013-10-10 11:41:04 PM

TheManofPA: I thought the gerrymandering piece was the most interesting part. The idea on how we are split in the US and just the way people live being a major component to the weird breakdown of Presidential votes vs. house seats


The other day I was trying to explain to some Farkers that the republicans don't win because they gerrymander; they win because they enjoy a natural geographical advantage under the district system.

It's nice to see that Nate Silver's analysis support that argument, given how many times I've been called a republican shill for daring to suggest that cheating isn't why the republicans are winning.
 
2013-10-11 01:04:47 AM
Odd, It's not linked to on the www.fivethirtyeight website...
 
2013-10-11 01:20:18 AM

Elegy: TheManofPA: I thought the gerrymandering piece was the most interesting part. The idea on how we are split in the US and just the way people live being a major component to the weird breakdown of Presidential votes vs. house seats

The other day I was trying to explain to some Farkers that the republicans don't win because they gerrymander; they win because they enjoy a natural geographical advantage under the district system.

It's nice to see that Nate Silver's analysis support that argument, given how many times I've been called a republican shill for daring to suggest that cheating isn't why the republicans are winning.


I was part of that conversation and I admit what you were saying seemed to go against all sense. Now, after reading this I get the geography point, but Silver (and the links he provides) doesn't say gerrymandering doesn't help the GOP, just that it doesn't explain the full advantage the GOP has. The interesting point raised is that to eliminate the natural geographic advantage you have to gerrymander!

More than anything else this leads me to question the benefit of geographical districts at all. WE already have one geographically screwy representational body in the Senate, do we need two that skew away from real representation because of geographic quirks?
 
2013-10-11 01:46:29 AM

Skleenar: Elegy: TheManofPA: I thought the gerrymandering piece was the most interesting part. The idea on how we are split in the US and just the way people live being a major component to the weird breakdown of Presidential votes vs. house seats

The other day I was trying to explain to some Farkers that the republicans don't win because they gerrymander; they win because they enjoy a natural geographical advantage under the district system.

It's nice to see that Nate Silver's analysis support that argument, given how many times I've been called a republican shill for daring to suggest that cheating isn't why the republicans are winning.

I was part of that conversation and I admit what you were saying seemed to go against all sense. Now, after reading this I get the geography point, but Silver (and the links he provides) doesn't say gerrymandering doesn't help the GOP, just that it doesn't explain the full advantage the GOP has. The interesting point raised is that to eliminate the natural geographic advantage you have to gerrymander!

More than anything else this leads me to question the benefit of geographical districts at all. WE already have one geographically screwy representational body in the Senate, do we need two that skew away from real representation because of geographic quirks?


Which was my whole point - there is some degree of gerrymandering on both sides, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. Even if you rolled back those gerrymandered districts - the total of which is less than everyone assumes- the geographical advantage to the republicans is great enough that gerrymandering really has a null effect on who controls the house. Or, to put it the way I was the other day: there are very good structural reasons the republicans do - and will continue to - win the house above and beyond the overly simplistic talking point that "republicans win because they cheat and gerrymander."

Perhaps the problem here is that I don't explain things as well as Silver, but then again, he gets paid the big bucks and I post on Fark. As you said, its a complex and often counterintuitive problem that goes against common sense in many ways.

As to an alternative system - what do you put in its place? Every vote allocation scheme is going to have some disadvantages and some advantages; you pointed out that the senate method has its own flaws. The district method is theoretically nice because it allows us to send someone to represent our local, "neighborhood" interests in the national government. I actually think that is a laudible goal that largely works the way it was intended, despite allocation problems. The alternative is to move to some other scheme NOT based on local geography like the senate; this runs the danger of having representatives only from the capital or larger metropolises in the more rural states, because power and influence naturally congregate in the cities.

At least now representatives nominally have to live in their district and represent the interests of the local constituents, so everyone - urban and rural - has a voice in government. (On a side note I'd love to see a strong set of rules to discourage "district shopping" amongst the professional political class).
 
2013-10-11 03:30:25 AM
"First, there are extremely few swing districts - only one-half to one-third as many as when the last government shutdown occurred in 1996. Some of this is because of partisan gerrymandering, but more of it is because of increasingly sharp ideological divides along geographic lines: between urban and rural areas, between the North and the South, and between the coasts and the interior of the United States."

So, the ever increasing vitriol and brinksmanship isn't really surprising, because we really just all hate each other more every day. There's a pattern.

That's comforting.

No, wait, it's the other thing.

Where does "increasingly sharp ideological differences along geographic lines" lead us?
 
2013-10-11 03:34:09 AM

Elegy: Skleenar: Elegy: TheManofPA: I thought the gerrymandering piece was the most interesting part. The idea on how we are split in the US and just the way people live being a major component to the weird breakdown of Presidential votes vs. house seats

The other day I was trying to explain to some Farkers that the republicans don't win because they gerrymander; they win because they enjoy a natural geographical advantage under the district system.

It's nice to see that Nate Silver's analysis support that argument, given how many times I've been called a republican shill for daring to suggest that cheating isn't why the republicans are winning.

I was part of that conversation and I admit what you were saying seemed to go against all sense. Now, after reading this I get the geography point, but Silver (and the links he provides) doesn't say gerrymandering doesn't help the GOP, just that it doesn't explain the full advantage the GOP has. The interesting point raised is that to eliminate the natural geographic advantage you have to gerrymander!

More than anything else this leads me to question the benefit of geographical districts at all. WE already have one geographically screwy representational body in the Senate, do we need two that skew away from real representation because of geographic quirks?

Which was my whole point - there is some degree of gerrymandering on both sides, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. Even if you rolled back those gerrymandered districts - the total of which is less than everyone assumes- the geographical advantage to the republicans is great enough that gerrymandering really has a null effect on who controls the house. Or, to put it the way I was the other day: there are very good structural reasons the republicans do - and will continue to - win the house above and beyond the overly simplistic talking point that "republicans win because they cheat and gerrymander."

Perhaps the problem here is that I don't explain thin ...


Or we can lift the 438 seat limit in the House. I have no idea how you'd fit 10,000 representatives though.
 
2013-10-11 03:51:23 AM

sendtodave: "First, there are extremely few swing districts - only one-half to one-third as many as when the last government shutdown occurred in 1996. Some of this is because of partisan gerrymandering, but more of it is because of increasingly sharp ideological divides along geographic lines: between urban and rural areas, between the North and the South, and between the coasts and the interior of the United States."

So, the ever increasing vitriol and brinksmanship isn't really surprising, because we really just all hate each other more every day. There's a pattern.


I think it's argue that this growing difference would exist without the media egging on the partisanship.
 
2013-10-11 04:11:37 AM

starsrift: sendtodave: "First, there are extremely few swing districts - only one-half to one-third as many as when the last government shutdown occurred in 1996. Some of this is because of partisan gerrymandering, but more of it is because of increasingly sharp ideological divides along geographic lines: between urban and rural areas, between the North and the South, and between the coasts and the interior of the United States."

So, the ever increasing vitriol and brinksmanship isn't really surprising, because we really just all hate each other more every day. There's a pattern.

I think it's argue that this growing difference would exist without the media egging on the partisanship.


Sure, I don't give the media that much credit to be able to "shape opinion" anyway. People listen to propaganda that they want to believe.

I mean in the bigger picture... Doesn't this all almost make sense taken in the bigger picture?

The tea party elected these guys to drown the government in the bathtub, and that's what they're doing. We get the leaders we want, after all.

How can we expect things to get any better when the gulf exists between our people? The government is just a reflection of that gulf.
 
2013-10-11 07:11:40 AM
TFA:  But if the current round of negotiations is resolved within the next week or so, they might turn out to have a relatively minor impact by November 2014.

So, after all this, we can expect the same people to be re-elected.  We can expect to have more articificial crises like this every few months.  The country is going to be threathened with defautl every few months.  This is the new normal for how Washington works.

Yes, thanks for that comfort, Nate.
 
2013-10-11 07:25:08 AM

sendtodave: How can we expect things to get any better when the gulf exists between our people? The government is just a reflection of that gulf.


And so is the media.
 
2013-10-11 07:56:20 AM

sendtodave: Sure, I don't give the media that much credit to be able to "shape opinion" anyway. People listen to propaganda that they want to believe.


Ironically, the part of what I said that went through my brain but didn't make it to the keyboard was, "it's hard to argue that..."

Most people are pretty nice and decent, but when we listen to and internalize propaganda, we become an animal mob. Useful idiots. I think the media has been shaping opinion, more and more so, because of it's various biases. And oh, it's great, we have networks for left and right to say just what to think, so there's a choice! Or you can take the third choice of the Gray Fallacy. Or a fourth choice of not paying attention. Or a fifth choice of actually discerning the truth, but it's a long way there and who has the time these days anyway?

Gotta jet
 
2013-10-11 08:33:49 AM
Finally, a rational, sensible and non-partisan link on the Politics tab...and it gets 25 posts. I guess there isn't much of an audience outside of the echo chambers.
 
2013-10-11 08:53:18 AM

Tellurianix: Finally, a rational, sensible and non-partisan link on the Politics tab...and it gets 25 posts. I guess there isn't much of an audience outside of the echo chambers.


I think that has more to do with the time it was posted....
At least that's what I hope.
 
2013-10-11 09:45:44 AM

Tellurianix: Finally, a rational, sensible and non-partisan link on the Politics tab...and it gets 25 posts. I guess there isn't much of an audience outside of the echo chambers.


Well he didn't really say anything besides "Everything's still in flux, ignore the pundits." He's a polling guy, not a policy guy, so while it's interesting to note that Democrats still have a steep hill to take back the House, it's not really all that interesting when we're still in the hostage situation. Whether or not this situation gets resolved is more important right now than how polling numbers a year from now look.
 
2013-10-11 10:26:18 AM
Elegy:  (...)there is some degree of gerrymandering on both sides, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. Even if you rolled back those gerrymandered districts - the total of which is less than everyone assumes- the geographical advantage to the republicans is great enough that gerrymandering really has a null effect on who controls the house. (...)

Is simply not true. When comparing the redistricting of 2011 with the already pro-republican gerrymandered districts of the previous decade they figured that the gerrymandering gave them a net total of 7  extra seats. That difference would have switched control of the house in 10% of the last 50 congresses. And that is taking the extraordinary long periods where the house was simply dominated by one party in to account. Now that the country is far more evenly divided those 7 seats are hugely important in elections.

7 might seem few out of 435 but it's 40% of the GOP electoral safety margin of 17 seats. Out of those 50 congresses of 435 seats there were 22 elections where less then the current 17 seat shifted hands. It's very likely that in the next election those 7 seats will make all the difference. The idea that gerrymandering isn't important and that it's not a hugely important part of  the Republicans anti-democratic hold on the congress is complete and utter bullpucky.
 
2013-10-11 12:54:24 PM

culculhen: Elegy:  (...)there is some degree of gerrymandering on both sides, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. Even if you rolled back those gerrymandered districts - the total of which is less than everyone assumes- the geographical advantage to the republicans is great enough that gerrymandering really has a null effect on who controls the house. (...)

Is simply not true. When comparing the redistricting of 2011 with the already pro-republican gerrymandered districts of the previous decade they figured that the gerrymandering gave them a net total of 7  extra seats. That difference would have switched control of the house in 10% of the last 50 congresses. And that is taking the extraordinary long periods where the house was simply dominated by one party in to account. Now that the country is far more evenly divided those 7 seats are hugely important in elections.

7 might seem few out of 435 but it's 40% of the GOP electoral safety margin of 17 seats. Out of those 50 congresses of 435 seats there were 22 elections where less then the current 17 seat shifted hands. It's very likely that in the next election those 7 seats will make all the difference. The idea that gerrymandering isn't important and that it's not a hugely important part of  the Republicans anti-democratic hold on the congress is complete and utter bullpucky.


I think you're confusing some of my arguments. I'm not saying that redistricting and gerrymandering isn't an important topic, or that you shouldn't pay attention or get involved in the process. This isn't a "don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain" argument. By all means, get involved, and learn.

All I am saying is that the talking point - "republicans only win because they gerrymander" - is just that: a bullshiat talking point. Republicans win for a lot of reasons. Gerrymandering is a small one, and it is very, very far down the list of reasons why the republicans dominate the house.

Until people understand that the simple answer is bullshiat, they're pointed in the wrong direction. I know its fun to sling mud and accuse the republicans of only being able to win through cheating, but doing so distorts the actual situation on the ground and obscures the more important factors in house elections.

I would also ask you about democrat gerrymandering, and how you perceive that. As Silver points out, you would actually have to gerrymander rather egregiously to ensure an outcome that matches the popular vote.

On the democrat side, there is also frequent gerrymandering of majority-minority districts to ensure minority/democrat representation in areas where those votes would otherwise be overwhelmed by the republican vote.

So I ask you, is democrat gerrymandering ok or not? Because if you institute a set of rules that says "no gerrymandering" you're going to subsume those majority-minority districts in the republican vote, and those minority groups will immediately lose representation in the house.

In other words, the republicans will lose ground if we stop gerrymandering, yes, but the democrats will lose ground too. Given the natural advantage republicans have in the house, they're still going to win it, except now you have no minority-majority districts to provide representation to minority groups in congress.

So, I pose it the question: what is your solution? A practical one, that is, not one centered on biatching about how horrible republicans are, but one centered on fixing the gerrymandering issue in a way that is fair to both sides. Because you seem to want to biatch, but you haven't offered a way to fix the problem other than "republicans are bad."
 
2013-10-11 04:06:42 PM

Tellurianix: Finally, a rational, sensible and non-partisan link on the Politics tab...and it gets 25 posts. I guess there isn't much of an audience outside of the echo chambers.


Yeah.  Informative article, well-written and thoughtful posts...makes you realize how shiatty the site normally is.  You had D vs R partisans going at it in some pet thread or something the other day.

A Fark for grownups would be nice.
 
2013-10-11 05:25:13 PM

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Tellurianix: Finally, a rational, sensible and non-partisan link on the Politics tab...and it gets 25 posts. I guess there isn't much of an audience outside of the echo chambers.

Well he didn't really say anything besides "Everything's still in flux, ignore the pundits." He's a polling guy, not a policy guy, so while it's interesting to note that Democrats still have a steep hill to take back the House, it's not really all that interesting when we're still in the hostage situation. Whether or not this situation gets resolved is more important right now than how polling numbers a year from now look.


Yes, but "everything is in flux, ignore the pundits  and here's why" is practically revolutionary when almost every other source is geared toward confirming a particular bias depending on which way the reader leans. From what I (as an interested observer) understand, Republican supporters are convinced the US public is behind them in opposing the President and they're doing the right thing, and Democrats are equally convinced it's the end of the line for GOP. Neither of which is a reasonable assumption to make, and anyone willing to take a step back and consider the facts objectively can see this.

Anyway, good link, subby.
 
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