Sunday, July 2, 2017
Really at this point, the only thing he has managed to officially pass is a bi-partisan veterans' bill. Even his attempt at an executive ordered "travel ban" the first week in office just last week was approved by the Supreme Court for a temporary stay.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
It wasn't a great year, but Facebook's algorithms were smart enough to leave out most of the bad stuff -- and so was I. It picked events from June on -- which makes sense since the first half of the year really sucked ("The Year of Suck" as my wife would say.) 2016's about over -- "Another Trip Around the Sun," Facebook says, and good riddance, we say.
What Facebook thought was "important" were these items (in reality these are probably picked based on popularity & engagement):
- June 14th -- I give a tour of AccuWeather HQ to my brother-in-law and his wife
- June 24th -- I finally meet Reed Timmer in person at AccuWeather hQ
- July 30th -- I get a cat (I think the cat got short shrift, as this was a major milestone)*
- August 5th -- I spill Mountain Dew into my laptop (hilarity ensues, except in our IT department)
- August 27th -- I pose with a skeleton at Home Goods
- September 25th -- I go to Kristi's family reunion
- November 8th -- I vote in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (you know, the one where love lost?)
It does allow you to also edit these events, so I stuck in a second picture of the cat. Then I realized I had forgotten to create a "life event" that would probably have triggered additional shrift for said cat in the Facebook algorithms. Well, consider that problem fixed.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Unbeknownst to the technician who saved the day, 60 seconds earlier a computer had automatically and electronically transmitted their "first print" papers over the Internet to Newseum.org, just like 900 other newspapers do every day, and have been doing for years.
The Birmingham News in Alabama proudly displayed their headline "Madam President" but listed the electoral count for both candidates as "XXX" -- awaiting a final count from their editors. A truly "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment.
The Huntsville TImes hadn't loaded the winner's picture in yet, but carried the same headline, with the entire lead text in nonsense Latin placeholder text.
Preparing two different newspaper editions is not unusual, of course, because historically print media has had to be created far in advance of its release date. The double edition of Newsweek Magazine caused a stir when the Trump-only version was leaked. "The election was rigged!" was the chant, because everyone, including Trump's supporters, didn't expect him to win.
Newseum.org is currently not responding, and when it comes back up, it will probably not have these copies anymore. I have the PDFs saved if anyone is interested.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Here's how to watch the election results:
1. Watch Cable TV (stick with the big guys, CNN or FOX probably) or use their apps. They will probably make a final call around 10pm-12am, depending on results.
2. Type in "Election Results" on Google.
3. Don't believe ANYTHING you read on Facebook or Twitter unless it's from a reliable source.
Here's one more possibility: The VoteCastR app (or visit their website). Here's what it's all about:
Saturday, November 5, 2016
First and foremost, I've said for a while, this is a really Presidential weird election year, and I think the least likely to match outcomes between polls and results.
Last week, Trump saw the biggest rise in the last 30 days of any election of any candidate since 2004; Obama's rise in 2008 was about 2.2 heading into the election, and no other years featured any rises in the last month. Despite that rise, the outcome of an election has never changed in the last 5 days.
People ask me why I follow the RealClearPolitics polls and no others. It's because, statistically, their average should be more accurate than any one poll, especially ahead of the election. Here are their results for the last three Presidential elections, with final Popular Vote at the top and the one-day-before-election RCP poll average below.
They correctly called all three one day before the election. In 2004 & 2012, the winner took even more than they predicted; in 2008 it was about the same. As such, the RCP average on Monday should determine the winner (this is all about Popular Vote; Electoral is a different thing).
This year though, I'm worried about their accuracy for the first time. For some reason (that didn't happen in previous elections), the LA Times Poll is way off from any other poll. It's so far off that in statistics, we would call this an "outlier" (and in many cases, ignore it). But RCP takes every legitimate poll, so they include it. Here's what it has looked like for the last four months:
Compare that to the RCP average:
While the average has predicted that Clinton would win for all but a few days during that time, the LA Times poll is opposite -- insisting that Trump would win on most days. This could give Trump voters false hope -- but more importantly could skew the entire poll average enough to make the race look less close than it is, for all voters.
If this poll proves to be way off from final results, I believe that RCP should remove it from its list of legitimate polls. There's obviously something wrong with their methodology if they are that far off (and incorrect in the end). If it's correct, then it's a brilliant poll which we should all watch closely next time. LA Time also polls people on who they *think* will become president (regardless of who they are voting for). This, interestingly, looks much like the RCP polls, which I think makes the LA Times voting poll even more suspect.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The race is as close as it's been this season -- and we may be headed for an Electoral/Popular vote split!
Here are tonight's predictions from people who have been right before!
- Real Clear Politics
PROS: I have trusted this website's Poll Average since they jumped on the scene in 2004.
CONS: Polls aren't always right (see bottom)
CONS: Or is it?
- Nate Silver's 538:
PROS: Correctly predicted presidential election outcome of 2008 & 2012 in 49 & 50 of 50 states.
CONS: Statistician failed to predict Trump's primary victory
- Artificial Intelligence: (Oct. 28th)
PROS: Correctly predicted presidential election outcomes in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
CONS: Doesn't take sentiment into account (LOL)
- Some Random College Professor (Oct. 28th)
PROS: Correctly predicted the last 8 presidential election outcomes
CONS: Criteria, hair style, and dress were defined in 1984 and haven't changed since.
- Halloween Masks (Aug. 25th)
CONS: Have to wear mask from one of these jokers
- New York Times Upshot (Polls)
PROS: Uses actual data
CONS: Popular, Not Electoral, and Polls aren't always right (see below)
You will find more statistics at Statista
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
This has been similar to 2012's presidential election with one exception -- the last month of 2012 was a dead heat -- a problem we don't seem to have this year. If we assume the sine wave pattern will continue through election day (Nov. 8), Donald Trump is running out of time. Looking at the RealClearPolitics polls for both 2016 and 2012, or even 2008, we see a consistent sine wave.
The distance between close race numbers (wavelength) was about 30-40 days for 2012, and a decreasing wavelength in 2016 from 90 to 54 days. Extrapolating the 2016 trend indicates that we'll be back to a close race within 30-52 days -- which is exactly how much time we have left before the election. I think it's possible we may end up with close polls on election day, just like we did in 2012 (but not in 2008), even though the current trends and news don't support that. You can even see the sine wav in the Predict it gambling website, though the data doesn't go far enough back to find a wavelength.
As I stated last time, I do believe this could be a year that the polls don't match the voting -- but I can't tell whether that will favor Clinton or Trump camps -- both may come out in high numbers to "vote against the other candidate." Add that to who stays home because they hate both candidates, and this could get interesting.