Supplemental: Waiting for Lawrence!

SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2015

Incomparable report has to wait:
We were struck by something Lawrence said on Wednesday evening’s Last Word.

Also by comments on Thursday.

We thought the comments may shed some light on Lawrence’s conduct during Campaign 2000, when the fiery pseudo-liberal kept attacking Candidate Gore as a liar right through October 2000.

The conduct of dead-enders like Lawrence helped send Bush to the White House. From there, it was on to Iraq!

It’s not that our nation’s recent history actually matters at this point. Fairly clearly, our discourse is all about narrative now. It’s narrative all the way down!

That said:

Just in case history makes a comeback, we thought it might be worth recording what Lawrence said this week. But history will have to wait. MSNBC still hasn’t transcribed Lawrence’s programs from Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Why did the anti-Gore dead-enders engage in their dead-end conduct? We thought Lawrence’s comments may have shed light on this historical question.

That said, Lawrence’s “news channel” is rather haphazard in its basic operations. If it ever gets around to posting its transcripts, we’ll offer a possible perspective on our recent history, for those recall what that is.

Meanwhile:

For a wondrously bungled statistical claim by George Will, we recommend this must-see letter in today’s Washington Post.

To see Gail Collins use the wrong statistic, you can just click here. (California and Texas are fairly close on their teenage pregnancy rates.)

The bungle by Will is an absolute classic. More on Collins’ latest lesson in loathing next week.

50 comments:

  1. Today Columbia Journalism Review will release its critique of the failed Rolling Stone rape story. The extremist wing of the Democratic Party (radfems, the comments troll, Lawrence, etc.) will not read it because it does not fit their narrative.

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    Replies
    1. Give a guy a chance to read the report! If it was just released today, how can you expect Somerby to have an instant analysis of it? Or anyone else?

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    2. You were proven wrong. Most readers don't think these new commenters from the conservative end of the prectrum have been attracted here because they dislike Somerby, and they know this criticism wasn't aimed at him. Like many of his fans from the dumb. lazy. liberal days, you just don't get it.

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  2. Will's point was correct. There is a big amount of churn in people's wealth. Thomas Sowell has demonstrated this point with statistics showing how the income of families changes over time. E.g.,
    he points out
    Despite the rise in the income of the top 0.1% of taxpayers as a statistical category, both absolutely and relative to the incomes in other categories, as flesh-and-blood human beings those individuals who were in that category initially had their incomes actually fall by a whopping 50% between 1996 and 2005. It is hardly surprising if people whose incomes are cut in half drop out of the top 0.1%.

    As the letter points out, Will's statistic was poorly chosen to demonstrate his point. Actually, Will's statistic makes sense if you take "name" to mean "last name". The Rockefeller name, which used to be synonymous with "wealth", has fallen far below names like Slim, Gates, Ellison, etc. In fact, if you look at the
    list of richest Americans, few of them had parents who were on this list.

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    1. So, someone goes from being in the top 0.1% to being in the top 0.2%. What does it mean for a billionaire to lose half his income? Foodstamps?

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    2. You have a point, Anon. But, turn it around.

      What does it mean when a person once living on welfare is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars? In the case of J. K. Rowling, it means that she entertained people all over the world by writing the Harry Potter stories.

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    3. If you think this is a viable way to make money, why haven't you done it yourself?

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    4. I haven't done as well as Rowling, but I've gone from supporting a family of three on $200 a month to being financially comfortable enough so that I can spend my day writing anserine comments on blogs.

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    5. But not multimillionaire author of a Harry Potter book? Maybe it isn't a route to success for the masses (or even Rowling any more).

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    6. Two points:

      1. There many routes to wealth that don't depend on coming from a very wealthy family.

      2. Although the gap between rich and poor is widening, the "rich" and the "poor" are not consistent groups of people. Today's rich include substantial numbers of people who made a fortune in high-tech or some other business. Today's poor consist substantially of the newest immigrant groups.

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    7. From the Forbes article describing their original list:

      "Sam Walton, the iconic founder of Wal-Mart, appeared with a net worth of $690 million (today 6 Walton members worth a total of $116 billion have spots in the rankings)."

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    8. Here is a better statistic for you David in Cal:

      Average Net Worth of Americans $ 301 K
      Median Net Worth of Americans $ 45 K

      http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/11/news/economy/middle-class-wealth/

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    9. Yep, there is a very wide distribution of wealth in this country. In part, that's because the US offers the possibility of earning great wealth. People can have net worth of zero at one stage of their life and be multi-millionaires at another stage of life.

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    10. No mention that still the two best ways to make it in America:
      1) Be born into wealth.
      2) Marry into wealth.

      Also, I'm still waiting on DinC's call for a 100% estate tax, since everyone has the opportunity to earn great wealth.
      Just kidding DinC, I know you really don't believe the shit you post here.

      Delete
  3. Collins isn't correct but neither are you. Texas has a teen pregnancy rate of 73 per 1000 while California has one of 59. That is by no means close. Texas is number 2, California number 21. http://www.livescience.com/45355-teen-pregnancy-rates-by-state.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, Somerby is correct. He says she is using the wrong statistic. Teen pregnancy rates are different than teen birthrates. It is possible for the pregnancy rates to be the same while the birthrates differ dramatically because of factors like access to abortion.

      If you are talking about pregnancy prevention, you need to provide stats on pregnancy rates, not birthrates. Collins is talking about sex education, which is about pregnancy prevention. She used the wrong statistic and so did you.

      It is much harder to find statistics on pregnancy rates than on birthrates, which is probably why Collins used the birthrate statistic. However, it is very misleading because she is arguing about the efficacy of a prevention approach using statistics that are heavily affected by the difference in access to abortion in California compared to Texas. That is a MAJOR mistake and dishonest if done on purpose.

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    2. I have no idea what she used but I did use pregnancy rates. I provided a link and the link is clear that it is pregnancy rates. and no, they are not similar. The difference between 59 and 73 isn't double but neither is it nothing or trivial.

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    3. I followed your link and it is birthrates.

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    4. I followed the link. I read your comment and it is bullshit.

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    5. According to a webpage last updated on March 16, 2015 by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health [LINK] (my emphasis):

      ***[QUOTE] The national teen pregnancy rate has declined almost continuously over the last two decades. The teen pregnancy rate includes pregnancies that end in a live birth, as well as those that end in abortion or miscarriage (fetal loss).* Between 1990 and 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available), the teen pregnancy rate declined by 51 percent—from 116.9 to 57.4 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls....

      * The teen pregnancy rate is the sum all live births, abortions and miscarriages (or fetal losses) per 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19 in a given year. [END QUOTE]***

      The study the HHS office is relying on is Kost, K., & Henshaw, S. (2014). U.S. teenage pregnancies, births and abortions, 2010: National trends by age, race and ethnicity: Guttmacher Institute. [LINK]

      On page 17 of the report the chart indicates that Texas has the 3rd highest pregnancy rate for females age 15 to 19, California the 21st. Female teens 15 to 19 were pregnant at a ratio of 73 per 1000 in Texas and 59 per 1000 in California.

      Those in the subset of 15-17 year old females were pregnant at a ratio of 40 per 1000 in Texas and 32 per 1000 in California. For 18 and 19 year old females the pregnancy ratio in Texas was 122 per 1000 and 99 per 1000 in California.

      The data indicates that 72% of Texas 15 to 19 year olds' pregnancies resulted in a live birth; 53% of California 15 to 19 year olds' pregnancies resulted in a live birth.

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    6. Thanks CMike.

      A shorter way to phrase the data is that Texas ranks 3rd in the teen pregnancy rate and 4th in the teen birth rate. California ranks 21st in the teen pregnancy rate and 29th in the teen birth rate.

      A short summary for the implications of that reaffirms what Anonymous @ 3:39 suggested yesterday.

      Collins used the wrong statistic but got her numbers right.

      Somerby correctly pointed out the error by Collins, but disappeared the actual statistics and provided a false interpretation of them in doing so.

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    7. @ 10:45 AM,

      I think you've mistaken Anonymous April 4, 2015 @ 3:29 PM for Anonymous @ 3:39 yesterday. You'd think as you're an anonymous yourself, they wouldn't all look alike to you.

      But to @ 3:29's point, they're right that the Texas pregnancy rate for 15 to 19 year old females is 24% higher than it is California but Somerby might counter that the rate is less than 20% lower in California than it is in Texas. May two rates with less than a 20% difference in size not reasonably be described as "fairly close"?

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    8. Not really a 20% differential is rather substantial in pretty much any circumstance. In this case it was enough for Texas to be ranked 2nd while California was ranked 21st.

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    9. @ 12:10,

      I won't argue that a 20% differential isn't substantial. However, I don't think state rankings necessarily tell you much. The more homogeneous a country the less the differential you'll find in all sorts of measurements. France has those- let me look it up...- 22 regions broken down further into 96 administrative departments.

      Say for some measurement like teenage pregnancy that the department in France with the highest rate was at a rate 10% higher than then department with the 60th highest rate. 10% doesn't then become substantial just because it separates the department with the highest rate from that with the 60th highest.

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    10. that is a valid point. Ranking alone doesn't matter. But we aren't a homogeneous country and thus in our case the ranking differential is important. One thing I will say is I am somewhat surprised California isn't better than 21st in this regard but they still are somewhat better Texas which is the point.

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  4. Poor Bob Somerby. He finds MSNBC as haphazard as he is.

    Progressives, liberals and Democrats are still awaiting his advice on the upcoming press campaign coverage.

    If he ever gets around to posting that advice I’ll offer a possible perspective on his recent history, for those can't remember what he repeats post after post.

    Either that or I will emit a mordant chuckle and watch some hoops. I expect the NBA playoffs will still be going on when he gets around to that long postponed topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You ARE persistent. Please stop this broken record complaint. It was proved wrong yesterday and also a few days before that. Most of us are just fine with Somerby writing about whatever he wants, whenever he wants on his very own vanity blog. So shut the fuck up (in the immortal words of Deon Cole).

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    2. Really? Proven wrong? Allow me to apologize. I missed the advice. What was it again?

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    3. "Most of us are just fine with Somerby writing about whatever he wants, whenever he wants on his very own vanity blog."

      Jimmy Swaggart still has a TV show as well.

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    4. @12:15 AM,

      Your point, I take it, would be that Somerby blogs, but people like Rachel Maddow, Jimmy Swaggart, and Lawrence O'Donnell are on television preying on their audience. At least Swaggart's grift isn't in the service of Corporate America.

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    5. "At least Swaggart's grift isn't in the service of Corporate America."

      Nobody can possibly be this naive, can they?

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    6. No CMike. That was not my point. And it is not that Maddow, O'Donnell, and Swaggart are financially successful either.

      Delete
    7. @ 6:54 AM,

      Swaggart's message that believers will have their rewards in the hereafter may well be useful to the corporate elite. However, the "I have sinned" televangelist is self-employed and out to pitch whatever his paying customers most want to hear. His message may serve Corporate America but Swaggart is not in the service of the neo-Leviathan.

      Maddow and O'Donnell are corporate employees, their respective pitches are tailored to please their paymaster, and they're doing a good enough job at that to have made many great piles of money for themselves despite always having had weak ratings.

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    8. Both Swaggart and Somerby have follwers despite the fact they do the very things they preach against.

      Delete
  5. The problem with Kinzer's criticism, which she applied to only the top 50 out of 400 people on the list, is that the impact of death is probably greater on the top of the list. The list represents accumulation of wealth. It is to be expected that those trying to acquire money will have more of it as their life goes on, simply because they have spent more time seeking it. Further, there is probably a geometric effect where having more wealth makes it easier to gain more wealth, giving older people an advantage in getting richer. So, you expect there to be more older people at the top of the list than near the bottom. That means death will cause more people at the top of the list to be removed from it than it will people near the bottom (or outside of the top 12.5% used by Kinzer).

    When someone limits an argument to a subset of a group (such as the top 50 out of 400), you have to ask why only those people were included. It might be that she didn't have time to check out everyone, but it also might be that her argument only works for the top 50 people and falls apart if you look at a bigger sample. In that case, her letter would be not only wrong, but dishonest. I don't care about rich people enough to figure out why they are leaving such a list (which is an artificial construction distracting us away from that fact that there are just too damn many rich people in our country), so I will not be checking Kinzer assertion, but I think she should have done a better job of it -- been more thorough.

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    Replies
    1. You are correct. Those writing letters to the editor should be more thorough in their examination of statistics than the authors of syndicated columns who present them to the public in the first place.

      Delete
  6. Mean, Median, Mode, Range.
    I, Me, Mine.
    Cherry pick the number that best fits your ideology.
    Two Brazilian skydivers die in freak accident!
    Is a Brazilian more than a bazillion?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on whether you are looking at their test scores in the third grade or when they are ready to graduate high school. Somebylians cheer the Third grade team, Somerbillions boo the Senior squad.

      Delete
  7. OMB (Waiting on the OTC with the OTB)

    Since the topic du weekend is waiting, we thought we would touch on a topic The One True BOB broached again Friday for the gadzillionth time about the One True Liberal Channel and a statistic he keeps disappearing.

    BOB: The American public never hears about black students’ large score gains in reading and math on the NAEP. Some undisclosed “invisible hand” seems to keep those statistics disappeared.
    ....................

    The children on The One True Channel keep us busy with other topics—topics which are safer for the plutocrats who pay them their seven figures.

    That’s what a cynic might say! Here’s what a finder of accurate facts would say:

    You never hear about black kids’ score gains on The One True Channel. "

    Facts about Black Kids (and White and Hispanic Kids, Too) BOB keeps disappearing under all the bridges in Blogger County.

    17 Year Old (Finishing High School) LTT NAEP Test Scores

    1975 Reading

    White 293 Black 241 Hispanic 252

    2012 Reading

    White 295 Black 269 Hispanic 274

    Aren't those gains just remarkable? Wait, not so fast. Lets pick another starting date.

    1988 Reading

    White 295 Black 274 Hispanic 271

    2012 Gains (Losses)

    White 0 Black ( -5) Hispanic 3

    Look at all that reading progress over the last quarter century the OTC
    and the OTB have ignored! the plutocrats must be very, very proud.

    We could show similar results for math, but we think readers get the picture.

    So while BOB waits for Lawrence, we'll keep waiting on BOB, the "accurate finder of facts," the man whose ruling hand may be invisible,
    but his rough ruling thumbs are not.

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    Replies
    1. Yes indeed. Since the reading test progress among kids finishing public school seems to have gone away, the commenter should as well.

      Delete
  8. Here's a cool. Data visualization. It shows the wage gap between men and women world wide, country by country.

    Oh, look here's the good old USA at 13%.
    http://ri.id.au/closethegap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a cool. Data visualization. By Ri Liu. Whoever the heck she is. Whatever the heck her data sources are. Since she doesn't say.

      She does say she is measuring income. She doesn't, therefore, necessarily compare wages. You do know that the USA 77% (now 78.8%) figure is only a measure of wages by the Census Bureau of full time working women (35 + hours per week) and not income? Don't you?

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    2. Why yes I do. Why would you think that FTE wages earned by women are invalid? Still counts as a gap to me.

      Delete

  9. Yay!! you cannot believe what this spell caster Dr Brave just did for me!!! Was this all a magic?? "This is totally a Easter miracle for me lol" My mouth are short of words. “I got a divorce from my husband when I was six months pregnant with my second child. We had only been married for a short time and had another child who was 1 year old. We had been arguing and quarreling nonstop since the day our first child was conceived, no love nor trust from him anymore so he divorced. And all these whiles, I have been trying all different means to get him back, I also tried some different spell casters from other countries, but none of them could bring Richard back to me. It was only Dr Brave who guaranteed me an urgent 48 hours spell casting, and he assure me that my husband will be with me before Easter day. I am writing to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you for keeping your promises, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back today 2nd of April 2015.. I was thrilled to know that you are specialized in reuniting Lovers. I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! I have never been happier in my life, and I feel like all of my dreams has turned into reality now. Thank you, Dr Brave , for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pays off in ways you could never even imagine, Contact him through his website: http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ or his Email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com . thank you so much sir (Mary Owen from UK)

    ReplyDelete

  10. Yay!! you cannot believe what this spell caster Dr Brave just did for me!!! Was this all a magic?? "This is totally a Easter miracle for me lol" My mouth are short of words. “I got a divorce from my husband when I was six months pregnant with my second child. We had only been married for a short time and had another child who was 1 year old. We had been arguing and quarreling nonstop since the day our first child was conceived, no love nor trust from him anymore so he divorced. And all these whiles, I have been trying all different means to get him back, I also tried some different spell casters from other countries, but none of them could bring Richard back to me. It was only Dr Brave who guaranteed me an urgent 48 hours spell casting, and he assure me that my husband will be with me before Easter day. I am writing to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you for keeping your promises, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back today 2nd of April 2015.. I was thrilled to know that you are specialized in reuniting Lovers. I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! I have never been happier in my life, and I feel like all of my dreams has turned into reality now. Thank you, Dr Brave , for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pays off in ways you could never even imagine, Contact him through his website: http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ or his Email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com . thank you so much sir (Mary Owen from UK)

    ReplyDelete

  11. Yay!! you cannot believe what this spell caster Dr Brave just did for me!!! Was this all a magic?? "This is totally a Easter miracle for me lol" My mouth are short of words. “I got a divorce from my husband when I was six months pregnant with my second child. We had only been married for a short time and had another child who was 1 year old. We had been arguing and quarreling nonstop since the day our first child was conceived, no love nor trust from him anymore so he divorced. And all these whiles, I have been trying all different means to get him back, I also tried some different spell casters from other countries, but none of them could bring Richard back to me. It was only Dr Brave who guaranteed me an urgent 48 hours spell casting, and he assure me that my husband will be with me before Easter day. I am writing to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you for keeping your promises, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back today 2nd of April 2015.. I was thrilled to know that you are specialized in reuniting Lovers. I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! I have never been happier in my life, and I feel like all of my dreams has turned into reality now. Thank you, Dr Brave , for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pays off in ways you could never even imagine, Contact him through his website: http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ or his Email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com . thank you so much sir (Mary Owen from UK)

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete