Donald J. Trump beats Leonhardt on points!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2020

The near-total absence of skill:
In fairness, it's important to note a basic point. At this point, information and facts barely matter at all.

Basically, everyone believes their own tribe's StoryLines. There's very little real attempt to figure out what's true.

That said, Donald Trump authored a very sad moment during yesterday's press event.

First, Trump shot a man on the White House lawn just to see him die. After he returned to the press room, he launched one of his standard rambling monologues about how amazingly well we're doing with the coronavirus.

Many statements didn't make sense. But at one point, the commander in chief said this:
TRUMP (8/10/20): The United States faces a unique range of challenges that requires our constant vigilance. America has the largest at-risk population of any developed country by far, 1.5 million residents of nursing homes, about five times that of the United Kingdom and other European countries. Our country also has a higher prevalence of underlying conditions that this virus targets.

Yet we have fewer deaths per capita than the United Kingdom and most other peer nations in Western Europe. So that’s an important—we have fewer deaths per capita than the United Kingdom and most other nations in Western Europe, and heading for even stronger numbers.
"One person is too much as far as I'm concerned," the deeply humane commander in chief immediately said.

But sad! The statement we've highlighted could be scored as correct! Let's consider that statement again:

"We have fewer deaths per capita than the United Kingdom and most other peer nations in Western Europe."

We have fewer deaths per capita? Could that statement be true? Actually, yes, it could be true. It all depends on who you're willing to count as a "peer nation."

Plainly, Trump was considering total deaths from the virus to date. Here are some relevant numbers, adjusted for population:
Total deaths from coronavirus per million population, as of August 11:
Belgium: 852
United Kingdom: 685
Spain: 611
Italy: 583
Sweden: 571
United States: 504
France: 465
Germany: 111
It all depends on who you want to count as a "peer nation!" Among the obvious, larger "peer
nations"—skip Belgium, Sweden and the like—we still have ferer deaths per million population than the U.K., Spain and Italy.

We have more deaths per capita than France and Germany. If those are the nations you count as peer nations, that makes Trump's statement correct.

Sad! We're still better off than the U.K., Spain and Italy when it comes to total deaths. But if you use a different, more current, more relevant measure, we're the screaming basket case of the developed world.

We showed you these pitiful data last week. In you consider current deaths, we're the basket case of the world:
Deaths from coronavirus in the last seven days, as of August 11:
United States: 8,058
United Kingdom: 316
Spain: 104
France: 46
Germany: 45
Italy: 43
Canada: 40
Japan: 35
South Korea: 4
Those numbers aren't adjusted for population. But even if you make the adjustment, we're the basket case of the developed world when it comes to current deaths.

(The U.K. is about one-fifth our population. Germany is about one-fourth, Japan a bit more than one-third. None of these countries comes close to us, not even the U.K., when it comes to current deaths adjusted for population. At present, we're the undisputed train wreck of the developed world, by far.)

Other countries were hit very hard by the virus at first. That's when their total deaths piled up.

Since then, they've gotten matters under control. Our leaderless country of Trumpistan hasn't been able to do that.

We mention this because it matters which statistic you choose. The people who prepared Trump's remarks chose a statistic which makes us look pretty good.

If you use the more current statistic, we're the basket case of the world. But no reporter in that press room will ever challenge Donald J. Trump with that more current statistic.

Simply put, they don't have the chops. As life forms, they lack the skills.

We mention this because of what David Leonhardt did last week. On the front page of the New York Times, he tried to show what a train wreck we are when it comes to the virus.

As we explained last Friday, he chose the wrong statistic to do that! Simply put, our major journalists possess almost no analytical skills.

They're Potemkin journalists in Donald Trump's world. Cam anybody there play this game? The answer is basically no.

Yesterday, after shooting some guy on the lawn, Trump made a defensible yet grossly misleading statement. The overpaid children just sat there and stared.

According to a wide range of experts, it was the best they could do.

29 comments:

  1. "The people who prepared Trump's remarks chose a statistic which makes us look pretty good.The people who prepared Trump's remarks chose a statistic which makes us look pretty good."

    How strange, dear Bob: the management has chosen to presents its efforts in a positive light. Quelle surprise. This is practically unheard of, right, dear Bob?

    "But no reporter in that press room will ever challenge Donald J. Trump with that more current statistic."

    They are not reporters, dear Bob, not by any stretch of imagination. They are goebbelsian bureaucrats, little eichmanns, producing goebbelsian propaganda for your liberal-hitlerian cult.

    So, why would they challenge anyone? They'll go back to the office, and type another bunch of lies, as directed. That's the job, dear Bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,

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  2. "Basically, everyone believes their own tribe's StoryLines."

    They wouldn't be your tribe if you didn't accept their storylines.

    Somerby is enough of a philosopher to understand that there is no way to know objective truth except filtered through one's "storylines" or frame for understanding the world. We do not experience the world directly but filtered through our senses, and sensory input is constructed into meaningful experience by cognitive processes.

    Somerby thinks he knows what "truth" is and how to find it, but he doesn't do any better at this than any of the rest of us. He is as immersed in storyline as anyone, but he insists on rejecting the liberal realities because they conflict with Fox News, but Republicans demonstrably have less of a grasp on facts than Democrats do.

    Somerby needs to understand that if he insists on rejecting liberal storylines, he cannot go on calling himself a liberal. It is misleading, not factually accurate, not reality to do so.

    There is no objective reality beyond storyline. That is a fiction. There are only other people with different storylines who insist that theirs are true while yours are false. Once he understands that, he will be a happier man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who determines the storylines?

      Delete
    2. I don't think Somerby could tell you that. For liberals, the storylines come from liberal media I suppose he would say. But I think they come from a long liberal tradition in this country, often passed down from parents to kids (like all culture is), from early childhood teaching about values, and to some extent from personality (whether you are inherently fearful or outgoing, embracing change or seeking sameness).

      Delete
    3. Somerby seems to think storyline is a negative, but there has been a lot of study of "narrative" lately that thinks of it as a positive thing. I think it is an inherent part of being human, a cross-cultural universal (the tendency, not the content) and something that helps us make sense of past-present-future, something that we can keep track of primarily because of the size of working memory and our ability to think about things not currently present in front of our eyes (such as past and future). Animals cannot do that, but people can. I think it has survival value, but also results in anxiety and guilt, as we compare the present with other possible events and worry about what could happen but hasn't yet. It is what makes being human complex, rich and interesting.

      But Somerby thinks it is something invented by the press, something bad that is propagandistic and controls us, maybe makes us "sheeple" (he listens to Fox, so why not Rush)?

      Delete
  3. Reducing covid to numbers won't make it go away. It won't even bring it under control, although some people clearly feel better when they can attach a number to something. Psychologists call this "the illusion of control."

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Our leaderless country of Trumpistan hasn't been able to do that."

    Our country is called The United States of America. It is true that it is leaderless, but the country is not Trump's and it never has been. It belongs to all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Simply put, they don't have the chops. As life forms, they lack the skills."

    One of their skills is keeping Trump in the room on the off chance that he might say something printable. If he walks out, they haven't done their jobs well.

    When you ask Trump a difficult questions, he walks out. That is one of his charms.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Yesterday, after shooting some guy on the lawn, Trump made a defensible yet grossly misleading statement. The overpaid children just sat there and stared."

    Somerby is getting so lazy. Trump didn't shoot anyone on the lawn. Somerby could have worded this sentence properly but he didn't bother fixing it.

    Trump left when the shooting started. When did his statement occur? Did the presser resume?

    ReplyDelete
  7. It doesn't matter what numbers you use, because Trump supporters will not believe the numbers. They think covid is a hoax.

    ReplyDelete
  8. And with this post, Somerby has been defeated, Mao, David, Cecelia, and deadrat have been defeated.

    Carefully review this post and compare it to his normal posts to see why.

    ReplyDelete

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