No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for posts by steveegg.

September 15, 2017

Why “Medicare-for-all” will (and must) fail

Ed. – Do excuse the dust. It’s been too long since I opened things up here.

So Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and a bunch of his fellow Democrats, including almost everybody who wants to run for President in 2020, are now touting a “Medicare-for-all” plan, thinking calling a full-on nationalization of health care “Medicare” will help sell it. Philip Klein has already dumped a bunch of rain on their parade, so allow me to add a little lightning on what happens to Medicare’s popularity after summarizing some of Klein’s points.

Even though there has been no cost analysis yet on this particular plan, Klein notes that a similar plan from Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign had an estimated 1-decade cost of $32 trillion. He notes that, among other things, $32 trillion is the entirety of what the federal government expects to receive from all sources between October 2017 and December 2025, a time frame of more than 8 years. That leaves $0.00 for Social Security, $0.00 for defense, $0.00 for disaster aid, $0.00 for food stamps, and $0.00 for everything else government spends money on for over 8 years out of every 10.

Funding isn’t exactly addressed outside a supplemental handout, but even there, the math comes up well short. The most-optimistic estimate of $16 trillion increase over 10 years from all the proposed tax increases covers only half of the cost.

Klein also briefly notes that Medicare as currently structured has a huge funding problem. It’s actually worse than what he notes. Medicare Part A, which deals with hospital and hospice expenses, is spending more than it takes in, and is expected to burn through what remains of its “trust fund” in less than 8 years. While the other parts of Medicare don’t have the “trust fund” portion of this problem, it is not because the costs aren’t exploding (they are), it is because they have what is known in the bankruptcy world as a senior secured claim on general federal revenue. That means that, before the first dollar goes out the coffers on, say, defense or disaster aid, the last dollar for Medicare Parts B (outpatient), C (Medicare Advantage) and D (drugs) gets spent, regardless of whether there is enough money from all revenues or not.

The only reason Medicare hasn’t already hit its financial crisis point is because it is underpaying medical providers. Guess who is picking up the difference between what Medicare pays and what medical care costs – the rest of us. Now, take that ability to soak up the losses from other users away from the medical industry. Guess what happens – some combination of a reduction in the quality of service and the quantity of service.

Add in the notion that not only a lot more people will be in the system, but that said system will be covering items it hadn’t before. As Klein observes, that’s how you get to a cost of at least $32 trillion in a decade.

As for Medicare’s popularity, it is a result of two things, neither of which are the actual results provided by Medicare:

  • The fiction that one pays for their last decade or so of health care over 4 decades or so of work, which makes it popular across age groups.
  • The reality that the young and middle-aged pay for much of the health care for the elderly, which makes it popular among the elderly.

Putting everybody on Medicare blows up both the fiction and the reality behind Medicare’s popularity. No longer will the defenders of Medicare be able to claim that it is an investment in one’s future health. While there will still probably be some subsidizing of health care for the elderly, it won’t be nearly as generous.

As P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” Now go, read the rest of Klein’s piece if you haven’t already.

March 7, 2017

The not-quite-final betrayal – PlaceboCare edition

by @ 8:23. Filed under PlaceboCare, Politics - National.

So the Republican plan to “repeal” and “replace” PlaceboCare 2.0 is out. Those of us who dreaded what would result once the words “and replace” were appended to the 7-year-old slogan were right. Allow me to quote Philip Klein:

Barring radical changes, Republicans will not be passing a bill that ushers in a new era of market-based healthcare. In reality, the GOP will either be passing legislation that rests on the same philosophical premise as Obamacare, or will pass nothing at all, and thus keep Obamacare itself in place….

But at the same time, the GOP bill preserves much of the regulatory structure of Obamacare; leaves the bias in favor of employer healthcare largely intact, replaces Obamacare’s subsidies with a different subsidy scheme, and still supports higher spending for Medicaid relative to what was the case before Obamacare.

Ultimately, it doesn’t do much to foster the development of a free market system. Under GOPcare, individuals would not be able to take insurance with them from job to job, because tax credits would not be available to people who have an offer of job-based insurance. They would not be able to purchase whatever plan they want, because the federal government will still be dictating what has to be in insurance policies, making insurance more expensive then it needs to be. If this bill passes, everybody would have to get their insurance either through government, their employer via tax subsidy, or be left to purchase government-designed health policies using federal subsidies.

Those are not the only elements of PlaceboCare 2.0 that are planned to survive the transition into PlaceboCare 3.0-Platinum Edition. Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Mark Meadows point to a few other very troubling items that survived the platinum coating (formatting errors in the original fixed):

2. Leadership wants to keep the ObamaCare Cadillac tax but rename it a tax on the top 10% of people who have the best insurance.

3. Leadership wants to keep the individual mandate but instead of mandating a tax penalty to the government they mandate a penalty to the insurance company. (Can it possibly be Constitutional to mandate a penalty to a private insurance company?)

4. Leadership wants to keep $100 billion of the insurance company subsidies from ObamaCare but call them “reinsurance”. (Why? Because insurance companies love guaranteed issue as long as the taxpayer finances it!)

Should we have expected anything else from the party that got elected as President a fan of single-payer health care? Should we have expected anything else from the party that ran, in the Presidential election immediately after the adoption of PlaceboCare 2.0, the guy who created PlaceboCare 1.0? Should we have expected anything else from the party that got the federal government into the senior-citizen drug insurance game 7 years prior to PlaceboCare 2.0?

No wonder why I’ve gone radio silent. I got tired of being played and betrayed.

January 6, 2017

Tax tease

by @ 22:23. Filed under Taxes.

Just a quick tease here. I was doing some research for a piece I’m planning to write for RightWisconsin, and I decided to compare taxes collected versus wages over the last 30 years. This little series of nuggets ought to be worth a mention in a whole host of pieces. Before I unleash, I ought to mention my sources: the Bureau of Labor Statistics for wage data (specifically, the average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees in the private sector) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for taxes (all major taxes levied at every level).

– In 1985, the average weekly wage was $304.62, and the total tax take was $1,069,914 million (or a shade over $1 trillion).
– By 1995, the average weekly wage rose to $400.04, while the total tax take rose to $2,028,327 million.
– By 2007, just before the start of the Great Recession, the average weekly wage rose to $589.18, while the total tax take rose to $3,867,405 million.
– In 2009, the year the Great Recession officially ended (though only for government types and Wall Street), the average weekly wage rose again to $615.96, while the total tax take actually fell to $3,318,696 million.
– In 2015 (the last year OECD data is available), the average weekly wage only rose to $709.13, while the total tax take spiked to $4,754,120 million.

And yet some people wonder why there aren’t too many stay-at-home parents anymore, why the “recovery” feels like anything but, and why we can’t (re-)double the transportation taxes in Wisconsin.

Revisions/extensions (10:44 pm 1/6/2017) – So you want to consider GDP? Okay; let’s do that. In fact, I’ll give you the advantage of considering the private-sector portion; not only is it the portion that funds government, but its growth is greater than the government portion. Direct from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

– In 1985, private-sector GDP was $3,438.3 billion (or if you prefer, just over $3.4 trillion).
– In 1995, private-sector GDP was $6,211.9 billion.
– In 2007, private-sector GDP was $11,675.7 billion.
– In 2009, private-sector GDP was $11,329.6 billion.
– In 2015, private-sector GDP was $14,818.3 billion.

In short, both between 1985 and 2015, and since the Great Recession “ended” (and especially since the Great Recession “ended”), growth in tax collections outstripped even private-sector GDP. The “why” is a subject of yet another post, but it starts with “Huge” and ends with “Government Growth” (and not the portion that adds to GDP either).

R&E part 2 (10:47 pm 1/6/2017) – Read the wrong line for everything except 1985 private-sector GDP on the spreadsheet. Corrected.

January 4, 2017

Election bauble

Though this place may not exactly reflect the truism, the election cycle never really stops. Yesterday saw the last date candidates could file for the spring non-partisan election, headlined (at least on paper) by the state Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Annette Ziegler and the state superintendent of public instruction seat currently held by Tony Evers, as well as the release of most of the counties’ reimbursement requests for conducting the Presidential recount.

First, the shocking and surprising item. The Jill Stein campaign will almost certainly have spent significantly less than originally billed for her total net 66 vote gain (and 778 net vote loss vice winner/President-elect Donald Trump). With final reimbursement requests from 69 of 72 counties and a preliminary request from a 70th (Milwaukee), those 70 counties spent a total of $1,533,488.25 on the recount, a mere 51.6% of their estimates of $2,992,849.31. If Brown and Kenosha Counties spent a similar percentage of their original $368,757 estimates, the counties/municipalities portion of the bill will come to just a tick over $2 million.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has yet to produce its costs, but I somehow doubt that it will be anywhere close to $1.5 million. This may be a Flashing VCR Correct moment (more rare than the Stopped Clock Right moment), but you do have to love efficient, accurate government. If only the DOT would take a lesson from this and not do expensive stuff like putting in a 300-foot dedicated right-turn lane to service a half-dozen residences.

Next, the shocking-but-shouldn’t-have-surprised-anyone moment. Justice Annette Ziegler will be unopposed on the ballot. It’s shocking in that the last person to run unopposed was the late Justice Patrick Crooks in 2006, with 7 contested elections, the last 6 with sitting Justices (though the last was essentially an open seat) in the interim. It shouldn’t have been surprising because 5 of those sitting Justices won re-election, with Justice Michael Gableman’s defeat of then-Justice Louis Butler in 2008 being the only defeat of a sitting Justice since 1967.

Another item in the “shouldn’t have been surprising” bin – JR Ross notes Justice Ann Walsh Bradley was unopposed in 2005.

Meanwhile, Evers (WEAC-WEAC) drew a former Beloit superindent Lowell Holtz and Walker recall signer John Humphries to force a February 21 primary.

December 12, 2016

The recount is over, to be certified at 3 pm

That is the news from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is due to certify the recults at 3. It earlier said that the counting was complete, with only 4 counties yet to submit their official canvass.

Speaking of (unofficial) results, as of Saturday night, 90.8% of the reporting units, representing 91.3% of the votes originally cast for the 7 candidates on the ballot, were recounted. Besides the partial results from the city of Milwaukee, there had been 10 reporting units not recorded in the daily spreadsheets. There had been a total net vote change of +1480, or +0.055%. As Ed Morrissey noted earlier today, that is purer than Ivory soap.

Individually, Hillary Clinton gained 691 votes, Donald Trump gained 628 votes, and Jill Stein gained…wait for it…wait for it…68 votes. I hope the nearly $4 million Stein spent on validating Trump’s win was worth it for her.

Meanwhile, the recount efforts in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, and thus the fever dreams of the Left, were shut down by various judges.

December 6, 2016

Aggrieved? Hacked? Not exactly.

First, a bit of self/cross-promotion – I did what is effectively a weekend update over at RightWisconsin. My analysis of the Presidential recount will be split between there and here.

There was a massive data dump to the Wisconsin Elections Commission last night. With over 55% of the votes originally cast, in 58% of the reporting units, Hillary Clinton managed to gain a net 3 votes on Donald Trump (+142 to +139 vice the county canvasses), while Jill Stein gained 50 votes.

The big news is that a rather massive hole got blasted in the theory that the election was “hacked”. In St. Croix County, which completed its portion of the recount Monday, 5 voting machines in 4 municipalities fell under suspicion after the modems which remotely report results to the county clerk were serviced. However, the Wisconsin Elections Commission investigated and found nothing improper. Indeed, the Stein campaign representatives in St. Croix County, in its own contempraneous review of the recount in various reporting units, agreed with the machine tape in each case.

Meanwhile, the nightmare may be over before it really begins in Michigan. A state appeals court ruled that Stein is not an “aggrieved” candidate and thus should be denied a recount. That state’s board of canvassers, which split evenly on partisan lines on the issue last week, thus triggering the recount is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to take that under advisement. Also, Stein’s Pennsylvania federal lawsuit is scheduled for a Friday hearing, the timing of which doesn’t appear to bode well for her Clinton’s chances.

December 3, 2016

Wisconsin Presidential recount – Day 3

Just a few quick items after the Wisconsin Elections Commission posted the spreadsheet of day 2 of the won’t-change-a-thing Wisconsin recount:

Jill Stein dropped her attempt to get a court to force a recount in Pennsylvania after her campaign couldn’t come up with the $1 million bond the court required. With that, even without the results from Wisconsin and Michigan, Donald Trump has 280 electoral votes. Maybe the WEC should have got the full $3.9 million from Stein up-front instead of the $3.5 million.

– With 24% of the original number of votes recounted, representing 29.7% of the reporting units, Trump has gained 308 74 votes over the original county canvasses, Hillary Clinton has gained 187 45 votes and Stein has gained 171 41 votes. Projecting that over the remaining ballots, Trump’s lead over Clinton would grow by 121 votes, and his lead over Stein would grow by 137 votes.

– The three biggest errors of the election thus far all came from election officials, not from either “hacked” voting machines or voters not making their intent clear enough to be known on Election Day. In the town of Centerville in Manitowoc County, 24 ballots for Clinton that weren’t counted on Election Day showed up for the recount. In the town of Bashaw in Washburn County, 33 votes that should have been counted for Trump in the canvass weren’t until Thursday. Backing those three incidents (including 17 votes not counted for Stein in Menominee County, found on the first day) out, Trump’s projected leads over Clinton and Stein would grow by 83 votes and 71 votes respectively.

– While the transposition errors in yesterday’s spreadsheet were corrected (which also corrected the issue in Woodland), there were several new transposition errors in today’s spreadsheet. Also, only partial results came from St. Francis. I understand these are unofficial numbers being reported outside the normal and official process, but that can get confusing.

Revisions/extensions (6:22 pm 12/3/2016) – Speaking of transposition errors, instead of reading off the “changes-to-date” line on my spreadsheet, I read off the “projected total change” line. It doesn’t change the stated projected lead changes.

Revisions/extensions part 2 (11:31 pm 12/3/2016) – Thanks for the HotAir-lanche, Ed. I hope this place isn’t too dusty. Also, I added a poll on how many votes Jill Stein will get in this meaningless recount.

R&E part 3 (8:27 am 12/4/2016) – The Stein/Clinton campaign merely switched their Pennsylvania efforts to federal court, where the costs are a lot less.

December 2, 2016

Wisconsin Presidential recount – Day 2

The recount of the Presidential election in Wisconsin is in its second day, and unless one is a Clinton/Stein diehard supporter, things are going right about as expected. The Wisconsin Elections Commission posted the results given to it yesterday, and with a couple of important notes, not much has changed with over 10% of the original vote, and over 13% of the reporting units, recounted. Indeed, the biggest change remains Menominee County’s original failure to report most of the miniscule number of votes cast for the minor-party candidates in the most Democrat-heavy county in the state (17 for Jill Stein, 12 for Gary Johnson and 3 for Darrell Castle).

The WEC’s spreadsheet includes partial totals for various reporting units in the city of Milwaukee, with none of the absentee ballots counted yet, as well as what appears to be 2 partial reports from a reporting unit in Hales Corners and from the town of Woodland in Sauk County. Taking those out of the spreadsheet, 484 of Wisconsin’s 3636 reporting units (or 478 of 3,499 that actually had at least 1 vote recorded) have been recounted, representing what had been canvassed as 299,970 votes for the 7 candidates that were on the ballot. Donald Trump had a net gain of 5 votes, Hillary Clinton had a net gain of 3 votes, and Stein a net gain of 24 votes. Including the other minor candidates, the 459 total vote changes yielded a net change in the number of votes recorded of only +47.

Extending that over the remaining 90% of the vote/87% of the reporting units, Trump’s lead over Clinton would grow to 22,637 (+20 versus the original canvass), and his lead over Stein would shrink to 1,373,248 (-186 versus the original canvass). Of course, that includes the “clerical” error in Menominee County; backing that error out would net Stein only 69 additional votes instead of 235 additional votes. Either way, that would represent one of the most expensive per-vote expenditures in the history of elections for exactly zero net effect as she would still be in a distant 4th place and the Green Party would still have automatic ballot access through 2018 without the recount.

Of note, 308 reporting units, including 302 with at least 1 vote cast, had zero changes. Given the establishment of voter intent is significantly more permissive in a recount than on election day, there is no statistical evidence of mischief by the election officials.

Indeed, Wisconsin has conducted an audit of every type of electronic voting equipment used after every fall general election since 2006, and not even one piece of equipment has failed to meet the federal standard of no more than 1 error per 500,000 ballots. The municipal clerks and the WEC were in the midst of this year’s audit when the recall came about and put at least a temporary hold on that.

In other news, a federal judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by a couple of pro-Trump PACs, though he did schedule a hearing on the case for December 9. Meanwhile, the recount in the 32nd Senate district ended disappointingly, with Jennifer Schilling extending her margin of victory over Dan Kapanke from 56 votes to 61 votes.

Wisconsin is the swingingest swing state that ever swung

Dr. Eric Ostermeier analyzed the history of plurality wins by a Presidential candidate over at Smart Politics. He has a whole host of remarkable numbers, but I’ll highlight a couple of Wisconsin-specific items.

With Trump’s (pending recount) plurality win, one of 14 this cycle, Wisconsin now has the highest percentage of plurality Presidential wins in the nation at 30.2%. That includes 4 straight plurality wins between 1992 and 2004, just one cycle off the record of 5 set by Indiana between 1876 and 1892.

That also makes Wisconsin one of only 3 states to have produced 5 plurality winners between 1992 and 2016, with New Mexico and Florida the other 2. New Mexico also produced plurality winners in the same years as Wisconsin, while Florida produced a plurality winner in 2012 instead of 2004.

That alone doesn’t make Wisconsin the swingingest swing state. It is also the margins of victory that matter, and since 2000, Wisconsin stands alone in that regard. Unless Trump gains a net of some 6,000 votes in the recount (or Clinton somehow gains a net of 29,000 votes or Stein some 1.4 million, neither of which appears likely to happen even after the most-Democrat-leaning county in the state, Menominee County, finished their portion of the recount), this will be the 3rd election of the last 5 to be decided by less than a percentage point.

I’m back

by @ 8:08. Filed under The Blog.

This place sure got dusty in my absence, mostly due to a couple forays onto Twitter (which I am well and truly over). Oh well; you can’t keep a good Egg down forever.

I rather doubt I’ll be doing things on a daily basis, but there’s a target-rich environment out there, and I need the practice.

January 10, 2015

Assembly bumps up per-day per-diems, not necessarily total cost

by @ 11:05. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Owen)

On Thursday, via a secret ballot and with no public meeting, the Committee on Assembly Organization unanimously made several changes to the per-diem and mileage reimbursement system for the Assembly. The media reporting of this, both traditional and new, has been a bit of a hash, with no one source having the entire story, so allow me to summarize everything that is known:

  • The per-diem for Assembly members who set up a temporary residence in Madison (e.g., stay at a hotel overnight) has been raised from $88 per day, where it has been since 2001 to $137.70 (incorrectly reported in most reports as $138) per day. That raise is in accordance with state law also passed in 2001 setting the maximum per diem at 90% of the federal per diem for federal employees traveling to Madison, which the $88/night was at least close to at the time.
  • The per-diem for Assembly members who do not set up a temporary residence in Madison, including by rule all those who live in Dane County, has been raised from $44 per day to $68.85 per day (half that of those who do set up a temporary residence).
  • Instead of receiving mileage compensation for one round trip to the Capitol per week, those living at least 25 miles from the Capitol will receive mileage compensation for two round trips per week, while those living within 25 miles of the Capitol will receive none.
  • Instead of receiving a per diem for every weekday spent in Madison on official business, and every weekend day spent in Madison when either the Legislature is in session or a committee a legislator is a part of is in session, Assembly members will receive only either a maximum of two “day-trip” per diems or one “overnight” per diem per week when in Madison on official business.

I do appreciate that the hotels that offer special “legislator” rates in an attempt to allow the $88/night “overnight” per diem to be close to break-even may well be losing money in doing so, and that even with said special rates, it isn’t quite enough to cover anything more than staying at a somewhat-remote Motel 6 and eating McDonald’s food. I even applaud the slight modernization of the mileage reimbursement, especially because it is rather easy to commute from, say, Milwaukee on a normal legislative day (though the all-night sessions do put a crimp in that plan).

However, I do have a couple of issues with the new system. First, even though Speaker Robin Vos, chair of the organization committee, did eventually say that every member of the committee voted for the new rule, the fact that it was a secret ballot and not conducted as part of a public meeting of the committee is quite troubling.

Second, the “day-trip” per diem, even though it is still at the traditional half of the “overnight” per diem, is incredibly high. As Captain Ned points out in the comments at Boots and Sabers, the federal per diem for meals in Madison is only $56 per day. To be within the spirit of the law, the “day-trip” per diem should be $50.40 per day. Owen points out in said comments that many private companies have per-meal per diems, and gave an example of $10 per breakfast, $15 per lunch and $25 per dinner (which conveniently adds up to $50 for the three meals).

Still, that last item, which I only saw covered by the Wisconsin State Journal (which is why I linked to their story) and mentioned in Owen’s excerpt of same, is quite positive. In fact, that hard cap of $137.70 per representative per week should prove to be a money-saver, even with a second round trip to the Capitol per week being reimbursed.

December 25, 2014

Have a blessed Christmas

by @ 6:57. Filed under Religion.

From St. Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-12, NIV84)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Have a blessed Christmas.

November 25, 2014

Here we go again – the EU picks a fight with Google

by @ 21:42. Filed under Da Tech Guy columns, Media, Politics, Technology.

Editor’s note – This originally appeared at Da Tech Guy Blog, where I write a weekly column on Saturdays

Stop me if you heard this one before – the European Union, flush with soverign political power but essentially bankrupt in the technology world, targets a dominant American technology company to force it to “de-couple” a major part of its business model from the rest of the company’s business model. This is actually the third time the EU has at least threatened this, and while the first two times, it successfully targeted Microsoft, this time, they’re targeting Google. The opening paragraph of Forbes contributor Tim Worstall’s piece:

Or at least that’s what is being suggested in the European Parliament, that search engines should be forced to be divorced from other business activities. It’s also true that they don’t directly mention Google but that’s obviously who it is aimed at. Fortunately, as a matter of public policy this isn’t going to go very far. Because the European Parliament doesn’t actually have the right to propose either actions or legislation. Only the European Commission can actually propose something and then the Parliament gets to say yea or nay to it.

Before you laugh this threat away like Worstall does, I am compelled to point out that the EU not only got Microsoft to unbundle Windows Media Player and, later, Internet Explorer from the various versions of Windows sold in Europe, but that the EU enriched itself by nearly $2 billion from Microsoft’s coffers.

The interesting bit of the EU’s latest attack on American technology companies comes later in Worstall’s column. It seems the German press got miffed that Google News was “stealing” their articles by, get this, excerpting the articles and linking to the full versions, with the net effect of driving traffic to the German press’ websites. Their attempt to use the German Bundestag to show Google what’s what failed spectacularly when Google simply stopped linking to them instead of paying the suddenly-legalized extortion. They then got the German members of the EU bureaucracy involved, and here we are.

I’m sure there’s a lesson for the “establishment” press here. On a related note, do read Worstall’s piece for the explanation of why decoupling Google’s search engine from the rest of its business is “insane”.

November 13, 2014

The Milwaukee/Madison stranglehold on the Democrat Party

by @ 18:30. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Mark Belling pointed out something astonishing earlier this afternoon – every Demcorat nominee for governor since 1964 has run from either the city of Milwaukee or Dane County. It turns out the Milwaukee/Madison wings have had an even stronger stranglehold on the Democrat US Senator nominee. Since Francis Ryan Duffy (D-Fond du Lac) lost his re-election bid in 1938, every candidate has called Milwaukee, Madison or Madison’s suburbs home during their campaigns and, for the successful, their tenures:

1944 – Howard McMurray (D-Milwaukee), lost
1946 – McMurray, lost
1950 – Thomas Fairchild (D-Verona), lost
1952 – Fairchild, lost (and returned to his regular home of Milwaukee after the 1952 election)
1956 – Henry Maier (D-Milwaukee), lost
1957 – William Proxmire (D-Madison), won a special election
1962 – Gaylord Nelson (D-Madison), won (yes, he was originally from Clear Lake, but he called Madison his Wisconsin home throughout his tenure as Senator)
1964 – Proxmire, won
1968 – Nelson, won
1970 – Proxmire, won
1974 – Nelson, won
1976 – Proxmire, won
1980 – Nelson, lost
1982 – Proxmire, won
1986 – Ed Garvey (D-Madison), lost
1988 – Herb Kohl (D-Milwaukee), won
1992 – Russ Feingold (D-Middleton), won (yes, he was originally from Janesville, but he called Middleton his Wisconsin home throughout his tenure as Senator)
1994 – Kohl, won
1998 – Feingold, won
2000 – Kohl, won
2004 – Feingold, won
2006 – Kohl, won
2010 – Feingold, lost
2012 – Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison), won

What are the odds that the only person left on the DPW bench, state senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), or the one-time hope of the “moderate” Democrats, Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse), will be either the next Democrat gubernatorial candidate or the next Democrat US Senate candidate? Even though Shilling IS the DPW bench, would fit nicely in Round 3 of Teh War On Wymynz!!1!!!EleVeNTy!~!@ scheduled for 2016, and was deftly maneuvered to the Senate Dem leader position to give her “experience” by Chris “Puppet Master” Larson (D-Milwaukee), I’d bet against her if doing so wouldn’t disqualify me from voting. For similar reasons, plus the fact that he has turned down the chance at a “promotion” from the House of Representatives multiple times, I’d bet against Kind as well if doing so didn’t disqualify me from voting.

November 10, 2014

The mandatory Packers 55 Bears 14 post

by @ 12:13. Filed under Sports.

You know it, so sing along…

Duh Bears still suck.

November 5, 2014

The 2014 election – instant reactions

It’s been far too long since I posted here, but it’s high time to do so once again. As it’s 3 am, it will be stream-of-(semi)consciousness.

– The big winner is Republicans in general, and Scott Walker in particular. With nearly every precinct counted, but with some late-arriving absentee ballots still out, Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch won re-election (again), they beat the Democrat ticket of Mary Burke and John Lehman by a 52.3%-46.6% margin.

– The Republicans extended their majorities in the Legislature to 19-14 in the Senate and at least 61-38 in the Assembly, with 2 races with Republicans in the lead likely going to a recount. If the Republicans hold onto both of those leads, the 63-36 margin would be the largest Republican margin since Dwight Eisenhower was President.

– That 19-14 Senate margin, while equal to that coming out of the 2010 election, is a more-conservative margin with the departures of Dale Schultz and Mike Ellis. Current Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald might want to take note of what happened to each of his 4 immediate full-session predecessors in the majority office (including Democrat Russ Decker). The bad news – Fleebagging is still an option for the Dems.

– One would be tempted to call Mary Burke The Big Loser in Wisconsin, but that “honor” goes to Democrat Party of Wisconsin chair Mike “Ahab” Tate. After 4 years of raging, and after some false hope in 2012 with the recall “rental” of a couple of Senate seats, Barack Obama’s win, and Rob Zerban getting within 10 percentage points of Paul Ryan, all he and his fellow Dems have to show for it is a smaller minority in the Assembly and a 28-point pasting of Zerban by Tate’s White Whale. The question now is not whether he’s re-elected to his chair next June, but whether he’s pushed out before then.

– I guess running a soft-on-crime DA for attorney general is about as successful as running a career politician for attorney general. The hardest hit – Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (D-Milwaukee), who is likely drowning his sorrows in John Doe III papers.

– Even with the Republican wave, there was one Democrat statewide survivor, Secretary of State Doug La Follette. Given his reluctance to do the one duty of SecState left to him, his 2018 SecState win will likely be a hollow one as his office is eliminated in that same election.

– The minor parties won’t like the pending elimination of the state treasurer’s and secretary of state’s office. While the Libertarian Party candidate also got 3% in the attorney general’s race, both the Green Party and Constitution Party had to dip into the tertiary statewide races to get the 1.0% of the vote in a statewide election necessary to have a state-run primary and automatic ballot access for the next 4 years.

– Nationally, it was a disaster for the Democrats. Once Mark Begich (D-Alaska) realizes the votes simply aren’t there, it will be an 8-seat pickup in the Senate, and it is likely that the Republicans will win the runoff in Louisiana. Once that happens, Angus King (I-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) may well bolt the Democrat caucus to make it a 12-seat Republican margin.

– The news isn’t any better in the House – the Republicans picked up at least 12 seats to extend their majority to at least 241 seats.

– The news isn’t much better for Democrat governors. While Sarah Palin successfully backstabbed her successor over his cutting of oil-financed welfare (negotiated by her), Republican pick-ups in places like Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts made up for it. I guess the Fleebaggers will have to run to Minnesota.

September 11, 2014

9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 7:42. Filed under History.

Editor’s note: 5 years ago, Allahpundit tweeted out what happened 13 years ago. Back then, he lived in lower Manhattan, close to the World Trade Center, close enough that he heard the planes hit the twin towers. Once again, I’ll repost them because it still is as moving as when I saw them show up in my timeline (back when I was on Twitter) live.

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

May 13, 2014

Hiding liveblog behind the more tag

by @ 10:58. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Click the more to see the liveblog

(more…)

And another test

by @ 10:24. Filed under Miscellaneous.

The last didn’t quite work.

10:27 from steveegg

Stick this in the fusebox.

10:29 from Emergency Blogging System

Test contributor input.

10:55 from steveegg

One more time.

10:56 from steveegg

Two more times.

10:57 from steveegg

Something’s up.

11:00 from steveegg

Trying to post to a closed liveblog.

11:00 from steveegg

That was disappointing.

Editing works, deletion doesn’t until the page is refreshed.

11:02 from Emergency Blogging System

Not quite what I was hoping for.

11:03 from steveegg

But it works.

Edit works, deletion doesn’t.

April 20, 2014

He Is Risen!

by @ 6:13. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Luke 24:1-12 (NIV84):

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Have a blessed Easter.

April 16, 2014

The Bucks have been sold for $550 million

by @ 16:10. Filed under Business, Politics - Milwaukee, Sports.

Today, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to hedge-fund managers Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million pending NBA approval, with the proviso that the team stay in Milwaukee and not become, potentially, the next incarnation of the Seattle Sonics. The three also announced that they would kick in a total of $200 million toward a replacement for the BMO Harris Bradley Center; $100 million from the new owners and $100 million from the old owner.

On the sports end of the story, hopefully the new owners will put a competitve product out on the court more often than once every 6 years (which, not exactly coincidentally, was inevitably the year Kohl was up for re-election ot the Senate).

The word is that a new arena will cost somewhere north of $500 million. I know Wikipedia is less than fully-reliable, but I went through the entries for the 14 aremas built for existing franchises that opened since 1997, and only the newest arena, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, came in at over $500 million when it was built. That $1 billion cost shattered the previous record of $480 million for Orlando’s Amway Center, which was built in 2010, and $420 million for Dallas’ American Airlines Center, which was built in 2001.

Even when adjusting for inflation, only 4 modern arenas came in at over $500 million – the Barclays Center ($1.03 billion in 2014 dollars), the American Airlines Center ($559 million in 2014 dollars), Los Angeles’ Staples Center (opened in 1999 for $375 million, or $531 million in 2014 dollars), and the Amway Center ($514 million in 2014 dollars). The average inflation-adjusted cost of the modern NBA arena, including the Barclays Center, was just under $400 million, with that dropping to $351 million if one ignores the New York Bloat.

I have to wonder whether Milwaukee is ready to shell out for the second-most-expensive arena in the NBA. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, just interviewed on the Mark Belling Show, said that he had not heard any solid plans for financing a new arena. Given the most-likely sites of the former Park East freeway just north of the Bradley Center and the lakefront (which are the parts of downtown without any buildings) are county-owned land, one would expect Abele to be in the loop.

Belling is spitballing the idea that it would be privately owned. There’s a world’s worth of difference between $200 million and $500 million, or even $351 million if the historical average holds. Naming rights wouldn’t cover it – not even the record-setting purchase by Barclays for the Brooklyn arena would cover the $300 million spread. Worse, while other sports venues have worked aignificant money out of naming rights, the Bradley Center board hasn’t been nearly as successful. The entire Bradley Center corporate sponsorship package was revealed to be a mere $18 million over 6 years when BMO Harris bought the naming rights 2 years ago.

The $550 million, plus another $100 million committment toward a new arena, is an amazing price, considering Forbes valued the franchise at $405 million just three months ago. Even though there was reportedly a 9-group bidding war, that does not explain that much of a premium given the no-move proviso. Given all three principals are big-time Democrats (Kohl a Democrat as a Senator, Edens and Lasry as massive, active donors to Democrats), someone might want to keep an eye on Kohl’s still-active Senate campaign committee.

Revisions/extensions (5:18 pm 4/16/2014) – The total $650 million (including the $100 million new arena committment) sale price shatters the previous record sale price of an NBA team – the $513 million sale of the Sacramento Kings and their equally-ancient arena, the Sleep Train Arena, last year.

December 25, 2013

Have a blessed Christmas

by @ 8:06. Tags:
Filed under Religion.

From St. Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-12, NIV84)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Have a blessed Christmas.

December 15, 2013

Shut Rogers down and fire them all – or maybe not

by @ 16:51. Filed under Sports.

The Packers need a major miracle to make the playoffs as the tragic number is now 1, or at least it will be official in another half. 1 more loss or 1 Bears win (or, likely, 1 more Lions win after they win tomorrow night) means they’ll be watching the playoffs from the comfort of the couch. Why risk Aaron Rogers getting hurt the next 2 weeks when it’s impossible to either make the playoffs or (thanks to the tiebreaker) finish last in the NFC North.

If I were Mark Murphy, I would demand Wile E. Thompson’s, Mike McCan’thy’s, and Dumb Capers’ resignations at halftime today.

Revisions/extensions (6:44 pm 12/15/2013) – I’d like to take credit for that halftime speech. What a comeback! Thank you Cowgirls for piss-poor playcalling that led to a piss-poor performance in the 4th quarter.

December 14, 2013

Sorry about the dust

by @ 10:17. Filed under The Blog.

I had intended on doing posts here, but when a friend asks to help fill in at his much-larger blog while he attended to the affairs of his late sister-in-law, I help.

Ed will be back at full steam at Hot Air on Monday, so I’ll be back here trying to clear out the dust.

December 3, 2013

Cooking the unemployment numbers

by @ 20:24. Filed under Economy, Politics - National.

Note – a version of this originally appeared on DaTechGuy Blog as part of DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven. Do make sure you head there daily from content from both Pete Da Tech Guy and the rest of the Magnificent Seven.

Two weeks ago, the New York Post‘s John Crudele broke the story that the Census Bureau, which conducts the Current Population Survey (CPS) that is the basis for the unemployment rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has been falsifying the data since 2010. Curdele interviewed a person who was caught by the Census Bureau in 2010 simply making up data, with the employee claiming his superiors told him to do so because his region was not successfully interviewing enough people for the survey. According to an anonymous source, that effort intensified in the months leading up to the 2012 election, with September 2012’s data specifically falsified to President Barack Obama’s favor, and continues to the present time.

These allegations are currently being investigated by both the House Oversight Committee and the Inspector General of the Census Bureau, with the BLS also quite interested in them.

One place they can start is comparing what came out of the CPS to a measure of unemployment conducted by Gallup, started in January 2010. There are a couple of key differences between the CPS and Gallup which make a comparison a bit harder:

– While the CPS uses a reference week that includes the 12th of the month (5th of the month in November), Gallup uses a 30-day rolling average.
– The CPS surveys (or claims to survey) 60,000 people age 16 and over, while over the course of each 30-day rolling average, Gallup surveys 30,000 adults.

Fortunately, the BLS releases, as part of its dataset, the data from the portion of the CPS that covers adults, or about 57,500 surveyed out of approximately 153,000,000 considered part of the labor force. That allows an apples-to-apples comparison:

Gallup-CPS

For the most part, the CPS measure of adult unemployment is significantly lower than Gallup’s measure. How significant? Let’s take a look at Gallup’s measure on the day that puts the CPS reference day right in the middle of the rolling average, the 27th day of the month (20th for November and also December to avoid an artificial post-Christmas spike). The CPS unemployment was calculated by dividing the number of unemployed by the number considered to be in the workforce, so I could get much closer than to the nearest tenth of a percentage point reported. The raw data was not available for Gallup’s measure of unemployment, so I took the closest possible number to the CPS measure that still rounded to Gallup’s tenth of a percentage point reported.

Gallup-CPS divergence

Polls, which is what the CPS and Gallup measures really are, come with a margin of error, within which the true value can be expected either 90% or 95% of the time. For the CPS, the 90%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.20 percentage points and the 95%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.24 percentage points. For Gallup, the 90%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.28 percentage points and the 95%-confidence margin of error is +/-0.34 percentage points.

Two polls are considered to be in good agreement when their values are within each others’ margin of error. Meanwhile at least one poll has to be wildly incorrect when the difference between the two is more than the sums of their margin of error. Out of 46 months’ worth of data:

– 18 months saw Gallup’s and CPS’s measures of unemployment disagree by more than the combined 90%-confidence margin of error of 0.49 percentage points, with 17 months having Gallup’s measure higher.
– 8 months saw the measures of unemployment disagree by between 0.28 percentage points (Gallup’s 90%-confidence margin of error) and 0.49 percentage points, with another 3 months seeing a disagreement between 0.20 percentage points (CPS’s 90% confidence margin of error) and 0.28 percentage points.
– 17 months saw the measures of unemployment in “good agreement”, disagreeing by less than 0.20 percentage points.

When two polls wildly disagree more than they are in “good agreement”, one of them has to be wrong. Given the disagreement has been almost invariably in the administration’s favor, and there already was a proven round of fakery in the CPS, it sure looks like the official measure of unemployment has been cooked longer than a burnt turkey.

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