Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics.

From Wikipedia, (Motto: "Facts, Half Truths and the shit Michelle Bachman's interns post.")

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point.
The term was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli's works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Other coiners have therefore been proposed, and the phrase is often attributed to Twain himself."

The following headline and the first couple of paragraphs of a "story" that was vomited into my inbox by right-wing bottle of Ipecac that is

This is a layer cake of funny.

I just don't know which layer is funniest.

Guy Benson, writing for Townhall says that Obama's approval rating has slid to 37%.

Since he doesn't source his claim I guess I'll have to take him at his word.

Because, if Townhall published it, it must be true. I'm sure that the poll he sites can be found at Breitbart, Newsmax or Townhall, itself.

But, that's not the funny part.

Here's the funny.

Benson, providing "perspective," uses Dubbya's 34% approval low as the benchmark.

Now, The Blog is not so good at the maths...

But, I'm pretty sure that 34% is less than 37% by four points.

So, speaking of points, what is his?

GWB - 0   Bus - 1

Giving the benefit of the doubt to Guy, (Can I call you Guy?) and assuming that this statistic is accurate, well, 37% does seem like a pretty sad number.

Again, math. Not my strong suit.

But, let's try to do this...

Guy neglects to factor in the fact that 47% of Americans have, do and always will hate Obama from day one.

x = republican, right-wing, tea baggers.

Add to that, the substantial number of true, liberal Progressives who have been disappointed by Obama's less than progressive performance.

y = disenchanted, liberal, Democratic, progressives.


(-x) + -y) = 37%

Which is still > Bush approval.

Now, let's go on to factor the thing that Guy ignores completely.

Congress' approval since "The Shutdown."

Polls taken yesterday and today by numerous sources put Congress' approval rating at 5 to 7%.

In fairness, a Gallup poll taken yesterday puts Congress' approval at a whopping 27%.

Again, not good at math. But, holy shit!

5% or 27%, Congress' approval rating renders the POTUS' approval rating pretty irrelevant in the big picture. Don't you think?

Guy's Townhall post is clumsy misdirection, at best.

But, there are those people who only get their "news" from sources like Townhall won't know anything else.

And my their God help me...

By tomorrow, that 37% is what I am going to hear about.

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