Post electiion ACTIONS + Triumph of the Nerds
- From: earthactionnetwork@...
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 9:34 PM
Subject: Post electiion ACTIONS + Triumph of the Nerds
There is an epic showdown coming next month as our country faces the "fiscal
cliff" -- the Bush tax cuts will expire and major budget cuts will be
triggered automatically. President Obama backed down on the Bush tax cuts in
December 2010, but fresh from winning re-election, we need to make sure he
keeps his commitment to end them. We helped put him in the Oval Office twice
now, and we need to make sure he knows our priorities.
The Bush tax cuts are irresponsible, immoral, and have added $1 TRILLION to
the deficit. They are the chief reason that we can no longer fund vital
Click below to tell President Obama to make ending the Bush tax cuts his top
The election is over, but the fight isn't! Washington is on the verge of a
showdown over taxes and spending.
It seems like everyone is going around saying the 'America is broke', but as
Van points out, the truth is that "We are not broke, we are being robbed --
and somebody has our money!"
I just signed the commitment to not buy the myth and to help spread the
truth. If you're with me can you sign it as well? Here's the link:
Here's some terrific news. With victories yesterday in statewide votes in
WA%2BJ2NY%2FYzbTE> Montana and
eJ2NY%2FYzbTE> Colorado , both by nearly three-to-one margins, we're now one
quarter of the way to amending the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens
This a huge milestone, one we could not have achieved without your help,
along with the help of many friends and allied organizations, including
Common Cause, which led the way on the Montana and Colorado victories with
our support, as well as People for the American Way, Public Citizen, U.S.
PIRG, Move to Amend, Ben & Jerry's, RootsAction, the American Sustainable
Business Council, Auburn Seminary, Avaaz, Credo, unPAC, and SignOn.org.
As you may recall, amending the constitution requires passage by two thirds
of each chamber of Congress, and then ratification by three quarters of the
states. Those thresholds equal 67 U.S. Senators, 290 U.S. Representatives,
and ten states.
We're one quarter of the way there in the Senate, with 24 returning U.S.
Senators who have introduced or co-sponsored amendment bills. We're also
one quarter of the way there in the House, with 73 returning U.S.
Representatives having introduced or co-sponsored amendments.1 And now, as
of yesterday, eleven states have formally called for an amendment: Hawaii,
New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, California, Connecticut, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Montana, and Colorado.
It's especially exciting that Montana and Colorado acted through statewide
votes of the people. They're the first states to do so (the other nine
states acted through their legislatures). The overwhelming margins of
victory are worth celebrating too: although the last ballots are still being
counted, the count so far in Montana stands at 74.9% to 25.1%; in Colorado
the count so far is 73.8% to 26.2%
These victories also underscore the trans-partisan nature of our growing
national movement: Montana's a red state, and Colorado is a swing state.
Polls show that support for an amendment transcends party lines: our own
poll in 2010 showed that 68% of Republicans, 82% of independents, and 87% of
Democrats support an amendment.2 An Associated Press poll this past
September found that 81% of Republicans, 78% of independents, and 85% of
Democrats want to limit corporate, union, and other outside spending on our
This trans-partisan support will be tremendously important for our continued
success going forward.
Help us build on this momentum. Send a letter to the editor of your
newspaper to get the word out about what we're accomplishing together. Now,
just after Americans everywhere have been barraged for months by negative
campaign ads enabled by Citizens United, is a great time to highlight what
we can do go fight back.
We've made it easy to put your letter together in just a few moments with
our online tool.
9k7X5aeJ2NY%2FYzbTE> Click here to send a letter to the editor of your
Thanks again for all you did to make this moment possible.
Free Speech For People
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
<http://mashable.com/2012/11/07/nate-silver-wins/> Triumph of the Nerds:
Nate Silver Wins in 50 States
<http://mashable.com/author/chris-taylor/> November 7, 2012 by
<http://mashable.com/author/chris-taylor/> Chris Taylor
<http://mashable.com/follow/topics/barack-obama> Barack Obama may have
comfortably won re-election in the electoral college, and squeaked a victory
in the popular vote. But here is the absolute, undoubted winner of this
election: <http://mashable.com/follow/topics/nate-silver> Nate Silver and
The <http://fivethirtyeight.com/> Fivethirtyeight.com analyst, despite
being <http://mashable.com/2012/11/02/nate-silver-twitter/> pilloried by
the pundits , outdid even his 2008 prediction. In that year, his
mathematical model correctly called 49 out of 50 states, missing only
Indiana (which went to ROMNI by 1%
This year, according to all projections, Silver's model has correctly
predicted 50 out of 50 states. A last-minute flip for Florida, which finally
went blue in Silver's prediction on Monday night, helped him to a perfect
A caveat: Florida has not yet been called officially, but Obama is in the
lead with 98% of precincts reporting. If anything, Silver's placing of
Florida on a knife edge makes him look even more prescient. No wonder one of
the night's more popular tweets suggested that he was actually from the
future, working from old newspapers.
SEE ALSO: <http://mashable.com/2012/11/02/nate-silver-twitter/> Did Nate
Silver Let Twitter Get Under His Skin?
What does this victory mean? That mathematical models can no longer be
derided by "gut-feeling" pundits. That Silver's contention - TV pundits are
generally no more accurate than a coin toss - must now be given wider
The great thing about a model like Silver's (and that of similarly winning
math nerds, such as Sam Wang of the <http://election.princeton.edu/>
Princeton Election Consortium ) is that it takes all that myopic human bias
out of the equation. The ever-present temptation to cherry-pick polls is
You set your parameters at the start, deciding how much weight and accuracy
you're going to give to each poll based purely on their historical accuracy.
You feed in whatever other conditions you think will matter to the result.
Then, you sit back and let the algorithm do the work.
Silver may be a registered Democrat, but he learned back when he was doing
baseball analysis that he'd never get anywhere if his models weren't
absolutely neutral, straight down the line between feuding teams.
By 2016, if the networks are paying attention, don't be surprised to see
that the talking heads are all Nate Silver clones. Every media organization
will now want its own state poll-based algorithm, especially given
much traffic Silver has driven to the New York Times' website . We'll see
more about that kind of model, and less stories about individual polls,
which are almost always misleading unless you aggregate them.
Statistics, big data, neutral mathematical models - this, it turns out, is
what people want. Who knew?
Well, we geeks knew, but we're starting to get used to having the rest of
the world follow our lead. We had the smartphones first, we read the fantasy
books before they became blockbuster movies and TV shows, and now we can
boast that we stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Nate Silver's data before it
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"War's never a winning thing, Charlie. You just lose all the time, and the
one who loses last asks for terms. All I remember is a lot of losing and
sadness and nothing good at the end of it. The end of it, Charles, that was
a winning all to itself, having nothing to do with guns."
--Ray Bradbury, from the short story "The Time Machine" 1957
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