Sorry folks.  The news is just too bad.  I can’t do this today.  Three Mile Island Nuclear facility  has a radiation leak.  Iran is defending its nukes.  Jon and Kate mediate.  2010 foreclosures are going to go through the roof.  Health care may or may not pass and no one knows what its all about or even what outcome they should wish for.  Lieberman Eeyores over it.  Suicides are on the rise.  Bailouts helped Wall Street not Main Street.  Billions might be dedicated to Afghanistan as an anti-Taliban measure.  30k -40k troops to Afghanistan  might stretch our forces out too much.  The Cowboys beat the Redskins by one lousy point.  And if all of this isn’t bad enough…..


[Barney picture snagged from Huffington Post.] 

 [Report just in.  The steroids are a cover up.  Actually the anomalies are  from Three Mile island radiation leakage.]

39 Thoughts to “Too Much Bad News: Open Thread”

  1. JustinT

    Actually, that blue seal looks pretty happy. He doesn’t know what’s going on in above the surface of the sea. Ignorance is bliss I guess. That’s why the Tea Party retirees were silent during the Bush years when all this mess was being created, and only protest it now. Ignorance.

    It’s like this. You have a quarterback who throws 5 interceptions and fumbles three times. Your team falls behind 42 to zip. Then you put in the rookie number one draft pick and he completes 3 of 5 for 18 yards and you blame the loss on the rookie. Teabaggers. What are you gonna do?

  2. JustinT

    Actually I thought of a better sports analogy that corresponds to the Bush years (8).

    You have a pitcher in the game for 8 innings and he gets lit up every inning.

    The score is 31 to zip when you put in a relief pitcher for the 9th inning. He gives up two unearned runs and you blame the loss on the reliever.

  3. Wolverine

    Yeah, Bush really messed up on that Jon and Kate thing

  4. Punchak


  5. I am glad you all are all so creative at this hour of the night.

  6. Wolverine

    Moon-howler, you should be smiling just a little bit. As I look back over some of these recent threads, I see a whole spectrum of people really putting on their thinking caps when addressing some of these current issues. And a minimum of antagonism and temper in the midst of disagreement. You’ve got yourself a seminar of sorts going here! To heck with the Redskins. Who needs ’em?

  7. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Ahhhh, it’s good to breathe in some of that “hope and change” into your lungs, isn’t it? Makes me nostalgic for cigarettes!

  8. Second-Alamo

    And besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

  9. Second-Alamo

    Careful folks, it sounds like MH could be heading for the suicide watch list. Don’t push the Bush thing too hard, and look at the bright side, Obama did finally decide on a dog for his children. One decision is better than none! Ref: SNL

  10. Second-Alamo

    Some more ‘good news’, and once again the common thread is Muslim. When are we going to start facing the truth about Muslim involvement, and drop the PC BS?

    Have a nice day!

  11. Second-Alamo

    I’m on a roll, sorry! This should brighten your day.

  12. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    JustinT :
    Then you put in the rookie number one draft pick and he completes 3 of 5 for 18 yards and you blame the loss on the rookie. Teabaggers. What are you gonna do?

    Well, you certainly got the rookie part right!

  13. Opinion

    I went to Silver Lake yesterday. If you’re not familiar with it, Silver Lake is a new Prince William County Park that just opened to the public. There are plenty of hiking trails, picnic tables, and… a Lake. If you want a break… go to Silver Lake! It’s a really nice place.l

  14. Wolverine, Thank you. No one could have paid me a higher compliment than the one you just paid. You totally improved my mood.

    SA, I will have to check out your links in a while.

    Opinion, I was wondering where you have been. Silver Lake rules. It needed trash recepticals the last time I was out there.

  15. Elena

    So where are we going to build all these nuclear power plants? NIMBY will be the name of the game, I can guarantee that!

  16. Elena

    Great post, we have had alot of decent well mannered discussion lately, mostly well mannered and respectful I should say 🙂

  17. Nuclear plants have been NIMBY for decades. This one has already had its crisis…I want to say back in the 70’s.

    I don’t think it is a serious incident. I just exaggerated in my bad news bears briefing.

    SA, SNL has gone after every president I believe. That one was brutal. In fairness, Obama gets to share that one.

  18. Formerly Anonymous

    No, please don’t bring up the subject of Nuclear Energy policy in America. It’s such a frustrating topic to discuss. Every time I look at the subject, it makes me feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode where I’m the only person in the world that can see how obviously messed up things are. And it’s not even a case of just disagreeing with the goals of our energy policy. It’s just that our nuclear energy policy makes absolutely no sense and manages to create this bizzaro “worst of both worlds” situations.

    From TMI to Yucca to breader reactors our approach to nuclear energy feels like it is being dictated by a five year old child. Please note, this is not directed at any political party. Both Democrats and Republicans have messed up our nuclear energy policy for differing reasons. (Although Jimmy Carter bears more blame than most.)

    I’ll shut up now or run the risk of hijacking this open thread.

  19. Poor Richard

    “Crisis does not necessarily purge a system of folly; old habits and attitudes
    die hard. Conduct of the war by the Government was to be marked by
    sluggishness, negligence, divided counsel and fatal misjudgements of the
    opponet … the task and the needs were underestimated … materials and
    manpower were inadequate …”
    “The March of Folly” – (In a chapter on the American Revolution – a British history).
    by Barbara Tuchman

  20. Formerly, I don’t think it is possible to hi-jack an open thread. I don’t know enough about our nuclear policy to follow you. Feel free to elaborate.

  21. At least one restaurant in the area is having Thanksgiving Dinner for people who have fallen on hard times. If you know of such a family, please email me so I can hook you up with the right people.

  22. M-H, Prince William Forest Park is a national park with 15,000 acres, peaceful and quiet. I was out there last Thursday, and it was beautiful.

    You’re welcome to come cut up apples with me on Wednesday and relax. I’m baking pies to take to the railroad crews that have to work the next day. Lafayette’s making mashed potatoes and green beans Thurs. a.m., too.

    Turn off the TV, that’s what my minister says. Focus on local issues.

  23. @Second-Alamo

    On a more serious note…I love Barney on steroids.

    I guess I’m a sick (seal) pup.

  24. Thanks Cindy. I agree with your minister. I get depressed if I hear TV all the time. I am in the middle of the Twilight books. Just shoot me. I didn’t realize that the setting was Forks, Washington, a place near and dear to my heart.

    PAP, I thought that seal looked like Barney. I was up late last night. 🙄

  25. IWK Manassas


    Have had days like this myself lately, I can relate. My prescription for you: turn off the t.v. (especially news), read your book for awhile (the first and fourth ones are the best in the Twilight series IMO) and get a good night’s rest. Chocolate is another good idea. Sending happy thoughts your way… 🙂

  26. That’s IWK! I think you are on to something.
    Can you believe I only recently found out Forks, WA was the setting!
    I like the chocolate suggestion also. Hot tea helps.

  27. I have decided that Glenn Beck is dangerous. He spreads fear like nothing I have seen before. He is now pushing economic collapse. Fox is irresponsible to have someone like him on their show. He goes beyond gloom and doom. He says very scary things that he backs up with half baked ‘proof.’

  28. Emma

    I have been making dough the past two days for my Thanksgiving breads. There is nothing more therapeutic, in my book.

  29. Do you hit it and knead it?

    I imagine dough making would be theraputic.

  30. Emma

    No, no hitting. One must respect the gluten strands and have patience. It’s a process that appeals to all the senses, from beginning to end. Life can never get too busy for breadmaking.

  31. I have only made biscuits. Those who make bread do not necessarily make good biscuits and vice versa. Same with pie crust.

  32. Why is Sarah Palin having access to these army bases? Politians aren’t supposed to have acccess. I don’t care who the commander in chief is. Something just isn’t right. I woujld feel the same way if Bush or Clinton were still president.

    I can see John McCain being allowed to address our troops because he has other experiences such as oh…being a POW. But Palin’s bus is a political bus. She is essentially running for office. We can’t have someone undermining the commander in chief.

  33. Punchak

    This Palin frenzy is absolute astonishing – and disgusting!

    It’s 2009 and already there are polls comparing Obama and Palin. The media ought to leave Palin to do her groundbreaking without publicity, IMHO.

  34. She is likely to screw up early and often. Maybe it is just a good thing to get over the Palin mystic. no one can sustain perfection until the next election.

    I agree with you about the entire show being disgusting.

    You know what they say about giving a fool enough rope….
    @ punchak

  35. Slowpoke, what did you want to say about man made global warming? Afraid I don’t have the science background to make many comments other than it stands to reason that man would have impact on the earth.

  36. Formerly Anonymous

    Since it’s an open thread and I don’t have the energy (pardon the pun) to write a long post on nuclear power, here’s a little tidbit of info for people who are watching the 2010 Congressional Elections already.

    My employer has finished our first model of the 2010 Congressional Elections. It projects Republicans will gain 29-32 seats (with 31 being the most probable result.) The Democrats will retain a majority in the House. If you are a Democrat, you should be happy that they will retain a majority. If you are a Republican, you should be happy that a 31 seat switch is a pretty large movement.) I don’t have the exact numbers on the Senate, but it is also projected to remain with a Democratic majority.

    Closer to home, Perriello is the second most likely incumbent to be defeated. (only Cao in LA-2 is more likely.) Connolly, Wolf and Moran are all elected.

    Just a little background (or at least as much background as I can provide while remaining anonymous.) This prediction is our own creation, but it is entirely unofficial. My employer does predictive models for other events. We model political elections mostly for fun but also as a way to calibrate our model. (Unlike the events we normally model, elections have a specific final result that can be used to measure the accuracy of your prediction.) Take it with a huge grain of salt. Obviously, I put a lot of stock in our models but you should give them as much confidence as anything else an anonymous person on the Internet tells you.

  37. Thanks Formerly. I had a sneaking feeling you were a Republican operative. I see now that I am wrong. That is informative information and we are glad you are here. Feel free to share information like this any time. Don’t wait for an open thread.

    At some point I hope you will be willing and able to share some insight as to how these things work. How is information gathered and processed? To most of us at the statistics 101 level, it is all a giant mystery.

  38. Formerly Anonymous

    The real basic version of how we try to predict the future is that we don’t try. Instead we look at who has a good track record predicting the future and weigh their predictions more heavily than those that have a poor track record of predicting the future. One of our in-house jokes is that we have no problem relying on a fortune-telling gypsy, as long as it’s a fortune-telling gypsy with a good track record.

    On the political models, the closest thing to what we do is the RCP average, but they count every poll as equal. We don’t. We have a model to develop weighting factors based on a number of factors ranging from how accurate the poll was, the variance from other polls, down into the weeds of how it’s sample side varied from the actual turnout. There are a few big external factors that get thrown in (the biggest is GDP growth rate) and you can come up with a fairly good model. (This is going to sound really, really bad but while the actions of individual people aren’t predictable, large groups of people are very predictable.)

    This gives us a map of who is going to show up to vote and how they are going to vote on an issue. (eg. If health care is a big issue driving voters, are they showing up to vote because they are in favor or health care reform or against it.) Overlay this with a slightly modified Cook PVI and you get a prediction on how 435 House races will go. With a large enough set of samples (in this case polls) you can get a very good estimate of what will happen. The political stuff is towards the low end of what we can work with for sample sizes. For the stuff we do for real though we look at enormous sample sizes and have to calculate interdependencies between thousands of different events. (I told you I was a quant!)

    I should also add, although it’s probably obvious that our stuff works at a macro level. Crazy things always happen especially on the political side, which yet another reason every prediction I made is unofficial and should be taken with a large grain of salt.

    As for me being a Republican operative, I think that’s probably just an artifact of when I showed up here. I’m quite confident that if I had been here posting in late 2008, few would accuse me of being a Republican operative! (Like everyone, we were showing massive gains for Democrats in Congress and Obama winning the election handily.) I’ve actually been a lurker here for quite a while. (I guess that makes me a sleeper agent.)

    (Wow, that was a long rambling post. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!)

  39. LOL Sleeper agent!

    Every informative post. Thanks for taking your valuable time to give us a glimpse of what you do and how these things work. Sorry I thought you were a Republican operative and I think your theory on why I thought that is probably dead on right.

    You definitely sound like a quant. Not sure I ever heard the term but I know what one is.

    Keep your predictions and info coming. We won’t shoot the messenger. If someone tries, I will throw the magic cloak of protection on you. 🙄

    Happy Thanksgiving.

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