Scary: the 31-year-old campaign worker in charge of GM

It seems that Obama's man in charge of the whole GM situation is a 31-year-old campaign worker with no auto-industry experience -- in fact no business experience at all! -- who did not quite graduate from Yale Law and has spent his life since then working on political campaigns.

As Radley put it, welcome to the planned economy.

Tue Jun 02 11:50:24 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A while back...

... I wrote up a post on statistics and the assault weapons ban.  Someone else with a bit of an education has applied statistical reasoning to the list of car dealerships being shut down.  The theory is that the Obama administration is shutting down dealerships (in connection with the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies and bailouts) that are political opponents (ie, Republicans or who contribute to Republicans).  It turns out that there's nothing to most of the conspiracy theories...

... but Clinton donors tend not to get shut down, at a p value of .125.  That's a 12.5% chance that the correlation with Clinton donors was attributable to chance, compared to p values of about 50% with other variables.  As the person who did the research points out, a 5% chance is the "gold standard" for this sort of work, but 10% is sometimes used, and 12.5% is unusual in the context of the others.  It's not proof, but it's food for thought.

I should mention also it's not clear what other variables were being measured.  Looking at the geographic data, that could perhaps explain the correlation -- a lot of political attention from Clinton during the primary campaign plus a decision making criteria emphasizing "one dealer per region".  There's nothing solid here -- yet.  But these initial results do suggest that there is something going on that should be explained, even if that explanation is innocuous.

UPDATE: Lott doesn't think there's anything to this claim as it applies to Republicans, but doesn't say anything about the possible Clinton donor angle.

Mon Jun 01 03:26:40 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Progressing rapidly backwards...

During the election last November, I noted a blatant case of voter intimidation.  A man wielding a nightstick and dressed in a paramilitary uniform stood in front of the polling place in a predominantly black neighborhood, and engaged with voters approaching the polling location.  He frequently used racial slurs as he spoke with voters.  His actions were "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that a former civil rights worker (from the 1960's civil rights era) who witnessed their actions had ever seen.   The whole thing was videotaped and uploaded to YouTube.

And the Obama administration has declined to prosecute, with their political appointees overruling career lawyers.  It seems the Obama administration considers it sufficient to obtain an injunction barring the one individual from bringing a nightstick to a polling place in the future. 

Is this the change you were looking for?

... and oh, yes, I should mention one small detail.  The people engaging in voter intimidation were black.  Which goes a long way towards explaining the administration's actions, doesn't it? 

Mon Jun 01 03:18:56 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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