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Nate Silver Hub



04/19/2007


Thursday Speed Read: North Carolina, Nate Silver, Rosemary Lehmberg, Brunei, Ohio, Oklahoma

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

TENTH CIRCUIT HEARS SECOND CASE:

OklahomaThe same three-judge panel that heard the lawsuit challenging Utah’s ban on recognition of same-sex marriages today hears a lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s. Jim Campbell, legal counsel from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that has been opposing same-sex marriage, will argue for Oklahoma. Don Holladay, counsel with Holladay & Chilton in Oklahoma City, will argue for the plaintiffs.  Argument begins at 1:30 MDT at the Denver federal courthouse. Each side will get 15 minutes. Audio recordings of the proceedings will be available on the court’s website within 24 hours of adjournment.

U.N. ADMONISHES BRUNEI STONING LAW:

BruneiThe United Nations’ Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement April 11 admonishing the southeast Asian nation of Brunei for revising its penal code to require stoning to death any person convicted of sodomy and other sexually related offenses. The revised code goes into effect April 22. U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville said the revised code “may encourage further violence and discrimination against women and also against people on the basis of sexual orientation.”

OHIO JUDGE SPLITS THE STAY:

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black did as he said he might: He ordered the state of Ohio Wednesday to include the names of both same-sex parents on the birth certificates of children born and adopted to four same-sex couples in a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. But he stayed his ruling that the state ban on recognizing marriages of same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The stay will remain pending review by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The case, Henry v. Wymyslo, was led by civil rights attorney-activist Al Gerhardstein in Cincinnati.

DON’T MESS WITH ANYBODY IN TEXAS:

LehmbergTexas Republican Governor Rick Perry is into a big-time scrap with lesbian Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat. Lehmberg, who’s gay, is the top prosecutorial officer for Travis County –the same county that runs the state’s Public Integrity Unit which is charged with investigating wrongdoing by state officials. She’s credited with convicting U.S. House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay in 2010 for money laundering (a case now on appeal to the state’s high court for criminal appeals). But Lehmberg ran into trouble last April when police found her drunk and behind the wheel of a car in a church parking lot. Lehmberg acknowledged guilt, apologized, spent three weeks in jail, and entered a treatment program. But she refused calls from Perry and other Republican leaders to resign. Perry then claimed Lehmberg had “lost the public’s confidence” and vetoed funding for her Public Integrity budget. Texans for Public Justice, a political watchdog group, charged that Perry is breaking the law by trying to coerce Lehmberg’s resignation. And this week, a Texas judge seated a grand jury to look into those allegations. Perry has reported hired a defense attorney.

THE SILVER FORECAST:

SilverOpenly gay political data cruncher Nate Silver yesterday echoed predictions that are being heard more and more frequently these days: Republicans appear poised to take over the Senate in the mid-term elections this November. Silver’s latest model “puts Democratic losses in the Senate at 6.8 seats….”

NORTH CAROLINA SOFTENS:

A poll this month in North Carolina indicates opposition to same-sex couples marrying has softened by eight points in the past two years. In May 2012, 61 percent of voters said yes to a ban on same-sex couples marrying. But a Public Policy Polling survey taken April 3-6 of 740 registered voters found only 53 percent still oppose same-sex marriage.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Nate Silver Ranks Anti-gay Marriage Donations in Silicon Valley

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Following the controversy surrounding Mozilla’s (now former) CEO Brendan Eich and his $1000 donation in support of California’s Proposition 8 back in 2008, statistician Nate Silver looked at just how rare such anti-gay donations are in Silicon Valley. 

Wrote Silver:

Silver-tech-prop-8-v3In total between these 11 [Silicon Valley-based Fortune 500] companies, 83 percent of employee donations were in opposition to Proposition 8. So Eich was in a 17 percent minority relative to the top companies in Silicon Valley.

However, there was quite a bit of variation from business to business. At Intel, 60 percent of employee donations were in support of Proposition 8. By contrast, at Apple, 94 percent of employee donations were made in opposition to Proposition 8. The opposition was even higher at Google, where 96 percent of employee donations were against it, including $100,000 from co-founder Sergey Brin.

There isn’t much data on Mozilla. Only four Proposition 8 donors listed it as their employer: Eich, who donated in support of the measure, and three others who opposed it. But it’s likely that employee sentiment at Mozilla is much like that at Google. The organizations share a lot in common; Google accounts for a large share of Mozilla’s revenue, and both are based in Mountain View, Calif. Mozilla has a reputation for progressivity, and almost all donations by its employees during the 2012 election cycle were to liberal or libertarian candidates and causes.

Silver notes, however, that these figures only reflect employees who were willing to donate publicly, for or against Proposition 8. 


Nate Silver Says GOP Has a 60 Percent Shot at Retaking the Senate: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 6.07.45 AM

Gay statistician Nate Silver, who successfully predicted all 50 states in the 2012 election, is now forecasting that the Republican Party has about a 60% chance at retaking the Senate in the 2014 midterms.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 5.53.08 AM 1Silver, who recently launched his own “data journalism” site FiveThirtyEight, spoke with ABC’s Jon Karl about what the GOP’s path of least resistance will look like later this year.  

Even more alarming, Silver predicts the GOP has a 30% chance of "winning big," - up to 11 seats. Here's hoping the wins won't be of the Tea Party variety if this scenario plays out. 

Watch Silver crunch the numbers, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Nate Silver Says GOP Has a 60 Percent Shot at Retaking the Senate: VIDEO" »


Gay Statistician Nate Silver Launches 'Data Journalism' Site

Fox

Yesterday, gay statistician Nate Silver unveiled his new “data journalism” site FiveThirtyEight which promises to apply a scientific and quantitative approach to news analysis by questioning the numbers and variables present in most news stories.

In an essay outlining his new site’s aims, Silver calls his correct prediction of all 50 states in the last U.S. presidential election, “a tremendously overrated accomplishment” and explains the gap FiveThirtyEight hopes to fill in the traditionally narrative media cycle:

“In conventional journalism, predictions are often treated as a parlor game, involving little effort and less accountability… while individual facts are rigorously scrutinized and checked for accuracy in traditional newsrooms, attempts to infer causality sometimes are not, even when they are eminently falsifiable… Predictions are usually outsourced to opinion journalists, who may have less subject-matter knowledge than reporters do.”

"No matter how well you understand a discrete event, it can be difficult to tell how much of it was unique to the circumstances, and how many of its lessons are generalizable into principles… [Thus] The problem is not the failure to cite quantitative evidence. It’s doing so in a way that can be anecdotal and ad-hoc, rather than rigorous and empirical, and failing to ask the right questions of the data.

"Narrative accounts of individual news events can be informative and pleasurable to read, and they can have a lot of intrinsic value whether or not they reveal some larger truth. But it can be extraordinarily hard to make generalizations about news events unless you stop to classify their most essential details according to some numbering or ordering system, turning anecdote into data.”

Nate_silverHowever, Silver also acknowledges that he and his staff have “the utmost admiration for journalists who gather original information and report original stories” and that “using numbers is neither necessary nor sufficient to produce good works of journalism.”

His site will operate under the patronage of ESPN with 20-plus full-time journalists covering politics, economics, science, life and sports:

“In addition to written stories, we’ll have interactive graphics and features. Within a couple of months we’ll launch a podcast, and we’ll be collaborating with ESPN Films and Grantland to produce original documentary films. You’ll find us on television and radio, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We’ll share data and code on Github.”

In the past, Mr. Silver has also looked at the data surrounding gun policy rhetoric, Hilary Clinton’s chances in 2016 and openly discussed his “sexual gayness and ethnic straightness.”


'The Daily Show' Sends Stunt Gay Couple to Test Mississippi and Alabama's Homophobia: VIDEO

Alabama_mississippi

After consulting with Nate Silver about which states will be the last to get gay marriage, The Daily Show's Al Madrigal brought a stunt gay couple to Alabama and Mississippi to see "which one of these backwoods, inbred, homophobic states will swim the longest against the tide of history."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Silver

Continue reading "'The Daily Show' Sends Stunt Gay Couple to Test Mississippi and Alabama's Homophobia: VIDEO" »


New York Times Editorial Gossips About Statistician Nate Silver's Departure

Nate Silver

Margaret Sullivan at The New York Times posted an editorial yesterday ruminating on the departure of statistician and FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver, whose predictions for the 2012 election bordered on prescient. The whole thing reads like extended water cooler chat about a colleague one is kinda sorta familiar with, but doesn't actually know really well. Her suspicions for his reasons for leaving for ESPN/ABC include:

I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive.

His entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that The Times specializes in.

A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work. 

The deciding elements more likely were money, a broader variety of platforms and the opportunity to concentrate on sports and entertainment, as well as politics.

Time Magazine has their own editorialized rundown of the story.


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