Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, April 8, 2011

Post In Haste, Repent Never

Megan McArdle is so very, very impartial and above the political fray that drags down the Little People that she wants us to know immediately about what she calls "Voting Irregularities In Wisconsin."

The fight over Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's push to change the collective bargaining rules for public sector unions has now spilled over into the courts. Specifically, into the judicial elections for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where the fate of the legislation will ultimately be decided. Liberals made a big push to get a progressive judge into the slot who would invalidate the statute recently passed by the Republican Senate. After a narrow recount, it looked as if the progressive candidate was actually going to eke out a victory--until a county clerk found 8,000 votes for Prosser (the conservative) that hadn't been counted due to a computer error.


I'm not saying that this is definitely fraud. These things do happen. But it sure doesn't look good, especially since this county clerk seems to operate her own system outside of the network used by most other Wisconsin county clerks for election results. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with running the system on your own, but obviously, when something like this happens, the clerk needs to walk outside observers through exactly what the error was, and how it was detected. And if necessary, we'd better be prepared for one more recount.

Oh, no, mercy me, she's not saying that it's definitely fraud. Just that it looks like fraud, and that a Wisconsin clerk "seems to operate her own system outside of the network and must explain herself"!!11!

There's just one tiny little problem.

superfuzzbigmuff 48 minutes ago in reply to tgbarry

"I believe the woman in question is a democrat as well. "
Do you mean the Republican Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus?
Basic facts...
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A_K_S 57 minutes ago

I'll add that Megan seems strangely ignorant here.

Megan writes "the clerk needs to walk outside observers through exactly what the error was, and how it was detected". This has already happened. The clerk in fact held a press conference to walk outside observers through exactly what the error was, and how it was detected. She forgot to save a spreadsheet. I'm wondering if Megan has ever forgotten to save a document she was working on, or is that something that Megan thinks could simply never happen.
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JoshINHB 57 minutes ago

There wasn't a recount and the error was in the vote counts submitted to the media, not the state certification process.

robpollard 44 minutes ago

Megan, this sentence is misleading:
- "Liberals made a big push to get a progressive judge into the slot who would invalidate the statute recently passed by the Republican Senate."

Actually, conservative groups spent hundreds of thousands more money than liberal groups on this election. You can certainly say "both conservatives and liberals," but your wording suggests that just liberals were involved in pushing this election.

http://millermps.wordpress.com...

Also, as noted below, the clerk did explain the error, though it makes her sound incredibly inept. Per usual (and this goes for liberals and conservatives) the error by this Republican clerk wasn't malicious, just stupid - forgetting to attach a file or check your work, which is something you think you would do 100 times in such a tightly contested and anticipated election.

She should be politely, but quickly, fired from the job (or at least not reelected, if it's not an appointed position) - b/c as you noted, this kind of "honest mistake" even if explainable, undermines confidence in the election process. 8,000 votes! C'mon!


simplebob26 44 minutes ago

Megan, your posts are normally much more thoughtful and well-researched than this one. A casual perusal of the news coming out of the press conference yesterday would have answered your questions.
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Buckland 14 minutes ago

I'm not saying that this is definitely fraud.

I think that's what they call damning with faint praise.

The town of Brookfield wasn't included in the final results. That's auditable. The locals still have the results. It was just a matter of getting them back in.

A mistake was made, and corrected within 24 hours. The trail is pretty clear through the local sums, and it's pretty easy to see that they weren't in the original. Even lefty statistician Nate Silver was sending tweets last night to try to talk people off the ledge.

When it's this easy to see where the mistake was made and what the correct numbers were, there's no grand conspiracy.


When even your diehard fans are telling you to do your homework before you dash off a slanderous [libelous] post, maybe it's time to start doing your homework.

10 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Megan, your posts are normally much more thoughtful and well-researched than this one.

AH HAH HAH HAH!!!
~

Susan of Texas said...

I chuckled.

I especially liked her thoughtful and well-reasoned reaction to Ryan's Roadmap To Greater Wealth Inequality. I can't wait until she responds to Krugman's criticism of it.

Any day now....

Ken Houghton said...

"The clerk in fact held a press conference to walk outside observers through exactly what the error was, and how it was detected. She forgot to save a spreadsheet."

Anyone who has used Access (1) knows its an inappropriate program for what it was used for and (2) knows that the explanation given is bullshit.

dlgood said...

Homework is for other people.

atat said...

"I'll add that Megan seems strangely ignorant here."

Nothing strange about it.

atat said...

"Update: My commenters tell me I have been overtaken by events-"

That's a great euphemism for talking out of one's ass. Particularly since she posted the article prior to the events in the question. They didn't overtake you, they lapped you.

Then she adds, "I'm very glad that my suspicions were wrong."

atat said...

Er, I mean the events occured prior to her posting. My brain McAddled from reading her nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Megan, your posts are normally much more thoughtful and well-researched than this one."

Since when?

The mere publishing of thousands of words about, say, Elizabeth Warren fails to indicate the writer's level of thoughtfulness or research skills; instead, an extensive amount of words arranged in multiple-paragraph format on a single topic shows only that the writer can type a thought somewhere between the length of Twitter and War & Peace.

Nothing more.

Mr. Wonderful said...

Once again, our Megs has interpreted the sentence "I am an economics blogger" to mean "Anything I write about, from pink salt to elections in Wisconsin, will demonstrate my expertise in that particular topic and will be of interest to my readers."

It's a non-existent job, but somebody's got to do it.

Susan of Texas said...

When is she going to get into Ryan's numbers? I can't stand the suspense. I have my Hello Kitty With Jeweled Calculator Accessory gif standing ready at a moment's notice.