07 October 2012

When Good News Happens to Bad People

Back in February, there was "Lies, Damn Lies, and the BLS", which you can find in any of the various incarnations of this endeavor. At the time, the numbers came out better than the pundits predicted. It happened again this week (for September), but since it is the second but last run of the numbers before the election (Election Day is Tuesday the 6th, while the numbers day is Friday the 2nd) with enough time to get all piqued up.

And did the Right Wingnuts get all piqued!!! To repeat: the data come from sample surveys, two not a single integrated survey. And if you read the fine print, as I suggested back in February, then you'll see that the estimates have plenty of room to waffle. I don't recall any articles in February that went into the details. Well, this time there is. Worth reading up. The on-line version is graphier, and therefore more useful.

As to the GOP stroking out: the BLS folks who make the decisions are Supergrades (here for explanation), who, in all likelihood, got to these positions of authority under BushII. If there's any conspiracy, it's among geeks who live in Fairfax County with a stay at home wifey and three kids in Christian School. I spent a decade working with those sorts (not at BLS, for the record).

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