Which Republican is More Repulsive?

There’s the Republican who, even after the whipping up of a riot, continues to lie through his teeth, to steadfastly deny that Trump is a narcissistic, sadistic, psychopathic cult leader. Then there’s the Republican who pretends to have finally seen the light, who pretends that they didn’t recognise all along that Trump is a narcissistic, sadistic, psychopathic cult leader.

Which is more repulsive? The answer, of course, is “Yes”. Republicans are loathsome fuckers. All of them.

Cicchetti’s Random Shit

Readers will be aware that Trump and his MAGA goons have been pretending that Joe Biden stole the US election. They’ve been counting on the corruptness of sufficient judges and election officials for their fantasy grievances to gain traction. So far, however, and this was no gimme, the authorities have, in the main, been unwilling to deny reality.

The latest denial of the denial of reality came yesterday, with the Supreme Court telling Texas’s scumbag attorney general, and 17 other scumbag attorneys general, and 126 scumbag congressmen, to go fuck themselves. AG Paxton’s lawsuit, arguing to invalidate the election results in four states, was garbage in every conceivable way, and in a few inconceivable ways. One of those inconceivable ways was mathematical, which is why we are here.

As David Post wrote about here and then here, Paxton’s original motion claimed powerful statistical evidence, giving “substantial reason to doubt the voting results in the Defendant States” (paragraphs 9 – 12). In particular, Paxton claimed that Trump’s early lead in the voting was statistically insurmountable (par 10):

“The probability of former Vice President Biden winning the popular vote in the four Defendant States—Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—independently given President Trump’s early lead in those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000.”

Similarly, Paxton looked to Trump’s defeat of Clinton in 2016 to argue the unlikelihood of Biden’s win in these states (par 11):

“The same less than one in a quadrillion statistical improbability … exists when Mr. Biden’s performance in each of those Defendant States is compared to former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s performance in the 2016 general election and President Trump’s performance in the 2016 and 2020 general elections.”

On the face of it, these claims are, well, insane. So, what evidence did Paxton produce? It appeared in Paxton’s subsequent motion for expedited consideration, in the form of a Declaration to the Court by “Charles J. Cicchetti, PhD” (pages 20-29). Cicchetti’s Declaration has to be read to be believed.

Cicchetti‘s PhD is in economics, and he is a managing director of a corporate consulting group called Berkeley Research Group. BRG appears to have no role in Paxton’s suit, and Cicchetti doesn’t say how he got involved; he simply writes that he was “asked to analyze some of the validity and credibility of the 2020 presidential election in key battleground states”. Presumably, Paxton was just after the best.

It is excruciating to read Cicchetti’s entire Declaration, but there is also no need. Amongst all the Z-scores and whatnot, Cicchetti’s argument is trivial. Here is the essence of Cicchetti’s support for Paxton’s statements above.

In regard to Trump’s early lead, Cicchetti discusses Georgia, comparing the early vote and late vote distributions (par 15):

“I use a Z-score to test if the votes from the two samples are statistically similar … There is a one in many more than quadrillions of chances that these two tabulation periods are randomly drawn from the same population. 

Similarly, in regard to Biden outperforming Clinton in the four states, Cicchetti writes

 “I tested the hypothesis that the performance of the two Democrat candidates were statistically similar by comparing Clinton to Biden … [Cicchetti sprinkles some Z-score fairy dust] … I can reject the hypothesis many times more than one in a quadrillion times that the two outcomes were similar.”

And, as David Post has noted, that’s all there is. Cicchetti has demonstrated that the late Georgia votes skewed strongly to Biden, and that Biden outperformed Clinton. Both of which everybody knew was gonna happen and everybody knows did happen.

None of this, of course, supports Paxton’s claims in the slightest. So, was Cicchetti really so stupid as to think he was proving anything? No, Cicchetti may be stupid but he’s not that stupid; Cicchetti briefly addresses the fact that his argument contains no argument. In regard to the late swing in Georgia, Cicchetti writes (par 16)

“I am aware of some anecdotal statements from election night that some Democratic strongholds were yet to be tabulated … [This] could cause the later ballots to be non-randomly different … but I am not aware of any actual [supporting] data …”

Yep, it’s up to others to demonstrate that the late votes went to Biden. Which, you know they kind of did, when they counted the fucking votes. As for Biden outperforming Clinton, Cicchetti writes (par 13),

“There are many possible reasons why people vote for different candidates. However, I find the increase of Biden over Clinto is statistically incredible if the outcomes were based on similar populations of voters …”

Yep, Cicchetti finds it “incredible” that four years of that motherfucker Trump had such an effect on how people voted.

What an asshole.

ScoMoFo Meets PingMoFo

Zhao Lijian, who has been hilariously described as a “diplomat“, has posted a mean tweet.

Zhao, who is, of course, a hypocritical little toad, posted a faked image of an Australian soldier with a bloodied knife over the throat of an Afghan kid. The image was created by Lu Yu, another hypocritical little toad, and hilariously described as a “political computer graphic artist“. Lu Yu’s image is outrageous, and so ScoMoFo sprang into action and confected outrage.

Let’s remind ourselves what this is about. Zhao’s post was in reference to the Brereton Report into alleged crimes by the Australian Defence Force, which ScoMoFo is already undermining. Specifically, Zhao was referring to an alleged incident raised by Dr. Samantha Crompvoets, a sociologist specialising in military culture. In 2015, the Special Operations Commander Australia appointed Dr. Crompvoets to undertake a “cultural review” of the Special Operations Command, which resulted in two documents referred to in the Brereton Report (pp 119-121): “Insights and reflection” (January, 2016); and “Perceptions reputation and risk” (February, 2016). In her January report, which is short and which should be read by everyone, Dr. Crompvoet records a number of specific incidents reported to her by military personnel (p 120 of the Brereton Report):

“A specific incident described to Dr. Crompvoets involved an incident where members from the [Special Air Service Regiment] were driving along a road and saw two 14-year-old boys whom they decided might be Taliban sympathisers. They stopped, searched the boys and slit their throats. The rest of the Troop then had to ‘clean up the mess’, which involved bagging the bodies and throwing them into a nearby river. Dr Crompvoets says she was told this was not an isolated incident.”

In regard to incidents such as the above not being isolated, Dr. Crompvoets wrote,

The gravity of these descriptions does not simply come from the details of particular events, it comes from the emphasis that most often accompanied these stories – ‘it happened all the time’.  

The above is the incident latched onto by Toad Lu and Toad Zhou. Which leaves us with a choice. On the one hand, we can consider the probable murdering of kids by Australian military personnel, and we can ponder just how often such horrors occurred. Or, as ScoMoFo would prefer, we can focus on a couple of toads and a fucking mean tweet. Take your pick.