Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Davies' Cup - An Update to Now that I have your attention...

I see Josh Marshall beat me to the test I proposed to Joe Klein yesterday although Marshall's post was not in response to Mr. Klein's prattlings but to the general reason why we shouldn't trust this administration's judgment. At all. On anything. But especially the "surge" or as both Brad and Josh document today, the underwhelming ripple.

Really, I just wanted to illustrate the ease of accessibility for the innumerable massive catastrophucks compared to the lack of any real ability to quickly produce any evidence of measurable success of any kind on any issue by this administration.

It adds a level of complexity to the well-traveled challenge regularly produced by Brad Delong in his quest to highlight the vast incompetencies of this administration (I was going to say comprehensively catalog, but I'm not sure even Google's servers would be up to the storage capacity required for that) - a competition originally proposed by Daniel Davies.

I find myself with a few spare minutes and make the mistake of reading Thomas Friedman again. His conclusion after a long, dull and witless ramble about the introduction of "democracy" to Iraq (just what the Gulf region needs, more puppet states) reads "If [it is] done right, the Middle East will never be the same. If done wrong, the world will never be the same". There's not much you can say to that except "shut up you silly man". But it does inspire in me the desire for a competition; can anyone, particularly the rather more Bush-friendly recent arrivals to the board, give me one single example of something with the following three characteristics:

  1. It is a policy initiative of the current Bush administration
  2. It was significant enough in scale that I'd have heard of it (at a pinch, that I should have heard of it)
  3. It wasn't in some important way completely fucked up during the execution.
We're nearly to the fourth anniversary of the Davies' Cup and no one has won the competition and stepped forward to claim their prize. Or, perhaps more aptly, we all have lost. Every one of us. Repeatedly. And we continue to do so (exhibit A: the regular reposting of the challenge over at DeLong's place).

As an aside, this really says something about the level of competence of this administration. That is, basic principles of observation, measurement, statistics, and probability suggest that even at extremely low levels of competence, random chance features of the environment should produce an example of competence at some point, especially as the number of opportunities increase. Thus, one must conclude that the Bush administration is completely and utterly incompetent with extreme levels of confidence, p < 1/google.

To put it another way, the mean level of incompetence is so extreme in this administration that there exists no set of chance events that can provide a competent outcome - not even a 1 in a google shot of all the various incompetencies somehow magically canceling themselves out to produce something competent. Indeed, this administration's mean level of performance is to competence as black holes are to light (or perhaps even more extreme .... as Seattle Supersonics players of the 1980's or Kevin McHale for those of you with an East Coast bias, were to basketballs). The crushing forces of the heretofore unknown levels of incompetency are too powerful for any possible example of competence to escape once it crosses the event horizon at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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