Friday, October 31, 2008

Howard Dean supporting McCain?

Or is he a hypocrite? His words from 2005 are instructive:

We need more than one party in charge. And the vote on Tuesday is going to be critical to decide whether American democracy still allows those of us who didn't vote for the president to have any say in running the country whatsoever.
Someday, the Democrats will be back in charge again. Do we want a Democratic Party that's in charge of everything? Well, you know, I suppose it's my job to say yes. But the truth is, as an American, it's better when parties share power. It's better when even those people who didn't win the election have something to say.
[There] is a culture of corruption and abuse of power in Washington. This is what happens when one party is in charge of everything.

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KO on the election

My buddy Kevin O'Neill offers the kind of election analysis that only he can provide, from a sports gambling list e-mail (in the context of McCain as a wagering proposition):

McCain overperformed to the polls in primaries, while Obama underperformed to the polls in some of the critical swing states. This is called the "Bradley effect", where Ivy Leaguers don't do as well in elections as they did it polling. It is so-named because Bill Bradley, who attended Princeton, consistently would draw only 62% of the votes in his New Jersey Senate races after polling at 67% or higher. Obama, of course, went to Columbia and attended law school at Harvard. Is this a double Bradley effect, perhaps? This anti-Ivy League factor is in effect for the first time in a while, as in the last two election cycles, both major party nominees were Ivy Leaguers. This could really help McCain.

Of course there will likely be more votes in Ohio than there are voting age citizens. But perhaps this offsets the ACORN fraud factor, proving that favoring Obama has not cornered the drug-addled celebrity demographic, he picked up the critical Aerosmith lead guitarist endorsement. And I know a lot of people don't make up their mind until Joe Perry has spoken, though Brad Whitford is clearly more knowledgeable on defense issue.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

A big announcement, etc.

I’ve made it clear I’m not an Obama fan, and I’m not enamored of McCain either, so even though it’s late I’ve decided to take the plunge.


At least he’s honest. Barney Frank, in the news lately as a habitual Fannie/Freddie apologist and enabler, and thus as one of the primary villains in the mortgage crisis, lets us know that his economic ignorance is not limited to housing: "I think at this point there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat . . . I believe later on there should be tax increases.”

Fire, meet gasoline.


I can take this college basketball player off the dribble and score at will, while shutting him down so you’ll think his half of the scoreboard is broken.


Random envirofact: US greenhouse gas emissions are falling (EPA source document linked). They were lower in 2006 than in 2005, and are expected to be lower in 2007 than in 2006 when official figures are released next spring, And it’s hard to imagine that they would not be droping in 2008, given the significant decrease in gasoline usage.

I’m not claiming any significance, as I think that solar cycles overwhelm any human contribution to climate, just throwing out a truth that will be inconvenient for the global warmist movement. Now the next time you read that US emissions are increasing, you will know the source is lying.


Socialism 101:

Despite having some of the world's largest energy reserves, Venezuela is increasingly struggling to maintain basic electrical service, a growing challenge for leftist President Hugo Chavez.

The OPEC nation has suffered three nationwide blackouts this year, and chronic power shortages have sparked protests from the western Andean highlands to San Felix, a city of mostly poor industrial workers in the sweltering south.


The problem suggests that Chavez, with his ambitious international alliances and promises to end capitalism, risks alienating supporters by failing to focus on basic issues like electricity, trash collection and law enforcement.

As Glenn Reynolds notes, “Too much wealth-spreading, not enough wealth-creation and maintenance.”

They say that to keep trying the same failing action over and over, hoping for a different result, is an illustration of insanity. So it is with collectivist economics and their 100% historical failure rate, but you can bet that these Utopian fantasies will keep destroying lives for another century or three.


Great story that captures the very essence of Castro (this is real, not a joke): after losing a 1962 round to his strongman, mass murderer Che Guevara, Fidel eliminated the nation’s golf courses, turning them into schools and resorts, among other things. For some reason, one nine-hole course in Havana was spared the tyrant’s wrath, but with his death, err I mean illness (wink, wink) it appears that developers will bring the sport back to the island.


Having secured the endorsement of Hamas months ago, Obama has now added an endorsement from Iran to his column. Et tu, North Korea?


Michael Barone reports on hate mongering as campaign rhetoric:
Here's insight into the thinking of some Democrats. In Ohio, they're attacking state Rep. Josh Mandel for having fulfilled his military obligation to serve in Iraq. As Joel Mowbray tells the story, Democrats are saying that Mandel neglected his constituents in favor of "serving George Bush." In these Democrats' view, the war in Iraq is evidently a purely partisan cause, not one sanctioned by the U.S. Congress and ordered by the U.S. president. These people want the United States to prevail only if there is a Democratic president and take delight in American defeat if the president is a Republican. I've seldom seen such a disgusting display of partisanship over country.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

He’s even better at water polo, etc.

Christ runs for 232 yards in Catholic victory

I’m recruiting the guy who was able to tackle him…

God Shammgod could not be reached for comment.


Some perspective: You can tell by the reference that this Dan Henninger quote came at the start of primary season, but it’s worth rehashing as we hear the hyperbolic carping about how bad we have it as Election Day nears:

“Later today some people who will start their evening with Iowa's caucus by watching angry Lou Dobbs--convincing themselves, again, that they and this country are getting shafted, and coming to this conclusion while watching a $700, 32-inch Samsung flat-panel, high-definition TV with Lou's sad song flowing through Monster digital coax cables to five Onkyo HT-SR800 home theater speakers.”


It did not work, but this attempted power grab by the state of California (excerpted from an LA Times editorial) should give everybody a look into the mindset that could end up controlling the federal government in a few months:

California is proposing revisions to its housing code that would require all new or remodeled homes to have a "programmable communicating thermostat." Equipped with special "nonremovable" FM radio receivers, these devices would allow state power authorities to set the temperature in your home as they see fit. Ostensibly to manage demand during "price events" and other "emergencies," you would basically cede control of your home's heating and air conditioning to the state (when and if state officials wanted to exercise it).

These are the kinds of things that will make their way into new laws and regulations in a one-party government, all in the name of “climate change” (as “global warming” was rebranded a few years into the current global cooling cycle) or other well-intentioned causes.

The movement that would have government control every aspect of our lives is gaining momentum. Hopefully the people will push back while they are still allowed to do so.


Remember children, there are no illegal guns, there are only undocumented firearms.


Great moments in regulation: When the state of Indiana tried to legislate 3.2 as the value of pi.


Left/liberal vs. conservative/libertarian visions of economics: the left thinks that business should be accountable to bureaucrats, while the right thinks business should be accountable to customers.

To that end, a potential Democrat-controlled government will pass laws by the dozens and regulations by the tens of thousands to tell businesses what they can sell and how they can sell it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the innovation in (for example) cell phones, computers and televisions, because that kind of progress is likely to slow to a crawl if Washington is taken over by control freak nanny statists.


No matter how bad you might think the Weather Underground were…they were worse. Sure, they committed some murders and tried some mass murders, but they had loftier goals.

Namely, reeducation, to rid Americans of their capitalist and traditional American ideas. And for those who resisted, death – the WU estimated that they would need to kill 25 million Americans to achieve their goals.

Nah, launching your political career in the house of, having your political career nurtured and advanced by, maintaining a personal and professional friendship with, and sharing an office for three years with a one or sometimes two of these genocide fantasists, these modern-day Hitlers…no problem at all.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

You go Canuck! etc.

Who knew? Tuesday’s elections showed that Canadian citizens have a clue after all, surprising pretty much everybody.


Turns out that the allegations that somebody at a Palin rally in Scranton, PA yelled “Kill him” when Obama’s name was mentioned are false. But you can bet it will be reported as fact a few thousand more times anyway. It’s all about the narrative, you know.


Don’t piss off your family, or you could end up with an obituary like this:

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.


The disgusting John Murtha, who never apologized for his slander of Marines at Haditha who proved to be innocent, also turns out to believe that "There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area." At least he’s an equal opportunity bigot.


Funniest note of the week is that McCain appearing on David Letterman’s show gave the far left comedian his highest rating since Oprah guested in December 2005.

Both guys are happy Oprah’s not running, that’s for sure!

In a similar vein, Palin’s appearance on SNL gave them their most viewers since 1994.


This Olympic athlete has a rather unfortunate name.


The fear of an Obama presidency has brought some urgency to efforts to sell the Miami Dolphins:

Huizenga wants to sell Ross another 45 percent of the team by Dec. 30, the source told The Palm Beach Post. Huizenga is believed to be motivated by his belief that Barack Obama will win the presidency and help implement tax policies that would take a bigger chunk of Huizenga's revenues from a sale.


In case you missed it, here’s a list of pork from the bailout bill.


An interesting electoral map based on 60 day political book sales.


So you want to date an artistic type, huh?


It’s fascinating to see the success Obama camp has had (primarily due to the media cheerleading and providing cover for him) in creating a set of rules whereby any criticism, be it:

- about his age or experience;
- about his celebutant status;
- about his association with terrorists, racists, criminals and assorted other bigots and crackpots, indeed his association with any black or white individual;
- about his record;
- about his stands on issues;
- about his gaffes;

is automatically defined as racist. Will the press keep fawning if, having succeeded in electing their candidate, they suddenly realize that they have tacitly agreed to themselves be smeared as racist should they ever decide to level any criticism of a President Obama?

Complicating the matter is a clear indication that an Obama administration will attempt to bully and even criminalize dissent, a process that’s already in motion.

How man bites dog will it be when a potential Obama starts using his Justice Department to stifle the press?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Genocide averted? etc.

An attempted genocide foiled?

Russian sources are claming that an Iranian ship captured by Somali pirates was a huge dirty bomb headed for Israel on Yom Kippur:

At this writing, the MV Iran Deyanat is at anchor, watched closely by American, French and Russian naval units.

[Russian sources claim she] was an enormous floating dirty bomb, intended to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel. The entire cargo of radioactive sand, obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore.

From the same post, this hilariously ironic news:

Vice President for Media Affairs Mehdi Kalhor said on Saturday that Iran has set two preconditions for holding talks with the United States of America.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA, he said as long as U.S. forces have not left the Middle East region and continues its support for the Zionist regime, talks between Iran and U.S. is off the agenda.

It turns out that Obama's promised capitulation is a one-way street.


There’s really very little difference between the Daily Kos web community and the KKK; it’s just a difference in which groups are the targets of their hate. A common fantasy of the loony left is to criminalize dissent, to establish a leftist totalitarian police state. Here’s a sample of this line of “thought”:

I support Obama, but I disagree on some major issues. One is that we need to use major authoritarian measures against wingnuts and theocrats to save this country. That in particular includes deprogramming institutions and a Gitmo like camp to deal with the worst wingnuts. These people should be removed from general society and need to be shut up.

I have believed this for years, but the behavior of the wingnuts at the McCain and Palin rallies further underscores the need to take harsh action against these people. Lincoln and FDR had to bend the Constitution at times, and I hope Obama has the guts to do so too to deal with these third rate creatures.

Hey, they hate religion too, maybe they can take up cross burning!


Re: the Mark Steyn passage I quoted on Monday, John Hinderaker adds:

American liberals have yearned to match Europe's supposed sophistication as long as America has existed. Maybe someone should give them the news: adopting Euro-style leftism in 2008 would be a bit like having a go at European fascism in 1945.


Hilarious passage from a Washington Post story on the Wizards:

After players filed on to buses to take them back to the hotel following Sunday’s practice, an English-speaking Berliner who happened to be walking by tried to figure out what she was seeing.

“Who are the Wizards?” she asked.

When told that the team is from the United States and plays basketball in the NBA, the woman smiled.

“Oh, like the Lakers,” she said.


This scouting tool sounds very cool:

The [Phoenix] scouts have a cutting edge computer program, where they can literally call up video clips of any player in the draft based on certain categories, like “transition defense” or “three-point shots” or “post-up possessions”, and the computer will run a series of clips of the good and the bad of that player in those circumstances.


President Bush is really hurting McCain right now, but not in a way you’ll often see acknowledged.

It is because Bush has essentially won the Iraq front of the WOT, making it a non-issue in the campaign. Were it an issue, Obama’s repeated promises to surrender would be held against him, but at this point not even a hard leftist could find a way to lose this thing, so a huge liability is removed from his ledger.


Genius satire from Sense of Events:

With the price of petroleum having fallen from almost $150 per barrel last summer to about $81, the campaigns of both Barack Obama and John McCain rushed to outline their respective plans to rescue beleaguered oil companies from nose-diving profits and earnings.


A McCain-Obama difference I had not heard about: while neither supports a return to a military draft, they do differ on the specifics.

[T]he two presidential candidates disagree on a key foundation of any future draft: Mr. Obama supports a requirement for both men and women to register with the Selective Service, while Mr. McCain doesn't think women should have to register.

Also, Mr. Obama would consider officially opening combat positions to women. Mr. McCain would not.


I’m shocked, shocked to learn that YouTube is using the DMCA as justification to take down anti-Obama content but not doing the same to anti-McCain content.

Although the co-sponsor of McCain-Feingold is on shaky ground making free political speech arguments.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

An honest politician! etc.

A refreshingly honest quote from Alabama congressman and Congressional Black Caucus member Artur Davis:

“Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.”


Woops: "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's last name is spelled 'Osama' on hundreds of absentee ballots mailed out last week to voters in Rensselaer County. he misspelling, which elections officials on both sides of the aisle insist was simply a typo, is causing embarrassment for the county."

If only it had been O-same-a, it would have been accurate for this ultimate business-as-usual Democrat.


Bill Simmons pens a great article on basketball’s most underappreciated all time great, Elgin Baylor.


My favorite headline of the election season came from Reuters:
"McCain and Obama on Same Side in War on Cancer"

The political courage to take a position against cancer, now that’s change we can believe in!


The generation gap on nuclear power: those 32 or over know how overblown anti-nuke rhetoric has been in the past and thus favor nuclear power plant construction, but those 18-31 have only the propaganda with which they’ve been bombarded all of their lives as a frame of reference and thus oppose it (but only by 38-35%).

Another example of why the left is so focused on control of academia, brainwashing takes better if begun earlier. An educated and open mind is a dangerous thing.


Mark Steyn points out:

If Obama is elected in November, at G7 meetings, for the first time since they began, America will have a more left-wing leader than any other member of the group - Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Britain (and that's before Gordon Brown loses to David Cameron). Right-of-center government throughout the western world - except Washington.

And, if you say, "Hang on, isn't it the G8? What about Russia?", I'm not sure whether Putin and his stooge still regard themselves as socialists, but, if so, for good or ill, it's certainly of a more muscular variety than Obama's.

Strange times.

Indeed, and not in a good way here.


22-Year-Old Auctions Off Virginity to Pay for College

If she hadn’t been saving herself for marriage, and is still a virgin at 22…buyer beware!


Michael Barone makes the sensible argument that the current mood is amenable to more government intervention in the economy because there is now a whole generation of adults who do not remember what it was like the last time government tried to control things – the gas lines, unemployment and stagflation of the 1970s.


NBA fans would do well to keep in mind Kelly Dwyer’s mantra: For every dumb contract move a player makes, NBA GMs will counter it with 14 dumber moves of their own.


PMS: From a hilarious letter to the Washington Post editor from a Lisa Orenstein of Baltimore:

In a country with more than 300 million people, with plenty of accomplished men and women, why would we settle for Ms. Palin's mediocre credentials? Most companies would place her résumé in the reject pile for far lesser jobs.

Yes, because nothing gets a resume rejected faster than experience as a mayor, state cabinet member and governor.

Can you imagine how quickly Ms. Orenstein would have discarded a Bill Clinton résumé in 1992?

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Some days...

Everything you touch turns to gold. And on days like today, even everything you thought about touching but didn't end up touching turns to gold too. They make all of the hard work worth it.

UPDATE: And then the Cowboys lose, which is the gift that keeps on giving as there is nothing much more fun than listening to the crybaby fans calling the Ticket the day after a Cowboy loss.

This is truly the perfect day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Greens for coal, etc.

Environmentalism 101: "By scaring people about the tiny levels of radiation emitted during the normal operation of a nuclear plant, [William] Tucker says, greens have effectively encouraged the construction of coal plants that actually release more radiation because of the traces of uranium in coal dust."


Genius stuff from Iowahawk: Obama’s most valuable staff member issues some demands.


I need to start spending more time in the gym.


I need to start spending more time in Nigeria.


My buddy Kevin O’Neill notes:

Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech are a combined 21-1 (95.4%) against the spread this season.

Obviously, that will change this weekend, but that is pretty damned impressive anyway.


Commentators are starting to note the current fad of “fact-checking,” which is more often opinion/advocacy journalism than actual checking of actual facts.

Thus you have to love this hilarious catch by James Taranto, where CNN fact-checks as true the same statement that ABC fact checks as false.


Power Line calls this the greatest political cartoon ever…no disagreement here.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Phil's mind games

Apparently Phil Jackson was not impressed with Lamar Odom’s effort in the first exhibition game:

"I just got through telling him that this is really basketball now. He looks like he's either curling or doing some other kind of sport. He's not playing basketball. The first shot he took was a three-pointer in the middle of the third quarter? That was pretty interesting. We still have some time to go with this. We'll see how it goes."

Yes, children, he referenced curling.

My theory is still that Jackson wants Lamar to be the sixth man and thus the whole “point-forward" thing serves the combined purpose of setting Lamar up to fail with the first team while letting him play the initiator role he would share with Farmar should he end up on the second unit. Do you really think the ball is not going to be in Kobe’s hands early in most possessions?

And it should be added that the whole thing may be less of an issue than it might first seem, although there is obviously Lamar's ego and contract situation (he will be auditioning for his next contract all season) to manage. But if Bynum plays 32 minutes and Pau 34, for example, that still leaves 30 minutes at the 4 available for somebody in support of whichever of them is the center in a given lineup. Josh Powell can grab a few of those with rebounding and energy, but it's not like Lamar will have to play all night on the wing in any configuration, even on a healthy roster.

I don't blame Lamar for wanting to start; next summer is the last shot he will have at a good-sized payday. But if he stepped back a bit he might see that he would score and rebound more off the bench, which could be a win-win for him personally as well as for the team.

In any case, how Lamar fits on this team and whether he stays on it all year will likely be the most interesting facet of what shapes up to be a fascinating season. One way or the other, his huge expiring contract (cap figure $14,148,596) will make him the subject of countless trade rumors between now and February.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Fun with stats

I have a backlog of statistical notes from the recently concluded baseball season that I will be posting periodically in the coming weeks. Many of them come from the SABR research e-mail list; if you are are interested in baseball history and not a member, shame on you.

In 2008, guys named Ramirez hit 120 home runs: Manny 37, Hanley 33, Aramis 27, Alexei 21, Max 2.

That tied them for fourth best all time:

1987 Davis - 158
1986 Davis - 129
2001 Gonzalez - 126
1989 Davis - 120
2008 Ramirez - 120

Manny and Hanley also became the 22nd pair to hit 30+ homers each in a season.

Thanks to Brian MacMillan for the legwork.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dept. of amazing statistics

Texas Tech outgained Kansas State 417-132. In the FIRST HALF!

That's just wrong.

UPDATE: Another one - Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas caught 9 passes for 230 yards and a TD, and nobody else on the team caught a pass. I'll bet you have to go back to the days of the single wing to find that kind of thing, if it even exists.

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Bad karma of the week

Matt Lauer to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in an interview on the Today Show this week:

"I want to talk about the book in a second 'cause I love the story, I really do, but can I first ask how's your, how's your dad doing, I mean, yeah, how's your dad doing?"

Fortunately, he never got to the followup questions about the welfare of Uncle Jack and Cousin John-John.