Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Bitter Reperussions?

This just in from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mo. Rep. Skelton endorses Clinton

Rep. Ike Skelton endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, wading into the presidential fray after months on the sidelines.

In a statement, Skelton, D-Mo., said he decided to back Clinton because of her support for "rural America, her commitment to National Security, and her dedication to our men and women in uniform."
[emphasis added]

Maybe Obama should be worrying about how the "bitterness, guns and God" thing is playing not only in Appalachia.

Did I Miss Something?

So now, at this late date, Obama has decided, "Gee, that Wright character is spewing hate filled garbage...I gotta denounce that stuff." I guess that is better than nothing...but I have to ask: How is what Wright said at the Press Club and at the NAACP in Detroit any different from what was already widely reported about Wright?

What was new exactly?

Praising Farrakhan? Nope, we knew that already.

The anti-Israel stuff? No. That's old hat, and not a deal breaker in the Obama camp anyway.

Wright's saying that whites are intrinsically different from blacks? That's not new. Hell, that belief is the central tenet of his entire church.

So what are we supposed to think was the deal breaker here? Wright's claim that blacks have better rhythm?

There are a lot of politically cynical ways of answering this question. I don't believe there is a single non-cynical answer that will suffice. This is simply a case of too much, too little, too late.

Loon Alert!

LaRouchers now have company. Welcome the Paulites! Ron Paul Congratulates the John Birch Society on 50th Anniversary

Congressman Ron Paul has endorsed the John Birch Society in a statement recently received from his office. Dr. Paul stated, “The John Birch Society is a great patriotic organization featuring an educational program solidly based on constitutional principles. I congratulate the Society in this, its 50th year. I wish them continued success and endorse their untiring efforts to foster ‘less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.’”

John McManus, president of JBS, responded, “We graciously accept Dr. Paul’s endorsement.

Thank God we have Ron Paul seeking to protect our precious bodily fluids.

(Gleaned from Stubborn Facts...where I also used the "precious bodily fluids" line. Thank God for Stanley Kubrick and Peter Sellers.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Official

Obama's "Reverened" Wright problem has reached "shit-storm" proportions.

Where to start? Well, there is Andrew Sullivan's stunning reversal on Obama/Wright.

Obama needs not just to distance himself from Wright's views; he needs to disown him at this point. Wright himself, it seems to me, has become part of what Obama is fighting against: the boomer, Vietnam era's obsession with its red-blue, white-black, pro and anti-America fixations. That is not what this election needs to be about; and Wright's massive, racially divisive and, yes, bitter provocation requires a proportionate response.

We need a speech or statement from Obama in which he utterly repudiates this poison, however personally difficult that may be, however damaging the impact will be.

Or there is the hysterical resurrection of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy over at HuffPo.

Or then there is this from the AP:

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is going after his critics on an incendiary tour that is doing his one-time congregant, Barack Obama, little good.

After weeks of staying out of the public eye while critics lambasted his sermons, Wright made three public appearances in four days to defend himself. The former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has been combative, providing colorful commentary and feeding the story Obama had hoped was dying down.

"This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright," Wright told the Washington press corps Monday. "It has nothing to do with Senator Obama. It is an attack on the black church launched by people who know nothing about the African-American religious tradition."

Wright's tour couldn't come at a much worse time for Obama, who is campaigning for white working class voters in Indiana and North Carolina. Many of Wright's most controversial comments are angry condemnations of the United States for its treatments of blacks — thoughts that were applauded by the black church leaders in his audience Monday but risk offending white voters.

This is merely the tip of a very large iceberg that is sinking the SS Obama.

I wonder if he notices?

How Stupid The Daily Kos Thinks You "Is"

Put this in the "priceless" category:

Electoral-Vote now has a map color-coded for which candidate does better against McCain.

Clinton does better than Obama in 6 states totalling 92 electoral votes.

Obama does better than Clinton in 15 states totalling 164 electoral votes.

Yeah!! Obama rules!!! Take THAT beaaaaaatch!!!!!

Oh, wait a second. Let's actually look at the website being referred to and what THEY say about the head-to-head matchups versus McCain. (I know, I know...that's just crazy talk on my part.)

First Obama:

For those scoring at home this adds to:

Obama: 243 ev
McCain: 269 ev
Tied: 26 ev

Now lets look at Clinton's map:

Clinton: 291 ev
McCain: 237 ev
Tied: 10 ev

I'm wondering what part of addition Kos fails to understand?


Let's look at it this way as well; let's look at who won the Democratic primary/caucus (DW = Democratic Winner) for each of the states and how that candidate is doing against McCain in the same state (GL = General election Leader).

Iowa: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
New Hampshire: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Nevada: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
South Carolina: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Alaska: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Idaho: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
North Dakota: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Delaware: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Utah: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
New Mexico: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Kansas: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Oklahoma: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Arkansas: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Connecticut: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Alabama: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Arizona: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Colorado: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Tennessee: DW-Clinton, GL-McCain
Missouri: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Minnesota: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Georgia: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Massachusetts: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
New Jersey: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
Illinois: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
New York: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
California: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
Nebraska: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Louisiana: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Washington: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Maine: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
DC: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Maryland: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Virginia: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Hawaii: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Wisconsin: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Vermont: DW-Obama, GL-Obama
Rhode Island: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
Ohio: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton
Texas: DW-Clitnon, GL-McCain
Wyoming: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Mississippi: DW-Obama, GL-McCain
Pennsylvania: DW-Clinton, GL-Clinton

McCain leads the preferred Democratic candidate in 22 of the states with a combined Electoral Vote of 183. The preferred Democratic candidate leads McCain in the other 20 for a combined Electoral Vote of 260.

Obama leads in 13 of the 27 states (48%) where he was the preferred candidate. These states have a combines Electoral Vote of 102 or 39% of the Democratic leaning total.

Clinton leads in 7 of the 15 states (47%) where she was the preferred candidate. These states have a combined Electoral Vote of 158 or 61% of the Democratic leaning total.

No matter which way you slice it the Clinton base is the better springboard to winning in November. Which is exactly why the Democrats will ultimately reject it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

When Dimwits Attack

Here is yet more proof that stupidity knows no lower boundary: The VRWC at Dartmouth and beyond

This is a story that is on the one hand very local, and on the other has far-reaching national implications. It is no big stretch to say that the VRWC, the vast rightwing conspiracy, is attempting a takeover of Dartmouth College.

What does it matter if the far right takes over Dartmouth? It means just over a thousand students a year being taught by professors to whom a conservative litmus test has been applied. It means a new training ground for rightwing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza (both of whom came out of Dartmouth in the 1980s heyday of the Dartmouth Review). It means a prestigious academic home from which conservative faculty could themselves act as pundits, or draw support for their research. And it provides a blueprint for future assaults on other colleges and universities; it is, in the words of one of its leaders, part of a "multigenerational battle."

Here's the deal: Dartmouth has an unusually small board of trustees, with half the trustees historically elected by the alumni. In recent years, a group of alums has organized to elect hard right trustees, with the intent of rolling back two decades of Dartmouth's movement away from its infamously conservative past. Because the board of trustees is so small, it is vulnerable to the election of just a few people.

Just step back and think about the full implication of this sadly typical Daily Kos garbage. This is basically saying that the role of left of center academics is to remove any right of center voices from the academy. There is no other way to understand this. In this view removing conservative from posts of influence within academia is par for the course. Any attempt by conservatives to resist such removal is the "vast right wing conspiracy" coming to get you!

And, this post makes it clear that the goal is to remove conservatives from academia permanently:

This is a radical program to bring the worst intersection of neo-con and fundamentalist thought to higher education -- to engage in a multigenerational battle to take over your children's education, and the airwaves, and the courts. It's not just about what happens in the colleges themselves, but about the influence they can have, about the conservative infrastructure they can have waiting for the next time a George W. Bush is elected president and wants to staff an administration with lawyers who will find the justification for torture, for steamrolling Congress, for the unitary executive.


This isn't just Dartmouth. It's just the first step.

Gee, "neo-cons" as a secret cabal working behind the scenes to take over the world. Nice to see the Kosacks (how appropriate!) have dusted off the meme of using the old "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" crap again. (Who knew it was so versatile?)

I've always been against David Horowitz's attempts to introduce legislative controls over academia to ensure "ideological diversity" because it always struck me as a cure worse than the disease. Reading truly moronic and evil bullshit like the kind peddled by the Daily Kos is almost enough to get me to change my mind.



I'm betting Obama is wondering who needs enemies when you have friends like the NAACP. I was watching the CNN coverage of "Reverend" Wright's speech in Detroit right now, when I had to listen to the introduction to Wright. At one point the speaker started going on about "they," as in:

"They didn't like King in 1967!"

"They didn't like Malcom in 1968!"

"They didn't like Nelson in 1988!"

"They didn't like Jesus at anytime!"

That is when it dawned on me he was talking about Jews.

I'm sorry but how can we have a national conversation about race when so many blacks refuse to address the anti-Semitism in their midst?

I Forget... Which One Stands For "Change"?

Finally, something that would make the Democratic campaign new and interesting! Clinton to Obama: Let's debate like Lincoln

Sen. Hillary Clinton called for a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate with no moderator against her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, who says no more debates are needed before the May primaries.

In a TV interview to air Sunday, Obama flat-out denied any possibility that he would take part in a debate with Clinton before the next big round of primaries.

Shortly after maintaining that he isn't "ducking" debates with his Democratic rival, the Illinois senator admitted that the two hopefuls are "not going to have debates between now and Indiana."

Voters in Indiana and North Carolina will head to the polls May 6.

In the interview, Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Obama why he was ducking another one-on-one meeting.

"I'm not ducking one. We've had 21," Obama said. "We want to make sure we're talking to as many folks possible on the ground taking questions from voters."

How incredibly lame from Obama. This is the complete repudiation of the claim he represents any "new moment" in American politics. Ironically, he is now running as the "establishment" candidate. This would be fine were he crushing Clinton, but Obama's weaknesses are many and varied, and have directly contributed to this prolonged nomination battle. If Obama had the skills necessary to take on Clinton in a one-on-one-flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants debate he could end this race here and now.

He doesn't have such skills. In fact, when forced off of his prepared material he has shown himself prone to spectacular pratfalls of, almost, George Bush quality. (All he needs is Bush's penchant for stupid nicknames to equal the President on this score.) Given this truth, Obama's handlers have him taking the cowards way out and have him avoiding political risks at all costs. It isn't a stupid thing to do were this a general election campaign, where you just need to win no matter the way you do it. But in a nomination process, where you want to launch yourself into the general election with as much positive momentum as possible, this comes across as incredibly weak.

Obama is basically a mystery meat lunch special, which we are just supposed to take as is without asking a lot of questions about its origins (or what it will do to our insides after we consume it.) The more scrutiny he receives the less appetizing he becomes.

Cross-post Blue Crab Boulevard

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Would A Bitter Obama "Cling" To?

From Joe Klein:

Obama seems either bummed or pissed or exhausted. He could be near death and still be a pretty good speaker, but he's very much off his game right now. Clinton, by contrast, is on fire--as energetic and passionate as I've seen her.

You could see this last night very clearly. Clinton had one of her better after-primary performances last night, and Obama looked terrible. He seemed visibly angry much of the time. It's as if three or four weeks of tough times are enough to undo him.

It's not the sort of thing to inspire confidence.

Gleaned from QandO.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Embarrassing Performance

Yes, I'm talking about the Pennsylvania primary. No, I'm not talking about Barrack Obama.

I've had running battles (on other sites) about what I viewed as godawful polling practices by an outfit out of North Carolina called Public Policy Polling. Anyone who has had political science training could look at the crosstabs for their polls and see countless red flags. For starters, the weighting that they gave to black voters and to the Philadelphia area seemed all out of proportion to the actual demographics of the state or any historical precedent. Also, the fact they kept the raw numbers hidden from scrutiny was also troubling for anyone trying to gauge them from the perspective of the social sciences. There is nothing wrong with weighting your polls, but you should give people the opportunity to scrutinize them without having to engage in reverse engineering.

There were 39 polls released about the Pennsylvania primary since April 1st. A grand total of three of these polls had Obama in the lead, Clinton led in 35 of the others with one saying it was a tie. All three of the polls that had Obama in front were the handiwork of PPP (last of the three, a massive survey of 2338 likely Democratic voters with a +/- of only 2% -supposedly- here.) In a sense this isn't surprising after you look at the client list for PPP. I conducted searches to see who the majority of PPP clients had endorsed for the Democratic nomination. There were copious Obama endorsements, but not a single Clinton endorsement. Now, this might just be a hell of a coincidence, but given the tightness of the nomination fight that seems a little unlikely. It seems more likely that PPP as an outfit are not simply Democratic pollsters, but pro-Obama (or anti-Clinton) pollsters.

Such a view is confirmed by the actual results in Pennsylvania tonight (at this moment Clinton ahead 10% points with 96% reporting.) PPP's polls, which had Obama ahead by 3%, were not just wrong they were terrible, if the purpose of a poll is to measure a larger population accurately. Of course, if accurate measurement was not the goal of these "polls", well then maybe it is mission accomplished.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The End Of The Argument

So was ABC really, really mean to poor defenseless Barack Obama? The short answer is "no." The long answer is a lot more devastating:

And what did Stephanopoulos and Gibson do to earn this scorn? Why, they asked Barack Obama some probing questions, including one about his past relationships with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and a former leader of the Weather Underground, William Ayers.

Consider this thought experiment: Assume that a conservative candidate for the GOP nomination spent two decades at a church whose senior pastor was a white supremacist who uttered ugly racial (as well as anti-American) epithets from the pulpit. Assume, too, that this minister wasn’t just the candidate’s pastor but also a close friend, the man who married the candidate and his wife, baptized his two daughters, and inspired the title of his best-selling book.

In addition, assume that this GOP candidate, in preparing for his entry into politics, attended an early organizing meeting at the home of a man who, years before, was involved in blowing up multiple abortion clinics and today was unrepentant, stating his wish that he had bombed even more clinics. And let’s say that the GOP candidate’s press spokesman described the relationship between the two men as “friendly.”

Do you think that if those moderating a debate asked the GOP candidate about these relationships for the first time, after 22 previous debates had been held, that other journalists would become apoplectic at the moderators for merely asking about the relationships? Not only would there be a near-universal consensus that those questions should be asked; there would be a moral urgency in pressing for answers. We would, I predict, be seeing an unprecedented media “feeding frenzy.”

The truth is that a close relationship with a white supremacist pastor and a friendly relationship with an abortion clinic bomber would, by themselves, torpedo a conservative candidate running for president. There is an enormous double standard at play here, one rooted in the fawning regard many journalists have for Barack Obama. They have a deep, even emotional, investment in his candidacy.

I don't think this is answerable in any rational sense.

Unfortunately, reason hasn't been the strong suit of Obama supporters, inside or outside the media, to this point. Why should that change now?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jimmy Carter: Traitor To Humanity

Mort Zuckerman offers the indictment: Carter's Hamas meeting legitimizes terrorism

There he goes again! Former President Jimmy Carter, acting out his stubborn, self-righteous moralism and his stunning vanity, persists in legitimizing terrorism. How else can the Middle East see Carter's meeting in Syria with no less than the terrorist mastermind Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas?

This man Mashaal is responsible for dozens of deadly suicide bombings and thousands of mortar and rocket attacks that have killed more than 250 Israelis, not to speak of the violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas last June, which undercut newly revived efforts by Israel and the Palestinians to strike a final peace deal. And, oh, yes, several of Mashaal's victims have been Americans.

There is bipartisan condemnation of Carter's meeting, but Carter has a long history of support for Hamas. This is what Carter said on Nov. 28, 2006, on pbs: "Since August of 2004 [Hamas] has not committed a single act of terrorism that cost an Israeli life, not a single one."

That is flatly untrue.

Hamas itself claimed responsibility, for example, for the 16 people who were killed and 100 wounded in August 2004 in nearly simultaneous suicide bombings of two city buses in Beersheba; for an attack on September 29 of that year when two preschool children were killed by Kassam rockets fired from Gaza; for an attack on Jan. 13, 2005, at the Karni Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which killed six civilians. And the list goes on. Carter spoke out on behalf of Hamas and against the secular party Fatah last year at the very time that Hamas thugs were throwing Fatah members to their death from Gaza rooftops.

It is getting harder and harder to see the difference between Carter's zealous anti-Israelism and garden variety anti-Semitism. The degree to which Carter will stoop in his efforts to demonize Jews is breathtaking.

Even his history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a departure from reality. He asserts that the initial violence occurred when "Jewish militants" attacked Arabs in 1939. He ignores the fact that Arabs launched terrorism against unarmed Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1936 to 1939, murdering hundreds of Jewish civilians. In 1929, the grand mufti of Jerusalem ordered the slaughter of more than a hundred rabbis, students, and others whose ancestors had lived in Hebron for millenniums. Nor will you hear him mention the long history of Palestinian terrorism such as the Munich massacre and plane hijackings and other atrocities originated by Yasser Arafat.

Why doesn't he just invoke the "blood libel" and have done with it?

Notice the reaction Zuckerman's editorial has drawn:

Unfortunately Zuckerman u are being very narrow minded and have not been educated other than having a lot of money to push our country for supporting ur personal agenda in Israel and not being a patriot. No more of people like you making us sacrifice our sons for ur petty wars in Iraq and Iran so that Israel stays safe.

This is the disgusting garbage we are left with in this country because of the likes of Jimmy Carter, the Pied Piper of anti-Semites.


I'm sorry but there are some people calling themselves scientists whose work doesn't make the slightest logical sense. Case in point: Jet stream moving slowly northward

The jet stream — America's stormy weather maker — is creeping northward and weakening, new research shows.

That potentially means less rain in the already dry South and Southwest and more storms in the North. And it could also translate into more and stronger hurricanes since the jet stream suppresses their formation. The study's authors said they have to do more research to pinpoint specific consequences.

From 1979 to 2001, the Northern Hemisphere's jet stream moved northward on average at a rate of about 1.25 miles a year, according to the paper published Friday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The authors suspect global warming is the cause, but have yet to prove it.

So, I'm supposed to belive we can make sweeping climatological claims about the shift of roughly 27 miles in the average jet stream location? Bullshit. We didn't even know about the jet stream until World War II, and we certainly were not measuring it in any detail until many years later. That gives us almost no data to work with.

No data means you cannot make sweeping claims about climatological change over time.

A rate of 1.25 miles a year "doesn't sound like much, but that works out to about 18 feet per day," Caldeira said. "If you think about climate zones shifting northward at this rate, you can imagine squirrels keeping up. But what are oak trees going to do?

Squirrels??? WTF are they talking about????


Whole Lot Of (Midwest) Shakin' Going On

Who says folks in the Midwest are nice and stable? Midwest quake felt far and wide

People nearly 900 miles away felt a magnitude-5.2 earthquake that shook southern Illinois early Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of major damage after the predawn quake, which struck at 4:36 a.m. (5:36 a.m. ET).

However, some minor damage was seen in the region.

Debris fell on a sidewalk and shattered in Louisville, Kentucky, after part of a cornice fell off a brick building, according to footage from the city's CNN affiliate WHAS-TV.

The epicenter of the earthquake -- the strongest in the region in 40 years -- was about seven miles below ground and 38 miles north-northwest of Evansville, Indiana, the USGS said.

Here is a map with the centers of other quakes in this region of the Midwest since 1990.

So, the fact there was a quake there was not unusual. The magnitude of it was what made it something out of the ordinary.

I am too far north to have felt it, although I'll have to see if friends and family in St. Louis got rattled around.

Radio talk-show host George Noory said he felt the quake in his St. Louis home.

"Everything shook," Noory said. "I thought the building was going to collapse."

I'm not doubting George felt it, but what are the chances the host of "Coast To Coast AM" was being a little dramatic about the whole thing? (Answer: Pretty good.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's "Why Is It?" Time

Why is it when Obama supporters in an audience "boo" Hillary Clinton or anyone else who dares question "the chosen one," it is considered an unimpeachable measure of public opinion? People who "boo" are generally making asses of themselves, and not pronouncing something in an infallible fashion.

The only thing the Obama backers are proving is that his campaign is one of the most divisive forces in American politics today.


Want proof that every action will have a reaction? From Power Line: Hamas Endorses Obama

On Sunday, Aaron Klein and John Batchelor interviewed Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas, on WABC radio. The interview produced a scoop which, for some reason, has not been widely publicized: Hamas has endorsed Barack Obama for President. Yousef said, "We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election." Why? "He has a vision to change America." Maybe Yousef has some insight into what Obama means by all these vague references to "change."

And Obama calls himself a "friend" of Israel.

Hey, who needs enemies?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What A Moron

I don't know if he is "bitter" but there is at least one GOP Congressman in Kentucky that is dumber than a box of rocks.
It sounds like the Kentucky Republicans had a Grand Ole Time on Saturday night, gearing up for battles with the Democrats with a host of barbs that drew laughter and chuckles. Just getting warmed up for the general cycle, and tossing out some red meat, as the cliche goes.

But now circulated, some of the remarks are drawing charges of racial insensitivity.
At a Lincoln Day Dinner in the Fourth Congressional District in northern Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the Democratic presidential candidates, singling out Senator Barack Obama in particular.

“I fear the two Democrats, one in particular, is incredibly naive,” Mr. McConnell said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s political blog, and then noted that Mr. Obama was still an Illinois lawmaker when the nation went to war. “This is the big leagues now. At what point do you turn off the demagoguery and become a serious, responsible leader?”

Congressman Geoff Davis, took the criticisms of Mr. Obama a few steps further, likening the change slogan to the pitch of a “snake oil salesman.” He then relayed to the audience that he had taken party in a “highly classified, national security simulation” with Obama.

“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Mr. Davis said. “He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country.”

Jesus H Christ.

I've very little use for Obama as a politician, but he is nobody's "boy".

Mr. Davis has sent a letter of apology to Mr. Obama, and described his comments as a “poor choice of words,” according to The Associated Press.

Fine. Now Mr. davis, go slink back under whatever rock you crawled from under.

(Gleaned from Winds of Change)


Alright. Sometimes I'm easily amused.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Way To Go Out On A Limb

Here is another great "forecast" for us all: Expect big Calif. quake by 2037

California faces an almost certain risk of being rocked by a strong earthquake by 2037, scientists said Monday in the first statewide temblor forecast.

New calculations reveal there is a 99.7% chance a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger will strike in the next 30 years. The odds of such an event are higher in Southern California than Northern California, 97% versus 93%.

The last time a jolt this size rattled California was the 1994 Northridge disaster, which killed 72 people, injured more than 9,000 and caused $25 billion in damage.

Wow. What a "prediction"!

Let's look at what has happened in California in the last 30 years, magnitude 6.7 or greater:

1999, 7.1 Hector Mine
1994, 6.9 Mendocino Fracture Zone
1994, 6.7 Northridge
1992, 7.3 Landers
1992, 7.2 Cape Mendocino
1991, 7.1 W. of Crescent City
1989, 7.1 Loma Prieta
1984, 6.9 Mendocino Fracture Zone
1980, 7.2 W. of Eureka

So, we have had nine quakes this size size 1978. Having at least one in the next thirty years is somehow surprising?

I refuse to believe the original study was this boneheaded. Given the errors in fact in the AP story (the Northridge quake was three big quakes ago, not "the last") maybe this is another in a line of "science" stories overwhelming their authors.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Left Wing Anti-Semitism

What a day. First it was the story about a vile anti-Semitic screed being hosted by the Obama for President website, now Roger Simon writes about this: Reverend Eric Lee’s Anti-Semitism

A Los Angeles event held by Kappa Alpha Psi—the national African-American fraternity—on April 4, the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, was reportedly marred by a disturbing incident of anti-Semitism by its keynote speaker – Reverend Eric Lee.

With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilman Bernard Parks, State Senator Mark Ridley Thomas and Assemblyman Mike Davis in attendance (and also winning awards in some instances) at the Marriott Hotel conference, the fraternity had just given its Tom Bradley Award—named for the esteemed former Los Angeles mayor—to Israeli-American Daphna Ziman.

Ziman is the founder and volunteer chairwoman of Children Uniting Nations—an organization devoted to the rights of children. CUN has helped children from Kosovo to the American inner cities, focusing especially on mentoring programs for children from Los Angeles broken homes. Ziman has also been a fundraiser and donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

After Ziman received her award, Reverend Lee, who is the President/CEO of the Los Angeles branch of Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, began his keynote speech. In the midst of this, after praising Malcolm X, he started staring directly at Ziman, according to an email she sent.

Ziman’s email states “[Lee] started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the Jews that have featured them as rapists and murderers. He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say ‘What other kind of Rabbis are there, but Jews.’ He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA [African-American] community and the Jewish community together. ‘NO, NO, NO!!!!’ he shouted into the crowd, ‘we are not going to come together. The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.’”

(An attempt to revive the “Black-Jewish Connection” is currently underway in Los Angeles, according to the L. A. Watts Times.)

Lee continued with his anti-Semitic diatribe, according to Ziman, at which time she could no longer tolerate it and left the room, where she broke into tears.

There is nothing ambiguous about this, and it fits a pattern that is ever increasing in its crassness, stupidity, vileness and brazenness.

The Left in America has a cancer in its midst, and the time to remove it is now. You do not dialogue with hate; you shun it. If you tolerate it you endorse it. There is no other moral option.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sometimes A Mismatch Is Enjoyable To Watch

No, I'm not talking about Memphis destroying Kansas tonight. Click here to see what happens when you get someone who is pretty damn smart (like Daniel Drezner) thrashing someone who clearly isn't (like Glenn Greenwald.)

It amounts to nothing more than enjoyable carnage.

Welcome To The Party, Pal

Sean Wilentz over at Salon has noticed the obvious: If the system made sense, Clinton would be far ahead

The continuing contest for the Democratic presidential nomination has become a frenzy of debates and proclamations about democracy. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign has been particularly vociferous in claiming that its candidate stands for a transformative, participatory new politics. It has vaunted Obama's narrow lead in the overall popular vote in the primaries to date, as well as in the count of elected delegates, as the definitive will of the party's rank and file. If, while heeding the party's rules, the Democratic superdelegates overturn those majorities, Obama's supporters claim, they will have displayed a cynical contempt for democracy that would tear the party apart.

These arguments might be compelling if Obama's leads were not so reliant on certain eccentricities in the current Democratic nominating process, as well as on some blatantly anti-democratic maneuvers by the Obama campaign. Obama's advantage hinges on a system that, whatever the actual intentions behind it, seems custom-made to hobble Democratic chances in the fall. It depends on ignoring one of the central principles of American electoral politics, one that will be operative on a state-by-state basis this November, which is that the winner takes all. If the Democrats ran their nominating process the way we run our general elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have a commanding lead in the delegate count, one that will only grow more commanding after the next round of primaries, and all questions about which of the two Democratic contenders is more electable would be moot.

I may be doing something unsavory in my own pool by saying it, but this is the trouble that comes from teaching Political Science to college undergraduates. The positively Byzantine procedures of the Democratic nomination system could only have been imagined by someone who has only foggy memories of a discussion about proportional representation in a Poli Sci 101 class. When these dimly understood ideas are put into practice, God only knows what the end result will be. For all of the, largely nonsensical, hand wringing one can hear about the "undemocratic" Electoral College, it seems unlikely the architects among the Democrats have managed to do anything but make their nomination process less transparent.

The end result, whoever wins the nomination ultimately, may be to leave a sizable portion of the Democratic party base disaffected and dispirited, and all because of a sophomoric critique of the Electoral College that is better off being exiled to the campus dorm rooms of the world.

Gleaned from Memeorandum.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Good Thing She Didn't Ask For A Raise

QandO and Powerline both point to this: Hillary Clinton Fired For Lies, Unethical Behavior

It makes for some fascinating reading:

As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying.

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.

Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.


“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

It seems in the zeal to not only remove Richard Nixon, but also to keep a lid on any politically damaging information about Democrats that might have surfaced in a general airing of dirty laundry, Clinton was part of a cabal seeking to deny President Nixon the right to counsel during any impeachment proceedings.

The actions of Hillary and her cohorts went directly against the judgment of top Democrats, up to and including then-House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, that Nixon clearly had the right to counsel. Zeifman says that Hillary, along with Marshall, Nussbaum and Doar, was determined to gain enough votes on the Judiciary Committee to change House rules and deny counsel to Nixon. And in order to pull this off, Zeifman says Hillary wrote a fraudulent legal brief, and confiscated public documents to hide her deception.

The brief involved precedent for representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding. When Hillary endeavored to write a legal brief arguing there is no right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding, Zeifman says, he told Hillary about the case of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who faced an impeachment attempt in 1970.

“As soon as the impeachment resolutions were introduced by (then-House Minority Leader Gerald) Ford, and they were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, the first thing Douglas did was hire himself a lawyer,” Zeifman said.

The Judiciary Committee allowed Douglas to keep counsel, thus establishing the precedent. Zeifman says he told Hillary that all the documents establishing this fact were in the Judiciary Committee’s public files. So what did Hillary do?

“Hillary then removed all the Douglas files to the offices where she was located, which at that time was secured and inaccessible to the public,” Zeifman said. Hillary then proceeded to write a legal brief arguing there was no precedent for the right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding – as if the Douglas case had never occurred.

The brief was so fraudulent and ridiculous, Zeifman believes Hillary would have been disbarred if she had submitted it to a judge.


I'm sure there is some sort of possible spin to this, that Clinton was only doing her work under the direction of a more senior person, but there seems to be a, shall we call it, "initiative" taken that is unseemly at best.

All of it begs the question: I wonder when the repercussions from Watergate will come to an end?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Vision Of Obama I Can Finally Get Behind

Of course it must be fictional: Dreams of my Foosball

The Lost Excerpts from the Barack Obama memoirs

I spent the last two years of high school in a daze, blocking away the questions that life, and my Mr. Natural blacklight poster, seemed insistent on posing. I attended class sparingly, played foosball heavily, and smoked weed enthusiastically. So enthusiastically that my nickname was "Bogart." Okay, maybe it was the last four years of high school.

Most of that daze happened at a little strip mall foosball parlor on the Eastside of HonoluIu. Inside that dingy flourescent sanctuary I discovered it really didn't matter if you were black or white, a surfer or a hodad, whether you had enough money to buy air shocks for your Camaro. Everyone was welcome in our club of disaffection, as long you had a pukka shell necklace and a roll of quarters and a spray can of silicon lube for the old table that had a sticky goalie shaft. Under those buzzing lights I practiced my wicked crossover corner shot and contemplated the big questions: life, justice, how many matchbooks it really took to level the air hockey table. Should a bounce-out count as a goal?

Sometimes the questions got to be too much and I would escape to the solitude of the Bally Wizard machine. I was living in the moment, channeling my disaffected rage though its erratic flipper buttons -- the left one always seemed to short out just as I was nearing a free game -- and thought about the words of Dr. King and Eldridge Cleaver while Boston and Head East blared on the Seeberg jukebox. Sometimes we'd go out to the parking lot and blaze a one hitter in the back of Kip's Econoline. We talked about the unfulfilled promises of America, and Todd, the guy who claimed he could get us fake Nevada IDs. And if the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly and hypocrisy and bullshit, and those busloads of tourists you mooned from Kip's van porthole.

Also, did I mention we were disaffected?

Much more there, not here.