Saturday, August 09, 2008

Obama 309 - McCain 229

FiveThirtyEight is good but the statistician at the Princeton Election Consortium uses a technique (meta-analysis) that predicts the outcome of the election if it were held today.
Today I’d like to outlline the basic contrasts between this calculation and a popular resource, That site, run by Nate Silver, a sabermetrician, is a good compendium of information and commentary. However, both our goals and methods differ on several key points. The biggest difference is that this site provides a current snapshot of where polls are today, while he attempts a prediction.
As you can see from the title of this post, McCain still isn't really in the running. He is going to have to get much more nasty towards Obama.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Speaking of Energy

Has anyone heard about the "Gang of Ten"? A group of ten Senators made up of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans have come up with the New Energy Reform Act of 2008 that Obama is supporting and McCain is opposing. This is the reason for Obama's recent "flip-flop" on offshore drilling. The bipartisan bill will allow some drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and will allow the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to decide whether they want to allow drilling or not - States rights and all that. Why is McCain opposed to the Bill? Because it also proposes to fund the Bill by closing tax loopholes for petroleum companies. In Republican land, that is a tax increase. The Bill also dedicates 20 billion dollars to R&D on alternative fuels for motor vehicles and extends tax incentives for the purchase of hybrid vehicles.

So here is a Bill supported by both Democrats and Republicans in a bipartisan fashion. Just what everyone wants to happen, except John McCain.

Read more about this Bill at Sen. Kent Conrad's website.

John McHugh's Energy Plan

Rep. McHugh was in Plattsburgh yesterday explaining how our country needs to become energy independent. After 6 terms serving in the House of Representatives, its good that McHugh has finally decided this is an issue worth thinking about. In an article published by the Plattsburgh Press Republican, McHugh comes off sounding like a Democrat in the first part of the article, afterall, its an election year and sounding like a Bush Republican isn't the wisest campaign strategy. We need to conserve, drive less, develop the latest alternative energy sources and we need to start now says McHugh. Oh yeah, and we need to drill for more oil and that drilling needs to be done in the Arctic and offshore. See, the poor oil companies currently don't have enough places to drill for oil, nevermind that they hold all these oil leases. [At the current fuel prices you might even ask if oil companies are serious about drilling anywhere]

No, like most Republicans, what Mr. McHugh really wants is to solve our energy crisis the same way its been solved over the last 40 years. Drill for more oil. Should we drill for more oil....absolutely. But I want something in exchange from Republicans. I want a serious energy policy that will actually make us energy indepedent. And, that is not going to happen under a Republican President. It may not even happen under a Democratic President if Democrats don't hold in reserve the possibility of offshore drilling as a bargaining tool to get Republican votes on a real energy policy. Just look at the money John McCain has received from big oil since he flip-flopped on offshore drilling and ask yourself who is beholden to big oil now.

McHugh also claims that we need to stop oil speculators. I've yet to read a single article written by an economist that shows that speculation on oil prices is contributing to high fuel prices. As I've written before, it's all about supply and demand. Fuel prices have recently fallen because demand for gasoline has fallen. Demand has fallen because of the high prices. My conservative friends have always told me that is the way the system works.

I for one will not trust John McHugh to solve our energy problems. He's had his chance.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

John McCains Energy Policy

Turn out the lights five minutes earlier and don't drive the extra block. Some energy plan huh? Actually, thinking people know this is not the McCain energy plan anymore than keeping air in your tires is Obama's energy plan. I wonder if Obama will mock McCain for his "turn out the lights 5 minutes sooner" energy plan?

Paris Hilton Responds

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

I think Paris Hilton's energy policy is what Barack Obama has in mind if he is elected President. No drilling now so that issue can be used in a compromise with
Republicans when they start whining about actually pursuing alternative energy production, rather than just talking about it. Compare the amount of money Obama wants to spend on alternative energy with the amount McCain wants to spend and then decide who is more serious. McCain is really old isn't he?

McCain has now officially started a dialog with Paris Hilton. How long will it be before Paris calls McCain "hot".


The p53rd Psalm

p53 is my shepherd, I shall not cycle
It maketh me to lie down in G1
It leadeth me beside still nucleotide pools
It restoreth my genome
It leadeth me past the restriction point for replication's sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the cobalt irradiator
I shall fear no gamma rays, for thou art Guardian of the Genome
Thy amino and thy carboxy termini, they comfort me
Thou maintainest my genomic stability in the presence of mine enemies
Thou annointest my nucleus with p21/WAF1/Cip1/Sdi1/Pic1
my cyclin dependent kinases overflow
Surely pRb phosphorylation and E2F activation shall follow me
all the cycles of my life
and I shall dwell in a non-tumorigenic state until senescence

I found the above here. Visit the link if you dare.

The Rolling Stones???

Yes, it really is the Rolling Stones doing Slim Harpo

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Iraqi Billions

Guess who has 79 billion dollars in unspent cash? The Iraqi government...that's who. I guess the 48 billion dollars the USA has invested in Iraqi infrastructure has paid off. Maybe Iraq has been able to save lots of dollars by letting the US government fund their needs.

Does anyone besides me wonder why the USA has to continue to invest millions or billions of dollars in Iraq when they have money of their own and more money coming in everyday from oil revenues? Really does kind of make you wonder who is actually "winning" in the "Iraq War".

White House Forgery for War Excuse?

Surely this did not happen. Not by my government.
A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

The letter’s existence has been reported before, and it had been written about as if it were genuine. It was passed in Baghdad to a reporter for The (London) Sunday Telegraph who wrote about it on the front page of Dec. 14, 2003, under the headline, “Terrorist behind September 11 strike ‘was trained by Saddam.’”
The Bush administration was desperately looking for reasons to attack Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. There is all sorts of evidence supporting that belief. But actually ordering the forging of a document as an excuse for war? Remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident? Just where is our country heading and why are we letting it go to hell in a hand basket?

Successful St. Lawrence U. Grads

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Emergency Home Heating Aid in NY

The maximum income to qualify for home heating assistance will be higher this year in NY. Considering the state of finances in NY, a good question to ask is where will the money come from?

Don't count on the generosity George Bush has shown to Iraq development.
Under the Bush administration's proposal for heating assistance, New York would receive $187 million — less than last year's nearly $248 million, at a time when energy costs have gone up dramatically. The average cost of a gallon of home heating oil in New York state was $4.70 in June — about 75 percent higher than the average of $2.67 at the same time last year, according to NYSERDA.

The state is asking Congress to fund the federal program at $5.1 billion, which would put New York's share at about $500 million, Farmer said. Bush's proposal would fund the program with $1.5 billion this year. In 2007 the program received $1.98 billion, plus $181 million in contingency funds.
Old Georgie has decided that it is finally time to start saving some the expense of emergency heating funds for the NorthEast.

I know that Mike Oot, who is running for Congress against John McHugh, is in favor of the Federal Government fully funding emergency home heating funds.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama is "Uppity"

There is a certain segment of US citizens that are getting the message. He is just uppity. Next he is going to want to date our girls Paris and Brittney.

Only We Can Spy On Us

They can't spy on us....only we can spy on us. This is ironic. It seems US Government officials are concerned that the Chinese are spying on them.
The mobile e-mail blackout is the latest sign of U.S. concerns over Chinese cyber-spying. Sensitive presidential communications are always encrypted, but government cyber-security experts are worried about electronic eavesdropping on the BlackBerries, which are difficult to protect from snooping.

BlackBerries have been banned on other presidential foreign trips but the order underscores specific concerns about Chinese spying during the Olympics.
So it's quite alright for the USA to spy on its own citizens but not ok for other countries to spy on their citizens? That dilemma is what comes from our government ignoring our laws by using torture, rendition, warrant less spying etc. We no longer have the moral high ground to criticize countries like China.

Republican Senator Sam Brownback is most outraged about Chinese eavesdropping during the Olympic Games. Here is irony at its best. Senator Brownback voted for the "Protect America Act" last year and he also for the FISA Amendment Act which allows the U.S. Government to tap directly into the U.S. telecommunications systems in order to monitor international emails and telephone calls with no individual warrant required.

Next, watch for the conservative pundits to start decrying these horrible, human-rights defying acts by the Chinese. If you point out to these pundits that the USA is doing the same thing to its own citizens - watch them call you unpatriotic or worse yet, a traitor.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


John McCain is opposed to raising any taxes. However, he is in favor of considering raising taxes to save social security. McCain is also in favor in allowing oil companies to keep tax incentives. Joe Lieberman is currently on Meet the Press claiming that this is not flip-flopping, it is compromising in good faith with Democrats.

Barack Obama has recently said he is willing to consider allowing offshore drilling if holding that position will help pass a comprehensive energy plan. According to Lieberman, that is a flip-flop. It seems only Democrats make flip flops, forget the huge changes in political positions made by Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Joe Lieberman could not honestly answer a single question about John McCain on Meet the Press. Why? Because Republican Presidential campaigns are no longer about issues. They are all about making you afraid of the opposition party. In this particular campaign, they have a secondary purpose of making a certain segment of our population afraid of a black man with a funny name.

John McCain is running the same kind of campaign against Obama as was run against him by G.W. Bush in 2000. That is not a surprise. The people that run Republican Presidential campaigns (Rove acolytes) were all trained by Lee Atwater, the master of dirty tricks.

Republicans have chosen a presidential candidate that they really don't like. They have chosen a man who, I think, believes in running an honest campaign on the issues but, unfortunately, has decided he can only win with the help of Atwater/Rove dirty campaign tactics.

I was in favor of John McCain over George Bush in 2000. I was in favor of looking at McCain as a possible Democratic Vice-Presidential partner in John Kerry's campaign. Unfortunately, John McCain has sadly shown he is not the man he claimed to be for so many years. It is sad to see such a man dishonor himself the way he has over the last several weeks.