30 June, 2010

Signs the Apocalypse is Nigh

At the confirmation hearings for Elene Kagan today, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D, MN) asked the nominee about Twilight.

29 June, 2010

R2000 Polling Data

Daily Kos has admitted that the polling for many of the most prominent polls they've conducted with R2000 are likely to have been complete and utter bunk. Not only are the gathering methods (and therefore, the data itself) probably faulty, but there is also evidence that much of it was completely fabricated.

I think it is safe to say that I disagree with Daily Kos about 99.99% of the time. But I do have to give them kudos for choosing to air this sort of dirty laundry in public, and in particular for taking it upon themselves to do the honorable thing:

While the investigation didn't look at all of Research 2000 polling conducted for us, fact is I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else. I ask that all poll tracking sites remove any Research 2000 polls commissioned by us from their databases. I hereby renounce any post we've written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

I note that Real Clear Politics hasn't removed the R2000/Daily Kos data yet from the Illinois US Senate and Illinois Governor races. Perhaps they're reluctant to, because it would probably skew those races even further towards the Republicans than they already are. My guess is RCP will keep those polls posted, but it may be a few more months before we see another poll on either race that isn't Rasmussen or PPP. The Gianoullias campaign has got to be disappointed, because I suspect they were counting on R2000/Daily Kos to manufacture a poll sometime this summer that showed them ahead of Mark Kirk.

26 June, 2010

Image of the Day

I gotta say, this image of two diners at a Washington, DC hamburger joint is kind of cool:

That's President Obama on the right, and on the left is President Medvedev of the Russian Federation. Just two guys talking a little business over a quick lunch...

By the way, the restaurant is called Ray's Hell Burger and is just a couple of blocks from the White House. News reports say that its a favorite of White House staff, so chances are its been cleared by the Secret Service dozens of times over.

25 June, 2010

A Step in the Right Direction

Officials in Georgia (Note to Peggy West: the country, not the state) have torn down a statue of Joseph Stalin that had been erected in his home town.

Reuters: Stalin statue removed in Georgian home town

While its about 60 years too late, its at least good to see that history is finally catching up with one of the most despicable people who ever lived.

Facepalm moment

The stupid. It burns.

The sad part is, people who are this clueless about basic geography are all too common. This woman is the kind of person who goes to Hawaii and is amazed that you don't need to show your passport, or asks where Dakota is because, since there's a North Dakota and a South Dakota, there obviously must be a Dakota somewhere in between.

21 June, 2010

Meanwhile, at the World Cup...

Oh, wow. Dear Leader Kim Jong Il's handpicked soccer team just got spanked by Portugal, losing 7-0.

So what are Dear Leader's likely responses to this?

1) To the rest of the world, blame the United States and South Korea.
2) Execute a few of the coaches and maybe send some of the others and their families to "re-education facilities" (read: slave labor camps), in order to teach them about the hazards of doing harm to the honor of North Korea and Kim Jong Il.
3) Tell the North Korean people that the team actually won, that they were heading home early from the World Cup as victors, and to make them guests of honor at a brand new Arirang performance composed to honor them and the glorious leadership of Kim Jong Il, in whose wisdom they were sent to South Africa in the first place.

Huh. Wonder how many members of that team will actually return home, or will they take the opportunity to disappear only to ask for political asylum a few days later. Though its rumored that many on the team are actually Chinese nationals under assumed Korean names, so chances are many will just go back home to China.

Anyway, Dear Leader is probably fuming about now.

Illinois Governor's Poll Watch

Two polls in recent weeks point to big problems for Governor Quinn's re-election campaign: Public Policy Polling has Republican challenger Bill Brady up by 4 points, while Rassmussen has Brady up by a whopping 11 points.

As always, I'm rather skeptical about Rasmussen's numbers, since they lean Republican and this is essentially a Democratic state. Also, as I've mentioned previously concerning Mark Kirk's poll numbers, polls conducted five months away from an election and at the start of vacation-and-fun-in-the-sun season are not always the best indicators of actual strength. But PPP's polling data should give Gov. Quinn's supporters cause for concern; PPP is in general a Democratic-leaning polling organization with a Democratic-leaning polling bias, and if even then they are finding the sentiment leaning against a Democrat incumbent, then Governor Quinn is clearly in trouble. Still, I have to caution that its only June, and most voters don't start waking up to oncoming elections until they're about two months away. If these numbers are the same or worse in September, Quinn will officially be in Real Trouble.

19 June, 2010

Two parts of space and time...

Just in time for the season climax of the new Doctor Who season... NASA releases the following image from the Spitzer Space Telescope.

It's where two parts of space and time that should never have touched have been forced together.
--The Doctor, "The Eleventh Hour"

Either this is all one big coincidence, someone at NASA has a sense of humor (and good timing), or... we're all in big trouble.

And with that, I shall now go into the living room and watch "The Pandorica Opens"... :)

Yes, I know, I really should be typing out my thoughts on the current season. One of the many things I've been meaning to get to on this here blog.

The World Sees Obama as an Amateur: Mort Zuckerman

Over at US News and World Report (Wow, I didn't even know USNWR was still even around!), Mort Zuckerman has a great summation of President Obama's foreign policy:

The reviews of Obama's performance have been disappointing. He has seemed uncomfortable in the role of leading other nations, and often seems to suggest there is nothing special about America's role in the world. The global community was puzzled over the pictures of Obama bowing to some of the world's leaders and surprised by his gratuitous criticisms of and apologies for America's foreign policy under the previous administration of George W. Bush. One Middle East authority, Fouad Ajami, pointed out that Obama seems unaware that it is bad form and even a great moral lapse to speak ill of one's own tribe while in the lands of others.

World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur, by Mort Zuckerman

18 June, 2010

Liberal Bias

Consider this flyer, currently being distributed around Minneapolis:

If the target were a female Democrat, you just know that the media and the Democrats would be all over this and denouncing it as "typical right-wing hate speech". CNN and MSNBC would be devoting entire hours of debate, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow would be frothing at the mouth, and Al Franken would be introducing a resolution to condemn the "atmosphere of hatred" among Republicans. But when the target is an outspoken conservative woman, you can practically hear the crickets chirping.


Hat tip: NewsBusters

15 June, 2010

Updates, sort of

1) I'm very busy this week with work and entertaining a house guest, so I'm probably going to still be on a light-posting schedule for another week more. Please bear with me.

2) Yes, I know about the gaffes Mark Kirk has been making. Doesn't seem to have affected his poll numbers (Rasmussen still has him ahead), but I acknowledge they're boneheaded and potentially embarrassing to his campaign (though in truth, I also think they are pretty dang minor errors). It still doesn't change two things: 1) I still think he's clearly the better candidate over Gianoullias; and 2) we're still five months away from the election. Right now, people are more concerned with sunbathing and Central Division standings; I doubt anyone but political junkies are paying any attention. People won't start caring until late August at the earliest, September at the most likely. Until then, its mostly just hot air.

3) Addendum to above: I predict R2000/Daily Kos will put a poll out over the summer showing Gianoullias with a slim lead. Again, like I've been saying all along, these polls don't mean a thing right now except for bragging rights. Wait until September, when the real race begins.

4) Going to Colorado this year, starting July 8. Watch this blog for extensive coverage!

5) Saw this, couldn't resist posting:

Hat tip: Jay Nordlinger @ The Corner, National Review Online