Mar 26 2015

Petulant President’s Dangerous Game

Published by under All General Discussions

I cannot think of a more clumsy and dangerous move from our President than to  leak classified nuclear secrets to extort another nation into taking direction from America.  America is already wrongly seen as a bully because we (used to) stand for freedom and free-loving nations over dictatorships and blood-soaked regimes. To leak (or in the jargon of the groupie left wing news media: “declassify”) nuclear secrets in order to coerce submission to this administration’s world view (which is not shared by most Americans or most free-loving nations) is very close to criminal.  And I do mean high crimes here.

This is no stained blue dress.  This is abuse of power, especially given the international environment we are currently in.

The reason the truth about Isreal’s nuclear capabilities has never been exposed is simple: we don’t need a nuclear arms race in the hotbed that is the Middle East.

Once it is known The West allowed Israel nuclear weapons, everyone will claim a right to them. Including Jihadis – who would like to see The West “purified” by mushroom cloud. And once nuclear weapons are handed out to the hotheads, the likelihood of massive death and destruction escalates exponentially.

So while we are attempting to shunt Iran away from the brink of nuclear holocaust, this President just neutered every argument we have against Iran having nuclear weapons. Brilliant.

Which is why this story is so damn disturbing:

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

Emphasis mine: It has not just been America who has been respectfully silent.

The 386-page report entitled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations” gives a detailed description of how Israel advanced its military technology and developed its nuclear infrastructure and research in the 1970s and 1980s.

Israel is “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level,” reveals the report, stating that in the 1980s Israelis were reaching the ability to create bombs considered a thousand times more powerful than atom bombs.

Powerline has more disturbing details:

The damaging revelations come via the Defense Department’s publication of a detailed, 386-page report on Israeli and NATO nations’ nuclear facilities and capabilities. In an overtly political act, the Pentagon declassified only the part about Israel, continuing to classify the parts regarding other countries.

There comes a point for those working in Washington DC when power corrupts absolutely. Where the “governors” become convinced they are much smarter, better and purer than the rest of humankind – a.k.a. the governed. Obama seems to have already slipped into this all to common mental disability. He was ripe for it from the beginning, since he was so inexperienced and naive. A rarely seen merging of supreme arrogance and ignorance (see shovel-ready-jobs, Obamacare, US economic malaise, massive US debt, illegals rushing across our borders and sinking our economy and government infrastructure, etc).

This time he has outdone himself. The Pandora’s box of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East is probably now upon us. All from a fit of frustration in not being followed blindly.

No wonder President Obama had to win the Nobel Peace Prize before he had done anything tangible. If the world had waited until then, the irrational nature of such an honor would have been blindingly obvious. Sort of like a nuclear explosion in the Middle East is “blinding”.

Update: President Obama is also an incredible “Projectionist”:

As it turns out, the speech by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the communication to Congress that got the Obama administration most upset. Today’s Wall Street Journal reveals in a report from Adam Entous that Israel’s intelligence service had penetrated the talks with Iran, both through human intelligence and signals intelligence. That allowed Israel to make an international case against the emerging deal in an attempt to derail Barack Obama’s desperate desire to reach a rapprochement with Tehran.

And even that didn’t generate the most ire in the White House. No, that came when Israel had the temerity and the nerve to inform a group considered by the Obama administration as a dangerous gathering of subversives … right down Pennsylvania Avenue from the West Wing [AJStrata: i.e., Congress]

This is why you need a cool head at the helm of the ship of state. BTW, for those unaware I am using “Projection” in the sense of:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.

Update: Ed Morrissey rightfully compares this fiasco to another one of histories major international blunders which vectored the world into a decade of bloodshed and misery:

However, when the head of state of a nation that has sponsored terrorism for decades openly says, “Death to America,” the Obama administration shrugs off the statement as mere domestic politics and considers him a credible partner for peace.

We are truly through the looking glass with this President.

In both cases, Western leaders told themselves that the extremist rhetoric was only intended for domestic consumption. Also in both cases, they treated with contempt their allies whose very existence was threatened by the new hegemon, who kept breaking international agreements and stalling negotiations until the West appeased them by betraying those same allies — even locking their democratic allies out of the negotiations.

Obama is channeling his inner Neville Chamberlain – at best.

2 responses so far

Mar 25 2015

Just In: Global Warming To Destroy All Life In Universe

Published by under All General Discussions

As if man-made CO2 causing run-away global warming – in turn threatening life on Earth as we know it (maybe at some point in the future, since we are currently in a two decade hiatus from any “global” warming) – was not enough, new scientific models have confirmed heat expansion from global warming is affecting the entire Universe, and all life therein:

Physicists predict the universe is primed for a “cosmological collapse” that will cause the universe to stop expanding at its current rate and ultimately collapse in on itself to wipe away all known matter.

Their paper published in Physical Review Letters focuses on the “dark energy” causing the constant expansion of the universe that is predicted to ultimately continue on a path toward collapse.

“Dark Energy” is code for “we have no idea what is going on, but we are sure the end of the world is near and it is the fault of humans’.

</sarcasm>

And people wonder why many engineers, mathematicians and applied science types tend to snicker at scientific models based on a pyramid of untested assumptions and theories.

Exit question: If we are all doomed anyway, why not party and blow out all the CO2 we want – given what’s coming right after those first doomsday predictions from IPCC?

Update: Ed Morrissey notes the environmental drama queens have seemingly lost the interest of the American Public when it comes to the big environmental concerns:

Americans remain reasonably concerned over drinking water and its main sources, although not overly so. Most conservatives want government at some level to ensure clean drinking water, even if they want to debate which level and which policies should be used for that purpose. The rest of these concerns drop into minority positions dramatically, and at levels that have dropped rather than increased even after last year’s political campaign.

Could it be a simple case of crying “Wolf!!” too many times? The result is apathy, which is bad for real environmental issues. Seems Global Warming has sucked all the oxygen out of the green movement.

One response so far

Feb 17 2015

Clueless Liberal Propaganda

Published by under All General Discussions

I have been on a long hiatus from blogging due to the fact my day job has become nearly two full time jobs as we surge to a major milestone.  But this combination of headlines over at just had me stunned at the depth of dumb propaganda being produced by the far left in America.  Let’s begin with the horrific and brutal murder of Egyptian Christians by ISIS:

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said his country had the “right to respond” against IS, the BBC reports.

It comes after a sickening video that appears to show brutal Islamic State thugs cutting the heads off Christian men was released by the terror group.

The gruesome five-minute long video, released last night and called ‘A Message Signed With Blood To The Nation Of The Cross’, shows a line of men in orange jumpsuits being walked along a beach front with a masked jihadi grabbing their arm.

Taken in Libya, the video shows the men being forced to kneel in front of the terrorists while one of the militants, also with his face covered, speaks to the camera in a North American-accented English.

It is no surprise the US response to ISIS under President Obama is not impressing anyone:

Americans are increasingly unhappy with President Barack Obama’s handling of ISIS, and a growing share of the nation believes that fight is going badly, according to a new CNN/ORC survey released Monday.

The CNN/ORC poll found 57% of Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling the threat posed by ISIS, a significant decline in support for the President over the past few months. In late September, that number was 49%.

So it was tragic and sad to see this laughable attempt by a far left, liberal to pin the image problems of Islam on “big money”:

With Islamophobia at the front and center of the news day after day, the Center for American Progress updated their 2011 report outlining who buys the Islamophobes and promotes them in order to understand how to tamp it down.

Eight large donors are responsible for the shameless and ceaseless fearmongering around Islam in the United States.

What a pathetic set if lies and slander. Like ISIS itself is not responsible for the accurate image of their brand of Islam?

Is CNN and their polling part of this conspiracy to build the impression of ISIS? Unless these idiots can show a connection between these groups and the vicious thugs beheading Christians, Western journalists, gays, etc we should pretty much ignore these people as completely and totally OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY!

2 responses so far

Dec 11 2014

How Much Trash Is Floating In Our Oceans?

Published by under All General Discussions

First off, I wish there was no trash floating in our oceans.

I think the UN should spend a chunk of its resources to fund the clean up of any floating trash. Since these are international waters, it seems it is the UN’s responsibility to maintain them.

It is disgusting when we REALLY pollute our world (as opposed the nutty “CO2 Is Poison!” meme we get from the Green Blob).

My view, we should take the IPCC funds and do something tangible with them  (and reduce the CO2 and heat from all the hot air that body produces in the process).

With that setting the stage, we have the usual hyperventilating alarmist headlines out today:

More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found.

[H/T Watts Up With That]

Sounds like a lot  – right? Well it took me a few minutes (literally) to assess the scope of this tonnage and a few more minutes to write this post.

But before I step to the big numbers, I want to point out 269,000 tons is about the same weight as 135 Space Shuttles, which weigh in at 2,030 tons each. Pretty good, but 269,000 tons is only 2.69 Super Carriers which weigh in (or “displace” so they can float) 100,000 tons of water.

This is a mess that needs to be addressed, but how much of the ocean does this 269,000 tons of garbage really effect?

The 1 minute google-search and calculate an approximate answer is this:

  • A cubic meter of water (since this stuff is floating) weighs 2200 pounds (or roughly 1 ton),
  • The world’s oceans cover 360 million square kilometers,
  • 1 square kilometer – 1000 square meters.
  • Convert to meters we get 360 billion square meters of ocean surface.
  • Sum the weight of water to one meter depth you get 360 billion tons of water in which floats 269,000 tons of trash.
  • Converting to percent = 0.0747% of the ocean’s top meter of water is filled with trash.

Like I said, lets raid the IPCC funds to clean this mess up – since it is a real (i.e., actual) mess

3 responses so far

Nov 04 2014

GOP Wave Of 2014 – Live Blogging

 

11:25 PM- Fox News calls NC for GOP as well!

11:25 PM-  Fox News call IA for Ernst and GOP. I expect AK to follow much later tonight. NC should be called.  So +9 and will wait on VA (and NH?) for recounts. Goodnight!

11:02 PM- Dem Mark Warner is pretty much tapped out in VA. He leads by 9,000 votes with a lot to be counted in GOP favored areas. This is definitely down to the wire and a recount!

11:00 PM- GOP Perdue outright win in GA per Fox News. Waiting on NC and IA to fall… And BTW, MD Governor is is DEEP trouble for Dems

10:54 PM-My predictions which came true (yes, I know this is rare!):  KS and KY stayed GOP.  WV, MT, SD, LA, GA, CO, AR all go GOP.  Still waiting on NC, IA and AK to go GOP. That is a crazy +9 GOP!  And still we watch VA…

10:47 PM-Fox News calls KS for GOP!

10:44 PM-Drudge calls GA for GOP, KS for GOP with IA for GOP.  So far my predictions are holding (+7, +8 if you include LA).

10:36 PM-Drudge calls Iowa for GOP. Scott in FL and Walker in WI hang on.  So we have the 6 to take the Senate. Now we have to see NC, GS, KS and AK all go GOP.

10:35 PM-Fairfax County is in and Warner is not ahead enough to be called. He has less than 3,000 vote lead with a lot of GOP strongholds still out.  Fingers crossed!

10:15 PM-Fox News calling House control for GOP with a +10 pickup.  But I am looking at NC and with 82% of the vote tallied Tillis is aheadd by 2%.  Fingers crossed NC and IA give the GOP the Senate.

10:10 PM – Gillespie just jumped back up. Warner is close to running out of places to win.  Nail biter for sure.

10:08 PM – 60% of Fairfax county is in.  It could put Warner (or Gillespie) over the top.  There are plenty of GOP pockets left to report, including VA Beach.  Warner is not a shoe in by any measure. We will know before 11 PM in VA.

10:00 PM – MT falls to GOP.  So GOP +5.  Iowa is too close to call.  If nothing else, GOP has made a go of it. I admit I am worried about VA because the big numbers in NOVA are not in.  But it is closer than I have seen in many elections.

9:52 PM – Dem Udall falls to GOP Gardner! I believe this is a historic gain for the GOP in terms of beating Dem Incumbents. With LA and AK in the wings we have the Senate. Now, back to VA

9:41 PM – Fox News joins other networks in calling NH for Shaheen.  So we know the wave reached as high as NH and VA. Which means my 9 calls earlier still stand.  NC is the key.

9:17 PM – Nebraska goes GOP. But I am watching  VA and I see why no one will call this race. The Fairfax County lead by Dems is usually so big it takes a big chunk of the state to counter. But I can find 3 counties that neutralize NOVA.  I think Barbara Comstack pulled Gillespie over the edge (if not damn close).

9:00 PM – SD goes to GOP (no surprise).  If Gardner can win Colorado it will be an amazing night.  But the story tonight is VA.  Barbara Comstock looks to be winning in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, and this could spell BIG trouble for Warner in VA.

8:35 PM – Want to know why VA is in play? Look at the exit polls:

hirty-four percent say they voted to express opposition to the president vs. only 19 percent voting to show him support.

• Republicans are turning out in greater numbers than when Mark Warner (D) won in 2008, accounting for nearly 35 percent of voters

• Nearly half say Obama’s signature 2010 health care law went too far.

• More than eight in 10 voters are worried about the direction of the economy; as many worry about a major terrorist attack alike.

Yup. Dems  lost the support of We The People

8:30 PM – Arkansas has been taken by the GOP! 2 down, 4 more to go.  Clearly with VA Senate too close to call, it is clear  wave is cresting today.  And it is a wave that is very much against Big, Incompetent Government. Will VA Fall? Not sure, looks possible. But the fact VA is in play means the anti-Dem wave is damn big.  Historic? Wait and see.

7:58 PM – Here is a much better VA Senate site.  I don’t think Warner is performing as well as he needs to. His wins are razor thin so far.  But Gillespie is rocking in his districts.

7:30PM – WV has come through with not only a GOP pick-up, but another GOP woman in the US Senate. And NC is also TOO CLOSE TO CALL!  Thank you President Obama for demonstrating the destruction of activist, liberal government.

7:25 PM – OK, I now see why there is a hesitation to call the race.  At the site listed below you can can counties coming in and the small population, GOP-heavy counties are pretty high for the GOP. We need to see some high population centers (Richmond, Newport News, Northern VA) to see what is going on.  But there is a chance Warner under performed in these key purple counties.

7:20 PM – What a night! VA Senate too close. GA Senate too close. McConnell called at the top of the hour.  Cannot wait to see the 7:30 poll closing news!   BTW, VA live results here

7:02 PM – Fox News has BIG news at the top of the hour. Mitch McConnell declared winner ALREADY!?!?!?! Wow! And the state of VA IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL!  Yep I called it! No one saw this coming but  a few of us

6:45 PM - Here we go.  My test race is the Senate race in VA.  All indications are the turnout has been on the GOP side.  And there is a lot of grumblings in the Political Industrial Complex about a POSSIBLE upset. If Warner is in trouble, or Gillespie even makes it close, then the night will be historic for the GOP and catastrophic for the Dems.  If body-language is any indicator, the Fox News crew looked giddy (with those exit polls in hand but embargoed until 7 PM Eastern when polls close.

HotAir’s Katherine Ham notes other VA races to watch.

So here we go.  I should be back about 7:05 PM either cheering or hugely hopeful!

18 responses so far

Nov 03 2014

GOP Wave Is Here – How Big Is It?

I almost titled this post the “Anti-Democrat, Anti-BigGovernment, Anti-Obama Wave is Here”, because this election is not about wild support for the GOP and their brand of big government. It is clearly a referendum on the Activist Government Bungling produced by Obama, Reid and Pelosi since 2008. A historic bungling covered up by the liberal media.

This election is about lies.  Lies from government (and politicians) about government.

Lies like: “If you like your insurance, you can keep it. If you like your doctors, you can keep them”.

Lies where you condemn the beheading of an American and vow action, and then immediately go play golf.

The vacationing commander-in-chief, after promising a relentless hunt for the terrorist butchers of a U.S. journalist, teed off on a Martha’s Vineyard golf course just a short time later.

“Obama is more dedicated to golfing than he is to defending the nation,” sniped Liz Cheney, daughter of the former GOP vice president, via Twitter.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also took a swing at Obama.

“I know in Western countries, this is vacation period,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “But when people are dying, you must return from vacation.”

Lies about our borders, immigration and how we opened ourselves to the spread of deadly disease:

The deadly EV-D68 enterovirus epidemic, which struck thousands of kids this fall, was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence.

The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.

The question can be settled if federal researchers study the genetic fingerprint of the EV-D68 viruses that first hit kids in Colorado, Missouri and Illinois to see if they are close relatives to the EV-D68 viruses found in Central America.

Lies like we saw on Ebola – and having it under control – before we found out no one was prepared and few were serious about self quarantine

Lies like promoting the economy is good while more and more people are just leaving the workforce and income is down:

And really from any perspective, it’s hard to get too triumphalist about the recovery. The percentage of the population that’s employedas opposed to the unemployment rate, which doesn’t pick up people who’ve dropped out of the labor forceis still substantially lower than in 2007. In fact, it’s as low as it’s been since the early 1980s. Likewise, today’s median household income is about $5,000 below its 2007 level. That’s about where it stood in 1995.

All this is horrible, but the news media says ignore this carnage, focus instead on cherry-picked stats that hint to a different (fictional) reality:

Job growth has been very steady the last three years. GDP growth has exceeded two percent in each of the last two years, and will almost certainly do so again in 2014. More importantly, as Danny Vinik recently pointed out, the United States has emerged from the Great Recession much more quickly than other advanced economies.

How any sane person can note the struggling on Main Street to find good careers and build the next generation, and then in the next instant point to how well off the Democrat-connected well-off are doing on Wall Street is beyond me. No wonder one NY City Elitist called for the end of midterms elections – so Main Street cannot voice their views on the shenanigans in DC.

The realities of the modern election cycle are that we spend almost two years selecting a president with a well-developed agenda, but then, less than two years after the inauguration, the midterm election cripples that same president’s ability to advance that agenda.

Talk about a blatant grasp by the liberal media to brainwash the American public that somehow we shouldn’t question the person elected. Excuse me, we live in a democracy. The exact reasons stated for us NOT to have midterms is why we should. If a president is not doing his job, or advancing agendas the American public isn’t interested in, we should be able to elect officials that can act our behalf to stop that president.

This election is not about how great the GOP is. It is about the rising of the libertarian heart of this nation. Some government is a necessary burden. Too much government is an evil.

That is why Sen Roberts is struggling in Kansas.  He is establishment. Same with Tillis in NC.  It is why Joni Ernst is breaking away – she is not your typical establishment pol.  It is why Brownback is in trouble, Shaheen is in trouble. It is why Sen Warner in VA is in trouble – a situation few predicted (except me of course!). It is why the Democrat in the MD Governor’s race is all of sudden in trouble. The mood of the electorate is ugly and very bipartisan in their targets.

People are fed up with government, its bungling and its lying. But they are not enamored with a GOP version of activist government either. They want government back in its box and being held accountable.  Especially in execution (verses excuse making).

Which is why all those races were the Democrats have gone full-up bullshit, have been turning towards the GOP.  You get into a race and cry sexism and racism and all people remember all those OTHER big lies from the left.  Like about my doctor and my insurance. The backfire from Democrat lies is pretty amazing.

The Democrats feel they can BS on anything.  Think about it. There are more and more stories about how Obama has been making it up all “Baghdad Bob” like. He just says what he wants to hear, or what he needs the dupes to believe. And people have caught on, which is why he is the symbol of the 2014 election.

When the the dust settles tomorrow, the GOP will have been the beneficiary of a historic wave election. I am predicting AT LEAST 9 senate pick ups (SD, WV, MT, CO, AR, AK, IA, LA, NC).  I am hoping the wave is so high Warner in VA will also be swept out. I believe Perdue and Roberts will survive.

I expect the GOP to gain historic levels in the House, and I expect the GOP to cripple the Dems in Governor races and other down ticket offices. I expect 2014 to make 2010 look reasonable to the Dems and Libs.

I expect the nation will focus for this one week on the mess in DC and send a clear signal. One all about Big Government Lies and Bungling.

One I fear those in denial in DC and the media will do whatever they can to avoid hearing.

Update: I should add I never expected the President to ‘get the message’ of these midterms.

After predicting a Democratic victory which would result in the in-party keeping control of the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden insisted in a recent interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger that the president is just fine the way he is. Theirs is a communications problem, the vice president insisted. “We have to be more direct and clear about exactly what it is we’re looking to do,” Biden said. “And look, we’re — we’re ready to compromise.”

According to the quotes White House officials are giving reporters widely read by Democratic partisans, the White House is firm in the belief that Obama does not have to change.

The denial is too deep with that one.

2 responses so far

Oct 30 2014

The Common Sense Of Ebola Self-Quarantine

Published by under All General Discussions

I am shaking my head today dumbfounded on how the the entire Obama Administration, the entire leftward news media and one self absorbed nurse in Maine cannot get why Main Street America is getting fed up with their Ebola nonsense.  The left is screaming “Fear Mongers!” while the rest of us just look at what has been the public school policy on self-quarantine for DECADES and wondering why Ebola is less of a threat than the common Flu?

Here is just one example (out of tens of thousands of examples across the country). It is the sick policy for Fairfax County, which is just outside DC and probably one of the school districts for many kids with parents IN the Obama administration or in DC Beltway liberal media. And I quote:

I cannot completely prevent the spread of disease but this sick child policy helps me reduce the spread of sickness and disease whenever possible for all children in my care.

If a child is ill upon arrival, you will be asked to take the child home. Children showing signs or symptoms of illness must remain at home.

If your child becomes ill while in my care, I will notify you so you can make arrangements to pick up your child as soon as possible.

This kind of policy is known to all parents with kids in public schools. Schools require children with infectious diseases to stay home. In other words, to self-quarantine. This includes cases if Pinkeye, Measles, Mumps and of course the common Flu. At the first sign of an infectious disease kids are pulled from school. End of story.

Which is why the nonsense about Ebola quarantine is so ridiculous. A tiny percentage of those infected by the above diseases are at risk of death. Usually it would require another condition to put someone at risk (age, Asthma, etc).

But Ebola is a totally different beast. Ebola kills and quickly. It has an average death rate of 50%, but can be as high as 90% for some strains.  And every time the disease finds a new host we have the chance of creating a new, deadlier strain.

It is in fact better to be facing colon cancer than Ebola. The survivor rate for various stages of colon cancer are much better, plus the window for detection and treatment is on the order of months, not days.

This is common sense information. We self-quarantine millions of kids a year because of their MINOR infectious diseases.

And you would be better off facing colon cancer than Ebola. How hard is this?

Why risk anyone if all that is required is 21 days to make SURE you are not transporting a deadly killer?

This is why actions by Maine and other states make sense to Main Street:

A handful of states have gone further than federal health officials and ordered quarantines for health workers returning from Ebola-stricken countries in Africa, even when they show no symptoms and therefore would not be contagious anyway.

World health organizations and U.S. infectious-disease experts have called the additional state measures unnecessary and say they could make the outbreak worse in Africa by discouraging Americans from volunteering to go there and help.

Look, these people volunteered and that is good. And most know how to not get infected. They have been doing this for years and have not brought back the disease. But they must understand, it is a crap shoot to pretend there is no risk. No symptoms does not equal not infected. If they pass a virus test, then fine.  But until then – please do as our children do an stay home.

BTW, looks like “science” agrees with Main Street common sense:

Dr. Beutler warned that quarantining and monitoring is a sound policy, not because it is clear that the potentially exposed are clearly infectious, but because there data is inconclusive and there are too few observed cases to know exactly how this disease transmits from host to host.

“It may not be absolutely true that those without symptoms can’t transmit the disease, because we don’t have the numbers to back that up,” Beutler said. “It could be people develop significant viremia [where viruses enter the bloodstream and gain access to the rest of the body], and become able to transmit the disease before they have a fever, even. People may have said that without symptoms you can’t transmit Ebola. I’m not sure about that being 100 percent true. There’s a lot of variation with viruses.”

Major Update: Now we know if you sneeze and have Ebola (unknown to yourself) you can possibly kill someone.

Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.

“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

Reminds me of reckless driving, which basically puts others at risk due to lack of self control.

Major Update: This goes into the category where a little knowledge bolstered by a ton of arrogance causes real problems:

While it is fair to say that most members of the medical community believe that Hickox is not a threat to those around her – she has tested negative for the disease, reports that she is feeling fine, and would not be contagious at this stage even if she were infected – some medical professionals are not entirely positive that Ebola cannot be spread by asymptomatic individuals. It is out of an abundance of caution that a number of states, including Hickox’s home state of Maine, have requested that at-risk individuals abide by a voluntary in-home quarantine.

Hickox is not playing a long. The media darling who threatened to sue the state of New Jersey for violating her constitutional rights is now insisting that she will not self-isolate. On Thursday, Hickox left her house for a bike ride with her boyfriend.

Hickox has such faith in her own deductive powers that she does not believe precautionary measures like quarantining should apply to her or anyone else, and she may be right. But her disregard for consensus opinion is only likely to inspire a backlash and result in the imposition of even stricter quarantining measures.

Wait until her neighbors all individually sue her for reckless endangerment.  They have rights too you know! Then what will she do?

7 responses so far

Oct 17 2014

GOP Wave Rising Slowly, But Rising All The Same

 

It has been a month since my last post on the Senate races, and the likelihood of a GOP senate takeover has become nearly certain. In my prior post I noted the GOP had three races in the bag (SD, MT, WV) and three races were on the cusp of being GOP wins: LA, AK, AR.

My argument then is the same I have now: all three Democrat incumbents are polling at sure-to-lose levels.  The rule of thumb I was referencing was recently discussed by Sean Trende who did some actual data mining:

For quite some time, analysis of incumbent races was guided by the so-called “incumbent rule.” This rule, which grew out of a thorough analysis by Nick Panagakis in 1989, postulated that late undecideds tended to break for the challenger, and that an incumbent who fell below 50% was vulnerable and could potentially lose.

The rule has fallen out of favor, in part because subsequent research has eroded its credibility and in part because people interpreted the rule too literally, with analysts hyperventilating every time an incumbent fell to 48-49% in the polls.

To be clear, my bar was never 50% (or even 48%). Most polls have a Margin of Error (MoE) of 3% so it would be silly to apply this too precisely. My bar was 45% or below.  And Mr. Trende has confirmed this:

There seems to be a cut-point at 46-47%, where an incumbent at that level really does find himself or herself in a Toss-Up race. Below that point, incumbents are in deep trouble.

I know pollsters are waiting for the challengers to build a big lead or top 50% before tipping a race one way or the other, but incumbents are well known and are not going to see a huge rise in support this close to an election. So I think this hesitancy is unwarranted.

Here are the RCP averages for the incumbents in these three races in September and now in Oct:

  • Alaska [Begich]: September 24th = 41.7%; October 17th = 42.6%
  • Arkansas [Pryor]: September 24th = 41.8%; October 17th = 41.6%
  • Louisiana [Landrieu]: September 24th = 41%; October 17th = 44%

All are below 45%, two are well below.

It is extremely unlikely these incumbents will survive – ss Sean Trende also notes in his piece – due to the fact this close to the election if you are polling 4-5% below the challenger, it is also extremely rare to come from behind and win.  Given these incumbents are showing both indicators, I am confident they will lose and the GOP will pick up the Senate.

The real question is how big is the wave. Since another post last month Colorado has gone from GOP -0.6 to +3.6, with the incumbent polling at 41.6%. So that would be the 7th pickup for the GOP.  In NC, incumbent Senator Hagan was polling at 45.1% with a  4.5% lead over her challenger.  Today she is at 44.8% with only a 1,4% margin.  She is clearly in the incumbent danger zone. That would be pick up 8. Iowa is trending towards the GOP as well, which is pick up 9.

I do not see the GOP losing any seats because the polls are all trending the GOP’s way.  But even if there is a risk to lose 1 seat, the GOP is sitting at 8-9 seat pick up for the GOP.  A healthy cushion for control of the senate.

What I am watching is NH and VA.  The NH race has also trended towards the GOP recently and is now a toss up. VA is also moving, but may not move far enough, fast enough to be a GOP pick up. One of these two races will represent the high-water mark for the 2014 election wave. That much I am sure of.

The last trend to watch is how the President’s Party candidates end up with a percentage of the vote near the President’s support in the polls for that state. If this kicks in over the next 3 weeks, the wave will be high.

 

Update: Seeing similar conclusions over at Huffingtonpost:

What may be of more concern to Democrats is the way these shifts have occurred. Since early September, our model’s estimates show the Republican share of the vote in these six battleground states growing by 2 percentage points (from 45.2 to 47.3 percent), while the Democrats share of the vote has remained essentially even (nudging up from 44.6 to 44.8 percent).

That pattern matches a theory offered in September by RealClearPolitics election analyst Sean Trende. Trende noted that in recent elections that the support for incumbent Senators appears capped by the President’s approval rating in their state …

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Sep 24 2014

Count Down To GOP Senate Takeover

I have been expecting the folks over at Real Clear Politics to move two senate races out of the “Toss Up” category and into “Leans GOP”, which would be a strong indication the GOP is on the path to takeover the Senate. This would put them in the same category as Louisiana and put the GOP over the top in terms of probably senate pick ups.

What confounds me is the trigger they use to move races between the categories.  I am not sure how you have a Toss Up when the incumbent senator is polling around 40%. Below 50% is bad enough.  45% usually indicates certain death.  So 40% would – by extrapolation – indicate certain career annihilation.

Here are the races I expect to see RCP move into the Leans GOP column anytime now [click image to enlarge]:

First is Alaska:

Second is Arkansas:

Note how both incumbents are polling near 40%!

While the challengers may not have pulled ahead yet, given how the voters are disgusted with government in general I don’t think the undecideds will decide until late October (so they can minimize the time they have to deal with such disgusting matters).

I guess we could start a pool on when RCP will finally admit these two incumbents are in really serious trouble!

Update: USA Today just released a poll showing Pryor up 2 over Cotton (43-45). That will definitely extend the time before RCP moves that race into the “Leans GOP”, but Pryor is still way to low for incumbents to survive.  As I noted, the swing voters won’t engage until late, this year so we may not see this race move until late. But I just cannot see Pryor surviving with his overall average at 42.3%

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Sep 22 2014

A Late Breaking GOP Wave Is Coming

After a summer break from posting I am back as the nation enters the final lap of the 2014 election cycle.  Today I am going to review the state of the Senate and discuss where the GOP sits in terms of taking control (pretty much a given now) and by what margin.

Since Labor Day the pollsters have migrated from their “registered voter” models to “likely voter” models. The former model tends to show Democrat strength, the second model looks to who is likely to vote, and in non-Presidential election years turnout has favored the GOP.  As it will again this year.

But the turnout model used to estimate “likely voters” is tricky. There may be a national mood that is not seen in the state races until very late. In the end, it is a combination of who is willing to be polled, and from that group who is going to the polls. biases in the first step (who is talking to pollsters) can impact the accuracy of the latter (who ends up voting).

Swing voters and non-party aligned voters are hard to estimate because they are not into politics and may not vote. Irritation with DC is so high they won’t even talk to pollsters. So even when the bases of the parties responsd as usual to pollsters, the wild card is independents and swing voters

My feeling is the GOP is in for a real good year, and here is why.  Three current Democrat senate seats have been pretty much given to the GOP column by pollsters. These are (with the current Realclear Politics poll averages in parenthesis R-D-I)

  • Montana (54-19-n/a, R+19)
  • South Dakota (42-29-16, R+13)
  • West Virginia (53-34-n/a, R+19)

The next three races are more than enough needed to win control of the Senate, and each is on the verge of tipping into the GOP win column:

  • Louisiana (47-41-n/a, R+6) [runoff since incumbent is at 33% in the open election on Nov 4th]
  • Arkansas (45-42.5-n/a, R+2.5)
  • Alaska (44-42.7-n/a, R+1.3)

These are all sitting Senators running in the low 40’s.  This means they are very unlikely to win given the fact once an incumbent falls below 45% they are just not going to get the undecideds to break for them (being the known quantities they are).  If an incumbent is stuck below 45% at this point, they have tapped out their support.  The other 55% are shopping for an alternative (which can include sitting home).

The next group  of Democrat incumbents are also at or below 45%, but the state polls have yet to give the GOP challenger a lead.  But I am sure it will arrive come November 4th:

  • Colorado (43.4-44-n/a, R-0.6)
  • North Carolina (40.6-45.1-n/a, R-4.5)

Add in the President’s horrible approval numbers and how independents are fleeing the Democrats and I see all of these 8 being picked up by the GOP.  Plus Iowa (open seat).

So R+9 just using normal off year dynamics, the 6th year itch against the President’s party, etc.

Now layer in the Immigration Issues seething across the country, the international bungling of ISIS, the shrunken work force, the shrunken paychecks, the shrunken and more expensive healthcare and you have another layer of headwinds battering the Democrats.

I think the country is so fed up with DC most independent and swing voters are not responding to pollsters.  Thus the pollsters cannot tune their turnout models.  The ones answering the phones are party supporters, and their addiction to politics will skew the polls for a while

But come November 4th the swing voters will hold their nose and focus just long enough to send a signal to DC. And that message is people are fed up with the way things are going. Voters find government mostly the source of problems, not the solution.  The recent rise in ‘independence’ movements is a sign of how tiresome government nagging and bungling has become. So are the many incumbents of both parties in trouble.  Long term GOP senator Roberts of Kansas is one such sign of the Libertarian fever beginning to rise.

So I am very bullish on the Senate this year, and I expect a late breaking wave to hit DC upside the head.

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