The Jury Talks Back


Viral video: “He’s Barack Obama”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 3:15 pm

This was actually sent to me by a long-time friend who has the annoying quirk of being a Disciple of Ear Leader.  She not only has an Obama coffee cup, but owns an Obama belt buckle.  She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s getting an Obama Kool-Aid pitcher for her birthday.

Anyway, here’s Barack the superhero. I don’t think it’s as flattering as my friend thinks it is.

LA Times trashes liberal D.A.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 11:59 am

In one of those man-bites-dog stories, the LA Times ruins SF District Attorney Kamala Harris, at least as far as her viability for the state Attorney General post is concerned.  At least if you think rescuing illegal immigrant violent felons from jail and putting them back on the street is a problem.

It seems that Ms Harris’ office runs a drug-diversion program, Back on Track, that focuses on giving young first-offenders job skills they can use to avoid “a life of crime.”  They plead guilty to felony drug-possession in exchange for probation and a year-long program operated by Goodwill Industries.  If they drop out, their probation is revoked and (presumably) off to prison they go.  Sounds good on the face, but not all the results have been good.  Not only do about 40% drop out, but there seems to be quite a few illegal immigrants involved.  Job training isn’t much good for folks who cannot legally work.

One noted pupil was Alexander Izaguirre:

The assault on Amanda Kiefer at dusk in San Francisco’s posh Pacific Heights was extraordinary enough for its cruelty.

A stranger, later identified as Alexander Izaguirre, snatched her purse and hopped into an SUV, police say. The driver sped forward to run Kiefer down. Terrified, she leaped onto the hood and saw Izaguirre and the driver laughing. The driver slammed on the brakes, propelling Kiefer to the pavement. Her skull fractured. Blood oozed from her ear.

Only after the July 2008 attack did Kiefer learn of the crime’s political ramifications. Izaguirre, police told her, was an illegal immigrant who had pleaded guilty four months earlier to a drug felony for selling cocaine in the seedy Tenderloin area. …

… Kiefer, who packages medical devices for a living, said she has left California for good, in part because of the trauma of nearly having been killed on her way to dinner last summer in Pacific Heights. Nearly a year later, she remains baffled that San Francisco authorities ever let Izaguirre and other illegal immigrant felons back onto the streets.

“If they’re committing crimes,” she said, “I think there’s something wrong that they’re not being deported.”

San Francisco has a history of shielding illegals, of course.  Rather than allow deportation, SF will release criminals from custody.  For example, Edwin Ramos, an illegal repeatedly released by the city.  Ramos is now charged in a triple homicide where he killed a man and his sons in an act of road rage.  This is causing Harris a problem, since she has vowed never to ask for the death penalty, yet many SF residents think this should be an exception.

All in all, the Times makes a fairly good case why Harris would be the AG From Hell.  She still stands some chance in the Democrat primary, but slim to none in the general.

Maybe that’s why the Times is trying to stop her.  I guess this means that she won’t be listed by the NY Times as a likely female President anymore

Anyone want to take this bet?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 10:29 am

I assert that President Obama will apologize to Japan for Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki before his term is up.  A Democrat friend of mine tells me I’m wrong, but doesn’t want to take the bet.  Does anyone?

Could it happen here?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 10:07 am

The fixed election in Iran, with its blatant manufacture of millions of votes and/or assignment of votes without regard to ballots, gives rise to the question: “Could it happen here?” The short answer is “No”, the longer answer is “No, except when it is very close.”

Unlike Iran, we don’t have a direct election for President; we have our idiosyncratic Electoral College system.  The EC is often criticized precisely on this point, and the fact that it occasionally results in an odd outcome.  It is, instead, the solid basis for our 220 years as a republic.

The EC provides several levels of protection to the legitimacy of our election.  It is first and foremost a firewall.  The system distributes vote counting to the states.  Since states only award electoral votes, padding state totals doesn’t do anything.  Since such shenanigans are possible only when one has complete control over the counting, it usually doesn’t affect the state’s outcome, either.

Only when the state total is very close and one controls a sizable portion of the state can the outcome be swayed without notice.  And, in the end, you have only changed one state’s electoral vote; forty-nine to go.  So, it also takes a close federal election to matter.  Chicago 1960 (successful fraud) and Florida 2000 (take your pick) are possible examples where the system failed.

Secondly, the system partitions any needed recounts to one or a few states.  Election 2000 is a perfect example.  The federal margin (~500K votes for Gore), the Florida margin (537 votes for Bush) and the New Mexico margin (267 votes for Gore), along with close votes in Oregon and Wisconsin would have meant a nationwide recount.  If you think the Florida recount was bad, multiply that by 50.  Given Bush v Gore, you have to count them all again; can’t cherry-pick.

Third, the system provides a tie-breaker.  Tight elections (margin less than, say, 1%) go the the candidate who won the most states.  This is part and parcel of the Senate-membership deal struck in Philadelphia in 1787, and not at all an accident.  This also adds to the difficulty in rigging an election, as it is the large metropolitan areas where machine control is most likely, and they cannot easily get past the dead hand of the two base EC votes per state.

In short, it could only happen here if we reformed the Electoral College to be more “democratic.”

“you’re all full of empty slogans, aren’t you?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 8:03 am

I’ve been following several folks in Iran via Twitter, and today the mood is decidedly somber.  The anger has faded to desperation and the hope of Western assistance has dissolved into a feeling of betrayal.  Despair is really the only word for it.

Here is a series of tweets from Tehranbureau, which can also be found at this Iranian opposition web site.

tell the Europeans, stop posturing

wasn’t human rights supposed to be so important to you?

you’re all full of empty slogans, aren’t you?

it’s hypocritical to keep pretending they care about human rights, when it’s really only economic interests they’re after.

there is no other option: everyone has to get involved to help us.

don’t you see, they’re massacring us here.

The United States cannot grant this man a visa!

This man doesn’t represent us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this man cannot be invited to international summits!

they cannot make official visits to this country either!

you cannot believe it. they have turned this place into a killing field.

people are frightened to death here. they have gone quiet. the stores are closed.

there were plans to go and gather at 7 Tir [earlier today Tehran time] for that poor young woman Neda.

I’m going, but I’m scared. I may go quietly.

Sepah [IRGC] has announced it will crush us. they’re murderers.

But at night from 10 to 11 pm we all come out and say Allah o Akbar [God is Great] and Death to the Dictator.

Please tell the world that we protesters are not terrorists [as reported by state tv]. it’s the other way around: they’re terrorizing us!

end quote

@TehranBureau 0824PDT 22-June-09

Hungary must have felt this way in 1956.

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