Patterico's Pontifications


Who’s Rich?

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:31 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Obama ripped McCain
for jokingly saying it took $5M to make someone rich.

Experts say wealth is in the eye of the beholder but “most people in finance use the $5M mark” and 45% of a January telephone survey of “253 people with at least $500,000” agreed.



Obama-Biden 2008 (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Terrorism — DRJ @ 9:58 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The AP says Obama picks Biden, and Fox News and CNN have ‘Breaking News’ banners that Biden is the choice.

ABC News reported earlier that the Secret Service had been dispatched to Biden’s home to provide protection.

UPDATE: Beldar responds to David Brooks’ ode to Biden and adds thoughts of his own.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I won’t mince words. Biden is a clown. His selection probably won’t make a difference to the electorate at large, but to people familiar with Biden, it’s further confirmation that Obama is not ready for prime time.

A Fun Statistics Question

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:56 pm

50 standard coins are thrown onto the floor. Before the toss, each had an equal chance of coming up heads or tails. Before you see how they came up, all 50 coins are covered up.

Tom goes and uncovers 25 of them. All are heads.

Joe offers to give you $10 for every remaining coin that came up tails, if you will give him $12 for every remaining coin that came up heads.

1) Do you accept Joe’s offer?

2) Is there any question you would like to ask Tom before you decide?

P.S. Xrlq may not answer until I give him permission, as the question came up during an e-mail discussion we were having about statistical matters.

P.P.S. Xrlq is taking a poll about a statistical question. Feel free to weigh in here.

Update on Olympic Gymnastics and Taekwondo

Filed under: International,Sports — DRJ @ 7:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A couple of days ago, the IOC bowed to increasing pressure and asked the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) to look into the age of China’s gold medal gymnasts:

“A gymnast must be 16 in an Olympic year to compete at the games. But questions about the ages of at least three of the athletes have persisted. Online records and media reports suggest three Chinese gymnasts—He, Jiang Yuyuan and Yang Yilin—may be as young as 14.

The IOC had said previously that it had verified the passports of all athletes competing at the games.

“We are not in a position to say ‘It’s good, it’s not good.’ It’s a government document,” FIG president Bruno Grandi said earlier this week in an interview with The Associated Press.”

The AP said it found online registration lists showing two of the Chinese gymnasts are under 16, but it will be hard for officials to disregard the official Chinese passports.

Now, today, the IOC is faced with another bombshell as the US taekwondo team leader has alleged poor judging, erroneous appeal procedures, and an attempt to prevent parties from filing appeals:

“In a chaotic episode that might ultimately prove to be the tipping point to Olympic doom, American two-time defending gold medalist Steven Lopez was eliminated from gold-medal contention on a controversial referee’s decision. Lopez would go on to win bronze in the 80-kilogram weight class, but not until after his team leader, Herb Perez, had filed a protest and then ripped the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) for intimidation and gross mismanagement of the sport’s rules and oversight.

“When (poor judging) happens to you, you’re told to shut up and not say anything because of what will happen to you, or what will happen to the sport,” Perez said. “If this is truly what taekwondo is about, maybe taekwondo shouldn’t be in the Olympics. Maybe they should fix it.”

Steven Lopez is a former Olympic gold medalist who hasn’t lost a match since 2002. His brother Mark and sister Diana are also members of the US taekwondo team. Earlier they won silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the Beijing Olympics. There were also questions raised regarding the judge’s ruling in Mark’s medal match.


Here is Great Piece on the Modern Day William Ayers and His Influence on Modern Educational Theory

Filed under: General — WLS @ 5:18 pm

Posted by WLS:

I’ve read other articles like this one, but this piece by Ed Lasky in the  americanthinker includes a great cross-section of information, and the link to Sol Stern’s work in City Journal is equally illuminating.  I’m not going to regurgitate what Lasky has written, but here are some excerpts (some of which are quotes from other sources):


????? – Obama? Drudge Says Bumper Stickers Being Printed (for everyone apparently). Updated X2

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:33 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I’m not buying it yet.  For a campaign with tens of millions of dollars, they could print a few thousand bumper stickers they intend to burn tomorrow and it wouldn’t mean a thing. 

If you want to keep this selection such a huge secret, would you do something like having bumper stickers printed before the announcement is made, which puts every worker inside the factory in the loop on the choice prior to sending the long-awaited text message to all the Obmamaniacs who are waiting up at night? 

The story about HIllary not being vetted looks like disinfo to me — again.  Why would she need to be vetted — she just ran for President for 18 months, and she was First Lady for 8 years and a Senator for 6 years after that.  Her tax returns have been made public.  What possible “paper” could the Obama campaign have wanted from her that they could not find in a dozen different places already? 

As for Bayh, he’s going to be Sec. of the Interior or whatever other cabinet job he wants for having played along.  After all, he was a big Hillary supporter, so he’s a very likely candidate for playing her beard in this whole process.



MSNBC saying that Bayh and Kaine told they are not the pick.  This from is exactly why I think it is Hillary.  Obama has passed on having an announcement this entire week when he could have gotten standard evening news coverage, plus non-stop cable news coverage and wall-to-wall coverage beginning with the network and cable morning shows the next day.

Now he’s going to make a Saturday announcement two days before the start of a convention where two days are being given over to the Clintons. 

This timing ONLY makes sense if it is Hillary.  She is named tomorrow, they do a barnstorming tour of the ares she was strong and he was weak — areas they need to win in November like Penn, Ohio, and Mich — and then she rolls into Colorado ahead of him to kick off the great unity festivities.

If the Obama campaign does anything else, then waiting until tomorrow is one of the most bone-headed tactical decisions of all time.

But, more importantly, having Clinton on the bottom of the ticket worries me.  I think the two of them have a great chance to unify the party and sweep McCain out of the way.


NRO Corner says Hillary’s camp just released her weekend schedule.  She has NOTHING listed until midday Sunday when she’s set to be in Fresno.  That would be easy enough to cancel.

Jay Cost has an Exceptional Analysis of Why Obama Will Not Win Virginia in Close Election

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:17 pm

[Posted by WLS]

I’ve posted here and in comments several times that Virginia simply isn’t the kind of battleground state for a liberal like Obama that the media thinks it is.   Jay Cost over at RealClearPolitics has a great explanation why this is the case. 

Jay breaks down Virginia into 4 major geographical regions — Metro DC, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Rest/Rural.

The emerging strength of the Dems in Virginia is in the DC metro area.   But a liberal like Kerry won the DC metro area by only 5% over Bush in 2004, whereas more conservative Dems who have won statewide in Virgiaia –Webb and Kaine recently — carried the DC metro area by +15%.  I suspect the same was true of Mark Warner’s statewide win. 

But, even if Kerry had tripled the size of his margin in the DC metro area, he would still have lost the state to Bush in 2004. 

The key to Dems winning in VIrginia is to carry a significant portion of the vote in Virginia Beach, not nominally increasing the size of their margin in metro DC.   Kerry won only 36% of the vote in Virginia Beach in 2004, and lost the state by 260,000 votes.  Webb won 42% of the votes in Virginia Beach in 2006, and beat George Allen by 9300 votes. 

For those of you who don’t know, Virginia Beach is the home of the Norfolk Naval Base and Hampton Roads Shipyard — its the Pearl Harbor of the East, only much bigger.  As Cost points out, 20% of the voting age population in the area are veterans.  Throw in active duty and their families, and you’ve got a pretty large percentage of the population that is connected to the military.    

How likely is it that Obama will come even remotely close to Webb’s vote percentage in Virginia Beach?  I doubt he can get to Kerry’s totals given that Kerry, though very liberal, was a Vietnam veteran.  Kerry ran against Bush with a questionable military service record, whereas Obama draws a bonafide war hero in McCain.  Not just any war hero, but a Naval war hero from one the Navy’s most prominent families in history.

Virginia ultimately goes +5 or better for McCain.

Obama’s Harvard Law Review Case Comment

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Politico confirms Barack Obama wrote one case comment that was published a month before he became President of the Harvard Law Review.

The article is at page 823 of Volume 103 of the Harvard Law Review.


All The World’s a Stage

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Very different Parties, very different stages.

The raised Democratic stage will enhance Obama’s image as someone “on high.” The Republican stage reminds me of the opening scene from Patton.


Obama’s 50-State 43-State Strategy

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From commenter Rick Ballard comes this Fox News report that the Obama campaign has stopped advertising in 7 states and may be dropping his 50-state strategy:

“Of the seven states — including Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota — Florida and Virginia are considered key battlegrounds this year. Obama’s decision to stop advertising in those states is raising eyebrows.

Aides to Obama told FOX News that the changes are related to the convention next week but they wouldn’t discuss the specifics of their ad strategy.”

I can’t believe Obama plans to stop ads in Florida and Virginia for long, but why continue ads in Texas? Maybe Chet Edwards is the VP.

In any event, it seems WLS was right that Obama can’t keep spending money at current rates given recent fundraising.


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