U.S. election 2008 prediction

November 3, 2008

OK here’s my U.S. election prediction for tomorrow’s poll.

U.S. election 2008 prediction

Obama to win by 200 electoral college votes; 369 to McCain’s 169.

Though I’d dearly love Obama to take Arizona too – McCain’s home state – I just can’t see him manage it.

I’ve went with North Carolina for Obama, even with the ballot snafu that will probably hinder the Democrats vote.

I’ve went with McCain for Missouri. Apparently Missouri has a reputation for picking the winner, or going with the favourite, but I can’t see McCain winning it this time.

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Sarah Palin’s prank call

November 2, 2008

In all the furore over the BBC Radio 2 prank call from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to Fawlty Towers’ actor Andrew Sachs, a brighter type of prank call was played on Sarah Palin by two Quebec DJs Marc Antoine Audette and Sebastian Trudel Audette.

The Masked Avengers, as they are known, phoned Sarah Palin pretending to be Nicholas Sarkozy.

‘Nicholas Sarkozy’ talked to Sarah Palin about hunting, killing baby seals and his wife being so hot in bed! And from his house he could see Belgium!

A transcript of the prank call can be found at Daily Kos.

Eventually the Masked Avengers owned up it was a prank.

It was a prank call in a much better spirit than Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’ effort to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. For Jonathan Ross to tell a 78-year old grandfather that Russell Brand had ‘f**ked his granddaughter’ was in poor taste. Even if the grand-daughter, Georgina Baillie, is in a Burlesque group called The Satanic Sluts.

I don’t so much blame Brand and Ross for their call; sometimes comedy does go over the edge.

I blame the producers putting the show on air. Even after Andrew Sachs complained to the BBC that the call was offensive, it was still put on air.

If the call was pulled from the show and Sachs given a personal apology then all of this hoopla wouldn’t have begun.

Now Russell Brand has resigned, the Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas has resigned, and Jonathan Ross has a 12 week suspension.

Jonathan Ross is an experienced broadcaster and one of the BBC highest earners. His indiscretion, I felt, was worse than Russell Brand’s. Does his £18 million contract intimidate radio producers?

That’s the only thing I can think of why this call was aired.

Brand and Ross may have overstepped the mark. But they were doing their job. The producer wasn’t.

The BBC have now lost Brand and may still lose Ross.

They could probably do worse than give the Masked Avengers a shot.

They can see satire from their house.

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McCain – Palin split losing election

October 27, 2008

The reported feud between McCain and Palin advisers seem to be having an affect on Republican support.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said one McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

For her part, it seems Sarah Palin has decided not to trust her Republican aides:

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.

It does seem the feeling is mutual:

“She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

“I think she’d like to go more rogue,” he said.

The article continues:

Some McCain aides say they had little choice with a candidate who simply wasn’t ready for the national stage, and that Palin didn’t forcefully object. Moments that Palin’s allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity — the Wright suggestion, her objection to the campaign’s pulling out of Michigan — they dismiss as Palin’s “slips and miscommunications,” that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting.

Watching that video convinces me that the McCain aides are right. If ever there was a need for tight scripting then I think that video proves it. Whether Sarah Palin has the competence to deliver a tighter speech is another question.

It comes as no surprise then, that the home states of Palin and McCain seem to be having doubts over their nomination.

The Anchorage Daily News has come out in favour of Barack Obama.

And latest polls from Arizona show increasing support for Barack Obama, in one poll McCain is only ahead by two points!

Of course, it would be a huge ask for the Democrats to actually win either state for Obama. The mere fact that they are gaining support in Arizona and Alaska does show how much trouble the Republican campaign is in.

The McCain – Palin split is just a symptom of this trouble.

But its a clear indication to the voters that the Republican campaign is in disarray. Its a clear indication that McCain will lose the election.

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Sarah Palin and fruit flies

October 25, 2008

I guess no-one should be surprised by the latest anti-science diatribe by Sarah Palin.

This time she’s picking on the humble fruit fly.

She was giving a speech on promoting the funding of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):

“For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference.”

Now given that Sarah Palin has a Down’s Syndrome son, you may have thought have fighting for disability funding would have been a home run for her. You may also have expected her to champion scientific research into disabilities.

So for her to question the earmarked money for scientific research was a bit surprising:

“Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.”

Fruit fly research.

The fruit fly research that she is talking about must be the Olive fruit fly research. The Olive fruit fly is an invasive pest that threatening California’s multi-million dollar olive crop. In trying to save a chunk of California’s economy in these difficult times, the $211509 French grant probably is a worthwhile investment.

Besides, if you know anything about science, you’ll know that vital findings have resulted from the most tangential experiments. Who knows what benefits might come out this study?

Certainly not Sarah Palin.

If she was only aware of what research of the humble fruit fly has already given to science I bet she wouldn’t have mocked this research in her speech.

For example, progress in birth defects research. That work brought a Nobel Prize.

Progress in autism research. The very condition that Sarah Palin started her talk about. She has a nephew suffering from autism. Fruit fly research may bring vital clues to improve his life.

Diabetes research.

Cancer research. Indeed, fruit fly research has led to critical advances in the treatment of colon cancer and possibly all cancers.

Alzheimer’s research. And scientists have just cured fruit flies from Huntington’s disease, a massive leap to the treatment of humans.

And work on increasing the life-span of fruit flies may have benefits in slowing ageing in humans.

And what makes the fruit fly so ubitiquous in medical research?

Chiang Ann-shyn – director of the Institute of Biotechnology and director of the Brain Research Center at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu City, Taiwan – explains in this article:

‘One reason fruit flies were used was the similarities between their genes and human genes, Chiang explained. Although a fruit fly carries only around 135,000 genes, which might seem few in comparison to a human being’s 4 billion genes, a large number of genes that suffer from human genetic disorders can be found in the fruit fly. “Flies are cheap to breed, and their genes can be manipulated quickly,” he declared. Moreover, better understanding of genes would allow scientists to search faster for novel therapeutic drugs for healing diseases like Alzheimer’s, he added.’

I think its clear by now that Sarah Palin has no understanding of science.

Her Young Earth creationist views.
Her disregard for climate change.
Her appalling environmental record.
Her attempt to ban books from the local library in Wasilla.

And now this.

Go back to what she said at the start: “For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information.”

What Sarah Palin is promoting with her fruit fly ‘I kid you not’ nonsense is dis-information.

Its just as well it looks like the Republicans look like they are losing the election.

Having Sarah Palin as Vice President with an elderly, poor health John McCain as President just doesn’t bear thinking about.

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Sarah Palin and Princess Diana

October 10, 2008

Just one day after I posted a blog regarding the genealogy of John McCain – descended from King William I of Scotland – and Barack Obama – descended from King Edward Longshanks of Edward – some bright spark has done a genealogical investigation into Sarah Palin’s past and found that she was a distant cousin of the late Princess Diana.

Sarah Palin is also linked to the former Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt.

The Diana connection has already prompted the Daily Mail to conclude that Sarah Palin is the U.S. equivalent of Princess Diana.

The news that Sarah Palin and Princess Diana are related does make a bit of sense. Neither could claim to be the sharpest tool in the box!

Something that Diana once admitted herself:

“I was always told by my family that I was the thick one. That I was stupid and my brother was the clever one. And I was always so conscious of that. I used to go to the head mistress crying saying I wish I wasn’t so stupid.”

Though at least Princess Diana had friends that believed in dinosaurs and fossils:

Oliver Hoare, former confidant – and probable lover – of the Princess, famously bought a sauropod egg at an auction.

Whereas Sarah Palin and dinosaurs?

According to some sources, she believes dinosaurs and man co-existed.

Of course that fits with her Young Earth Creationism views.

During Sarah Palin’s interviews, its become clear to many that Palin doesn’t really have the intelligence expected of a Vice President.

Should we expect Sarah Palin to admit that she is stupid just like Princess Diana did?

Probably not.

At least Princess Diana was clever enough to realise her faults!

UPDATE:

Mediatakeout.com has a copy of what it claims are Sarah Palin’s actual SAT results.

Sarah scored a 840 using the old grading system.

Sarah Palin SAT results

Having a completely different system in Scotland, I don’t know much about American SAT tests; I hear that this was Sarah’s second attempt at the SAT in 12th grade.

It doesn’t seem a good score to me though.

Especially if you are only a heartbeat away from being President.

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McCain – Obama debate

October 9, 2008

Just watched the edited highlights of the John McCain – Barack Obama debate on Newsnight.

I couldn’t believe that the Republician representatives on the programme declared that it was a good night for John McCain.

My word! That’s utterly inexplicable.

If that was John McCain on a good night then I’m glad I missed the bad nights!

He really showed his age and his war wounds:- hobbling about the floor and latterly hanging onto his chair towards the end of the debate. I don’t mind his age but it brought home to me how his physical condition may affect his ability to be President. And brings me back to the scary thought of Sarah Palin becoming President, should McCain’s health deteoriate still further.

In fact, McCain’s televisual performance reminded me of the oft-quoted Nixon – Kennedy debate; the perception that Nixon lost against Kennedy due to a bad shave. Neither Nixon or McCain came across as television-friendly.

Its often said that listeners of the Nixon – Kennedy debate on radio scored Nixon higher.

Alas, I doubt even that is true of John McCain.

To me, Obama was more insightful and had more answers than McCain. Even on McCain’s supposed strong suit of foreign policy he failed to hit a blow.

In fact, for someone with a supposed grasp of foreign policy how could he let this statement out of the bag:

“We will be talking about countries sometime in the future that we hardly know where they are on the map”

And by the future, he obviously meant his political future if he was President, so its basically today’s countries with maybe a couple of changes, perhaps.

And if he doesn’t know where they are on a map, how the hell can he have a good grasp of foreign policy?

And if he does have a ‘good grasp’ on foreign policy by American standards, does that mean Obama’s is worse?

Could either McCain or Obama pick out Scotland on a map? Would they be shocked if Scotland was to become independent as the Unionist partisan newpaper The Scotsman recently suggested?

I’m firing that question especially to John McCain who is supposedly a descendant of King William I of Scotland.

The same link gives Barack Obama as a descendant of King Edward I of England, the Hammer of the Scots. The same king that battled against William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The same king that on leaving Scotland said:

‘Bon besoiogne fait gy du merde se delivrer’
(‘It was well to be rid of shit’)

I wonder at the end of the debate just who was thinking that?

Barack Obama?

John McCain?

Or the American public?

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McCain gives up on Michigan

October 3, 2008

John McCain has given up on campaigning in Michigan to concentrate on more hopeful states. Campaign officals confirmed the move is to concentrate on other swing states:- Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin.

Its a clear indication that Michigan will be Democrat blue in the coming election.

Michigan is one of several key swing states in the U.S. election.

In fact, Obama is currently ahead in most of these key swing states. This makes it a tough ask for John McCain to make a comeback and win the presidency.

Over at RealClearPolitics.com they have

Obama 260
McCain 163

Still to play for 115

And of those ‘toss up’ states the latest polling is:-

State Electoral votes Obama % McCain % Prediction 2004 result 2000 result
Ohio 20 48.0 46.0 Obama +2.0 Bush +2.1 Bush +3.5
Florida 27 48.6 45.6 Obama +3.0 Bush +5.0 Bush +0.1
Nevada 5 47.8 47.3 Obama +0.5 Bush +2.6 Bush +3.5
New Hampshire 4 46.7 45.4 Obama +1.3 Kerry +1.3 Bush +1.3
Virginia 13 49.0 46.6 Obama +2.4 Bush +8.2 Bush +8.1
North Carolina 15 47.0 46.5 Obama +0.5 Bush +12.4 Bush +12.8
Missouri 11 46.8 48.5 McCain +1.7 Bush +7.2 Bush +3.3
Indiana 11 45.3 47.5 McCain +2.2 Bush +20.7 Bush +15.7
Colorado 9 49.0 44.6 Obama +4.4 Bush +4.7 Bush +8.4

According to RealClearPolitics Wisconsin is already Obama’s to lose.

These results suggests that McCain should concentrate on the bigger college votes of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina; where Obama’s poll lead is tightest.

Lets go with these RealClearPolitics predictions to see what might happen:-

If these bigger key swing states moved to McCain, along with Missouri and Indiana where McCain is marginally in front it would give McCain 260 electoral college votes.

Tied with Obama’s 260 [predicted by RealClearPolitics].

Given that Obama should pick up Colorado’s 9 votes, that could leave the fate of the election in the hands of Nevada (5 votes) and New Hampshire (4 votes).

Should they both go McCain’s way; it’ll be a tie! Something that pundits have already been postulating; here and here. An Obama – Palin presidential ticket?

269 tie Obama - McCain

That is a lot of ifs for McCain, and its doubtful if he’ll manage to take all of the bigger key swing states to make it interesting. We’ll see if McCain’s Michigan gamble pays off.

Right now the election is Obama’s to lose.

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