My new book - At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge? You can click on the above picture to be linked to Amazon.
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So what would the Democrats have said if McCain had turned down Palin for VP because she had kids to take care of?
Dems make these charges and then back away. My belief is that they think that they can still get the points out there with relatively little damage to themselves. Anyway, here is yet another one of these statements.
An original member of Barack Obama’s finance committee said Friday that Sarah Palin is putting her career above her family by accepting the nomination as John McCain’s running mate.
Howard Gutman made the argument on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” telling the radio host that the Alaska governor should focus her energy on her unwed, pregnant teenage daughter.
“If my daughter had just come home at 17 years old and said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant, we have a family problem,’ I wouldn’t say, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take this private family problem … I’m going to go on the international stage and broadcast it to the world’,” he said.
Gutman later added: “If you take a daughter who’s got this emotional strife and subject her to the most intense scrutiny of the world at this time in her life, I think you’ve put your career above your family. . . .
Zogby claims that McCain's lead has gone from 2.5% to 3.8%
Zogby has McCain getting a small bounce from the convention. The previous poll came after Obama's talk as well as the Palin announcement, so some of the benefit to McCain might have already been produced.
Diesel vehicles get more mpg, but the government puts higher taxes on their fuel
Business Week has a discussion here in their article on why Ford won't be selling its 65 mpg car in the US.
Yet while half of all cars sold in Europe last year ran on diesel, the U.S. market remains relatively unfriendly to the fuel. Taxes aimed at commercial trucks mean diesel costs anywhere from 40 cents to $1 more per gallon than gasoline. . . .
A survey of people in Florida who watched both conventions on TV
The big problem that you have in looking at polls of people who watched conventions is something called sorting. Republicans watch Republican conventions and Democrats watch Democratic conventions. The problem is probably even worse than that because it is usually the more hardcore in those groups who watch. A similar problem comes up with polls after presidential State of the Union addresses. This SurveyUSA poll is the only one that I have seen that looked at people who watched both the McCain and Obama acceptance speeches. These results just make me wish that more than 40 million people watched each of these talks.
3) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.4% Who has the better plan for Iraq? McCain? Or Obama?
57% McCain 38% Obama 5% Not Sure
4) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.4% Who has the better plan for energy independence?
57% McCain 38% Obama 5% Not Sure
5) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.5% Who has the better plan for health care?
47% McCain 44% Obama 10% Not Sure
6) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.5% Who is stronger on the environment?
48% McCain 44% Obama 7% Not Sure
7) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.5% Who is stronger on education?
51% McCain 42% Obama 7% Not Sure
8) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.5% Based on what you now know, are Democrats more interested in reaching out to Republicans? Are Republicans more interested in reaching out to Democrats? Are both parties equally interested in reaching out? Or, is neither party truly interested in reaching out?
23% Democrats Reaching Out 38% Republicans Reaching Out 15% Both Equally 21% Neither Truly Interested 2% Not Sure
9) Asked of 499 who heard both speeches Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.5% If you were placing a bet today, would you bet that Barack Obama will be elected president? Or, John McCain will be elected president?
Texas officials say more than 440 children seized during an April raid on a polygamist ranch can safely live with their parents or guardians.
Authorities feared some girls were being forced into underage marriages and boys were being raised to be perpetrators. The Texas Supreme Court later ruled the action was too broad and ordered the children back to their parents. The Associated Press has learned that so far the custody cases for 235 children have been dropped, and Texas Child Protective Services says more cases are likely to be dropped. Only one child - a girl allegedly married FLDS leader Warren Jeffs when she was 12 - has been returned to foster care.
John McCain’s presidential campaign prepared to chastise Democrats Saturday over leaving behind piles of miniature American flags after Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech last Thursday in Denver.
Boy Scouts have arrived with 84 trash bags full of bundles of flags at the site of a McCain rally scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. local time in Colorado Springs.
The campaign says the flags were recovered from Invesco Field after the Democrats concluded their convention there, and they are going to be used as part of the warm-up ceremonies before McCain takes the stage for the rally.
FOX News has been told a vendor at Invesco Field found the flags, which were going to be thrown out, and turned them over to the McCain campaign. . . .
Right now Fox seems to be the only news media outlet covering this story.
Sept. 4, 2008 — The Law School’s Federalist Society kicked off its lecture series Sept. 3, with a far-ranging talk on economics by John Lott, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland whose most recent book is Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t . . . .
Associated Press Quotes Sarah Palin out of context to make her appear extreme
The Associated Press has what appears to be a very controversial statement by Sarah Palin:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God." . . .
Indeed, this is the main point of the article, not some minor side bar, as the AP titles the piece: "Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God.'" (See also this.) One would think that this is a major investigative journalist find. There is only one problem: the reporter made up the story. Go to about 5:47 into the video:
"Pray for our military. He is going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them[U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God, that is what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plain is God's plan."
By cutting off the end of Palin's statement the Associated Press completely alters what Palin is saying. She is made to appear that she is asserting that the war is God's plan when she was really saying that we have to pray to made sure that this is God's plan. The point is even clearer if one listens to her in the video.
125 Shot Dead In Chicago Over Summer Total Is About Double The U.S. Troop Death Toll In Iraq
CHICAGO (CBS) ― An estimated 125 people were shot and killed over the summer. That's nearly double the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq over the same time period.
In May, cbs2chicago.com began tracking city shootings and posting them on Google maps. Information compiled from our reporters, wire service reports and the Chicago Police Major Incidents log indicated that 125 people were shot and killed throughout the city between the start of Memorial Day weekend on May 26, and the end of Labor Day on Sept. 1. . . .
I have to confess that I only listened to his speech (I am staying at a professor's house here in Clemson and I couldn't figure out how to get his TV to work), so possibly it came off better if one could see it, but I found large portions of the talk boring. The list of couples that he wanted to help in different parts of the country seemed to be meaningless. I am not even sure in most of those cases how he was saying that he would help them (the one exception was the military person who had died in Iraq). The notion that McCain made about we wouldn't have the bickering in Washington if politicians were there to serve the people and not their own interests, was simply silly, if romantic. The reason that there is a big battle is because so much is at stake. If you want to solve that problem, you need to make the government smaller.
On the other hand, McCain is probably the first president to so openly endorse vouchers for education. I also liked McCain's statement that he couldn't wait to introduce Palin to Washington.
McCain may not be a flashy speaker and his content may only be OK, but at least he has Palin on his team. It may be a while before her true impact becomes clear.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's highly anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night nearly matched the record-setting numbers of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Palin pulled in 37.2 million viewers across broadcast and cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That's 55% higher than Day 3 of the DNC, when her Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden, and President Clinton took the stage (24 million).
It's also up a sharp 99% from the Republican convention's third day in 2004 (18.7 million) and easily bests the numbers viewers attracted by George W. Bush when he accepted the nomination (27.6 million). In fact, it came close to upsetting Obama's historic address last Thursday -- the most-watched convention speech in history (38.4 million viewers).
Obama’s new radio ad, airing widely in at least seven swing states, tells voters McCain “will make abortion illegal.” It’s airing as McCain courts female voters with the addition of the staunchly anti-abortion governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to his ticket. . . . .
The campaign didn’t release further details of the ad buy, but Politico readers reported that it’s airing in Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado. . . . .
1) Abortion was not illegal in any states prior to Roe v. Wade. There were always exceptions for the life and health of the mother, where some states left it up to the doctor to decide and other states left it up to a panel of doctors to decide whether the mother's life or health was endangered if she didn't have the procedure. 2) Even if Roe was overturned, which seems quite unlikely at the moment, the decisions would be left to the states. I have a hard time believing that any of the states mentioned would ban abortion. Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Colorado all have Democratic governors who support abortion rights.
Obama contends that he has more executive experience than Palin
Obama compares his heading his presidential campaign to Palin being the mayor of Wasilla? Is this serious? The state of Alaska has a $10 billion budget and employees 25,000 people. Fox News has this story:
Barack Obama contends that he is more experienced in executive matters than Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin because he has managed his presidential campaign for the past 18 months.
Speaking on a cable news channel Monday night, the Democratic presidential nominee said he is better prepared to handle a disaster like Hurricane Gustav because of his pursuit of the White House.
“Well, my understanding is that Governor Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute I think has been made clear over the last couple of years,” Obama said.
John McCain’s spokesman called the suggestion “laughable.”
“For Barack Obama to argue that he’s experienced enough to be president because he’s running for president is desperate circular logic and its laughable. It is a testament to Barack Obama’s inexperience and failing qualifications that he would stoop to passing off his candidacy as comparable to Governor Sarah Palin’s executive experience managing a budget of over $10 billion and more than 24,000 employees,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.
UCLA Professor Tim Groseclose questions the race based admissions process at UCLA
One can find Tim Groseclose's discussion of the events here:
Statement by UCLA chancellor Norm Abrams to faculty committee overseeing admissions process:
First, I want to say how much I favor and respect faculty governance. I don't want to pressure you. . . . I wan to report to you what we are hearing from the outside world. Several constituencies of UCLA are distressed and upset about the very low numbers of African American freshman. . . .
He advocated a "Holistic" approach where application readers would put particularly weight on the essays written by the students in admissions. Apparently, the new process was going to be used to discern the applicants race. Tim Groseclose writes:
[It was later announced] African-Americans were over-represented among the application readers whom he had hired, and Asian-Americans were under-represented. . . . It is obvious that the admissions staff was under intense pressure to admit more African Americans. . . .
First impressions count a lot. The media coverage this last week introduced the Republican and, to a much lesser extent, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominees to the American people. The coverage not only tells us something about how people will view the candidates, it also tells us something about the media and the parties themselves.
Obviously, the media’s coverage may reflect just the information it is given, not necessarily bias. Negative coverage of a candidate may mean either that there are some real problems with the candidate or that the other party is raising concerns that the media is merely passing on to their readers. A CNN headline conveys this point quite well as some Democrats came out immediately on Friday morning saying that “Palin could be a ‘disaster.’” Also on Friday, Barack Obama “backed away” within hours from a campaign press release that Politico described as “ripping” into Palin.
By contrast, the ad the Republicans released immediately after Joe Biden’s nomination took a different tack. It pointed to statements Biden had made disparaging Obama during the primaries and extolling the virtues of John McCain.
The announcements of both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin generated massive amounts of news coverage. A simple Google news search shows that there were 26,572 stories the Saturday that Obama told the country that Biden was his vice presidential pick. McCain’s pick of Palin generated 11,293 stories.
What is interesting is the theme of these stories. For vice presidential nominees, I searched a whole range of terms to see how the media described the nominees: experience, abortion, conservative, moderate, liberal, safe, risky, etc., using Google News searches. (Lexis-Nexis yielded roughly similar relative rankings.)
For Biden, the top ten terms found were: experience (excluding "executive experience") (69%), abortion (21%), liberal (11%), safe (7%), long-winded(5%), moderate (5%), plagiarism (3%), gun-control (2%), executive experience (2%), and exaggerate or exaggerated (dealing with exaggerated claims he made about his college grades and accomplishments that helped end his 1988 race) (1%).
For Palin, the top ten were: conservative (49%), abortion (44%), brother-in-law (picking up claims that she improperly tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired) (17%), corruption and oil (17%), risky or risks or risk (16%),glass ceiling (13%), Quayle (10%), exciting (9%), inexperience OR "lack experience" OR "limited experience" (8%), and bold (8%). . . .
But this year -- which corresponds to the start of Solar Cycle 24 -- has been extraordinarily long and quiet, with the first seven months averaging a sunspot number of only 3. August followed with none at all. The astonishing rapid drop of the past year has defied predictions, and caught nearly all astronomers by surprise. . . .
In the past 1000 years, three previous such events -- the Dalton, Maunder, and Spörer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a "mini ice age". For a society dependent on agriculture, cold is more damaging than heat. The growing season shortens, yields drop, and the occurrence of crop-destroying frosts increases.
Meteorologist Anthony Watts, who runs a climate data auditing site, tells DailyTech the sunspot numbers are another indication the "sun's dynamo" is idling. According to Watts, the effect of sunspots on TSI (total solar irradiance) is negligible, but the reduction in the solar magnetosphere affects cloud formation here on Earth, which in turn modulates climate. . . . .
Here is a question: If this proves true, will those who have been advocating carbon taxes begin to support carbon use subsidies? I doubt it.
Duke University Law School at noon on Wednesday, September 3rd -- Freedomnomics Campbell University Chapter School of Law at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, September 3rd -- Gun control Elon Univ. School of Law at noon on Thursday, September 4th -- Gun Control Clemson University Economics Department at 7:30 PM on Thursday, September 4th -- Freedomnomics Clemson University Economics Department during the late afternoon on Friday, September 5th -- media bias
Gun, ammo sales are brisk ahead of storm by Chris Kirkham and Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune Friday August 29, 2008, 9:32 PM
On what would normally be a slow summer weekday, the three employees at Gretna Gun Works Inc. frantically tended to a crush of customers admiring the racks of shotguns and rifles lined up behind the glass counter.
Among the patrons: a jewelry store owner from eastern New Orleans with plans to stand guard through Gustav; two uniformed Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies inquiring about additional firearms; and an avid hunter who was in to pick up a 12-gauge he dropped off for cleaning.
"It's hurricane season, you definitely want it back now, right?" employee John DeRosier said with a grin as he handed the Beretta shotgun back to the owner.
In yet another sign of hardened sensibilities in post-Katrina New Orleans, managers of gun shops and sporting goods stores across the area report a spike in gun and ammunition sales this week. . . .
Firefighters and other emergency personnel required to stay behind are among the more frequent customers, store managers said.
"I just don't think people want to be caught with their pants down, " said Robby Lack of Destrehan, who was walking out of an Academy sporting goods store this week with ammunition for the shotgun and two pistols he owns, along with gasoline containers and other hurricane supplies. . . .
Kevin Griffin, a manager at the Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie, said crowds in the store this week resembled the first day of hunting season. Even though the storm's path is still up in the air, residents are buying ammunition just like necessities such as batteries and water, he said.
"It's just like any other hurricane supply, " Griffin said. "People are getting ready." . . .
I was reading Dick Posner's recent piece in the New Republic on the Heller case, and I have to admit I am quite puzzled by his arguments. Take this comment about Kelo:
Another illuminating contrast to Heller is the recent Kelo decision. The Supreme Court held that the just compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment does not forbid a state to condemn private property and, having thus seized it, to turn it over to a private developer. The decision provoked outrage by conservatives, who oppose condemnation because it infringes rights of private property. They should not have been outraged. All the Court did was unshackle government from a potential constitutional constraint, and by doing so toss the issue into the political arena. And sure enough, in the wake of the decision a number of states, under pressure from property interests, curtailed their eminent domain powers. . . .
"All the Court did was unshackle government from a potential constitutional constraint"? If you took this approach across the board, it is not clear what the point of a constitution would be. How can a constitution protect a minority if it merely tosses questions back to the political arena?
Daily Kos gets it completely wrong again: Assertions that Sarah Palin is really the Grandmother of Trig, not mother
The Daily Kos had this "explosive new" post yesterday: "Sarah Palin Is NOT The Mother." Well, Trig was born in April and it turns out that Bristol is now five months pregnant. Does the Daily Kos really believe that Bristol got pregnant a second time in March? It is hard to think through how obnoxious these attacks are to different people.
Here is a picture of the supposedly not pregnant Sarah Palin.
This attack was based in large part on pictures using the date of the newspaper publication and not the date of when the picture was actually taken. Here is one picture in an article from March, 2008. The problem is that you will note that the ages on the picture are a couple of years off. For example, Track Palin is now 19 years old, not 17. Do these crazies over at these blogs really believe that newspapers will get a new picture every time they run a story on the governor?
Now the Daily Kos is now bizarrely claiming that Palin supports Alaska's secession. Get this for a typical claim: "Since McCain never vetted Palin before putting her on the ticket . . . ." Below are Palin's welcoming remarks. Governors have these remarks all the time for various conventions in their state. It is a mere courtesy, nothing more.
On the eve of the Republican convention, a new national poll suggests the race for the White House remains dead even.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Sunday night shows the Obama-Biden ticket leading the McCain-Palin ticket by one point, 49 percent to 48 percent, a statistical dead heat.
The survey was conducted Friday through Sunday, after both the conclusion of the Democratic convention and McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.
A previous CNN poll, taken just one week earlier, suggested the race between Sens. McCain, R-Arizona, and Obama, D-Illinois, was tied at 47 percent each.
“The convention — and particularly Obama's speech — seems to be well-received. And the selection of Sarah Palin as the GOP running mate, also seems to be well-received. So why is the race still a virtual tie? Probably because the two events created equal and opposite bounces — assuming that either one created a bounce at all,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. . . .
A Zogby poll shows McCain up by two points over Obama in a two person match up. It also shows him down by two points if Bob Barr and Nader are added in. Apparently Barr is taking a lot more votes from McCain and Nader is taking from Obama.
While sunspots are often cited as the main proxy indicator of solar activity, there is another indicator which I view as equally (if not more) important. The Average Planetary Magnetic index (Ap), the strength of which ties into Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory modulating Earth’s cloud cover. A weaker Ap would mean less cosmic rays are deflected by the solar magnetic field, and so the theory goes, more cosmic rays provide more seed nuclei for clouds in Earth’’s atmosphere. More clouds mean a greater albedo and less terrestrial solar radiation, which translates to lower temperatures.
I’ve always likened a sunspot to what happens with a rubber band on a toy balsa wood plane. You keep twisting the propeller beyond the normal tightness to get that extra second of thrust and you see the rubber band start to pop out knots. Those knots are like sunspots bursting out of twisted magnetic field lines.
The Babcock model says that the differential rotation of the Sun (the sun being a viscous fluid, the poles rotate at a slower rate than the equator) winds up the magnetic fields of it’s layers during a solar cycle. The magnetic fields will then eventually tangle up to such a degree that they will eventually cause a magnetic break down and the fields will have to struggle to reorganize themselves by bursting up from the surface layers of the Sun. This will cause magnetic North-South pair boundaries (spots) in the photosphere trapping gaseous material that will cool slightly. Thus, when we see sunspots, we are seeing these areas of magnetic field breakdown. . . .
‘Cellphones don’t work out there, so we would have missed all the fun, but when we got near the cabin, the creek was swollen from heavy rain. We couldn’t get through, so we turned around and headed home.
‘Around 4am, Sarah’s husband Todd called and said, “Turn the radio on.”
‘I was half-asleep and said, “Honey, is everything OK? Is Sarah all right?
I turned on CNN and saw that John McCain was about to announce his running mate.
It still didn’t click. Sarah didn’t breathe a word of this to me or anyone in the family.
‘Our phone rang again and it was Sarah. She said, “Mum, are you sitting down? Now, Ma, don’t get all stressed, but McCain is about to announce I’m his vice-president pick.”
‘I started shaking and didn’t say anything. She said, “Ma, are you OK? Please, is this OK with you and Dad?”
‘I shouted into the phone, “Yes, yes! Go for it!” I nearly fell off the sofa. I have not stopped smiling since.’ . . .
MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of thousands of frustrated Mexicans, many carrying pictures of kidnapped loved ones, marched across the country Saturday to demand government action against a relentless tide of killings, abductions and shootouts.
The mass candlelight protests were a challenge to the government of President Felipe Calderon, who has made fighting crime a priority and deployed more than 25,000 soldiers and federal police to wrest territory from powerful drug cartels.
Cries of "enough" and "long live Mexico" rose up from sea of white-clad demonstrators filling Mexico City's enormous Zocalo square. The protesters held candles twinkling in the darkness as they sang the national anthem before dispersing. . . .
Amazed how lucky I am that I have had jobs where I could just think about whatever I wanted to think about. I have published over 90 articles in academic journals. I received my Ph.D. in economics from UCLA in 1984.