Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rich people begging for money

Perhaps you heard about the arson that destroyed the Texas Governor's Mansion this summer. A shame, right? Well, apparently, the mansion wasn't insured (or wasn't insured properly, but we don't know for sure because no media outlet will ask the question). I just saw a commercial with George Strait, asking Texans to donate to the Texas Governor's Mansion Restoration Fund. My first response was, 'Are you FUCKING kidding me?' Nope. He wasn't.

Of all the nerve. Hey Rick Perry! Ever heard the phrase, 'You're in good hands with Allstate?' In this economy (which you and your supply-side buddies have helped put into the shitter), we're supposed to give you money so you can rebuild your mansion?

I don't care that it's considered a 'historical landmark.' I don't care that it's 150 years old. It's an ornate mansion that wasn't insured properly.

Rich people asking for money can fuck right off. Rick Perry, George Strait, both of you can eat the peanuts out of my shit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Video of the Week -- Avs / Red Wings BRAWL

Ahhhh, I miss 1997 hockey. Whatever happened to this rivalry?

Oh yeah, I forgot. The Avs suck now. :(

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Merry Fucking Christmas

There is, without a doubt, no way that Bill Orally isn't the biggest fucking douchebag on the planet. It must be wonderous to sit in an office somewhere just thinking up the most trivial and retarded bullshit to try and get the stupidest among us all up in a egg nog lather. The clip below is only worth watching for the first few minutes, if that. He asserts that he is solely responsible for the saving of Christmas, blah blah blah. As much as I would like to believe that Christmas is a religous holiday(woops) anymore, we all know that it's just a way to suck your wallet dry. I'm not saying that I don't participate in that, but I'm saying that what the day was origianlly founded for is no longet relevant. SO WHO FUCKING CARES!

Via Con Dios,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Video of the Week -- My New Haircut

Most of you may have seen this already, but up until earlier this year, I hadn't.

Dialogue Not Safe For Work!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Bursts

I have some varied thoughts kicking around in my head right now, and I need to get them out. Time for some diarrhea of the brain:

-- I had jury duty last week, and I learned about the 'Implied Consent' law here in Texas. I don't disagree with the general rule, but I'm disturbed by the ability of 'the man' to use your refusal to take a breathalyzer test against you in a court of law. I consider that a form of silence, and it goes against that whole 'Miranda Rights' thing.

-- I predict that the 'Big 3' will receive a considerable bailout from a last-minute lame-duck Congress.

-- So far, I've put 50 hours into the video game Fallout 3, with no signs of slowing down. It is easily going to be at the top of my 'Game of the Year' list for 2008. And yes, I've played Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Little Big Planet, Call of Duty: World at War, Mirror's Edge, et. al. The only game I need to play yet this year is Dead Space, but I can't imagine that it will top Fallout 3. Oh, and speaking of Mirror's Edge, anytime a game punishes you for doing what you're told to do, I have some serious problems with it.

-- Watched The Visitor and The Strangers in the past week. Two very different films, but both were very overrated.

-- I'm curious to hear what people will be spending on Christmas gifts for their loved ones this year versus last year. I know I'll be doing the gift card thing, but I know I won't be spending as much as usual. How about you?

-- I LOVE my new Blackberry Bold. It has a full web browser, Wi-Fi and GPS, and has a GORGEOUS screen. Before any of you Apple snobs chime in, yes, I realize that 'it's no iPhone.' It's close enough for me though, and I'll trade the touch screen for the tactile response of a QWERTY keyboard. I have to use my phone for work, and for that, it can't be beat. If it were only going to be a toy, I'd probably go with the iPhone ... even though they still can't send .jpeg files as MMS messages, nor can they do video. I thought they'd fix that with the 3G phone, and they didn't. WTF is up with that?

-- I am SO ready for Thanksgiving break. Getting a long weekend, and seeing In Flames and Gojira that Friday night. I might even eat some turkey. Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Video of the Week -- Opeth -- 'Burden'

Yes kids, it's that time again. My Video of the Week is a brand new release from the Swedish progressive metal band Opeth. It's the most 'mellow' song on their new album, titled Watershed. It's a great track from a great album, and it's not a 'metal' song per se, so I think a few of you out there will appreciate it.

Opeth is my favorite band on this planet right now, so I might be a little biased, but I love that song. What do you think?


Here's the first single ('The Grand Conjuration') from their previous album (Ghost Reveries). As you'll see, they do the 'Cookie Monster' vocals from time to time, but they're miles ahead of most metal bands in terms of songwriting ability.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama Wins Nebraska Electoral Vote

As I had predicted, Obama won the Nebraska 2nd Congressional District's electoral vote by just over 1,000 votes. Not that he needed it, but it makes me feel like I don't live in a place where evangelical idiots run the government. Considering the rest of the state, however, that place is not far away.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Here's something I didn't expect to see today:

I guess it's just now starting to hit me. Barack Obama actually won the election. I'm almost waiting for Ashton Kutcher to bust out from behind a car or something.

Now that's a good photo op with Bush. I wonder what they talked about (other than Obama's Oval Office redecorating plans)?

Since I'm fair and balanced, here are some McCain photo ops with Bush:

"Katrina? I dated a girl named Katrina back in college. What's your point?"

Awwwww. How cute.

"You two seen that '2 Girls 1 Cup' thing yet? Hi-LAR-ious."

I'd bet McCain wishes he could get this one back. Tough to distance yourself when this picture gets forwarded all over the internets. Well, that and voting with him 95% of the time.

McCain's concession speech on Election Night
was more of a throwback to the McCain of 2000. The REAL 'maverick.' Someone who reached across the aisle, and wasn't afraid to fight for what he believed in, regardless of where it put him in terms of party lines. That man disappeared during the campaign, but if he'd showed up in the last few months, the final election tally would've been a LOT closer.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Some fires still burn in California...

Proposition 8 in California has been in the news recently as an overwhelming rejection of gay rights in this country. What I find so interesting was that California passed the legislation for the rights of animals that will ultimately be on your dinner table. These animals don't have much of a life to look forward to anyways. So there ability to stand, move around, and converse with their neighbors makes no logical sense except for the fact that we attribute human emotions to these things. Just like when you think Fluffy licks you because he loves you, actually, he's just trying to get the taste of his own balls out of his mouth. And any animal behaviorist will tell you, they are really just trying to get a sense of where you have been and what you have been eating. Not a whole lot of love there, yet we continue to deny other human beings the right to be happy based on outdated motives and ideals.
I really think this speaks directly to some of the most basic problems that we face in this country and why we continue to be so partisan when it comes to anything.(Yes, I acknowledge my role in this as well.) I have no idea, even to this day, what is so damn special about being married to someone. I understand that to some it is a meaningful ceremony of the "bonding" of one person to another, but I don't need rings, a book, or a ceremony to tell me that I should treat my partner with love and respect and should expect no less in return. While I have a partner who is wonderful, and she tolerates me well, I have yet to get married despite the fact of having kids with this person. We share a home, and family, together and I would never tolerate someone fucking with either, so forgive me if I can't wrap my head around the idea of denying a group of people whose only want at this point has just been out-shined by dinner.
Here is where I think Barack Obama needs to step up and maybe take the reins in this situation. When asked in one of the debates if he was for gay marriage, he answered that he was for, basically, civil unions but not "marriage." While I commend his ability to parse the language enough to garner some extra votes, I would think that a black man, above all else, would know the dangers of separate but equal. While I understand we don't have separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants, my hope is that we can soon get past this nonsense and on to the more important things in life ie the fact my beer prices went up due to higher gas prices. Son of a bitch this world is cold!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You might not have noticed....

In all the excitement, it's still undecided for President in Nebraska 2nd Congressional District. The margin is 500 votes ahead for McCain with about 9000 votes yet to count. It obviously doesn't matter in terms of the outcome of the election, but you can bet your ass it matters to those of us in Omaha who support Obama and are tired of people thinking we're just as conservative as the rest of the state. I'll keep you posted on what should be an interesting end to the election.

Jim Esch did not win yesterday, but gave incumbent Lee Terry hell. Esch won't run again, as this is his 2nd loss to Terry. Terry had better hope that he actually does something in the next two years or his midterm re-election could get ugly. Democrats need to find someone strong in local politics to challenge him, since Terry basically sits in Washington, D.C. and collects a paycheck. If you don't believe me, search the Congressional Record for bills he's actually authored. You won't find much.

I wanted to post this yesterday...

.... but I didn't want to jinx it.

I have a lot I'd like to say about last night, but I don't have much time today, so there will be other posts later in the week. However, I do want to say one thing right now. I know we here on this blog have been hard on the standing Presidential administration, and in my opinion, it's almost always been for good reason. However, I pledge to also be hard on Obama's administration when I feel he's doing something wrong. We may lean to the left here, but we also like being 'devil's advocates.' I'm not always going to agree with anyone in power, and I won't pull any punches with Obama, just like we didn't with Dubya.

Having said all that, I'll end with this: When I was growing up, I never imagined that I'd live to see a black president. It ended up happening before I turned 40. That in and of itself makes me even prouder to be an American than I ever was before, and I would feel that way even if said President-Elect was a Republican. We still have a long ways to go in this nation (Prop 8 passing in California is proof of that), but we've taken a large step. Obama has his work cut out for him, but I have faith that he can get us back on the right track.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I guess I was wrong about Ohio

Obama wins. Nice job, fellow Americans!

Juxtaposition -- noun -- an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.

Both of these screen caps were taken at the same time. I think they speak for themselves.

Not every hick is voting for McCain

More on why exit polls suck ass

Here are two (1 and 2) more great overviews about why exit polls should not, under any circumstances, be viewed as anything more than something to talk about until the polls close. Both articles are much more comprehensive than my post earlier today, although you'll note some common themes here.

Bad news for McCain

When Karl Rove and Ryan the Angry Midget agree on something, you might want to start planning for the apocalypse. Based on the map above from his website, Rove is predicting a larger Obama victory than I did in my prediction post . Rove is predicting a 338-200 margin. The only difference between his prediction and mine is that he thinks Obama wins Ohio. I do think that Obama will win Florida today, but not Ohio. Although I won't be upset or lose sleep if I am wrong on Ohio, and Obama wins there as well.

A good friend of mine who is Republican and voting for McCain this year pointed out to me when I shared Rove's prediction with him that Rove is upset because McCain didn't hire Rove as a strategist or to help run his campaign. While this may or may not be true, it will be interesting to see how accurate Rove's prediction is. Sour grapes or not, if Rove ends up being close, it would be hard to argue that McCain's snub had any influence on his predictions. Maybe McCain should have hired Rove, since he managed to get W. in the White House, which still blows my mind to this day. Like him or hate him, Karl Rove has a knack for politics and doesn't mind playing dirty.


I had intended on writing some pissed off diatribe about the state our union, how we all need to pull our heads out of the sand/ass/whatever and realize that our country is headed down the wrong path. Then I realized that you all probably know that by now. The reason for my conversion in topic is that, in the 11th hour, there is no changing any minds by now.
I received an e-mail from a cousin of mine, who is white and very well off, and he proceeded to try and enlist my services for a NOBAMA page on a popular networking site. Not only is this disheartening in a way, but it makes too much sense. There are just some people that you can't save; and at this point, why bother? It makes no sense to feel the way that he does, and it serves no purpose other than the fact that it highlights how far we haven't gotten as a country. No intelligible argument to speak of, just a gut reaction that what they've seen for the past 8, no, 30 years is somehow the fault of everyone else, and they were always right.
I guess this to is not news to any fan of this site, but it is a chance to pause for reflection. My only HOPE at this point is an Obama victory. My feelings may betray me, but I'm reasonably sure that will be the outcome. I just hope that maybe the high water mark wasn't Obama's acceptance speech in Denver. The place where the wave broke and fell back. I certainly hope this is not the case, but after almost 2 long years of talking with friends, changing minds, and donating to the cause to have a relative shit in your cereal the morning of the election gets to be a bit much.
So in the same spirit of that of my cousin's recent raving, I have just one thing to say: Fuck all you right wing buttfucks and the fucking horse you rode in on. It's our time now bitches and you will be lucky if I don't go straight up Samuel L. Jackson on your ass every fucking time I see one of you assholes railing against Dem's, the left, progressives, midgets, and school children. I will be the intensity in 10 cities, and a true HCP before all is said and done. So, fuck you, fuck your McCain, fuck your Palin, and most of all FUCK YOUR JOE THE PLUMBER/TITO THE BEANER BULLSHIT!!!!!


Wild and out,

Why exit polls should not be trusted

When you've waited years for an election and sufferred through 8 years of the worst President in modern US History (not an easy thing to accomplish when Reagan was also President in the same era), your natural reaction can be to fall victim to confirmation bias: believing something because it confirms your view of the world, giving little or no credence to the quality of the data involved. No matter what the exit polls are telling you today, DO NOT DRINK THAT KOOL AID!

Remember 2004? Exit polls across the country suggested that John Kerry was not only winning, but that he was leading by a sizeable margin. Kerry was going to win! The only problem was that he didn't win. And we got 4 more years of out of control spending, conservative supreme court justices, and awful foreign policies.

The idea behind a political poll is that you ask a small group of people for their opinion and hope that your small group is an adequate representation of the larger group of people that's actually voting. Most poll accuracy problems beyond strange methodological practices (like polling equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans when there aren't equal numbers in the population, for example) are the direct result of bad sampling practices. Exit polls have all of the same problems as regular polls with some truly damning additional limitations.

Exit polls have a selection problem, which is that only people who are willing to share their decision with pollsters get counted. If one candidate has a younger, more enthusiastic base than another candidate, the polls might show that candidate with a huge advantage on exit polls that doesn't reflect what was actually going on. Samples are often relatively small based on the fact that these are done locally at the polls, which means the likelihood of getting a sample that doesn't match the larger electorate is greatly increased. Finally, the popularity of early voting and voting by mail means that a large percentage of the electorate won't be available for exit polling. This year, the early voters tended to be much more Democratic, which means that samples taken at the polls this year could underestimate their numbers substantially.

At the end of the day, we'll know the results of the election. I'll post some exit poll data here as it comes up, only so that we can compare those data with the actual counts when they come in. DO NOT TRUST EXIT POLLS TO TELL YOU WHO IS GOING TO WIN. Go vote and then check back here later.

Alcoholic hillbilly musician who's played the same song for 16 years perpetuates anti-Obama propaganda at McCain rally


Seriously Hank? Do you believe everything you read in chain-letter e-mails? If that's the case, your penis needs to be enlarged, and you also have an inheritance in Nigeria you need to go accept.

And on another note, how does it feel to know your son is twice the artist you could ever be?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Got any spare kids? Nebraska's Safe Haven Law

In all this pre-election hype, I haven't had time to write about Nebraska's latest claim to fame. No, I'm not talking about the Cornhuskers' embarrassing loss to Oklahoma on Saturday night. That would require the football team to be relevant to someone who doesn't live in this state. Nebraska has been getting national attention for another reason: our safe haven law.

Safe haven laws are not big news. Before we enacted ours, Nebraska was one of the only states in the union without such a law. Safe Haven Laws generally make sense. The idea is that you can leave a child at a hospital or fire department instead of getting an abortion or leaving the baby in a dumpster. Sounds like a good thing right?

To say that Nebraska became a victim of unforeseen consequences is being overly generous to the lawmakers in our state. While most states have an age limit that restricts the age of the child that can be abandoned to infants, Nebraska did not include an age limit in their law. The result has been a steady flow of parents from all over the country leaving their kids at Nebraska hospitals, including teenagers up the 17 years-old. None of the children left in Nebraska since July have been under 22 months. Oops. A 15 year-old left at an Omaha hospital tonight makes the 28th person left at a hospital since July.

Lawmakers are working quickly to impose a 72 hour age limit on the Nebraska law, but until the limit becomes law, Nebraska has become the land of unwanted children.

Hockey Moms against Palin

I am Ryan the Angry Midget and I approve this message....except the part about having Palin move to Nebraska. We have enough cooky conservatives here already.

Nebraska man: "I'm still an undecided voter"

I just came across this story on about undecided voters. I was planning on writing a brief rant about being undecided at this point in the election, so naturally it gave me an opening to do just that. Plus, the guy is from Nebraska. The story tells the tale and provides a video from Kevin Sheen of Lincoln, a registered Democrat who voted for Bush in 2004. You didn't hallucinate that last sentence. If you're a registered Democrat who voted for Bush in 2004, I'm not surprised that you can't make up your mind in this election because it's pretty clear that you lack the mental resources to make intelligent decisions. I think voting for President Bush was one bad decision. Registering as a Democrat when you clearly are not was the second bad choice. You also won't be surprised to know the issue that has Kevin torn to pieces. If you answered abortion, you get a gold star and a donkey punch.

Let's say you were a Democrat who voted for Bush because you didn't like that John Kerry wanted to kill all those unborn babies. You cast your ballot in 2004, and 4 years later, abortion is not only legal, but you've got blood on your hands from a protracted war in Iraq and children in poverty without health insurance right here in the good old US of A. And yet, here Kevin is, back in the same dilemma that he and other pro-life idiots face as long as they believe the lies they are told about the Republican agenda on abortion. Kevin's problem is not that he's undecided. That's the least of his issues. His problem is that he's been had, bamboozled, taken out back and bent over, whatever you want to call it, and he's back for more in 2008.

In fact, scientists believe that there is no such thing as an undecided voter. You've either made up your mind already and haven't come to terms with it or you've decided and don't want to tell other people about it. I think Kevin belongs in a third category of idiots who didn't learn their lesson from 8 years of the Bush Administration. How much do you want to be he votes for McCain?

Official Prediction Post

You want to share your election predictions? This is the place. Leave them in the comments section.

Here are my predictions:

Obama wins Presidential Election with an electoral vote count of 318 - 220 based on the resulting map above. Once again Florida and Ohio will not be decided by the time we all go to bed tomorrow night, but it won't matter, because even without those states, Obama will have enough electoral votes to call the election.

Jim Esch beats Lee Terry for the Nebraska 2nd Congressional District House of Representatives seat by a very small margin. Small enough that Terry requests a recount that confirms the results of the election.

Democrat Scott Kleeb gets clubbed by Mike Johanns.

California rejects Proposition 8, maintaining gay marriage rights.

Nebraska passes Initiative 425 banning affirmative action because no one understands the implications and that the only impact the law would have would be in higher education.

Share your predictions or dissenting opinions under comments.

Would you like a new desktop?


What election polls really tell us

Political polling has long been an interest of mine. It's an interesting practice to say the least, as we take a relatively small number of opinions and try to predict effects for a whole state or for the entire country. Prediction gets particularly dicey when the polls suggest a close race, as they did leading up to the 2004 Presidential Election. While some polls suggested a John Kerry lead late in that election, Bush's final margin on a national level was less than 3%, which was within the margin of error for most polls. The next 48 hours will provide an interesting comparison to see how the poll numbers actually reflect the final outcome. It might seem as though McCain's camp's claim that things are tightening are silly given some of the predictions of Obama victory. Despite efforts to build likely voter models that attempt to determine the margin among those who think they will vote, only the ultimate election outcome will determine who is President. I know that sounds so simple that it's practically stupid, but the huge emphasis placed on polling by the media means that it's worth remembering that telephone polls and voting are two different measures of public opinion.

Things to watch with polls:
Do they include cell phone only households? An increasing number of households do not have land line telephones. Three times more households have no land line phone in 2008 than in 2004. These voters tend to be younger and more likely to support Barak Obama. Many current surveys do not include cell phone only respondents, which could be underestimating support for Obama. I think this effect will be somewhat offset by the fact that cell phone only voters tend to be younger and in the past have not turned out to vote in large numbers.

Percentage of sample from each party. It would seem on the surface that a political poll should include an equal number of Republicans and Democrats to be fair right? That would be true if you wanted the poll to be fair and not to reflect reality. Reality is that nationwide there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. Nonetheless, some polls are using voter turnout numbers from the 2004 election, when Republicans represented a larger number of the electorate than Democrats. One that uses current data on voter party identification is Rasmussen Reports. Polls that use old party identification data will also underestimate support for Obama.

Who will show up to vote? You can have all the polls in the world, but unless you can predict who will show up tomorrow, you're dead in the water. Despite this obvious statement, many polls, including Gallup, use a likely voter model that only counts responses for those who voted in the 2004 election. Gallup has an alternative model that bases likely voter status only on if the person intends to vote this year. The difference between the two approaches is a 2 point advantage to Obama on average.

We'll look at the polls, particularly at the state level, in the next week to see how close they were.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Obama yard signs in Texas .. UPDATE!

In a previous post, I put up Obama/Biden yard signs in my yard. I live in Texas. Therefore, I set the over/under on a sign getting stolen (or an act of vandalism occurring to my house) at one week. Well, the official count was 15 days! The sign closest to the main road by my house was stolen last night. The question I have is, "Did it get stolen because it's an Obama sign, or was it just kids being mischievous on Halloween night?" Could be either one, but there is another sign even closer to the sidewalk that says, "Vote, your choice, but VOTE!" that is sponsored by a local home selling company, and it was untouched.

Well, I had two Obama signs, so the spare (which used to be by my front door) is now in place by the main road again. I'm gonna set another over/under ... this one is at 48 hours. I replaced the sign at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Let the games begin...

A cautionary tale....

Why I am no longer Catholic

With every Presidential election, I am reminded why I have abandoned the religion in which I was raised. I was baptised, raised and confirmed, as well as married in the Catholic Church, so although I didn't make the initial choice to become Catholic, I made subsequent choices to remain part of the church. I was disgusted in 2000 when the Church came out in support of Bush, despite his murderous record on capitol punishment when he was governor of Texas. Apparently, you can deny stays of execution for 152 people, and Catholics will still endorse you as being pro life. Post the nonsensical invasion of Iraq and subsequent death and destruction, the Catholic Church again endorsed Bush as being pro life, based only on the fact that he claims to be pro life, not based on his actions. The Church even urged people to vote against a Catholic candidate, John Kerry, based on the fact that he supports a woman's right to choose.

All of this support for Bush was obviously quite productive, as abortion is still legal, and still occurring over 1.2 million times a year in the US. If it doesn't seem like having a President who's against abortion has any affect on the legality of abortion, it's because it absolutely doesn't.

The truth about the abortion issue that Republicans don't want anyone to know is that they're not going to do anything about it, except use it as a wedge to guilt Catholics into voting for their candidates. Getting Catholics to feel guilty is like getting Republicans to feel greedy, it's not difficult. The likelihood of abortion becoming illegal in this country has never been less than it is right now, and that will not change if McCain and Palin win on Tuesday. We've had three "pro life" Presidents since Roe v. Wade, none of which have made any real attempts to overturn the landmark court case. Any incremental attempts to reduce access to abortion has occurred at the state level.

And yet once again in 2008, the weekend before the election, Catholic leaders are making it very clear that Catholics need to vote for John McCain or risk eternal damnation. I have no problem with any church coming out in support of a candidate who has policies that are in line with the teachings of that church. The problem in politics is that candidates are thankfully not running from a religious platform, so there are going to be some differences. Instead of acknowledging this, the Catholic church has boiled the election down into a single issue, ignoring things like which candidate actually has plans to attempt to reduce the number of abortions by addressing the causes and which candidate has the best programs to tackle poverty. In the end, these approaches may actually have a fighting chance of reducing the number of abortions in this country. If we've learned one thing from the past 30 years, voting for a Republican who says their pro life, certainly does not.

You probably won't find me in a pew at a Catholic church, as long as this hypocritical and myopic electioneering continues.