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Showing posts from October, 2008

Culture: The You Tube Era - a pro McCain message by an Iraq war vet

Fox News points to a You Tube video that got 11 million hits.

Non-profit of the month: October, 2008 - Teach Overseas and Avenues

This month, I've gone to two fund-raising dinners to support two wonderful organizations.

When I think of what it means to try to live out the Christian faith, I think of the command by Jesus, "Love your neighbor."

In our modern global village world, that will mean not only what happens on the streets of Los Angeles but also in a classroom in Central Asia.

Teach Overseas has been sending capable and winsome English teachers to countries in Asia and Europe since 1981. America's place in the world may draw mixed reviews among those in other nations but Americans who want to serve others by teaching English are most welcome.

A handful of friends I've known over the years have worked through Teach Overseas and they have the highest praise for the experience. Teach Overseas knows that going to a far away place in a completely different culture is not an easy thing. Thus, they have a careful selection process, rigorous training and team approach to supporting the teac…

Business: Immigrants starting businesses - like using worm poop as plant food!

America is the land of opportunity!

At the moment, people are nervous about the American economy but there is a dynamism that I think will help us bounce back!

Politics: RR's Cal Ballot Recommendations

I'll be preparing short posts on the November 2008 California Ballot Propositions.

Here below is my YES/NO rundown with links to my posts as they become available.

1A - No
2 - Yes
3 - Yes
4 - Yes
5 - No
6 - No
7 - No
8 - Yes
9 - No
10 - No
11 - Yes
12 - Yes

Update: In case you are curious, the California Democratic Party says:
Yes: 1A, 2, 3, 5, 12
No: 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11
No position: 10

The California Republican Party says:
Yes: 4, 6, 8, 9, 12
No: 1A, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10
No position: 11

Politics: Yes on Prop 3

This bond measure was placed on the ballot by the initiative process. In California, bonds usually get on the ballot by legislative action. However, sometimes the legislature isn't able to get enough consensus to get an item on the ballot. Thus, generally, I'd be against a bond by initiative. However, in this case, the cause is a good one: $980 million for children's hospitals.

The SD Union-Tribune and Sacramento Bee came out against it mainly because of the current budget mess in California.

Here is an excerpt from the SDUT:

California has a structural deficit of at least $6 billion a year. Not when the state is already on track by 2011 to spend more than 6 percent of its budget just paying off past bonds – much higher than is prudent and far above most of the other 49 states.

Unfortunately, bond propositions often sail to victory based on advertising campaigns that make it seem like they have no downside. Instead, voters should think of these bonds as the equivalent of …

Politics: No on Prop 6

Prop 6 is an initiative statue to require that the state government allocate at least $965 million a year for law enforcement.

When I examine propositions, I visit five of the major newspapers (San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee) of California to see what they have to say. On this proposition, they all are opposed.

The Sac Bee says:

This initiative writes into law new crimes, increases penalties for old crimes, and mandates more spending for police, sheriffs, district attorneys, probation and parole. But it provides not a single penny of new funding to pay for it.

The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates this measure will cost close to $500 million in new general fund spending in its first year with an increase of tens of millions of dollars annually in subsequent years. It will require another $500 million in capital expenditures to build new prisons to house new felons kept in prison longer.

It means less m…

Politics: No on Prop 9

This proposition makes various adjustments to the criminal justice system.

All 5 newspapers I checked (SD Union-Trib, SF Chron, Sac Bee, Mercury and LAT) came out against it.

Here is SD Union-Tribune's analysis:

California's prison system is in such a dysfunctional state that many lawmakers and top corrections officials assume it is only a matter of time before a federal judge will finally follow through on his threat to take over the 33 prisons and their 170,000 inmates. A combination of overcrowding and a perverse management arrangement – one in which the prison guard union shares oversight authority with the state executives who are supposed to be the guards' bosses – has created a money-hemorrhaging department that the polarized Legislature seems unable or unwilling to fix.

But prison woes aren't limited to the state system. Twenty of California's 58 counties – including the largest ones with the bulk of the 80,000 inmates under county supervision – are being monit…

Politics: One journalist laments the media bias

Read the whole thing. HT: RCP. Excerpts:

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side -- or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.

If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.

That isn't Sen. Obama's fault: His job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media's fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.

Why, for example to quote the lawyer for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., haven't we seen an interview with Sen. Obama's grad school drug dealer…

Politics: Jonathan Alter (MSNBC/Newsweek)'s Scenario of How McCain Wins

According to Alter it will be racism.

Alter's key paragraph raises racism and tosses in stupidity.

In the end, the problem was the LIVs. That's short for "low-information voters," the three fifths of the electorate that shows up once every four years to vote for president but mostly hates politics. These are the 75 million folks who didn't vote in the primaries. They don't read newsmagazines or newspapers, don't watch any cable news and don't cast their ballots early. Their allegiance to a candidate is as easily shed as a T shirt. Several million moved to Obama through September and October; they'd heard he handled himself well in the debates. Then, in the last week, the LIVs swung back to the default choice: John McCain. Some had good reasons other than the color of Obama's skin to desert him; many more did not. In October, a study by the Associated Press estimated that Obama's race would cost him 6 percent. The percentage was smaller, bu…

Politics: Yes on Prop 11

This initiative provides a new mechanism for redistricting for state offices. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover Congressional districts.

Redistricting is currently done by the state legislators. In other words, the districts are drawn by the very people who would benefit from those districts!

All 5 California newspapers (SF Chron, LA Times, Sac Bee, SD Union-Trib and Mercury) have endorsed this proposition.

The Sac Bee presents the problem and how prop 11 tries to solve it. Excerpt:

Every 10 years, the state lawmakers who have mismanaged California's finances and governance get a reward for their hard work. They get to design their own legislative districts.

It's one of the Capitol's most egregious conflicts of interest, and it needs to end. Proposition 11 would end it.

Under the current system, leaders of both parties meet in back rooms and carve up the state after each 10-year census. By dividing up communities based on party prerogatives, they ensure safe seats for incumb…

Politics: Yes on Prop 12

Prop 12 was put on the ballot by the state legislature to issue $900 million in bonds to fund the Cal-Vet program to assist veterans to buy homes and farms.

The Sac Bee is opposed:

In better economic times, it might make sense to keep adding this benefit to the ones that veterans already receive, but not now. If veterans were unable to pay back these loans, it would leave state taxpayers on the hook for some of the $59 million in annual debt service these bonds will incur.

In addition, as of July of this year, there was still about $102 million remaining from past bond issues for veterans, so there's no urgent need to pass a new bond issue.

The SF Chronicle is supporting this proposition. Excerpt:

Californians have voted 26 times to continue funding this program, which helps build communities while providing a deserved benefit to men and women who have served their country in the armed forces. The Legislative Analyst's Office pointed out that all of that previous bond debt and ope…

Politics: No on Prop 10

Prop 10 calls for $5 billion in bonds for renewable energy and alternative fuel cars.

Of the 5 California newspapers I checked (SF Chron, LA Times, SJ Mercury, SD Union-Trib and Sac Bee), they all came against this ballot measure.

The Mercury News summed up their concern this way:

Proposition 10 proposes to pay off bonds using the state's general fund - $10 billion over 30 years - primarily to underwrite the cost for individuals and businesses to buy low-emission trucks and cars. That's not a smart use of taxpayer money when the state's already sagging with debt and short of money to build schools, roads, transit systems and water projects. One-quarter of the bonds would go toward research, development and construction of solar, wind and other alternative sources of electricity. But $2.9 billion of the $5 billion in spending - 58 percent - would be in rebates to owners of low-carbon emission vehicles, mainly those fueled by natural gas. Natural gas is at best a transitional f…

Politics: No on Prop 7

This initiative calls for California to use 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2010 and 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025.

Sound great?

As for as I know, the technology is not cost effective yet.

All 5 newspapers I consulted (LA Times, SF Chron, SJ Mercury, Sac Bee and SD Union-Trib) came out against it.

The SD Union-Tribune called for a no vote with these points:

Proposition 7's key flaw is how it imposes absurd, unrealistic new deadlines for a massive shift away from present energy sources by 2025 - changes that would put a radical burden on Californians and Californians alone. It also inexplicably shuts out many smaller alternative-energy suppliers and mandates the use of long-term contracts that would make price competition among suppliers nearly impossible.

No wonder the initiative is not supported by any significant organization. No wonder its opponents include the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Califor…

Politics: No on Prop 5

Prop 5 calls for $460 million in spending on drug rehab programs along with various adjustment to the laws pertaining to persons convicted of drug-related crimes.

All 5 California newspapers (SF Chron, LA Times, Sac Bee, SJ Mercury and SD Union-Trib) I checked came out against this measure.

The SF Chronicle put it this way:

... none of this new money could be used for drug testing - one of the most critical components of a drug-treatment program. Judges also would lose one of their most valuable tools in confronting an addict who was balking at going into treatment: the threat of a short jail stint. Under Prop. 5, jail sanctions could be imposed only after multiple failures and multiple hearings.
.......
The formula in Proposition 5 would make a good pilot program in one or two counties to see how it would work. It's important to note that many of the judges and prosecutors who deal with these types of cases every day are convinced of its flaws. To bring it statewide would represent …

Politics: No on Prop 1A

This measure is a bond placed on the ballot by the California legislature to support the building of high-speed rail between northern and southern California.

The LA Times has come out in favor of the project. Excerpt:

There's something undeniably alluring about a bullet train -- the technology is so powerful, the speed so breathtaking, it makes quotidian trips seem exotic. Perhaps that's why proponents of Proposition 1a, which would authorize $9.95 billion in bonds for a high-speed rail line connecting Northern and Southern California, think it would be wildly successful. They predict the line could draw 117 million riders a year by 2030, compared with 3 million now taking the high-speed Amtrak train in the densely populated Boston-Washington corridor. And they say it will turn a billion-dollar profit by then even as it keeps ticket prices remarkably low.

As a technophile, I confess to seeing the allure of such a project.

However, the LA Times is honest enough to admit it might b…

Politics: Yes on Prop 4

Prop 4 is an initiative constitutional amendment regarding parental notification for abortions for minors.

The SF Chronicle is against it.

More than a decade ago, the California Supreme Court clearly affirmed that a young woman's right to an abortion was protected by the state constitution's strong privacy rights. Proposition 4 represents yet another attempt to undermine that right. The practical effect of this measure would be to put many young women at risk by delaying abortion procedures, and thus making them more medically complicated.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has come out in favor of prop 4.

If a patient alleges a clear pattern of parental abuse, a physician may notify not her parents but any of several adult family members that she wants an abortion and alleges parental abuse.

The abuse must also be reported to Child Protective Services. Vociferous critics of notification retort that a CPS investigation would alert parents to the abuse allegation, and prompt more abuse.

Und…

Politics: Yes on Prop 2

Prop 2 is an initiative statute to change regulations on how farm animals are housed.

The LA Times has come out against it. Excerpt:

According to a University of California Agricultural Issues Center report, cage-free eggs are about 20% more expensive to produce and cost about 25% more to buy. There is a growing demand, but it is still small -- about 5% of all eggs nationally are produced by cage-free hens. So California eggs would become more expensive, and many consumers would simply buy the cheaper eggs laid by hens living in cramped conditions in neighboring states or in Mexico. As a result, we fear the result of Proposition 2's passage would not be better treatment of hens but merely the export of their mistreatment. We recommend a no vote.

The SJ Mercury News urges a yes vote. Excerpt:

But egg ranchers would have until 2015 to convert to the new system, which should give them ample time to adapt to new practices. By that time, American consumers will probably be demanding tha…

Politics: Yes on Prop 8

Prop 8 is an initiative constitution amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

When I examine propositions, I visit five of the major newspapers (San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee) of California to see what they have to say in addition to my own consideration, conversation with others and checking out other sources with opinions on the matter.

All 5 newspaper editorial boards are in agreement. On this proposition, they all are opposed and I believe they are all wrong.

The San Diego Union-Tribune argues this way:

With gay marriage a fait accompli, society has not crumbled. The long-standing institution of marriage is not in crisis. Californians have taken this change in stride. Indeed, there appears to be a marked shift in public opinion toward acceptance of gay marriage.

Words have to have meaning.

This is not like choosing Coke or Pepsi; a matter of taste.

Redefining a societal institution is …

Politics: Nov 2008 Cal Ballot Measures

There are 12 propositions for Californians to decide.

Will try to walk through all 12 before election day.

There are a bunch of bonds.
1A - $9.95 billion for high speed rail
3 - $980 million for children's hospitals
10 - $5 billion for alternative energy
12 - $900 million for veterans home and farm loans

All great causes but the question is can California afford all these things?

The California budget was busted this past year and with the current economic climate, one wonders if we should be moving forward on these.

Here is an item from the Sacramento Bee from May discussing the budget crisis. Excerpt:

California's credit rating is already among the lowest of state governments. When the state took out an $11 billion loan from Wall Street during the 2003 budget crisis, taxpayers wound up paying the loan with interest - plus an $84 million fee for the cost of borrowing from investment firms.

So what is the current California bond rating?

Go here.

In short, $53 billion in bonds have been a…

Politics: Media double standard

Politics isn't a pillow fight and so people are going to get their shots in.

But the overwhelming double standard has gotten so out of control.

Here is is an opinion piece that talks about it.

Excerpts:

I thought liberals were supposed to be good-hearted, open-minded and non-judgmental.

Tell that to the angry Left's favorite pinata, Sarah Palin. As far as liberals are concerned, Palin can do no right just as Barack Obama and Joe Biden can do no wrong. In fact, Biden is catching more passes than an NFL wide receiver.
........
I also thought the Democratic Party was supposed to go to bat for the little guy, the everyday Joe the Plumber.

Tell that to Joe Wurzelbacher, the Ohio resident who got his 15 minutes -- and 40 lashes -- because he dared question Obama about his tax plan.
........
The latest media template is that the vice presidential nominee is a drag on the GOP ticket. Pundits detect a backlash, not just among Democrats who love to hate Sarah Palin but also among women, indepen…

Culture: Do rich people pay taxes?

Being a typical middle-class person, I hear a lot of people complain that the rich don't pay any taxes.

Biden says, it is the patriotic duty of rich people to pay more taxes.

Obama told "Joe the plumber" that he should pay more taxes to spread the wealth around.

So, do the rich pay taxes?

They indeed do pay taxes. The long arms of the IRS isn't letting them get away!

But, in the internet, many argue about whether or not the rich pay their "fair" share of taxes.

Fair of course is a pretty subjective term!

But take a look at these numbers and see what you think ...

Found this item from the Tax Policy Center.

That item is a little outdated (from 2000) and I'm curious if the numbers are still in the same ballpark. But it would appear that $65 of every $100 collected by the Federal government comes from the wealthiest 20% of the population. What I don't know from that table is whether these people make 65% of the money in the US economy.

This item is for 2004…

Sports: Pac10 going bowling

Looks like USC is headed for another BCS bowl game. They have an outside shot at the championship game if the teams ahead of them stumble.

I don't think any other Pac10 team has a shot at a BCS game aside from outright winning the Pac10 title.

So where do the rest of the Pac10 go?

From what I found:
Holiday Bowl (San Diego) - #2 Pac10
Sun Bowl (El Paso) - #3 Pac10
Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas of course!) - #4 Pac10
Emerald Bowl (San Francisco) - #5 Pac10
Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu) - #6 Pac10
Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego) - #7 Pac10

UCLA is currently in 7th place. But to be bowl eligible, they have to have 6 wins. They are currently 3-4 with 5 games to go.

Go Bruins!

UPDATE: From reading bowl web sites, it looks like Las Vegas and Emerald alternate access to the 4th and 5th place teams while Hawaii and Poinsettia will alternate the 6th and 7th finisher from year-to-year. It is not clear what their options are if those teams aren't bowl eligible. I suppose they can invite any bowl eligible …

Politics: Al Smith Dinner with Obama and McCain

Pretty funny stuff!

Here is an ABC news item about the famed charity dinner with what appears to be complete clips of Senators Obama and McCain in their stand up routines. The youtube clips seem to be incomplete but the sound quality appears a tad better.

Enjoy!

Sports: Spring is a little closer when you play in October

That was the sentiment in the Dodger Trolley as we trundled out the stadium.

Congrats to Philadelphia. They got the key hits and some great fielding to take game 5.

Thanks to the Dodgers for a great run in the last 1/3 and winning their first post-season series since 1988.

Will be back in the stands in 2009!

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Drat! Finally here t3 down 3-0 already. :-(

UPDATE: Turns out that I had no cell phone email transmission signal at Dodger's Stadium. 8-( I sent the two photos from the stadium as I was riding away on the Dodger Trolley.

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Almost there! At Union Station. Go blue!

Sports: Game 5, 5:22pm

Going tonight!

My first time at Dodger's Stadium for a playoff game!

The fans will be passionate but let's keep it safe and sane.

For some perspective on the game, check out Weisman's latest:

Don't make this game into something it's not. Don't even give one night the potential to destroy what was accomplished over an entire season. Tonight's game is not about character. It's simply about hoping to experience that joy of victory at least one more time before the sun sets on 2008 and, like 28 other teams, you try to do better next year.

UPDATE: Will try to cell-phone blog tonight! Will see if it works?!

Politics: Don't count your chickens before they hatch (Obama supporters) and don't give up yet (McCain supporters)

This political season has been full of surprises.

Clearly with the economic troubles and the Republicans having held the White House for two terms, the mood was going to be against any Republican candidate.

By rights, any generic Democrat running for the Presidency should easily have a 10% or bigger lead.

Aside from some blips in the polling (right around the conventions where both sides got a bounce) and the initial onslaught of the financial crisis (when Obama's lead got much larger), Obama's lead has been around 4-8%.

He really should be leading 10 to 15% under normal circumstances.

Some say it is latent racism in the polled voters. Some fear a Bradley Effect will shrink the margin even more when voters actually cast their ballots.

I don't know if there is a way for pollsters to guage such an effect. America has changed over the decades. Sure there will be some people who will NOT vote for Obama simply because of race and some will vote FOR Obama simply because of race s…

Sports: Dodgers on the edge down 3-1

Second guessing the manager is an inevitable feature of being a sports fan.

Going to Wade after he pitched 2 innings last night had me concerned.

But the missed opportunity of the bottom of the sixth really looms largest: two runs came in and the bases were loaded with no outs and they got no more runs that inning.

Time to unleash every cliche in the book for the Dodgers in game 5 where Billingsley who got shelled in game 2 goes up against ace Hamels.

I want to believe! Think Blue! Go Dodgers!

Sports: Just like that, the Dodgers are down 2-0 in the NLCS

Game 1 slipped away on two bad pitches.

Game 2 got away in a couple of bad innings.

Game 3 is pretty much must win.

Weisman sets the stage with some perspective in defense of Kemp who has struggled at the plate, some observations about the pitching situation and some other observations of games 1 and 2.

He concludes:

There should be a beautiful sunset tonight. When the game starts, the scoreboard will say 0-0. Let's have some fun.

I have tickets to game 5!

Here's hoping we leave Dodger's Stadium that night sending the team back on the road amid cheers of victory!

UPDATE: Dodgers 7 Philadelphia 2! See you at Dodgers Stadium for Game 5!

Science: Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2008

Woo hoo!

The GFP discoverers were honored with the prize.

Go to any research seminar in the life sciences and you are bound to see something with Green Fluorescent Protein.

Heck, even some of my research projects have used it!

Politics: A Positive Commentary Piece about Gov. Palin in Liberal University Paper!

Wow!

A pleasant surprise in the Daily Bruin the other day. As you might guess, UCLA is a pretty typical left leaning campus and its newspaper trends that way.

Well, a refreshing op-ed piece appeared.

Excerpts:

Sarah Palin got the Republican juices flowing in a way that John McCain simply couldn’t have, adding youthful exuberance and an enticing personality that sent a tingle down the spine of Middle America. But after the initial surge of enthusiasm, there were signs that Palin would fade into oblivion as a one-hit wonder.
.....
Why does the left hate her so much? Because Sarah Palin’s very existence is repugnant and frankly dangerous to the Democratic Party. The ascent of a red-blooded, pro-life woman to national office would deeply wound the party that capitalized on the women’s liberation movement.

Yes, Sarah Palin caused a paroxysm on the left. It was inconceivable – a woman running for national office who wasn’t part of the highbrow feminist literati. Is that allowed? Heck yeah it is! …

Science: Nobel Prize in Medicine for 2008

The prize has been announced today. See the press release from the Nobel Foundation.

Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, who identified the AIDS virus, split the prize with Harald zur Hausen'rk, who identified the virus behind cervical cancer.

Part of my molecular biology research life involved HIV/AIDS work in two different laboratories.

We all knew someday, the Nobel Prize would go to the discoverers of HIV. It was a question of when and whether or not the controversial Bob Gallo of NIH would also be recognized. Gallo was not mentioned in the press release.

Update: Here is a news summary from Science Magazine regarding the Nobel Prize announcement with comments from Gallo.

Politics: One of the reasons politics is poisoned in America

In lunch or dinnertime conversations, people lament the fighting between the political parties.

Indeed, on some issues, it is pretty much schoolyard level taunting. For those matters, I often feel "a plague on both their houses."

An issue which I think is a serious issue is ID checks for voting.

Here is an example where the two sides take completely opposite views and I don't see where compromise is even possible.

One side says this is voter intimidation.

The other side says it is to prevent voter fraud.

Who would be for voter intimidation? Who is for voter fraud?

Well, see below ...

Tucker of Atlanta Journal Constitution says ...

In campaign seasons such as this, when victory may turn on a handful of votes, none of those claims is more important to Republican activists than overhyped allegations of voter fraud.

During the past decade, GOP-dominated state legislatures across the country have used assertions of mischief at the ballot box to push through harsh voter ID laws. Repub…

Sports: The Dodgers go to the NLCS!!!

Wow! Dodgers take game 3, 3-1!!

Dodgers now await the results of the Philadelphia vs. Milwaukee series.

Go DODGERS!!!!

Politics: Veep Debate

Some instant reactions:

Biden's has a reputation for being a gaffe machine. He gave a pretty steady performance. He had a few verbal stumbles and some questionable facts but otherwise did fine.

Palin's reputation had been hammered into the ground with halting answers in some interviews. Thus, her performance last night was a success by reminding the voters of the woman who hit it out of the park at the GOP convention. Of course, she too had some questionable facts but she did what she had to do to reassure people she was up to the task.

The over-arching narrative however will probably be unchanged. At best, McCain-Palin may gain a point or two.

You really can't ask a VEEP debate to change the overall direction of a campaign. The prime example of that was 1988. Bentsen clearly dominated the debate over Quayle but Dukakis-Bentsen still went down to a big defeat. Palin can energize the base which she definitely has but its up to McCain to do his part and move the independe…

Sports: Dodgers take game two!

Politics: 269-269, what happens then?

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A casual reader of this blog knows that I'm a supporter of McCain-Palin.

However, I do strive to be a fair minded analyst of the passing scene. Without a doubt, Sen. Obama is ahead. With the struggling economy, an unpopular war, the mainstream media backing Obama and the GOP having held the White House for two terms, the tide against McCain is strong. The fact that it is even moderately close is an indication of the weakness of Sen. Obama as a candidate.

Without a dramatic shift in the undecideds for McCain, Obama will be the next president.

However, if a shift does occur, is it possible to get a tie in the electoral college?

Play with the states and it is possible.



What happens then?

The Constitution calls for the newly elected House of Representatives to vote for president by state delegations and for the Senate to vote for vice-president.

If you are teaching US History or just curious, be sure to get "After the People Vote".

Sports: Dodgers take Game One!

Nice!

Dodgers win 7-2 on the strength of a James Loney grand slam!

Great pitching by Lowe, Wade, Broxton and Maddux!

Politics: How Gov. Palin Might Answer One of the Questions?

She's got many advisers in her corner.

However, if I were helping craft a response to this question ...

Gov. Palin, please respond to the concern that voters have about your lack of international experience.

I would suggest something like this ...

Compared to Sen. John McCain, I'd say Sen. Obama, Sen. Biden and I have relatively less foreign policy experience.

Though voters do value experience, in my lifetime, several governors have been elected president who also had to respond to the criticism that they didn't have extensive experience in world affairs.

I think what people are looking for is: what does this candidate believe about America and its place in the world? Would I trust this person to make wise decisions that would affect my son or daughter who is serving in our armed forces?

I'm proud to be an American. I believe America, in addition to being a strong nation, is a good nation. As such, we have the opportunity to help other nations out of the abundance God has…

Politics: The Gwen Ifil Controversy

There is controversy swirling around the debate moderator, Gwen Ifil, because of her upcoming book, "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."

Bill Dyer neatly sums up the controversy. Excerpt:

Ms. Ifill ought to have disclosed the plans for the book to the Commission and to both campaigns. Now, even with both campaigns consenting to her going forward, she still owes a duty to the public to re-disclose her personal financial stake in the election at the beginning of the debate.

What kind of outcry would their have been if Journalist Jane were the moderator and she were writing a book with the title, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Politics and Gender in the Age of Palin?"

Politics: Angry about the bailout

The people are upset.

The average Joe and Jane American made a careful decision about the home they bought or have decided to rent because they weren't in a position financially to buy a home.

Now, they see the government using their tax dollars to bailout people who recklessly bought homes when they really couldn't afford them and to rescue a mortgage lending industry that took foolish risks. The people are rightly angry and are loath to trust the government to fix a problem that the government helped create!

Of course, the financial mess is still out there, what are we to do?

Saw this item on CNN.com yesterday. Makes sense to me. What do you think?

Excerpt:

The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the center of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on t…