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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Michigan gets 1/2 vote at compromise allocation

....Michigan about 2/3 baked. (Obama got both the 1/2 penalty and the more favorable allocation ...!).

Obama's magic number is now projected at 4.5 delegates, assuming Clinton nets 11 delegates from Puerto Rico and Obama nets 2 and 1 out of the other two races (assuming also that Obama gets the remaining Edwards delegate-votes).

Clinton will appeal, naturally. The question is whether it will just be a placemarker appeal or a vociferous one. If the supers do not shut-down the race decisively, she will fight for the "uncommitted" out of Michigan, possibly. It's unclear whether those already chosen for "Uncommitted" by Michigan will be vetted by the Obama campaign or not (it's not clear they were) ...

The new number is 2117 (there will only be 296 supers in the end, not 297).

Projection1:
Days UntilProjected Margin Clinton over ObamaClinton Net Pickup (Loss) PledgedClinton Net Pickup (Loss) SupersObama Magic #Clinton Magic #Elected Remaining
Pennsylvania-39-

368.5509408
Guam-29
0
366.5507404
Indiana-26
4
332.5469332
North Carolina-26
-19
265.5421217
West Virginia-19
12
257.5401189
Kentucky-12
23
243.5364138
Oregon-12
-10
212.534386
Michigan Adj
50%5
183308.5
Florida Adj
50%12.5
143256
Edwards, pledged
--18
125256332
Supers, since NC
-
-60.555.5247217
Puerto Rico020%11
33.521431
Montana2-10%-2
24.520715
South Dakota2-10%-1
16.52000
Total:
-

4.5
6.5*



*The reduction to 4.5 6.5 is due incorporation of 10 FL, MI supers at 1/2 strength, the 7 5 Pelosi-club supers, 6 4 undeclared and 1 who will switch.

Put another way, Clinton will need 192.5 delegates at the end of all these adjustments. There will be a projected 197, after adjusting for the Pelosi club and what is known about how the Fl, MI supers will split. That's a must-do capture rate of 97.7%.

WORSE CASE SCENARIO

As noted, the wildcard at this point is a fight for more out of Michigan, possibly.

Assuming a fight produced 100% seating for Michigan and Clinton persuaded 14 of the delegates pledged to "Uncommitted" to her camp (a net swing of 28). She'd still need 87% of all the remaining delegates, with a magic number of 179.

*Update and caveat: I haven't update the Pelosi club membership list since about two weeks ago. There are two supers who have since declared for Obama. Add two to the figures for Obama above, for net of 6.5

Florida - Now 7/8th Baked

Nothing is fully baked until the convention, but it appears Florida is on track with 1/2 votes for all delegates.

This gives Hillary 12.5 net pledged delegate-votes (assuming Edwards delegates all vote for Obama). She picks up about 7.5 delegate-votes from supers who have expressed a preference. The pool of available supers expands by a mere 15 delegates, or less than 10% of the approximately 189 remaining...

To give a sense for just how meaningless the "fight" is, Clinton's projected must-do percentage among remaining delegates drops from something near 98% to something near 91% ...

Passing Time

I'd don't imagine that there would be a consensus on an absolute hot. Absolute zero has a physical interpretation, even if it is a theoretical concept. There would seem to be many levels of "hotness" relative to a material/substance, with no such thing as "total hotness" (except maybe a temperature at which no matter existed, a kind of nonsense concept?).

Bad Timing of Rules Making

YET ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC PARTY EVENT THAT IS NOT A 'KNOCK-OUT'

Consider:

Anything that looks like a Clinton "victory" (including a delay in rules making) is problematic, because it tips the vote in Puerto Rico. You just know that campaign Clinton will be out in force saying that they "have a chance".

Even if the delegations are seated at full strength, Obama is only about 25 delegates from even the full 2209, on my projected figures, assuming all Edwards delegates go to him (including the Florida ones) and counting the quasi-declared supers from Florida and Michigan.

At the break, in a nutshell...

What to do about voters too stupid to have stayed home...

Am I right?

(...including 30,000 who used write-in votes that even the Michigan state party said would not be counted - update your popular vote count with that 30K, btw, about 19,444 for Obama, based on a same split as exit polls).

Michigan demands full voting for "flawed primary"

...unbelievably brazen. From Senator Levin.

All the allocation "arguments" will be a lot easier at 1/2 vote, including the nonsense of having a two-name "contest".

I can hardly wait to the Q&A for this one, on how a self-respecting rules-committee can provide a waiver for an intentionally flawed primary.

You start to see that the committee is going to get a lot of pressure for "full voting", just to put the problem behind them.

It's the height of irony that a state that would threaten the party with a flawed primary AND then claim that they deserve the right to go up to the front of the class ... threaten to upset the convention, also. What if everyone acted like they did?

Of the two, Michigan's case is ... the most bogus.

THE BOGUS NEW-HAMPSHIRE-IS-WORSE-THAN-US CLAIM

New Hampshire, as I understand it, has always been part of the pre-window. They moved within the window, and got a waiver. Michigan actually changed which window it was in.

THE BOGUS SEQUENCING CLAIM

Senator Levin seems unaware that the actual sequencing seems to have achieved exactly what the framers intended. The way South Carolina voted was influenced in a real way by the way Iowa and New Hampshire voted. And frankly, the idea that Michiganders could get to vet a candidate as thoroughly as the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire, much smaller states, is pretty lame, even if one agrees that the early voting sequence adversely influences U.S. policy in some areas (including the "ethanol pledge").

Play at Maximum Volume

12:03 p.m. ... it's over-the-top, now.

The only thing missing is an organ and double-orchestra.

A Standing Ovation at a Rules Committee Meeting

...you couldn't make this stuff up.

Seriously, it's like a political machinists dream: you manufacture an issue (sort-of) that you ride in to solve ("count every vote!").

If it weren't so lamentable, it'd be an admirable political coup.

Florida "rehash"

What is Bill Nelson's problem?

It's astounding to me that "the story of Florida" has not really ever been covered in the press, for those outside Florida.

If I'm wrong, show me the major news coverage ... I know I went looking, at one point, and couldn't find zip. (Mr. Super's excellent, but exceptionally "neutral", timeline was up just on May 28th!).

I welcome Bob Nelson's telling us what happened, frankly.

The upshot of the answer to these questions is why campaign Clinton hasn't put more "blame" on the Republican legislature (and why Obama's hasn't either, for that matter). The Florida GOP certainly have been out very, very actively trying to pre-empt and deflect criticism, right, because they know that it could become an election-year issue for the GOP?

A boost for Supers?

Whether it is rules-based or not, the idea of seating pledged delegates at 1/2 while giving supers a full vote is ridiculous on the numbers.

Under that proposal, this is how much of the total vote the "super" part of the delegation would count. Surprisingly, Florida is at the bottom of the table and Michigan looks at the bottom of the second third. The variation among the states is also quite amazing, yes?

State
% Super
% Super
w/boost

American Samoa
67%
80%
Virgin Islands
67%
80%
District of Columbia
62%
76%
Guam
56%
71%
North Dakota
38%
55%
Democrats Abroad
36%
53%
Rhode Island
36%
53%
Montana
36%
53%
Delaware
35%
52%
South Dakota
35%
52%
Vermont
35%
52%
Wyoming
33%
50%
New Mexico
32%
48%
Hawaii
31%
47%
Maryland
29%
45%
West Virginia
28%
44%
Alaska
28%
43%
New Hampshire
27%
42%
Nevada
26%
42%
Arkansas
26%
41%
Maine
25%
40%
Massachusetts
23%
38%
Nebraska
23%
37%
Kansas
22%
36%
Idaho
22%
36%
Colorado
21%
35%
Iowa
21%
35%
Oklahoma
21%
34%
Utah
21%
34%
Connecticut
20%
33%
Oregon
20%
33%
Tennessee
20%
33%
Washington
20%
33%
Wisconsin
20%
33%
Mississippi
20%
33%
Michigan
18%
31%
Minnesota
18%
31%
Missouri
18%
31%
Virginia
18%
30%
New York
17%
30%
Illinois
17%
29%
South Carolina
17%
29%
Arizona
16%
28%
Louisiana
16%
28%
California
16%
28%
New Jersey
16%
27%
Pennsylvania
16%
27%
Texas
15%
27%
Indiana
15%
27%
Kentucky
15%
26%
Georgia
15%
26%
North Carolina
14%
25%
Alabama
13%
24%
Ohio
13%
23%
Puerto Rico
13%
23%
Florida
12%
22%
Average
25%
39%

Playing the POW card ...

From this bit in the NYRB, one gathers why Rove, et. al., went after McCain's service ("traitor", etc.) and raised questions about his "hidden [black] children"...

The power of images in this campaign ...

[McCain's Vietnam story] a staggering story, told most grippingly, in my reading, by David Foster Wallace.

It is also just the right tale of heroism for an unwanted war. If McCain had shot down the greatest number of North Vietnamese, who would celebrate him? If he had led a great raid, most people would be indifferent to him, or—worse—Seymour Hersh or some other investigative journalist would likely have found out by now that innocent women and children were slaughtered. It was by suffering in a cell, serving as a kind of metaphor for American suffering in a war most Americans gave up on early in his confinement, but at the same time holding fast to principle under the most unimaginable circumstances, thereby redeeming some notion of American honor in a dishonorable situation, that McCain became an American hero. Liberal opponents of the war, who seldom acknowledged the repressive brutality of the North Vietnamese regime, were put on the defensive by the story of how he was tortured.

The tale has had a particularly talismanic effect on Baby Boomer journalists, many of whom probably opposed the war when they were young, or did not serve, or both, and thus reflexively grant McCain great moral authority.



There is also a sample, boilerplate interview with McCain, which just struck me, because it was so obviously written before McCain pulled out his I-served-and-you-didn't line this past week, which now looks like a stock manoeuvre.

There is more in the article. It focuses on three lines of critique. 1. Temper 2. Policy Record 3. a "reinvented" candidate/nominee unlike "McCain".

From the footnotes, a new chapter on how the corporate press amplifies the McCain myth.

Discovery Launch Today, 2205Z


From the countdown to 2205 Zulu:

  • Chill down propellant transfer lines (7:37 a.m. EST)
  • Begin loading the external fuel tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants (about 7:47 a.m.)
  • Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 10:37 a.m.)
  • Final Inspection Team proceeds to launch pad

Friday, May 30, 2008

Full Metal Jacket - Bush Just Can't Stop Shooting

THE FIGHTING CAN'T END - THE FIGHTING IS ALL BUT OVER

Just days after Bush lied in front of and to the troops, saying that al-qa'ida would be "emboldened" by any US moves, his national director of intelligence says that al-qa'ida is all but finished in Iraq ... ("near strategic defeat").

It's no surprise, then, that Bush tucked fancy new nation-building objectives into his speech (there are now economic mission objectives).

Fine Young Puritans

Today's primal scream break, with These New Puritans (Elvis):


Online, TV, the Labor-Leisure Tradeoff, Your Health, Congestion, and the 21st Century

AS finds a nifty article.

Online addictions are taking over:


Television continues to be a big part of leisure time [fascinating link]:

  • Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion


How big?

Well, compare with the ever growing waste that is traffic:

  • Traffic congestion continues to worsen in American cities of all sizes, creating a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel—that's 105 million weeks of vacation and 58 fully-loaded supertankers.

More from the Great Quake in Szechuan Province

THE STORY OF THE CHILDREN AND ALL THOSE COLLAPSED SCHOOLS

"I saw a butterfly fluttering between pretty shoes on the feet of a young girl which stuck from the rubble. As I pressed the shutter I mourned for this young soul and moved away to leave her be. The next day, I saw a mother searching in the rubble for her daughter; she sobbed as she told me she had forced her 4-year-old daughter to go to school that day although she said she felt unwell. She kept saying, “I killed my own daughter”, and begged me not to shoot pictures of her…" - Jason Lee, Reuters blog for its photographers

Steichen Exhibit at National Portrait Gallery


Edward Steichen's photo of Willa Cather.

See other online exhibts, including one for poster lovers, called Ballyhoo! (Bette Midler and then Clark Gable doing wartime propaganda...). Another for Herbert Block's political cartoon artwork.

Lamda Literary Awards

The ceremonies were last night, reportedly.

Naturally, I've done the gay thing, i.e. "I've read the review" (actually, not even that, for many of them).

One I noticed that AS touted on his blog, "Mississippi Sissy", by Kevin Sessums, which won in the category of Men's memoir/biography.

Statistical Leap of Faith

READING BETWEEN THE LINES DIGITS

Jay Cost says Obama is a statistical leap of faith:

We are on better ground when we are using the "old" Democratic coalition as a baseline for interpreting the primary results. We have a better sense of the voters we are looking for. The coalition the Obama campaign may hope to build has never existed before - so we do not know exactly which voters to look at just yet. Indeed, it may very well be that a new Obama coalition does exist right now - but the polling cross-tabs, which have been designed based upon experience with previous elections and old coalitions, are actually cutting through it, obscuring its presence.


I suspect that Obama and McCain are competing for the same set of swing voters. It's a real head-to-head.

Obama doesn't have a signature issue, quite yet...right?

Creative Ambiguity

Charles Krauthammer seems to be able to summon ambiguity when it suits him:

I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats.

Of course, the prudent course of action, when something "can't be very good" and it's fairly plain that the process is irreversible, is to ... well, curb your dog, curtail yourself, act responsibly. The policy question is quite a bit easier than the science question ...

The truth is that Krauthammer's view of the world essentially weighs the current costs against unkown future costs and chooses the current ones, with a certainty under the guise of ambiguity.

HATE AMERICA

Separately, why does Victor Davis Hanson hate America so much? (I couldn't resist, sorry. Let me be the first to question his patriotism and see how he likes it ...)

The Game is Over

Like Mohammad-al-Douri, Ari has a ways to go, yet:

Iran: A game of degrees, not a pissing match

David Brooks pens a column that suggests that the "Iran plan" ought to be a concerted, long-term effort, probably of the containment variety (something that doesn't fit well with the Russert enabled red-line crowd).

It's not clear that "opinion" matters to either Hezbollah or to Iran, right now. The one has just achieved an unprecedented political coup, getting Ayatollah-like "veto" authority. The other will guard "the Islamic revolution of Iran" with a Stalinist zeal...

Syria is not that hard to understand, is it?

A resurgent Iraq, over the next twelve years, could be the wildcard that Brooks doesn't mention ...

On thing he forgets from his memo, "The nervous militarists in Israel may require your veto in the security council, at any given time."

Help the College Republicans!



Someone please set-up a fund to buy books for the College Republicans!

That way, they can avoid having to find Truth/Jesus after serving in Republican administrations and asking, "Wha Happen?"

New Estimates - Nothing to See Here

Two new concepts to incorporate, while updating the figures: Markos suggested a methodology for estimating the popular vote, yesterday. Poblano suggests an estimate that uses exit poll data (I had used another source).

The most important take-away is that all figures relating to a "popular vote" in the nomination race are estimates, unlike the general election. (The second most important take-away is that estimates that show no "popular votes" for Obama out of Michigan are pablum, to be wholly ignored).

WHAT TO DO WITH THE NON-BINDING PRIMARY FIGURES?

Unlike Markos, I've completely discounted the votes from non-binding primaries. There seems to be no reason to believe that they are highly representative, precisely because they are non-binding. Because they are after-the-fact, they are not even straw-polls (if memory serves, Washington simply stopped counting the votes at circa 90% done, even). Texas, however, is a binding, combined primary-caucus state. Something could be done, possibly, but it would involve eliminating double-counting, a bridge too far.

BETTER EXIT POLL DATA FOR MICHIGAN

I've incorporated the alternative exit poll data. One has to judge between incorporating actual votes cast and how much adjusting to do. Of course, one could do the full adjustment, for both Michigan and Florida. That's too much of a departure, for me. However, there is a strong case to be made for adjusting the turnout for Florida and Michigan:

By contrast, Michigan's turnout in its unsanctioned Democratic primary was 594,398, or only 7.8 percent of its eligible voting age population. That is about three-and-a-half times less than it "should" have been, based on the patterns in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Except that adjusting one without the other magnifies any bias already in the numbers.

Clinton gets Ricky Martin...
DATA MAVENS TIP HAND ON PUERTO RICO LIKELIHOODS

Last, there appears to be better info floating around to help estimate Puerto Rico turnout. The margins I have seem reasonable, but the turnout could be as much as half of what I've conservatively estimated. If so, there is little convincing chance that Hillary comes out a leader in the popular vote estimate. I like to be sure of these things, before continuing on.

Despite these expert estimates, I'm not changing my guesses, for now, which are based on the number of people who voted in the race for the Governor last time (the primary in Puerto Rico is an open primary) and the theory that Bill and Hill could convince a lot that their vote really counts. At 500K, officials are expecting less than 1/3 of my estimate, so I'm very conservative ...

1. Only estimates for the popular vote can be made (no direct observation possible). Updates for Kentucky, Oregon, and various other adjusted/finalized figures.


StateObamaClintonDifference
Primaries, States15,862,33915,778,39783,942
MI, FL Adj; BHO=23%713,0091,199,295-486,286
MI Adj: BHO=29%

38,660
memo: MI Adj: BHO=35%*

32,712
memo: MI Adj: BHO=35%, HRC=46%*

54,718
Tally, adjusted:16,575,34816,977,692-363,684
Projections (OR, MT, SD):491,517357,083134,434
Subtotal, Tally & Projected17,066,86517,334,775-229,250




Caucuses, States & D.C.437,810184,153253,657
IA, ME, NV, WA Adj253,948186,93467,013
Tally:691,758371,087320,670
Caucus-to-Primary Adj

560,789
Subtotal, Tally, adjusted:2,908,4312,026,972881,459




Caucuses & Primaries, Territories19,37110,0709,301
Projections (PR remains)768,8001,153,200-384,400
Subtotal, Tally & Projected788,1711,163,270-375,099




Grand Total20,763,46820,525,017277,110
*figures presented as incremental impact, so you can add them to totals to further adjust.

FYI, These primary-state numbers foot to the RCP totals, except for Oregon (I have the most current figures). RCP figures have a much higher adjustment for the non-reporting caucus states of IA, ME, NV, and WA., of about 40K more. They don't show their work, so I don't know why.


Gory details, here [Zoho spreadsheet. printable].

Small Government Conservative Watch: Breaking the Law

It wouldn't be the first time the Bush Administration was breaking the law.

For instance, by law, the DoD have been required to provide projections of the costs for the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Administration has yet to provide anything but reasons why no estimates can be made ...

Yesterday, however, bowing to court pressure only, they released the work taxpayers gave up their money to study, namely the periodic assessment of the threats from global warming.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Breaking: Bush in Loop on Plame Outing

McClellan is telling Oberman about l'affair Plame that Bush either offered cover or was directly involved, not as a director, but as a decider.

Bush told McClellan that he had authorized the release of the classified information about Plame.

McClellan is saying that he told the grand jury this.

Can we say, "Fitzgerald, under-prosecution of the decade?" No? Modern times?

No wonder he was so quick to pardon Scooter. He was pardoning himself...

Update: from HuffPo

Vortex of Understanding

THE TINCTURE OF RANCOR

As all eyes turn to this weekend's televised DNC rules committee meeting, I have to say that the tea leaves are reading a disorganized, ill-prepped meeting - the tincture of rancor.

Let's hope I'm wrong.

Separately, it's not clear whether Senator Levin has "dug in" or is just making a 'best case'. Threatening the party is not the way to go, whatever the case ...

Hillary has raised a personal army of 10,000 brownshirts, reportedly, who want to make sure the rules committee feels political pressure.

It might be working. The good folks at DemConvWatch have actually considered a scenario with 1/2 vote for pledged delegates and full votes for supers, a schema that would raise the importance of supers to 45% of the vote out of Michigan!

A Diplomacy-centered Foreign Policy


A NEW CONCEPT FOR THE RIGHT-WING AND 'SOCCER-MOMS'

AS writes:

My major worry about Obama is the ghost of Jimmy Carter. Will Obama be too reflexively diplomatic?


Grrrrrr...!!!!

The real worry is that he fails to find a full-throated defense of diplomacy and "triangulates" with the blood-lust that is required by our war-culture, rather than do transformational politics. Even the military is calling for broad use of all the instruments of government. Newt Gingrich, an almost complete non-diplomat if there ever was one, has called for doubling of the State Department.

The word is that there are more lawyers at The "War Department" than diplomats at The State Department. More musicians too.

The idea that one has to apologize for diplomacy in America is a horrible defacement of the mission of State perpetrated by the Reagan Devolutionaries, now long in the tooth but hardly dispatched yet.
The Kossacks were right to laud Obama in the last round with McCain on that issue (precipitated by the Knesset fumble). The idea that one has to apologize for diplomacy in America is a horrible defacement of the mission of State perpetrated by the Reagan Devolutionaries, now long in the tooth but hardly dispatched yet.

What's more, one should totally reject the notion that Carter, a Navy man, was "weak", I think. Especially with regard to Iranian hostages, Carter had the discipline to follow the strategic imperative of the situation, which was patience. All the hostages came home. (Bush-41, much criticized at the time, did not go on to Baghdad, because he had no defined, contained, military mission he could carry off. Was that weak?)

Along came Ronald Reagan, with his utterly cheap, feel-good politics. People re-imagine that the demagoguery of it all was "strong" (it certainly got political traction), but it didn't achieve much of anything, did it, except coarsen the American "We are #1" rhetoric, until it became possible to smoke that pipe to the tune of a $1 trillion dollar "war" against Saddam Hussein (and counting...).

Update: More here, from a viewpoint I agree with - a great deal, but not all, of the frustration of the Carter years was tied up with the Dem Congress...

Weekly Casualty Lists: Week 22, Yr OEF+7

This is an update for 2 weeks.

First Lithuanian on the list since they've been put up here.

Two journalists. Reuters has more.

Could be the first 2-week period in which more downed in Afghanistan than in Iraq. I don't keep such stats though - that's just an eyeballing of the data.


WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: MNF-IRAQ

-------Rank, NationalitySrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death

Frank J. Gasper, 25U.S. ArmyMerced, CA
Sergeant, 3rd BN, 10th Special Forces Group
Najaf; 25-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Blake W. Evans, 24U.S. ArmyRockford, IL
Sergeant, 2nd BN, 327th Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, (Air Assault) 101st Airborne Division
Al Jazeera Desert; 25-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Jason F. Dene, 37U.S. ArmyCastleton, VT
Sergeant 1st Class, 1st BN, 64th Armor Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Baghdad; 25-May-08; Non-hostile - injury

Kyle Phillip Norris, 22U.S. ArmyZanesville, OH
Private 1st Class, 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Iskandariyah (died in Balad); 22-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

Howard A. Jones, jr. 35U.S. ArmyChicago, IL
Private 1st Class, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Divisi
Chicago; 18-May-08; Non-hostile - vehicle hit and run

Branden P. Haunert, 21U.S. ArmyBlue Ash, OH
Private, 2nd BN, 327th Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, (Air Assault) 101st Airborne Division
Tikrit; 18-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

John K. Daggett, 21U.S. ArmyPhoenix, AZ
Sergeant, 1st BN, 14th Infantry Reg, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Halifax, Canada; 15-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - RPG attack

Victor M. Cota, 33U.S. ArmyTucson, AZ
Sergeant, Special Troops BN, 4th Infantry Division
Baghdad (Kadamiyah); 14-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: ISAF-AFGHANISTAN

------Name, AgeSrv BranchCountry

Rank, Unit

Location; Circumstance of Death
Justin L. Buxbaum, 23U.S. ArmySouth Portland, ME
Specialist, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade
Kushamond; 26-May-08; Non-hostile - injury
Christopher Gathercole, 21U.S. ArmySanta Rosa, CA
Specialist, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Ghor province; 26-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
Dale Gostick, 22British Royal MarineOxford-UK
Marine, 3 Troop Armoured Support Company
Sangin (Helmand Province); 25-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
David L. Leimbach, 38U.S. Army National GuardTaylors, SC
Specialist, 1st BN, 118th Infantry, South Carolina Army National Guard
Bala Baluk (Farah province); 25-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire, RPG
Ivar Brok, 30Estonian.a.-Estonia
Sergeant Major (vanemveebel), NSE-5
Not reported yet; 24-May-08; Non-hostile
Arunas Jarmalavicius, 35Lithuanian Armyn.a.-Lithuania
Sergeant, Grand Duchess Birute Motorised Infantry Battalion
Ghor province; 22-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
Jeffrey A. Ammon, 37U.S. NavyOrem, UT
Lieutenant, Commander Navy Region Northwest
Aband District; 20-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Jeffrey F. Deprimo, 35U.S. Army National GuardPittston, PA
1st Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, 103rd Armor Regiment, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
Ghazni; 20-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Joseph A. Moore, 54U.S. Air National GuardBoise, ID
Lieutenant Colonel, 124th Wing, Idaho Air National Guard
Djibouti; 20-May-08; Non-hostile - natural causes
William Justin L. Cooper, 22U.S. MarineEupora, MS
Corporal, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Helmand Province; 19-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - small arms fire
James Christopher Thompson, 27British ArmyTyneside-UK
Not reported yet, Not reported yet
Musa Qala (Helmand Province); 19-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - Explosion
Davy N. Weaver, 39U.S. ArmyBarnesville, GA
Master Sergeant, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard
Qalat (Zabul Province); 18-May-08; Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack

WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: IRAQI CIVILIAN, counted by large event


WEEKLY CASUALTY LIST: JOURNALISTS IN IRAQ

Counted Civilian Casualties: 152 this week; 175 last week; 178 prior week.
Counted bodies found: 40 this week; 42 last week; 40 prior week.
Tuesday 27 May: 19 dead
Baghdad: 3 bodies.
DiyalaBomb in house kills Sahwa member.


Baquba-Muqdadiya road: gunmen shoot at car, kill 1.
Ninewa
Tal Afar: car bomb kills 6.
Mosul: gunmen kill policeman; gunmen kill woman.
Salahuddin
Baiji: gunmen kill 3 technicians trying to fix oil pipeline.
Anbar
Falluja: roadside bombs kill 3 policemen.
Monday 26 May: 12 dead
Baghdad: 2 bodies.
Salahuddin
Tarmiya: suicide bomber kills 6 Sahwa members and policemen.
Diyala
Mohammed Taha: gunmen kill Sahwa member.
Abu Saida: gunmen kill policeman.
Bani Saad: bomb kills policeman.
Sulaimaniya
Iranian border: border guard is shot dead by Iranian forces.
Sunday 25 May: 21 dead
Baghdad: roadside bomb kills 1, Suleikh; gunmen kill health official, Tunis; 2 killed during US/Iraqi forces - gunmen, Amin; 1 Sahwa member is killed by roadside bomb; attack on Babil governor kills 1 bodyguard, Qadisiya; rocket kills 3, Shula; 4 bodies.
Diyala
Imam Weis: gunmen kill tanker driver.
Azzat: gunmen kill Sahwa member.
Baquba: bomb kills 1.
Ninewa
Mosul: roadside bomb kills 2 policemen; gunmen kill 1; 1 body is found.
Babil
Hilla: 1 body is found.
Saturday 24 May: 18 dead
Baghdad: bomb stuck on back of minibus kills 3 tribal chiefs, Mansour; gunmen kill 2 delegates from Diyala after meeting, Harithiya; 3 bodies.
Basra
Basra: gunmen kill owner of currency exchange office.
Ninewa
Mosul: US troops open fire and kill 2 civilians, after coming under attack.
Diyala
Baquba: gunmen kill Sahwa member.
Sama: gunmen kill policeman.
Shohada: gunmen kill 3 family members.
Kirkuk
Perdey: 2 bodies of women found along with a baby.
Friday 23 May: 24 dead
Baghdad: 5 bodies.
Anbar
Falluja: car bomb explodes killing policeman trying to defuse it; roadside bomb strikes patrol, kills Iraqi interpreter; suicide car bomber kills 6 at checkpoint.
Kirkuk
Hawija: roadside bomb kills 1.
Ninewa
Mosul: gunmen kill woman; 1 body found.
Misherfa: 5 bodies found.
Diyala
Muqdadiya: body found.
Salahuddin
Samarra: body found.
Basra
Basra: police kill man as they shoot in the air to break up crowd gathering for prayers.
Thursday 22 May: 12 dead
Baghdad: 6 bodies.
Ninewa
Mosul: 5 bodies.
Kirkuk
Kirkuk: gunmen kill policeman.
Wednesday 21 May: 46 dead
Baghdad: car bomb kills 3, Mansour; mortars kill 3; US patrol kills 8 after coming under roadside attack, Obaidi; 5 bodies.
Diyala
Jalawla: gunmen kill 4 Kurdish security members.
Abbara: 10 bodies found, one of them belonging to a journalist.
Al-Shamathib: 2 bodies of detainees found.
Salahuddin
Baiji: US helicopter fires on car, kills 8, including 2 children.
Anbar
Rutba: suicide bomber kills 3 Sahwa members.
NameDate
Circumstances
Wissam Ali Auda21-May-08
Wissam Ali Auda was killed Wednesday by sniper fire in the Obeidi area...the 30-year-old cameraman apparently got caught in the crossfire...as he was on his way home.
Haidar al-Husseini21-May-08
In Diyala province, the body of Haidar al-Husseini who works for the local al-Sharq newspaper, was found on Wednesday in the town of Buhruz south of the provincial capital of Baquba, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

src: MNF-I, MNF-A, journalists from icasualties.org; Iraqi Civiilan: iraqbodycount.org; Afghan events from Bill Roggio, other sources

McCain Indecisive Maverick Watch

McCain cannot seem to choose a VP. He should be pressured to pick one.

Anyone who wants to see a Democratic President ought to move to Ohio, even temporarily ...

Here is what Romney will add to the ticket in Michigan. Pretty sobering:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Paragraph 175

Which two boffo architectural triumphs appear inappropriately similar?

"Extended Race" Charade Update

Hillary declared herself the frontrunner, today:

"And based on every analysis, of every bit of research and every poll that has been taken and every state that a Democrat has to win, I am the stronger candidate..."
STUMP-MEMO CREATES SOMETHING CALLED THE "LAST ROUND"

In a creative memo, campaign Clinton invented something called the "last round".

Is there any wonder how sub-prime securities with "AAA" ratings got sold?

[Update: Poblano has a picture of "round three", the kitchen sink ...]

PRESCRIBING SOLUTIONS IS HARMFUL TO PARTY

Wolfson in particular seems to ignore that his statements, while great for his candidate, are a travesty when it comes to running a political party ...

People will remember. His book deal is his retirement party?

PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PENNSYLVANIA

In a bit that may have caused Ed Rendell to talk up today, the Clinton campaign memo brazenly states, "The road to Pennsylvania Avenue goes through Ohio and Florida" (p. 3)

Not to nitpick, but ...

The symbolically important street was named for Pennsylvania as consolation for moving the capital from Philadelphia. -wikipedia

Corporate America Bows to Xenophobic Freak(s)

"Don't tase me, bro!" - The Rachael Ray photo that
mobilized ultra-rightwing gladiators.


THE WOMAN WHO MISTOOK A SCARF FOR A TERRORIST

If the image of the kaffiyeh starts to get associated with babelicious types who drink Dunken Donuts Coolattas, isn't that a worst nightmare to those who want it to mean something else?
Michelle Malkin's campaign against the wonder bra Rachael Ray scarf (supposedly a Kaffiyeh) has to go into the pantheon of the supreme paranoia that drives that part of the GOP's ultra-right approach to all things foreign.

HIDE YOUR KAFTANS - THEY ARE WATCHING

Even the Little Green Footballer is in on the gig, worried about the "mainstreaming of terrorism".

I've looked at their "arguments".

IT'S TASER-TIME WITH/FOR RACHAEL RAY!

I have one question. If everyone wears a kaffiyeh, doesn't it start to lose its symbolism (if you believe it has much)? If the image of the kaffiyeh starts to get associated with babelicious types who drink Dunken Donuts Coolattas, isn't that a worst nightmare to those who want it to mean something else?

As such, isn't the mainstreaming of these symbols, to co-opt them, a kind of smart counter-insurgency?

McCain Reveals Deep Vulnerability

McCain today on Phil Gramm as campaign paid lobbyist:

"Phil Gramm...honorable...Senate...and, of course, he's never lobbied me."


Neither did Vicki Iseman, Senator? In other words, can we be sure you'd recognize a schmooze when it happened?

The more you look at that statement the more you realize how much it reveals about how and why he is deeply vulnerable on these issues ...

Small Government Conservative Watch: Auditless Spending

"Small government" has translated into spending accounts at the DoD that simply do not add up. The estimated gap?

It said 152 billion dollars in money spent on weapons acquisitions in 2007 received insufficient audit coverage. -AFP

IG here.

More (from payments made in Iraq, Egypt, and Kuwait report):

McClellan II: A Giant Sink Hole Opens for GOP

Sometimes the aftermath is either more grave or more hilarious than the event.

Tonight, Ari Fleischer took to the airwaves to impugn Scott McClellan, providing a lecture on "the principled thing to do". Naturally, Fleischer's own super-financed, "principled" Feedom's Watch is up for at least two three seemingly very legitimate complaints to the Federal Election Commission ...

Life always surpasses art.

Supreme Court Stops Reruns of HBO’s ‘Recount’


via All the News That's Fit to Fabricate

Gallup: Hillary Wins on Paper!!!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!



Obama does too !!! :




Other people winning on paper: Al Gore; Eleanor Roosevelt; Ginger Rogers

What to do?

Obviously, the Lanny Davis "compromise", taken right out of Paper Moon: "Do you have two tens for a five?". It's only fair.

Update: Gallup doesn't do especially well ... via Poblano

Jerry Lewis Asked to Host McCain Lobbyist-a-thon

The latest act in John McCain's "Revised Ethics" Lobbyist-a-thon: former TEXASS Senator Phil Gramm.

I've updated the sidebar here. [See "Protean McCain"]

Special Rules for GOP Operatives

FOX - NO GUTTER TOO CROWDED

Man who refuses to sit for The People (under subpoena even) still gets a prominent position on FOX.

I don't get that. If most people refused to cooperate with any kind of investigation in normal civil life, they'd get the boot so fast it might break the sound barrier.

Not Karl Rove. He gets to run around like nothing ever happened (although he tells GOP audiences that he expects to be indicted, just not for what).

Anyway, here is GS trying to get Rove to talk about what he will not talk about:

The Week in Salads

Watermelon and banana, with a dollop of strawberry sorbet in the middle. Kiwis when you have them. If the watermelon you got is a bit of a dud, try splashing some juice on it. This doesn't keep - don't bother making it in advance.

p-dog is down for the count with some flu-like bug. I'm just enjoying my bowlfuls until I'm next. Love endureth all things. *cough*...

Toxic Jock Syndrome

And we want to let people 'get the edge' one way or another? How long before socio-dynamics of that get out of control, even for adults? Anyway:

The study's author, Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo, says it suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with "toxic jock" behavior, a constellation of risky and aggressive behaviors including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence.

McCain Endorses Kerry, After-the-Fact

AS catches it here:

I think General Eisenhower would have said John Kerry is saying, 'Well, what about the casualties in Anbar Province? What about the suicide bombers?' He'd go down the list of challenges we were facing. 'How's it going with the de-Ba'athificaiton? What's happening with the oil revenues?'" - John McCain, criticizing Bush's management of the Iraq occupation.


[I wonder if AS will re-think Michael Moore a bit ...]

GOP Destroys American War-making Capacity

GOP's wartime posture...
The upshot of McClellan finally saying what George Tenant did not, when Tenant had his own wild book-ride that was just bizarre, is that America's capacity for war-making has been wrecked. No one will trust anyone with a case for war, short of direct attack.

We add to the loss of credibility from the WMD fiasco and its very expensive aftermath (do you know how much the search for WMD in Iraq cost you?) McClellan's in-plain-sight idea that ... the propaganda took on a life of its own.

To a thinking person, all these were reasons to dump Bush-Cheney in '04. At that time, the sign posts were almost all out in daylight.

Americans, many of them, have no one to blame but themselves.

And they aren't finished paying yet ... (and it may be more than Iraq's costs).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beyond Party

A reader writes to AS:

Sullivan, a Burkean by philosophy but a radical by temperament, is the most interesting critic of his former conservative allies, and I’ve learned a lot about conservatism agonistes from reading his blog. He says that conservatism isn’t about solving problems but about ...[blah, blah, blah]

I read Sullivan every day, partly to find out how far his disenchantment will carry him in the very strange direction of Obama-style uplift—how long his temperament will win out over his ideas.


There is absolutely no such thing as "compassionate conservatism", either, right? [AS once wrote something about the "core decency" of conservatism that made me wince.]

Not to be rude, but scientifically, we can help the reader out. The temper will last until the next election or thereabouts, statistically speaking. (Not that the die-hard liberals will be much better. Michael Kinsley wrote a while back about how we will love Obama for now, until it is time to skewer him. The Congress may shift more fully to Democratic control, but that doesn't mean it will amount to anything that can be led in one direction ...).

Meanwhile, you know, I agree with Douthat-comma-Ross that Hillary was after the Presidency, rather than some other bit part, because it is a good prize, currently.

At the same time, one has to sober that perception. The GOP will have left a large pile on the doorstep. The list is long:

  • War Criminals to prosecute or pardon
  • Finishing 90% of the haplessly rendered prosecution of our 'special' detainees
  • A fiscal legacy of imprudent tax cuts
  • Afghanistan (stretched so long with so little, it may be deformed)
  • Iraq (the day when everyone takes to the streets shouting "thank you" will never arrive, even during a next Presidency)
  • Mid-east conflict (failed in Lebanon, failed in I/P conflict)
  • Iran (simmering)
  • North Korea (unresolved)
  • Cuba (failed)
  • Venezuela (failed)
  • Trade enforcement in shambles as evidenced by growing trade imablance
  • Potholes at Homeland Security
  • A quadrillion dollar fence on the Mexican border that may not achieve its objective
  • A likely recession and inflationary pressures - based on markets for housing, credit, and oil (and nat gas) all out of whack, as well as other commodities
  • "Fine, deport, and detain" recessionary pressures just getting up a head of steam
  • Energy policy unarticulated and no idea for health care other than subsidies
  • An education policy that is as popular as "managed care"
So much would take even FDR through the ringer. An Obama Administration is just as likely to get swamped and lost. Anyone who sings "Happy Days Are Here Again" in January is wishing upon a star, mostly.

At most, the light at the end of the tunnel will have been turned back on.

Guys Like Us

It's gonna take three parts to get it all ... (although it hardly looks like there is much new information - perhaps it's just a run at circulation headlines ...).



Part one, from the WSJ, The Chaos Trade:

A glib and gruff former scrap-iron salesman from Chicago with a penchant for cigars, golf and cards, Mr. Cayne had often taken off Thursday afternoons and Fridays that summer to play golf near his New Jersey vacation home. In mid-July, when the funds were melting down, both he and Mr. Spector had spent more than a week in Nashville, Tenn., competing in a bridge tournament. Mr. Cayne, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was said by people close to him to be particularly angry that Mr. Spector, who with his partners won the event, had been away from the office at such a sensitive time.

The Full Brazilian

McCain and his three guests male-bonded over the weekend, one guesses.

Thinking of them as plebes, McCain had them all get "a full Brazilian" (and donate to Concern).

Fine Art of the Mustache: Busted

I think this is from the 2008 Clios: