Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘grand universal coin-flip

Occupy Wednesday

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* The Occupy Oakland general strike seems to have been really pretty amazingly successful.  The view from Twitter. Another. And here’s Matt’s picture again, having gone viral through me by way of @zunguzungu and @rortybomb. Half those pageviews are rightfully mine, Matt!

* General strikes in U.S. history.

* Arguments not taken seriously that should be: A federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who perform at marine parks — an unprecedented and perhaps quixotic legal action that is nonetheless likely to stoke an ongoing, intense debate at America’s law schools over expansion of animal rights.

* When advertising works too well: the strange case of Axe Body Spray.

Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men. But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary. Even when we control for hours worked and education in a regression analysis, creative class men out-earn creative class women by a sizable $23,700, or 49.2 percent.

In a victory for the 99 Percent last night, the voters in Boulder, Colorado voted by a three-to-one margin to support Question 2H, which calls for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

* Legal Pain Killers Killed 15,000 People In 2008, Marijuana Likely Killed Zero.

* New Report Finds Vermont Could Save As Much As $1.8 Billion By 2020 From Shifting To Single Payer.

* Legendary Glenn Beck sponsor Goldline charged with fraud.

* Jon Corzine’s new firm likely to soon be charged with fraud. My father reminded me today that one universe over Jon Corzine never got in a horrific car accident as a result of his state police driver texting on the highway—which means he’s still the governor of New Jersey, which means he’s cruising towards a run for the presidency in 2016. In this universe he’s probably going to go to jail. It’s hard to think of another public figure whose life has hinged so completely on such a fluke event.

* In thirty years, college tuition has tripled.

* The worst part of the catastrophic implosion of the Hermain Cain candidacy is that he was the only one with a chance of stopping China from getting the bomb. None of the other candidates are even talking about this issue.

* Run, Ron Paul, run.

* And J.K. reveals she wanted to kill off Hagrid, too. You fiend!

Random Links

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A few random links of the sort that’s been crowded out by Obamania.

* Kevin Kelly is looking for evidence of a global superorganism.

* Fire > language: Humans built fires 500 thousand years before they could speak.

* Haruki Murakami: “We are living in the future now, in a kind of science fiction – 9/11 itself was kind of unreal to me, those images of planes diving into the buildings. I felt like I stepped into the wrong world.” I’ve felt that way about nearly everything since the 2000 election, to be honest.

* The Apocalypse according to Dan Clowes.

* Cosmic apocalypses at Discover.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Actual Results Liveblogging

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Actual results liveblogging.

1:06 am: And with that, I think I’m just about going to bed. Here’s the map of the night, courtesy of the New York Times. It looks good to me. I’m in agreement with kos’s take tonight: this was a huge night for Obama, especially when the pundits finally remember that a lot of Clinton’s votes in CA and NJ were cast weeks ago—and if Obama does in fact sneak ahead in the delegate count, I still say it will have been decisive.

12:49 am: The MSNBC delegate guy says the delegate count goes 841-837 for Obama, given the best-case scenario for Clinton in California… Forget all talk of ties, if that’s true, that’s the nomination.

12:43 am: Alaska goes for Obama, says MSNBC, again by a good margin. I think she’ll probably take New Mexico, but it looks like once again her victory margin will be close. With the state count (Obama) and the popular vote count (Clinton) locked up, the question settles on delegates. We won’t know until tomorrow how this is laid out, but I wouldn’t bet against Jeff Berman. An Obama delegate victory would be huge—but even barring that he leaves tonight in a very strong position for the rest of the race.

12:36 am: Looks like Romney drops out this week, maybe tomorrow.

12:28 am: Still out: Alaska and New Mexico…

12:15 am: MSNBC says McCain wins California, which more or less means he’s the nominee.

Brokaw says trying to figure out who wins how many delegates from California is “quantum physics”…

12:10 am: Hillary Clinton wins California, per MSNBC, but it looks like Obama ekes out a last-minute victory in Missouri, per kos. Factor in Alaska, and that’s a good looking map for the front-page tomorrow.

No idea what the differential is yet.

12:09 am: Obama up in Missouri!

12:02 am: Borrowing from Maria Shriver: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” … “Yes, we can. Let’s go to work.”

11:58 pm: Closes with a direct appeal to those who yearn for change, but are cynical. “We need you. We need you to stand with us.”

11:55 pm: “Our party must be the party of tomorrow.”

11:54 pm: Hitting Clinton hard on lobbyists—”more money from lobbyists than any Republican”—Iraq/Iran, diplomacy, and torture. Refrain of “he can’t say…he can’t say…” speaks directly to McCain.

11:52 pm: Barack hitting the change/status-quo only-I-can-beat-John-McCain line now. “It’s a choice between arguing with the other party about who has the most experience in Washington, vs. arguing with them about who can change Washington. That’s a debate we can win.”

11:50 pm: Maybe I was wrong about Missouri—it’s down to a one-percent differential now. Shankar and this kos diarist (diary now deleted) remind me of the ’06 race, which came down to the wire unexpectedly in exactly the same way…

11:47 pm: He’s got them chanting “USA! USA!” again. I love that.

11:45 pm: Votes are still being counted, but “there is one thing tonight that we do not need the final results to know. Our time has come.”

11:41 pm: Barack’s still making his way through the crowd. Here’s our first take of the Barack narrative going forward into tomorrow, courtesy of Ambinder: ““This was their day to get the upper hand in the nomination fight and they failed.” Meanwhile, it looks as if Clinton may take the “more raw votes” criterion for victory, the least meaningful of the three, in my opinion, especially so long as she insists on counting a contest in which she was the only name on the ballot.

11:39 pm: On now.

11:38 pm: Barack about to come on TV. We’re watching on C-SPAN.

11:35 pm: Also from Chris Bowers, the California exit poll suggests a Clinton-leaning split, maybe slightly bigger than most people were anticipating. But those polls haven’t been all that on-point thus far, so don’t despair…

11:31 pm: Chris Bowers does the math and says that Obama has won a majority of states tonight, 12 of 22, even if he loses California. This metric doesn’t matter, as I said when I thought he wouldn’t win a majority of states—but it’s definitely nice to have this to point to.

11:25 pm: MSNBC is finally starting to realize that this looks like a big night for Obama.

11:23 pm: PBS has Missouri in a close win for Clinton, 50% to 47%, which has been stable for a few hours, but which the major networks for some reason haven’t called yet.

11:14 pm: Fox calls Colorado for Barack—another solid chunk of delegates, though MSNBC calls Arizona for Clinton. In terms of margins of victory, Obama’s is again bigger…

11:11 pm: American Samoa called for Clinton, per the Field. 2 delegates to Clinton, 1 to Obama. They’re also saying Obama took 44% of Hispanic voters in Arizona, which is a good number he’ll certainly be touting in the next few days.

11:01 pm: Not a great speech from Clinton, though I’m not the target audience. Meanwhile, MSNBC has music to my ears: “California Too Close to Call.”

10:58 pm: Clinton comes out early—maybe she thinks this isn’t her night? (Quick update: Shankar says that she came out to try and make the 11 o’clock news on the East Coast. Could be.) I’m hearing that Barack is coming out at 11:30. Meanwhile, MSNBC has called Idaho for Obama.

10:53 pm: And this is exactly what I’m talking about when I say the Obama camp learned their lessons well from Nevada and New Hampshire. Get out in front, declare victory, set the frame. Exactly right.

10:50 pm: Obama’s delegate guy, Jeff Berman—who was the first to realize that Obama actually won Nevada—says Obama is ahead in delegates, 606-534.

10:45 pm: The Page explains how the O-positive exit polls are causing the media’s talking heads to misread Obama’s impressive surges in two Clinton strongholds, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as big losses. Two posts on TNR’s The Plank make short work of this nonsense: I half wish the Clinton campaign had been shameless enough to declare New York an upset, just so we could have seen which commentators were credulous enough to swallow that whopper. Thanks to Shankar for the links.

10:42 pm: MSNBC calls Georgia for Huckabee in a tight squeaker. I love what he’s going around saying: “They said it was a two-way race, and they were right: me and McCain.”

10:39 pm: Keep hope alive for that Obama +1 superwin; the Obama camp is apparently predicting that they’ll win the national delegate count tonight, while the Clinton camp coyly says it’s too soon to tell. Here’s a little bit of analysis to back that claim up.

10:33 pm: Shankar says Romney promises to continue; things were bad enough for him tonight that there was speculation he’d just drop out.

10:27 pm: Minnesota officially Barack’s now, too, per Fox.

10:21 pm: It occurs to me now that I’m glad Gore and Edwards waited, assuming (as I think is fair) that they plan to endorse Obama sometime soon…

10:14 pm: Voting problems in New Mexico to match the earlier problems in Los Angeles and California. Another election marred by voting problems. Whoever wins the presidency, we need voting reform in the First 100 Days.

10:12 pm: Neil tells me that Connecticut has been called for Obama by CBS and MSNBC. Very nice. This will matter much more in the story that’s told tomorrow than the MA or NJ losses.

10:08 pm: The state-by-state count is turning in Barack’s favor in a big way. (God bless the stupidity of the media.) The visuals of the election results map will also likely favor him, because he’s taking the bigger, less populous states in the middle of the country. (Finally, this foolishness works in my favor for once.) The Drudge count is 9 to 6 right now, and that margin in Connecticut doesn’t seem to be shifting…

10:05 pm: On MSNBC, having already established that ties go to Obama, are now talking about how indecisive this night is going to be. Good. Keep this storyline, media, do not deviate from it.

10:03 pm: Fox officially calls North Dakota as well. It looks good for Barack in the four Western states the Field was talking about below—which is good, because they bring the state total back into his column and help with delegate catchup.

10:00 pm: The polls close in Utah, and it’s immediately called by Fox for Obama. He was down here not long ago, too, by big numbers. Hope the bobbleheads keep the history of the race in mind as they bloviate tonight…

9:56 pm: The Field tries to put Massachusetts in perspective by comparing the close Massachusetts finish to his haul in four Western states: Idaho, North Dakota, Kansas, and Minnesota.

9:50 pm: CNN calls Mass for Clinton, belatedly. Shankar points out to me in chat that the delegate count should be kept closer by those late-reporting college areas.

Bad storms in TN being reported on MSNBC—looks very bad.

9:44 pm: Dean reminds everybody about delegates on MSNBC as well.

9:41 pm: Not to push false hopes, but CNN still hasn’t called Mass. for Obama; Mike in the comments says they’re waiting on a few college-student-heavy areas.

9:40 pm: Fox calls Kansas for Obama. Very good, though I’m really hoping he powers through in CT.

9:37 pm: MSNBC on the record—tie goes to Obama. Also, I’m shocked to see Pat Buchanan as another voice of reason, bringing up the delegate issue I was just complaining about. (I get results?) Obama “running up the score” in Illinois and Georgia could ultimately be more meaningful than close Clinton margins in NJ and MA, but they don’t make as impressive a rotating graphic.

9:32 pm: I should admit that the state-by-state calculus seems more important tonight than I assumed it would be. I don’t know where I got this idea, but I had thought (hoped?) the networks would be at least a little bit responsible about the way they talked about “winning” and “losing” states in a proportional race. Instead, they’re treating everything as if it were first-past-the-post. Extremely disappointing, but it’s really no surprise.

9:24 pm: Obama takes Alabama. Glad to see some good news.

Pundits, especially Howard Fineman, are still talking nonsense about the Kennedys on MSNBC, though Olberman is the voice of reason. Obama closed a huge gap in the last week, in large part because of Ted—specifically Olbermann points to the last Mass. poll before the Kennedy endorsement, which had Obama at 22%. Tonight it was a near-tie. Thank God for Olberman.

9:19 pm: Fox and MSNBC have called NJ for Clinton. Time to dial back hopes, Obama fans—barring a surprise finish in California we’re probably not looking at a superwin. He’s likely to be behind at the end of the night, though not devastatingly so.

Her margin looks fairly strong in New Jersey, but keep in mind they had early voting, and she was polling there very strongly until, basically, today.

9:05 pm: Chris Matthews spinning the hell out of the Clinton victory in Massachusetts as a big win over Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, as if she hadn’t been ahead in that state for months. This does not bode well. Ugh.

9:00 pm: Barack takes Delaware, Clinton takes her home state of New York. Come on, Jersey. Come on, CT.

8:57 pm: Spoke too soon: MSNBC projects that Hillary Clinton is the winner in MA. I’m getting that sinking feeling. The most recent polls had her winning by a good bit, so in that sense a close result is good news—but still, I would have liked the victory there.

8:55 pm: Still no call in NJ, CT, MA… That’s good news for Obama fans. New York closes in five minutes, which should be a pretty easy call for the networks.

8:39 pm: I’m watching MSNBC on the computer, and I must have missed this while buffering: both HuffPo and The Field say NBC has retracted the Oklahoma call. I didn’t hear them say it, and they apparently haven’t said it since, and it doesn’t make any sense to me, but this is what I’m seeing.

8:31 pm: Hillary and Huckabee take Arkansas, neither a surprising result.

8:29 pm: Generational war—Brokaw says Obama won every age group under 50.

8:26 pm: It certainly looks right now like Huckabee is making McCain the winner of the night on the Republican side; Romney can’t seem to get any traction with Huckabee sticking around. We may be looking at the Republican ticket, McCain/Huckabee…

8:20 pm: Clinton talking points for their Tennessee victory, called by MSNBC a minute or so ago. Give us some real news, TV—who won Jersey?

8:08 pm: Here’s some spin from the Obama camp about Georgia, I guess trying to influence the last few hours of voting in CA. Here’s some counterspin from Hillary.

8:00 pm: MSNBC picks the easy winners: IL for Obama and OK for Clinton, MA for Romney, and McCain in CT and NJ…

7:40 pm: NJ exit polls: Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton in New Jersey by a 53%-47% margin, according to early exit polls conducted by Voter News Service.

7:34 pm: Polls closing at 8 pm EST: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee…

7:23 pm: MSNBC just quoted anonymous Obama campaignpersons, who earlier in the day speculated that he could win between 810-830, now saying that he could break 850, which would put him in the the Obama +1 supervictory range I spoke about earlier. (These staffers are either incredibly confident or incredibly stupid.) 1681 delegates are available tonight; will it wind up as simple as a race to 841?

7:20 pm: More exit info, from Halprin:

Blacks: Obama 81, Clinton 17
Whites: Clinton 50, Obama 44
Hispanics: Clinton 62, Obama 36
White women: Clinton 57, Obama 45
Young whites: Obama 64, Clinton 35

The Field opines:

Those numbers look vastly improved for Obama in various categories. He’s up 11 points among Hispanics since Nevada (I’ve repeated various times that 35 percent would be his magic number to put California within reach), and that’s his highest vote among white voters (from 36 in NH and 24 in SC to 44 today) while holding onto a 64-point lead among African-Americans. And he’s never been anywhere near that high up among white women in any state….

None of those numbers are good news for Clinton.

7:13 pm: Let’s throw a little cold water on this enthusiasm: CNN’s exits show undecideds splitting evenly between Clinton and Obama. I don’t see how you square that with the other exits, but that doesn’t mean CNN is wrong.

7:04 pm: A little more MSNBC tea-leaf reading—exits show that Obama got 43% of the white vote in Georgia, as well as 86% of the African-American vote. He also dominated the youth vote, and made big gains in the 40-65 demo as well. Even more interesting is the ABC gloss on the most important issue for Democratic voters in the nationwide exits: Bring needed change 52%; Best experience 23.

7:00 pm: MSNBC calls Georgia for Barack less than a second after the polls close. One for one!

6:56 pm: Well, this is it. I feel like we’ve been here before: deep investment with the candidate, positive exit polls…but hopefully things turn out the other way this time.

I plan to liveblog most of the night, so let’s get this started. Keep reloading, and if I miss anything, leave it in the comments. I’ve got MSNBC streaming over the Internet, and I’ll be constantly reloading my RSS feeds.

I’ve already blogged some basic thoughts on the race and what it means for either candidate to win here. I also made a few preliminary stabs at reading the tea leaves, here checking out the Clinton camp pre-results spin and here with the apparent exit polls.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Going Back to Cali

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The latest Rasmussen poll from California has Barack down by only 3%, with a third of the electorate uncommitted or undecided and the now-absent Edwards at 9%. (Via TPM and Daily Kos.) This is encouraging, but it’s worth repeating word-for-word what my wise friend Shankar said in the comments to another polling post yesterday:

The thing about these polls is you really can’t get a better sample for Obama than Sunday-Tuesday. It’s just difficult to believe that the impact of those three days is sustainable by itself – the South Carolina win, the endless talk about the Clinton’s negative tactics and divisiveness, the Kennedys endorsement. The intensity of feeling generated by all that is bound to fade at least a bit. He’ll need to work hard to keep up the momentum with a strong debate performance and maybe an Edwards or (unlikely) Richardson endorsement.

As I said just down the page, it really all comes down to the debate: a perceived tie probably leads to a tie or close-enough loss on Super Tuesday, a perceived win revs up the enthusiasm and probably pushes him through to a solid win through increased turnout, and a perceived loss lets all the air out of the tires at the worst possible moment. Tonight is very, very important—to return to a metaphor I’ve used a few times before, it looks like tonight is the night the universe goes ahead and flips its coin.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 31, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Obama vs. Edwards

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I’ve lost quite a bit of respect for the “netroots” side of the lefty blogosphere in the last few weeks, as they’ve allowed a slight preference for Edwards (and, really, for Edwards’s recent rhetorical style) to solidify into a nonsensical belief that Obama is some sort of crypto-Republican. I find this really inscrutable, as do most of the people I talk about politics with in the meat-, email-, and telephonospheres—it’s perfectly clear to me that either Edwards or Obama would easily be the best candidate for the left that the Democrats have put forward since at least 1992, and that we should all be very happy to be faced with such a choice.

Clinton, of course, is clearly the real enemy of the progressive left, a reality that seems to have been forgotten in the netroots’ understandable disappointment over the evaporation of Edwards’s chances of a sizeable Iowa bump in the face of Obamania.

Shankar sent me this Daily Kos diary last night, which I think lays the differences between Edwards and Obama out rather well—it really is a question of style, not substance, and insofar as these stylistic differences are substantive we ought to prefer Obama’s strategy to inclusive coalition-building to Edwards’s strategy of martyred righteousness:

Perhaps the key thing to understand about Barack Obama’s political philosophy is that it is not a gameplan to get us to agree with conservatives, but a gameplan to get conservatives to agree with us. It is an opportunity to redefine progressive positions and conservative positions in a way that is favorable to us. If partisan politics are conceived of as a matter of good and evil, or immutable concepts like class conflict, we may win some battles, but we are unlikely to win any wars. If, on the other hand, we can understand the origins of conservative identity and understand its fluidity, we stand some chance of being able to reshape it in our image.

In the increasingly unlikely event that Edwards does win Iowa, then maybe he does somehow get the big Joementum and is able to score the nomination after all, as ubiquitous lefty blog commentary Petey has consistently argued since last year—but I really don’t see that happening. (In terms of pure electability, it’s probably even true that Edwards/Obama is the Democrats’ best hand—though as I’ve said before the Democrats will almost certainly win the White House no matter who they nominate. Regardless, Edwards still won’t win the nomination.) Infinitely more likely than an Edwards nomination is a scenario in which Obama and Edwards divide the progressive left throughout the primary and Clinton takes the nomination with what’s left, thereby squandering what has been the left’s best chance for transformative political realignment in over a generation.

This is why I and others think Obama victories in Iowa and New Hampshire are so very crucial—they knock out Edwards for good and leave the fight between a weakened, possibly crippled Clinton and a surging Obama. That’s not just the best outcome for the Democrats as a party, it’s the best outcome for the progressive left and thus the best outcome for the country as a whole, and I sincerely hope we see it. For the first time since early afternoon on November 2, 2004, and the second time since the dark days of December 2000, I’m hopeful we might actually get a good outcome in the grand universal coin-flip this time around. We’ll get our first hint tonight.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm