Monday, August 6, 2012

Last Call

If you've been paying attention to the election prognostication sites, you've probably noticed a trend:  One, that the popular vote is going to be razor close, and two, that the electoral college vote is going to be a landslide in President Obama's favor.  Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast explains:

Imagine it’s election night, say 10:45 east coast time. Four eastern states haven’t been called yet: Ohio (18), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), and Florida (29). Also, in some Western states, the polls haven’t closed, or the races are too tight to project just yet—Colorado and Nevada, say. Arizona has just been called for Romney. At this point, Romney actually leads, 188 to 182. In this scenario I’m assuming Obama has won Iowa (6), which is admittedly close but where his lead has been stable at three or four points, and New Hampshire (4), where Obama has a similar fairly small but stable lead, and Michigan (16), where the gap appears to be opening up a little.

So it’s a six-vote Romney edge. They’re feeling great up in Boston. Especially with the big Eastern four still up in the air. Right?

Not really. Let’s look at these West Coast states. Even though they’re still voting in California, obviously Obama is going to win it (55). And equally obviously, he’s going to win Washington (12) and Oregon (7), where neither side even bothered to spend a dime. Throw in Hawaii (4). Those 78 votes haul Obama up to 260. That’s something to keep in mind for election night: Whatever Obama’s number is at 10 pm Eastern, add those 78 EV’s—they’re a mortal lock, and a hefty insurance policy. If he wins Nevada (6) and Colorado (9), it’s over.

In other words, Obama can lose the big Eastern four—Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida: all of ’em!—and still be reelected.
And barring some huge cataclysm, he’s not losing all four of those states. If he wins even one—say Virginia, the smallest of the four—then Romney has to win Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire; all possible, certainly, but all states where he has been behind, narrowly but consistently, for weeks or months.

In other words it's entirely possible that Romney could win the popular vote, and lose massively in the electoral college.   You'll recall that was the outcome in 2000 as well, only the electoral college was also decided by a few hundred votes in one state:  Florida.

Can you imagine what the wingers would do if that happened?  I can.  Calls for open, armed revolution against the "illegitimate" US government, an "American Spring".  FOX no doubt refusing to refer to Barack Obama as the President.  Calls to "reform" the electoral college by splitting votes along congressional district lines, massively favoring the GOP.  It would be chaos.

And should the GOP win the Senate, they would of course abolish the filibuster and impeachment proceeding would begin in the House immediately.

So yes, the Obama/Romney contest isn't a done deal, but the real battle is in the Senate, folks.

Parents "In The Wild" Are More Likely To Hit Or Pinch Kids, Study Finds

Parents modify their behavior when they know they're being watched, a study finds.  They also vastly under-report their use of "negative touch" which ranges from restraining, spanking or pinching the children to get them to comply.

How many?  Somewhere in the 20% range.  How's that for scary?

The objective was not to resolve whether those approaches were morally okay, but simply to gather data to help scientists read how we really are with our kids.  They do, however, conclusively prove that negative touch does not improve a situation.  Well, duh.  Taking a child who is upset and compounding the issue is like driving all the way around the world to get to a street you just passed.

Of the 106 episodes, 24 (or 23 percent) involved negative touch, while another 35 (or 33 percent) involved positive touch. Finally, in 38 percent of cases, the caregiver did not touch the child at all.
Male caregivers used touch equally for both boys and girls, but female caregivers were more likely to use negative touch with boys and positive touch with girls. Contrary to stereotypes of harsh disciplinarian fathers, when male caregivers did correct their children by touch, it was more likely to be positive rather than negative.
Negative touch was associated with a negative reaction from female children, and researchers saw no evidence that negative touch was more likely to get a child to obey than other methods. When kids were happier, they found, they were more likely to comply. And negative touch did not make kids happier. [10 Scientific Tips for Raising Happy Kids]
"If your child is upset and not minding you and you want to discipline them, I would use a positive, gentle touch," Stansbury said. "Our data found that negative touch didn't work."

The Family That Beats Up Gays Together Stays Together

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Three children from the same family are in juvenile custody after allegedly attacking a Missouri woman, and the victim believes she was targeted because she is gay.
The Southeast Missourian ( ) reports that Jeana Terry, 41, and her partner Lisa Lange were inside their home July 24 when a 16-year-old girl who lives nearby allegedly began shouting anti-gay slurs. The girl then allegedly gathered her 13-year-old sister and 11-year-old brother, went to Terry’s porch and pulled her outside when she came to the door, according to authorities.
“Once I was down, it was pure chaos,” Terry said, describing being repeatedly kicked and hit.
Gee, maybe they have learned it from the adults in the area.  I mean, why not celebrate afterwards with a Chick-Fil-A sandwich?  I personally don't allow fast food places to affect my beliefs, but it would be hard to deny that it's become the chosen church of the heterosexual bigot.

These kids aren't confused, they are reacting to what they see.  What they're being taught.  Their mother is trying to say the women started it, but witness accounts tell a different story.

“They were kicking, stomping and beating the hell out of her,” neighbor Mima Poole said.
Terry said she may need eye surgery and still suffers from bruising, nausea and dizziness.

Those aren't the actions of scared kids fleeing from an antagonistic adult.  Those are the actions of kids acting out on what they think is acceptable behavior towards gays.  If ever we needed proof that discrimination shouldn't be tolerated, this is it.

Be Prepared... For Stupidity

LOS ANGELES — Boy Scouts of America internal documents reveal more than 125 cases in which men suspected of molestation allegedly continued to abuse Scouts, despite a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators.

A Los Angeles Times review ( of more than 1,200 files from 1970 to 1991 found suspected abusers regularly remained in the organization after officials were first presented with sexual misconduct allegations.

The newspaper says predators moved from troop to troop because of clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts' failure to check the so-called "perversion files."
Good thing they took care of the really important things, like letting valued non-molesting members loose because they're gay.  Relax, the world is safe once again.

So, in light of the Penn State cover-up, do you think reactions will change for an agency that apparently failed to protect kids from abuse after more than adequate warning?  My guess is yes, they will pay a steeper price than before.  I'm totally cool with that.

Man Shoots Wife - In Hospital

Akron, OHOhio police say a 66-year-old man entered the intensive care unit of Akron General Medical Center and shot his 65-year-old wife while standing at her bedside.
Akron police told The Associated Press early Sunday that the woman is in critical condition.
Police say John Wise, of Massillon, entered the hospital shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday and went to see his wife, Barbara, in the intensive care unit, where she had been admitted a few days earlier. Authorities say Wise pulled out a handgun and shot his wife of 45 years.
Nobody knows why at this time.  This poor woman may not be able to tell police what led to the shooting, if she even knows.

Podcast Versus The Stupid Episode 1: Pilot

Our first (and very rough) podcast is now available and if you're wondering what Bon and I sound like, well now you know.  We discuss the Olympics, Gabby Douglas, Serena Williams, and the nasty double standards these champions are being hit with.  Haters gonna hate, I suppose.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on Blog Talk Radio

Give us a listen and let us know what you think.

Another Senseless Tragedy Involving Guns

This time at a Sikh Temple in suburbs near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

At least seven people, including a gunman shot by a police officer, were killed Sunday in an attack on worshippers at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, police said.

The officer was wounded but "returned fire, and that shooter was put down," said Bradley Wentlandt, the police chief in nearby Greenfield, who briefed reporters. Investigators who picked through the building afterward found four bodies inside the temple and two other victims outside, plus the gunman, Wentlandt said.

At an afternoon news conference, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said that authorities are treating the shooting as a "domestic terrorist-type incident," adding that the FBI will head the investigation.

Two semi-automatic handguns believed used by the shooter were recovered from the scene, a law enforcement source directly involved in the investigation told CNN.

At least three wounded, including the officer, were being treated at Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital, spokeswoman Carolyn Bellin told CNN. All three were in critical condition.

The suspect, described as a "heavyset, bald white man with a 9/11 tattoo" apparently opened fire on the temple gathering Sunday morning and took hostages, including children, before police were able to bring him down.  Reports are still conflicting as to exactly what happened, but this definitely looks like domestic terrorism against a specific group.  The FBI agrees.

Tattoos on the body of the slain Sikh temple gunman and certain biographical details led the FBI to treat the attack at a Milwaukee-area temple as an act of domestic terrorism, officials said Sunday.

The shooter is dead, so we may never know exactly what motivated this terror attack, but once again America has yet to come to grips with the very real issue of near endless gun violence in this country, and it's only getting worse.  CNN claims more details about the shooter:

The gunman who shot six people to death and wounded three others during a rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist, according to a law enforcement source involved in the investigation.

More on this as details become clear.  I've been saying all along that this was going to happen eventually, that the skinhead assholes on the far right were going to make their move before the election, and at least one of them have.

Domestic terrorism at its most racist, crude, and deadly.

By the way, Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee, is in Rep. Paul Ryan's district.  I wonder if he'll be calling for a closer look at America's little domestic terror problem now that his own constituents lie dead as a result.

I doubt it, however.


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