Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Poll Numbers Shifting as Election Nears

As the 2010 mid-term election is now only a week away you will start seeing polls narrowing. I am not referring to individual races getting tighter which may or may not happen. No, the narrowing I expect to see is polls from the various polling agencies getting closer. It is one thing to play with the demographic make up of those being polled to prop up a campaign a month or so out from election. However, once you get close to the election the pollsters need to play straight as their reputation rests on being close to the real results. A website titled Expose Liberal Bias has watched the New York Times adjust their House of Representatives map over the last couple weeks. Here is a link to a post from 14 October showing 155 Solid Democrat Seats and 168 Solid Republican leaving 112 in play. Now, here is a link from 23 October showing 152 Solid Democrat Seats and 174 Solid Republican leaving 109 in play.

There will be a couple more updates between now and election day. Watch it shift. Pollsters can only sell their services is they are perceived as credible. The last polls will be fairly accurate.

If you know someone unsure about voting in this election, refer them to this website It is ugly and getting worse quickly.


Friday, October 22, 2010

An Overdue Idea: Defunding NPR

In the wake of NPR's hypocrisy in firing Juan Williams while keeping Nina Totenberg on the payroll, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) have said they intend to introduce legislation to stop government funding of NPR. While I agree with the idea of defunding NPR, PBS, etc. it is a shame that it will correctly appear to just be done in response to the Williams firing. Is funding a radio station a proper government function? NO! Of course not. Whether Juan Williams is being paid by NPR or not should have no bearing on whether taxpayer monies should be used in that manner. Whenever conservatives attempt to put NPR, PBS, NEA, and other wasteful government spending on the chopping block some minimize it as just being a drop in the bucket compared to other spending such as defense or entitlement spending. That is a BS answer. All wasteful government spending needs to be eliminated regardless of its size. If you watch your pennies the dollars will take care of themselves.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Associated Press Fails Simple Math

I can understand reporters having trouble with serious math. I'd want a couple weeks warning before doing complex algebra. However, I'd like to think even a leftist reporter could do some adding and subtracting and be pretty close with the answer. Tonight I was reading the AP obit on Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver on TV) and something just didn't add up. Here is the first paragraph:
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Barbara Billingsley, who gained supermom status for her gentle portrayal of June Cleaver, the warm, supportive mother of a pair of precocious boys in "Leave it to Beaver," died Saturday. She was 94.
I bolded the age intentionally because one of the last paragraphs said:
Born Barbara Lillian Combes in Los Angeles on Dec. 22, 1922, she was raised by her mother after her parents divorced. She and her first husband, Glenn Billingsley, divorced when her sons were just 2 and 4.

How can someone who was born in 1922 be 94 years old? My mother-in-law was born in 1918 and she is a spry 92. Without taxing my brain too much I have to assume someone born after her would be younger than her.

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Congratulations Badgers/Post Mortem Buckeyes

Congratulations to the Wisconsin Badgers on their upset of previously number one Ohio State Buckeyes. This loss wasn't much fun to watch, but it was not as bad as others in recent years in championship games. The main reason this loss is less troubling is I was not sold on this years version of the Buckeyes. Sure, I was rooting for them to win and didn't like seeing them lose. However, the inability to run the ball in the first few games left me wondering if they'd be able to run when they would need to in conference games. When your leading rusher is your quarterback in most games it's just a bad sign. I have to give it up to the Badgers. They just flat out played a better game. They were enthusiastic and controlled the line of scrimmage especially in the first half. Ohio State needs to win out to end the season near the top five of the rankings. That's about the best they can hope for this year. Having said all that, I wouldn't want to face them the next few weeks as I expect they will play a lot looser the rest of the way.

The real winner from tonight's results are the Michigan State Spartans and Boise State. MSU already beat Wisconsin and doesn't play Ohio State this year. They now have a clear path to a Big Ten title. Boise State had no chance to get into the BCS title game if there were two or more undefeated teams from major conferences. A one loss team might keep them out, but it is unlikely.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Guess Obama is Saying We Should Just Throw Away the Recruiting Manual

The guy who should not have been elected president in 2008 tweeted the following today:
Anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces and make sacrifices on our behalf should be able to. DADT will end & it will end on my watch.

About 20 years ago, I was on recruiting duty. Contrary to popular opinion, recruiting is not just about doing whatever you can to get anybody to enlist. A recruiters primary function is to screen out unqualified applicants and focus on those who will pass the entrance exams and be able to serve. To help recruiters do their jobs the Navy issues recruiters a great big book called the Recruiting Manual. I assume the other services do likewise. We also have give the doctors who perform the entrance physicals a book called the Manual of the Medical Department. Both books are full of disqualifiers. Depending on the economy, recruiting goals and other factors our qualifications change. Oddly enough when we have a draft the Navy can be a little more choosy. When the economy is doing great we are not quite as picky. The changing standards usually involve scores on the entrance exam. Some standards don't change. Regardless of whether we are talking standards of moral turpitude (police involvement, etc) or physical standards (asthma, cancer, HIV, etc, etc, etc) we can not and must not do what the president said: "Anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces and make sacrifices on our behalf should be able to." No, Barack, a lot of people are just not qualified to serve in the military. While on recruiting we said "Thanks, but no thanks" to people for hundreds of reasons. In fact, Mr. President, if you had entered my office and applied we would have said no thanks. That is, if you would have been honest about your drug usage (not that honesty is your strong suit). Experimental pot smoking is waiverable. Regular cocaine usage is not.

Apparently, our commander in chief has just voided all enlistment requirements. Glad I'm not on recruiting now a days.


Which Should Be a Greater Concern; Witchcraft or Marxism

In the Delaware race for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Vice President Biden some odd allegations are being tossed around. The Republican candidate, Christine O'Donnell is being mocked as a witch because on some idiot's "comedy" show years ago she said she dabbled in witchcraft in high school or knew kids that were involved in it or whatever. The Democrat candidate, Chris Coons once described himself as a bearded Marxist and claimed it was the instruction of Marxist professors that lead him to become a Democrat.

Okay, for this exercise, let's assume both allegations are true. Which is a bigger issue? My first inclination is to give a flippant answer like well since there is no such thing as witches and there is such a thing as Marxists I'm more concerned with the Marxist. Or alternatively, I thought about looking at the job they want and whether the Senate is more likely to vote on sorcery or legislation which could lead to socialism, communism, marxism etc? However, I decided that isn't serious enough for the matter being discussed. The better way to look at this question is to look back at the last century. How many people were killed by witches or warlocks in the 20th century? Huh, how many was that? Okay, then how many were killed by communists? Holy crap! Over a hundred million!

Bottom line: I'm not too concerned about imaginary witches. I am concerned about the evil that is done in the pursuit of communism. Remember most socialists believe the only reason communism hasn't worked in the past is the wrong people were in charge.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Words That Rhyme Are Now Proof of Racism

In the Illinois race for U.S. Senate there is now a controversy over the Republican candidate Mark Kirk using the word "jigger" in reference to potential vote fraud. A key quote from the link above:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says "jigger" does mean "to alter, re-arrange, or manipulate" and has been used by many politicians to describe election fraud.

"The problem I had is that it sounds so much like another word," Rev. Albert Tyson said.
So, it is offensive to some because of their weak or limited vocabulary. Pathetic. Truth of the matter is these folks making an issue of this likely know it is a false charge but are counting on the ignorance of the population at large that attended failing Chicago schools. It is borne of desperation over the corrupt Dem candidate falling in the polls.

It reminds me of a couple instances in recent years where people got in hot water for correctly using the word "niggardly" in reference to financial austerity. In other words, they were raked over the coals due to the ignorance of other people.

H/T to Legal Insurrection who has examples of others using the word "jigger" in recent years including that guy who was supposed to be a post-racial president.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

An Open Apology to Michigan and Fishing

Being an Ohioan and an Ohio State Buckeye's fan, I've made more than my share of disparaging comments about Michigan. Also, as a sports fan I've mocked the notion of chess, hunting, fishing or driving a car in circles being considered sports.

Well, after spending a terrific week up in Manistee, Michigan fishing for salmon I owe an apology to the state of Michigan (not the university) and the sport of fishing. Get away from Detroit, Flint, etc and Michigan is a beautiful state. The leaves were changing color this week and gave the scenery great backdrops. The wildlife was bountiful. The streams were clean and clear. Most importantly, the people we encountered were friendly and helpful. So, Michigan if you are reading I sincerely apologize for most of my past insults. I still will root against your football teams, but will curtail my criticism of the state at large.

Fishing is more of a sport requiring experience, skill and determination than I ever realized. So, I will now concede that fishing is a sport. A third or fourth tier sport, but a sport nonetheless. Sorry, Nascar fans, but I still can't buy driving a car around in circles or ovals as being a sport.

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