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Friday, January 02, 2009
Short Palin, Go Long Romney

Oddsmakers have installed Sarah Palin as the favorite to win the Republican nomination in 2012.

Despite a slew of negative press this fall about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate, online gaming site puts Palin’s odds at 3.5-1, the best among Republican hopefuls.

Other top GOP contenders include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, whose odds are set at 4-1, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, at 5-1.

As I pointed out earlier, VP candidates on losing tickets their first time around are very poor bets to win their party's nomination the next time around. In fact, I went back to the 1930s and couldn't find a time it happened.

I like Palin. But as Allah points out, 2012 is likely to favor the Democrats, barring a Jimmuh Carter term for Obama. If that looks like the case, expect the younger players to sit it out, leaving room for Romney or some dark horse candidate like Charlie Crist.

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Greg Sargent is moving over to write a Washington Post blog. Michael Goldfarb writes:

Greg Sargent, the prolific TPM reporter, announced today that he's heading to the Washington Post to run a new blog. Sargent is an unrepentant Democratic partisan, which means he should fit in well with the staff at the Post, but also a top notch reporter. During the campaign, Sargent would ping the McCain press shop with questions all day long. Because TPM is so overtly partisan, he rarely got the answers he was looking for, but for his persistence, if nothing else, Sargent earned a grudging respect from the McCain staff.

Sargent, of course, was the American Prospect writer whom I forced a retraction out of on the Jack Abramoff story (with expert assistance from Donald Luskin). That story also ended up causing a retraction by Paul Krugman.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Dumbest Things "Right" Wing Bloggers Did in 2008

The Village Voice has a recap. Of course for the more sensational stories, they rely on blogs I never heard of. The "Obama murdered his grandma" story? Comes from the ever popular Liberty Lounge, a forum and not a blog. Among others, the Village Voice mentions Jeff Jarvis (a liberal), No Quarter (headquarters for the Hillary-supporting PUMAs), Bill Bradley (not that Bill Bradley, but still a liberal).

No mention of the birth certificate madness, or the desperate attempt by the conservatives to derail the McCain nomination, two legitimate bits of nuttiness from the starboard.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Who's The NFL MVP?

Here's how I rate the quarterbacks. Rivers looks like he's head and shoulders above the rest of the league:

1 Philip Rivers 9,407
2 Kurt Warner 6,626
3 Drew Brees 6,591
4 Chad Pennington 5,512
5 Peyton Manning 5,095
6 Aaron Rodgers 4,277
7 Matt Schaub 2,614
8 Tony Romo 2,511
9 Matt Cassel 1,847
10 Jeff Garcia 1,647
11 Matt Ryan 816
12 Shaun Hill 484
13 Donovan McNabb 331
14 Seneca Wallace 286
15 Eli Manning 278
16 Jay Cutler 111
17 Trent Edwards (157)
18 Jake Delhomme (464)
19 Jason Campbell (769)
20 David Garrard (2,204)
21 Kerry Collins (2,332)
22 Joe Flacco (2,363)
23 Brett Favre (2,516)
24 Ben Roethlisberger (2,683)
25 Kyle Orton (2,892)
26 JaMarcus Russell (3,209)
27 Dan Orlovsky (3,371)
28 Gus Frerotte (3,648)
29 Tyler Thigpen (4,124)
30 Derek Anderson (5,468)
31 Ryan Fitzpatrick (5,885)
32 Marc Bulger (6,345)

It amazes me that an 8-8 team has the best player in the league at the QB position, but then San Diego is not exactly a typical 8-8 team, with a net point differential of +92. The Chargers did score more points than any other team in the league. Philip Rivers should be (and probably will be) the NFL's MVP this season.

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Reflexive Critism of Israel

From folks who seldom criticize Hamas, like Ezra Klein:

No deaths and few injuries. "Deeply disturbing." Hamas lacks the technology to aim its rockets. They're taking potshots. In response, the Israeli government launched air strikes that have now killed more than 280 Palestinians, injured hundreds beyond that, and further radicalized thousands in the Occupied Territories and millions in the region.

That encapsulates much of the commentary from the portside. Hamas fires these random rockets, accidentally killing some Israelis (and some Palestinians). And mean old Israel responds with precision munitions.

Note as well that Israel is, as Ralph Peters puts it today, damned if they do, dead if they don't. Ezra is concerned about the cycle of violence, but what does he suggest instead? That the Israelis turn the other cheek? He notes that the response will come in the future:

It will come in months, or even in years, when an angry orphan detonates a belt filled with shrapnel, killing himself and 25 Israelis.

Good thing the Israelis have the checkpoints and the wall, huh? Um, not according to Klein:

The rocket attacks were undoubtedly "deeply disturbing" to Israelis. But so too are the checkpoints, the road closures, the restricted movement, the terrible joblessness, the unflinching oppression, the daily humiliations, the illegal settlement -- I'm sorry, "outpost" -- construction, "deeply disturbing" to the Palestinians, and far more injurious. And the 300 dead Palestinians should be disturbing to us all.

When a young child touches a hot oven, it learns a lesson: Don't touch the oven when it's hot. Liberals apparently think that the child should begin plotting its revenge against the oven.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Who Is Stephen Spoonamore?

His name pops up a lot on the conspiracy theory websites regarding Mike Connell's death. For example, nutty professor Mark Crispin Miller:

That is a highly censored version of the deposition, leaving out such details as Connell’s early willingness to talk; his quick reversal after Karl Rove threatened him (threats that came up in his deposition, in a section that’s now sealed); the fact that he was pointedly stonewalling on Nov. 3; and the affidavits of Stephen Spoonamore, who knew Connell well, and had worked with him, and formally attested Connell’s eyebrow-deep involvement in the “vote fraud” in Ohio (among other places), and Connell’s close working relationship with Karl Rove.

He's frequently described as a Republican:

First, Steven Spoonamore is a Republican and a expert in electronic data security and digital network architecture.

And the nutty professor again:

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Stephen Spoonamore is a conservative Republican, a former McCain supporter and a very prominent expert at the detection of computer fraud. He’s the star witness in the Ohio lawsuit, right, in which Connell was involved. He has done extensive work of this kind, involving computer security, and had therefore worked with Connell, knew Connell personally and knew a lot of the people who were involved in the sort of cyber-security end of the Bush operation.

Well, let's see if Stephen Spoonamore is a conservative Republican, shall we? And the first place to check is Open Secrets, which maintains lists of donors to political candidates. And what do we see, but that Stephen Spoonamore donated $1,750 to Howard Dean in 2003.

Ah, one of those conservative Republicans. He did donate $500 to John Sweeney (R) in 2004.

I will continue to dig into this in the next few days. But as with everything the Connell conspiracy theorists come up with, there's a lot that they appear to be lying about.

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