Archive for May, 2008

CNN Breaking News

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

A Democratic panel approves seating full Florida and Michigan delegations, giving each delegate half a vote.

CNN Breaking News

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Barack Obama has resigned as a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, his campaign says.

Florida & Michigan update

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Politico‘s Ben Smith looks at where things stand after all sides — the Clinton camp, the Obama camp, the Florida folks and the Michigan folks — made their arguments to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Numbnut?!?

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Who said spelling bees were boring!

T.S. Arthur forms

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

As foreshadowed below, Tropical Storm Arthur has formed — one day before the “official” start of the Atlantic season — from the remnants of Pacific T.S. Alma. It was actually designated a T.S. while over the Yucatan Peninsula. I’m out and about right now; details when I get home.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Arthur didn’t form over land; it formed “near the coast of Belize,” according to the 1:00 PM special advisory that designated it. It was over land by the time the 2:00 PM advisory was issued, which is what I was reading when I wrote this post on my cell phone.

No word yet from Alan Sullivan considers the NHC’s designation of Arthur “count-padding.” Anyway…

…TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA…EXPECTED TO
WEAKEN OVER LAND LATER TODAY…

… MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 40 MPH…65 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THESE WINDS ARE OCCURRING PRIMARILY OVER WATER WELL TO THE NORTHEAST AND EAST OF THE CENTER. ARTHUR IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN TODAY AS IT MOVES FARTHER INLAND OVER YUCATAN.

After the expected weakening, Arthur could re-strengthen in the Bay of Campeche or the Gulf of Mexico, according to Eric Berger and Dr. Jeff Masters.

Alma could re-form as Arthur

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Will the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season be… the first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season?

SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM EDT SAT MAY 31 2008

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE…ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF FORMER EASTERN PACIFIC TROPICAL STORM ALMA…IS CENTERED OVER THE GULF OF HONDURAS NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN BELIZE. THE LOW IS MOVING SLOWLY WESTWARD…AND THE CENTER IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INLAND OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS. HOWEVER…SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THIS SYSTEM IS BECOMING BETTER ORGANIZED…AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM IF THE CENTER REMAINS OFFSHORE THIS MORNING. EVEN IF NO DEVELOPMENT OCCURS…LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODS ARE POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS OVER PORTIONS OF HONDURAS…EL SALVADOR…GUATEMALA…BELIZE…AND SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. FUTURE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM AS NECESSARY.

In some instances, a storm can retain its name when crossing from one basin to another. I forget the exact criteria for that, but I believe it has to do with whether the old storm retains its circulation, as opposed to merely its moisture. Given the NHC’s reference to the “remants of former” Alma, and the statement that “a tropical depression could form” (as opposed to re-form), I think they’re contemplating designating it as a new storm — in which case it would be named Arthur, if it reaches tropical storm status in the Atlantic basin. Weather Matrix agrees.

Meanwhile, weather Alan Sullivan, who correctly bucked the predictions of an active season last year, writes: “The Atlantic is way too active for so early in the season.”

NBA time warp

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

It’s official: the NBA Finals will feature the league’s top seeds in a 1980s-style clash of titans: Lakers vs. Celtics.

Shark sighting!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, my parents are in town this weekend, and tonight my dad and I went to a Tennessee Smokies game. I had totally forgotten that Notre Dame’s Jeff Samardzija is a Smokie (er, a Smoky?), but he is, and there he was, standing in the dugout right in front of us:

I couldn’t resist saying something, so I walked up to the edge of the dugout and yelled “Hey, Jeff!” a couple of times until he heard me and looked over. I then said, “Go Irish!” He responded with a sort of half-smile and quasi-acknowledgment that suggested he gets that all the time from Notre Dame fans who feel so passionately about the Irish that they figure it’s perfectly reasonable to treat famous ND alums like long-lost buddies and thus randomly say “Go Irish” at them. Heh.

Alas, Samardzija wasn’t pitching tonight, but it was cool to see him anyway. He’s got a blog, by the way.

Anyway, the Smokies won the game, 8-3, and we had a good time. Here are a few more pictures:

Noonan defends McClellan (sort of)

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Peggy Noonan:

Leave [Scott McClellan] alone. He wrote a book. It is true or untrue, accurately reported or not. If not, this will no doubt be revealed. It is honestly meant and presented, or not. Look to the assertions, argue them, weigh and ponder. …

The book can be seen as a grenade lobbed over the wall. Thus the explosive response. He is a traitor, turncoat, betrayer, sellout. If he’d had any guts he would have spoken up when he was in power. … But those damning him today would have damned him even more if he’d resigned on principle three years ago. [The right]—and the administration—would have beaten him to a pulp, the former from rage, the latter as a lesson: This is what happens when you leave and talk. …

When I finished the book I came out not admiring Mr. McClellan or liking him but, in terms of the larger arguments, believing him. One hopes more people who work or worked within the Bush White House will address the book’s themes and interpretations. What he says may be inconvenient, and it may be painful, but that’s not what matters. What matters is if it’s true. Let the debate on the issues commence.

Bob Dole: Bob Dole is angry. Bob Dole.

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Bob Dole told Scott McClellan today that Bob Dole thinks Scott McClellan is a "miserable creature," a "total ingrate," a greedy bastard, and a poor excuse for a man. (Bob Dole, of course, knows a thing or two about manhood.)

"If all these awful things were happening," Bob Dole wrote in an e-mail to McClellan, "and perhaps some may have
been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your
cushy, high profile job." That, says Bob Dole, would have taken "integrity and courage."

Instead, Bob Dole wrote, McClellan chose the path of greed. Bob Dole added that Bob Dole
thinks McClellan should donate his book proceeds "to a worthy cause,
something like, ‘Biting The Hand That Fed Me.’"

Bob Dole also pointed out that McClellan is hardly unique in this regard. "In [Bob Dole’s] nearly 36 years of public service, [Bob Dole has]
known of a few like you," Bob Dole said. McClellan, says Bob Dole, is just another "miserable creature" who doesn’t "have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," but instead "soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight
for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a
scathing critique."

"You’re a hot ticket now," Bob Dole concluded, "but don’t you, deep down,
feel like a total ingrate?"

According to Politico, Bob Dole "signed the email simply: ‘BOB DOLE.’"

Uh-oh, now Obama’s in trouble

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Ricky Martin endorses Hillary Clinton.

This weekend’s schedule

Friday, May 30th, 2008

For anyone trying to figure out when exactly to tune in to Wolf Blitzer, Wolf Blitzer this weekend, here is the schedule:

Saturday: DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meets to rule on Florida & Michigan challenges. Oral arguments begin at 9:30 AM EST. After a lunch break, RBC members will "consider and debate the challenges" in the afternoon. As many as 368 delegates — 313 pledged, 55 super — are at stake. More on the numbers here.

Sunday: Puerto Rico votes. The polls are open from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST. 55 pledged delegates are at stake. As for the "popular vote," depending on how you do the math, Hillary Clinton needs to win by more than 113,000, more than 177,000, or more than 268,000 votes to have a shot at staking any sort of arguably plausible claim on a popular-vote "victory." (Of course, the "popular vote" is inherently illegitimate, and moreover, counting every vote isn’t such a good idea for Clinton anyway. But the question right now is whether she’ll even have an argument, not whether it’s a winning argument.)

My blogging on these events will probably be rather light, as my parents are in town this weekend.

McCain’s Arab-American problem

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Will John McCain lose the presidency because of the Arab-American vote?

Arab-Americans are both very likely to vote — their turnout is 20
percent higher than that of the general population — and they are
concentrated. Two-thirds of them live in just 10 states, including the
swing states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, Arab-Americans have made up 2 percent
of the electorate in recent elections. That sounds like a small
proportion, but in a close race it can make a difference. In 2000, Bush
won the Arab-American vote over Gore by 7.5 percentage points. … [This year, however,] Zogby polling has found that a strong majority of Arab-Americans now favor Obama.

(Hat tip: Sullivan.)

Everybody take off your pants!

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Why? Because Hitler wore pants, that’s why! Hitler!

Hillary schedules events thru next Friday

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

There are some indications that Hillary Clinton is planning on sticking around past next Tuesday. Specifically, the reporters embedded with her campaign "received an email Thursday afternoon informing [them] they could sign up for travel through June 6 on the campaign website." (Hat tip: Halperin.)

Notwithstanding this, I predict she drops out on Thursday (the 5th). Obama will reach the "magic number" — however it’s defined — either Tuesday night or Wednesday (with additional superdelegate endorsements), thus well and truly clinching the nomination. At that point, the pressure on Hillary to withdraw will become intense and almost universal among party leaders outside her circle of sycophants and rabid supporters.

If she presses on, using Michigan and Florida as her phony rationale for doing so — and, yes, it’s phony even if she genuinely believes it, having convinced herself of her righteousness — it’ll be career suicide (and quite possibly party suicide). Which doesn’t mean she won’t do it, but I’d bet against it. All things considered, I suspect this "schedule" is mostly for show.