Saturday, July 31, 2010

Obama Disapproval Nears 50%

President Obama's disapproval has reached over 50% in Rasmussen polls for months now-- and Rasmussen tends to be the most accurate of any of the national pollsters. However, according to an average of six major polling firms, five of them have him underwater while just one has his approval and disapproval tied.

The RCP polling average shows:

Approval: 45.2%
Disapproval: 49.8%

This trend appears to be continuing-- and more and more people appear to be alienated by his policies.

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Dems Losing Support Among Minorities?

According to a new poll from PPP, reported by RealClearPolitics, the Democrats are losing support among minority votes. Democrats made huge gains in the 2008 voters, especially among Latino voters. However, new findings seem to point to a reduction in support.

The latest polls suggest that the 2004 levels of support for Democratic candidates weren't completely flukish. In its latest generic ballot, PPPfinds that Hispanics favor the Democratic candidate 58-21, while African Americans break 83-8.Quinnipiac finds a 83-3 split among blacks and a 55-27 split among Hispanics.
While those numbers are consistent with either 2004- or 2008-like numbers, depending which Party you are looking at, the CNN poll seems to have pressed undecideds a little harder. The levels of Democratic support stay at their 2004 levels, while the level of GOP support climbs to 2004 levels: African Americans favor the Democratic candidate at a 82-14 clip, while Hispanics break 54-39 Democratic. Note that all of the variance here is in degree of support for the Republican candidate; the support for the Democratic candidate stays steady.
Hopefully the Democratic losses continue-- but the GOP still needs to reach out to minority voters if they would like to be competitive in 2012.

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Quote of the Day

"The Postmodernists' tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose." 
 Christopher Hitchens

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim--so modestly and so humbly--to possess. It is time to withdraw our "respect" from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world." 
 Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer)

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feingold Falls Behind in WI Senate Race

Incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, one of the most leftist members of the United States Senate has officially fallen behind in his quest for another term. This is bad news for Feingold for several reasons. One, it's not usually good to be seen as behind as an incumbent. Second, his polling is steadily under 50%, showing deep dissatisfaction in his job performance. Third, he is behind Ron Johnson, who is basically unknown in the state. As Johnson is able to attack more and Feingold is forced on the defensive and to explain his record, his poll numbers may fall further. This is one of the toss-up races within the Senate races this year.

Welcome Instapundit Readers! While you're here, check out our expose on Obama's IL State Senate Records!

The poll comes from Rasmussen, the most accurate of the major pollsters. Previous polls showed Feingold with a small lead, but now it appears that he is slipping further. RELATED: A solution to the AZ immigration law.

Johnson (R): 48%
Feingold (D): 46%
Other/und: 6%

Undecided and irate voters tend to fall in about two-thirds behind the challenger. If this is the case in this race, Johnson would pick up a total of 52% and Feingold 48%. President Bush only lost this state by 10,000 votes in 2004 and a smaller turnout within the Democratic base coupled with a well-oiled GOP machine could put Feingold behind for good.

And for all of the up-to-date poll coverage.

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Things are not all right in Nevada.

This headline really pissed me off this morning:

Sharron Angle is in a Good Position Against Harry Reid

No she is not. Sharron Angle led Senator Reid for almost seven consecutive months, before Reid overcame her in a recent Mason-Dixon poll released a few weeks ago, than the polling numbers from two more firms confirmed what we most were thinking: Angle is tanking, but hanging on. We interviewed Angle earlier this year.

We have seen this time and time again over the past several months - when Burns lost, when Hoffman lost, when Coakley lost and when Djou won. If the numbers really start to shift tides from one spectrum to the other, than we have a huge problem, and Nevada state law only further complicates the situation.

Did you know that John Ensign almost threw Harry Reid out of the US Senate back in 1998, and that he only lost by 228 voters? Unless you have heard about Nevada's none of these candidates option for voters in the state, you would not have known; because that chicken little option cost Ensign the election - 8,000 voters chickened out, instead of choosing a candidate.

If Angle continues to trail without relief in sight, and voters continue to remain undecided about the election, I don't see her winning. She needs to campaign, advertise, or just do something that will enrage Nevada voters about Harry Reid, and give them a reason to support Sharron Angle, if not - Senator Reid will win reelection by a couple hundred votes again.


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The Solution to Arizona's Immigration Law

This is a viable solution that no one has thought of, so I urge you to read this.

Today, the new immigration law in Arizona, SB 1070, went into effect.  However, the full force of the law has been blocked by Judge Susan Bolton.  Judge Bolton filed an injunction against a section of the bill that stated that, if someone was stopped while committing a crime, and they were unable to provide identification nor speak fluent English, they could be questioned about their immigration status.

Detractors of the bill are crying profiling, stating that police will be able to practically stop anyone they want.  For example, Hillary Clinton stated "I don't think there's any doubt" the immigration law would lead to profiling.  Those in favor of the bill cite the fact that only those who've committed a crime will be subjugated to the new law and only after several factors have been met.

The debate continues, and seems to be elevating with this injunction.  I fully believe that if a solution is not found, this case will reach its crescendo and peak with the Supreme Court.  But I believe that I have a solution that will eliminate the possibility of profiling and satisfy proponents of Arizona's new law:

Check the immigration status of everyone.

Every single person who commits a crime in Arizona should have their immigration status checked.  There would be no profiling because everyone would have to participate, thus satisfying critics.  Any illegal immigrants would be found, including ones that may have been missed, thus satisfying proponents.  This possible solution seems so simple, I am shocked that no one has mentioned it before.

But there you have it.  Is this the solution to the problem in Arizona?  Maybe, maybe not, but I believe this is an option that must be looked at.

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I Knew It! Dinner for Schmucks SUCKS

Phew, that was a close one.  Watching the commercials for Dinner for Schmucks, starring the normally funny Steve Carell, I smelled crap.  Yet when the first few reviews came out on Rotten Tomatoes, I was horrified to see glowing proclamations.  Luckily, the stars have realigned, and more reviews have come.  And, I can happily say, Dinner for Schmucks sucks!

Dinner currently under 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and seems poised to drop further.  Considering the first five reviews were "fresh," obviously the ones after that were pretty bad.
Sorry Mr. Carell, you've made your first crappy movie (that I've heard of).

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Quote of the Day

"One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think-though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one-that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell." 
 Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

12 Republicans voted against Afghanistan War Funding Bill.

The House of Representatives voted on and passed the much needed Afghanistan War funding bill last night by a vote of 308-114. A majority of the opposition came from a divided Democratic Caucus, but 12 members of the usually neo-Conservative Republican Caucus voted against the essential war funding legislation.

This should no longer come as a surprise to me, but it is just so damn awful that members of our own Caucus, the true representatives of the American soldier, stand against our humble soldiers, and our Wars on Terror.

Here's the list of Republicans that need to go:

Congressman Broun (Georgia).
Congressman Campbell (California).
Congressman Chaffetz (Utah).
Congressman Duncan (Tennessee).
Congressman Ehlers (Michigan).
Congressman Flake (Arizona).
Congressman Gingrey (Georgia).
Congressman Jones (N. Carolina).
Congressman Johnson (Illinois).
Congressman Linder (Georgia).
Congressman Paul (Texas).
Congressman Rohrabacher (California).

This is the reason I'm fearful of a United States Senate with Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ken Buck and Sharron Angle, in addition to Senator's Coburn and DeMint. Once we regain control of Congress, and say we have to expand the War on Terrorism into Pakistan or Yemen, will we have enough of our own Representatives and Senator's on the right side?

That's the question that leaves me awake at night.

What say you?

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BREAKING: Fed Judge Blocks AZ Law

 From all over the wires comes the news that a Federal Judge has issued an injunction blocking the enforcement of the strict Arizona Immigration law.

An excerpt from the article:

The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.
"Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled.

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Interview With Bill Frezza

 Jumping in Pools is proud to present its 103rd interview in our ongoing series. Today we are interviewing Bill Frezza, who is a partner with Adams Capital Management and is an economic expert. His columns have appeared at Fox Business and RealClearMarkets. One of his recent articles explains that by removing the corporate income tax the economy will grow by leaps and bounds, removing our unemployment problem. We appreciate the time he took to participate in this interview.

1. Do you expect that the economy will face another downturn next year when the Bush tax cuts expire?
Yes, of course. A country cannot tax and spend its way back to prosperity. If an attempt is made to do that our current jobless recovery will turn back into a jobless recession.
2. Has President Obama been better or worse for the economy than you had anticipated?

I expected the worst from a president with Barack Obama’s economic views. I did not realize his leadership skills were as bad as they have proven to be, turning over the legislative agenda to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. On balance, then, Obama has been worse for the economy than I expected.

3. What is the best part about being a columnist?

It’s a great way to vent without boring my friends and dinner companions to death.

4. Do you foresee the federal budget deficit returning to manageable levels if the Democrats retain control of the White House and both Houses of Congress?

Not a chance. The best thing that can be said if the Democrats hold on to both houses is that there will be no one else to blame when Obama comes up for re-election, hence he will go the way of Jimmy Carter. The long term problem, however, is that when Republicans gain power they spend like Democrats.

5. Will California be able to solve its debt problems without having to declare bankruptcy?
I do not believe there is a legal mechanism for a state to “declare bankruptcy” and thereby seek protection from creditors. I do believe we are going to the California default on numerous financial obligations include bond payments, pension payouts, vendor payments, and state worker payrolls.

6. Any thoughts on running for office at some point?

If nominated I shall not run. If elected, I shall not serve. :)

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Expect Another Three-Way Race in NY-23

Some interesting news from the North Country district in New York. Last year saw the heated race between Democrat Bill Owens, Republican Dede Scozafava, and Conservative Doug Hoffman (who we interviewed at JiP.) Hoffman lost in the tight three-way race to Owens, who captured less than 50% of the vote.

Now it appears that there will be a new three-way race for the district this year, at least according to one source.

Looks like it will be a barn-burner:

Hoffman, 60, insists he still has strong support in the district, and has not lost any of his momentum from last fall. His campaign released its own poll last week of 300 likely Republican primary voters, showing Hoffman leading Doheny by 32 points, 52 percent to 20 percent.

Rob Ryan, speaking for Hoffman, said the campaign is not worried about its financial disadvantage heading into the primary. He added, “Doug Hoffman will have the resources needed to win the Republican primary. And he is the only candidate who can unite the Republican and Conservative parties and defeat Bill Owens in November.”

Unfortunately, this division will just help the incumbent. Despite NY-23 being a conservative district, it did go for Barack Obama in 2008. Having Owens running as a conservative veteran incumbent will definitely hurt the chances the GOP has to win back the seat.

Cross-posted at Upstate Political Report.

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Poll Places Brown Up By 6 in CA

 According to PPP, a Democratic-leaning polling firm, Democrat Jerry Brown leads his GOP opponent by six in the race to become the next Governor of California. A similar Rasmussen poll released earlier this month placed Meg Whitman with a one-point lead. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Brown holds a one percent lead.

The PPP poll also gets into the nitty-gritty of internal data, including breaking up the voter by who they voted for in 2008 as well as political ideology.

Brown (D): 46%
Whitman (R): 40%
Other/und: 14%

There's still a lot of undecided voters out there. One interesting thing will be to see how the equation changes regarding the current governor. Arnold's ratings are in the tank and his disapproval is nearly the same between Republicans and Democrats. Many Republicans see him as just another Democrat, which may increase pro-Whitman turnout on election day.

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Our Local Government

Circa Fall 2005

The Court of “Common Pleas” was used from the colonial period, as time progressed. Under our state’s first Constitution, the number of judges, and “assistant” judges, was allowed to greatly vary from county to county. Also, assistant judges were appointed. In 1818, an act was passed which abolished assistant judges and limited the number of judges per county to five.

The New York Constitution of 1846 made it so that nearly all offices were elected by the people. In place of assistant judges, two justices of the peace were associated with the county’s judges. Among other offices elected by the public are: county clerks, county treasurers, sheriff, in their second term and on, attorneys, and most public service positions. The book gives a list of those who occupied different offices.

And amazingly, people from our county have held high and prestigious positions. Among this exclusive club is William C. Bouck, the only person from our county to become Governor, Abraham Keyser, who became the state’s treasurer, and fourteen senators. Peter S. Danforth was a Supreme Court Justice, and John F. Hazleton was consular to Italy.

The book also tells of people who practiced law in Schoharie County, some of which were alive when the text was written, but are presumably dead now. The book lists 39 people. Amazingly, one of those who practiced law professionally was Ralph Brewster, whose descendants landed at Plymouth from the Mayflower. Also, Peter Danforth is named. Right after that, his son, George, was also named. Apparently the elder Danforth had much influence on George.

It’s amazing that our county, our little county, has had a Governor, a Supreme Court Judge, and a consular to Italy. Our county has had immense political power, but hopefully it will soon be over-shadowed when someone from our county becomes President.

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Quote of the Day

"To "choose" dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. " 
 Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

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Over 100 Possibly Dead in Pakistan Plane Crash

A passenger jet carrying over 150 people has crashed in hills near Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

The rest from Yahoo!:

ISLAMABAD – A passenger jet carrying 152 people crashed into the hills surrounding Pakistan's capital on a rainy Wednesday morning, officials said. At least five people were killed and three wounded, but many more were feared dead.
The cause of the Airblue crash was not immediately clear, said Pervez George, a civil aviation official. He said the plane was flying from Karachi to Islamabad and was trying to land during difficult weather. Airblue is private service based in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city.
"The plane was about to land at the Islamabad airport when it lost contact with the control tower, and later we learned that the plane had crashed," George said.
Guards with the forestry service said they had found some wreckage and seen at least five dead bodies, said Imtiaz Inayat Ali, an official with Islamabad's Capital Development Authority. Amir Ahmed, the city's deputy commissioner, told the ARY news channel that rescuers had found at least three people who were alive but wounded.
"This is a miracle as we had been briefed that there might not be any survivors," Ahmed said.
Pakistani news channels showed what appeared to be wreckage of the plane as a helicopter hovered above the heavily forested hills to assess the situation. Fire was visible and smoke was blowing up from the scene. The army said it was sending special troops to the area to help out along with helicopters.
Mohammed Usman, an official at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport said dozens of relatives of passengers gathered there were crying and desperate to get information about their loved ones.
Saqlain Altaf told Pakistan's ARY news channel that he was on a family outing in the hills when he saw the plane, looking unsteady in the air.
"The plane had lost balance, and then we saw it going down," he said, adding he heard the crash.
Airblue could not immediately be reached for comment.
Officials at first thought it was a small plane, but later revised that. George said 146 passengers were on the flight along with six crew members.
The only previous recorded accident for Airblue, a carrier founded in 2003, was a tailstrike in May 2008 at Quetta airport by one of the airline's Airbus 321 jets. There were no casualties and damage was minimal, according to the U.S.-based Aviation Safety Network.
Airblue flies within Pakistan as well as internationally to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the United Kingdom.
Other Pakistani airlines have come under international scrutiny due to safety concerns.
In 2007, the European Union temporarily banned flights in its airspace of most of the aircraft operated by Pakistan's national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, because of concerns over the age of the aircraft and poor maintenance. The bloc lifted the ban later that year after the airline took action to comply with safety standards.
The last major plane crash in Pakistan was in July 2006 when a Fokker F-27 twin-engine aircraft operated by Pakistan International Airlines slammed into a wheat field on the outskirts of the central Pakistani city of Multan, killing all 45 people on board.
In August 1989, another PIA Fokker, with 54 people onboard, went down in northern Pakistan on a domestic flight. The plane's wreckage was never found.
In September 1992, a PIA Airbus A300 crashed into a mountain in Nepal, killing all 167 people on board. Investigators found the plane was flying 1,500 feet lower than it reported as it approached the Katmandu airport.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Check Out the New and Improved Qwanz

Jumping in Pools has been proud to use Qwanz for more than half a year, provide up-to-date polling information for our readers for free. Their flexible programming allows us to embed polls right into an article and allows voting even for non-registered users.

Our blog focuses primarily on politics, so we make ample use of Qwanz's ability to create pertinent political polling-- and feature the results for our readers. Furthermore, you can vote in polls from all over the world and featured at many sites all around the internet.

Anyone interested to see how Qwanz works is invited to take a look at the differences between Qwanz and other of the major polling sites on the net. You'll see that in many respects their services are still free but still superior.

Qwanz has undergone a series of changes to improve their services. Now you can embed long-term surveys and widgets right on your site-- free from Qwanz.

So check out Qwanz-- set up an account and you can publish polls on your own site or just host them on the Qwanz main site. Furthermore, your account will stay free and you can use it for multiple polls at one time. Of course, you'll be seeing plenty more Qwanz polls right here at Jumping in Pools-- so feel free to vote and express your opinion.

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Jeb Bush 'Not Running' in 2012

Jeb Bush, the well-known former Governor of Florida and brother of the last President has announced that he is "not" running for President in 2012. This follows speculation from many places, including here at little-old Jumping in Pools.

Politico is quoting an interview from a Florida radio station-- and Bush was pretty unequivocal:

But asked Tuesday by Louisville’s ABC affiliate WHAS following an event with Paul whether he was eyeing a challenge to President Barack Obama, Bush responded flatly: “I am not running for president.”
Whether this means that he will or not-- it's about a year too early to see. That being said, I believe that he would be a strong candidate, but his last name is still hurting him.

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Obama Disapproval Reaches New High

For those who are still interested to see if President Obama has any supports left-- check out the new poll average from Real Clear Politics. According to their tracker, the President's disapproval rating has reached its highest rating yet.

Approval: 45.7%
Disapproval: 49.0%

Rasmussen has the President's disapproval at a high 56% while Time, which is infamous for left-leaning polls, has him at "only" 45%. It should also be noted that Time is the only of the major polls that have Obama with more approving than disapproving.

So when we get the repeal of the Bush tax cuts and the economy tanks, how many people are going to approve then? Or if we get a job-killing, energy-price-spiking cap and tax bill, how many people will be happy? Or when people have to pay new taxes to pay for ObamaCare? Or when Iran gets the bomb?

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Angry Fan Karate Kicks Ref in Soccer Game

Like soccer?  Well, no one does, but you may find this article interesting.  A Chinese soccer fan karate kicked a referee after the Qingdao Chinese Super League club received two red cards.  He then promptly shoved a linesman, and caused a melee to ensue.

From Yahoo!:

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese fan enraged by two quick red cards shown to the Qingdao Chinese Super League club at the weekend registered his annoyance by launching a karate kick at the referee and shoving a linesman.
The incident dealt another blow to the image of Chinese soccer, which is widely considered to be corrupt and riven with violence both on and off the pitch.
Slovenian forward Aleksander Rodic was the first Qingdao player given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for diving in the 67th minute of the 2-0 loss to Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday.
Croatian midfielder Stjepan Jukic followed him for an early shower three minutes later after being shown a straight red card for a nasty foul.
The tackle sparked a melee during which the unidentified man raced onto the pitch and attacked the two officials, Chinese media reported on Monday.
Yu Tao, general manager of the Qingdao club, denied that the man, who was wearing branded shorts and trainers, was a club employee.
"The man was definitely not on the staff of our club. He was just an emotional fan," he told the Xinhua news agency. "The referee failed to control the game well -- perhaps he was too young."
Around 100 Qingdao fans smashed up a car they believed belonged to referee Wang Zhe after the match, Xinhua reported.

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Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas a Potential Windfall for Israel and Lebanon– And of Course Hezbollah Wants It

But there's a catch. There's always a risk of war when two nations are trying to vie for the same resources under a similar border/sea. Think August 1990 at the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. Of course, Hezbollah is sounding the war alarms in an attempt to gain more power for themselves:
"Lebanon's need for the resistance has doubled today in light of Israeli threats to steal Lebanon's oil wealth," Hezbollah's Executive Council chief Hashem Safieddine said last month. The need to protect the offshore wealth "pushes us in the future to strengthen the resistance's capabilities."
According to the article, Israel is going to start producing natural gas in two years and will have enough energy for the next twenty years.

Of course there's talk of Lebanon also developing these waters. Without significant foreign help, it does not appear like Beirut will be able to do so. And furthermore, Hezbollah definitely will not be able to develop and maintain such an infrastructure if it ever took over the country. That being said, it follows that we should prevent those terrorists from getting a hold of such a lucrative resource.

Cross-posted at World Threats.
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Alabama doesn't change.

I knew there was a reason I've always wanted to visit Alabama, and I believe that reason has been found - their consistent Conservatives who do not ever change. According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, nearly the exact same amount of Alabama voters feel the same way now in 2010, than they did in 2008 about President Barack Obama.

2008 US Presidential Election:

McCain - 60.32%
Obama - 38.74%
Others - 01.96%

2010 US Presidential approval:

Disapprove - 60%
Approve - 39%
Not Sure - 2%

In a world that is lacking consistency, Alabama could teach us all a thing or two. Also, according to that same poll, Senator Shelby will be reelected with relative ease in November, and close to 70% of the state's voting population favor a complete repeal of Obamacare, while 26% don't and 5% are unsure.



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2010 - Year of the Pitcher.

I am more than convinced of the fact that 2010 is the Year of the Pitcher (or at least the Year of the Pitcher in the post-steroids era) in Major League Baseball. We have witnessed five no-no's, 2 of which were Perfect Game's, and we still have two months left in the season. What will be next for the Pitchers, and what more can be achieved this season than this:

April 17th, 2010 - Ubaldo Jimenez against the Atlanta Braves.
May 9th, 2010 - Dallas Braden* against the Tampa Bay Rays.
May 29th, 2010 - Roy Halladay** against the Florida Marlins.
June 25th, 2010 - Edwin Jackson against the Tampa Bay Rays.
July 26th, 2010 - Matt Garza against the Detroit Tigers.

Can the remarkable season of 1968 be matched this year? Probably not, because Pitcher's don't have a shot in hell of winning 31 games anymore, and a 1.12 ERA is near impossible to recreate. However, Ubaldo Jimenez could win 22 or 23 games, and Josh Johnson's ERA is currently at an impressive 1.61 for the season.

Whether we match 1968 is not a question to be pondered, but whether this season is the single greatest complete season for Pitchers since 1968 is. Two months left in the season; who knows what will happen next.

* - First Perfecto of the Season.
** - Second Perfecto of the Season.


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Quote of the Day

"Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and --since there is no other metaphor--also the soul. 
 Christopher Hitchens

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