Monthly Archives: November 2008

How Barack Obama Was Elected

John Ziegler has put together some interesting information now that Senator Obama is President-elect Obama.

On Election Day, producers for a documentary entitled “How Obama Got Elected” asked random people coming out of the polls why they voted for Obama. The people they asked were a diverse group – black, white, old, young, male, female and such.

Now you certainly can’t judge a huge group of people (millions of people voted for Obama) based on the responses of a few people coming out of a polling station, so they commissioned a phone poll to ask a greater number of Obama voters the same questions. And they gave them multiple choice answers. Want the results?

  • 94% of Obama voters correctly identified Sarah Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter.
  • 86% of Obama voters identified Palin as the candidate who spent $150,000 on a campaign wardrobe.
  • 86.9 % of Obama voters though that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though the quote actually came from Saturday Night Live.
  • 57.4% of Obama voters could not correctly say which party controls congress.
  • 82.6% of Obama voters could not correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot
  • 88.4% of Obama voters could not correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket
  • 56.1% of Obama voters didn’t know that Obama started his political career at the home of Bill Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist.
  • I’ve always supported a voter qualification exam for this country. When helping to make a decision as important as who leads the United States of America, people need not to be stupid. I once proposed giving voters the choice between voting and getting lottery tickets.

    I still think that would help weed out some voters that don’t have any business voting in a Presidential election, but I support an exam even more than before. If I have to take a test to operate a vehicle on government property, why can anyone help make a decision that affects billions of people?

    This exam would not be hard, not in the slightest. Simple political knowledge should be required to vote. If 12% of my American Politics class didn’t know who America’s first President was, they should not be voting. And neither should millions of other Americans.

    MSA Elections & My Endorsement

    There are three slates running for MSA President and Vice President and I’ve had a chance to hear each of them out about what they plan to do. And I also got to hear about how one has no actual plan. That was cool and extremely helpful.

    As a student leader that’s heavily invested in the Residence Halls Association and STRIPES (Mizzou’s safe-ride home program) I was most concerned about how the slates would work with these two organizations in addition to everything else. And I felt that one slate was far and away better for the students of Missouri than either of the other two. So I wrote a letter of endorsement for our student paper.

    From TheManeater.com

    My name is Nate Ballance and I am a senior at MU. I have been heavily involved on campus during my time here, serving as the vice president of the Residence Halls Association and as the sponsorship chairman for STRIPES, MU’s safe ride home program. In both roles, I have worked closely with the Missouri Students Association and because of those relationships, I feel perfectly comfortable endorsing Jordan Paul and Colleen Hoffmann for MSA president and vice president.

    Having spent four years in RHA and witnessing the hard work that’s led to real progress in improving relations between RHA and MSA, I feel completely assured that Paul and Hoffmann will be more than capable of continuing the invaluable contributions current President Jim Kelley and Vice President Chelsea Johnson have made in the past year.

    I feel Paul and Hoffmann’s experience and qualifications make them the most attractive choice to lead MU’s student government. In addition to their extensive MSA experience, Paul and Hoffman have presented a clear and realistic plan for the direction they wish to see the organization take. If victorious, they would enter office ready to hit the ground running and be ready to serve the students of MU from the beginning.

    Jordan Paul and Colleen Hoffmann give MU students an option to vote for a slate that has not only incredible experience and qualifications, but also a clear and obvious plan if elected. As a student who has worked extensively with MSA for several years, I have no qualms with endorsing Jordan Paul and Colleen Hoffman in the upcoming MSA election, nor in encouraging MU students to do the same.

    Having witnessed the tremendous job that both Jim Kelley and Chelsea Johnson have done in their short time in office, I look forward to being able to work with Jordan Paul and Colleen Hoffmann in continuing that success to optimize the effect that MSA can have on our school and our students. Fresh off our country’s election, we have another duty to vote for who leads our student government. And in my opinion, there’s no one better prepared for the challenge than Jordan Paul and Colleen Hoffmann.

    Saw Six

    When TJ came to visit me, Saw 5 was just hitting the theaters. TJ likes the Saw movies so he and I watched the first four before going to see number five.

    I’m not a huge fan of the whole gory horror flick, but the story lines certainly are brilliant and creative. Unnecessarily chop-’em-up and bloody, but ingenious nonetheless. After we saw the fifth one, the filmmaker in TJ decided he wanted to try his hand at creating his own amateur Saw film.

    So we made Saw Six. Filmed at various locations around Columbia, it probably will end up running about thirty minutes. Not having the proper special effects to depict the amount of blood used in regular Saw movies, we simply eliminated the blood, except for a minor cut I sustained while wielding a knife near the end of the movie (since healed). TJ wrote a storyboard outline while I was in class and I starred in the movie after class.

    TJ and I wrote no script and just about everything in the movie is ad-libbed. As far as I know the movie is still sitting on his handheld video camera, and may never make it to the big screen, let alone facebook or YouTube. It took us about two afternoons to film, with the help and camerawork of my good friend Bradley.

    Regardless of quality, TJ, Brad and I had fun shooting the movie. Sure, some of the language is inappropriate and I wore a pretty blonde wig, but it was fun. Both our moms always say we’re stupid together, but we’re good kids staying out of trouble.

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    Yankees Trade For Nick Swisher

    The Yankees picked up Nick Swisher and P Kanekoa Texeira for Wilson Betemit and minor league pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez.

    Even though Swisher had a down year, probably the worst of his professional career last year with the White Sox, the Yankees made out really good with this trade. Unless the White Sox are just trying to dump salary, this trade doesn’t make much sense for them. Swisher is clearly better than Betemit and his career-low average to his also career low BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .251. Swisher also had a better line-drive rate (nearly 21%) than he usually does, which points to the fact that he hit some bad luck in 2008. Less ground balls found holes and more well-hit balls were hit at fielders. He should return to be a .270/.375/.480 hitter or so in 2009. Swisher also managed to draw 82 walks and hit 24 home runs

    Betemit on the other hand drew six walks while striking out 56 times and has a .135 walk to strikeout ratio since joining the Yankees in the American League. He has occasional pop from the left side of the plate, but certainly isn’t better than Nick Swisher, although consistent playing time could benefit him, and he could get that in Chicago, but not New York.

    Betemit is labeled a utility infielder, but is really only serviceable at first and third and even at those positions, he’s well below average defensively.

    Swisher is owed $21.05MM over the next three years with a $10.25MM option for 2012 (or a $1MM buyout). He’s reasonably priced and would be a bargain if his performance returns to 2006-2007 level. Betemit will make around $2MM in arbitration this year for the White Sox.

    The White Sox got back a pair of minor league arms in return, the big name being Jeff Marquez. He started out impressively in his minor league career but has dropped significantly in the Yankee farm system due to a lack of a strikeout pitch. If he can’t get ground balls, then he’ll never be a viable major league option and he’s dropped off in that category too.

    Jhonny Nunez is the more promising arm, but is not much different than the other guy Chicago sent to New York, Kanekoa Texeira. The Yankees pulled Nunez from starting and plugged him into the bullpen and he became a really good arm out of there. He could potentially become a major league closer in a year or two.

    Another positive for the Yankees is that Texeira doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster, while Marquez and Nunez do. So the Yankees gain some roster flexibility in case they want to sign a few free agents, say CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett or Derek Lowe. Or that other Teixeira guy.

    The Yankees seem to have bought low on Swisher and if he rebounds the way the Yankees hope he does, this deal could turn out to be a steal.

    MACURH 2008 Weekend

    Win for the Missouri Tigers over Kansas State on Saturday night
    Win for the New York Jets over St. Louis on Sunday afternoon
    Win for the New York Knicks over Utah Sunday afternoon
    And one huge Program Of The Year win for Mizzou’s RHA.

    On Friday morning, we left Mizzou with a delegation of nine people headed for the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference at the University of Missouri of Science & Technology. We checked in, went to a few hours of programming and then checked into our own assignments for the night. For myself, and Ryan (our PCC), Lauren (NCC) and J (advisor), we had our own socials to go to, with our respective counterparts from throughout the region.

    I got to spend about an hour chatting with other RHA Presidents from about forty other schools from our region. We introduced ourselves, reviewed how our boardrooms were going to be structured the next day and then just compared how semesters were going at other schools.

    As much fun as all that was, Saturday was the big day. Boardrooms abounded for Lauren, Ryan and myself in the morning, but although we got a ton of work done in my President’s boardroom, the central part of the day was my bid presentation after lunch.

    Mizzou has had a rather lackluster participation in regional and national conferences in recent years, and this bid was our first serious bid in several years. The Program Of The Year award consists of a 20-page written bid about a program that your organization has put on within the past year for the residents. Then comes the presentation at the conference which includes a fifteen minute oral presentation followed by a question-and-answer session with the joint boardroom (NCCs, PCCs, NRHH reps & advisors .. roughly 200 people). In the POY presentation boardroom, the PCC has the speaking power and the school’s vote. The delegation from each school in the boardroom is allowed to converse together before a vote, but the PCC holds the final voting power. One school, one vote. Mizzou’s huge on-campus size counts the same as the 200-resident K-State Salina.

    This year, there were three bids for Program of the Year. Mizzou’s bid was for our program Mizzou Iron Chef, which was a recreation of the Food Network’s hit show, Iron Chef America involving teams of student chefs paired with a Campus Dining Services sous-chef. Missouri S&T’s bid for The UnGodly Hour, a 9-session discussion about atheism and christianity. The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ bid was for their Amateur Drag Show which is exactly what the title indicates. Students cross-dressing and walking down a runway. The Mizzou bid you can find by clicking the link provided. The bids for UMSL and Missouri S&T are no longer available online, as only the winning bid remains available on the MACURH website. Although if anyone really wants to read them, I still have the PDF files on my computer.

    After reading all three bids thoroughly, I felt our bid was far and away the most impressive of the bunch. I’m not a huge fan of drag shows, but UMSL’s bid was well executed and beneficial to a large number of residents. It did was a good RHA program should do for its residents .. entertain and educate. Missouri S&T’s bid looked very impressive, but after reading it I felt it was rushed, shallow and a quite honestly, a disgrace. What the program boiled down to was two friends got into a religious debate on night and decided they wanted to do that more often. So the two of them stuck up a few paper fliers, read a few articles and just argued with twenty people or so nine times. It was extremely limited in scope and not something that I would have nominated for a Regional award.

    The joint boardroom for the POY presentations open with everyone (including presenters) in the boardroom and a roll call of voting schools. Nominations are then accepted for POY bids. A school that bids for Program of the Year are not guaranteed since they must be nominated. This is usually just a technicality as a school’s PCC can nominate his or her own school’s bid. And they usually do just that.

    After all three bids had been nominated, the boardroom was emptied and the first presenter prepared the room for her presentation and then the session reconvened. Missouri S&T (being first alphabetically) went first while I and the UMSL presenter sat outside, not allowed to view the other presentations. After the Missouri S&T presentation, the boardroom emptied again and I set up my presentation. I started with our promotional (damn, that was the word I was looking for in my presentation .. ended up using “preview” instead) video created by our then-Speaker of Congress, Tanner Tucker and then transitioned into my killer PowerPoint presentation. After my presentation I entered into the Q&A part of the process. I felt that this was the strongest part of my presentation and the representatives obviously were passionate about our program and presentation as it was moved to extend the Q&A for further information.

    After my presentation ended, I was again escorted outside of the boardroom to wait. And this is where my time in that boardroom ended. Everything else is information given to me by Ryan, Lauren and other school’s representatives that were in the boardroom. I hope to soon have the minutes from the boardroom to know exactly what went on.

    After the UMSL presentation, which I’m told was okay .. not too bad but not overly impressive either .. they said the presenter seemed uneasy and somewhat unprepared, the boardroom moved into a time of discussion. This starts with a pro/con session for each bid, that start with alternating pros and cons about each program and ends with three unanswered pros or three unanswered cons. Mizzou Iron Chef was the only bid of the three that ended in three unanswered pros. After that process the boardroom was moved to an open discussion.

    Let me preface this part by explaining about the representatives from Missouri S&T. They are overinvolved and very passionate about Residential Life. They pride themselves on bidding for everything and everything and are very vocal about their many wins. Add that to the fact that they hosted this particular conference made them nearly unbearable this weekend. And this boardroom sealed the deal and ruined the region’s perception of them.

    One of their delegates spent over half an hour (an entire page of minutes) doing nothing but trashing Mizzou Iron Chef and Mizzou, while praising their joke of a program and pathetic bid – they used 11 quotes in their bid from five people (all students), while I used five quotes from five people (3 students, 2 faculty) .. quotes are often used to spice up a bid, but they also help take up space. Ryan then was allowed to talk and he yielded to Lauren who led with

    I’ll try to only take half a page, but..

    And proceeded to tear apart everything Missouri S&T had said and then tore apart Missouri S&T. I’m so proud of my NCC and PCC. After that, a boardroom that had been expected to be fairly divided turned drastically in favor of Mizzou. Or perhaps more accurately stated, turned against Missouri S&T. A clear majority is needed to win Program of the Year which probably meant somewhere around 20-25 votes. So multiple votes were expected. But only one was needed. And Mizzou won on the first count.

    I sat outside the boardroom for 90 minutes for a discussion that should take fifteen. I spoke with the UMSL presenter who was back to normal dress, except for the hot pink nail polish for most of the time that the boardroom ran. We both expressed a desire to win, but a stronger desire to see Missouri S&T lose. So needless to say, when the winner was announced at the banquet (even though we were back in Columbia) I’m sure both of us were pleased, as I’m sure the majority of the region was as well.

    The whole point of this post I guess was to inform everyone that MIZZOU was the recipient of the 2008 Program Of The Year Award for the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls.

    Congratulations President Obama

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    Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. Michelle Obama will be the First Lady.

    As crazy as that sounds and how unimaginable it probably was a year ago, it’s the truth. And congratulations once again to President Obama.

    I feel the need to clear some things up before Obama is sworn in as the leader of the free world.

    I do not want Barack Obama to fail as President. In fact, I hope that he becomes the best President the United States has ever had and turns America around. But as much as I hope that this happens, I’m not expecting it to.

    Unlike many people who didn’t like the President the past 8 years, I will support America’s President, because I’m an American first and then a conservative. By no means am I convinced that Barack Obama is better for America than John McCain would have been, but I will support the leader of my country because he needs it. I disagree with nearly everything that comes out of Obama’s mouth, but will hope he succeeds in the White House.

    I don’t think he will, but I will hope he will. So let’s see what you’ve got Barack Obama, because it better be good.

    MLB Free Agents – Where Will They Land?

    Here are all the 2009 MLB free agents. I’m not going to predict where each and every one of them will wind up, but I’ll do the top thirty.

    Come April, I’ll be happy if I can look back at this list and have gotten a handful of these thirty right.

    1. CC Sabathia (SP) – Sabathia is the single most important piece to the Yankees offseason plans. I think he loves pitching against the inferior NL lineups, loves taking his hacks and would be more content in Southern California, but ultimately the Yankees will blow every other team out of the water with their offer and Sabathia will take it. Yankees: 7 years, $170MM

    2. Mark Teixeira (1B) – The Angels offense finally add that big bat they needed and I can’t see them surrendering that. K-Rod is easily replaced, and they could actually probably upgrade. I’ll say Anaheim keeps him. Angels: 8 years, $160MM

    3. Manny Ramirez (OF) – Manny really glued that young Dodgers team together. I think he’ll flirt with some big spenders, but ultimately stays put. Dodgers: 4 years, $80MM

    4. AJ Burnett (SP) – It’s only a matter of time until Burnett opts out and I don’t think he stays in Canada. I really don’t know if there’s a favorite for Burnett, but he said he would listen to the Yankees offer. Yankees: 5 years, $80MM

    5. Derek Lowe (SP) – A lot of people like him as a fit for the Yankees. I don’t so much. Lowe seems to want to return to Boston, but they seem to be fine on starting pitching. Braves: 4 years, $68MM

    6. Francisco Rodriguez (RP) – He’ll be well overpaid, but I don’t think he gets the 5/75 he’s looking for. But I do think the Mets will panic and try and spend money to correct their bullpen problems. Mets: 4 years, $60MM

    7. Orlando Hudson (2B) – He’s an upgrade on just about every major league team, and the team he seems to prefer (Mets) has other areas that need addressing first. Cardinals: 5 years, $60MM

    8. Adam Dunn (OF/1B) – Just about any team could use Dunn’s career OPS+ of 130 but I think too many teams will spend too much time looking at his low batting average and high strikeout totals. Nationals: 4 years, $72MM

    9. Ben Sheets (SP) – Yes, he has an unattractive injury history, but Sheets is an elite starter and an undisputed staff ace when healthy. Atlanta seems to want to hang onto its top prospects which may hurt their Peavy chances. Sheets is just as good if healthy. Big if. Rangers: 3 years, $50MM

    10. Ryan Dempster (SP) – I highly doubt he leaves the Cubs. He pitched so well in Wrigley (at least during the regular season) and the Cubs have showed him tremendous loyalty. Cubs: 4 years, $64MM

    11. Mike Mussina (SP) – If anyone can leave baseball after winning 20 games, I believe it’s Moose. If he plays, it’ll be for the Yankees, but I think he’ll hang it up. Hall of Fame. Retirement

    12. Pat Burrell (OF) – Pat looks painfully awkward playing the outfield so I’m sticking him in the AL as a DH. Tampa Bay needs a DH and a right-handed one at that. Perfect fit. Rays: 4 years, $64MM

    13. Raul Ibanez (OF) – Lots of cash and disappointing outfield prospects. Braves: 3 years, $42MM

    14. Bobby Abreu (OF) – Defense was second worst in baseball last year (Bobby thanks Brad Hawpe for being worse) but there’s always some desperate team. Cubs: 3 years, $39MM

    15. Andy Pettitte (SP) – Same deal as Mussina. I think he’ll do one more New York tour and then call it quits. Yankees: 1 year, $12MM

    16. Brian Fuentes (RP) – The Mets are used to second best, so they’ll take K-Rod while someone else gets a shot at Fuentes, who I’d rather have. He’ll be cheaper and he’ll be better. Someone must need to upgrade their pen that lacks a true closer. Brewers: 4 years, $44MM

    17. Rafael Furcal (SS) – An injury hurt Furcal’s chances (and his ankle) at a mega-deal, but he seems comfortable where he is. Dodgers: 4 years, $60MM

    18. Jason Giambi (1B/DH) – He had fun in New York, that’s for sure, but he never should have left Oakland. Athletics: 2 years, $25MM

    19. Casey Blake (IF/OF) – He can play multiple positions, most of them average to slightly below average. Dude can hit some still though. Twins: 3 years, $36MM

    20. Milton Bradley (DH) – Wants a multi-year deal and I can think of one team that’s been known to do that with aging DHs. Blue Jays: 3 years/$28MM

    21. Orlando Cabrera (SS) – He obviously hates the White Sox. He’ll want to spite them. Twins: 4 years, $40MM

    22. Jamie Moyer (SP) – Gimme. Phillies: 2 years, $12.5MM

    23. Kerry Wood (RP) – He kinda owes them. Cubs: 3 years, $30MM

    24. Randy Johnson (SP) – It would be nice if he finished out with Arizona, but I don’t think they’ll want to pay him fair value. Someone that got priced out of Sabathia’s range will scoop him up. Angels: 1 year, $15MM

    25. Oliver Perez (SP) – He’s not great, but he’s good enough for Boras to sell to a high bidder. Same deal as Johnson, someone will settle after courting Sabathia. Perez will surely get more than Carlos Silva (4/48 ) Dodgers: 4 years, $52MM

    26. Jon Garland (SP) – Good for 32 or 33 slightly below-average league average starts a year. Some team will take him on innings. Brewers: 2 years, $20MM

    27. Edgar Renteria (SS) – Okay, no more American League for Eddy. Stick with what works. Cardinals: 2 years, $17MM

    28. Brad Penny (SP) – He’s been hurt and his stuff seems to be fading. But I’d bank on him rebounding enough to make him a smart gamble. Blue Jays: 2 years, $16MM

    29. Jeremy Affeldt (RP) – Potentially a sleeper to close for somebody that needs someone cheap. Indians: 3 years, $12MM

    30. Jason Varitek (C) – Nobody else will touch this offensive black hole. “Intangibles” pump up his value. Red Sox: 2 years, $20MM

    Whatever happens this offseason, I really hope that it makes the World Series more interesting. Game 7 for the 2009 World Series is scheduled for November 5. What the crap? And that’s not taking into the account that Game 7 ends 48 hours after it started.

    Today’s Idiot: Ritchie Bell

    Deal Or No Deal is hosted by Howie Mandel, who, by himself is certainly an oddball. I think the premise of the show is somewhat interesting, and although the game requires very little skill and its’ contestants are often highly annoying and irritating, I watch it sometimes when there’s nothing else on in hopes that I’ll see some idiocy of epic proportions.

    Man, what a doozy this one was. Almost every time I watch the game, I hope to see contestants faced with the $1 million case and the $1 case and have them refuse the deal and then wind up with one dollar.

    This guy played out my dream for me. He had a guaranteed $416,000 and chose to risk it and ended up with $415,999 less.

    Ha.

    The Media’s Adoration of That One

    I’ve been getting hit pretty hard recently about my negative portrayal of Barack Obama and his supporters.

    And that’s fine.

    I fully understand that not all Democrats are the mindless ignoramuses that I make them all to be, but in my personal experience, many of them are exactly that. And those people are the ones that are targeted in my notes. Know that I’m sure Barack Obama is a intelligent and gifted man, but that I do not agree with his view for our country.

    I feel that the media is intensely biased in its coverage of the two candidates this year, and I feel that not enough people realize it. So I aim to balance things out as best I can, by brining to people’s attention things that the media conveniently overlooks about Barack Obama.

    Don’t believe me?

    The Project For Media Excellence in Journalism broke down the news coverage of both candidates into positive coverage and negative coverage. I suppose a study of this nature could be somewhat subjective, although I think that positive/negative is about as black and white as one can get.

    The Project For Media Excellence in Journalism found that in print and broadcast news that 57% of McCain coverage was negative while 29% was negative for Obama. In addition to that, 69% of all print coverage was negative toward McCain while 28% of print was negative for Obama.

    NBC provided audiences with 54% negative coverage to McCain as opposed to 21% to Obama. MSNBC is truly pathetic, as their coverage is 73% negative for McCain and 14% negative to Obama.

    Apparently, FOX News’ pledge of “fair and balanced” doesn’t look so bad according to statistics. In fact, it the perfect slogan for the station this election as 40% of their McCain coverage is negative, and 40% of their Obama coverage is negative. Many people confuse commentators with objective journalism. Commentators are not supposed to be that, but rather the opinion of someone. Just like my commentary is.

    ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC all claim to be objective journalism, but the truth is, they’re nothing close to that standard.

    One of America’s best system of checks and balances is the freedom of the press. Obama has already proven that if the press dares to ask tough questions, he’ll go right ahead and deny them any future access to him.

    The NY Post, Washington Times and the Dallas Morning News have all endorsed John McCain, and have all been subsequently been denied access to Senator Obama. That seems like a great plan – if you can’t beat ’em, simply don’t let them play. A Saturday Evening Post writer was banned from the Obama plane because of a story that dared question Obama’s qualifications.

    If Obama wins, the media will already be in bed with him and any source that isn’t will be denied their First Amendment rights (Throw in the Second Amendment and that’s two Rights in the Bill of Rights that Obama doesn’t agree with).

    I know that I’m guilty of unbalanced coverage of 2008 Presidential candidates, probably even more so than many of the national outlets. But I admit to the bias and don’t claim to be objective. I’ve railed on Barack Obama and called out his supporters. Maybe it seems as if I’m stereotyping those people, but I’m not.

    The media would have you to believe that every Barack Obama supporter is conceptually perfect and farts rainbows. The media chooses not to show the type of people that I deal with every day, and those people certainly have flatulence of the non-rainbow variety.

    The Republicans have some awful and racist supporters. We all know that because we see the videos and read the stories. But we don’t see their counterparts from the Democratic party because the media refuses to show them to us, or Barack Obama won’t let them.

    Either way, I’m here to let you see the other side of this election.