West Virginia minus one week

After yesterday’s North Carolina landslide and Indiana cliffhanger, most commentators have upgraded Barack Obama’s chances of securing the Democratic nomination from likely to (almost) certain. The next stage in the contest, assuming it gets that far, is next week’s primary for West Virginia, at which 28 delegates will be elected through a “modified” primary open to independents and registered Democrats.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,481 comments on “West Virginia minus one week”

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  1. Diogenes Rant for the Day

    I hate economics. It’s not the dismal science, it’s a pseudoscience where boring eggheads who couldn’t get into a proper course pontificate about their newest way to justify a post hoc theory based on biased and irrational dogmas. They are being fooled by randomness.

    I have found a few economists (Kahneman, Taleb, Taversky) who are actually intelligent and rational, and therefore have presumably been isolated from his colleagues.

    I always wondered why Nobel created a Prize for Economics. It gives status to something that doesn’t deserve it. While I was reading about Kahneman, who has won a Nobel Prize, I found out a terrible secret you economists have been hiding from us. THERE IS NO NOBEL PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS. Nobel never mentioned economics in his will. The Swedish Bank created a Swedish Bank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, presumably to pretend economics is really a science. Shame on you economists, shame on you!

  2. Possum et al

    Is it a commonly known fact among economists that there is no Nobel Prize for Economics? Have you all been having a giggle at us for believing it?

  3. Dio, with local exceptions; Possum Comitatus, George Megalogenis and John Quiggan who runs a very strict but eminently readable blog, most economists dunno shit from clay. Bruce Petty did some brilliant work on their “modelling”

    However, I always appreciated the way a sandstone scholars like Johnny Galbraith could phrase things so that a numerically challenged moron like myself could “get the drift”.

    “Trickle-down theory – the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    P.S. wrote it before noticed you were lurking, furry one.
    Huffy flogs fresh pulp on Colbert’s show. Some funny punch lines.


  4. Economists are like the Obamabot wing , a part of the broad Obama supporters,
    the what , if , but , maybe set , lets keep it general big picture so we’ve got so many outs afterwards if things go wrong , we still look intelligent to the masses

  5. yea the more that go to prison the better. Unfortunately that won’t be many. After all governments appoint judges. That is why if the democrats lose there is a risk of a very long term republican supreme court.

    Poll workers from Ohio got off pretty easy. Though it is pretty hard to get a jury to convict people of politically motivated crimes as at least 1 person will sympathise so it must be bad. I know I’m from Tasmania and majority jury verdicts aren’t enough 😛


    So many heads so few pikes!!

  6. EC

    Surely not the first 2 letters ‘e c’ of economists caught your eye

    Economists ,
    “the what , if , but , maybe set” …what part of that don’t you get

  7. Diogenes, er… arm, well you see…

    Oh bugger it – YES, we knew all along and you suckers fell for it!

    [insert hideously evil laughter]

    Ron says “Economists are like the Obamabot wing”

    Does that mean I’m a bitterfly too?

    Can I get slapped with a puced sardine?!? :mrgreen:

    Well I tried real hard to focus on the economic garble conversation here trying to avoid writing a ditty of China thought to you so I’ll leave you my immediate thoughts when seeing your blog , which would have been the dittys last line from a friend
    ‘the heart fills with sadness , as little bit me is lost’

  9. Assume Obama wins, does it advance or hinder the cause of Obamaism if he has a failed presidency a la James Earl Carter Jr?

  10. Ecky:

    “her Hobbesian hard-on”

    Wow, doesn’t that say it all!

    Well, now that Bill’s probably losing it, she’s wearing the er, pants, now!

  11. Yo ho ho – yeah, but we were all thinking it…

    In what will probably be news tomorrow, it seems Clinton was right about pledged delegates not being…well, pledged. A Clinton PD from Maryland has stated he’s gonna vote for Obama: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051202554.html?referrer=digg

    Seems like pretty bad form to me, after being elected on one ticket, to make such a switch. But if this starts happening it is just another reason for the SDs to step up and end it before the rank and file really get squabbling and engender some more bad feeling.

  12. 1360 Possum

    I thought as much! It’s good to know that at least Hillary is on to you lot. She is a beacon of light in the darkness.

    “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.”

    Who are they to disagree with the bravest, smartest, toughest and most electable candidate for the US presidency ever? 😀

  13. ESJ

    Sorry I missed your question.
    “For a stoic and an atheist/agnostic you dont feel the need for salvation do you?”

    Salvation from what? I feel the need for salvation from the irrational and the ignorant but not much else. It’s true that ignorance is bliss (often) and I believe that the ignorant and irrational are generally happier than the rest. But knowledge and reason and more important than happiness. Sometimes I wish I had a rosier view of the world though….

  14. From Crikey (Subs required). This is an outrage. I am also surprise by little has been made of this.

    Stephen Mayne writes:

    Westpac has unveiled its generous $18 billion scrip bid for St George Bank in a deal which sets all sorts of hares running and creates a series of somewhat unfortunate precedents.

    The first is the probity question of a CEO being poached and then launching a takeover bid for her old company while also directly profiting from the deal.

    When she left St George, Gail Kelly had built up a shareholding of 1.16 million shares worth almost $40 million, based on the Westpac bid. Rather than selling these shares and copping a huge capital gains tax, she can just swap them tax free into 1.52 million Westpac shares as part of the 1.31 shares for one offer.

    When Gail Kelly departed for Westpac last August it was all very friendly. She quit the St George board in August but remained an employee until February 1, the day she started with Westpac.

    If the game plan wasn’t to buy her old bank, why did she hang on to those shares? It is not a good look to have a bigger shareholding in a competitor than your own company, and it leads to the perception that perhaps the plan was always to bring the two together.

    I’ve done about eight TV radio and interviews bagging this deal so far and we’re yet to see a single politician of any colour put their head up. I’m meant to be a shareholder activist. Where are the consumer activists?

  15. Well, there it is, Christopher Hitchens echoing the very words of Ahmadinejad:

    I have never quite been able to imagine that a J3wish state in Palestine will still be in existence a hundred years from now. A state for Jews, possibly. But a Jewish state …


    …which is exactly what the Iranian president said in Farsi, but got translated as ‘wiping Israel off the map’.

    Now, I’m not claiming that Christopher would be chumming up to Mahmoud anytime this side of eternity, but it’s deeply ironic the way such sentiments can be expressed by a whole range of people (including, I might add many J3ws and even some Israelis).

    Hitchens had better be careful that Cheney doesn’t order an airstrike on his home!

  16. 1372
    Edward StJohn

    You’re a sad little bloviating blowhard, ain’t ya (not-so-fast) Eddy?

    What possible connection is there between Gale Kelly and Barrack Obama?

    Talk about childish.

  17. Goodbye Dolly. Hello Natasha, how do you sleep at night?

    FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister and Opposition Leader Alexander Downer is expected to quit Parliament within days. It is believed the former Liberal foreign affairs minister has delayed his departure until after Treasurer Wayne Swan tonight outlines Labor’s first Budget in 12 years, so as to avoid distracting from the Coalition’s response to it.

    The Courier-Mail reported this year that Mr Downer was expected to team up with corporate lobbyist Ian Smith, the husband of Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, to form a boutique firm advising blue-chip companies.


  18. What a hapless windbag. Surely if he announces he is going within days this will distract from the Coalition’s response to the Budget. Or am I missing something?

  19. Doigenes,

    Shhh, this is the dark secret we economists have been hiding. Now you’ve found us out. We’re the astrologists of the age of global capitalism.

    Since you’ve exposed us, perhaps you can explain one other mystery. Why is the market price for economists so high. Is it to help assuage the existentialist crisis over the lack of Nobel prizes? 🙂

  20. Pooh Bear, advising ‘blue chip’ companies?

    That’s a cracker!

    What’s that mean for gawd’s sake? Any company with a portrait of Her Madge in the boardroom?

    Apart from his expert advice in ignoring anything about what AWB was up to with Saddam, what could this stuffed toy with the plum jammed down his throat have to offer?

    Offers are coming so thick and fast for Costello that he’s tapping away at his memoirs!

    So what chance does Pooh Bear have?


  21. 1378

    I think it’s because there’s a need to fill in some TV news time between the train crashes and the sport! LOL

  22. Hey Ron – just catching up with ya posts.

    Yep Clinton is gonna win WV. Any not just any win Ron, she is going taking it by a margin that will make people sit up and take notice. A margin that will alert people that she has what is required to win the battle for POTUS.

    That is, provided it is one of the first primarys. But (letme check) its one of the last and she’d already surrendered an insurmountable lead.

    She will win WV though.

  23. West Virginia Primary 13/5/08 , (28 delegates in contention) a vital State however little comment on this thread

    The psephological importance of this primary is the effect it may have on both the Hillary & Obama nominee race & the POTUS election

    Its voters despite some ill informed comments here are moderate value based who will vote either Party subject to the Candidate. In case any historians wrongly label this State as Repug stronghold/ ‘hilbilly’/right extremist/neocon. rather than my assertion it’s a moderate swing State, here are the stats that support my view

    1968 Dems by 9% , 1972 Repugs by 27% , 1976 Dems by 16% , 1980 Dems by 4% ,1984 Repugs by 10% ,1988 Dems by 5% ,1992 Dems by 13% , 1996 Dems by 15% , 2000 Repugs by 6% 2004 Repugs by 13% .

    Hillary will win this Primary by around 25 points or more. Hillary’s POTUS polling shows she can win this ‘red’ State off the Repugs. Obama’s polling show he’ll will lose it by approx massive 15%.

    WV added to FL & OH etc where Hillary polling shows she can win those ‘red’ States also , Hillary can show by actual Stats she’s more electable which is the main reason why 31% of supers 245 still are uncommitted. Hillarys problem objectively is a 2% delegate deficit & the threat of a black desertion if Obama is not given the Nominee despite his less electability (then there’s MI & FL dele

  24. 1378 WTR

    CEOs get paid a lot more. They get paid enormous sums with almost no evidence that they have made any contribution. They make a few major decisions each year which decide the fate of their company. If by random chance they make three good guesses at 50:50 odds, one in eight will look like a legend and get a $20M bonus. By chance, 37% % will get two right out of three and still get a huge bonus. The ones who are unlucky only get one right (or none) and they get a golden handshake. If you have enough monkeys at typewriters, one will write The WasteLand. 😉

  25. Pancho at 1366, whilst it is a delicious irony that a pledged delegate is turning on Hillary, I agree it’s bad form and it shouldnt happen but the reality is that the delegates are going to have to force her out, she’s not going quietly

  26. 1384

    “If you have enough monkeys at typewriters, one will write The WasteLand.”

    Or epic tales of bitterflies.

    Doesn’t make it as art, unfortunately. But Codger and (L) Won do a nice parody version, rather like alchemy really, turning pure crud into gems.

    Now, that’s an art.

  27. And Ron, shut up about WV, the small no of delegates wont affect the overall result. I know its your straw and youre clutching wildly but give us a break

  28. Ron, she can win as many Hillbilly states as she likes, the simple truth is it’s too late mate.

    Or can’t you count either?

  29. That’s right (Not-so-fast) Eddy, the one’s that count are the ones that put in you in the unassailable lead.

    Anything after that is just self-glorification.

    Something you’d know about I guess.

  30. Kirri,

    Your contribution is amusing but essentially mistaken.

    Excerpt from Politico quoting democratic uber strategist Mudcat Saunders explains:

    Democratic strategist Saunders, who worked for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’ presidential campaigns and helped propel Democrat Mark Warner into the Virginia governor’s mansion, said emphasis on issues over rhetorical style would be key for Obama.

    “What people don’t understand about Appalachia is that we’ve heard all this ‘hope’ and ‘change’ stuff since the English kicked the Scotch-Irish out in the 1700s. We’re ‘hoped’ out. Nothing ever changes out here. He’s got to come with some solid policies.”

    Is that clear for you Kirri or would you like simpler English?

  31. ya can fool some of da people all of the time:

    If you want to believe that America is a governable country of informed citizens and not a nation of ignorant, Fox News-watching sheep, the single most depressing fact to come out of the Bush years is that vast numbers of Americans continue to believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. According to a 2003 Washington Post poll, nearly 70 percent of Americans believed that. And in a poll taken last September, 33 percent of Americans still believed it — presumably the same 30-odd percent of Americans who will vote for a Republican even if he is running on a platform of sacrificing all the nation’s firstborn children to Beelzebub.


    …coz they don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, but they’re keepin the nigga down.

  32. ESJ I’m not sure aligning with Ron is the best move here. Its about delegates. Its about the maths. Get some idea, please

  33. Ron,

    Clinton started the primarys with a massive advantage of being the party incumbent. Obama was an outsider and an outside chance.

    Obama looked at what was required to win and executed a strategy that was far better, far smarter than Clintons. Her campaign was by comparison – incompetant.

    The POTUS race has different rules and different Strategies are required. I think you’ll find the Obama camp is well aware of the differences will apply the same intelligence and skills to win. Whilst he’s being double teamed by McCain and Clinton this is hard to show.

    The Obama camp ran down Clinton after starting waaaay behind. They’ll start the POTUS race with McCain a little ahead.

  34. West Virginia is KKK territory, the dumbest, the poorest, and of course the whitest.

    Sixty percent don’t want change, that’s exactly what they don’t want.

    They’re still p!ssed that the niggas don’t ride down the back of the bus FFS! LOL

    The only change they’d be happy to see is all the coloured folks sent back to Africa where they came from, and the clock turned back to 1700.

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