This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



November 2007

Up to Fourth

Not just a single poll, but the trend. Ron Paul has recently overtaken Mike Huckabee to be trending at 4th place in New Hampshire.

Well, OK, they are separated by a really tiny margin at the moment that undoubtedly is not significant. (6.8% vs 6.6% with’s method of figuring out a trend from the multiple polls.) The reality is that Paul and Huckabee have been neck and neck in New Hampshire for awhile and have been pretty much rising at the same pace. But hey, Paul in fourth place. Neat.

I guess wake me up again if he breaks 10% anywhere.

Amy in Concert Again

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Oh… I licked the dog!

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Mukasey Redux
  • “The Siege”
  • The Administration and the Courts
  • Fundamentally Conservative Ideas
  • Jumping to Conclusions from Single Polls
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • iJustine
  • Generational Communication Habits

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Look at me, I’m wearing a Vegetable!

To days to come. — All my love to long ago.


Musharraf’s Uniform

In all the coverage of Pakistan in the last week or so, lots of people from the President, to the Secretary of State, to various Presidential candidates have been all over TV saying, amongst other things, things to the effect of: “I have strongly urged President Musharraf to take off his uniform” or “Musharraf has said he would take off his uniform, and we urge him to do so sooner rather than later” or “President Musharraf must take off his uniform!”.

Now, I know what they all mean. But I keep seeing in my head President Musharaff going on Pakistani national television, saying “FINE, I will take off the uniform!” then proceeding to rip off his clothes and then run around the studio naked.

Not that I *want* this image in my head mind you, but whenever I hear them urging him to take off his uniform, that is what comes to mind. I mean, really. All these politicians are doing is urging the man to get naked.

Yeah, yeah, they really mean resign his military commission and become a civilian. But that is NOT what they are saying…

Damn Early Sunset

During the summer I usually leave work around 01:00 UTC. In the winter, since everybody seems to nonsensically do things an hour later, I usually aim at around 02:00 UTC. It varies according to what is going on of course.

But this is that time of year where it is getting dark earlier and earlier. Today sunset is at 00:32 UTC in Seattle. And it is getting about a minute earlier each day at the moment. It will be the earliest from about December 5th to December 16th, when the sun will be setting at 00:18 UTC. After that it starts getting better again.

But this time of year sucks the most. Making myself work and be productive at work after it is already dark is hard. I like daylight. Daylight is fun.

Now, having said that, I can often get into a very productive groove LATE at night… but that period right before and right after sunset I find really difficult.

Maybe I should just suck it up and move my whole daily work routine a couple of hours earlier in the day. That might do the trick and maximize use of daylight.

But it would also require me to go to be earlier if I don’t want to be a zombie all that, and that sucks too.

So I’ll just have to suck it up and force myself to be productive during those hours that suck for a couple of months until the sun comes out again in the spring.

I’m ready to just hibernate for the winter though. Why can’t I do that?

(I note I complain about this almost every year about this time…)

Huckabee and Others

Over the last couple days I watched a long form (hour plus) item that was originally broadcast on C-Span a few weeks ago where Gov Huckabee took questions from a group of high school students and answered them taking however much time he liked.

A few thoughts on this… one, it was refreshing to see this kind of format instead of the soudbite things you get in the debates… it is nice to see someone actually having time to articulate and explain their positions. I’m trying to watch more of these type of things as we get closer to the end of the pre-primary season.

Second, I may disagree with Huckabee on quite a few things, but he seems like an honest forthright guy who is actually telling you what he believes. And it seems like he has spent a long time thinking about his positions, they aren’t just reflexive reactions, or the results of polling or focus groups.

This is also refreshing.

I doubt I would ever vote for Huckabee. But I realized that I would NOT be upset if this man was elected President. He would do some things I didn’t like in areas where we dissagree. But there are other areas where he seems reasonable and moderate and would just do a decent job. He reminds me a bit of George H W Bush… strongly held beliefs in a few areas, but basically a good guy trying to do what is right, and willing to be practical and compromise when needed. Huckabee probably wouldn’t be my choice, but it seems he would be “OK”.

This led me to think for a second, forgetting which candidates I would actually CHOOSE and who was my preference, which of them would I actually be UPSET about taking the Presidency.

So looking at the current top six in each party, here is what I came up with… I’d be “OK” with *all* of the candidates *except* the two front runners. Rudy Guiliani and Hillary Clinton. I’d be pissed, upset, and worried about either one of them becoming president.

Paul, Thompson, McCain, Romney, Huckabee… Edwards, Richardson, Obama, Gore, Biden…

I think I’d be OK with all of them, even if they were not my first or second choices. Now, some I am actually a little unsure about… Thompson and Romney fit into that category. I haven’t spent enough time with either to really make a final call. I may yet find out things that move them into the “not OK” category. But for now…

The one thing I am apperantly sure of is that I strongly dislike both of the front runners.

I really hope the people in second and third pick up some more momentum and manage to knock them out of front runner status.

The idea of the two of them being the primary choices next November is just such a horrible thought.

Paul keeps saying he won’t, but I hope he reconsiders and runs 3rd party.

Then of course, the recent rumor is that Lou Dobbs is considering running too. He’d be in my “Upset” category, but a race with him in it sure would be fun to watch.

Continue to Drag

Cold still hanging on. But mostly I am just tired. Bleh.


Just a couple notes on recent presidential polls. I mentioned this on the last podcast. The media gets all hyped up whenever a single new poll result comes out that shows something surprising. In the most recent case it is Hillary’s lead evaporating in several early states. Now, there maybe some things going on, but these polls are all extremely noisy. It is folly to ever look at the results of just one of them and try to claim anything.

Just mosey on over to and look at the charts they produce putting together the results of many polls and looking at a combined over all trend.

With today’s data, here is what we have on the early states:

Dem side first:

  • Iowa – Clinton up by 4.3%
  • New Hampshire – Clinton up by 17.3%
  • Nevada – Clinton up by 17.4%
  • South Carolina – Clinton up by 16.6%
  • Florida – Clinton up by 27.0%
  • Michigan – Clinton up by 19.3%
  • California – Clinton up by 26.7%
  • New York – Clinton up by 31.5%

Clinton is ahead everywhere, usually significantly so. In every state Obama is in the #2 slot… except California, where a decent number of people are still apperantly hoping for Al Gore to jump in. In that case Obama is 3rd right behind Gore.

Yes, it is pretty close in Iowa, and the way things work Iowa can have the potential to change everything… and we are still a month and a half or so out from Iowa. So a lot can happen. But don’t believe the hype when one poll in Iowa comes out and all of a sudden people are saying everything has changed and Hillary is in trouble. That might happen. Frankly I hope it happens. I’d much rather have Obama than Clinton. But looking at the one poll is foolish. At the moment, although it may change, Hillary is still running away with this.

On the Republican side though, things are much more dynamic:

  • Iowa – Romney up by 10.9% (Huckabee second)
  • New Hampshire – Romney up by 9.3% (Giuliani second)
  • Nevada – Giuliani up by 10.1% (Romney second)
  • South Carolina – Giuliani up by 2.0% (Thompson second)
  • Florida – Giuliani up by 13.2% (Romney second)
  • Michigan – Giuliani up by 2.2% (Romney second)
  • California – Giuliani up by 17.0% (Romney second)
  • New York – Giuliani up by 34.5% (McCain second)

OK, just a little bit unsettled, with Romney doing his thing in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Giuliani is in the lead by decent amounts everywhere else… other than South Carolina and Michigan where it is close.

Second place is actually much more interesting on the R side. But it is as yet unclear how much that will actually end up mattering. In certain cases (especially in the first few states) who comes in second might actually have a large influence on the next few states…

Anyway, interesting stuff. But do look at the places like pollster that aggrigate poll results. If you are ever reading a story that says there is a new poll by “X” and then tries to draw conclusions based on the results of that one poll alone, just ignore it…. until and unless the results of that poll are backed up by the results of others.

Oh, and as a curiosity, of those early states Ron Paul is running at #6 in all of them except New Hampshire and New York, where he has now managed to squeak into fifth place.

Still Cold

I’ve been fighting a cold for over a week now. It really sucks. Not bad enough to keep me in bed, or for the most part even from work. But just bad enough to keep me slightly miserable at all times.

Bleh. Bleh. Bleh.