This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.



@abulsme Updates from 2012-01-03 (UTC)

Looking With Eyes Open

I’m a few days late in actually reading this Glenn Greenwald article, but thought this was worth posting here as well as just a quick note that I was reading it over on @Abulsme. The key point here is that the people (especially on the left) saying Ron Paul should be immediately disqualified from consideration due to some of his more outlandish positions should take a look at Obama and try some consistency for once. The whole thing is worth reading. A key section from the middle:

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies
(Glenn Greenwald, 31 Dec 2011, Salon)

The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations with drones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

… (and a lot more) …

The simple fact is that progressives are supporting a candidate for President who has done all of that — things liberalism has long held to be pernicious. I know it’s annoying and miserable to hear. Progressives like to think of themselves as the faction that stands for peace, opposes wars, believes in due process and civil liberties, distrusts the military-industrial complex, supports candidates who are devoted to individual rights, transparency and economic equality. All of these facts — like the history laid out by Stoller in that essay — negate that desired self-perception. These facts demonstrate that the leader progressives have empowered and will empower again has worked in direct opposition to those values and engaged in conduct that is nothing short of horrific. So there is an eagerness to avoid hearing about them, to pretend they don’t exist. And there’s a corresponding hostility toward those who point them out, who insist that they not be ignored.

The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views.

Read the whole thing.

And So It Begins: 2012 Republican Delegate Count Graphs

With mere hours left until the Iowa caucuses begin, it is time for election graphs!

As with the last cycle, I will be producing updated graphs as the primary season goes on. I will post blog entries when there are significant updates, but the wiki page with all the details will always be on the AbulWiki at 2012 Presidential Delegate Graphs.

You will find delegate counts everywhere as the days progress (assuming the Republican race doesn’t resolve itself nearly instantly) but the added value I think I have on my charts as opposed to elsewhere is that I will be concentrating on the percentage of remaining delegates needed to win outright.

Last time around looking at the race this way rather than simply at delegate counts or percentage of delegates allocated so far let you see fairly clearly that Clinton’s chances against Obama had become essentially zero long before the general media finally admitted it. They hung on to the horserace story long past the point that the math made any Clinton catch up scenario reliant on incredible miracles.

In any case, as of the best information I have at the moment, there will be 2286 delegates to the Republican National Convention. That means 1143 will give you a tie, but you will need 1144 for an outright win. So at the moment, prior to any delegates being awarded, each of the 7 major candidates still in the race need 50.044% percent of the outstanding delegates to win the Republican nomination.

And the race is on!

(Note 1: Since there is no significant challenger to Obama on the Democratic side, I’m not going to produce the graphs showing him marching inexorably to the nomination… if the no competition situation on the Democratic side changes unexpectedly, I’ll of course start to map out the race on that side too.)

(Note 2: You may remember that last time around I did general election prediction charts based on the electoral college and state by state polling. These will be coming soon as well. Gulp. That was a lot of work last time around. :-) )