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



February 2012

@abulsme Updates from 2012-02-08 (UTC)

Curmudgeon’s Corner: From the Road Again

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam talks about:

  • Republicans after Nevada
  • Commuting / Syria
  • Targeting Killings
  • Online Privacy

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 6 Feb 2012″]


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Electoral College: Virginia moves to Lean Obama

Chart from the 2012 Electoral College Prediction page. Lines represent how many more electoral votes a candidate has than is needed to tie under several different scenarios.

A couple of new polls move my “last five poll” average in Virginia from being “Just barely Romney” to being “Just barely Obama”. In reality, the state is too close to call. But if everybody won all the states they are ahead in at the moment, that would make the result Obama 328, Romney 210… a pretty solid Obama victory. To match his 2008 record though, Obama would need to also win all of the remaining “Lean Romney” states. And of course Romney still has possibilities to win by grabbing “Lean Obama” states back. It is a long year.

The map doesn’t change since I’m coloring all too close to call states purple, but here it is again anyway:

Map from the 2012 Electoral College Prediction page.

Edit 2012 Feb 16 19:48 UTC to correct typo.

2012 Republican Delegate Count: Minnesota and Colorado plus a Super (but not Missouri)

Chart from the 2012 Republican Delegate Count Graphs page. When a candidate gets down to 0%, they have cinched the nomination. If they get up past 100%, they have been mathematically eliminated.

Santorum won three states last night! Of course one of them (Missouri) has no relation whatsoever with how delegates are actually selected, so isn’t REALLY relevant (although of course it affects the narrative and “momentum”.) The other two states didn’t actually determine delegates either, but like Iowa, elected delegates to the next stage of the process… which eventually will elect real delegates, so that is good enough that we can use the results to estimate what the eventual delegates will be (although it WILL change). But never the less, Santorum won three states! Santorum is surging, Romney is in trouble, etc, etc, etc!

OK. Time to wake up from the hype here. What is actually going on when we look at the delegate race. First, lets look specifically at Santorum.

As of yesterday’s update, in order to be on a pace to actually catch up and win the nomination before the convention, Santorum would need to be getting 53.3% of all the remaining delegates. What did he actually get? According to our estimates (as usual using The Green Papers and DCW as our sources) 71 new delegates were determined since our last update… 37 from Minnesota, 33 from Colorado, and 1 super delegate. Of these, Santorum got 30. 30/71 = 42.3%. Much better than Santorum had been doing previously… he’s only had 6.4% of delegates before today… but a long way from the pace he would need to actually be on track to catch up and win. So, big night in terms of “momentum”. But in terms of the actual race, he is not gaining on Romney at the pace he would need to actually win. He did actually pass Ron Paul in delegates though, so he’s in 3rd place instead of 4th now, and he came close to catching up to Gingrich to pull into 2nd. So there is that. But he is not on track to actually challenge Romney. At least to win.

Which brings us to Romney. Santorum and the others may not be on a pace to win the nomination, but they ARE hurting Romney. To keep on a pace to win the nomination, as of yesterday’s update Romney needed to be winning 49.2% of the remaining delegates. He actually got 19/71 = 26.8%. Well below what he needed. So he too now has a harder road to the nomination than he did yesterday, even though he is still way ahead. He is still over 50% of the delegates determined so far but just barely (50.9%). We have a lot of proportional contests coming up. Including results from Maine coming soon. He may well drop below 50% again.

What does this all mean? We may have a situation where NONE of the four candidates are tracking toward having a majority of delegates by the time we get to the convention. Wouldn’t that be fun? That hasn’t happened in forever. But for that to happen, we need to continue to have at least three candidates actively collecting delegates, where the non-Romney candidates collectively were getting enough to keep Romney off pace to win (currently the three of them need to get over 50.05% of the remaining delegates for that), but with none of the non-Romneys on pace to catch up and win either. This could happen if Gingrich, Santorum and Paul all stay in it until the end and don’t run out of money or support. If any of these drop out (or their support collapses so Romney starts getting enough to be on pace to win) it will change the dynamics of the race. How it changes depends on who drops out.

Brandy’s Boys “Singing”

(Video taken by Brandy)

Edit 2012 Feb 10 17:42 to add attribution.


Ha!! Santorum wins three states tonight! None of these states officially select delegates tonight, and we’re still waiting on delegate estimates from the two where the results today even have any effect at all on the eventual delegates, but Romney will still be ahead on that front by a decent margin. The narrative will still be all about how much trouble Romney is in. He will still win, but the news gods are with us, and maybe this will stay interesting a little while longer. Fun Fun Fun!

Alex Videos a Train Video

Alex has been really into playing with his toy trains for quite a few months now. Spending hours doing it almost every day, building elaborate arrangements of tracks and blocks, pulling really long trains, asking me to “Play Thomas” or “Play Hiro” under his direction. But recently he has found something new and wonderful…

Videos of real trains on YouTube.

The video above is one I started to take of him watching one and getting excited. (He had been jumping up and down and yelling, then I started recording and started it over, which he wasn’t excited about.) He noticed me videoing, told me “NO!” and took my phone, and started recording the video off the computer screen. In all he recorded almost 15 minutes of train videos before I reclaimed my phone. The video only contains the highlights. :-)

Especially when it is late and he is getting sleepy, but other times as well, he will now ask for “Train Videos“, or sometimes more specifically “Blue Train!“. On the computer he will happily watch one after another after another, but he hasn’t quite mastered the trackpad (or mouse) yet, so when a video ends, he looks through the pictures for the related videos that come up at the end, and points at the one he wants, and one of us has to start it.

But… but… with the YouTube app on the iPhone, he is completely proficient at navigating on his own. Start it off with a search of “trains” or “blue trains” or something similar, and he will be enthralled and fully engrossed and fascinated moving from one video to another to another, exploring the world of YouTube train videos… seemingly for hours… certainly long enough for an hour or so long drive home from day care.