Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The risks for Obama

The NYT today published an article on a subject many people are thinking but don't want to admit.
The end of the article shows why Obama is the clear favorite to win.

Here in Dallas, those memories were raised in conversation after conversation with several of the 17,000 people who came to see Mr. Obama at a rally last week.
“Right around the corner is the John Kennedy Memorial; everyone all around me was talking about it,” said Imogene Covin, a Democratic activist from Dallas. “In the back of my mind, it’s a possibility that something might happen because he’s something to gawk at right now. But you know why I think he will be safe? He has a broad range of people behind him.”
That afternoon, Mr. Obama’s motorcade passed Dealey Plaza and the Texas Book Depository building, where the fatal shot was fired at President Kennedy in 1963. Several campaign aides looked out their windows, silently absorbing the scene.
Not so for Mr. Obama, who later said he had not realized he was passing the site. And no one in his car pointed it out.
“I’ve got to admit, that’s not what I was thinking about,” he said. “I was thinking about how I was starting to get a head cold and needed to make sure that I cleared up my nose before I got to the arena.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary: the latest polls

Update: April 22,08
InsiderAdvantage (04/21- 04/21) Obama 42% , Clinton 49%
Rasmussen (04/20- 04/20) Obama 44% , Clinton 49%
Zogby (04/20- 04/21) Obama 41% , Clinton 51%
Suffolk (04/19- 04/20) Obama 42% , Clinton 52%
PPP (D) (04/19 - 04/20) Obama 49% , Clinton 46%
Strategic Vision (R) (04/18- 04/20) Obama 41% , Clinton 48%
SurveyUSA (04/18 - 04/20) Obama 44% , Clinton 50%
Quinnipiac (04/18- 04/20) Obama 44% , Clinton 51%

Update: April 18,08

Rasmussen (04/17- 04/17) Obama 44% , Clinton 47%
Zogby (04/16- 04/17) Obama 43% , Clinton 47%
PPP (D) (04/14 - 04/15) Obama 40% , Clinton 54%
LA Times/Bloomberg (04/10 - 04/14) Obama 41% , Clinton 46%
SurveyUSA (04/12 - 04/14) Obama 45% , Clinton 42%
Franklin & Marshall (04/08 - 04/13) Obama 42% , Clinton 49%
Quinnipiac (04/09- 04/13) Obama 44% , Clinton 50%

Update: March29,08

Rasmussen (03/24 - 03/24) Obama 39% , Clinton 49%
PPP (D) (03/15 - 03/16) Obama 30% , Clinton 56%
Franklin & Marshall (03/11 - 03/16) Obama 35% , Clinton 51%
Quinnipiac (03/10- 03/16) Obama 41% , Clinton 53%

Update: March13,08

Rasmussen (03/12 - 03/12) Obama 38% , Clinton 51%
SurveyUSA (03/08 - 03/10) Obama 36% , Clinton 55%
Susquehanna (03/05 - 03/10) Obama 31% , Clinton 45%
Strategic Vision (R) (03/07 - 03/09) Obama 38% , Clinton 56%

Update: Feb28,08
Rasmussen (02/26 - 02/26) Obama 42% , Clinton 46%
Quinnipiac (02/21 - 02/25) Obama 43% , Clinton 49%

Franklin & Marshall (02/13 - 02/18) Obama 32% , Clinton 44%
Morning Call (02/09 - 02/17) Obama 31% , Clinton 45%
Quinnipiac (02/06 - 02/12) Obama 36% , Clinton 52%

Other related links:
Pennsylvania primary
Rhode Island primary
Texas primary
Ohio primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Rhode Island Primary: the latest polls

Update March 4rh:
Rasmussen (02/23 - 02/23) Obama 38% , Clinton 53%
Brown University (02/27 - 03/02) Obama 37% , Clinton 42%

Update March 3rd
Fleming (02/24 - 02/27) Obama 40% , Clinton 49%
Rasmussen (02/09 - 02/10) Obama 38% , Clinton 53%
Brown University (02/09 - 02/10) Obama 28% , Clinton 36%

Other related links:
Pennsylvania primary
Ohio primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nader is running (again)

Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will "shift the power from the few to the many." (more...)
Update (25, Feb):
Obama criticized Nader earlier this weekend. "My sense is that Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don't listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you're not substantive," he told reporters when asked about Nader's possible candidacy. "He seems to have a pretty high opinion of his own work." Obama said Nader "is a singular figure in American politics and has done as much as just about anyone for consumers.""I don't mean to diminish that," he said. "There's a sense now that if someone's not hewing to the Ralph Nader agenda, he says they're lacking in some way."
Responding to those remarks, Nader called Obama "a person of substance" and "the first liberal evangelist in a long time" who "has run a good tactical campaign." But he accused Obama of censoring "his better instincts" on divisive issues.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Karl Rove on Obama

It looks as though Karl Rove has decided to achieve the unthikable. To advise both McCain and Clinton as to how defeat Obama! Any doubts as to who is winning?
Even worse, is the argument itself. It is really disappointing for those who had a respect for his political skills. He puts forward very weak arguments without cohesion. It is a desperate attempt to discredit Obama in every aspect and in every possible way. Accusations for plagiarism, leftism, lobbying, partisanship etc. If this is the best that Rove can do, then there's not much anyone can do to stop Obama!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stanford drops tuition for some students

For a different view coming from Berkeley see here

In a radical change to its financial aid program, Stanford University will announce today that it will no longer charge tuition to students whose families earn less than $100,000 a year.
In addition, the university will waive room and board fees for students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year.
University President John Hennessy will make the announcement today on campus, university Provost John Etchemendy confirmed late Tuesday.
The university is making the change in the wake of published reports last month that its endowment had grown almost 22 percent last year, to $17.1 billion. That sum had begun to attract attention from lawmakers who want wealthy institutions to do more to reduce tuition costs.
Financial aid also will increase to families that make more than $100,000 a year.
"Thanks to our increasingly generous financial aid program ... attending Stanford will cost less than most private and many public universities," Etchemendy said. "They're supposed to offer public benefit in return for the privilege of tax exemption," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. "If endowments increase by double digits from one year to the next, it raises the idea that maybe these schools aren't using enough of their endowments to help students afford college."Stanford's endowment is the third largest of any university in the country, behind only Harvard and Yale. In the past 10 years, tuition alone at Stanford increased from $21,300 to $34,800 - roughly $7,200 more than if it had held to the rate of inflation during the decade.
The university said 3 out of 4 students currently get some financial aid. The new program is expected to reduce the average bill paid by a student's family by 16 percent. (more...)

The Hawaii democratic primary: It has never happened before

This is a good explanation as to why Barack is winning!

Just as Democratic Party caucus votes were scheduled to be cast around 7 p.m. last night, volunteers at Manoa Elementary School's cafeteria ran out of ballots and no more blue Democratic Party registration cards were to be found at Koko Head Elementary School. At Kawananakoa Middle School in Nu'uanu, overwhelmed volunteers opened the auditorium to handle the overflow crowd of at least 2,500 people. Voters at Kailua District Park used up all of the ballots around 7:30 p.m., and volunteers substituted them with pieces of yellow notebook paper. Those scenes were repeated across the Islands, where many caucus sites were overwhelmed by a turnout that few in the Democratic Party foresaw. "The decisionmakers were not prepared for the overwhelming response to this election," said Sharon Yarbrough, an Obama supporter who voted at Kawananakoa. There were long lines and confusion as many participants had to follow a three-step process: Verify that they were registered to vote, fill out blue cards to register for the Democratic Party and then sign in for the caucus. On Maui, caucus organizers at Baldwin High School also ran out of forms by 6:15 p.m., while more than 300 voters from Wailuku and Kahului were still waiting in line and dozens more filed in behind them. Caucus officials began signing people up on plain pieces of paper to accommodate the crowd, which one official described as "phenomenal." About 20 minutes after the caucus started at Manoa Elementary, it became clear there weren't going to be enough ballots for the more than 3,200 who had come out to pick a Democratic presidential nominee. People stood in a line that wrapped around the outdoor blacktop and playground area. Volunteers ran off to photocopy more ballots, which then had to be cut up. Soon after that, volunteers realized they were running out of Democratic Party sign-up forms. Next to go were the precinct sign-in forms, but that didn't matter much because by 7:30 p.m., U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie told voters not to worry about finding their precinct captains, who were lost among a crowd in the packed cafeteria. "Forget about the precinct. Just get a ballot and vote," he said. Kawananakoa Middle ran out of ballots and party registration forms briefly, but the school's principal made about 1,000 more copies of each in her office. "This is twice as bad as we thought it was going to be," said Patrick Stanley, Kawananakoa site coordinator. After the voting had ended, Stanley said the night was a learning experience. "It looked like total chaos," he said, adding the party would have to look at the voting to determine whether things could be made more streamlined, and added that in future caucuses a cut-off date to join the Democratic Party and register to vote might be more prudent.

To try to make the process more efficient last night, volunteers went up and down the line at Kawananakoa to see whether people were registered to vote and had joined the party. Many filled in the forms as they waited. Armen Martirosian, 29, filled out his form in line and waited for instructions on what to do next. This was his first caucus. "It never mattered before," he said, with a laugh. Many people trying to vote at the school were turned away because of a lack of parking. The parking lot was full by 6:30 p.m., and some people parked illegally outside the school. Police responded and issued more than 22 parking tickets to people who had parked illegally on Funchal Street or on the sidewalk, according to one of three officers issuing tickets. Dozens of people — many of them first-time caucusgoers — were frustrated with the lines, wait and confusion. At one point, when the cafeteria was brimming with people, a man stood on a table and shouted, "Vote! Vote! Vote" — urging organizers to start the voting. "It was a zoo," said longtime caucusgoer Mike Salling. "The Democratic Party has never experienced anything like this before. They were totally unprepared." Susan Baker, 44, was like many who came yesterday — unsure of how the caucus worked and unclear about what she needed to participate. She said she was hoping someone would come by her part of the line — all the way at the back — to tell her what she needed. "I'm not very sure how this works," she said. Others wandered around the cafeteria, looking for help. Volunteers joined party organizers in helping to direct people. Kat Lin Hurtubise, of the Obama campaign, was trying to direct people to their correct lines to sign up. "It's overwhelming," she said. But, she said, the turnout was also heartening. "It's awesome," she said. Three districts were assigned to Kawananakoa, making it difficult to ensure people were at the right site and voting in the right area of the cafeteria or auditorium.

Still, party officials said they were grateful to see so many people come out to vote. Brickwood Galuteria, former head of the Hawai'i Democratic Party who is now running for state office, was in line at the school and said the turnout was overwhelming. "I'm just elated," he said. Ian Colte, district chair for the caucus site at Mililani Waena Elementary School, said the caucus process wasn't designed to handle last night's turnout and that it illustrated the need to switch to a state-run primary. The school was overwhelmed with about 1,300 people, and ran out of ballots and party registration forms as hundreds of people stood in line. Organizers resorted to improvising with scraps of paper for ballots before volunteers made runs to the store to pick up reams of white paper and index cards and made copies of registration forms. "Some people walked away, some people voted but were really angry about how long it took," said Colte. "I think it's good for the vast majority of people that came out, but there are going to be some who might have been turned off." At Kapolei Middle School, where 640 voters crammed into the cafeteria, volunteers also ran out of ballots and blue Democratic Party registration cards and hastily made extras. Carolyn Golojuch, Kapolei Middle School's site coordinator, got on a public address system and encouraged voters to only cast one of the improvised ballots. "Remember, Democrats are honest," she said. "They don't vote more than once." Roger Steffani, of Kapolei, did not expect the scene he encountered at Kapolei Middle School. "I have no idea what to expect but I think it's pretty simple," Steffani said. "We're just going to vote." Rino Cadiz, of Makakilo, added, "Well, it's not planned out, I guess." Before the voting, some also raised concerns about the number of polling sites. Lori Allen, of Kaka'ako, said she was disappointed when she learned that her polling site was Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki. She was unable to vote because she couldn't get transportation to the school, she said. "I wonder how many more are out there like myself?" she asked. "I'm very disappointed."

Other related links:
Texas primary: The latest polls
Ohio primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The results of 2008 national elections in Pakistan

PPP (Bhutto's party) : 87
PML-N (Nawaz Sharif): 66
PML-Q: (pro-Musharraf) 38
MQM (Sindh-based): 19
ANP (Secular Pashtuns): 10
Others: 38
Source: Geo TV

According to the BBC, if PPP and PML-N form a coalition with a two-thirds majority in parliament they could impeach Mr Musharraf.

Doron Almog and the 2005 Heathrow incident

An Israeli general wanted for alleged war crimes escaped arrest in the UK because British police feared an armed confrontation at Heathrow airport. Documents seen by BBC News reveal that Major General Doron Almog was flown back to Israel after officers refused to board his plane in September 2005. He stayed on board for two hours after a tip-off that he was facing detention. Police were concerned about a potential clash with air marshals or possible armed personal security on the plane. Maj Gen Almog had flown to the UK for social and charitable visits to Jewish communities in Solihull, in the West Midlands, and Manchester. Lawyers acting for Palestinian campaigners lobbied the Metropolitan Police to act amid allegations that he had ordered the destruction of more than 50 homes in the Gaza Strip in 2002. Campaigners say the homes were destroyed in retaliation for a Palestinian attack that killed four Israeli soldiers. The Met initially refused to get involved, citing massive pressures on counter-terrorism teams in the wake of the London bombings. But the legal representatives successfully applied to a judge for an arrest warrant for a private prosecution. Decisions log prepared for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which has investigated the incident, shows officers decided to detain the general at Heathrow's immigration control. They then planned to take him to a police station to consider executing the warrant. However, news of the warrant leaked to the Israeli Embassy. Officials tipped off the general and he and his wife refused to leave the El Al flight for the two hours it sat at the London airport's terminal. The documents now show Det Supt John MacBrayne, who was responsible for the operation, could not get confirmation that his team had the right to board the plane. El Al, Israel's national airline, had refused permission. Det Supt MacBrayne is a leading counter-terrorism officer who most recently flew to Pakistan to investigate the killing of Benazir Bhutto. Destroyed: Palestinians accused Maj Gen Almog of an attack on homes In his log, he wrote: "Another consideration [was] that El Al flights carried armed air marshals, which raised issues around public safety. "There was also no intelligence as to whether Mr Almog would have been travelling with personal security as befitted his status, armed or otherwise." The officer concluded there were real risks to the police and public and also had concerns about the "international impact of a potentially armed police operation at an airport". When Maj Gen Almog arrived back in Israel, the planned arrest caused a minor diplomatic storm, with Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom describing the incident as an "outrage". In turn, the then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologised to his counterpart for any embarrassment caused. Hickman and Rose, lawyers for the Palestinians, demanded an inquiry. A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission said its review had not identified the source who leaked details of the planned arrest. It also concluded police had not broken rules by failing to board the aircraft to execute the warrant.

Fidel Castro retires

According to the BBC, Fidel Castro has announced he will not return to the presidency, in a letter published by official Communist Party paper, Granma.
"I neither will aspire to, nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," he wrote in the letter. Fidel, handed over power temporarily to his brother, Raul, in July 2006 when he underwent intestinal surgery. The 81-year-old has ruled Cuba since leading a communist revolution in 1959.

Fidel Castro had become America's enemy number one. The CIA tried to assassinate him - more than 600 times, according to one Cuban minister. Getting him to smoke a cigar packed with explosives was one idea. Other anti-Castro plots were even more bizarre, including one to make his beard fall out and ridicule him.
Cuba under his rule has made impressive domestic strides. Good medical care is freely available for all, there is 98% literacy, and Cuba's infant mortality rates compare favourably with Western nations. (more...)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Texas Primary (March 4): the latest polls

Update (March 5rd):
Reuters/CSpan/Zogby (03/01-03/03). Obama 44%, Clinton 47%
WFAA/Belo Tracking(02/29-03/02). Obama 45%, Clinton 46%
M-D/Star-Telegram(02/27-02/29). Obama 46%, Clinton 45%
SurveyUSA (03/01-03/02). Obama 49%, Clinton 48%
InsiderAdvantage (03/02-03/02). Obama 44%, Clinton 49%
Rasmussen (03/02-03/02). Obama 48%, Clinton 47%

Update (March 3rd):
Reuters/CSpan/Zogby (02/28-03/01). Obama 47%, Clinton 43%
WFAA/Belo Tracking(02/28-03/01). Obama 46%, Clinton 46%
M-D/Star-Telegram(02/27-02/29). Obama 46%, Clinton 45%
FOX News (02/28-03/01).(02/26-02/28). Obama 48%, Clinton 45%
InsiderAdvantage (02/27-02/27). Obama 47%, Clinton 43%
Rasmussen (02/27-02/27). Obama 48%, Clinton 44%

Update (Feb. 26):
InsiderAdvantage (02/25-02/25). Obama 47%, Clinton 46%
SurveyUSA (02/23-02/25). Obama 49%, Clinton 45%
Rasmussen (02/24-02/24). Obama 45%, Clinton 46%
CNN (02/22-02/24). Obama 50%, Clinton 46%

Update (Feb. 23):
Rasmussen (02/20-02/20). Obama 44%, Clinton 47%
ABC/Wash Post(02/16-02/20). Obama 47%, Clinton 48%
One should observe that difference in Rasmussen's numbers in less than a week! Is this an indication of the final winner?

Update (Feb. 19):
SurveyUSA (02/16-02/18). Obama 45%, Clinton 50%
CNN (02/15-02/17). Obama 48%, Clinton 50%
Obviously, Obama is closing the gap fast!

Rasmussen (02/14-02/14). Obama 38%, Clinton 54%
InsiderAdvantage (02/14-02/14). Obama 41%, Clinton 48%
TCUL/Hamilton (02/11-02/13). Obama 41%, Clinton 49%
Delegates: 228

Other related links:
Pennsylvania primary
Rhode Island primary
Ohio primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Clinton's strategy in Texas

Hillary Clinton, signaling the start of an aggressive drive in states she must win on March 4, has summoned the formidable political "closer" who led her 9-point Super Tuesday victory in California to run her Texas effort, sources said Thursday.
Averell "Ace" Smith, the son of former San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith, is on the ground for Clinton as her Texas state campaign manager, sources confirmed.Smith has shown an uncanny knack for identifying key demographic groups and delivering voters in his races in the nation's most populous state.
"Baseball teams have the ace pitcher that they call their 'stopper,' " said California Democratic political consultant Dan Newman regarding the Smith move. "Ace is Hillary's stopper.
"They need someone to sort through a complicated process and be targeted, and surgical, and get people out to vote - exactly as he did here," Newman said.The bespectacled Smith is considered a take-no-prisoners political operative whose dogged studies into opponents' backgrounds earned him the reputation as one of the nation's most feared opposition researchers."I've seen him walk into a room and the opposition candidate will literally start mumbling," former Democratic strategist Clint Reilly once said of him. "They're just terrified with his presence." Known as the "Doctor Death" of political opposition research, he has led winning campaigns in recent years for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Attorney General Jerry Brown.
But as the architect behind some high-profile races in the nation's most populous state, Smith has also proven adept at demographic and get-out-the-vote strategy. He was behind Clinton's Feb. 5 win in California, where polls had suggested that Obama was closing the gap.
Critical in that win, insiders said, was Smith's plan to mount an unprecedented effort tracking - and diligently calling - vote-by-mail voters in all 58 counties of California from the very first day of early voting on Jan. 7 to the day of the primary.
Smith installed campaign managers in every county, who studiously tabulated the names of voters who had cast their ballots by mail - and then undertook the time-consuming effort of calling virtually all of the unreturned ballot-holders before the Super Tuesday primary.
From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the night of the election, the campaign made more than an estimated 1 million calls - many of them on the cell phones of campaign volunteers - to California voters to make sure they went to the polls for Clinton.
Texas has an odd hybrid system that combines traditional voting and caucuses. And unlike California, there's no widespread vote-by-mail voting. In addition, voters don't register for a political party and can cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican primary.
Texas voting is unusual in another way: Polls are open for early voting from Feb. 19 until three days before the election. That's followed by the traditional March 4 election day voting, followed by statewide caucuses after the polls close at 7 p.m. According to election rules, voters are not allowed to participate in the caucuses unless they've gone to the polls.Because Texas has not effectively been in play in a presidential primary since 1988, all this represents uncharted territory, said one Clinton supporter. (more...)

Democratic Primaries 2008: Delegates and Popular vote

Students killing at the NIU Campus in DeKalb

A gunman has opened fire on students at a university near Chicago in the United States, killing five people before turning the gun on himself. Four of the dead were female and two, including the gunman, were male. The shooting took place at Northern Illinois University, in De Kalb, 65 miles (100km) west of Chicago. Students ran for cover as a white male armed with two handguns and a shotgun opened fire during a science lecture. Another 16 people were injured in the attack. Police said there was no apparent motive.The victims, four women and a man, were killed in a "brief, rapid-fire assault", university president John Peters said.
The university confirmed that the gunman was a former graduate student in sociology, but was not currently enrolled. Earlier reports said 17 victims had been transported to Kishwaukee Community Hospital.
Police say there is no apparent motive for the attack
The shooting comes 10 months after 32 students and staff were shot by a student at Virginia Tech University in one of the worst shootings ever at a US school. It is also the fourth shooting at a US education establishment within a week.
Last Friday, a woman shot dead two fellow students before killing herself at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. In Memphis, Tennessee, a 17-year-old is accused of shooting and critically wounding a student on Monday, and a 15-year-old was shot at a junior high school in California on Tuesday. (more...)

Ohio Primary: the latest polls

Update March 4rd:
Reuters/CSpan/Zogby (03/01 - 03/03) Obama 44% , Clinton 44%
SurveyUSA (03/01 - 03/02) Obama 44% , Clinton 54%
Rasmussen (03/02 - 03/02) Obama 44% , Clinton 50%
Ohio Poll/Univ of Cin. (02/28 - 03/02) Obama 42% , Clinton 51%
Quinnipiac(02/27 - 03/02) Obama 45% , Clinton 49%

Update March 3rd:
Suffolk (03/01 - 03/02) Obama 40% , Clinton 52%
Reuters/CSpan/Zogby (02/29 - 03/02) Obama 47% , Clinton 45%
M-D/Plain Dealer (02/28 - 02/28) Obama 43% , Clinton 47%
Rasmussen (02/27 - 02/29) Obama 45% , Clinton 47%
FOX News(02/26 - 02/28) Obama 38% , Clinton 46%

Update Feb. 26
Rasmussen (02/25 - 02/25) Obama 43% , Clinton 48%
The Ohio Poll (02/21 - 02/24) Obama 39% , Clinton 47%
Quinnipiac (02/18 - 02/23) Obama 40% , Clinton 51%

Update Feb. 21
Rasmussen (02/21 - 02/21) Obama 40% , Clinton 48%
ABC/Wash Post (02/16 - 02/20) Obama 43% , Clinton 50%
In Rasmussen's poll, within a week, Clinton's lead has fallen from 14 points to 8 points.

SurveyUSA (02/17 - 02/18) Obama 43% , Clinton 52%
Rasmussen (02/13 - 02/13) Obama 37% , Clinton 51%
Quinnipiac (02/06 - 02/12) Obama 34% , Clinton 55%
SurveyUSA (02/10 - 02/11) Obama 39% , Clinton 56%

Other related links:
Pennsylvania primary
Rhode Island primary
Texas Primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Hawaii democratic caucus and the result

Update ( 01.23am local): (100% reporting):
Obama (28347) 76%, Clinton (8835) 24%

Update ( 11.37pm local): (68% reporting): Obama (20974) 76%, Clinton (6529) 24%
Update (10.10pm local): (30% reporting): Obama (5436) 74%, Clinton (1875) 25%
Update (9.25pm local): (10% reporting): Obama (2258) 77%, Clinton (666) 23%
Update (Feb. 19): Obama's internal projections last week had him winning 52% to 47%.
Update (19Feb):Democratic Party officials predict heavy turnout at 68 caucus sites statewide, from rural farm houses to urban high schools. Only about 4,000 people participated in the party caucus four years ago.Officials have ordered extra ballots as a precaution, and some worry that even those may not be enough for everyone.Anyone who signs up as a member of the Democratic Party, even at the caucus itself, will be eligible to participate.
Caucus turnout has never exceeded 5,000 but party officials believe that figure could double tonight and could reach as high as 12,000. Local volunteers for Barack Obama are suggesting that turnout could even climb into the 15,000 to 18,000 range, which would likely overwhelm party volunteers conducting the presidential preference poll. Voting is scheduled between 7 and 7:30 p.m. at a minimum but the party will accept ballots from people who are in line to register to vote, sign a party membership card, or mark a ballot by 7:30 p.m. Party officials said that more than 1,200 people had joined the party in the weeks before Super Tuesday. But an additional 5,000 people have since signed up as the caucuses became relevant to the Democratic presidential nomination. (more...)

(29 delegates at stake). Local volunteers for Clinton believe she may be stronger outside of urban Honolulu and on the Neighbor Islands, where traditional Democrats and labor unions appear to have more influence. Most of the grassroots activity and energy, however, are behind Obama, who was born in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School. Higher caucus turnout would generally favor Obama. (more...)

A nice graphical presentation of what is going on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Greek restaurant in Wakiki-Hawaii

A piece on news from Hawaii: Famed British Restaurant/Nightclub owner Oliver Bengough of Mint Group London has joined forces with local Entrepreneurs Francois Provenza and Mitch Berger, to bring authentic Greek food with a Mediterranean twist to Hawaii with their new restaurant concept “The Fat Greek”.

The first Fat Greek restaurant is serving lunch and dinner at the corner of Waialae and St. Louis in Kaimuki. The one hundred seat restaurant includes garden dining. Offerings include great daily specials such as authentic Moussaka and Rack of Lamb.

“Our Desire is to introduce the fresh healthy aspect of Mediterranean cuisine to Hawaii” Bengough describes. “There are great similarities that already exist between Greek and Local style foods. We want to emphasize some of the spices and flavors that make this food both interesting and delicious.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Obama vs Clinton

Update (20 Feb. 08): In campaign contests so far, Barack Obama has polled the best among black, more wealthy and educated voters and college students, while rival Hillary Clinton has been able to count on women, low-income voters and blue-collar workers. But in early exit polls tonight, Obama held Clinton to a virtual tie among Wisconsin Democratic primary voters who said they have a union member in their household — 50 percent for Clinton to 49 percent for Obama — and actually edged her among women, 51 percent to 49 percent. Clinton held a narrow advantage over Obama among Catholic poll respondents — who made up 43 percent of voters interviewed — 51 percent to 48 percent. She also held narrow leads among voters with only a high school education, people 60 or older and those making between $15,000-$30,000 a year. But Obama kept those margins close and took easy wins among his traditional base of supporters. Among voters 49 years old and younger he had a significant 64-39 percent advantage over Clinton. College-educated voters, who made up 72 percent of those polled, favored him 59 percent to 39 percent. Obama had a slight edge among voters who called themselves Democrats — 50 percent to 49 percent — but overwhelmingly topped Clinton among the 27 percent of respondents who called themselves independents, taking 63 percent of their votes to Clinton's 36 percent. (more...)

It looks as though things are going to get nasty in the Democratic party.
The following post is base on articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, the BBC web, and the NYT today.

(John Zogby of Zogby International). At this time of writing, the two candidates are nearly tied among pledged delegates, and even if Obama wins all of the remaining states with 55% of the vote, he still falls short of the 2,025 total delegates he needs to secure the nomination. Meanwhile, Clinton would continue to rack up almost the same number of delegates based on proportional voting.And if negative (or at least not glowing) stories begin to appear in rapid succession, will his supporters still be so enthusiastic?

Bob Gardner, a veteran political ad man and Republican who has worked with candidates including Gerald Ford and Dick Cheney, said the shifting momentum has turned the race between Clinton, once considered the indomitable leader, and Obama, the former upstart, into an entirely new kind of competition."It's Mac versus PC, Starbucks versus Dunkin' Donuts, Leno versus Letterman," said Gardner, who heads San Francisco-based The Advocacy Group, a crisis communications, corporate and political ad shop. "Hillary is a candidate; Obama is a movement."
But unless there's a shift in the "big mo," it may be that the best scenario for a Clinton nomination may come down to "you hope the other side screws up," he said. "That's a pretty thin reed on which to base a prospect of success."
"I just don't see how the numbers work for her," longtime Democratic consultant Garry South said. "She would have to win 65 percent victories" in most of the big remaining states to surpass Obama in delegates "and get to where she needs to be to win.""The momentum isn't with her," said South, the former senior adviser to California Gov. Gray Davis. "It's an indefinable factor in a political campaign - but an important one."
Adam Mendelsohn, a longtime adviser to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said being on the downside of political momentum is "like flying a plane. When you go into a tailspin like this, the question is: Do you have enough time to pull yourself out?""Barack Obama controls it now," Mendelsohn said of the presidential campaign field. "He has the strength, the money and he has the front-runner status. He controls his fate. It may not be up to her to change it."
Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that it would be difficult for her to catch up in the race for pledged delegates even if she succeeded in winning Ohio and Texas in three weeks and Pennsylvania in April. They said the Democratic Party’s rules, which award delegates relatively evenly among the candidates based on the proportion of the vote they receive, would require her to win by huge margins in those states to match Mr. Obama in delegates won through voting.
Now she would have to beat Mr. Obama by more than 20 percentage points in order to pick up a majority of delegates in both states.
Mr. Plouffe said by his count, Mr. Obama had won 14 states by a margin of over 20 percentage points or more; Mrs. Clinton has won two states by that margin.
In Texas, Mr. Penn said Mrs. Clinton would be helped by the Latino vote — which he said could ultimately be as much as 40 percent of the electorate.But Mrs. Clinton faces another problem there in the form of that state’s unusual delegation allocation rules. Delegates are allocated to state senatorial districts based on Democratic voter turn-out in the last election. Bruce Buchanan, a professor of political science at the University of Texas at Austin, noted that in the last election, turnout was low in predominantly Hispanic districts and unusually high in urban African-American districts. That means more delegates will be available in districts that, based on the results so far, could be expected to go heavily for Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton, Dr. Buchanan said, “has got her work cut out for her.”
The projected delegate count by the Associated Press puts Obama ahead of Clinton, 1275 to 1220 - with 2,025 delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
A delegate count by The New York Times, including projections from caucuses where delegates have not yet been chosen, showed Mr. Obama with a 113-delegate lead over Mrs. Clinton: 1,095 to 982.
Delegate counts by other news organizations and by the campaigns showed somewhat different results, reflecting the difficulty of trying to make exact delegate counts at this point in the process. The figures do not include superdelegates.
Mr. Obama’s campaign said that he had a lead of 1,139 to 1,003; by the count of the Clinton campaign organization, Mr. Obama was doing even better: 1,141 to 1,004 for Mrs. Clinton.

Wisconsin Primary: the latest polls and the result

Update (Feb. 20, 08): (with 95% reporting): Obama 58%, Clinton 41%.
Update (Feb. 19, 08): Obama's internal projections last week had him winning 53% to 46%, and in Hawaii 52% to 47%.
Update (Feb. 18, 08):A poll released today from Public Polling Policy gives Obama a 13-point lead over Hillary in tomorrow's primary. Obama leads 49%-45% among core Democrats, and does better than 2-1 against Hillary Clinton among independents and Republicans likely to vote in the Dem primary. Also, American Research Group, which had Clinton ahead in Wisconsin earlier this week, now givesObama a 10-point lead, 52-42. (more...)
Update (Feb. 16, 08): Research 2000 (02/13-02/14). Obama 47%, Clinton 42%
Update (Feb. 15, 08): Rasmussen (02/13-02/13). Obama 47%, Clinton 43%
Strategic Vision: (02/08-02/10) Obama 45%, Clinton 41%,
Univ. of WI: (11/27-12/05) Obama 26%, Clinton39%
(Feb. 19, 92 delegates at stake)

Other related links:
Texas primary: The latest polls
Ohio primary
Wisconsin primary
Hawaii democratic caucus
Obama Vs Clinton
Delegates and popular vote (so far)
Game over for Hillary?
Checking the voting machines
Obama vs McCain
How California deligates are selected
The "eyes" of the future President in the US
The three H of John Edwards
Ralph Nader running again?
McCain on Israel

Monday, February 11, 2008

Game over for Hillary?

It looks as though, after Maine, game is over. (Hillary's campaign expected a comfortable win. And they lost huge)! With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Obama was leading Hillary 59% to 40%!.

Clinton also, replaced her campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle with longtime adviser Maggie Williams, her campaign announced Sunday.

Joe Trippi, an adviser to former Democratic contender John Edwards, said Sunday that Obama had "a full head of steam" after Saturday's wins and was poised to win this week's "Potomac Primaries" in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. "It's hard to see a win for Sen. Clinton into March, into Ohio and Texas, which I think was what they're counting on," Trippi told CBS' "Face the Nation." "But even that's in jeopardy, I think, as Obama builds some momentum here."

Update (Feb 13, 07): BBC web today posted an article by almost the same title (Game over?).
Update (Feb 25, 07): Robert Novak also takes the same view.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

McCain on Israel

(From Rosner's Blog) There's been a lot of talk lately about John McCain's problem with the more conservative (and religious) right wing of the Republican Party.
The problem he has is clear: How does one win over the more radical wing of his party without alienating the more centrist voters on which one relies to help him win not just the nomination but also the general election. McCain is using a couple of tools as to try and achieve this goal. One of them, and not a marginal one, is the State of Israel.
Senator Joe Lieberman is playing a role here. The staunchest Jewish supporter McCain has, Lieberman can promise both Jews and Evangelical voters that McCain is the candidate who will not abandon Israel (no wonder some people still think Lieberman is McCain's top pick for Vice President).
Lieberman also says that McCain understands how significant the establishment of the state of Israel was. He is an avid reader of history and also has "a sense of history." He is familiar with the story of the country. He will not do anything that will "compromise Israel's security." Lieberman has real confidence in McCain, a "total comfort level" because "I know this man."

The Palestinian population

(from Haaretz) The Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem rose approximately 30 percent over the last ten years, reaching 3.76 million, up from 2.89 million, according to census results released Saturday.
Only 208,000 Palestinians were counted in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinians as a future capital, said Luay Shabaneh, head of the Palestinian Central Statistics Bureau.

Demographics play a crucial role in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, with higher population figures potentially bolstering Palestinian territorial demands.
The unexpectedly low figure for east Jerusalem - it fell even below an estimate of 210,000 in the 1997 census - was immediately challenged by Palestinian politicians. In 1997, census-takers were barred by Israel from going door-to-door and based their result on projections. This time, census volunteers conducted an actual count, working discretely to avoid confrontations with Israeli authorities, Shabaneh said. (more...)

Yahoo will reject Microsoft's takeover bid

Yahoo Inc.'s board will spurn Microsoft Corp's $44.6 billion merger proposal, a source familiar with the matter told the SFChronicle today.
The rejection, to be officially delivered in a letter to Microsoft on Monday, adds a dramatic twist to the takeover saga, which would combine two technology industry giants.
Yahoo's decision keeps the Sunnyvale company independent, at least for now. In the past, executives made no secret of their desire for the company to remain intact, but disappointing earnings and a depressed stock price have made their Web portal an enticing acquisition target. (more...)

Obama has advantage in head-to-head with McCain

An analysis by the CNN yesterday that I agree with.

Two polls this month have asked registered voters nationwide how they would vote if the choice were between McCain and Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton.
A CNN poll, conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation February 1-3, shows Clinton three points ahead of McCain, 50 percent to 47 percent. That's within the poll's margin of error of 3 percentage points, meaning that the race is statistically tied.
A Time magazine poll, conducted February 1-4, also shows a dead heat between Clinton and McCain. Each was backed by 46 percent of those polled.
In the CNN poll, Obama leads McCain by 8 points, 52 percent to 44 percent. That's outside the margin of error, meaning that Obama has the lead.
And in the Time poll, Obama leads McCain by 7 points, 48 percent to 41 percent -- a lead also outside of the poll's margin of error of 3 percentage points.
In both polls, Obama looks stronger than Clinton. Why?
Clinton does have higher negatives than Obama -- and McCain. Forty-four percent of the public say they don't like Clinton, compared with 36 percent who don't like McCain and 31 percent who don't like Obama, according to the CNN poll conducted February 1-3.
Why does Obama do better against McCain than Clinton? Obama does do a little better than Clinton with independents and Republicans. But the big difference is men: Men give McCain an 18-point lead over Clinton, 57 percent to 39 percent, according to the CNN poll. The margin of error for that question was plus or minus 5 percentage points.
But if McCain and Obama went head to head, McCain's lead among men shrinks to three, 49 percent to 46 percent -- statistically a tie.
Women, on the other hand, vote for either Clinton or Obama by similar margins.
Some Democrats may be worried about how Obama will fare with white voters. Whites give McCain a 15-point lead over Clinton, (56 percent for McCain, 41 percent for Clinton).But Obama actually fares better than Clinton with white voters. McCain still leads, but by a smaller margin, (52 to 43 percent). Obama argues that he can reach across party lines. And he does do a little better than Clinton with Independents and Republicans, at least in these polls.
But the big difference is that Clinton doesn't draw very well with men. Obama does.

Blog posted a 'black list' of 162 Jewish professors

(ANSA) - Rome, February 8 - Interior Minister Giuliano Amato on Friday ordered a probe to verify the existence of an Internet blog which posted a 'black list' of 162 Jewish university professors in Italy who the blog accused of creating a lobby. The 162 professors are employed at Rome's La Sapienza university and universities in other Italian cities. (more...)

According to the AP news agency, the Internet service provider, meanwhile, pulled the site off line.

Extreme motherhood

One of the strangest meal-times in the animal kingdom has been caught on film by a BBC crew. The team recorded footage of a female worm-like amphibian, called a caecilian, allowing her young to peel off and eat her skin.
Scientists have only recently discovered this bizarre parental behaviour. The female caecilian's skin becomes thicker and more nutrient-rich when she bears offspring. And the young have specialised teeth for tearing and removing it. The footage was recorded for the BBC One series Life In Cold Blood. The crew was able to catch this behaviour on camera by building a set which resembled the shallow, humid underground chambers that the creatures live in. It took several attempts to capture the footage; the caecilian babies would only eat their mother's skin for about 10 minutes, once every three days, and often at night.

"Yummy mummy" filmed feeding young her skin
One of the strangest meal-times in the animal kingdom

Friday, February 08, 2008

Schooling at five

Do children start school at too young an age in England? Is childhood freedom being curtailed too soon?
Compared to most other western European countries, English pupils are extremely early starters in the classroom.
While compulsory education begins in England at the age of five (with many children actually starting at four), in countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, school doesn't begin until the age of seven. English children are ploughing through a fixed curriculum while their continental counterparts are still ploughing up the kindergarten sandpit or playing at home... (more)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Electing a president in the US and a prime minister in the UK

...One day, Martians will land in Virginia, Florida or California and scratch their green bald heads over the Byzantine system of primaries, caucuses and conventions. Not to mention the super-delegates, whose very existence seems to be an insult to democracy.
But then they will travel to Britain, where the choosing of a prime minister was hatched over mozzarella di bufala in an Italian restaurant in a place called Islington and then completed many years later, when Gordon replaced Tony without so much as a single vote being counted or cast.

from an article by Matt Frei of the BBC.

Primaries defy pundits, pollsters

In this weird presidential campaign, almost everything has turned out opposite from what pollsters and pundits predicted...
An article by Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Obama wins Super Tuesday

In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Barack Obama passed Hillary Clinton in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.
The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834.
NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party's complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.
Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.
With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show.
The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.

(from here).

Checking the voting machines. Phil Stark's new method

Philip Stark a UC Berkeley statistics professor has developed a new method to better determine the accuracy of voting results, a formula which will be used in some counties today.
"There was previously no method of auditing that certified that you got the right answer," Stark said.
The method takes a random sample of precincts and tests to see whether each precinct's margin of error between the computer's count and a manual count is small enough to be considered insignificant.
"What we are basically trying to see is whether there are a large amount of samples with a small enough error," he said.
Before this method, it was difficult to ensure that counts provided a reliable level of confidence, Stark said.
Stark's method came after Bowen commissioned a statewide Post-Election Audit Standards Working Group in order to develop a way to improve the accuracy of election counts.
While no future plans have been developed for his method, Stark said it is currently in the experimental phase.
"We're just testing to see if the results are feasible," Stark said.

more here and here

California Primaries 2008. The latest results

The latest results:

Democratic Party 96.7% ( 22352 of 23109 ) precincts reporting as of Feb 6, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.
Obama 1,698,048 (42.4%) , Clinton 2,079,707 (51.9%).

Republican Party 96.9% ( 22397 of 23109 ) precincts reporting as of Feb 6, 2008, at 10:40 a.m.
McCain 962,852 (42.1%), Romney 776,614 (34%), Huckabee 263,681 (11.6%)

Democratic Party 88.3% ( 20422 of 23109 ) precincts reporting as of Feb 6, 2008, at 5:44 a.m.
Barack Obama
1,552,53641.9 %
Hillary Clinton
1,934,69752.2 %

Republican Party 88.3% ( 20422 of 23109 ) precincts reporting as of Feb 6, 2008, at 5:49 a.m.
John McCain 906,332 42.1 %
Mitt Romney 721,654 33.6 %
Mike Huckabee 246,734 11.5 %

Republican Primaries 2008. A summary of super Tuesday

John McCain seized command of the race for the Republican presidential nomination early Wednesday, winning delegate-rich primaries from the East Coast to California. McCain's victory in the Golden State dealt a crushing blow to his closest pursuer, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

In the competition that counted the most, the Arizona senator had 570 delegates, nearly half of the 1,191 needed for the nomination - and far ahead of his rivals (Romney has 251 and Huckabee175).

Even so, Romney and Huckabee said they were staying in the race.

Polling place interviews with voters suggested subtle shifts in the political landscape.

For the first time this year, McCain ran first in a few states among self-identified Republicans. As usual, he was running strongly among independents. Romney was getting the votes of about four in 10 people who described themselves as conservative. McCain was wining about one-third of that group, and Huckabee about one in five.

McCain, the early Republican front-runner whose campaign nearly unraveled six months ago, won in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri, Delaware and his home state of Arizona - each of them winner-take-all primaries. He also pocketed victories in Oklahoma and Illinois.

Huckabee, won a series of Bible Belt victories, in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee as well as his own home state of Arkansas. He also triumphed at the Republican West Virginia convention.

Romney won a home state victory in Massachusetts. He also took Utah, where fellow Mormons supported his candidacy. His superior organization produced caucus victories in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska and Colorado.

Nine of the Republican contests were winner take all, and that was where McCain piled up his lead.

Democrats and Republicans alike said the economy was their most important issue. Democrats said the war in Iraq ranked second and health care third. Republican primary voters said immigration was second most important after the economy, followed by the war in Iraq.

The survey was conducted in 16 states by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and television networks.

Democratic primaries 2008. A summary of Super Tuesday

Clinton and Obama traded victories in an epic struggle with no end in sight. Clinton won Super Tuesday's biggest state, California, in the Democratic campaign, capitalizing on backing from Hispanic voters. Obama fashioned victories in Alabama and Georgia on the strength of black support.

Neither Clinton nor Obama proclaimed overall victory on a Super Tuesday that sprawled across 22 states, and with good reason. Obama won 13 states and Clinton eight plus American Samoa. But with victories in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, the Clinton led narrowly in the early tabulation of delegates for the night.

Missouri was so close that although Obama won the vote count it was likely to be hours before it became clear whether he or his rival had captured a majority of the state's 72 delegates.

The Democratic caucuses in New Mexico remained unsettled. Clinton had a 117-vote lead when the party shut down its vote counting operation until 11 a.m. EST.

Polling place interviews with voters suggested subtle shifts in the political landscape.

Overall, Clinton was winning only a slight edge among women and white voters, groups that she had won handily in earlier contests, according to preliminary results from interviews with voters in 16 states leaving polling places.

Obama was collecting the overwhelming majority of votes cast by blacks - a factor in victories in Alabama and Georgia.

Clinton's continued strong appeal among Hispanics - she was winning nearly six in 10 of their votes - was a big factor in her California triumph, and in her victory in Arizona, too.

Clinton won at home in New York as well as in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona and Arkansas. She also won the caucuses in American Samoa.

Obama won Connecticut, Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Utah and his home state of Illinois. He prevailed in caucuses in North Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, Idaho, Alaska and Colorado.

The allocation of delegates lagged the vote count by hours. That was particularly true for the Democrats, who divided theirs roughly in proportion to the popular vote.

Overall, Clinton had 760 delegates to 693 for Obama, out of the 2,025 needed to secure victory at the party convention in Denver. Clinton's advantage is partly due to her lead among so-called superdelegates, members of Congress and other party leaders who are not selected in primaries and caucuses - and who are also free to change their minds.

Alabama and Georgia gave Obama three straight Southern triumphs. Like last month's win in South Carolina, they were powered by black votes.

Democrats and Republicans alike said the economy was their most important issue. Democrats said the war in Iraq ranked second and health care third. Republican primary voters said immigration was second most important after the economy, followed by the war in Iraq.

The survey was conducted in 16 states by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and television networks.

Already, the campaigns were looking ahead to Feb. 9 contests in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state and Feb. 12 primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. And increasingly, it looked like the Democrats' historic race between a woman and a black man would go into early spring, possibly longer.

Obama and Clinton spent an estimated $20 million combined to advertise on television in the Feb 5 states.

Obama spent $11 million, running ads in 18 of the 22 states with Democratic contests. Clinton ran ads in 17, for a total of $9 million.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The 2008 California Democratic Primary

Sen. Hillary Clinton is the projected Democratic Party winner in California.
The turnout in California was so heavy that in at least one county, Alameda, several precincts remained open after the scheduled close of 8 p.m. because of long lines and shortages of ballots.
But even with Clinton apparently taking the state, it's not clear how many delegates she might receive. Election Day ballots are expected to be tallied late into the night and Wednesday morning, while the allotment of delegates may take days more.
Voter interest in the primary was at a historic high, according to a Field Poll released this morning, and the large number of voters, many of whom are using slower-to-count paper ballots - because California's Secretary of State required many counties to abandon what were regarded as unreliable electronic machines - could delay results for days or even weeks.
Los Angeles, the state's most populous county, said they may not have precinct ballots counted until 4 a.m. Wednesday, and many absentee voters - about 2 million - are expected to drop off their ballots at polling stations today, further delaying the count.


The Turing award 2007 (partly) to a Greek

The Turing Award, the Nobel Prize of computing has been won by Edmund Clarke (CMU), E. Allen Emerson (UT at Austin) and Joseh Sifakis (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/CARNOT Institute) for research on Model Checking. The citation reads: For their role in developing Model-Checking into a highly effective verification technology, widely adopted in the hardware and software industries.
Their innovations transformed this approach from a theoretical technique to a highly effective verification technology that enables computer hardware and software engineers to find errors efficiently in complex system designs. This transformation has resulted in increased assurance that the systems perform as intended by the designers. The Turing Award, named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing, carries a $250,000 prize, with financial support provided by Intel Corporation and Google Inc. Clarke of Carnegie Mellon University, and Emerson of the University of Texas at Austin, working together, and Sifakis, working independently for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at the University of Grenoble in France, developed this fully automated approach that is now the most widely used verification method in the hardware and software industries.
For more information here. As one can see in the link, Joseph Sifakis is the founder of Verimag Laboratory, a leading research center for embedded systems in Grenoble, France, where he was director from 1993-2006. He is Research Director of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and Director of the CARNOT Institute on Intelligent Software and Systems in Grenoble. Dr. Sifakis is a member of the editorial board of several journals, and the scientific coordinator of the Artist2 and ArtistDesign European Networks of Excellence on Embedded Systems Design. He is co-founder with Edmund Clarke, Robert Kurshan, and Amir Pnueli of the International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV). He earned a degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Athens and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Grenoble.

Note: (About the A.M. Turing Award) The A.M. Turing Award was named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the German Enigma cipher during World War II. Since its inception in 1966, the Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have propelled the information technology industry. For additional information, click on http://www.acm.org/awards/taward.html .