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Monthly Archives: November 2015

The 2016 Republican Nomination Goes to…

Published November 19, 2015 in Politics - 0 Comments
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jebThe 2016 Republican Nomination has been rigged. It was rigged years ago by the GOP establishment, and it was rigged specifically to help Jeb. The calendar of the nomination, and the rules of the individual states, were specifically designed to allow Jeb to cruise to victory with approximately 25% of the vote.

You can read the full explanation of how this was done on The Last Refuge. But if you want to see it for yourself, check out this wonderful delegate simulator from Real Clear Politics (h/t Stephen Green).

From the creators of the simulator:

The order in which candidates drop out matters. A lot. It didn’t surprise us that the order and rate of dropouts mattered. What surprised us was just how much it mattered.

Emphasis is in the original text, not added by me. Yes, yes it does. This is by design, and the guys at The Last Refuge figured this out eons ago.

The catch? This rigged nomination process has been hijacked – by Donald Trump. To see how it works, consider this “baseline” scenario that I put together and ran through the simulator.

Scenario 1

This scenario uses today’s poll numbers (the RCP state averages for Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina; the RCP national average everywhere else, since there are no other state polls yet). I’ve chosen to divvy up “district delegates” (those assigned to the winner of each congressional district) proportionately amongst the front runners. In actuality, they’re more likely to skew heavily toward the front runner. Also, realize that polls will change before January and that at least one more candidate will probably drop out before then. It also assumes that no candidates drop out during the election, although we can be certain that several will. It’s a baseline scenario, nothing more.

The results?

  • Trump: 1202 delegates
  • Carson: 592 delegates
  • Rubio: 212
  • Cruz: 189
  • Bush: 82
  • Kasich: 43
  • Fiorina: 40
  • Paul: 39
  • Huckabee: 38
  • Christie: 33

In this baseline scenario, Trump doesn’t quite cinch the nomination (he needs 1237 delegates to do it). But he’s clearly in the lead.

As noted, though, this is a baseline. Let’s take a look at a more likely scenario.

Scenario 2

Again, this uses today’s poll numbers. These will change. But run with it. This model also makes the following assumptions:

  • Rand Paul drops out before the votes even start. Watch his campaign – he’s already figured out that the system is rigged against him and has no idea how to fight it. Despite the fact that it’s his logo in the upper right hand corner of the blog, and he’s clearly my favorite… he’s done. His votes split pretty evenly between Trump, Carson and Cruz (the outsiders; his fans are not establishment fans).
  • Santorum and Huckabee drop out after South Carolina when they learn that they can’t repeat their magic in any of the states they’ve done well in previously. Their votes mostly go to Carson and Cruz. Huckabee’s in it to keep his name in the news and keep getting “talking head” deals. He’ll get out once he can’t get headlines anymore. Santorum’s deluded himself into thinking he has a real chance, just like he did after winning Iowa in 2012. He’ll get out when the funding dies completely – which may actually be before Iowa.
  • Bush hangs on until Florida no matter how poorly he’s doing because his entire campaign is built around winning Florida. He’ll lose it anyway because he’s a terrible candidate that nobody wants right now, so he drops out after the 3/15 primaries. His votes go mostly to Rubio, the rest split between the other front runners (Trump, Carson, Cruz)
  • Kasich, Fiorna, Christie and Graham all drop out as well. They already know they can’t win. They’re in it because their superpacs are all funded by Jeb donors who are keeping them in the race to split everyone else’s votes. In other words, they’re there to help Jeb. But it backfires and helps Trump instead. Anyway, they’re out – and their votes split as follows: Fiorna half to Trump (people looking for a businessman) and half to Rubio (the Jeb backup plan). Christie mostly to Rubio (the Jeb backup plan and only establishment candidate left). Kasich’s all go to Rubio, if he has any. Graham’s family and friends are the only ones voting for him anyway, so they’re irrelevant.
  • Cruz throws his support behind Trump when he finally concedes that he can’t win – probably in exchange for a VP or cabinet spot. My best guess is that this happens after Utah. Most of his voters go for Trump, some go for Carson. His actual delegates… not sure what party rules allow on that, so I’ve still listed them as Cruz delegates.

Final results:

  • Trump: 1266
  • Carson: 651
  • Rubio: 310
  • Cruz: 145 (most voting for Trump)
  • Bush: 41
  • Kasich: 18
  • Fiorina: 18
  • Huckabee: 14
  • Christie: 11
  • Santorum: 1

trump-smilingTrump clearly wins the nomination.

This is not an endorsement of Trump – it’s just how I think things are going to play out. Except that I think the end result is going to favor Trump even more heavily. Carson’s already slipping in the polls, Trump keeps on rising despite the cries of impending doom.

Why Trump? 1) The GOP establishment rigged this map so that Jeb could win with ~20-25% of the vote. Trump picked up on that ages ago and co-opted the strategy. 2) He brought a gun to a knife fight. He’s just playing a different game than everyone else, plain and simple. Changing the rules to suit his own strengths.

Why not Carson? Smart as he might be, he hasn’t figured out this map yet – although I think is people may be starting to. He’s also, frankly, too nice to play this game for long. It’s already hurting him. Finally… I think he’s honestly in this for a talking head deal, and he’s surprised himself by doing so well.

My personal suspicion is that his poll numbers continue to drop (with his support mostly going to Trump and Cruz), and that he drops out relatively early in the race. If that happens, look for Trumps marginal delegate victory above to become a landslide.

Notes

The GOP establishment strategy was specifically designed to pick off Rand Paul , Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker. Indeed, parts of the strategy were put into place as far back as the 2012 convention in specific retaliation to Ron Paul. It’s already worked on one out of the three (Walker), and the second (Paul) is probably not far off.They didn’t count on Trump.

Waiting for Article 5

Published November 15, 2015 in Politics , World War IV - 0 Comments
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The tragic part of the 9/11 attacks were the tremendous loss of life. But the scary part was the sophisticated coordination of the attacks. Two coordinated airborne attacks that took place within minutes of each other, followed by a third not long after and a failed fourth attempt that came very close to working – but for civilian interference.

I was standing in my living room when the second plane hit the World Trade Center, dripping wet, watching it live. My boss had just called me to let me know about the first plane, interrupting my shower. When the second plane hit, we both knew what it meant. I don’t remember who said it first, but we were both thinking it: one plane was an accident. Two meant war.

The Paris attacks had a far lower death toll – thank God – but the coordination of the attacks carries far more military significance. At least six separate attacks, with at least seven suicide bombs. A police interception in Germany that implies that more attacks were planned.

This is the kind of coordinated terror attacks that we were afraid would follow after 9/11. They are finally upon us. Our leadership over the last 14 years has systematically failed to take the steps necessary to deal with this issue for real, instead opting to put band-aids over the situation (Bush) or to play ostrich (Obama). Instead of dealing with the situation decisively, we went out and created ISIS and made the situation worth.

War is upon us, whether we like it or not. We can argue about it all we like, but World War IV (call it World War III if you must, but I’d argue that the Cold War earned that name) has been a fact on the ground for months.

The biggest difference between today’s world and the world preceding World War I is that many of the alliances are out in the open. What will NATO do when push comes to shove? Will the French invoke Article 5? I’m ready to lay even odds that they will. It’s almost no-lose for them. If NATO steps up to the plate, then they get their retaliation with little cost. If NATO doesn’t step up to the plate, then it falls apart – and becomes a huge black eye for the Americans. The French spent half the Cold War giving us black eyes for fun, and they withdrew from the Alliance in 1966 for 30 years. They’ve got little to lose by calling in the chip.

What will Russia do? Whatever Putin is up to today, never forget that we wouldn’t have these problems in the Middle East without Russian interference. None of the terrorist groups in the region would have survived into the modern era without the training and funding they received from the Soviets in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. My bet? Putin will continue using the region to antagonize the United States and the west until the whole thing gets away from him and he realizes that he can’t control the Tiger anymore. Then Russia will join in with the western allies.

I mean, it’s not like Stalin was allied with Hitler in the early years of World War II or anything. Oh, wait…

Batten down the hatches and get ready. This ride is just getting started.

Extra Life 2015 Recap

Published November 10, 2015 in Madison Martial Arts - 0 Comments
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Last Saturday we hosted our third annual Extra Life event at Madison Martial Arts. Extra Life is a charity group that brings gamers together for a 24-hour gaming marathon once a year. Similar to walk-a-thons and the like, players get friends and family to sponsor them for their play time. The money raised goes to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to help provide life saving treatment for terminally ill children.

When we opened Madison Martial Arts, we took the event and put our own little twist on it. We figured that instead of just making a team of our friends, we’d invite everybody. So we set up an event at our dojo and hosted it there.

Our first event, in 2013, was pretty small. OK, I’ll be honest. It was basically just us and our friends. We had about six gamers through the day, and all of us gave up well before the 24-hour mark and went to bed. But… we raised almost $600 total that year, and we had a ton of fun.

I also had my car broken into the next day, and about $2000 worth of (mostly borrowed) equipment was stolen. I’ve long since gotten over it, but somebody’s going to hell for stealing from folks who were helping sick kids. It’s a fact.

But we didn’t let it stop us. In 2014, we had a huge jump in growth. Instead of just us and our friends it became us, our friends, and our students. Throughout the day we had 34 people show up and join us for various lengths of time. And we had our first “all-nighters.” Three of us stayed through the night for full 25 hours (2014’s event happened on time-change weekend, so it ran a bit long). And we nearly doubled our fundraising from 2013, pulling in just shy of $1100.

This year was a bit disorganized. I moved about a month and a half ago. So right when I should have been in peak “getting out the word” mode, I was far too busy to have anything to do with it.

Frankly, I’m almost glad it worked out that way. If we’d had any more people this year we’d have burst at the seams.

2015 was our biggest and best year yet. We had at least 52 people come in throughout the day. I think the total was higher, because I’m pretty sure that we had a few people who never hit the sign-in sheet. Up until about 11:30 or so on Saturday evening, the entire facility was pretty full. We’d have been hard pressed to fit more people inside. We had nine of us stay the whole 24-hours this year – more people than even came to our first event. And we’ve raised about $1300 so far. The total is still slowly rising as last minute donations come in – if you’d like to add your own, you can hit our online donation page.

We had a classic gaming station with an Atari 2600 this year. We got Minecraft, Diablo, Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead up on the 10 foot projector screen. We had a D&D 5th edition session running. We had about a dozen card games. We continued our tradition of late night Risk. I watched a group playing Uno, and another playing Monopoly.

We’re already making plans to make next year bigger and better. Stay tuned – and think about coming out to join us!