World Toilet Day 2012

It is that time of year again.

Last year I emphasized how serious an issue this is. The year before I focused on how the taboo nature of the topic prevents people from doing anything about it. This is what I'm talking about. There's not much to add - the lack of decent sanitation in much of the world is killing millions of people (mostly children) and one of the barriers to fixing the problem is that people are uncomfortable talking about defecation. What a stupid world we live in.

Okay, on to the assorted links about the loo:

Firstly, an update on Bill Gates' efforts. As someone in the clean energy industry, I'm pretty happy that the winner of the Reinvent the Toilet challenge is also one that harnesses solar power.

Toilets for political activism.

I'm not sure why this link appealed to me, but it did.

And finally, since this was an Olympic year, we'll close out on something sports related.


In Soviet Obamastan, Galt Goes on You

Is it still too early to muse on the fate of failed Veep candidate Paul Ryan?

Other than that Mr. Ryan has"not been an active participant" in preparing for a Friday meeting with President Barack Obama, a source close to Ryan said, “but I’m sure that will change in short order.”
OMG, I so did mail you an invite, or maybe left a voice message. Have you checked your Twitter?

His congressional reelection Tuesday pointed to potential chinks in his armor. He lost Rock County, his home county, 52 to 46 percent – though the county trends Democratic.
You lost your home county - despite being the VP nominee as well? Geez.

But the real kiss of death may be that both the War Criminal Post and it's Politico spinoff have deemed him as having a bright future. He still has his Congressional seat and his chairmanship of the Budget Committee. I guess he'll be okay so long as he can avoid saying the ridiculous types of stuff the previous failed veep candidate was is famous for. Oh wait.



What we witnessed on Tuesday was the collapse of the right. The Establishment money men in a post-Citizens United world - failed. The hate fueled Talibangelical social conservative Tea Party people with a throw-the-bums-out public who have given nearly 4 continuous years of 60% wrong direction polling - failed. The enthusiasm powered Church led volunteer GOTV missionary army - failed.

Is it because they suck? Mostly yes. Each fractious no compromise slice of the conservative coalition has its own festering pile of deeply distasteful garbage. Odious cretins that carry with them a stench foul enough to turn away multitudes. And while there may be a lot of overlap, each beyond the pale offense has the potential to put off different people.

The anti-immigration folks cemented the Hispanic vote for Barry. The legitimate rapists brought women to the ballot box. The 1% of the 1% of the 1%, so out of touch that the idea of writing off 47% of the population is not only reasonable, but righteous - well 47%.

It probably goes back a lot further than I am aware of, but at least since Reagan, the GOP has been the party of hate. Everyone hates taxes, but it's understood that if you want services you have to pay for them. It only became a winning argument when you could put the face of the Cadillac driving welfare queen onto it.

So they hate. And the hate is ugly. And ugly loses elections.


GDit Virginia

332-206. Not quite 340. Edit: I am a bit of an idiot. When i saw the tally 10 votes shy if my prediction, I assumed Virginia went red. I really dunno how I got to 340.

Senate, I only assigned 98 seats, herp derp. Got the Dem Caucus numbers right at 56 though. Missed on recounts and if you split those with the seats I didn't assign, I am off by 2.

House. Well if I was close on this it'd be freaky. Fortunately I missed by a mile. I really did expect bigger Dem gains here with a serious decimation of the Tea Party freshmen. And while teatards lost seats, it was nowhere near as much as I thought it would be. Plus the GOP Congress losses were offset by heavier D losses than I expected as well.

Overall? Not a bad performance considering I made most of those predictions in March. I would grade myself a B+.

Edit: Last minute popular vote prediction looks like it will be right on the money. If it is, I am bumping myself to A-.


Predictions 2012

Okay, making my ill informed wild ass guesses about tomorrow right now.  Note, I made some predictions about 8 months ago but these have evolved - well at least on the Senate side of things.

Electoral College - I'm sticking with Obama at 340.  I'm calling on Willard not breaking 200.  You heard it at teh Mothership first, back in March.
Senate - wow, this is the story of the election.  I'm revising to 54+2 Dem+Ind, 40 GOP and 2 recounts.  Also noting that 538 is listing Senator Warren at 94% probability while Politico is running with this.
House - talk about overlooked.  You try to find some decent analysis and forecasts about how the House is going to turn out - there ain't any.  So I will go with my March prediction, 220 Democrats, 213 Republicans and two contests going to extra innings.

How much faith to place in these?  Probably zero - but let's look at my track record from that batch of predictions:
-I said Leafs rally to miss playoffs by 8 points.  They ended the season going 4-5-2 and missing the playoffs by 12.
-I said that Walker would be recalled, he wasn't.  I said that that three Senate seats will go D, but only one did.
-I said that on July 4th Kobayashi would not compete at Nathan's.  He didn't.  I said he'd eat 64 hot dogs - he actually ate 58.5 but was reported as eating 68.5 (averaging to 63.5 - not that this number means anything).  I said Joey Chestnut would win by eating 68 hot dogs and that is exactly what he did.
-I said the Wii-U launch is going to rock.  I stand by this and note that it's a much more accepted position to have since the launch line-up reveal.  Also, MH3U in March 2013 - expect me to pull another thorough vanishing act just af.ter that date.  Sorry, but my new true love is your mom smashing giant dinosaurs in the head with comically oversized hammers.

So, I seem to know competitive eating but not hockey nor elections.  So let's hope Tuesday is more like disgustingly gorging yourself on tube shaped mystery meat then it is like casting ballots for your favoured candidate.

Edit: Popular vote.  Obama 51% Romney 47%