Sunday, November 9, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the fish

All right, everybody. In the next few hours, I'll be taking this blog offline for its aforementioned indefinite hiatus. It may return at some point in the future -- probably with a different name than "Ash Blog Durbatulûk," which was a good concept, but which doesn't work all that well in practical reality (particularly when people ask me in casual conversation, "what's the name of your blog?") -- but I have no definite plans at this point. At a minimum, I intend to take at least a few months off. Certainly, we'll be into the Obama Administration before any possible blog restart.

My Photoblog will remain active (indeed, it will probably become more active), and I encourage everyone who wants to keep in touch with me to bookmark it. That blog has comments, just like this one, so readers who want to keep chit-chatting about politics or whatever can do so there. In addition, if and when I restart a commentary blog, I'll certainly post a link on the Photoblog. I'll also probably promote my NCAA Pool there, come March, if I still don't have a commentary blog at that time.

Those wishing to keep in touch may also want to friend me on Facebook, which is probably where I'll post any commentaries or rants during my hiatus (about politics, the BCS, whatever) that I just can't keep to myself. :) I'll also promote my various contests there, of course.

My Weatherblog will also remain active, at least until the end of November.

But the Linklog and The One Blog will be going away, at least for the moment. (Archives will still be accessible, of course.) Thanks to everybody for your readership and your participation in discussions here. It's been fun. If you'd like to receive an e-mail notifying you if/when I restart a commentary blog, please sign up below:


I promise I won't abuse the information, like by selling your e-mail address to the Office of the President-Elect. :)

I'll leave you with a trio of pictures showing the gorgeous view from our new place in Denver:





Saturday, November 8, 2008

Final college football open thread

Considering that this blog will be going on hiatus in the next couple of days, this will be the last college-football open thread of the season. That's the one thing I regret about the timing of my blog shutdown: I won't be able to talk about all the BCS drama here during the final weeks of the season. But, as Becky says, there's always something. If it's not the election, it's college football, or it's college basketball, or it's the inauguration, or it's... etc., etc.

But anyway, Week 11 is underway. Most surprising score so far: Tennessee is losing at Neyland Stadium, on homecoming, to Wyoming. WTF? I know the Vols are bad, but jeez. I guess it just proves that the Mountain West is a war!

Coming up next: #3 Penn State at Iowa. A win by the Hawkeyes would be very, very helpful to the cause of all the one-loss teams (including USC, though I don't think the Trojans have much of a chance at this point, given how things are shaking out in the SEC and Big 12).

Later: Notre Dame at Boston College and #21 Cal at #7 USC, both at 8:00 PM. Alas, we don't actually be able to watch the 'SC game here in Denver; we get #9 Oklahoma State at #2 Texas Tech instead. Harumph!

Anyway...

GO HAWKEYES, BEAT THE LIONS!
GOOOO IRISH, BEEEEAT EAGLES FREDO!
FIGHT ON TROJANS, BEAT THE BEARS COMMIES!

UPDATE: With Iowa's win over Penn State, it now looks awfully likely that the BCS title game will pit the SEC champion vs. the Big 12 champion. Florida and Alabama are all set for the SEC title game, and barring any upsets in their remaining games (Florida vs. South Carolina, vs. The Citadel, and at Florida State; Alabama vs. Mississippi State and vs. Auburn), that will essentially be a BCS play-in game. Best-case scenario for USC: Florida loses to FSU, then beats Alabama the next week, leaving the SEC without a title contender.

Outside of that, USC's best hope is for the Big 12 North champ to pull an upset in that conference's championship game, thus potentially opening up a spot in the BCS title game for the Trojans. Even then, though, it's conceivable that a one-loss Big 12 South runner-up could sneak into the title game ahead of 'SC -- particularly if it's Texas, whom the computers adore. Last but not least, there's undefeated Utah, which I still think has a serious case vs. USC, if it comes to that. But it probably won't. If USC wins out, and if Penn State can beat Indiana next week and Michigan State in its finale, and if Oregon State loses at some point, I'm thinking we're looking at a Trojans-Nittany Lions Rose Bowl. (If Oregon State wins out, then USC probably ends up in the Fiesta Bowl, or perhaps the Sugar Bowl.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kevin Curran wins Electoral College Contest

Kevin Curran, better known on the blog as "kcatnd," clinched victory in the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest when Barack Obama was declared the winner in Nebraska's 2nd congressional district today.

Curran, a 2007 Notre Dame alum, has 527 points out of a possible 538, putting him one point ahead of the eleven contestants tied for second place with 526. Curran -- a native of Nebraska -- earned that decisive point by correctly predicting that Obama would prevail in the district surrounding Omaha.

Although Maine and Nebraska have long allocated their electoral votes partly by congressional district, this is the first time either state has ever actually "split" its votes. It's also the first time since the LBJ landslide of 1964 that any Nebraska electoral votes have gone to a Democrat. Curran was one of 22 contestants in the 86-person Electoral College Contest to predict Obama's win in the 2nd CD.

Curran has a perfect map with the exception of Missouri, which John McCain appears poised to win, though the state has not yet been "called" by various media organizations. If Obama pulls an unlikely comeback and wins Missouri, Curran will finish a perfect 538-for-538, as Mike Wiser did four years ago. But Curran will win the contest regardless of the outcome in the Show-Me State.

Assuming McCain holds on in Missouri, there will be eleven contestants tied for second place in the Electoral College Contest. In apparent tiebreaker order, pending final popular-vote results, they are: Jason Gilman, Andrew Hunter, Jenn Pease, Sean Wilkinson, Samuel Minter, Patrick Cullen, Alec Taylor, Ken Stern, dcl, Joe Loy and Roger Snyder. They each got one state wrong (Missouri, in Gilman's case; Indiana, in everyone else's), plus the Nebraska CD.

Everyone else in the contest got at least two states wrong.

Complete, detailed standings can be found here. A more succinct overview of the standings is here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nerdiest. Thing. Ever?

An a capella tribute to John Williams, setting various of his most famous movie themes to Star Wars-related lyrics, performed by one guy in four different synchronized video clips:



Like the title of this post says... :)

(Hat tip: David K.)

Obama vs. Kerry, by county

The New York Times has a neat map showing where Obama outperformed Kerry, and where he underperformed him, county by county nationwide. To see it, click here, then click "Voting shifts."

Basically, outside of Arizona (McCain's home state) and Massachusetts (Kerry's home state), Obama did better than Kerry almost everywhere in the country -- except for heavily-white areas of the South and Appalachia. In some of those places, Obama did substantially worse than Kerry. Large swaths of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee are by far the most drastic examples of this trend.

Meanwhile, look how dark blue Indiana and Montana are! (I'm still floored that Obama actually won the Hoosier State.)

Time for a blog hiatus

Sometime in the next few days, I'll be shutting down this blog, at least for a while. I'll keep the archives up in some form (exactly how is TBD), but I'm going to disable my ability to update it, and go on a blog hiatus for at least a few months.

Back in September, when I announced that we'd soon be moving to Denver, I vaguely alluded to my intention to do something like this after the election. I said I'd provide more details later, but then I never did; I never elaborated on my plans. Sorry. That's largely because I've been so busy with other things, I haven't had time to think much about my blog plans, let alone write about them.

But, put simply (and with deliberate vagueness), for a variety of reasons, I think it's best for me to take a giant step back from my blogospheric presence -- no backtracking or half-measures this time, just a cold-turkey break -- and then see where things stand a while down the road, once I've established a new routine here in Colorado. I'm calling this a "hiatus," not a final farewell, because I might very well restart this blog, or start a new blog, or something, at some point in the future. For now, though, I need to take a break.

I will still have my Photoblog, Light and High Beauty; indeed, I will probably start updating that site more frequently now. So I certainly encourage everyone to bookmark that URL. But I know it's not the same thing as a commentary-based blog like this one. And given that five minutes is an eternity on the Internet, nevermind five months (or whatever), I recognize that I'm basically kissing the vast majority of my regular audience goodbye by doing this. C'est la vie. I'll miss you guys, I really will. But I feel that I gotta do this.

Hopefully I can get a lot of you to come back, if and when I do start things back up again. Indeed, to facilitate that eventuality, if you'd like to receive an e-mail notifying you if/when I start blogging again, please sign up below:



I promise I won't abuse the information, like by selling your e-mail address to Barack Obama or whatever. :)

Because I'm so busy (the movers arrived today, so now the unpacking begins in earnest, plus I've got a ton of other stuff to do between now and Sunday), this blog probably will not have the elaborate sendoff that Irish Trojan did back in June. Indeed, blogging may be rather light between now and the big goodbye. I'm afraid Ash Blog Durbatulûk may go out with something of a whimper. That stinks, but again, c'est la vie. I'm committed to doing this before Monday.

Even after I pull the plug, I'll still have some sort of a bare-bones homepage at www.brendanloy.com, with links to my Photoblog and to whatever else is still online -- like, for example, the Electoral College Contest standings, which I will continue to update as the results come in. (Apropos of which, never fear: if nothing else, I will still have an NCAA pool in March, as always. And it will be linked from my homepage.)

BrendanLoy.com isn't going anywhere. But The One Blog and the Linklog will no longer be active, and they will not be replaced, at least not immediately.

I'm thinking either Saturday or Sunday for the final shutdown, but since a lot of readers only view this site on weekdays, I wanted to post this now -- and, in so doing, I wanted to thank you. You guys are great. The back-and-forth with the audience, and just the general sense that what I write is being read and appreciated, is a huge part of what makes the whole endeavor worthwhile. Blogging here (and at Irish Trojan before it) has been a real joy. I'll definitely miss it, and y'all. But I need to mold my new life in Colorado around things other than the blog, and then, maybe, see how the blog fits into everything once the clay has hardened, if you will... if that makes any sense.

Anyway, now you know what's up. And now, I'm exhausted and must sleep. G'nite.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Question of the day

Will the Daily Show and, especially, the Colbert Report, be able to stay funny and edgy -- without alienating their leftish audiences -- now that the Democrats are taking over the government?

Suggested Drudge headlines

Poor Matt Drudge. He's spent the last several weeks desperately -- and blatantly -- searching for the slightest nugget of good news for John McCain, headlining obviously flawed polls while ignoring far better ones that didn't suit his agenda, careening wildly from one pollster to another depending on what the results say on a given day, and generally whistling past the graveyard as it became apparent to any objective observer that Barack Obama was almost certainly going to win. Now that it's all over, and Obama's the winner, what's a dishonest, partisan, quasi-journalistic hack to do?

Well, I figured, in the spirit of bipartisanship, I'd offer Matt some suggested storylines. Maybe you can add some others in comments. Anyway, here are a few that come to mind.

* The stock market is down today! Obama suxx!

* Obama's loss in Montana proves he can't close the deal.

* SHOCK POLL: Despite victory, Obama still less popular than Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus

* Will there be a Bradley Effect among white Obama electors?

Obama wins Indiana; 19 still alive in contest

Obama was declared the winner in Indiana overnight, which I find pretty incredible. As a former resident of the Hoosier State, who voted there in 2004 when no one was under any illusions about it being a close race, I never fully believed the polls that showed it a tossup, because I never thought I'd see a Democrat win Indiana except in a sweeping, LBJ-type, 60-40-ish national landslide. And certainly, I never expected the Democrat who picked the Republican lock on Indiana to be a black man named Barack Hussein Obama. Remarkable.

[UPDATE: In comments, dcl writes: "I'm not 100% sold on the Obama wins Indiana thing. It looks like that is really going down to the wire. And there are a few mandatory recounts yet." Fair enough, but for now, I'm assuming the media calls are right.]

Also overnight, McCain edged out Obama in Montana. (Darn. Close, but no cigar, for my big upset pick.) So now, only three tossups remain: Missouri, where McCain has a slight edge; North Carolina, where Obama has a slight edge; and Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District (PDF), where McCain has a slight edge. Recounts seems possible in all three places.

(There is some talk of an Obama comeback in Georgia, where a bunch of early votes in Democratic areas apparently haven't been counted yet. But I think that's unlikely -- McCain leads by 5.4%, or some 200,000 votes -- so I'm going to continue to consider Georgia "red," and the remainder of this post assumes that McCain does indeed win it. Likewise, it assumes that Obama holds Indiana. If either result changes, everything below would be rendered inoperative.)

Anyway, the Indiana result eliminates most of the "perfect maps" in the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest. Only Kevin Curran and Jason Gilman still have a chance to go 538-for-538. But seventeen other contestants still have a chance to win, albeit with less-than-perfect maps.

Without considering tiebreakers, which I haven't even tried to calculate yet, here are the scenarios in the contest:

If Obama wins both Missouri and North Carolina, then Curran and Gilman would remain perfect, and the contest would be decided by Nebraska's second district! If McCain wins NE-2, Gilman beats Curran, 538 to 537; if Obama wins NE-2, Curran beats Gilman, 538 to 537.

If, on the other hand, McCain wins both Missouri and North Carolina, there's a five-way tie for first place, regardless of the NE-2 result, among Eric Bowers, Evan Vaida, Julia H., Mike Wiser and Ricardo Valenzuela.

If Obama wins Missouri and McCain wins North Carolina, NE-2 is again decisive: Jocelyn Mitchell and Mike Quinn finish tied for first if McCain wins it, but if Obama wins it, Thomas Haire wins outright.

Finally, if McCain wins Missouri and Obama wins North Carolina -- as currently appears most likely -- Kevin Curran wins the contest (despite missing Missouri, which is equivalent to other folks' Indiana error) if Obama wins NE-2; but if McCain wins NE-2, there's a ten-way tie among Alec Taylor, Andrew Hunter, dcl, Jenn Pease, Joe Loy, Ken Stern, Patrick Cullen, Roger Snyder, Samuel Minter, Sean Wilkinson and Jason Gilman.

President-Elect Obama



Wow. Woohoo! What a night.

As I go to bed, Obama leads 338 to 159 in the electoral vote tally, and 52% to 47% in the national popular vote. Obama has won all the Kerry states plus Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- and he may not be done. Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District remain uncalled -- and, as a result, the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest remains completely up in the air.

Also uncalled: U.S. Senate races in Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon and Alaska. The Dems are presently sitting on 56 seats (including Lieberman and Sanders), a gain of 5 seats and counting.

Because Becky is sick, and thus I'm on baby duty tomorrow, I can't promise when I'll be able to update the contest standings and such... but I will certainly try to do so ASAP in the morning or early afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Election Night Liveblog, a.k.a. the "Mother of All Liveblogs." It was fun. Here's the archived version of liveblog (sans the simultaneous livechat), for posterity:



Yes We Can!

P.S. Oh, and way to go, Buffalo! ;)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mother of All Liveblogs underway!

My Election Night Liveblog is officially underway!

In a few minutes, the domains www.brendanloy.com and www.irishtrojan.com will begin redirecting automatically to the liveblog / livechat / live results page.

Go to that page for the full Mother of All Liveblogs experience. :)

Almost time!

With no exit poll numbers having leaked yet -- not that it matters, since they're meaningless :) -- there isn't much to say, except: ONE HOUR TO LIVEBLOG LIFTOFF!! Er, and two hours till the polls start to close.

The liveblog / livechat / live results page is actually already up and running (with six different layouts to choose from), so if y'all want to start chatting, be my guest. And please let me know if you have any technical issues. I'll be getting the official liveblog going at 5:00 PM EST.

Election Day notes

Alas, my stomach flu chose the worst day possible -- today -- to strike Becky. She woke up this morning feeling like hell, and now she's miserable in bed (or rather, on our air mattress), while I'm on full-time baby duty, even as I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to take election pictures, run errands, get ready for my election party, prepare for the Mother of All Liveblogs, and so forth. As a result, I won't be able to do much election blogging, or even follow the news much at all, prior to 5:00 PM EST, when the liveblog starts.

But, quickly, as I sit in the car with my laptop hooked to my cell phone while Loyette takes a nap in her car seat, here are a trio of curmudgeonly Election Day reminders:

1. The leaked exit-poll numbers, which will come out in a few hours, mean NOTHING! Here is the McCain campaign's explanation why. Here is Five Thirty Eight's explanation why. We really ought to ignore the damn exit polls altogether, at least until their calibrated with some actual results. We won't, of course. But "take them with a grain of salt" doesn't even begin to express the degree of skepticism that's needed here. Basically, treat them like bowl projections based on a preseason college-football poll. Interesting, shiny, fun to toy with, and totally irrelevant to the actual results.

2. Anecdotal reports of problems at the polls, irregularities, etc., even if seemingly numerous, do NOT necessarily mean this election is a "fiasco." There are always problems and irregularities on Election Day -- always have been -- and if you look for them, you'll find tons and tons of them. And ever since 2000, the media (and the campaigns) have been looking for them. As a result, every single Election Day now, this stuff gets played up during the news lull when everybody's waiting for results. Now, don't get me wrong: there are a lot of problems out there, too many problems, and maybe there are so many that it really can be fairly called a "fiasco." But you just can't make such a broad determination, about the national election as a whole, simply based on the fact that Drudge has a bunch of ominous headlines, the cable newsies are squawking, and reports of irregularities are "widespread." Those things always happen. (I actually haven't followed the news closely enough this morning to know whether they're happening in this case, but I assume they are, or will soon, because that's just how the Election Day script reads.)

3. Likewise, anecdotal reports of unbelievable, stunning, incredible, record turnouts, do NOT necessarily mean very much. Again, don't me wrong: the turnout almost certainly will be record-shattering. But at the same time, early anecdotal reports almost always say that turnout is incredibly high in presidential elections, probably because poll workers -- many of whom also work the various lower-turnout elections in between times -- quadrennially forget how much bigger turnout always is in a presidential year, and because some voters are easily excitable, and because it's easy to find some places with really long line, etc. And again, this stuff gets played up by the bored media during the pre-results news lull, because they have nothing else to talk about. Bottom line, if you want to know how big the turnout is, you really need to wait until the raw data is in. Election Day anecdotes won't do it.

Time change: Liveblog at 5pm Eastern!

Since the networks are starting their coverage at 5:00 PM EST, I'm going to move up the start of my Election Night Liveblog to that time. That's more fun anyway, as it'll give us more time for breathless, pointless speculation before the polls start to close at 6pm. :)

See you at 5:00!

IT'S ELECTION DAY!!!

My friends, it's Election Day -- the greatest day in American life. Whomever you support, I urge you: if you haven't done so yet, go vote!



And then come back here at 5:45 5:00 PM Eastern Time (or possibly a little earlier), for the Mother Of All Liveblogs!! I'll be liveblogging, and you'll be livechatting, all evening long as the results come in.



Just like during the debates, there will be a separate page with the liveblog and livechat windows side-by-side -- and, tonight, that page will also have a window that'll automatically update the very latest state-by-state presidential and senatorial results, as they are "called" by the media, and the latest standings of the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest, in real time.

So: come one, come all! The BrendanLoy.com Election Night Liveblog will begin in just a few hours!! WHEEE!!!

86 enter Electoral College Contest

The polls have closed in the second quadrennial BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest, and we have 86 contestants competing -- a massive increase over 2004's field of 25.

Twelve contestants predict a McCain win. One predicts a 269-269 tie. The remaining 73 predict an Obama victory.

Here's a page showing everybody's picks, along with the aggregate prediction map, and the color-coded "confidence map." (Don't worry, there are no Flash maps, so the page won't crash your browser!) Please let me know if you spot any errors!

The aggregate map predicted by BrendanLoy.com contestants, which has been unchanged for some time, shows an easy Obama victory, 338 electoral votes to 200, with McCain failing to capture any Kerry states and losing seven Bush states: Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Florida and Virginia.



This is essentially the "conventional wisdom" map: for instance, it's the final RealClearPolitics map and the final Karl Rove map. This exact map was also predicted by five individual contestants in the BrendanLoy.com contest: Eric Bowers, Evan Vaida, Julia H., Ricardo Valenzuela, and defending champion Mike Wiser. If it is precisely correct, then the contest will come down to tiebreakers among those five contestants, namely who is closest to Obama's popular-vote margin.

Speaking of which, the mean (or average) popular-vote prediction is Obama 52.2, McCain 46.0. The median is Obama 51.9, McCain 46.4. So, call it 52-46: BrendanLoy.com contestants are expecting roughly a 6-point Obama win.

16 contestants think Missouri will be the closest state; 14 contestants say Florida; 12 say North Carolina; 12 say Ohio; 8 say Pennsylvania; 8 say Indiana; 6 say Virginia; 3 say Colorado; 3 say Georgia; 2 say North Dakota; 1 says West Virginia, and 1 says Hawaii (!).

On the whole, BrendanLoy.com contestants believe Dems will end up with between 57 and 58 Senate seats, including Lieberman and Sanders (the mean is 57.5, the median is 58) -- a gain of 6 to 7 seats. On the House site, they predict that between 252 and 254 House seats will be Democratic (mean 254, median 252.5), a gain of between 17 and 19.

Of the 86 contestants, 55 say they are Obama supporters, 16 say they support McCain, 1 says Barr, 1 says Nader, and 13 said "other," "undecided," or chose not to answer. Ten of the 16 professed McCain supporters are among the 12 contestants predicting a McCain win; meanwhile, all 55 professed Obama supporters also predict that Obama will win.

As for party affiliation, 32 called themselves Democrats, 17 Republicans, 24 Independents, and 13 said "other" or did not answer.

Last but not least, on the all-important issue of who will win the BCS national championship -- and keep in mind, these entries came in over the course of several weeks, many pre-dating last weekend's action -- 16 say Penn State, 14 Texas, 10 Alabama, 7 USC, 7 Florida, 4 Texas Tech, 2 Oklahoma State, 1 Georgia, 1 Boise State, and 1 "someone else."

Unintentional comedy, courtesy of Gmail

I just e-mailed someone a copy of Becky's and my Election Eve version of "One Day More," which includes -- four times -- the lyric "9/11, 9/11," sung by Rudy Giuliani. When I viewed the message in my Sent Mail folder on Gmail, I got this:



LOL!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hold on to that feelin'...

IMG_0147.JPG
How to Fit In as an Obama Supporter at a Sarah Palin Rally: Step 1. Wear a Ridiculous American Flag Hat. :)

Attending the Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs -- yes, the one at which Hank Williams Jr. asserted that "Obama's not real crazy about" the national anthem (I have video) -- was certainly a memorable way to spend the evening before the election. I may not like Palin, nor support her runningmate, but the event definitely got me jazzed up about democracy, corny as that may sound. Election Day!! Woo!!!

The warm-up music for Palin was excellent (rarely has "Don't Stop Believin'" seemed more appropriate), the open-airport-hangar-at-dusk setting was neat, the arrival of the McCain-Palin plane was suitably dramatic, and the crowd was plenty enthusiastic. Indeed, while there were fewer people there than at Obama's rally in Pueblo on Saturday, I'd say the Palin crowd may have beaten the Obama crowd in terms of how loudly and frequently they cheered. These people were pumped.

The mood reminded me of a Notre Dame pep rally the day before a game against a superior USC team that even the most die-hard Irish fans know, in their hearts, is probably going to beat ND. The attitude, I think, is: so what if it's probably a lost cause? It's the day before the big game, you're playing your archrival, and this is your last chance to bask in the hypothetical glory of a potential victory that will probably never come. So cheer like hell, and if you don't believe, pretend you do. "What though the odds be great or small," right? Same thing here for the Republicans, I guess. Goooo McCain, Beeeeat Hussein, eh? (Just kidding. In all seriousness and fairness, I heard no "Husseins" or other such nonsense, whatsoever.)

Unfortunately, the setting was not ideal for photography because of a giant, enormously bright light directly behind the podium. (See photo below.) I'm sure that monstrosity provided good lighting for the liberal elite media cameras off to the (appropriately enough) left-hand side of the hangar, but for those of us Joe Sixpack photographers in the crowd, it was awful. I took over 200 photos at the rally, and although I haven't yet looked at most of 'em, I suspect they're largely crap. *sigh*

IMG_0344.JPG

That said, you gotta love the guy with the Obama-Biden sign, pictured above. We saw him on our way out (we left a couple minutes early, to beat traffic, and because Loyette was getting fussy), and as far as we could tell, nobody was giving him any trouble. Good for him, for expressing his views and having the cojones to do it in such a hostile setting. And good for the McCain supporters, for not overly harassing him.

Anyway... I'll post more photos a bit later, once I've had time to sort through 'em all.

UPDATE: As promised, I've added a bunch of photos from the McCain-Palin rally to my Election 2008 gallery (currently on Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3), and I've scattered a few links to those photos into the post above, as well as adding a new top photo of Becky wearing the ridiculous American flag hat. True story: I found that hat in a box while packing up our Knoxville apartment, and decided to bring it with us (instead of sending it with the movers) because I figured it might find some good use before Election Day. I was right!

Anyway, here are some more photos from the rally:

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I have no idea what this guy's deal is, but he was greeting rallygoers as we arrived in the parking lot.

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Directing traffic with a toilet plunger: a Joe the Plumber reference? (Another photo here.)

IMG_0129.JPG
Seen in the parking lot: "If You Don't Love U.S., You Can't Lead U.S." I'm Hank Williams Jr. and I approved this message?

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Homemade signs were not allowed through security, so various attempts were left lying around outside. (See also here.)

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The McCain campaign, however, had a clever solution to the homemade-sign ban: they handed out fake homemade signs before Palin arrived, thus creating the false appearance of folksiness, down-homey-ness, maverickness and such. LOL!

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Another look at the fake homemade signs, during the rally.

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In the foreground, real Americans wait for Palin, while in the background, the liberal elite media plots its next move.

IMG_0301.JPG
Palin speaks!

Like I said, there are more photos (sans snarky captions) here, or more specifically, here, here and here.

One Day More

I realize I'm a little late with this -- but hey, we've still got three hours left on Election Eve (five hours here in Colorado!), so:



(Hat tip: dcl.)

Becky and I have been working on our own version of the "One Day More" lyrics, which I may post here later.

UPDATE: As promised, Becky's and my alternative version...

BARACK OBAMA & JOHN MCCAIN

One day more!

Another day, another destiny

MCCAIN
This never-ending road to a catastrophe
The polling says I cannot win

OBAMA
Soon my new era will begin

OBAMA & MCCAIN
One day more!


MICHELLE OBAMA

I was not proud until today
Vote for Barack, and I'll be prouder



BARACK OBAMA & JOHN MCCAIN

One day more!

JOE BIDEN
I made another gaffe today
I try to be quiet, but I just get louder



GEORGE W. 
BUSH
One more day all on my own

DICK CHENEY & KARL ROVE
Will we ever meet again?

BUSH
One more day with Dick not caring

CHENEY & ROVE
I was born to be with you!

BUSH
What a life I might have known

CHENEY & ROVE
And I swear I will be true!

BUSH
But he never saw me there!


RUSH LIMBAUGH

One more day before the storm!



RUDY GIULIANI
9/11, 9/11



LIMBAUGH

At the barricades of freedom

GIULIANI

9/11, 9/11

LIMBAUGH

We will stop this socialist scum

GIULIANI
9/11, 9/11

LIMBAUGH

Will you take your place with me?



ALL

The time is now, the day is here 



OBAMA & MCCAIN

One day more!



NANCY PELOSI & HARRY REID
One more day to revolution,
They won't nip it in the bud!

Fairness Doctrine, Card-Check Unions
And assorted liberal crud!



OBAMA & MCCAIN

One day more!



BILL & HILLARY CLINTON
Watch 'em run amok,

Catch 'em as they fall,

Never know your luck

When there's a free for all!
Win or lose this day
We'll be back in play
Twenty-twelve or sixteen
We'll be on our way!


BARACK 
OBAMA

One day to a new beginning


SARAH PALIN
Raise the flag of Alaska high


OBAMA
Every man will be a king



PALIN
Every woman will shoot a moose


OBAMA
There's a new world for the winning

PALIN
I can see Russia from my house!

ALL
Do you hear the people sing?

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD, TO OBAMA

My place is here, I fight with you!



OBAMA & MCCAIN

One day more!



[overlapping]

JOE LIEBERMAN
I will join the Grand Old Party
I will follow where they go
If the Dems get up to 60
They'll regret they messed with Joe

MICHELLE OBAMA
I was not proud until today



BUSH
One more day all on my own.


CHENEY & ROVE
How can I live when we are parted?

OBAMA & MCCAIN
One day more!



[overlapping]

OBAMA & MCCAIN

Tomorrow we'll be worlds away



BUSH
What a life I might have known!



OBAMA

Now out of my way, I must get started

PELOSI & REID

One more day to revolution,
They won't nip it in the bud!
Fairness Doctrine, Card-Check Unions...

CLINTONS

Watch 'em run amok

Catch 'em as they fall
Never know your luck

When there's a free-for-all!...

OBAMA & MCCAIN
Tomorrow we'll be far away,

Tomorrow is the judgment day

ALL
Tomorrow we'll discover

What our nation's voters have in store
One more dawn

One more day
One day more!

Election Eve

I drove down to the local Obama Volunteer Headquarters this morning, to take some Election Eve photos. The place was humming with activity, as I suppose you'd expect, given the fierce urgency of the moment, less than 24 hours before the polls open.

I think my favorite sight at HQ, though, was the "Change We Can Believe In" wall, presided over by none other than Obama himself -- in cardboard form, of course:



There's more in my Election 2008 photo gallery.

I was going to head down to McCain HQ and take some photos there, but Loyette got cranky, so I had to come home instead. (It was perilously close to her lunchtime and naptime; hence the crankiness.) However, we're heading down to the Palin rally in Colorado Springs this afternoon, so I should be able to get some more right-leaning photos for my gallery there.

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

In a move that only a liberal Democrat, an activist judge, or an ACORN employee could love, :) I am extending the deadline on my Electoral College Contest, ex post facto, to 9:00 PM Eastern Time tonight. So, if you haven't entered yet, enter now! And if you've already entered but you'd like to change your picks, you still can, for another 7 hours or so.

I'm doing this for two reasons: 1) the original purpose of the noon deadline was so I could tinker with my spreadsheet this afternoon -- but because we're going to the Sarah Palin rally in Colorado Springs, I won't have time until this evening. Thus, there's no point in having such an early deadline.

And, the ulterior motive: 2) Becky and I are, at the last minute, putting together an election/housewarming party with a few friends at our new condo here in Denver (it'll be a floor party, since we have no furniture yet, heh), and I want to give those friends a chance to enter the contest!

So, anyway, the new deadline is 9:00 PM EST.

P.S. Oh, and don't worry: notwithstanding the election party, I'll still be liveblogging!!

Final reminder

For all you stragglers, the deadline to enter the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest is noon Eastern Time today! So, get your predictions in before it's too late! You, too, could win a nifty CafePress prize! ;)

Also: tune in tomorrow (Tuesday), starting at 5:45 PM EST (or possibly a bit earlier), for the Mother of All Liveblogs, right here on BrendanLoy.com. I'll be liveblogging, you'll be livechatting, and the election results -- and Electoral College Contest results -- will be live-updating, all on the same nifty screen (which will look something like this, though with some modifications).

Less than 48 hours to go!! Wheee!!

USC vs. Texas in the Fiesta Bowl?

Who's up for a rematch of the Vince Bowl? It could happen. Here are the conditions:

1) Oregon State and USC both win out. The Beavers earn the Pac-10's spot in the Rose Bowl by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Trojans are a highly ranked BCS at-large contender with one loss.

2) Texas Tech and Texas both win out. The Red Raiders, now ranked #1, go to the national championship game, robbing the Fiesta Bowl of its "host" team, the Big 12 champ. Texas, like USC, is a highly ranked BCS at-large contender with one loss. The Fiesta Bowl, having lost the #1 team to the title game, has first pick of available teams, and naturally selects Texas.

3) Alabama loses, Penn State wins out, and the Nittany Lions go to the national title game as the #2 team. The Rose Bowl, having lost the #2 team to the title game, has second pick of available at-large teams, and naturally selects Ohio State, to create a traditional Big Ten vs. Pac-10 matchup against Oregon State.

Why does this lead to a USC-Texas matchup? Because, as it happens, the Fiesta Bowl goes first this year in filling the three remaining at-large slots. Needless to say, the folks in Glendale would jump at the chance to stage a USC-Texas rematch, particularly as these Trojans and Longhorns would be Top 5 teams with one loss apiece -- very attractive at-large teams. Imagine the hype! The USC-Texas "rematch" might get better ratings than the title game.

(Strictly speaking, condition #3 isn't necessary to this scenario. However, if the SEC champion goes to the title game instead of Penn State, the Sugar Bowl gets second -- or maybe first -- pick, instead of the Rose Bowl. In that scenario, I suspect they might nab USC... which, depending on whom the Fiesta Bowl then picks to face Texas, could lead to the Trojans being matched up against some SEC at-large powerhouse... or against the Big East champion or a mid-major team.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain on SNL

In case you missed it. Pretty funny:



He also had a Weekend Update cameo, which was not as funny IMHO, but you can watch that video here, as well as a behind-the-scenes interview with him and Cindy.

Electoral College Contest: check your picks!

With less than 24 hours until the noon EST Monday deadline, we have 53 contestants -- and counting -- in the BrendanLoy.com Electoral College Contest. If you haven't entered yet, time's running out! Enter here.

If you have entered, please go to this page, find your name (it's sorted alphabetically by first name), and double-check that the top map matches the bottom map. The bottom map is my Excel spreadsheet's extrapolation of the picks you entered in the top map, so if there are any mismatches, I need to know! A mismatch would mean my spreadsheet has screwed something up, and your picks are affected. (The only exception is Maine and Nebraska, where there may be intentional "mismatches" if you picked any district results that deviate from your predicted statewide outcome.)

The page may take a few moments to load, because the "top" maps are L.A. Times Flash graphics.

In addition to double-checking that my spreadsheet hasn't made any errors, this would be a good opportunity to email me at irishtrojan [at] gmail.com if you decide to change your prediction in any way. Of course, you can also re-enter from scratch, if you like, but it might be easier to simply e-mail me and say, "I've decided to switch X state from red to blue," or "I now think the Dems will get 56 Senate seats instead of 58," or whatever.

The deadline for any changes is, again, noon EST on Monday.

By the way, here's the latest aggregate picks map:



Not much change from my last update; there is a pretty strong consensus on each state right now. The closest states are Nevada (31 think Obama will win, to 22 for McCain), Missouri (32-21 McCain), North Carolina (also 32-21 McCain), Florida (35-18 Obama) and Missouri (35-18 McCain).

The BrendanLoy.com aggregate map is identical to the RealClearPolitics map, except for North Carolina, which RCP is giving to Obama.

P.S. Of the 53 contestants, 43 have Obama winning, 9 have McCain winning, and one person predicts a 269-269 tie.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

As promised...

...I've added photos from today's Obama rally in Pueblo to my Election 2008 gallery. Currently, today's photos appear on Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 and Page 4.

I particularly liked this guy's shirt:

IMG_9869.JPG

Heh. And here's Becky, promoting the same slogan:

IMG_9907.JPG

We were much further away from the stage than I was the first time I saw Obama in Pueblo, but it was still fun.

In related news, we may be headed south again for another political rally on Monday: Sarah Palin is coming to Colorado Springs. Obviously, I don't support McCain-Palin, but I'd still love to go -- my political junkie-ness trumps my ideological preferences! But we'll have to see whether it's logistically possible. If our movers arrive that day, then it probably won't be.

College football Week 10



We just left the Obama rally in Pueblo (more photos to come later), and upon checking scores on my phone, I see that Notre Dame and Pitt are in overtime. Go Irish!!

USC kicks off against Washington in a few minutes. Fight on, Trojans!

Meanwhile, in the big SEC war game of the day, Florida is crushing Georgia. And later tonight, in the Big 12, another game with enormous BCS implications: Texas vs. Texas Tech.

UPDATE: Notre Dame loses, in four overtimes. Darn it.

Meanwhile USC and Washington are underway, and the Trojans have jumped out to a 14-0 lead early.

Oh, and... I know Washington State is bad, but... losing 51-0 to Stanford, in the third quarter? Good lord!

UPDATE 2: USC won, 56-0. Combined with the Trojans' 69-0 win over Wazzu two weeks ago, that's a total score of 125-0 over the Washington schools. Heh.

Meanwhile, #7 Texas Tech leads #1 Texas, 22-6 at the half.