Right Wing Civil War Begins

The right wing is moving towards civil war over Sarah Palin. Some conservatives are out to get those who are leaking information about smearing Sarah Palin. RedState announces Operation Leper:

RedState is pleased to announce it is engaging in a special project: Operation Leper.

We’re tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others. Michelle Malkin has the details.

We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you’ll see us go to war against those candidates.

It is our expressed intention to make these few people political lepers.

They’ll just have to be stuck at CBS with Katie’s failed ratings.

This is hardly unexpected coming from the supporters of a candidate who practiced McCarthyism in her attacks upon the opposition during the presidential election with charges of associating with terrorists and being a socialist. It’s better that they fight among themselves this way out of power. Imagine if this crowd was in control of the government and could go after people who are disloyal to their leader.

Third Party Presidential Candidate Results

While thrid party candidates have won some local offices, they did not have a meaningful effect on the presidential race. Straight Talk has summarized the results of the major third party candidates:

In 2004, Independent Candidate, Ralph Nader earned .38% of the total vote with 463,655 votes and in 2008 so far, Ralph Nader has earned 656,670 votes which equals to.53% of the total vote thus far.

In 2004, Libertarian Party Candidate, Michael Badnarik earned .32% of the total vote with 397,265 votes and in 2008 so far, Libertarian Candidate Bob Barr earned 488,873 votes which equals to .40% of the total vote thus far

In 2004, Constitution Party candidate, Michael Peroutka earned .12% of the total vote with 143,630 votes and in 2008 so far, Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin earned 174,634 votes which equals to .14% of the total vote thus far.

In 2004, Green Party candidate David Cobb earned .10% of the total vote with 119,859 votes and in 2008 so far, Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney earned 142,785 votes which equals to roughly .12% of the total vote thus far.

These results are with 98 percent of the vote in so the popular vote totals might get a little higher for some but the percentages are unlikely to change significantly. Overall the third party candidates only received about one percent of the vote. As might be expected with a higher turn out, all four received more votes than their party four years go. They also have increased their percentage of the vote, but not by enough to be meaningful.

Many Libertarians were disappointed that the Libertarian Party nominated what they considered a conservative Republican ticket with Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root. Many voted for the nomination of Barr believing that, being better known, he might be able to receive a significantly higher vote total than previous nominees. It didn’t turn out this way as seen by a review of all the results for all of the Libertarian Party presidential candidates:


2008 (Barr) 0.4% (45 states)
2004 (Badnarik) 0.3% (48 states plus DC)
2000 (Browne) 0.4% (49 states plus DC, plus Smith in Arizona)
1996 (Browne) 0.5% (50 states plus DC)
1992 (Marrou) 0.3% (50 states plus DC)
1988 (Paul) 0.5% (46 states plus DC)
1984 (Bergland) 0.3% (39 states)
1980 (Clark) 1.1% (50 states plus DC)
1976 (MacBride) 0.2% (32 states)
1972 (Hospers) statistically insignificant (2 states)

Obama Victory Newspaper Headlines

There’s was considerable interest in buying copies of newspapers on Wednesday as a momento of Barack Obama’s victory. Many papers sold out early. While a digital version is not the same as an actual newspaper, this site does allow for viewing of a tremendous number of newspaper headlines from around the world.

CNN’s Holograms Not Really Holograms

There have been lots of jokes about the holograms CNN used in their election night coverage, as viewers anxiously waited to see Princess Leia beg the bearded Obi-Wan Blitzer for help. CBC News reports that these weren’t true holograms:

The network, which made use of three-dimensional imaging technology produced by Norway-based Vizrt and Israel-based SportVu, billed the interview as a first for television. CNN also aired a second “hologram” interview between anchor Anderson Cooper and rapper Will.I.Am, who was also in Chicago.

The CNN anchors were not really speaking to three-dimensional projected images, but rather empty space, Kreuzer said. The images were simply added to what viewers saw on their screens at home, in much the same way computer-generated special effects are added to movies.

Kreuzer said the images were tomograms, which are images that are captured from all sides, reconstructed by computers, then displayed on screen.

Holograms, on the other hand, are projected into space.

Non “Liberal Elite” Media Attacks Palin


Now that the campaign is over Republicans are willing to say even more about Sarah Palin’s lack of qualifications to be vice president. Among the items mentioned in the video above, Sarah Palin thought that Africa was a country, not a continent. Apparently her knowledge of geography is limited to countries she can see from her house.

This doesn’t come from the “liberal elite media.” The video is from Fox News.

Kennedy’s To Help Build Camelot II?

With the election over pundits have now turned to speculating about the composition of an Obama administration. The Kennedy name came up frequently during the campaign, both with comparisons of Obama to JFK and with the endorsements of some members of the Kennedy family.  The Politico speculates on some possible high profile cabinet picks, and mentions not one but two members of the Kennedy family.

They report that Caroline Kennedy, who led the vice presidential search, is being considered for ambassador to the United Nations. It is questionable if she would want the position and there might be questions as to her experience in foreign relations, but this might be a positive step considering that a top priority for U.S. foreign relations is to repair our image around the world.

The second possibility has many liberals concerned. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.is being considered to head the Environmental Protection Agency or to be Secretary of the Interior. Jason Zengerle of The New Republic sarcastically calls this pseudoscience we can believe in:

This can’t be for real: Robert F. Kennedy Jr is being considered for EPA director? You mean the RFK Jr who wrote this? Really? I mean, really? I thought an Obama administration was going to be pro-science.

Orac at Respectful Insolence writes:

…when politics intersects my areas of medical interest, I can’t resist diving in, and unfortunately, Walter Olson gave me a reason to dive in today. In fact, to some extent he killed my election day buzz about the prospects for an Obama victory and a return to a government that respects science and tries not to manipulate it.

How did he do that?

Olson pointed out an article that suggests that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is being considered for Secretary of the Interior. Yes, that RFK, Jr. You know, the one who added rocket fuel to the fire of the entire scare about mercury in the thimerosal preservative that used to be in vaccines as a cause of autism back in 2005, with his pseudoscience- and misinformation-filled article Deadly Immunity. He’s also one of the key boosters of antivaccination fearmongering based on the claims that mercury causes autism, and has done numerous articles, public speeches, and media appearances supporting the now scientifically discredited idea that thimerosal in vaccines is a cause or “trigger” for autism. The source, an article at Politico outlining the shape of a potential Obama Administration based on canvassing of Democrats supposedly “in the know,” lists Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as the top candidates for the Interior spot.

I really, really hope that this is nothing more than a trial balloon or a bit of uninformed speculation by the sources at Politico and that Obama isn’t seriously considering a wingnut like RFK, Jr. for any position in his administration. I realize that Secretary of the Interior has nothing to do with medicine or vaccine safety, but putting an pseudoscience-boosting crank like him in any position of power in the federal government, much less at a Cabinet-level position, is not the kind of message that reassures me that an Obama Administration is dedicated to using good science as a basis for determining policy.

Say it ain’t so, Barack! If you’re elected, please, please, please, don’t pick RFK, Jr. for any position in your administration. It would be the single worse message you could send that I could think of regarding your commitment to science-based policies. The stench of his crankery and advocacy of the rankest pseudoscience would taint your administration instantly and irrevocably.

Even environmentalists have doubts about choosing Kennedy. David Roberts of Gist writes:

It might please Clinton and Kennedy, but by my count it will piss off just about everyone else. Enviros are still pissed about his opposition to Cape Wind. Sensible people are pissed about his naive acceptance of the phantom vaccine-autism connection. Many journalists are pissed that his overheated work on Republican vote theft in 2004 served to discredit more modest but verifiable theories. He’s also, to put it bluntly, widely considered considered kind of an arrogant jerk — which makes me like him more, but I don’t know how it will play in a delicate and highly constrained bureaucratic position.

Also, the guy’s run Waterkeeper, which is a great group, but not exactly training for running a huge government agency.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of RFK Jr.’s environmental work, but he strikes me as more of a strident activist voice than a careful, detail-oriented managerial type. His appointment would sure send an unmistakable message, though! I suppose I’m ambivalent and should give it more thought.