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Should Senator Obama Contest Texas Or Is It A Dry Well?

Should Barack Obama contest Texas?

Senator Obama should strongly contest Texas only if he has a real chance to win Texas.

It takes a lot of money to mount even the appearance of an effort in a big place like Texas.

In 2004, George W. Bush won 61.1% of the Texas vote.

While Mr. Bush was a home state candidate, this number is consistent with Republican statewide majorities in Texas in recent years.

The last time a 60% or higher state flipped parties in one election cycle was Arkansas in 1980.

Jimmy Carter won 65% in Arkansas in 1976. Ronald Reagan carried the state with 48% in 1980.

This had a lot to do with President Carter’s decision to place Cuban refugees in Arkansas and later rioting by these refugees. All that did not sit well with many Arkansans.     

Georgia was 59.8% state for George H.W. Bush in 1988. Bill Clinton won Georgia with 43.5% in 1992 in a three-way race. (Though, contrary to myth, Governor Clinton would have won that race even if Ross Perot had not run.)   

Many Southern states flipped from 60% for Richard Nixon in 1972 to wins for Jimmy Carter in 1976. But that involved a very weak Democratic ticket in 1972, and the unsual, for Democrats, Southern strength of Governor Carter.  

It is hard to see how Mr. Obama wins Texas. Or, should he prove viable in Texas, it will likely mean he has easily won the election elsewhere and Texas is not essential.

As things stand today, Senator Obama might do best to focus his attentions outside of Texas.

Texas is likely a dry well for Barack Obama.

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Phobos—A Small Moon Rather Than A Big Rock

Above is a picture of Phobos.

While Phobos looks like a rock, it is in fact a moon of Mars.

The above graphic shows the orbit around Mars of the two Martian moons.

They spin around and around to no apparent end. 

Here are some facts about Phobos–

Phobos, the largest Martian, gouged and nearly shattered by a giant impact crater and beaten by thousands of meteorite impacts, is on a collision course with Mars

Phobos, named after a messenger of the Roman god of war, is the larger of Mars’ two moons and 27 by 22 by 18 km in diameter. It orbits Mars three times a day, and is so close to the planet’s surface that in some locations on Mars it cannot always be seen.

Measurements of the day and night sides of Phobos show such extreme temperature variations that the sunlit side of the moon rivals a pleasant winter day in Chicago, while only a few kilometers away, on the dark side of the moon, the climate is more harsh than a night in Antarctica. High temperatures for Phobos were measured at -4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) and lows at -112 Celsius (-170 degrees Fahrenheit). This intense heat loss is likely a result of the fine dust on Phobos’ surface, unable to retain heat.

Phobos has no atmosphere. It may be a captured asteroid, but some scientists show evidence that contradicts this theory.

Moral of the story—Though it may look like a rock, it may in fact be a moon. 

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Please Forgive A Sports Post, But Brad Ausmus Is Terrible And Yet Never Goes Away

I follow baseball, but rarely post on the subject. I feel we have enough sports in our society already.

But I feel compelled to voice my frustration that Brad Ausmus is again the starting catcher for the Houston Astros.

The Astros’ might reply that they tried to make Mr. Ausmus the back-up this year, but his intended replacement played poorly.

I don’t care. Mr. Ausmus has been a terrible offensive performer for many years now. Nothing he does behind the plate as catcher makes up for how horrible he is as a hitter.

If so motivated, you can click this link to see Mr. Ausmus’ terrible record.

When will we be rid of Brad Ausmus?

Above is a picture of the great catcher Gabby Hartnett. I feature him because this Hall of Fame player is , as I am, from Southern New England. He was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Mr. Hartnett is somewhat forgotten today. Yet he may have been as good as Yogi Berra or Johnny Bench.

Mr. Hartnett played between 1922 and 1941.

About Hartnett from BaseballLibrary.com

Hartnett was the oldest of 14 children. His father Fred was a semi-pro catcher who had an exceptional throwing arm. Millville, MA, oldtimers still talk about “the Hartnett arm” – Fred’s, four of his sons’, and three of his five daughters’ who barnstormed with a women’s team.

Gabby broke his arm as a child. It didn’t knit properly, and his mother insisted he carry a pail of stones or sand wherever he went, to exercise it. His father held backyard baseball clinics for four sons, all of whom played amateur or semi-pro ball. Chickie, a catcher, once signed a pro contract, but was homesick and returned to Millville before ever playing. Gabby completed eight years of schooling, went to work in the U.S. Rubber shop, and caught for the plant nine and any other team his father could get him on. He spent a year and a half at a junior college, and in 1921 signed with the Eastern League’s Worcester Boosters. He batted .264, and was purchased by Chicago for $2,500. As a shy rookie, his reticent personality led to his ironic nickname.    

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Houston | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment