Category Archives: “Real” things

Real things: news, environment, politics, science, sociology, etc.

Delegate math

Super edit: Apparently I’ve read wrong.  I just checked and the 4047/2025 numbers are with Michigan and Florida already stripped of delegates.  Not that it matters much as Obama’s performance yesterday has pretty much sealed the deal.

Alright, political post.  I’ve posted some before.  A little more light-hearted (come on, even Hillary supporters HAVE to love how cute “Baracky” is.  Just a great bit of animation.  I’d have liked it if it was a Hillary ad.  It’s just clever.) but here’s one a little more substantive.

Delegate math.  I don’t understand how this is still an issue.  How it’s still a “race”.  (It’s a joke and it’s perpetuated by the media and Hillary’s manipulation of the media in order to keep the story and her campaign afloat.)  Lest you say I’m just some blind Obama-maniac here’s the math.

Obama has it in the bag no matter what your math is.

Here’s the wiki on democratic nom delegates needed:,_2008

So 2024 (simple majority, it’s actually 2023.5 is divided by 2, so 2024 is what wiki uses, most media sources take the rounded number and add 1 to get the oft reported 2025) needed via everyone-counts-including-the-rule-breaking-states map.

But Florida and Michigan didn’t follow party rules and were stripped of delegates!  Everyone agreed to do so, including one Mrs. Hillary Clinton (I’m not even LINKING to her agreeing to it wholeheartedly since it’s been reported so much).  So 4047 total minus 313 for FL and MI (delegates only, supers not counted) = 3734 / 2 =  1867 +1 = 1868 to win the Democratic nomination.
Per wiki currently Obama has 1739.5.  Hillary has 1609.5.

So Obama is short 128.5 and Hillary is short 258.5

Remaining Democratic primaries:

  • May 6 – Indiana – 72 delegates
  • May 6 – North Carolina – 115 delegates
  • May 13 – West Virginia – 28 delegates
  • May 20 – Kentucky – 51 delegates
  • May 20 – Oregon – 52 delegates
  • June 3 – Montana – 16 delegates
  • June 3 – South Dakota – 15 delegates
  • June 7 – Puerto Rico – 55 delegates

That’s 352 delegates up for grabs.  Let’s assume (here’s where I’m sure I’ll get attacked, but for argument’s sake) the primaries remaining go 51 to 49 for Barack.  Look this is a pretty safe bet.  Barack will win some by bigger.  Hillary will win some.  But on average things are going Barack’s way.  Per CNN it’s 45% Obama, 43% Clinton, 12% undecided.  Split the undecided and you have 51/49.  (You can argue that undecideds tend to go more for Hillary than Obama, but given the remaining primaries left, I think 51/49 is fair).  So divide 352 remaining by 2 add 1 for simple majority = 177.  So if the rest of the primaries went 51 to 49 for Obama, that’s 1916.5 for Obama versus 1786.5 for Hillary.  So Obama wins.

Say you feel bad for Florida and Michigan.  And you don’t want to “disenfranchise” them (whether or not they are actually disenfranchised is another thing.  And I do have sympathy for Democrats in those states for various reasons).  So let’s seat them.  But given the rules were agreed to and given Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan, we’ll split them down the middle.  (A point of contention I know, but that we’re even going to consider seating them is ridiculous, so 50/50 is what I’m going with.)  So 313 delegates from the two states.  Divide by two is 156.5.  Add that to Obama’s current estimate (via wiki as stated above) of 1739.5 equals 1896 delegates.  Add the 51/49 split of remaining primaries (177) and that gives you 2073 delegates for Obama, which is more than the 2025 needed.  And Hillary loses with 1943.

So unless Obama is caught smoking crack while killing a high priced prostitute or something beyond all realms of imagination, the Democrats have a nominee.  Of course Hillary won’t stand for it.  And is arguing she’ll take it to the credentialing committee and all sorts of nonsense.  Meanwhile John McCain sits back and gets by.  All of the things Obama is being attacked on (by Hillary, then echoed by McCain) are all things you can find in McCain’s circle (and Hillary’s for that matter).  But McCain  (and Hillary because Obama doesn’t campaign like that.  I’m sure people can point to some things Obama has done that are “old” politics, but let’s be real, Hillary has basically tried to swift-boat him on EVERY little thing) gets a pass because everyone’s focused on the Democratic process right now.

And don’t even get me started on this RIDICULOUS gas tax holiday stuff.  Just a few links for that:

Gas Tax Holiday Savings calculator.  I save something like $2 total.

Some thing from The Economist: How do I hate thee, gas-tax holiday?

I’m not going to link to all the other news organizations, blogs, media in general that say the gas tax holiday is a bad idea.  I’m not going to link to all the other news organizations, blogs, media in general searching in vain for a SINGLE expert not associated with the campaigns in favor of the gas tax holiday.  It’s too many to even start.  The gas tax holiday support is the same as the climate change stuff.  It’s basically a consensus.  Experts who “doubt” human-caused climate change are usually on a payroll.  Experts who claim gas tax holiday is good and helpful are also on a payroll.

Edit: I’m all for primaries counting.  Clearly more primaries must happen for Obama to achieve the magic 2025 number.  But to say it’s a contest is ridiculous.  Obama has it basically sewn up, save the aforementioned catastrophic event.  The remaining primaries, while needed for the actual number, are more like a formality.  I mean Republicans have primaries left (May 6: Indiana (57) and North Carolina (69); May 17: Hawaii (20); May 20: Kentucky (45) and Oregon (30); May 27: Idaho (32); June 3: New Mexico (32) and South Dakota (27); July 12: Nebraska (33)) too.  Of course with the winner takes all approach, McCain hit the Republican number to clinch already.  But the primaries still happen.  Even more of a mere formality than the Democrats.  But it’s basically the same thing.

What’s next

RFK Jr.’s piece on climate change in Vanity Fair.

Carbon dependence has eroded our economic power, destroyed our moral authority, diminished our international influence and prestige, endangered our national security, and damaged our health and landscapes. It is subverting everything we value.

Read it all here.

Be Good, Make Money

That’s a gross oversimplification of a link I’m grabbing from DaringFireball.

Paul Graham’s Be Good talk from the 2008 Startup School.

Now I’m not in the tech field.  I’m not involved with any of that beyond a very rudimentary understanding of it, and a friend who’s more in that world than I am.  But I think the foundation of the Graham’s talk is sound and applies to more than just internet/tech startups.

For me, I’m relaying some of the funny, so here’s the quote (a footnote of the talk) I’m relaying:

Users dislike [Microsoft’s] new operating system [Vista] so much that they’re starting petitions to save the old one [XP]. And the old one was nothing special. The hackers within Microsoft must know in their hearts that if the company really cared about users they’d just advise them to switch to OSX

Go Go OS X!

Time to use all of our knowledge

This is no time to be prejudiced one versus the other.  Use the Doomsday vault (f the seeds, save the people) kind of like Deep Impact.  And then hire the world’s best deep core driller and his team (because astronauts “don’t know jack about drilling” and you know drilling is “an art… a science” [who wrote that dialog?  Why do I even like this movie?]) to fly to the asteroid and plant a nuke (because we can’t just shoot it because that would be like shooting a speeding train with a beebee gun) like Armageddon.

1 in 450! You have less a chance of winning the lottery than you do of an asteroid hitting the earth in 2036.  Which isn’t ALL that far off.  All that has to happen is the asteroid hit one of the 40,000 satellites around Earth.  I wonder if space trash counts, because we have a LOT of it.  Though an envelop of dust, like “nuclear winter” might help cool the planet from all the global warming (I kid, though there’s an argument for putting more particles in the atmosphere, similar to the particles we used to output with leaded gasonline, to help reflect radiation, etc. but that’s a whole other post.)

Absolutely crazy

Arguing over what gang affiliation a 4 year old should grow up with?  Maybe it’s the new “what religion to raise the child in” argument.  I should ask all my friends with babies (that number is ever increasing, weird.  Though I guess I am at the age where that sort of thing will be a more regular occurence) if they have this argument.

Gang Baby