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Recent News and Opinion
2014/12/21 - I'll be home: Memories of World War II exhibit at MCL Grand
2014/12/21 - Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area
2014/12/18 - LISD Board Names Dr. Kevin Rogers as Interim Superintendent
2014/12/17 - Islamic Flag at Lewisville Home Raises Eyebrows
2014/12/15 - Online Fundraiser for Lewisville Firefighter Electrocuted on Duty
2014/12/13 - Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays
2014/12/13 - GLCT Performing Two Shows in December
2014/12/13 - MCL Grand to Host 3 Redneck Tenors - Dec. 31st, Jan 2nd, 3rd
2014/12/13 - Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area
2014/12/10 - Updated: Police Identify, Arrest Additional Suspects in Home Invas...
2014/12/8 - Updated: Flower Mound Robbery, Lewisville Carjacking - Three Caugh...
2014/12/7 - Santa to Begin Annual Tour of Lewisville with Firefighters
2014/12/5 - Upcoming Events Around Lewisville and the Surrounding Area
2014/12/4 - Holiday Yard of the Month Nominations Sought
2014/12/4 - FBI Puts Capital Murder Suspect Yaser Abdel Said on Ten Most Wante...
2014/12/3 - Organizations With Holiday Collections for Kids
2014/12/2 - Texas Public Schools: What is the First Objective?
2014/12/2 - Lewisville Police and Fire Radio - Live Feed
2014/12/1 - Lewisville Council Approves Agreement with UNT for LLELA Funding
2014/11/28 - Updated: Lewisville Police Release Name of Carjacker Shot Wednesda...
2014/11/27 - Thankful for Lewisville PD
2014/11/27 - Stuff to be Thankful For
2014/11/26 - Updated: Violent Car Thief Shot by Police After High Speed Chase
2014/11/26 - Shooting at RaceTrac on FM 3040
2014/11/25 - Updated: Lewisville Police Report Several Armed Robberies Over the...
Recent Reader Comments
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2014/12/16 20:59 - Re: Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays (Anonymous)
2014/12/16 1:55 - Re: Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays (Anonymous)
2014/12/15 21:53 - Re: Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays (Anonymous)
2014/12/13 19:52 - Re: Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays (Anonymous)
2014/12/13 17:39 - Re: Lewisville Blames Contractor for Ferguson Plaza Delays (Anonymous)
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2014/12/6 16:19 - Re: Holiday Stroll Planned in Old Town Lewisville on Dece... (jbcglc)
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2014/11/29 1:04 - Re: Updated: Lewisville Police Release Name of Carjacker ... (Anonymous)
2014/11/24 15:33 - Re: LISD Superintendent Dr. Waddell Announces January Ret... (Anonymous)
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Random Thoughts on Sunday Night

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/11/2 20:08:28 (1227 reads)

What the Heck Will We Do After The Election?
Perhaps the nationwide discussion of Britney's pubes, Lindsay's lesbianism, or Paris's partying. God help us all. I hope that the vacuum created when we stop lobbing bombs at each other will be filled with some form of intelligent discussion.

Election Night Watch Party with SoDeCo
Join us November 4th at 7PM at the Razoos in Lewisville for an Election Watch party as we cheer on Barack Obama and all of our Democratic Candidates here in Texas!
We are asking for a donation of $10 per person for non-members. For current members, it's on us! A Cajun dinner and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Full bar available at restaurant (we just can't afford to pay for that much celebration!).

RSVP on the Obama site
Check the calendar for the address and map.

The Next Economy
Lately when my mind wanders, I often think about what is next for our long-term economy. I think as petroleum gets more scarce (and it is getting more scarce), many of the raw materials we take for granted become more and more costly. Today, the cost difference between many of the items we make in America and those that we import is largely based on labor costs. As the cost of raw materials goes up, the relative cost of the labor to produce them goes down. I think we start to focus on locally produced goods where we're willing to pay a bit more for quality. I think maybe someday we start to see more aggressive recycling of metals and especially plastics when the raw materials for plastics resins become more scarce. We might even someday see garbage dump mining.

Other Local Blogs and Forums
I just wanted to say how proud I am of some of the other local blogs and forums here in Southern Denton County. I probably don't give them enough love in these pages through links and shout-outs, but here goes:

- South Denton County Democrats (SoDeCo) is the primary Democratic club in our area. These guys are on fire to fight the good fight. Very active forums..
- Castle Hills Democrats - yes, there are Democrats in Castle Hills, and Judith Ford keeps them in high spirits.
- North Texas Liberal has been around for a few years, and as of late has come back with some pretty good posts.

I hope that all of my local readers will bookmark these and check them whenever you check ours.

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WhosPlayin sets Records

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/11/2 12:02:01 (783 reads)

This will probably be of absolutely no interest to you, but I was just looking at the server statistics for WhosPlayin, and I'm pretty amazed with our numbers lately.

For the month of October:
Unique Visitors: 14,634 (new record for us)
Number of Visits: 27,439 (record is 30,020 in March 2008)
Pages Displayed: 121,928 (new record)
Hits (includes images): 562,856
Bandwidth: 10.07 GB (new record)

Like most websites, our numbers are somewhat skewed by "spam" traffic and bots. It's hard to say how much, but it's a continual fight to block them. Entire countries are now locked out from WhosPlayin. The Russians and Estonians for instance just won't get the benefit of our wisdom.

A lot of our traffic comes in from search engines when people look for things that we've written about. The top two right now are searches for voting information, and searches on "ionic foot bath".

Ad Revenue? Yeah, that's a touchy subject. We still go in the hole each month. I consider it a subsidized hobby. Y'all need to click more of the ads, you bunch of freeloaders... ;)

I did an interview with the Fort Worth Star Telegram recently for a story they're doing about bloggers. They came out to my office and took some pictures. Hope I didn't break any lenses... I'll post a link if the story is online.

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Sarah Palin got punked in Radio Prank

Miscellaneous
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/11/1 19:07:34 (1084 reads)

Oh my goodness, I just feel sorry for this poor woman.



Sarah Palin thinks she's talking to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and lets on that she's just not very bright.

By the way, this is the France with "socialist" medicine. Sarkozy is a "liberal conservative" in the "Union for a Popular Movement".

Before revealing that it was a prank, Sarah:
- showed her disdain for talking to a lowly aide who place the call on behalf of "Sarkozy",
- made small talk about families and how "real" they both were.
- expressed her optimism in the campaign
- admitted that she might be ready to be a president in 8 years
- talked about going hunting together by helicopter (as long nobody brings Dick Cheney)
- Talked about the coincidence that both of them can see other countries from their houses.
- Sarkozy sings a song about Joe the Plumber and explains that "Marcel the guy with bread under his armpit" is their equivalent.

When it was revealed, she attempted to be a good sport, but her aide cut off the conversation.

More of the story here...

On a serious note though, did you hear how she just sort of went along with the silly things "Sarkozy" was saying, even though she probably was not understanding them? That's a pretty serious shortcoming for someone who could easily become the next President.

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Ken Can Win. How Leach Can Upset Michael Burgess in CD 26

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/11/1 17:34:52 (2038 reads)

So, I'm no statistician, but I've been looking at the early voting totals coming back from the precincts in Texas' 26th Congressional District, and it is surprising how it's looking for Democrats.

What I'm looking at in these numbers is the breakdown of known partisanship among voters who have and have not yet voted. General election ballots are of course secret, and we have no way to know how an individual voted. What we can look at though is whether that person has any history of voting in any party's primary elections. In that case, we may not know who they voted for, but we know which party.

So, this morning, I pulled the numbers for district 26, and here's what we think we know about those who have voted:

Table 1: Early Voters

Hard DemSoft DemUnknownSoft RepHard RepTOTAL
4,39264,80857,10210,299 30,929167,530
2.6%38.7%34.1%6.1% 18.5%100%


So, with a current turnout of 41.01%, Dems have 41.3%, and Republicans have 24.6%. That looks good, but there is a 34.1% unknown turnout. these are voters who haven't affiliated themselves via primary voting.

We also have a couple of offsetting factors: The Limbaugh effect of Republican voters crossing over to vote for Hillary in the Democratic Primary, as well as Republican voters who legitimately have switched their support to Barack Obama. It's hard to say what those numbers might be, but they probably don't exceed 5%. We're also making the huge assumption that voters who vote Democratic will vote for Ken Leach - the Democrat. Some low-information voters vote on the basis of name recognition, which favors the incumbent, Michael Burgess.

But before we declare it over, we have to look at who has not yet voted. So we pulled a list of voters who have not yet voted in early voting, and here's what we got:

Table 2: Voters not yet voted

Hard DemSoft DemUnknownSoft RepHard RepTOTAL
98053,054152,41514,89719,622240,968
0.4%22.0%63.03%6.2% 8.1%100%


So, even with these numbers, Democrats seem to have more votes "in the well" so to speak. Republicans thus far seem not to have been as energized about early voting.

But the large amount of unknowns still leave a lot of room for error. So what I attempted to do was model how the unknowns and the rest of the unvoted partisans would add up. You can't just add the numbers, because there is some variability in their probability of voting. Unknowns tend to be less likely to vote than partisans from either side.

Using voter probability rankings provided by the Texas Democratic Party, I weighted the remaining voters by likelihood of their turnout. I then added these numbers to the early voting totals and came up with this:

Table 3: Predicted Totals based on Weighted Turnout Plus Early Voting
Hard DemSoft DemUnknownSoft Rep.Hard RepTOTAL
52991025881529162127448772330849
1.60%31.01%46.22%6.43%14.74%100%


This model leaves us with 32.61% leaning Democratic, 21.17% leaning Republican, and 46.22% unknown turnout. Mathematically, it could go either way, depending on how you think those unknowns will vote.

There are several possibilities for that:
- They'll mirror the past election percentages in CD 26.
- They'll mirror the national breakdown.
- They'll vote in proportion to the partisan breakdown.
- They'll vote somewhere between the partisan proportions and last percentages shown in CD 26.

It's hard for me to guess where that will fall. But I went ahead and figured out what the unknowns would have to be:

If the unknowns vote at least 38% Democratic, the Democrat wins. Republicans have to get at least 63% in order to get a majority. There is a very slight chance of a runoff being necessary between Burgess and Leach, if the Libertarian draws enough votes.

Given that identified Democrats in this last scenario outnumber identified Republicans by approximately 3 to 2, and that Republicans would have to more than flip that number around, it seems unlikely. Polling analysis website FiveThirtyEight.com puts Texas right now at 55.8% to 44.1% in favor of John McCain.

Further, we think a heavy turnout and national momentum for Barack Obama may benefit Texas Democrats more. How motivated will older Republicans be to turn out and vote for John McCain - a guy they only begrudgingly accepted, and who seems destined to win Texas but lose the national election.

I think there is a very real chance that sleeper candidate Ken Leach may actually win this thing. It would be a huge upset, but I think North Texas voters would reap a benefit from the choice.

Dems, you can do this. Get out and vote on November 4th, and pull it straight ticket for the Democrats. Then you can be assured that Obama will get all the help he needs to undo years of disastrous Bush policies, and send Bush's backers to the unemployment line.

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Earthquakes in North Texas Last Night

Oil and Gas
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/31 10:30:00 (1184 reads)

The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that two minor earthquakes shook North Texas last night at 11:30 pm and just after midnight.

Here's the story

Did any of you feel it? I was in bed watching TV by that time, and I don't recall feeling anything.

I wonder if it's possible that the ground could settle from all of the natural gas production in the area... Leave a comment if you felt anything.

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Sub-Machine guns, Silencers, Explosives, and Beer.

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/31 9:04:02 (962 reads)

Last night was fun. Joyous, I dare say. Last night, as part of the Lewisville Citizens Police Academy, we went out to the training range and got some good demonstrations from our local SWAT team.

Let me just say emphatically that you do NOT want to start a war with the police in Lewisville, because these guys can damn sure finish it. They have an arsenal that would probably out-match that of many small countries.

My two favorite parts of last night's activities were the explosions and the machine gun demonstrations.

The "distraction devices" that LPD uses are louder than any firework you could imagine, and I think would make you lose control of all bodily functions. I saw the team use a shaped-charge explosive made of det-cord and styrofoam to cut a man-sized hole in a 2-inch thick solid wood door. The concussion just about took the breath out of me. It threw the chunk of door against the back of the hallway on the other side.

Then there were demonstrations of the department's H&K MP5 sub-machine guns on full-auto - both with and without a suppressor.

Afterwards, I went for a couple of beers, and that made for a perfect evening.

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Denton County Could Go Either Way

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/29 23:40:16 (1008 reads)

I'm not sure whether I should share with you my numbers and graphs, but I've just done a bit of analysis on the partisanship of early voters in Denton County who have already voted, and those who have yet to vote.

Basically, it's a tossup: About 32% of those who voted lean Democratic. About 31% lean Republican. The remainder are unknown - meaning they don't have a record of having voted in a primary, and there are not strong demographic indicators.

Of those who have yet to vote, about 70% of those cannot be classified by partisanship. About 16% lean Republican and 14% lean Democratic. And there are no clear discernable demographic trends. The unknowns tend to be about 85% white, ages centering around 35 - 40, slightly more female, but not by much. The models call for a turnout of about 60%

Most interesting to me was the comparison between "Hard" Dems and "Hard" Republicans - those with strong partisan histories. Democrats have already turned out most of theirs. Republicans are slower about getting out to the polls. Democrats appear to be slightly more enthusiastic overall about voting.

In the absence of good polling data, I'd say that it would appear almost anything could happen at this point.

YES WE CAN.

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Barack Obama's 30 minutes on WhosPlayin'

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/29 21:20:19 (832 reads)

If all you know about Barack Obama is what you've read in emails, and heard on Fox News, take a minute and hear the man out:

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Don't Let Up!

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/29 20:51:00 (614 reads)

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Denton County: Obama Out-Raises McCain

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/28 11:37:30 (1035 reads)

This year's election cycle has brought a lot of Denton County's Democratic voters out of hiding. Today, Texas Cloverleaf reports that Obama raised more campaign contributions in Denton County, Texas than John McCain, this in a district that usually goes about 70/30% Republican.

No wonder the local Republicans are scared. I personally hope that some of the Obama enthusiasm carries down-ticket as well. As much as we need change nationally, it's time for some house-cleaning here too.

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