Thursday, April 06, 2006

Casey's Lead Plummets in Wake of NOW PAC Endorsement

According to a new Rasmussen poll, Casey's lead is shrinking. The latest poll has Casey at 50% Santorum at 41%. This seems to be the trend lately. But that is not the shocking news. Get this: when told about the NOW PAC endorsement, Casey's support plummets.
The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll in the Keystone State shows Democrat Bob Casey leading Santorum 50% to 41%. That's the first time in all six polls we've conducted on this race that Casey's lead has slipped to single digits. It's also the first time Santorum has moved above the 40% mark since last July. However, another aspect of the poll might be even more encouraging for Santorum... and troubling for Casey.

After asking survey respondents who they would vote for, we informed them that the National Organization for Women (NOW) is concerned about Casey on the abortion issue and is endorsing another candidate in the primary. We then asked a second time about how each respondent would vote.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of Casey's initial voters changed their mind upon hearing this news. Half switched to Santorum while the others split between "some other candidate" and "not sure." The change was dramatic enough that, having heard the new information, voters favored Santorum by a five-point margin (46% to 41%). This suggests a lack of voter knowledge about Casey that could make the race more competitive than it seems at this time.

This is great news for Pennacchio (and Sandals) supporters. It validates everything that Chuck has been saying. When given a choice between Santorum and a watered-down version of himself, people prefer the real thing. However, people also prefer a real alternative like Chuck Pennacchio. If Casey wins the primary, I am going to be scared in November.

Definitely read the full story; it's worth it.

Hat-tip to Santorumblog.

We're Talking About a Fish with Feet

Cheers to Neil Shubin of The University of Chicago for making creationists shit in their hands. As if Archaeopteryx--the feathered dinosaur--wasn't convincing enough, Shubin's team discovered a 375 million year old fossil fish/tetrapod transitional creature. For those of us who are not biology nerds, a tetrapod is a four legged animal like a reptile, amphibian, or mammal.
The skeletons have the fins, scales and other attributes of a giant fish, four to nine feet long. But on closer examination, the scientists found telling anatomical traits of a transitional creature, a fish that is still a fish but has changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals — and is thus a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs, mammals and eventually humans.

In the fishes' forward fins, the scientists found evidence of limbs in the making. There are the beginnings of digits, proto-wrists, elbows and shoulders. The fish also had a flat skull resembling a crocodile's, a neck, ribs and other parts that were similar to four-legged land animals known as tetrapods.

So, as a creationist, how do you fit a fish with primitive fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders into your understanding of the world? Isn't it an awfully interesting coincidence? I guess God just put it there to test our faith, right? Or it was Satan trying to tempt our will away from God?

One creationist site on the Web ( /evid1.htm) declares that "there are no transitional forms," adding: "For example, not a single fossil with part fins, part feet has been found. And this is true between every major plant and animal kind."

Dr. Novacek responded: "We've got Archaeopteryx, an early whale that lived on land, and now this animal showing the transition from fish to tetrapod. What more do we need from the fossil record to show that the creationists are flatly wrong?"

Duane T. Gish, a retired official of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, said, "This alleged transitional fish will have to be evaluated carefully." But he added that he still found evolution "questionable because paleontologists have yet to discover any transitional fossils between complex invertebrates and fish, and this destroys the whole evolutionary story."

Creationists always point to a dearth of transitional forms as evidence against evolution. Well, we've had Archaeopteryx for over a century,and now we have a fish/tetrapod. I'm sorry, but when a fossil so beautifully demonstrates evolution in front of our very eyes, how can a person not be convinced? We're talking about a fish with feet. When creationists have to deny the simplest, most logical explanation for a natural phenomenon, and follow a convoluted rationale in order to fit reality into their worldview, scientists are flabbergasted--and why shouldn't they be? Like I said, we're talking about a fish with feet.

As a side note, I almost went to grad school for organismal biology & anatomy at U of Chicago; it's a tremendous place. I can hardly imagine the energy in the halls right now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Delay "Retires" in Disgrace

Oh, how long have I yearned to write those words. Delay is gone. Raise your glasses high and mighty guzzlers, for tonight, we celebrate!

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Quotable Bob Casey Jr.

Need some more ammunition when convincing fellow Democrats to vote for Chuck? Booman Tribune has posted a tremendous resource for anyone with mixed feelings about Bob Casey Jr. (crossposted on a Daily Kos diary). Entitled "The Quotable Bob Casey Jr.," it provides a succinct list of Casey quotes on all of the important issues. Here are a few of my favorites (i.e. those causing me to repeatedly bash my forehead against the coffee-shop table):
Bob Casey Jr. on the Iraq War:

"I don't think we were intentionally mislead [in the runup to the war in Iraq]." citation

Bob Casey Jr. on warrantless NSA Wiretaps [
and on their legality]:

"Well, that is a judgment that lawyers are going to make," said Casey, a lawyer citation

Bob Casey Jr. on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:

"the arguments against Judge Alito do not rise to the level that would require a vote denying him a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court." citation

Bob Casey Jr. on Congressional intervention in the Terry Schiavo Case:

"I think you should err on the side of life. I think some kind of congressional review was appropriate." citation

Perhaps another great name for the post would have been: "The Top 24 Reasons to Vote for Chuck Pennacchio."