Will the US or its coalition partners declare a no-fly zone in Syria before the end of the year?: My initial model

No, unless in coalition with Russia and Iran, which is unlikely, as we are backing different teams.

I don’t think Obama wants to start WW3 before he has a chance to finish his term.

Advertisements

Will VW face criminal charges: My initial model

Farfugnuggin

All the “criminal charges weighed” headlines were a month ago. No smoke no fire. Fugedaboutit, unless you can give me a reference on a press conference where Preet Bharara has his handcuffs out. [1][2] VW has been pretty quick to roll some heads and write an enormous check, the economy is highly unsteady right now, and Obama probably doesn’t want to look like a job-killer, which crushing VW would be for some US jobs. So No.

Not that I would by a VW since they decommissioned the original Beetle. A girlfriend I had 10 years ago bought a used VW from a Pennsylvania dealer for $10,000 and 2 days later the ABS light went on. The dealer told her to go jump. I hold manufacturers responsible for their licensed dealers, same as I hold McDonald’s responsible for the qualify of their China Burgers. [3] VW got a permanent 0 for me at that moment.

[1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-19/vw-clean-diesel-scheme-exposed-as-u-s-weighs-criminal-charges
[2] http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/meet-us-attorney
[3] http://shanghaiist.com/2015/10/19/modern_china_burger_is_grey.php

Biden will enter

Biden will enter because:

  • DNC goal is to choose a candidate who will win in the general election. [1][3]
  • Sanders may turn out to be more popular than Hillary in Democratic population but less popular in total population.
  • Biden may be less popular in Democratic population but more popular in total population. [2]
  • If they don’t put Biden in, and Sanders edges out Hillary, DNC risks losing the general election.
  • Despite the press saying “Hillary Won!”, Google Analytics and Godaddy online polls show much stronger response for Bernie.

Nate Silver: “The Media Underestimated Hillary Clinton, But Overestimated Her Debate ” I knew it, the online polls showed it, but you won’t read it in the NY Times. [4]

Hillary wants him now as a straw man, she is feeling lucky and wants a little professional wrestling action before the clincher. [5] Based on endorsements, 538 is giving it to her by a landslide, so she can afford to be generous. [6]

[1] http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/14/billionaire-tom-steyer-hints-hes-supporting-joe-biden/
[2] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/13/fox-news-poll-biden-more-electable-than-clinton/?intcmp=hpbt1
[3] http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-democratic-debate-clinton-sanders-edit-1014-20151013-story.html
[4] http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/first-democratic-debate-hillary-clinton/
[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-joe-biden-debate-shift-2015-10
[6] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-endorsement-primary/

Bernie won

Sanders is beating Clinton 60% to 40% via polldaddy [1] [2]. Sanders clearly winning. Biden announcement to follow probably mañana. See also [3].

Google Analytics had Bernie winning as well but newspapers are spinning it other way today. Let’s see how long it takes for reality to exceed spin. [4] Who wants to bet against Google Analytics? Also Fusion Focus Group. [5]

[1] http://ohiopolitics.blog.daytondailynews.com/2015/10/13/whos-winning-the-democratic-debate/
[2] http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/politics/2015/10/13/democratic-presidential-debate-poll-bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton/73893908/
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/why-bernie-sanders-has-already-won-the-democratic-debates_b_8278834.html
[4] http://www.mediaite.com/online/bernie-sanders-wins-at-least-by-google-analytics/
[5] http://fusion.net/story/214234/bernie-sanders-wins-democratic-debate-focus-group/

Our hostages versus their hostages

Theirs [1]:

  1. Jason Rezaian, Washington Post journalist convicted of identifying Iranian businesses importing nuclear-related material from the US
  2. U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati of Flint, Michigan, convicted of espionage
  3. Christian pastor Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho, convicted of preaching
  4. Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in 2007 while working for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence mission

So, 1 to 3 spooks and a preacher.

On our side, per Al Jazeera:

Hassan Qashqavi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister in charge of legal and consular affairs, was quoted by state-linked media as saying the U.S. holds 19 Iranians on “sanctions-related charges” and another 60 for “ordinary crimes.”  “The 19 prisoners in U.S. jails are innocent people under sanctions charges and we hope conditions for their freedom are realized soon,” Qashqavi said on Aug. 25, according to the semi-official Tasnim and Fars news agencies.

[1] http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/10/12/iran-washington-post-reporter-jason-rezaian-convicted.html