sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Too Much Time on my Hands

The next Republican presidential primary votes will take place before the big primary on March 15. I feel a need to do better than I did when I attempted to predict outcomes on the March 1 contest. I'll take another dip in the pool and see if I can come closer. This is a type of trifecta.

Dr. Carson unofficially dropped out of the race and I'm trying to factor that move into this informal analysis.

(3/5) Kansas (40 delegates)     Trump +15 Cruz/Rubio

(3/5) Kentucky (45 delegates) Trump +10 Rubio/Cruz  (Kentucky is a caucus state)

(3/5) Louisiana (46 delegates) Trump +5 Cruz/Rubio

(3/5) Maine (23 delegates)       Trump +18 Rubio/Cruz

(3/6) Puerto Rico (23 delegates and 3 super delegates pledged to Cruz) Trump +25 Cruz/Rubio

(3/8) Hawaii (19 delegates)     Trump +20 Rubio/Cruz

(3/8) Idaho (32 delegates)        Trump +8 Cruz/Rubio

(3/8) Michigan (59 delegates)  Trump +12 Cruz/Kasich

(3/8) Mississippi (39 delegates) Trump +9 Cruz/Rubio

(3/12) DC (19 delegates)   Trump +12 Rubio/Cruz

(3/12 Guam (9 delegates)  Trump +25 Rubio/Cruz

For those of you who are Trump haters, I'm sorry that I don't have better news for you. I can't see Ted Cruz winning another state so long as there are 4 candidates in the field, and Rubio is going to put all of his effort into his must-win in Florida. Then again, I'm an amateur at this. I could be wrong.

Or maybe I could build stuff like this as a hobby instead?

Achievement by India's Navy

On 23 February, India's first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) was announced as  fully ready for operations, after having passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests during the past five months. Officials expect the INS Arihant to be inducted into the navy soon.

in Sanskrit means, “Slayer of Enemies”.

According to Indian sources, the Arihant is the first of five nuclear missile submarines that are planned. It conducted its deep sea dives off Vishakhapatnam where it was built. A Russian diving support ship —the RFS Epron that arrived on October 1 — has been accompanying the Arihant on its deep sea dives and launch tests.

The Indian Navy has maintained tight security over the Arihant’s progress, especially its weapons tests during the past five months. The submarine is to be equipped with K 15 (or BO-5) short range missiles with a range of over 700 km and the K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.

One senior official said, "It has passed all tests and in many things has surpassed our expectations. Technically the submarine can now be commissioned at any time." The commissioning date could be as early as next month, requiring only a decision by the Modi government. A communication facility for the SSBN force already has been commissioned into the Navy.

At present, work is in progress on two more Arihant-class submarines at the Ship Building Center (SBC) in Vishakhapatnam. They are planned to be larger and more advanced than the first boat. At present, the only nuclear powered submarine in Indian service is the INS Chakra, an Akula-class attack submarine (SSN) on lease from Russia.

The navy is also accelerating work on INS Varsha - a new strategic naval base with underground pens on the eastern coast near Kakinada - where the nuclear assets would be based. 

The Navy's Submarine Design Bureau also is working on a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) that it hopes to induct within the next 15 years. The plan is to build at least six SSNs in India. 

INS Arihant
Arihant has been more than 40 years in the making and benefitted from extensive Soviet and then Russian assistance. It is a “pocket” SSBN, about one third the tonnage of a US Ohio-class SSBN. It carries four vertical launch tubes which can launch up to 12 short range missiles and four K-4 missiles.

Super Tuesday Review

Evaluating my Handicapping Skills

On Monday, I predicted the outcome of the GOP primaries on Tuesday (yesterday). This is what I predicted and how the races actually turned out:

State-         Black
Outcome-  Red

Texas -                 Cruz+11 -  Cruz +14

Arkansas -           Trump +2  Trump +6

Tennessee -         Trump +15 Trump +16

Georgia -             Trump +5   Trump +16

Virginia -             Trump +15 Trump +3

Massachusetts -  Trump +25 Trump +31

Alabama -           Trump +8   Trump +24

Alaska -              Rubio +2     Cruz +3

Vermont -           Trump +18  Trump +3

Minnesota -        Trump +10  Rubio +9

Oklahoma -        Trump +5    Cruz +6

In terms of delegate count, Trump emerged as the winner as predicted. I called some well, and missed the boat on others. It's a good thing that I don't make a living doing this or I'd share the same gulag with poor old Dick Morris (anyone remember him?). I really missed Minnesota and Oklahoma. Virginia was much closer than I thought it would be and Alabama went much harder for Trump than they thought that they would. I won't quit my day job.

Rubio finally won a state and that means that he'll be energized and based on media reports, plans to spend $25 million on negative ads against Trump in Florida, where he trails by over 20%, over the next two weeks. Rubio is owned by the moneyed special interests and it will be interesting to see what all that money actually buys him. He spent $12 million on ads for the election today, Trump spent $1.1 million. 

Educating Trump

Former foreign policy officials told Reuters that retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama from 2012 to 2014, has been informally advising Trump on world affairs. Flynn was spotted last year at a "gala celebration" for Russian media outlet RT, sitting at the same table as Russian president Vladimir Putin.