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Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain ahead??

Drudge has a banner headline tonight which cites the Zogby poll Friday results which show McCain ahead by 1 percent. This sample of 500 folks is the first national poll since mid September that shows McCain ahead. Could it really be true? Is this a harbinger of the big swing towards McCain now that Obama has been outed as a true socialist? Most likely, this is nothing but statistical noise. McCain has been getting closer to Obama in the last week, but he has remained clearly behind.

My hope has always been that the undecided voters would break strongly towards McCain and that those who have waivered all through the campaign would also move back to support McCain. After all, the focus of the election for many months has been a yes/no vote on Obama. Did he have the experience? Could he manage foreign policy? Would his tax increases destroy what is left of the economy? For his part, McCain was a known quantity. People generally felt safe with McCain running the military and foreign policy even if they disagreed with him on Iraq. This means that those who remained undecided in the face of the massive and seemingly endless media campaigns for Obama were resistant to him as their candidate. Even those who at various times were for and then against Obama were also somewhat resistant to his candidacy. If the recent share the wealth pitch from Obama raises fears that he would make more moves towards socialism, it may prove to be enough to dissuade these undecided or wavering voters that they cannot vote for Obama. It would be a massive move in one direction at the last minute, just like the one that elected Reagan over Carter in 1980.

Let's hope it happens.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Klatu Barada Nictoh

This speaks for itself!

The Phillies!

In 1980, the Phillies won their first World Series after 104 years in baseball. Shortly thereafter, Ronald Reagan became the only presidential candidate since modern polling began to to trail in all the polls the week before the election but still win. Now the Phillies have done it again. That leaves it up to John McCain to come through on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In Barack we trust!

Today's TIPP poll has some truly remarkable numbers in the breakdown it provides. Obama leads McCain nationally by 3% in the poll with about 9% undecided. By itself, this is not of great moment. Most interesting, however, is that McCain leads among Protestants, Catholics and "Other Christians". Obama, however, leads by over 50% among "no religion". So the swing voters for Obama are the atheists. I have to say that I am not surprised.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The redistributive effect

The recently revealed statements by Obama regarding redistribution of wealth and his view that this should be a function of the federal government requires a note of reminder to everyone who ponders what Obama has said. The attempt by government to bring income equality in society always comes in the form of making the wealthy poorer, never making the poor richer. There are simply never enough resources to go around in a way that all people become well off. As a result, equality means equal poverty.

The US has prospered for centuries on the concept of equality of opportunity rather than equality of wealth. People began with nothing but opportunity and built large businesses employing thousands or millions. Think Bill Gates and Microsoft. How many hundreds of thousands (millions) of US workers hold their jobs because of that company? Just imagine now if Obama gets his way and makes sure that Gates cannot get rich so that it would not be unfair to others who are not as successful. Microsoft never gets going, the whole computer industry just limps along without much success, millions of jobs are never created, and the whole US economy suffers as a result. But Obama is happy -- ain't that great!

Polls apart

The polls out in the last two days prove one thing: some of the pollsters do not have a clue what is happening. Gallup has the lead by Obama narrowing to 2%. Zogby and Rasmussen also show a narrowing lead, albeit larger. Battleground has been steady for the last three days at 3%. Then you have Hotline at an 8% lead and Pew research at a 15% Obama lead. Clearly some of them are very wrong.

Of course, there are the usual excuses for the variations. Pew somehow has 10% fewer Republicans and uses registered voters rather than likely voters. Still, the results are too far apart for there to be an explanation other than some error in the numbers.

Right now, I have to believe that the race is tightening. Obviously, that would be my preference, but when you add yesterday's TIPP margin of 2.8% (which hopefully will go down today), there are too many polls with numbers in the 2-5% range to be ignored. In other words, I think that the big lead polls are outliers or biased/flawed samples. Right now the RCP national average is Obama over McCain by 6.8 %. I think that the reality is about half that amount. Indeed, the average of Gallup, Rassmussen, Tipp and Battleground is 3%. There are also an average of 5.2% undecided in those polls. My estimate is that the undecided will break for McCain. After all, these are folks who have not yet been able to bring themselves to vote for Obama, and since Obama has been the clear focus of the election, my guess is that those who have not yet chosen will go the other way towards McCain. If McCain wins the undecided by 2 to 1, he will cut about 1.7% off of the Obama margin, bringing the Obama edge down to 1.3%

Of course, none of these numbers mean anything in particular except for this: The election is still far from over. A late move up by McCain in which only 2% of the voters switch sides could put McCain over the top.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Apparently flawed constitution

In the latest peek into Barack Obama's purposefully obscured past, we discover that Obama considers the US constitution to be a flawed document. He also makes clear that Congress and the President need to work towards redistribution of wealth. This is a rather unusual point of view for an American presidential candidate. After all, the basic thrust of US political thought of the last hundred years is that liberty for all peoples and preservation of American liberty is the central goal of the United States. Think of John Kennedy's innaugural address where he stated that we would pay any price to preserve our liberties. There are countless other examples. On the other hand, the number of serious national candidates who advocated redistribution of wealth in the US as the main goal of our society is zero (wait, I forgot Obama)-- actually, one. For some reason, Obama's socialism is being ignored. I can only hope that with the latest revalations, even the Obama media will feel compelled to report his true views.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alter should be altered

In the latest Newsweek, J. Alter puts forth his theoretical view of Why McCain Won. According to Alter, it was racism, racism, racism. Mr. Alter, your view is pure crap. If McCain pulls off an upset and wins, it will be because of the flaws of Obama the candidate. The Obama campaign has run a technically brilliant campaign. First, Obama got the nomination over Hillary because his camapaign prepared in depth for the caucuses and primaries that followed Super Tuesday while the Clinton folks worked on the assumption that Super Tuesday would end the campaign. By winning the string of states in February that followed Super Tuesday, Obama wrapped up the nomination. When Hillary began to compete in earnest after three bad weeks, it was too late to overcome Obama's lead. Similarly, for the general election, Obama's decision to ignore his earlier pledge to use public finanacing and to go with private donations has given him a substantial monetary edge over the McCain campaign. Even more so, the Obama campaign's decision to take all contributions whether or not legal has allowed him to amass many millions more -- while knowing that any punishment will be a minor slap on the wrist once Obama has already won.

Obama's problem is his message, not his campaign. If Obama loses, it will be because he plans to raise taxes and "spread the wealth around". Many millions of Americans will not accept that message -- and that has nothing to do with racism. The truth is that Obama has been helped, not hurt, by his race. Certainly, his level of support among blacks is higher than Kerry or Gore had. More important, many others are voting for him just to be able to say that they voted for the first black president. Strangely, no one ever polls on this question. After 25 polls on whether or not people are voting against Obama due to his race (in various forms), one would think that there might be a poll going the other way. But no. The pollsters all remember what happened to poor Geraldine Ferraro when she had the gall to say that Obama would not be where he was if he were not black. She was a racist! While that attack on Ferraro was clearly bogus, it was sufficient to ward off any polls that might help elucidate the real effect of race in the election.

Is it over?

The news media is spreading the story that the election is over and Obama has won. Who knows? Maybe they are correct. I do not buy it, however. Sure, Obama is ahead and has grabbed leads in many of the critical swing states. Nevertheless, there is still a clear path for McCain to win. Simply put, the question of the week is how many of the voters who pay no attention to the election until the end of the cycle will stick with Obama.

The use of Joe the Plumber may seem like overkill to those who watch the Republicans mention him again and again. Still, Obama's spread the wealth comment can be made to hurt him substantially. McCain needs to enunciate his own economic plan as one which will spread opportunity around so that all Americans have the ability through hard work and some luck to get rich. This is the traditional Republican message. At the same time, Obama should be portrayed as a sort of bizarre Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to the government. Equality of wealth will be achieved by Obama by making everyone poor. This has always been the result of socialist and communist policies which sound a lot like what Obama is now talking about.

Most Americans would like to be rich. This is not some exciting revalation, it is an obvious fact. those who think that they have a chance will not want to let the government prevent them from doing so. Indeed, it is interesting to see that Obama consistently does better among those who have already achieved their goals of wealth than among those who are still struggling to amass wealth. Those who already have money feel that they will be able to keep it no matter what Obama does. Those who are pushing for it (a much larger group) do not want anyone standing in their way.

If McCain can clearly enunciate this message and if there is no other October surprise, he may be able to pull in enough votes to still win this election.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Is anyone listening?

To me, perhaps the biggest gaffe of the last two weeks was committed by Jack Murtha, a Pennsylvania congressman, who announced that his district was filled with rednecks and racists who would not vote for Obama due to his race. These are the so-called bitter clingers, the subject of one of Obama's major gaffes. Murtha, should have been in big danger of losing his seat as a result of his smearing of the marines who fought in Haditha. Murtha labelled the Haditha incident a massacre committed by US troops. Since Murtha's statement, all but one of the marines involved have been brought up before military courts and cleared of all charges. One remains to have his day in court. Clearly, Murtha, who is a senior member of the House Armed forces committee (and who should know better) just shot off his mouth (or his badmouth) to criticize the marines so as to make his own political point about the Iraq war. To Murtha, the reputation of the marines was secondary to his political ends. In my opinion, Murtha's slander of the marines should render him unfit for Congress. Still, Murtha is a fixture in the Pennsylvania delegation, and it looked like he would be re-elected in a somewhat closer than usual race, but one which he nevertheless won handily.

Now, however, we have the second Murtha major mistake. I think it is safe to say that all political consultants, be they Democrats or Republicans, would counsel their clients that it is unwise to label the voters as rednecks or racists. Most voters would not appreciate the name calling. That did not stop Murtha. Hopefully, there will be sufficient upset in Western Pennsylvania that Jack Murtha will finally be bounced from Congress. There is already enough hot air and idiocy in Congress. Maybe it is time to try someone new. Let's all hope that this is Murtha's swan song.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

a short vacation

Over the next two weeks, I will be away with my wife on a much needed vacation. New items should be posted again during the last week of the month.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tom Brokaw -- it's not about you

Last night's second debate was the best possible argument for never having Tom Brokaw back as a moderator. Brokaw managed to harp repeatedly about the time alloted for answers without doing anything to enforce those limits. The one time Brokaw tried to move on when Obama wanted to say more, Brokaw backed down quickly when Obama confronted the issue. Personally, I do not care if the time limits got followed closely. The issue is who would be a better President, not who follows the time rules more correctly. I did think it constantly jarring for Brokaw to raise the issue over and over.

Brokaw also interjected his own questions into the mix rather than letting the audience ask questions as should have happened. Brokaw also prescreened the questions, so that the totality of the questions were those that interested Brokaw and not those which interested the audience. That was not a town hall meeting. Rather it was Tom Brokaw following a script that he selected. Indeed, the funniest moment of the night came when the candidates blocked Brokaw's teleprompter and he was totally at a loss for words. It truly shows the level of Brokaw's intelligence and ability that he was unable to continue on to a conclusion without berating Obama and McCain for standing in the wrong spot so as to block his view.

One thing is certain: the contrast between Jim Lehrer in the first debate and Tom Brokaw in the second one was much more stark than that between Obama and McCain.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Time for a change

The one constant in this election year has been the lack of constancy. As a result, we are now at the end of the period where Obama pulled ahead. Most likely, there will be a further significant change. My prediction is that the race will tighten again as people get used to the economic news and start moving away from the fear that pushed them to Obama (for no valid reason in my opinion.) Of course, there could be a move to a landslide for Obama. It is interesting to see the McCain camp attacking Obama for his past relationships, a move that would normally be unlikely to move much of the electorate. It is also extremely interesting to see how poorly the Obama camp has responded to the attacks; instead of addressing them forthrightly, Obama has commenced lying and covering up. To say the least this is a big mistake by Obama. Few people will care about who Obama befriended in the 90's. Many will care if it can be shown that he is a liar.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Audacity of Lying

Well folks, we now have Obama's defense of his relationship with Bill Ayres and Bernadette Dohrn -- both unrepentant terrorists who bombed, maimed and killed Americans. According to the official story put out by the Obama campaign, Obama did not know that Ayres and Dohrn were terrorists when he befriended them in the mid-90's. In other words, since Obama implicitly admits that it shows poor judgment to be friends with terrorists who bombed the Pentagon, Capitol and NYC Police headquarters and who still claim that they did not do enough in that regard, Obama feels compelled now to lie about his knowledge of their activities. How can I say that it is a lie? Let's me put it this way: Either Obama and his wife Michelle are oblivious to essentially everything that went on around them for their entire lives, or one or both of them knew who Ayres and Dohrn are. These are not relative unknowns who just surfaced last week. Ayres and Dohrn were well known in the 60's and 70's for their terror activities. There was also a big flurry of publicity about them when they were finally arrested in 1980. This publicity continued for a few years as dohrn went to prison for a short time and Ayres beat the charges against him on a technicality. So this last flurry of publicity occurred when Obama was in college and law school. Obama, of course, claims to have missed this news at that time too. Of course, when Obama then joiined the Chicago Annenberg challenge board with Ayres in the mid 90's, we are supposed to believe that the organization did not put together biographies of its board or that Obama missed those as well. and when Ayres was interviewed in the New York Times in 2001 and quoted as saying that he regrets that he did not do enough bombing, I suppose Barack and Michelle missed this too.

Clearly, Obama thinks that he can say whatever he wants and get away with it. Look at what he did with Reverend Wright. Only a cretin would believe that Obama attended the church for 20 years but was shocked, shocked to hear the anti-american and racist garbage spewing from Reverend Wright. Now, we are supposed to believe that Barack did not know who Ayres and Dohrn are.

In my view, it would be in good taste for Obama to have acted like other presidents before him and waited until elected before he started lying to the American people. My guess is that after he saw how easily Bill Clinton got away with it, he decided that with the help of the media he can say anything he wants. It goes beyond lying. Obama has told such a whopper that it shows not only that he is dishonest, but more, that he does not even respect the American people enough to tell a lie that is at least plausible.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


After hearing CBS do its slanted coverage of Sarah Palin's remarks about Obama's relationships with William Ayres, I thought that no one could possibly do a worse job of coverage of the issue. I was wrong. The AP has put out a story about how Palin's words that Obama was "palling around with a terrorist" had a "racial tinge". What utter nonsense! Is the Associated Press so worried that McCain's campaign might score some points against Obama that it feels it has to call the remarks racist in order to innoculate Obama against their impact? Hey AP! Ayres is a white terrorist. Obama's friendship with him is interracial -- further proof that Obama is the post racial candidate -- he's a friend to terrorists no matter what their race! Oh come on! I do not see how someone had the nerve even to write the story let alone to put it on the wires.

Completely Biased Source

I was listening this morning to CBS radio news, something that I rarely do. I stopped listening over a year ago when I got angry at the constant slant to their coverage which was relentlessly anti-Bush, anti-Republican and pro Obama. I felt no need to hear the days propaganda, so I moved on to other sources that were more even handed. Still, this morning's short news report surprised me for the total bias that it exhibited. Ths subject of the report was Sarah Palin's remarks about Obama being a pal of the 60's terrorist William Ayres.

In any normal newspiece, the topic of the piece (the Palin statements) would have been covered and then reaction would have followed. CBS, however, followed a new paradigm. The piece began with a report on the reaction of the Obama campaign which, not surprisingly, called Palin's remarks shameful. CBS then itself discussed the merits of Palin's comments and dismissed them by pointing out that Ayres and Obama had served together on a board, but that Obama had consistently denounced Ayres for his past conduct. Again, not surprisingly, CBS did not mention that Obama got his start in politics in Ayres living room (Ayres ran a fund raiser at which Obama started his first campaign). Nor did CBS mention that Ayres was very active in Obama's early campaigns well beyond that fund raiser. Nor did CBS mention that the board in question was one which authorized Ayres to have a major role in disseminating tens of millions of dollars for "education" which Ayres directed to having children learn about "progressive" causes -- and that this authorization was done under Obama's leadership. Most important, CBS failed to mention that the purported "condemnation" by Obama of Ayres has never happened. In fact, during most of the years of their association, Obama never denounced Ayres or his conduct. Only when the association became an issue during the current presidential campaign did Obama say anything on the subject. His take on it was that what Ayres did happened when he (Obama) was only 8 years old. He did not condemn Ayres for saying that he was not sorry for bombing and killing Americans. He did not condemn Ayres for anything at all -- he only spoke ill of the bombings themselves. That is like saying that it would be ok to keep Osama Bin Laden as a friend while condemning the 9-11 attacks.

After we heard Obama's reaction and CBS's dismissal of the Palin criticism, we finally we allowed to hear what Palin actually said. This was about a five second segment at the conclusion of the piece.

Clearly, CBS stands for Completely Biased Source.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Frankly speaking

Drudge has the link today to last nights confrontation between Bill O'Reilly and Congressman Barney Frank. All I can say is thank God for O'Reilly. It is about time that somebody told off that jerk of a congressman.
Last week I listened to the 2005 hearings on Fanny and Freddie when Frank told his colleagues in the House that Fanny and Freddie were doing a greaat job and that there was no need for any additional regulation. Frank and the other Democrats were successful at that time im blocking any further regulation or oversight for Fanny and Freddie. Indeed, it was nauseating to listen to Maxine Waters lavishly praising the leadership of Franklin Raines at Fanny. Of course, not long afterwards, Raines was forced out at Fanny due to accounting scandals that he allowed to happen so that he could get his multi-million dollar bonuses as CEO. (It is also interesting to note that this same Franklin Raines is an Obama advisor on housing matters.)

Frank, however, was not finished. He has spent the last two years as committee chairman in Congress covering up the problems at Fanny and Freddie and now he wants to blame others for his own failures. The clip that O'Reilly played from an interview by Frank this past summer was a real eye opener. There was Frank actually telling people that while Fanny and Freddie may not have been the best investments in the past, they were strong going forward. Of course, two months later, both are bankrupt and taken over by the governement. While I can see why others may not have known the full extent of problems at Fanny and Freddie, Frank has no such excuse. He got full information on these companies which were directly under his committee's purview. So Frank misleads investors on the fate of the two companies and when O'Reilly calls him on it, Frank goes into classic political doublespeak. It's not his fault, he claims, but rather it stems from 1994. Bill calls that bull -- which it was. Frank blames the Republicans and talks about how he tried mightily to put further regulations on Fanny and Freddie. Once again, Bill properly calls that bull. In fact, Frank is the one who blocked further regulation.

Right now, Barney the purple dinosaur has more credibility on the economy than Barney the congressman.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Palin wins!

Tonight's vice presidential debate was extremely interesting and concluded with a clear winner: Governor Palin. She was cheerful, Biden was not. She was folksy, Biden was not. She connected with the audience, Biden did not. She understood the issues before her, so did Biden. She was honest in what she said, Biden was not. This point deserves some elaboration: Biden did his riff on how McCain wants to do away with regulation and blamed the current financial market mess on that attitude of McCain. Of course, Biden well knows that it was McCain who proposed stricter regulation of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac three years ago (regulations that might well have avoided most of the problems now faced by the economy). Biden also knows that both he and Obama were against enactment of these regulations. Strangely, even in the face of the Obama Biden ticket jointly opposing a strict regulatory structure proposed by Mccain, Biden felt no shame in falsely claiming that it was the lack of regulation at the behest of McCain that caused the problems. Another howler by Biden was his claim that when he voted for the resolution authorizing war in Iraq, he really was not voting for war. Palin was very good in pointing this out -- the whole before it before being against it line. The truth is that I counted seven instances where Biden made up the facts as he went along (That's the nice way to say that he was a liar).

It was very nice to see Sarah Palin get this chance to speak to America without having the mainstream media edit her comments and slant the coverage. Sarah unfiltered was the same Sarah Palin who gave that barn burner of a speech at the convention.

Vice presidential debates have never moved the polls in a Presidential contest. Palin so clearly outshone Biden despite the pre-debate crap put out there by the media about how she was just a buffoon, that this may be the first time when these VP debates really have an effect on the outcome of the election.

The vice presidential debate

Tonight we will all be treated to the spectacle of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin debating. Since Biden has 35 years in the Senate, he ought to do well. In 35 years, he has run in six senatorial elections and made countless speeches on the Senate floor. He has attended thousands of committee hearings and appeared on countless TV shows and at other forums. Simply put, he has enormous experience in publice speaking. This debate, however, may prove somewhat different that his previous experience. Hopefully, people will listen to what he has to say tonight. That is a big danger for Joe. This is a man who never puts one foot in his mouth when he can fit in two. The is a reason that Biden had the reputation as the dumbest man in the Senate. He has a great grin and a warm personality, he is just as dumb as a rock.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin has very little speaking experience compared to Biden. True, she has been a governor, but that was in Alaska, not the media frenzy of Washington. No one knows if she is up to the task of debating Biden.

My prediction: Just like with her convention speech, Sarah Palin will astound the audience with her command of the material and cool demeanor under pressure. There is a one in four chance that Biden will make the sort of mistake for which he is famous. Finally, once the debate is concluded, there will be a rush by the Obama media to pronouce Biden the clear winner, no matter what happens.