Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin and McCain

I went out for some drinks last night and came back to some of the greatest news. McCain had made the most blunderous VP selection ever. Quayle was better. McCain selected a woman who is widely right-wing and dangerously close to becoming President in the slight chance that McCain does win in November. I guess we should be happy he chose a woman, even if she is entirely unqualified to be Commander in Chief of the most powerful military in the world. It's absolutely sexist. He didn't care who she was, and only met her once in his life. He needed the best skirt available, and he got it. Obama didn't think Hillary was right for the position. I might disagree a little, but he made that decision knowing the impact it could have.

McCain didn't care one bit. Leave my wife for the rich chick on the block. Leave the duty to my country by bringing in a skirt for shock value. Deplorable really. It will not work.

I have more time to write about her later, but we have two things to look forward to.

1) Biden will eat her alive during the debates. It will be so bad that Palin might get a few sympathy points.

2) Obama needs to quietly raise the issue that McCain's age and her lack of any experience is a big conflict.

3) Her husband works for BP. Enough said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

DNC Convention: Acclamation

Good gesture and a classy way to end this once and for all.

DNC Highlights

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ad war: Daisy 2008

McCain just can't talk about himself. He has failed to mention himself in this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this or this ad. I know he has nothing to talk about besides being a POW, but one ad highlighting what he will do for the voters would be great. One fucking ad!! At this point we all know that this election is about Obama and not McCain.

So, this new ad flashes pretty much all that McCain hopes to accomplish: Attack Iran under the guise of protecting Israel. Of course, he is also pandering to south Florida voters in hopes that they will be duped by the threat that if you vote for Obama then you will be responsible for "destroying Israel".

"Dangerously unprepared to be President"? Right.

How about "McCain: Dangerously prepared to start THE war."

DNC Convention: Hillary Delivers

I have heard the anti-Hillary Dems whining and saying that she was insincere. I have heard the MSM saying that she was not complimenting Obama, but stroking her own ego. And I have heard people claim that is was the best convention speech that we're going to get. They're all wrong. Bottom line is that Hillary delivered and she took a very difficult task and handled it well. It was a brilliant speech and she has done her part.

The focus seems to be on the over-dramatized rift that groups like PUMA have thrust into the spotlight, but what really happened is that Hillary drew a very obvious line in the sand between the Dems and the GOP. I would think that McCain might slow down on the GOP/Hillary ads unless he wants to piss off his already frustrated base.

Good work. I can't wait for Biden and I'm looking forward to the key ring theme that I hope is going to happen tomorrow.

Until then...

"I was a POW"

Classic post from Kos:

Trust Me

"You're a financial planner and you want to invest my retirement savings in scratch tickets?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a plumber and you're going to fix my clog with a stick of dynamite?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a firefighter and you're going to put out the flames with gasoline?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a jeweler and you're going to fix my Rolex with a hammer?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re a nuclear physicist and you're giving out 'free samples' of enriched uranium to children?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a surgeon and you're using a rusty hacksaw?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re the Republican candidate for president and you want to fix the country's problems even though you don’t know much about the economy, you don’t know how to use the internet, you don’t know how many houses you own or what kind of car you drive, you admit you don’t think clearly when you’re tired, you make frequent gaffes on foreign policy, you think offshore drilling is a short-term solution to high gas prices, you support torture and keeping the Guantanamo prison open, you make rash decisions and statements from which you have to quickly backtrack, you have an explosive temper on a hair trigger, your idea of health care reform is 'wear more sunscreen,' you're for stem cell research except when it's done on stem cells because you consider them all American citizens, and you voted to support the policies of the worst president ever 100 percent of the time this year?"
"Trust me, my friends. I was a POW."


Eventhough people like Pat Buchanan still defend this garbage, I think that this meme is getting tired. We'll see...

DNC Convention: Kucinich "Wake Up, America!"

Best speech yet and maybe the best of the convention. This guy is what the country needs. Excellent energy and excellent speech.

Wake up!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle's Speech and My Wife

I've been thinking a lot about Michelle Obama's excellent speech at the convention. She delivered it fantatically and I know that it really spoke to millions of Americans. She certainly spoke to me.

Four years ago this speech wouldn't have been that big of a deal to me. Two years ago it wouldn't have made a difference either. It wasn't until May 4th, the greatest day of my life -my wedding, that this speech had the potential to effect me. It wasn't until I married my wonderful wife that I could start to understand this kind of speech. When you hear about love and marriage when you are not married, it is all the same to you. It doesn't leave an imprint. But today, as I watched and listened to her speech, I was overcome with emotions that I had never felt before or had even known exsisted.

I listened to her as a husband. I listened to her knowing that my beautiful wife, 고운, is going to have our children in the next few years and I, too, will be like Barack and know the feeling of looking in that tiny rear-view mirror and seeing my entire world. Seeing those adorable little girls talking to their father and asking "What city are you in, Daddy?" was the cutest and most priceless moment that I have seen Obama in.

This speech was not political for me. In fact, this speech made one thing very clear: this election doesn't matter as much I think it does. What matters is my wife and future family.

What the Obama Family showed me today was that they don't care about this election as much as they care about each other. They love each other and win or lose, they will still have each other. It's nice to see this type of love in public.

Great speech.

DNC Convention: Michelle Obama

Wow! I'll say it again. Wow! Michelle Obama delivered an amazing, emotional, thoughtful, substantive speech tonight that forced this man to battle the salty discharge that almost made contact with cheek right in the middle of my office. I won the battle, but most of the eyes in the Pepsi Center certainly did not.

Best quote:

“The Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago. He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital 10 years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands.”

Great image. Great speech. I'm feeling very good about the convention so far and it's only going to get better. Clinton tomorrow!!

DNC Coverage: Maya Soetoro

Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro, gave a brief, yet smart and solid family-roots speech. She did an excellent job characterizing Obama as the man he really is and tied his story into the dream of America. I like how she made him seem like a strong and caring older sibling. It made me feel good. Solid speech.

Anti-climatic ending, but good.

DNC Coverage: Teddy Kennedy

It's off and it's rockin' so far! The press tried to focus on the rift, the protestors and McCain, but it has not worked!

John Legend started it off.

A few others came out after he sang. I don't like Pelosi at all.

Teddy came in to a huge applause. I love his laugh. He exited to "You're Still the One."

He exited to "You're Still the One." Great choice. What a lion!

Best Teddy quote:

"So many of you have been with me through the happiest days and the hardest days. Together we have known success and seen setbacks; victory and defeat. But we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. And I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate."


Chuck Todd has got it right. He says that the Obama-Clinton rift is being overhyped, and that it's a minor story that is being magnified by a press looking for some drama to write about. He suggests all of this will blow over once Teddy Kennedy and Michelle Obama hit the stage tonight.

Bottom Line: PUMA is just a loud, annoying fringe group. And now I discovered that there is a group called "Clintons For McCain". Matthews had them on the air. The problem with these women is that they were never for Clinton in the first place. PUMA was founded by Republicans who saw the potential in widening the rift by creating the first crack.

The Republican National Committee appears ready to roll out the red carpet for Hillary Clinton supporters, over a newly-registered internet domain

Though the web address does not yet go anywhere, the RNC registered the domain name on May 15, according to whois data from the registrar Network Solutions. That was nine days after Clinton's disappointing showing in the North Carolina primary, which prompted NBC's Tim Russert to declare the race effectively over for Clinton.

An e-mail to two RNC officials about their plans went unanswered Thursday.

The Republicans appear to be capitalizing on the bitter disappointment, anger and disillusionment that Clinton supporters are feeling right now. Much of it is on display on the web in the comments section on both Clinton's website

McCain, Hillary and AP

According to the AP, tensions between Hillary and Obama supporters are about to "boil over". Of course, if you read the article it doesn't mention any specifics of even the slightest hostility. It simply says the Bill Clinton would rather be discussing the economic legacy of the 90's, rather than what he has been asked to discuss which is security. I understand his frustration, but this does not suggest that there is potential for a huge rift to be exposed. The AP loves McCain and is doing everything they can to tighten the race. That's fine. I have gotten around listening and reading AP garbage by removing their feed from my Yahoo mail account.

The bottom line is that the Media is trying to tarnish the convention with wall-to-wall coverage of Hillary Clinton and her supporters. They are playing up McCain's attempt to attract her supporters and giving him free press access to this issue.

That this ad for example...

"'s okay." Besides the fact that people like this are supporting McCain so Hillary can run 2012, they are probably the worst part of this election. They are blaming Obama for beating her. They are blaming the Media's sexism on Obama. If Obama loses (he won't), I blame them.

You know why? Would any self-respecting Dem AND women vote for this?

But according to McCain, she should have been the running mate.

"Ad's narrator: "She won millions of votes - but isn't on his ticket. Why? For speaking the truth, on his plans...The truth hurt, and Obama didn't like it."

Absurd. The convention is under way. I just watched John Legend sing and now Pelosi is up. Let's go!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

McCain pushes Obama/Biden vs. Hillary

The newest McCain ads are quite smart honestly. They have been preparing these for months though. We all knew Hillary wasn't going to be the running mate, so they were just waiting to release the pre-produced ads. The gist is to appeal to more of the bitter Clinton wing by pretending like McCain and the GOP (including FOX) would have selected Clinton. Clinton, once the victim of viscous slander and misogynism, is now the best friend of the GOP. Of course she says differently and praises Biden as the VP choice.

From CNN

"Clinton’s team immediately dubbed the ad misleading. "Hillary Clinton's support of Barack Obama is pretty clear,” said Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand. “She has said repeatedly that Barack Obama and she share a commitment to changing the direction of the country, getting us out of Iraq, and expanding access to health care. John McCain doesn't. It's interesting how those remarks didn't make it into his ad."

Here is his new ad...

Will it work?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama Strategy

Everyone has been whining about the tightening numbers and that Obama is not attacking enough and that he is going to lose and that he's like Kerry or Dukakis or whatever else they are whining about. I understand their concerns to a point, but this is getting pathetic. As I have said before, Obama will win and I believe he is doing a good job. The numbers were going to tighten. This is a Red/Blue country. Obama is still leading by 3-7 in the composite. There was no way a black Democrat was going to walk all over the old white POW. It's almost like people are pretending or intentionally ignoring the dynamics of this race. Obama has the right idea here and let me tell you why.

VP Speculation

I called that Obama would make his selection before the Olympics. He didn't and there is a strategy behind it. What has everyone been talking about for the past two weeks? What does CNN, AP and every other blog write about everyday? They speculate who his VP will be. They write about people speculating about who it will be and they speculate about people speculating who will be the VP. This is free and easy coverage. Obama has thrown so many names around as well. He's listed people from Indiana, New Mexico, Connecticut, the military, Arkansas, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas and many other states. This inclusion plays well to the voters in those states. It shows that Obama is in-line with their worries and their issues. I don't even want to speculate anymore. I will wait for my international text from the Obama camp and then I will go with it. When the announcement is made, it will be all the news for the week. McCain will try to pull something slimy, but it won't stick. This speculation has served him well.

Attack Strategy

This is the one that has the Kossacks and all the other liberal netizens up in arms. "Why is Obama doing this?!!", "He needs to fire his press team!!", "He's worse than Kerry!!" and my personal favorite, "Obama just lost the election!!!". All bloggers assume their wisdom is the best and therefore feel like they can write posts that seem to be talking AT Obama. I do not do that. I talk to myself. Obama has the right strategy on this and the primary season tells us why. Like all GOP strategies, they chose the short-sighted path and tried to interfer with the Democratic primary so the Dems could kill their chances of unifying before convention. They realeased the all the Wright, Rezco and Ayers stuff hoping that Obama would be so bruised and the Hillary hate would allow for a smooth McCain victory. The Wright stuff hurt, but Obama has now cruised past it. If McCain brings it up again, it will only seem stale and a little desparte. It would not be as effective.

This is what Obama was thinking. Let McCain dish out his first round of garbage (of which possessed no substance), endure it and refute it to around convention time. Obama's theme has been more positive, so his convention needs to reflect that. But after convention, the negative ads will start rolling out and the money is going to pour in. He let McCain go first and now McCain's attacks are getting old and most people think that it is a poor reflection on McCain's character. If Obama had started releasing a lot of McCain=Bush ads now, by October that would be stale and not as effective.

The branding starts now. Obama planted the seed and took the high road first. Sure he might have lost a couple points now, but he's only got one place to go.

Here are his new ads airing this week.

Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain Cheated at Saddleback?

Many observers have been discussing the uncharacteristically quick responses McCain gave during his Q & A with Rick Warren during the Saddleback FOF last night. Not only were McCain's answers quick, but on a few occasions, he even went on and answered the next scripted question BEFORE Warren had a chance to ask it.

You be the judge.

The questions to Obama went like this...


Obama: NOT GOOD.


And then he asked the following three questions or leads.




Obama answered each of them. Then McCain went an hour or so later.


McCain: UH-HUH.



Warren: YOU KNOW –

McCain: CAN I –


McCain: CAN I –


You can also watch a video for more proof that he knew what was going on BEFORE being asked.

And each of those "CAN I"'s were attempts to go into his stump. So how did McCain know what the questions were going to be if he was in a "cone of silence"? Because he wasn't and to no surprise at all, he cheated.


Pastor Warren was just on CNN. In an interview with Rick Sanchez the pastor admitted McCain was not even at the Church for the first half hour of the event. This admission comes as a surprise to those of us who watched the event and were told many times that McCain was at the Church and in isolation. CNN says they talked to McCain's camp and they said "no one in his camp was listening". The honor system, are you kidding me?

I think it is pretty clear at this point McCain did indeed know the questions in advance.

According to MSNBC, Obama was aware that this was going on and planned to use this against McCain.

MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that -- what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.


MS. MITCHELL: He seemed so well prepared.

From Newbusters

John McCain can't do well on his own -- that being "so well prepared" means that he heard Obama's answers and then immediately formulated revised responses to what he originally had planned! And Andrea Mitchell barely hesitated to toss that out there, with guest host David Gregory merely offering a rather semi-innocuous "Right" in response.

I wonder what the Obama campaign's reaction (and Andrea Mitchell's for that matter) would have been had the situation been reversed -- if the McCain campaign implied that Obama had "seemed so well prepared" and therefore Obama probably heard McCain's answers to Warren.

My biggest concern is not that McCain came across looking sharp. The debates will put that to rest when he tries to stump, rather than debate. My concern is that if these scumbags are reportedly so brazen enough to cheat in a CHURCH setting, then we better be keeping a close eye on Election day.

Nothing new coming from the GOP these days.

My question: Warren will be in Larry King tonight. Will this be brought up? Will Warren hand this to McCain AGAIN? I hope King rails into him.

Obama and McCain at Saddleback

If you were watching the friendly patty-cake like event that took place at Rick Warrens mega church in sunny California, you either saw a very genuine Barack Obama or a very quick-thinking John McCain. If watched the event twice then you saw an authentic Barack Obama in a somewhat politically hostile environment or John McCain giving a stump speech (which was against the rules).

"John McCain, who has been deemed a “maverick" for years, played the part well and seemed not to play by Warren's guideline. Instead, he took the opportunity during the discussion, carried live by cable news networks, to stick hard to the message he's been driving across the country since running for president. Almost none of the lines or stories were new, but McCain jumped from sharp, brief answers to weaving through his tried-and-true anecdotes, many of which his audience, and Warren, seemed to have never heard before."

And finally, if you watched it three times then you saw Barack Obama dodging pro-life questions and would have started to think that John McCain was not in a silent room, but in fact privied to the questions beforehand.

All in all I think that the forum did not offer too much insight into either candidates religious convictions, rather it was a tease of how the debates are going to be. Obama appeared cool and did well within the confines of the preset conditions of avoiding a stump speech. McCain answered all the questions well and appeased his base, but did not show anything besides well-rehearsed talking points.

However, I cannot spin this as a win. It was not a loss though. Obama showed his true self, but he did so in a vexxing manner that did not sink into the less-complex crowd at the Saddleback mega-churh. McCain, however, did connect with them by relaying personal stories of heroism and failed marriage. If I were to give each candidate a rating, I would give Obama a B and McCain an A-. While the media will use this event as more "Why can't Obama close the deal?" garbage, the numbers will not move in any one's direction. Why?

As pun-ish as it sounds, McCain was preaching to the choir. He summed up his entire existence with with his catch phrases and appealed to his base. He did not win any new voters. In fact, he made it very difficult for those women on the fence to cross to his side with his anti-choice mantra.

I think that this event was some proof the Obama will destroy McCain in the debates.

My reasons are as follows:

1. The Religious forum took place on the same day as Michael Phelps breaking the record for most Gold Medals at an Olympics in the history of the sporting event. If you look at all the news wires that is the big story, not a critique of performances of the presidential candidates. Bottom Line: This provided Obama with general election debate experience, on a day when the forum was not the big story.

2. The one group that was following this event closely and are in a position of influence were the pundits in the MSM. All the performance did was raise the bar for the undecided evangelical crowd for McCain's debate performances in October. The pressure on him will be intense and it will be especially difficult for him to tamp down expectations. Its very rare having an event like this prior to one of the sanctioned presidential debates.

3. Obama now can critique McCain's most recent answer style habits with the moderator (in this case, Warren) and be able to put McCain on the defensive because what we saw from the him were slogans and stand up comedy, not solutions to address the struggles of average Americans. I guarantee that Obama debate prep staff will analyze this video closely and derive some very valuable information from it.

4. Obama was attempting to appeal to a group that was firmly situated in McCain's camp before this event. I feel that moderate evangelicals that want to avoid a Bush third term will focus on the overture by Obama in simply attending this event rather than focus on the style he used. In this case his mere presence as a Democratic nominee in a well known evangelical church provides Obama with the unifying message that he has been advocating on the campaign trail.

Again, I am not saying there was a winner or loser in this event. Both candidates approached it differently.

But what about the young, independent minded evangelicals? To many, McCain was indistinguishable from Bush in his answers and I have to believe that the intelligent young people who have challenged being used by the "Religious Right" would notice that this is just more of the bellicose, unthinking, unfeeling diatribe and see the stirring differences between Obama and McCain.

McCain, as Pat Buchanan said, "was black and white" and Buchanan presented that as a positive. I think that even the Evangelicals of this country are 'burned out' with the rigidity of this point of view.

To the older evangelicals, Obama did not win tonight, but he lost them when he registered as a Democrat. What he didn't do was lose the young evangelicals. In this respect, Saddleback was just what Obama needed. He appeared more church-like and respectful. He came across as someone who actually went to church. McCain blustered in, with all his prepared answers and didn't look into himself at all. (From what I can gather, most thoughtful people of religion do look into themselves as a primary route to their beliefs and ethics and actions. And they can recognize when someone is not willing or able to look inside themselves.)

The fact that McCain used his POW experience as a feint to take attention away from his inability to be thoughtful/religious/spiritual about the questions that were actually asked, is indicative of his religious shallowness.

To me, Obama came across as a person of faith and McCain came across as a political, glad-handing slick operator. But that was my take. I don't think Obama lost to the group he was trying to appeal, the Matthew 25 Group.

To me, the real loser in this forum was Rick Warren. I went into tonight with curiosity about him and have come away with a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed to me that he repeatedly cut off Obama, who was trying to expand on his answers and hurried him on the questions. And yet, he let McCain go on and on and even took McCain back to the Georgia question. The fact that he didn't rein in McCain the way that he did Obama, showed an egregious lack of balance. I think that was disgusting.

It became evident that he was doing a home shopping network promotion for McCain. I am disgusted with Warren.

Recap: The win/loss scenarios...

McCain won the night by appealing to his older base.
Obama lost the night because he wasn't stumpy enough.

McCain won the night because he made all political points.
Obama lost because he only revealed his faith.

Obama won because he stood up for women's rights.
McCain lost because he made his anti-choice beliefs VERY clear.

Obama won because he appealed to a wider-spectrum.
McCain lost because he raised his faux-evangelical bar too high for October.

Obama won because I like him more.
McCain lost because he's difficult to look at or listen to.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Obama's VP will be Clark

I have already made one ballsy prediction this season, and now I am going to make another. The ticket will be Obama/Clark. I am confident about this and while many people have said that no one seems to be talking about Clark anymore, I am certain that he will be the nominee.

That once long list has dwindled down to a short one which features less than ten names. Those names are most likely Bayh, Kaine, Biden, Hagel, Clark and Sebelius. I know that Strickland, Rendell, Casey and Clinton have been tossed around, but they were never in serious consideration. We need Strickland to hold down Ohio for us and Rendell and Casey and doing fine in PA. Hillary Clinton would have none nothing for the ticket and would have only fired up the Right. So why not the others?

It shouldn't be Evan Bayh. While we can't ignore his votes against Bush's Supreme Court nominees and his Senate position in a traditionally Red state, he has sided with the GOP too many times on key progressive issues. Yet, the biggest problem with Bayh is that he aggressively supported the invasion of Iraq. He was an outspoken proponent and was hand-in-hand with McCain and Bush. This would be a huge liability for Obama. It is not worth opening himself up to these kinds of attacks just for the the possibility that Indiana might vote for Obama. Bayh would alienate too many Dems and give the left too much ammo. Obama has run on an anti-war and sound judgement platform. Bayh kicks that image in the face. And he's a puss, so Bayh is out.

Kaine would bring outside-the-Beltway credentials to the campaign. The relationship the two share would seem to fit with Obama's desire to find people who can tell him that he's wrong sometimes. And the governor probably would bolster Obama in Virginia, where the campaign is making an all-out push, but I'm not so sure that adding Kaine to that list would add anymore success to Obama's VA bid. He's probably going to win there and then Kaine would be a waste. Furthermore, Kaine has no foreign policy background, and as a first-term governor, he may add to voters' concerns about Obama's experience. Kaine seems to be popular in Virginia, but he has had trouble dealing with Republicans and has no single defining achievement to point to on the campaign trail. Kaine does not help on any of Obama's weaknesses (foreign policy and experience), so Kaine is out.

Sebelius seems like she would be the perfect candidate. She's pro-choice, anti-death penalty, supported legislation allowing children of undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition rates at colleges and criticized Bush for unilaterally deciding to send the National Guard to the border. She opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She supports Second Amendment rights. She vetoed the voter id law in her state. She's good on health care, including for seniors. She's also good for the ticket since she’s obviously acceptable to Republicans having been twice elected Governor of the normally Republican state of Kansas. In other words, she might even take votes from McCain and put Obama over the top (although I believe he's a shoo-in at this point anyway.) This all sounds good, but the catch is that she's not Hillary Clinton. Will the Hillary voters accept another woman as an option? This is something that Obama must consider. Also, the easy criticism is that the Democratic ticket becomes a double-dose of inexperience at the national level. Neither Obama nor Sebelius have enough experience. But when reality sets in, the bottom line will be, contrary to what I repeatedly said and believed during the entire primary campaign, the devil you know actually is worse than the devil you don't. I'm now ready to buy that pig in a poke. A candidate like McCain with bad foreign policy and domestic views is worse than a candidate with good views who may need a little on the job training. Obama and Sebelius are a far better choice than McCain and another four years of Republican rule. We'll see.

Hagel is a Republican. I wrote about this yesterday. Hagel is out.

Biden would be a great attack dog and an excellent foreign policy addition, but it does not bode well for Obama's change meme. An old white guy that is tough on crime and terror does not fit the mold. Biden is out.

So, that leaves one man for the job: Retired Gen. Wesley Clark. I have written about why Clark needs to be the VP here, here, here, here, here and here. Still, no matter how much I think that he should be the nominee, it wasn't until I read the line up for the DEM convention that I decided it would be Clark. The Vice Presidential candidate speaks at the Democratic Convention on Wednesday night. The theme that night is "Securing America's Future." So the VP candidate is someone who fits with that theme. Also, according to another report I read elsewhere, military veterans are part of the night's theme. Could Gen. Wesley Clark be back in the ballgame? His organization is called "Securing America's Future", the same name as the night's theme.

Is it a tease? Doubt it. Expect Wes Clark to be the VP.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama and Hagel

I am a Democrat. I vote for Democrats and I support Democrats. I would be very upset if the GOP weaseled in on Obama's ticket. I don't care who the hell you are or how many indy voters you can swing. Any member from the GOP should not be on a Dem ticket. Period! For some reason, it is the GOP who is leading the charge. Does anyone not see the problem here? The GOP, the party is virtual ruins, thinks it's a good idea to put the GOP on the ticket. They claim that it would heal wounds and create a more bipartisan atmosphere. If I remember correctly, we are just now emerging from a vicious partisan GOP rule where all dissent was squashed. Why on earth should the Dems offer anything to these scumbags? No, no, no!!!

"Former Republican Rep. Jim Leach endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid Tuesday, and said he hopes the Illinois senator considers a former GOP ally of rival John McCain as his running mate.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters to announce a new effort among Republicans in support of Obama's candidacy, Leach said he thought Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel should join the Democratic ticket.

"There are a number of impressive potential vice presidential candidates and this is a singular decision for one person, and that is Barack Obama," Leach said. "But personally I'd be hopeful in the list of serious candidates to be considered would be Chuck Hagel, whether it be for the veep position or a serious position in an Obama administration."

Sure, Hagel opposes Bush, McCain and war, but since when did those GOP narratives and issues become the cornerstone of the Dem party? Hagel opposes abortion and gay marriage as well as a huge list of other issues on the progressive agenda. No to Hagel. Give him a cabinet job if you must, but that's all!!!

China and Fake Singers

I think that the US and World media is starting to get a little desperate to make their point that China fakes things. The most recent example is that the cute little girl who sang during the opening ceremony was not really singing. It was actually a chubby little girl behind the curtains.

"So in a last-minute move demanded by one of China’s highest officials, the two were put together for the Olympic opening ceremony, with one lip-synching “Ode to the Motherland” over the other’s singing. The real singer, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, with her chubby face and crooked baby teeth, wasn’t good looking enough for the ceremony, its chief music director told state-owned Beijing Radio."

Like the computer generated fireworks, I don't think that people should really care about this. I watched the Opening Ceremony and it was glaringly obvious that she wasn't singing. I could have cared less whose voice it was.

Here are some Chinese citizens' thoughts...

“The little girl is a magnificent singer,” Chen said. “She doesn’t deserve to be hidden.”

“The audience will understand that it’s in the national interest."

"The organizers really messed up on this one,” Luo Shaoyang, 34, a retail worker in Beijing, said Tuesday. “This is like a voiceover for a cartoon character. Why couldn’t they pick a kid who is both cute and a good singer? This damages the reputation of both kids for their future, especially the one lip-synching. Now everyone knows she’s a fraud, who cares if she’s cute?"

"They want the best-looking people to represent the face of China. I don’t blame the organizers for picking a prettier-looking kid over the not-so-pretty one,” said Xia Xiaotao, 30, an engineer."

So, I'm torn. It seems that China is really worried about portraying this (false)image of perfection to the world, yet as I mentioned before, they don't seem to care that they are fanning the "everything in China is fake" flames.

If I were to give advice, I would tell the world media to calm down and realize that we already know what China reputation is. Let it go. And China should stop trying so hard as well. It makes them look desperate for acceptance. You're a major world player, you're nowhere close to perfect (like all nations), so stop lying to yourselves.

McCain and Wikipedia

This has got to be the worst speech I have ever listened to. Besides the fact that the historical references were clearly lifted Wikipedia, he uses the most inappropriate language when talking about it. Can you pick up where he's reading wiki?

"Our thoughts and prayers are with that brave little nation."

Brave little nation? A little shallow McCain. They are fighting and dying over there and images of Disney movies come to mind with that kind of comment. I especially liked this one.

"I spoke with the Georgian president today whom I've known for many years."

Right. They're being invaded and he wants to talk to someone who has nothing to do with his nation and can offer no help. You know, when I was four I met Andy Williams. I've known him for many years now. I also met Wes Clark and have known him for many years as well. Just because you met someone does not mean you can forever claim to have known him or her.

"Today, we are all Georgians."

Give me a fucking break! Thanks McCain, but I am not a Georgian. I'm not going to buy into that weak line. And if you're Georgian, how do YOU say YOUR presidents name?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Russia Halts

While Russia might have called an end to their offensive in Georgia, that certainly doesn't mean that the McCain camp isn't getting ready to flash images on the six-day battle in the next line of ads with some Red Scare-era tallking points backing them up. If Obama wants to fight that well, he needs to highlight the the inability for the US to help due to the uneccessary strain from Iraq and play up his potential role as a dimplomatic President. Again, Clark is perfect for the VP spot. He's got experience all over the map.

Some Humor...

And I thought it was going to be a slow week...

This should slow it down. I like the Cindy comment.

And an oldie.

Obama, McCain and Tire Gauges

It was funny to see the McCain camp make fun of Obama's simple advice of making sure your tires were inflated correctly. As Obama said here, they were mocking what all the experts have been saying. And now the McCain camp has sent out little "Obama's Energy Plan" tire gauges to really drive the point home. The problem with the McCain campaign is that they are terribly short-sighted and people ARE using them to gauge their air pressue and people ARE going and getting their tires checked to make sure they have the proper air pressure.

Georgia-Russia Primer

For those of you not totally schooled in the particular region, here is an excellent primer and the following is an interview with Col. Sam Gardiner, retired Air Force Colonel. He has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College. His recent posts on Georgia have appeared on the blog

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about this area that probably most people in this country have never heard of before.

COL. SAM GARDINER: Yes. It’s very interesting that it is probably what some analysts have called an area of frozen conflicts. After the Soviet Union dissolved, there remained areas in which, despite the fact that new states were created, there were tensions. One of those is the Ossetia or South Ossetia, which is where we’ve seen the fighting, and the other one, inside Georgia, is Abkhazia. There were agreements signed in the early 1990s that sort of solidified these as semi-independent territories. In one, there is a UN peacekeeping force, and then in South Ossetia, there is essentially independence, and, you know, they sort of ran their operations separate from the Georgian government. And then, tensions began to increase over the past few months, because the president of Georgia has promised to retake—his words—retake the—particularly South Ossetia. That was a problem, because, by now, 90 percent of Ossetians there were holders of Russian passports. They had voted to become part of the Russian Federation. There was clear movement in the direction of this enclave, closer and closer ties with Russia. And then, last week, almost without announcement, the Georgians launched a strike into Ossetia with the apparent objective of putting this back under the Tbilisi control, back under the control of the Georgian government. The Russians responded, responded probably in a way that was a great deal surprise to the Georgians, probably was also a surprise to the United States. And as of this morning, the Georgians seem to have pulled out of South Ossetia and the Russians have control of the capital city and are beginning to put in humanitarian aid. The one issue left up in the air has to do with the other enclave, Abkhazia. There was a small portion of that enclave that was controlled by the Georgians. It was called the Kodori Gorge. Operations were launched there yesterday, some on Saturday night, in attempt to dislodge the Georgians and turn that territory over and completely make it independent from Georgian control. So, this morning, the fighting seems to be waning, although there are reports of still air strikes going on. It appears as if we have gotten through the heavy part of the fighting, but certainly not the important strategic consequences.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about significance of this, in terms of nuclear warfare in Russia? Do we have anything to fear along those lines?

COL. SAM GARDINER: Absolutely. Let me just say that if you were to rate how serious the strategic situations have been in the past few years, this would be above Iraq, this would be above Afghanistan, and this would be above Iran. On little notice to Americans, the Russians learned at the end of the first Gulf War that they couldn’t—they didn’t think they could deal with the United States, given the value and the quality of American precision conventional weapons. The Russians put into their doctrine a statement, and have broadcast it very loudly, that if the United States were to use precision conventional weapons against Russian troops, the Russians would be forced to respond with tactical nuclear weapons. They continue to state this. They practice this in their exercise. They’ve even had exercises that very closely paralleled what went on in Ossetia, where there was an independence movement, they intervene conventionally to put down the independence movement, the United States and NATO responds with conventional air strikes, they then respond with tactical nuclear weapons. It appears to me as if the Russians were preparing themselves to do that in this case. First of all, I think they believe the United States was going to intervene. At a news conference on Sunday, the deputy national security adviser said we have noted that the Russians have introduced two SS-21 medium-range ballistic missile launchers into South Ossetia. Now, let me say a little footnote about those. They’re both conventional and nuclear. They have a relatively small conventional warhead, however. So, the military significance, if they were to be conventional, was almost trivial compared to what the Russians could deliver with the aircraft that they were using to strike the Georgians. I think this was a signal. I think this was an implementation on their part of their doctrine. It clearly appears as if they expected the United States to do what they had practiced in their exercises. In fact, this morning, the Russians had an air defense exercise in the southern part of Russia that borders Georgia in which they—it was practicing shooting down incursion aircraft that were incursion into Russia. They were prepared for the United States to intervene, and I think they were prepared—or at least they were wanting to show the United States that their doctrine of the use of tactical nuclear weapons, if the US attacks, was serious, and they needed to take—the United States needs to take Russia very seriously.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Colonel Sam Gardiner about this war that is taking place. Would you call it a war, Colonel Gardiner?

COL. SAM GARDINER: Well, you know, I like that term, and I wish I had invented it: it’s called "frozen conflicts.” It is in resolution of a conflict that’s been around for seventeen years. It was pushed off-center by the Georgians. Even the Georgians were reluctant to declare war. They declared a state of emergency. Certainly, the Russians haven’t declared war. In fact, I guess I would say, Amy, you know, with our war on terrorism, I don’t even know if there’s a definition of “war” anymore. Probably it’s best to call it a very serious conflict that could have been escalated.

AMY GOODMAN: And the significance of the pipeline that is there?

: Well, the United States, beginning about ten years ago, obviously saw the vulnerability of the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf. So the United States pushed very hard to set up a pipeline that went from Baku in Azerbaijan, taking out the Caspian Sea oil, to a port in Turkey, Ceyhan. That oil pipeline carries about one percent of the world’s oil supply. Two weeks ago, that pipeline was blown up in a Turkish area by the Kurdish rebels that the Turks are fighting. There were reports that the Russians had bombed this over the weekend. Reports this morning, however, say—suggest that there hasn’t been an interruption, except that Azerbaijan has shut off flow in the pipeline. So this interferes with a major flow of oil to the economies of the West. It’s an important source of the oil flow.

AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Gardiner, I also wanted to ask you about the presidential candidates’ responses to the conflict—Senator Barack Obama and John McCain—the report coming out about John McCain’s adviser, Scheunemann—


AMY GOODMAN: —who helped a US firm win a Georgian energy firm deal while lobbying for Georgia’s NATO membership.

COL. SAM GARDINER: I must say that I have not heard a lot of good words from the McCain campaign about how to deal with this. It’s painful that the standard answer one gets is the testosterone-based foreign policy that we’ve seen for the last eight years. This is a very complex situation. And John McCain has said earlier that he wants to throw Russia out of the G8. That is absolutely the worst thing the United States could do. Russians have been saying—and the White House has not been listening—“We are a major player, and you have to listen to us.” This is the way the President said the Chinese are major players, and we now listen to them. The Russians have been saying that. The White House has ignored that. I also would say, on the other hand, that this is one of those situations where Obama’s talk about it is probably not a good solution, either. The United States made some errors when it left the impression with the Georgians that our support somehow meant they were free to undertake this operation. That was clearly a bad idea that we communicated with them. The other thing that is significant here is, there is an Israeli dimension to the problem. Israel has been training and supplying the army of Georgia. That’s caused some tensions within Israel, because there are those who believe that this just encourages the Russians to provide conventional arms to the Iranians. Israel has talked about it over the weekend, decided not to stop providing arms to the Georgians. It isn’t over. There are a lot of strategic things that are going to fall out of this. Probably most important is that it’s not now Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, it’s now Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran that our new president is going to have to deal with.

AMY GOODMAN: Colonel Sam Gardiner, I want to thank you for being with us. We’ll certainly continue to follow this conflict. Colonel Gardiner, retired Air Force colonel, has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, as well as the Air War College and the Naval War College

The region is just waiting to implode, so please take the time and get aquianted. I fear that this issue might dominate the November election, unless, of course, Obama comes out firing first.

Step 1: Nominate Gen. Wes Clark...

Bush, Georgia and Iraq

Bush had the gall to say this today:

"Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state.... Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.... We have no doubts about it. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire country and change the

Perhaps the most hypocritical thing ever said in the 21st century. What a fucking putz.

Obama, McCain and Georgia

Expect the next line of attacks against Obama to be related to foriegn policy. With the Georgia-Russia issue flaring up and over-shadowing the Olympics, McCain is getting super excited. He's finally getting what he wants and when he told voters, "My friends, there will be more wars", he is hoping that he was telling the truth.

First of all, if we elect McCain, there will be more wars. That's certain. This guys mind is framed around the concept. He has never won one or had anything to do with a successful one, but he wants them. After all, war scares people and when people are scared they vote for the guy claiming protection. So, if the Media allows McCain and Bush to dictate the narrative like always, then we can guarantee more wars.

Obama should use this opportunity to stress a few points:

1) There is no way that the US can even consider getting involved in this because of our unnecessary depletion of military resources in Iraq.

2) America is not the the police of the world.

3) For once, America needs to look at what the ramifications of such an offensive would be.

Anyone still agree with me about Clark?

Monday, August 11, 2008

China and Fake Fireworks

Not that China needed to do anything else to ensure the word "fake" is synonymous with the Chinese brand and one would think that the Olympics would be a stage somewhat separated from that image. You would think, but the Chinese would not. As if their amazing opening needed something extra, China decided to fake their fireworks for the viewers at home.

"London's Telegraph newspaper reports that some of the fireworks which appeared over Beijing during the television broadcast of the Olympic Opening Ceremony were actually computer generated. "

China actually did shoot the fireworks in question off at the ceremony, but the concerns over helicopter safety led to the "fake" computerized fireworks. I don't really think that this is a big deal, but China is showing very little concern for the main criticism directed at their government and country. Those being fake or dangerously low-quality products and freedom of speech and press.

It'll be interesting to see if these anti-Chinese protests will continue after the Games have ended or if China will be able to continue it's oppression relatively unfettered.

Friday, August 08, 2008

No Values Voters

Nothing beats The Onion...

The Olympics vs. The Perfect 10

What a travesty!

From YahooNews,

"Four years after a series of scoring errors marred the competition at the Athens Olympics, fans who tune into gymnastics once every four years are in for a big shock Saturday. The perfect 10 is passe. Fifteens, 16s—maybe even a, gasp! 17—are all the rage."

Like Fahrenheit, I think it's more accurate, but I don't like that there is no offical perfect score. How do I gauge the creepiness of the Russian gymnasts?

"The FIG’s solution was an open-ended scoring system. Unlike the 10-point scale, where evaluations of artistry and difficulty had to be jammed together, each now gets its own space and, theoretically at least, there is no limit on how high a gymnast can go.

The first score, the difficulty mark, measures how hard the routine is. Starting from zero, the values of the 10 hardest tricks in a routine are added together. The harder the routine, the higher the difficulty score will be.

The second mark is for execution. Starting from 10—the FIG’s way of claiming the 10 still exists—deductions are taken for errors big (wobbles) and small (bobbles).

Olympic Focus

It will be pretty slow politically this week as the Olympics begin and Obama and Congress go on vacation. August is always the slowest political month. We are left with a solid 5-9 point Obama lead, no VP announcements and a series of upcoming ads during the Games. Obama had always planned on airing millions in ads, but McCain had to shore up the cash at the last second to combat his rivals airtime. I'll occasionally report what's happening, but as I said, it will be slow.

The Olympics are much more interesting at this point. We are already getting some pretty juicy repressive stories coming from China.

From the AP with a hat tip to One Free Korea,

The beating of two Japanese journalists by police in western China drew an official apology Tuesday, but Beijing also set new obstacles for news outlets wanting to report from Tiananmen Square in the latest sign of trouble for reporters covering the Olympics. [….]

In the latest restriction, the Beijing city government said on its Web site that Chinese and foreign journalists who want to report and film in Tiananmen “are advised to make advanced appointments by phone.” It said that will help ensure orderly newsgathering amid what are expected to be large crowds in the square on each day of the games, which start Friday.

Beijing’s thousands of taxicabs are being fitted with video cameras and satellite technology that transmits a live audio feed of what is being said in the cab back to a computer for monitoring and linguistic analysis, according to industry sources.

“It was about two or three months ago. All the taxis in our company had this fitted,” an employee at a major Beijing cab company said. “There is a screen which displays the exact location of the vehicle. The taxi is also able to send information back to us at the control station. All the taxis registered with us have had the modifications.”

Sounds like a blast! Permission to film and no trash talk in a taxi.

More and more Olympics to come!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

2008 Ad War: can be tasteless, but I liked this one.

It's funny hearing McCain try to speak with emotion.

McCain Strategy: The Surge

If "change" is Obama's word for the campaign, then "surge" is McCain's. I think this AP quote from McCain pretty much sums up his entire strategy.

"What we need today is an economic surge. Our surge has succeeded in Iraq militarily. Now we need an economic surge to keep jobs here at home and to create new ones," McCain said."

Yeah, those two are related.

Obama's new "The Original" ad

So the latest ads out by Obama are doing just what John Kerry couldn't seem to figure out. He's attacking issues with substance. Moreover, he's finally
publicly tying McCain to Bush in his speeches and ads. In my opinion, this is the best way to defeat McCain without getting too nasty.

Take this ad for instance...

He says nothing untrue and does not personally attack McCain. He simply debunks the maverick label, illustrates McCain's connections to big oil and shows his relationship with Bush. He even throws in a line from a McCain ad. Nice touch all around. This is just what he needs to do to make McCain look like an angry old man who will say anything to win.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

2008 Ad War: Obama wins Round II

Did I just hear Pat Buchanan say that Obama won this battle?

The tides aren't changing, but it's nice to see the Media over Obama's substantive attacks in a better light than McCain's baseless garbage.

It looks like the ad war is tied for now. Keep 'em coming!

Obama, McCain and Landslide

David Brooks is someone that I usually agree with, but his recent article in the NYT is one that I must take issue with it. He is raising the same point that so many people have been raising recently: Why isn't Obama winning by more?

The line of thinking seems to be rooted in the idea that since the Dems are consistently polling with substantial leads, that Obama should be trouncing McCain in the polls. The problem with this is that it doesn't account for the individual candidates. People don't see them as direct reflections of their party, but as the icon that each party might follow.

A presidential election is about the individual running, not the party. Sure, a dominating party will have more registered party members like the Dems are seeing this cycle and the GOP saw last cycle, but that does not necessarily equate to a lock or a shoe-in candidate. This is about the individual and this campaign has produced two very different candidates who appeal to very different types of desires in voters.

Brooks claims that it is Obama's lack of being "of" any establishment that he was involved "in" which leads to derision among voters. This is such an over-analysis and almost a compliment to the average American voter. Especially the low info voters.

Brooks writes,

"He was a popular and charismatic professor, but he rarely took part in faculty conversations or discussions about the future of the institution. He had a supple grasp of legal ideas, but he never committed those ideas to paper by publishing a piece of scholarship.

He was in the law school, but not of it.

This has been a consistent pattern throughout his odyssey. His childhood was a peripatetic journey through Kansas, Indonesia, Hawaii and beyond. He absorbed things from those diverse places but was not fully of them.

His college years were spent on both coasts. He was a community organizer for three years but left before he could be truly effective. He became a state legislator, but he was in the Legislature, not of it. He had some accomplishments, but as Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker wrote, he was famously bored by the institution and used it as a stepping stone to higher things.

He was in Trinity United Church of Christ, but not of it, not sharing the liberation theology that energized Jeremiah Wright Jr. He is in the United States Senate, but not of it. He has not had the time nor the inclination to throw himself into Senate mores, or really get to know more than a handful of his colleagues. His Democratic supporters there speak of him fondly, but vaguely.

And so it goes. He is a liberal, but not fully liberal. He has sometimes opposed the Chicago political establishment, but is also part of it. He spoke at a rally against the Iraq war, while distancing himself from many antiwar activists.

This ability to stand apart accounts for his fantastic powers of observation, and his skills as a writer and thinker. It means that people on almost all sides of any issue can see parts of themselves reflected in Obama’s eyes. But it does make him hard to place."

Let's examine what the average voter actually knows about Obama.

1) Obama went to law school

2) Obama was a community organizer

3) He was in the Illinois State legislator

4) He went to a very black church with an "anti-American" pastor

5) He is liberal

6) He wants to end the war

7) He is black

8) His name is different and maybe a little suspect

9) His father was black and his mother was white

10)He is an excellent speaker

This is what the voters see. They don't get deep into their personal connection with his roots and make their decision from how connected he was to things that he was involved with. Like Brooks often does, he applies the knowledge of his loyal readership to the entire electorate and this misses the point.

This election will not be a landslide because there will never be another landslide election. It will almost always end with only a few points separating the winner and loser. We learned in 2000 that elections are not about the numbers or polls, but about the map. And after looking at the map, only then can you imagine a trouncing. Getting close doesn't amount to shit on the map. McCain might be close in a few states, but that gets him nothing.

I don't buy it Brooks.

Iraq: The Lost Generation

"Everywhere you go in Baghdad these days you see children begging, children working, children who should be in school. The real disaster of Iraq will come when this generation which knows fear, sectarianism and whose heroes are extremists, grows up."

Iraq: The Killing Fields

"People argue about how many Iraqi's have died since 2003. Even conservative estimates say that 90,000 Iraqi's have lost their lives. This is one of the faces of the in Baghdad. This cemetery here used to be a park. It was converted into a graveyard just two years ago. People couldn't play here anymore and so this place is a kind of make-shift cemetery. There have been more than 3000 people buried here in the last two years."

Iraq: The City of Walls

I came to investigate the America military's report that violence is falling in Baghdad. That life in this city is improving. That the US surge has transformed the city. But it has taken me a month to just to organize safe passes through my city. It's a journey that would be impossible for a foreign journalist. What I found contradicts all the official reports. Baghdad is a city where one street is at war with the next. Where the people are more desperate than I have ever seen them. It has been transformed into a city of walls.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

McCain is Oblivious

McCain is running an honorable campaign!!

Even Andrea Mitchell, who was called a liar by the McCain camp, is fighting to make the point that McCain himself is running an honorable campaign. I think it's interesting (and typical) that the pundits are defending McCain by excusing him from taking responsibility for his nasty and low-class ads. They are letting him off the hook by callously passing the blame to his advisers. And they are doing it for him!! He doesn't even have to spoon feed them narratives anymore!

Mitchell says,

"They're traveling. They're giving speeches. They don't see what we all see...we're fixated on this stuff. They don't know."
It seems to me that Obama is not releasing these kinds of baseless attacks. It seems to me Obama is tuned in to what is going outside his campaign. It also seems to me that by phrasing it as "they", rather than "him" or "McCain", they are trying to include Obama in McCain's clueless, uninformed and (literally) spoon-fed bubble.

Maybe this is good though. What needs to be read into this and perhaps the media intended to make this point (HA!), is the insinuation that McCain just relies on what his advisers tell him. This would make sense since he still claims to believe that he is running an honest and honorable campaign.

I think that McCain's admitted incompetency to personally engage with the (wired and technological) world is proving to be a serious liability.

Here's a candidate who is missteps over the simplest historical, political and geographical facts. He has confessed to know very little about the economy or how to operate a computer. He flips and flops on every issue, but still does not have the wherewithal to know that millions of us can watch his daily panderings. And now, we are learning that he relies on what advisers are telling him which he accepts as truth and that they are his only contact to the outside world.

And we thought Bush was bad.

Free Speech Zone

You gotta hate these damn things, but at least Obama and the DNC is allowing protesters.

"The protest zone at Invesco Field on the final night of the Democratic National Convention will be located in a VIP parking lot north of the stadium, and will have a clear view of Invesco, city officials said today. Protesters will be allowed to use bullhorns, and the city will provide a stage, amplification equipment, and at least two speakers that will be located outside the zone and pointing toward Invesco Field at Mile High."

It'll be intersting the see the GOP protesters herded around. They usually get a little violent. Especially this one...

Obama, Bayh and Clinton

Before I get into why Obama might tap Bayh as his running mate, we must remember Hillary Clinton and her wing of the Democratic Party. First of all, I do not think that Obama should allow himself and his supporters to be bullied by people like Geraldine Ferraro into "offering" Hillary the spot. Strategically, Hillary wouldn't add much to the ticket beyond the shallow appearance of unity to appease her embittered supporters. Apparently, there are still some out there who think that Obama should be "gracious" enough to offer her the spot first, so she can decline it. I don't think he should be "gracious" at all. She ran a nasty campaign and surrogates like Geraldine Ferraro made it worse by claiming he was winning because of his race. Right. A black man named Barack Hussein Obama had an advantage. Right.

Still, they are out there. From Politico...

Ferraro, a Clinton supporter who in 1984 became the first woman on a major party presidential ticket, said Obama should be “gracious” enough to offer Clinton the vice presidency, considering how narrow the race was.

Marcia Pappas, who heads the New York state chapter of the National Organization for Women, believes that Clinton supporters “would be outraged to know she was not given that right of first refusal.”

“She is the only woman in history who has ever garnered this much support,” Pappas continued. “She is the only woman in history who was able to raise the kind of money one would need to run a presidential campaign.”

Pamela Sumners, who directs the Missouri chapter of the abortion-rights group NARAL, added that Clinton “is now seen as the reigning dean of the women’s movement. It’s sort of Moses gets all the way to the mountain and doesn’t get to the promised land — and I think there would be people really angry about that.”

So, unless your name is Hillary Clinton, you should not be in consideration.

My question: Hillary Clinton has done some extraordinary things in public office and has shattered many glass ceilings. That's clear. But is it fair that other women (some of which might be in consideration for the VP spot) are forced to break through Hillary's ceiling and reach for their own? Let me rephrase: Why is Hillary the only who can is allowed to break the glass ceiling?

Obama/Bayh 08!!!

As reported by Huffington

"I'm going to put my neck out on the line by making a prediction. Barack Obama will announce his vice-presidential choice Wednesday morning. It will be Indiana Senator Evan Bayh."

And the reasoning is quite sound. The timing mirrors my predictions as well.

Here's Huffs reasoning:

1)The Olympics start on Friday and run until the Democratic convention starts. He won't want to compete with the Olympics for press coverage. He'll announce before the Olympics starts. If he announces on Wednesday morning, he'll get coverage all day and be on the news cycle until the Opening Ceremonies knock him off the top spot.

2)Barack Obama is coming to the state on Tuesday afternoon for a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana. He'll be attending with Evan Bayh. The press has been told to plan on staying until Wednesday afternoon/evening. Why would he spend so much time in Indiana with nothing on his public calendar?

3)Staying around Indiana allows Obama and Bayh to travel to Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio - all important states in this election. When you've just announced your VP, those are states you'll want to visit - especially since Bayh's reputation will help the most in those states.

4)The website is taken. For a tiny sliver of time late last week, you could type in the URL and you'd be forwarded to another site. Where do you think it took you? The Democratic Party website...

Sounds pretty solid to me, but we'll see...

The GOP, Ronald Reagan and Obama

We have heard every single Republican who has run for office in the last twenty years mention or claim to be inspired by Ronald Reagan. They talk about it with honor and pride. They all try to claim a little piece of the Reagan Empire as their own and it's so great to watch them try to come up with new names to call the Reagan era. McCain's is the best.

"I was a foot-soldier in the Reagan Revolution."

As many presidential historians have been discussing for months, this campaign is eerily similar to 1980. We have an established insider who has the conventional attributes of an American president and then we have this new face; a challenger.

This video captures that sentiment.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Birthday Obama

Happy Birthday Obama!!! Here's to turning 47 and eating the soon-to-be 72 year old alive come November...

According to John McCain, I thought he was born on December 25th. No wait. Maybe John McCain was born on December 25th, 0000. That's it...

Why Does McCain Challenge Obama to Debate?

McCain has been making all sorts of threats and challenges to Obama for additional debates and town hall meetings. Obama has played it cool and wisely opted for the traditional three debates. He understands how the media works and why it is important to stay out of the limelight in certain forums. McCain doesn't really get this, but it has been rumored that he isn't allowing the press access to him on the road anymore.

McCain likes to make the big talk and feed the media "Obama backs down to McCain debate challenge" narratives and other useless AP headlines. Yet, when I see this type of thing coming from McCain so regularly it makes me think: Maybe he should be debating this guy OR I can't wait until the debates when Obama buries McCain.

Here is McCain's response to a very straight-forward question.

My question: It is very clear that McCain stumbles through even the simplest questions. Do you think he is challenging Obama to debate so he can try to get the narrative out there (like Bush did) that he might not be so eloquent with words, but he speaks with substance or truth(iness) or honor or whatever adjective distracts people from the empty suit this guy is?

It seems that using Obama's orating skills against him is the only way McCain can spin this.

Presidential Poll Update

As I have been whining about for the past few weeks as some numbers seem to be tightening (ignore Gallup), you have to look at the composite polls and not one single poll. I have to remind myself of this often, otherwise I will start to hyperventilate.

Here you go...

Research 2000: Obama 51% McCain 39% Barr 3% Nader 2%

Democracy Corps: Obama 49% McCain 43% Barr 3% Nader 1%

CNN: Obama 51% McCain 44% Nader 6% Barr 1%

Pew: Obama 47% McCain 42%

As you can see, Obama has anywhere from a 5 to 12 point lead. Something to look at is how these polls are including Barr and Nader, but it doesn't look like voeters are breaking from Obama, but rather from McCain. McCain's biggest problem with Barr and Nader is that he has very little enthusiam surrounding his campaign. That could be a reason his numbers are being hurt by Barr while Obama's seem to remain fairly static.

Interesting tidbit from the historical cross-tabs. In August 2004, voters "strongly" behind Bush were 32%, and for Kerry they were 28%, meaning the election firmed up pretty quickly, even over the summer. You were either FOR or AGAINST Bush.

This go around the situation is eerily similar to Clinton's elections in the 90s, with 24% of voters strongly backing Obama, vs. 17% strongly backing McCain (17% is a paltry number, btw)...

Looking back historically, in August 1992, Clinton's "strong" voters were at 24%, and Bush Sr's were at 14%. Similar situation in 1996 w/ Dole. Ironically, however, during both of those elections, Perot was able to steal away a lot of voters, and so because Clinton's strong voters were higher, he was able to retain support and consistently polled in the 50s.

What I SUSPECT will happen is that voters will eventually break for Obama after the conventions, especially given his substantial lead among strong supporters...

What do you guys think?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Typical Voters?

I don't live in the US, so I don't get to have small talk with people and see how interested they actually are in the season.

Is this typical?

I know the people are a little off, but is this the kind of stuff that you're hearing? Also, it's black day for America when Lou Ferrrigno is voting for McCain.