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The Blow-out begins?

by Frank Schnittger Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 09:20:54 AM EST

Like many inveterate poll watchers, I have been keeping a close eye on sites like Real Clear Politics, Pollster.com, and fivethirtyeight.com for signs as to how the US Presidential campaign is going.  The Palin Bounce really gave me the heeby-jeebies because it seemed to derail the whole Presidential campaign in the MSM and put a stop to what I had thought would be a major Obama bounce after the triumphant Democratic Convention in Denver.  And had it not been for reality intruding, in the shape of the Wall Street implosion, McCain might still hold the initiative now.

I have long been of the view that Obama would have to run a near perfect campaign to overcome the conservatism, xenophobia, prejudice and and gullibility of much of "main street" America in the face of a concerted MSM and corporate campaign against any fundamental change in how the USA is run.  But it couldn't get much better than this:  a superb ground game, great speeches, unflappable public appearances, a reassuringly competent performance in the debate and now, seemingly the clincher:  appearing bipartisan and Presidential in the bail-out crisis whilst McCain flaps about.

Obama's progress in the polls since the Palin bounce has been solid if not spectacular, indicating a close fought, but by no means assured win in November.  However he seemed to hit at ceiling at about 3-5% lead in the poll averages and statistical trends, and some big swing states - such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Indiana were proving difficult nuts to crack.  Until Now.


This morning Quinnipiac gave Obama leads of 8% in Florida and Ohio - two states where Obama had been consistently behind, and a whopping 15% lead in Pennsylvania - a state which up until very recently, was very marginal for Obama.  Interestingly, that was a 9 points better than a poll they took just before the debate.  One particularly fact free piece in Real Clear Politics No Winners or Losers even called the debate a tie, despite the fact that every poll taken afterwards showed Obama gaining ground with all demographics and on all the key questions which have surrounded his candidacy.

We shouldn't read too much into any one set of polls of course, but the trend has been solidly towards Obama now for a couple of weeks and many former McCain States have broken Obama's way by increasingly clear margins.  Real Clear Politis "No toss-up States" chart now has Obama/Biden leading McCain/Palin by 348 to 190.

The bail-out fiasco is now also being increasing factored into the voting trends, with McCain losing partly because it puts the focus of the debate away from "national security" to the "economy" where McCain is most closely associated with the Bush economic disaster and the Neo-conservative deregulation meme.  But McCain compounded his problems by seeking to take credit for the Bail-out negotiations, which then rebounded on him when the Bail-out deal was rejected by his own Republican Base in Congress.

Democrats are now salivating at the prospect of Biden taking on Palin in tomorrow's debate, but here I would sound a severe note of caution:  Palin could actually "win" that debate in the MSM generated "popular mind".  The problem is simply this: Popular debates are not about facts and figures or even great displays of knowledge and experience.  They are about who comes across as the most likable and representative of how people like to see themselves - and here Palin has a clear lead in the polls. As Andrew Halcro has noted:

What it's like to debate Sarah Palin

When he faces off against Sarah Palin Thursday night, Joe Biden will have his hands full.

I should know. I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do.

snip---------

Unfortunately for Biden, if recent history is an indicator, experience or a grasp of the issues won't matter when it comes to debating Palin.

On April 17, 2006, Palin and I participated in a debate at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks on agriculture issues. The next day, the Fairbanks Daily News Miner published this excerpt:

"Andrew Halcro, a declared independent candidate from Anchorage, came armed with statistics on agricultural productivity. Sarah Palin, a Republican from Wasilla, said the Matanuska Valley provides a positive example for other communities interested in agriculture to study."

On April 18, 2006, Palin and I sat together in a hotel coffee shop comparing campaign trail notes. As we talked about the debates, Palin made a comment that highlights the phenomenon that Biden is up against.

"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.

While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin's knowledge on public policy issues never matured - because it didn't have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.

Palin is a master of the nonanswer. She can turn a 60-second response to a query about her specific solutions to healthcare challenges into a folksy story about how she's met people on the campaign trail who face healthcare challenges. All without uttering a word about her public-policy solutions to healthcare challenges.

In one debate, a moderator asked the candidates to name a bill the legislature had recently passed that we didn't like. I named one. Democratic candidate Tony Knowles named one. But Sarah Palin instead used her allotted time to criticize the incumbent governor, Frank Murkowski. Asked to name a bill we did like, the same pattern emerged: Palin didn't name a bill.

And when she does answer the actual question asked, she has a canny ability to connect with the audience on a personal level. For example, asked to name a major issue that had been ignored during the campaign, I discussed the health of local communities, Mr. Knowles talked about affordable healthcare, and Palin talked about ... the need to protect hunting and fishing rights.

So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.

On the other side of the stage, if Palin is to be successful, she needs to do what she does best: fill the room with her presence and stick to the scripted sound bites.

And unfortunately, that is about all the debate format will allow.  A lot will depend on whether the moderator challenges Palin's non-answers - because for Biden to do so might make him look arrogant and a bully.

There are others problems which could emerge for Obama.  Democrats could be outmaneuvered on the Bail-out bill. They could end up being held responsible for a very unpopular measure.  The focus of the campaign could switch back to national security if some terrorist outrage or manufactured war breaks out.  

Its not over till the fat lady sings. However the count-down has begun and early voting has started in Ohio at a time when Obama has hit a new peak.  Time is running out for McCain to turn this thing around, and increasing numbers of voters have already made up their minds.  Opinions are hardening and will be more difficult to change in the future.  Even a "bad" debate by Biden probably won't matter all that much, because when crises occur people look to experience and gravitas to provide a solution - not some newbie from Alaska who thinks that living close to Russia provides her with foreign policy experience.

Display:
"Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, 'Does any of this really matter?' " Palin said.

Bingo.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 09:28:37 AM EST
The Q poll is a big deal.  Q was right there is 2004, and it actually tends to have a slightly Republican-favoring house effect, historically.

I don't think the leads are that wide, but I do think Obama is pulling into the lead in Florida and Ohio.

The fact that McCain is in Independence, Missouri, today should tell you all you need to know.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 09:45:51 AM EST
I agree - Ohio and Florida will be tight.  But the very fact that they are now very much in play forces McCain to divert campaign resources there.  McCain HAS to win here.  For Obama it would be a bonus.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:02:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as the bailout goes, I'm not sure it's the biggest factor. Convention bounces are expected.

The clincher was the debates where many independents were surprised not to see a scary black man answering questions.

by Upstate NY on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:16:56 AM EST
Obama could still lose this - or at best only just scrape a win.

First, the bail-out plan. People are furious, and if the Rs can pin it on the Dems that will hammer down his lead. And, right on cue...

Secondly, all Palin has to do to win is avoid facts, tone down the natural condescension, look all simpering gee-shucks and go-getting soccer-mom-ish, and drop in content-free Joe Sixpack talking points. She's good at spinning questions into bullshit, and if she looks like a charming but convincing populist that will take another few points off Obama's lead.

If she's seen as mean spirited, she's toast. She can burble on about whatever she wants otherwise - many of the undecideds won't notice.

Biden has a tougher time because he has to show he knows what he's doing without being condescending or mean spirited.

He can't ignore her - that really didn't work for McCain, and it won't work for Biden. He can't beat her into the ground, because that would be a disaster.

Going Obama and being firm but gentlemanly would do it. But Biden probably won't find it any easier to be Obama than Palin will to be fact-based and clue rich about anything much.

Should be interesting.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:17:24 AM EST
... aground on a glittering generality that is a glittering generality that Obama has given which McCain pretended was some massive demonstration of incompetence and inexperience.

Doesn't matter much if Obama has an end game on McCain wanting to put Social Security accounts on Wall Street.

I expect that to be launched at one of the two remaining Presidential debates, then rammed home in Florida, Ohio, Indiana to put McCain on the defense in must win states.

After all, without the white seniors vote, McCain is toast.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"right on cue..."

The House Democrats were given the antidote for the effects of their having taken a bite of the poisoned apply when the bail-out bill was rejected by House Republicans.  So the Senate Democrats double the dose of poison and eagerly prepare for their bite.  Too bad all Senators are not up for reelection. They are so deeply in the tank for the corporate elite that they can't even see the consequences of their own actions.  Not even a majority could have this profound a death wish.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blew a gasket when I read that earlier today.

The bill is very likely to pass in the Senate.  

Our only hope is someone puts a Hold on it.  (Sanders maybe?)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or that the House defeats it again.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about this:

Sanders puts a Hold on it and then someone in Dodd's offices leaks it was McConnell.

:-)

(Vicious bastard.  Ain't I?)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:31:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like it, but Dodd would likely go after Sanders before hitting McConnell.  Remember, we're Democrats -- the Mets fans of politics.  We eat our own.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Our very own copy of "Obsession" contaminated our mail today.  

I wonder if there is a link between McCain's plumbenting poll numbers and the arrival of that CD?

Or if we could make one up?  (Heck.  The Right does it all the time.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jesus, how many of these stupid things are they mailing out?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:26:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mathematical term as derived from Number Theory, Measurement Analysis, and Group Theory -- and I'm sure Migeru will back me up on this! - is: a whole bunch.

Billy-uns and Billy-uns, to quote Carl Sagan.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A cross between 'dropping rapidly' and 'being flushed down the toilet?'

I meant "plummeting."

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:36:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
God I love Hunter's rants.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:17:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh oh.  Could the congressional Dems really be that stoopid?  Whatever Obama's personal instincts - does he want to win this election, or what?

Why appease dissident Republicans when there are Dissident Dems who could give you a majority - if you really want a bill that badly?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:24:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only reality based reason I can see for coupling the bail-out with retention of Bush tax cuts is to insure that the money continues to flow from Wall Street to Democrats' campaign funds.  And that they have drunk too much of the Cool-Aid.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about now they can say that the only reason that the Reps have agreed is for the squalid reason of getting tax cuts for themselves. Everyone knows that the Dems aren't interested in cutting taxes, so it can't be their fault.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:44:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People aren't furious.  People are scared.  They don't know what the bailout is, so they don't know if it's good or bad.  On the one hand, it's about even in the polls on support and opposition at this point.  On the other hand, most believe the crisis will worsen if it's not passed.

Which probably means the wording in the polls is the deciding factor, so the polling data is bullshit on it.

In any event, as McCain and Palin have already expressed support, the GOP is limited in its ability to take advantage.  Plus, all the vulnerable Dem incumbents voted No.

Biden will be fine as long as he keeps his voice down.  All he needs to do is answer the questions.  Let Palin kill herself.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People aren't furious.  People are scared.
It is not the people who are the problem right now; that honor goes to the dumb-ass Senate Democrats.  The people will become the problem if this double give away passes.  Then it will become the club the Republicans will use to win the election.  It is a great gift to the Republicans by the Senate Democrats.

I cannot see why no one but me proposes doing something to actually save the real economy by creating new banks.  Then we could watch with more satisfaction the bondfire of the financial parasites.  And we would have some unused fire extinguishers to use where it might help.  Letting the former investment banks burn would be a great benefit to the real economy.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:15:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we have to have credit institutions then they should be in public ownership.

But I really don't think credit institutions are actually necessary any more.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it then your opinion that there is no danger of a credit freeze without a bailout or other action?  The Fed has been flooding the market with "liquidity."  What about the danger of the Fed being underwater with toxic assets and having no real assets available.  Letting banks borrow toxic assets in return for toxic assets as security?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The credit freeze has nothing to do with liquidity and everything to do with solvency. If you think your counterparty bank's balance sheet looks as shitty as yours, then you won't deal with him.

This proposed $700 billion "bail out" covers losses to Bank capital to date.

If it goes ahead there'll be a "Dead Cat Bounce", but the banks will just hoard the cash because there are plenty more losses where the $700bn came from, particularly as the real economy declines.

Bank losses will run to trillions.

And don't forget that this is still only Bank capital.

My "Peak Credit" argument is that bank capital was only a part of the capital base supporting the gigantic Mother-of-All-Bubbles.

The rest was those investors to whom Banks had essentially outsourced (via securitisation, credit derivatives, credit insurance all diced and sliced) their implicit guarantee (ie "credit risk")of the borrowers credit - which I argue is the true economic function of credit intermediaries.....

These investors - the so-called "Shadow banking system" have gone - and the losses in the sector are astronomic - except no-one knows how astronomic....

Bottom line is that property prices have a long way to go as a Depression kicks in.

I do not see any sizable US or UK banks surviving the next phase.

The system will therefore be de facto nationalised, and will be recapitalised by government money.

I don't think the US can last much longer without having to call a Creditors' Meeting, frankly.

The Bretton Woods II I bang on about.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RTE: European powers to meet on financial crisis (1 October 2008)
Europe's four big economic powers - France, Britain, Germany and Italy - will meet on Saturday in Paris for talks on the global financial crisis, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker said today.

Juncker, Luxembourg's finance minister and chairman of the committee of euro zone finance ministers, said that the four would meet as European members of the Group of Eight industrialised nations.

The French presidency did not confirm the timing of the meeting, however, although President Nicolas Sarkozy had previously said he wants the talks in order to prepare for a later international summit on the global crisis.



A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CC
If you think your counterparty bank's balance sheet looks as shitty as yours, then you won't deal with him.

-Skip-

Bank losses will run to trillions.

-Skip-

I do not see any sizable US or UK banks surviving the next phase.

All of these cited factors seem to me to be reasons to create a group of new, uncontaminated banks with adequate capital to finance day to day economic activity.  This is not to solve the crisis, but just to mitigate the damage to the economy.  This process will take a while, and it would be good not to lose any more people than we must in the meanwhile.

I have no problem with new national banks operated by the government, but they are a more difficult sell than new banks funded by the government that will be available for purchase in a few years. All I am proposing is a process I believe will be more palatable  to the US electorate.

We should be very careful as to what we allow the government to purchase from existing institutions.  They should be real assets only.  Let those who set up leveraged derivatives etc deal with those instruments as best they can.  Some must just be allowed to burn themselves out.  Else at some point soon the only options will be formal default or rampant inflation.  Either is to be avoided if possible.  Unsustainable government guarantees will only hasten the end.

What is wrong with this analysis?  I am all ears.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:25:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All of these cited factors seem to me to be reasons to create a group of new, uncontaminated banks with adequate capital to finance day to day economic activity.  This is not to solve the crisis, but just to mitigate the damage to the economy.  This process will take a while, and it would be good not to lose any more people than we must in the meanwhile.

I realised today that we're all busy watching the US election race and the global banking domino topple and stock market crash and housing price crash... but information about the real economy is being buried so I have no idea how bad this is in terms of lost jobs or failed businesses in the real economy. Which is really annoying.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Irish unemployment rate is going up an an unprecedented rate,  Housing starts in August were 70% DOWN ON THE SAME MONTH LAST YEAR.  A 7Billion black hole has just appeared in the Governments finances.  This is an economy which is not just sliding into recession, it is falling off a cliff.  The Government had to do something pretty dramatic.  Whether what was done will have the desired effect I am not qualified to say, partly because Ireland is such a small fish in a very large pond and a lot depends on what happens elsewhere.

This whole saga illustrates just how broken the international banking system is.  I suspect that fairly dramatic state intervention is the only solution in the short term.  The question is whether taxpayers are getting a fair return for the enormous risks they have taken on.  I will be really interested to see what constitutes "a commercial return" the Government has promised to extract from the banks in return for the guarantee.

This is whee the EU "state aids" rule could come in very useful.  If this results in the Banks having to make major contributions to state coffers in return for having their deposits guaranteed, it could also help to cover the black hole in the state's finances.  The most odious aspects of the US "free market" philosophy is that private capital always seems to be allowed to monopolise the gains - whilst the state gets no credit or benefit for provide that free market space in the first place.

It's time capitalist paid a realistic "rent" to the state for the use of the state's legal and administrative infrastructure without which no market can operate.  A market is only "free" because the state makes it so.


Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 07:53:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NBC Evening News with Brian Williams Wednesday reported that traffic in auto dealers was down 50% in Sept. and that sales by Ford, GM and even Toyota were down >30%. Major auto dealers are folding and laying off people.  This Christmas sales will probably be down more than they were in 1971.  The LA job market was frightening that fall, as I know personally.  Newspapers were hurting from the decline in classifieds.  Nixon instituted price controls.  A memorable time.

The studio owner I worked with in those days bought the old Hollywood Reprographics Building on Cahuenga, 50'x150', running through to Ivar on the back, for about $150,000.  That summer an acquaintance purchased a beautiful house adjacent to State Park land in the Santa Monica Mountains with a view of the valley for $40,000.  Several aerospace companies were in bankruptcy as spending on Viet Nam began to wind down.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 10:34:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have long been of the view that Obama would have to run a near perfect campaign to overcome the conservatism, xenophobia, prejudice and and gullibility of much of "main street" America in the face of a concerted MSM and corporate campaign against any fundamental change in how the USA is run.

Well, Obama has been near perfect in avoiding arousing the ire of "MSM and corporate" elites, much to the concern of almost anyone to the left of Richard Nixon.  I remain convinced that this actually represents his instinctive position.  That, combined with the Senate Democrats rush to combine the Paulson bail-out with an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich as irresistible bait for Republican support for the bill in the House.....words fail me!

I am beginning to agree with Sven: Let McCain win and wait for 2012.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:05:01 AM EST
ARGeezer:
I am beginning to agree with Sven: Let McCain win and wait for 2012.

You could be waiting forever.  Things can get worse as well as better. There is no bottom to the depth of human depravity to which a society can sink.  Think Germany c. 1929.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:18:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure this has made the rounds here, but McCain offhandedly said he has long aspired to be a dictator to the editorial board of The Des Moines Register. Here it is in context, in case anyone somehow has missed this... 0:36 seconds into this clip.

Here's an YouTube mash-up:

by Magnifico on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Better quality, full context.

36 seconds in.

by Magnifico on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That might resonate... Welcome to the 1930's.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:18:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am beginning to agree with Sven: Let McCain win and wait for 2012.

Let McCain win and there may not be a 2012.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The way it is starting to look, it may be only slightly worse if McCain is elected than if Obama is.  What would be truly frightening would be a Palin Presidency or a well masked, long McCain incapacity.  I will still vote for Obama, but I am rapidly losing what little optimism I had that fundamental improvements might result from that.  If they make permanent Bush's tax cuts, that guts Obama's program for change and makes subsequent repeal and reform much more difficult.

Is Rove using orbital mind control lasers here?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remember we're just kicking the can past Election Day. There's no telling what Obama will do. Or McCain, or Palin. But the last two are insane.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:25:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the choice - someone who may or may not be disappointing, or a pair of proto-fascist kooks who make Nixon look like Miss Manners.

If it were me I'd take the bet. No matter who Obama turns out to be, this shouldn't even be a question - because Obama won't be fixing the Supreme Court with yet more craziness, banning abortion, and starting wars because he's too stupid to realise the outcome.

Expect a Palin/McCain (sic) win to come down hard on basic press freedoms, including those of bloggers. And that's likely to be one of the least bad results.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but it's impossible to go on with righteous episodes if you take the bet, and, really, where's the fun in that?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:05:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's impossible to go on with righteous episodes if you take the bet
LIKE HELL IT IS!

That may be true if you were a starry-eyed Obama believer but just taking the best of poor alternatives in no way prevents subsequent scathing criticism of a putative president Obama.  He is the one who promised a "new kind of politics."  If he massively fails to deliver then we could get the reaction that would take us irretrievably down the road to fascism, (i.e. just a little further,) and this would cause Obama to go down in history as the weakling that let democracy fail in the USA.  Perhaps that prospect will help him to find the spine and the stomach to do what needs to be done.

I don't think he can deliver significant change with the current political system and I have no confidence that soaring rhetoric alone will do it.  I fear that he lacks the stomach for the fight that will have to be waged to secure any real change.  Plus, it could get him killed.  But then we would have Biden.  That is some consolation.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be true if you were a starry-eyed Obama believer but just taking the best of poor alternatives in no way prevents subsequent scathing criticism of a putative president Obama.

No, this is not what I said.  Read the comment again, please.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:06:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I don't see your meaning.  Please explain so a bonehead like me can understand. :-)

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meh, more snark than anything.  Was just saying there's nothing to be gained by allowing them the chance to ruin the country permanently.  At least Obama offers a shot at getting things moving in the right direction again.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you say so, but I do intend to vote for Obama for those reasons and hope for the best.  If we get a new kind of politics it will be because he finds he can's survive with the old type.  The new kind of politics he has been talking about seems to be new primarily in tone and style than in substance, but that has kept the corporatist quarter quiet.  I would be very pleased to be pleasantly surprised.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sums up my view.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW: I'm with Kos on the "new politics" thing.  Maybe Obama believes that shit, but I don't.  We win and get stuff done the way all campaigns win and get stuff done: By beating the other side senseless and earning a mandate.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:59:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New ad from Planned Parenthood on Palin's rape kit problem:

Running in Missouri, Wisconsin and Northern Virginia.

Ought to run it everywhere, but Missouri is the key.  Missouri would be a stake through the heart of the McCain campaign.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:10:20 AM EST
And arguably unfair.

Just like the CNN article that this ad cites.

The article quite explicitly states that there is no evidence that Palin was aware of this policy, much less instigated it:

Interviews and a review of records turned up no evidence that Palin knew that rape victims were being charged in her town.

<...>

He [former state Rep. Eric Croft, a Democrat, who sponsored the state law requiring cities to provide the examinations free of charge to victims] does not recall discussing the issue with then-Mayor Palin.

<...>

[Judy] Patrick [Palin's deputy mayor and friend] was also a member of Wasilla City Council, and she doesn't recall the issue coming before council members, nor does she remember discussing the issue with Palin.

<...>

Before Palin came to City Hall, the Wasilla Police Department paid for rape kits out of a fund for miscellaneous costs, according to the police chief who preceded Fannon and was fired by Palin. That budget line was cut by more than half during Palin's tenure, but it did not specifically mention rape exams.

Furthermore,

During the time Palin was mayor of Wasilla, her city was not the only one in Alaska charging rape victims.

The whole case that Palin personally favored and/or pushed for this policy is based on speculation, circumstantial evidence and insinuations by her political opponents (like Croft and former governor Tony Knowles).

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:11:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this lead, which is essentially based on this post in Huffington Post:

New Evidence: Palin Had Direct Role In Charging Rape Victims For Exams

Definitely provides a lot more insight on what was in that CNN article, including a more detailed description of the line item in the budget Palin slashed that covered rape kits.

Also points to actual Wasilla city budget documents from Palin's tenure as city councilor and then mayor (most of which unfortunately I cannot open, because they are in a particular version of PDF format that is not readable by Mac Preview).

In the midst of writing a long response about how the smoke was getting thicker and warmer, but it was still only smoke, I thought I came upon a fairly strong argument as to how the information in these pages actually exonerate Palin if not conclusively, then at least very probably.

But I am extremely sleepy, and I don't trust my thinking anymore.  I'll look over what I wrote after I get some sleep, and if it still makes sense to me when I wake up, I'll post it to see if it makes any sense to you.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't cut a budget line in half without asking what it's used for - and if you don't ask you are still responsible for the injustices it creates

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger: and if you don't ask you are still responsible for the injustices it creates

That's just it.  I think what the data in those pages actually tell you is that there was an injustice, but Palin was not the one who created it.  To be more specific, I think the Wasilla police department's practice of charging rape victims for those medical exams may have been happening since at least as far back as 1994, the first year the police department drew up a full budget, and two years before Palin became mayor.

But again, I am not sure if my thinking and interpretation of the information is correct.

I should try to find out whether the police in Alaska is legally required to perform medical exams on sexual assault victims in all cases (barring exceptional circumstances).  (If exams are not done in all cases, then it could explain why key budget numbers on those pages don't seem to add up.)

Another question to answer is:  Is it possible that some if not most of the costs for the medical exams were paid for by the Alaska State Troopers, as is the case for municipalities that do not have police departments (such as Wasilla at least until it established its own police department in 1993... and maybe longer?)?

In short, it is quite possible -- and quite likely, if I am reading the budget and medical exam cost numbers right -- that Palin simply inherited a mayorship in which the practice of charging victims was a fait accompli.

Now that, does not rule out the possibility that as a councilperson between 1994 and 1996 she was not instrumental, or at least aware, in the emergence of that policy.  But again: pure speculation.

The case against her on this matter is not solid by a long shot.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Palin wore gloves so as to leave no fingerprints?  Do you really think she was/is deeply opposed to such injustices?  Let her speak out and then the ads can be withdrawn.  Fair is fair! And what passes for fair for one can pass for fair for the other.  Besides, the ad is from Planned Parenthood, not the Obama campaign.  Might have to send them some money!  Wouldn't be the first time.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Victim in rape ad not from Palin's town

[Tait Sye, a Planned Parenthood spokesman] said Gretchen [the woman in this ad] is from Illinois and did not have to pay for her rape kit.

WTF?  From Illinois?  

And this person didn't even have to pay for her rape kit?

This ad is nauseating.

"Factually true" is besides the point when they start playing tricks like that.  It's totally misleading, exploitative and dishonest.  I'm extremely glad that Obama didn't have anything to do with it.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gretchen [the woman in this ad] is from Illinois and did not have to pay for her rape kit.

That's not what the ad says.

It says people like her in Wasilia when Palin was mayor had to pay for their medical examinations.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 03:58:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I presumed she was an actress playing a role in a script.  That's how ads are normally made

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:20:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - The Blow-out begins?
A lot will depend on whether the moderator challenges Palin's non-answers - because for Biden to do so might make him look arrogant and a bully.

Biden should be concerned about that.  The moderator will be under a lot of pressure to appear impartial, since she has a book coming out in January titled The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, and she might overdo it by going easy on Palin and harder on him.

Here she is pitching the book:



Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:14:16 AM EST
She seems very capable and articulate.  All she has to do is insist that each candidate actually answers the questions.  Are the questions known or agreed in advance?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.  They know the topics, not the questions.

The funny thing is that she isn't in the tank for shit.  She allowed Cheney to spit out falsehood after falsehood.  Never questioned it.  And, unfortunately, John Edwards allowed him to as well, and got his ass kicked because of it.

Needless to say, I was not thrilled when I heard she was moderating.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:40:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
She seems very capable and articulate.

I just had a bad flashback:

SENATOR JOSEPH R. BIDEN'S characterization of his fellow Democratic presidential contender Senator Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" was so painfully clumsy that it nearly warranted pity.

<...>

It is amazing that this still requires clarification, but here it is. Black people get a little testy when white people call them "articulate."

<...>

So what is the problem with the word? Whites do not normally object when it is used to describe them. And it is not as if articulate black people do not wish to be thought of as that. The characterization is most often meant as a form of praise.

<...>

That is the core of the issue. When whites use the word in reference to blacks, it often carries a subtext of amazement, even bewilderment. It is similar to praising a female executive or politician by calling her "tough" or "a rational decision-maker."

"When people say it, what they are really saying is that someone is articulate ... for a black person," Ms. Perez said.

Such a subtext is inherently offensive because it suggests that the recipient of the "compliment" is notably different from other black people.

"Historically, it was meant to signal the exceptional Negro," Mr. Dyson said. "The implication is that most black people do not have the capacity to engage in articulate speech, when white people are automatically assumed to be articulate."

On an emotional level, this racial defensiveness and hoopla over "articulate" annoyed the crap out of me at the time.  But over time, the argument articulated (oh no he didn't) in this article has sunk in and despite my first reaction, I have come to "agree with" the sentiment it expresses.  (It may have something to do, too, with being complimented once too many times in Japan on how well I use chopsticks.  But that's another very bad flashback.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to think my comment was in some way related to her race.  It was not.  Race never entered my head - and it has taken me some time to understand where your comment was coming from.  Many interviewers/moderators are not exactly experts in the subjects they are covering and are therefor quite easily led astray or fooled into accepting answers which don't actually address the question.  I got the impression from her presentation that she wouldn't be easily fooled by this.  Which is not to say she won't let herself be fooled if she buys into a need for faux balance and doesn't challenge Palin's responses any more than Biden's even if it is Palin who is doing all the obfuscation.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:28:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair, of late, Obama didn't really make a near perfect campaign.
Not that he failed something -I reckon he realised that he did not need to take the risks that trying to be near perfect entailed. He simply saw McCain-Palin and the Republicans put on an incredible show of ineptitude, and gladly let that take centre stage.

Do you think in years to come people will still call it THAT interview?

"It failed because Nacy Pelosi said some unkind things about George Bush in her speech"

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:31:38 AM EST
Caribou Barbie also apparently has no idea what Hamas is:



Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:06:05 PM EST
Clearly she doesn't know what she is talking about.  But is it fair to knock her for doing the exact same thing that McCain and Obama did in the first debate only much more adeptly, i.e. avoid answering the question by talking about what you want to talk about, not what the questioner asks you?

She doesn't realize yet that you don't even have to begin to pretend to answer the question: just talk about something completely different right from the get-go.  Think of it as a fast-break after a turn-over: don't waste time behind the halfway line and go right for the goal.

Palin's not as practiced as the other guys, which is why her ignorance is so easy to catch out.  But she'll get the hang of it.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no need to answer questions, glittering generalities, dump on a few bad guys, connect with your audiences fears and prejudices.  Get the liberals jumping up and down about "facts".  Job done.  Palin won.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just dress Palin up like this and McBain can't lose.

 

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FiveThirtyEight.com: Electoral Projections Done Right
The McCain camp is going a little crazy over these polls. Usually, when a campaign does something like that, it's worried about morale. But do their complaints have any basis in fact?

Quinnipiac's polls have shown a slight Democratic lean this cycle -- they've been 1-2 points more favorable to Dems than contemporaneous polls of their states. From what I can tell, their head of polling (Peter Brown) has fairly conservative politics, so I don't know that it can be called a partisan lean. But that is the side that the polls have tended to end up upon nevertheless.

At the same time, they are highly-rated polls, use large sample sizes, and have plenty of rich trendlines for comparison. Is it possible that they are outliers to a certain degree? Possibly -- maybe even probably -- but as I intimated yesterday, with Obama's surge nationally it was inevitable that we were eventually going to get an oh sh*t set of state polling for Obama. There clearly seems to have been some movement toward Obama in Florida, as well as in Pennsylvania, where the Morning Call tracker has had him gaining a point literally every day since its inception. Ohio, I am somewhat less convinced about, but InsiderAdvantage also gives him the lead there (as well as a 6-point lead in Virginia).


Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:06:36 PM EST
When campaigns bitch about pollsters, it's because they're afraid the polls are right.  Happens in the blogosphere too.  You saw the same thing at dKos with Rasmussen's polling earlier this year.

If they were sure it was a bullshit poll, they'd ignore it and allow the Obama campaign to potentially believe in it and waste resources.

In truth, the Q polls are probably at the most favorable end (for Obama) of the actual range I'd put the race in for now.  I do think Obama has pulled ahead in Florida.  I'm just not sure of the margin.  I do think Obama has built big leads in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Ohio -- who knows?  Ohio is a weird place.

Clearly McCain's southern firewall is crumbling.  With Georgia back in single digits (according to a good pollster that is notorious for underestimating Obama in the South), it suggests the leads in NC and VA have widened.  McCain cannot win if he loses North Carolina.  He's already hip-deep in shit if he loses Virginia, because it suggests he isn't going to get Kerry states and will probably lose Iowa and New Mexico badly, along with about a 5- to 7-point loss in Colorado.

If he loses Florida, there's nothing to talk about.  He ought to just jump off a bridge in that scenario.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
Ohio is a weird place.

I thought it was a state of mind...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 01:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must be.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was a state of mind...
That is Pennsylvania: "The Sovereign State" (of mind.) :-)  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Pennsylvania's a commonwealth, not a state.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:08:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not much common wealth there last time I visited.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:09:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't read all the comments to-date but I will assume this is a new view.

Do the Power-Repubs want to win this election?

If NO, let Obama and the Dems deal with the HELL which is coming over the next 18 months, so let McCain blow it, look like he's trying.

If YES, an Obama win will lead to progressive policies, investigations into what Cheney/Rumsfeld knew prior to 9/11, public executions of traitors (my FAVORITE!), etc, simply let another 9/11 happen (like they consciously did the first one) and watch what happens.  Plenty of time to turn this around, IF they want to.  They've got ALL the tools to pull it off.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 02:30:22 PM EST
McShitHead's campaign got all pissy and said the Q polls were wrong.  Not so much, Johnnykins.  New CNN Battleground polls:

Missouri: O 48%, M 47%

Minnesotta: O 54%, M 43%

Florida: O 51%, M 47%

Virginia: O 53%, M 44%

Nevada: O 51%, M 47%

Ouch.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:21:58 PM EST
Next McShithead will be complaining that the voters got it all wrong! I'll only worry if he asks buddies from the military and "Blackguards" to help set it right.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:59:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes.  Follow that thought all the way to the future.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:36:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the blow-out develops?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:34:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't know yet, but it's starting to smell like one, at least in the Electoral College.  CBS/NYT polls has the race at O50-41M, AP has O48-41M, Pew has O49-42M, TIME has O50-43M.

(Those are all traditional, non-tracking polls.)

Obama's led in 7 of the last 9 Florida polls by margins ranging from small to blowout.  The TIME poll of Florida is actually worse for McCain: When you add Barr, Nader, et al, the margin expands to O51-43M in Florida, exactly what Quinnipiac said.

And, again, if Obama wins Florida, there's nothing to talk about.  Hell, we could spot McCain Penn or Michigan and still win with Florida.

Obama now ahead in all the key states except Indiana and Missouri, looking at the RCP averages.  Missouri's going to close to an Obama win, if the trend holds.  Indiana may already be there.

And, with that, I believe we're at 375 EVs.  Three awesome states to watch if the trends continue upward: Mississippi is now down to eight points, Georgia (like I said) is now eight points (and may be even better since the poll didn't include the must-have Bob Barr in that state), and Texas is down to nine points.  Those are all Rasmussen polls from today, and Ras tends to have a bit of a Republican-leaning "house effect".

So those three may be dangerously close for McCain.  Something to hope for.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 06:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll add too: McCain needs to get out of Iowa and New Mexico.

He needs to concentrate his resources on a smaller number of states, or Obama's going to eat him alive.  Because, when you take the ground game into account (if he gets credit for nothing else, Obama and his Chicago boys are brilliant organizers), my sense is that Obama may well be a couple points better than these polls indicate.

McCain is being spread too thin.  He's starting to get shut out of blue states, and Obama's invading states he never should've had a prayer in.

New Iowa poll tonight, and it's not even close:

Obama 54
McCain 39

The CBS/NYT national poll is out tonight too.  Also, not even close:

Obama 50
McCain 41

Among the trackers, he's averaging ~6.5 lead.  On the traditional, non-tracker polls, he's at about 7.  So there's consensus building.

Interesting thing: Many of us said Likely Voter models were stupid to use early in the year, because they'd be adjusted.  Well, they've been adjusted now for the final stretch, and it turns out the pollsters now think the key Obama demographics (kids, black folks, Latinos, etc) are going to show up.  In fact, some of the LV models are actually putting him better off than the RV models now.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His campaign schedule is fixed at least a week in advance.  If he drops the schedule to run to Ohio or, better, Florida then every major news outlet will run the story, "McCain Forced to Abandon Iowa to Save Florida."  And the lede "The McCain campaign has been forced by recent polling ..." & etc.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was in Iowa yesterday.  The press asked one of the Iowa GOPers why, and he responded by saying McCain was running a "non-strategic," incompetent campaign.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:26:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't know what they are doing.  They are so out of their league it's hysterically funny.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:35:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was pleased to see Bill Clinton out in Florida too.  He looked fired up for the first time:



Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He looks aged, too.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 03:10:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfectly normal, it's called getting old. Kind of unavoidable.
by Quentin on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:36:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He realizes that Obama will win, with or without Clinton help, and he wants to be there to be rewarded at the finish line.  Clintons are ALWAYS out for Clintons, like a virulent fungus.  Where's the Lysol?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:39:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop the Presses!  Forget the Debates!  Suspend the Campaigns!  

Hot Flash from Associated Press:

Several GOP strategists close to McCain's campaign privately fret that his chances for victory are starting to slip away.

Swear 2 God, can't make this stuff up.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:08:33 PM EST
And his entire message is a mess.  He's spending almost all of his time defending Palin.  He's attacking Obama while trying to claim the moral highground, which makes him look like the liar he is.

They're a complete mess.

Indiana (R2K):

McCain 46
Obama 45

Close enough for the ground game to win it, since McCain, quite literally, doesn't have one.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was the idiot that gave the 'Go' decision.  

What's great about this is the RayGun Coalition is dead, dead, dead.  The GOP pulled out the old 12 gauge, took careful aim, and blew their wanker off.  They are bleeding support out there.

Saw a House poll yesterday and man is it good.

The Dems may pick-up as many as 20 - 40 House seats and the Class of '06 looks safe.

This is now into 'Change Election' territory.  If Obama can get his people to the polls and vote straight-ticket it's going to be a slaughter.

I'm starting to look forward to Election Day.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm starting to get to the point at which I not only think it's within the realm of possibility to get those 61 Senate seats (or more), but think it's actually a pretty good chance.

We've pulled even against Chambliss in Georgia.  We're about even with McConnell.  Hagan is slaughtering Dole.  Franken and Merkley, I think, will eventually pull away, especially given the ridiculous margins Obama's starting to show.

And a new poll today puts us just two points down in that Mississippi race after it looked like we'd lost it.

Big, big movement at the senatorial level.  Even bigger than at the presidential level.

This could be 1932 all over again.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:41:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate those grandstanding MSM phrases, but its beginning to look like "the nation is making up its mind that McCain/Palin is not the team to lead the USA into the uncharted waters post wall street meltdown.  Nobody is sure what the answer is, or whether Obama has it, but there damn sure McCain/Palin don't."

Do you think I could get a job as an MSM pundit?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably not.  I'm pretty sure you have to be dumber than a box of rocks to be an MSM pundit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 07:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll take that as a complement then....

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 08:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Darn - compliment...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 08:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, let's look at this.

No war metaphor, no sport metaphor, coherent sentence structure ...

Fail! (sorry)


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:07:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The narrative around Palin has already crystallized, and there is no going back.

Even the darkest cynic has to understand that even if they believe all voters are sheep, politicians still have to have sheep leading skills in order to command the sheep. Palin does not have these skills.

I completely disagree with the person who wrote the CS monitor article. The interview with Couric demonstrates that her political skills don't work at the federal level.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 11:20:48 PM EST
'Sheep leading skills': brilliant. So she's not a shepherdess, by all accounts though she's definitely a moose herdswoman.
by Quentin on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:42:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But Couric was able to nail her every time she did answer the quest or give a coherent response.  I doubt whether the moderator role allows this to anything like the same extent.  It will be up to Biden to nail her, and it will be difficult for him to do so given the format and without seeming agressive and ungentlemanly.

To a very large extent you are hoping the undecided viewer will recognise the bs - which is a scary thought.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 08:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To a very large extent you are hoping the undecided viewer will recognise the bs - which is a scary thought.

Without PR skills, very little will get past anyone. Since the debates are practically scripted, she may not "hang" herself, but I doubt she picks up many votes with an acceptable performance.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The evidence appears to be that VP debate don't ever have much effect, even if one side scores a clear win.  Still, it would be nice to deny McPain even a 24hr. news cycle advantage

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:43:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The evidence is generally that debates have very little impact.  Like I said, the record for a "debate bounce," unless Obama's has exceeded it, is 3 points, set by Kerry in 2004.

She could severely damage herself, but she can't do herself much good.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 01:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nate Silver has just posted an interesting analysis of McCain's chances of turning this thing around in October - based on previous elections.  The answer is:  not much - because there are only 5% undecided voters left, and very few decided voters typically change their minds in October - c. 4% each way - i.e. with no net effect on candidate positions.

It would take a major Obama mistake, the Dems being blamed for a bad bail-out outcome, or a national security crisis to turn this thing around now.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 08:26:48 AM EST
Right, the closer we get to the election, the more voters dig in their heels.  New polls today:

Michigan (PPP):

Obama 51
McCain 41

New Mexico (SurveyUSA):

Obama 52
McCain 44

Ohio (DemocracyCorps):

Obama 49
McCain 43

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:23:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

... a national security crisis to turn this thing around now.

Hmmm, wonder what that would look like?  Let's think.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lets Bomb Iran.  Or better still, let Israel Bomb Iran and then we can rush to their aid in defence of democracy.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 01:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nate Silver has just realised a devastating critique of the way real Clear Politics excludes polls that favour Obama and includes pollsters when they favour McCain.  I had had my suspicions when I couldn't see the Daily Kos poll on RCP - but it seems the bias is much more widespread.  Cross Real Clear Politics off my recommended list (no link provided!)

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 09:35:50 AM EST
Unfortunately, RCP was obviously lying about the R2K poll.

More unfortunate is the fact that RCP, unlike Pollster, generally includes less garbage in their averages (e.g., Zogby Internet polls).  But you can bump whatever Obama's got up a bit on each one to get the idea.

Right now, Pollster's got him still moving up, reaching 49.6% vs 42.8% for McCain.

Still, I trust Nate more than anyone.  His model is very conservative, so it tends to lag the actual state of the race right now, but it's a solid projection.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 12:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking of poll-agreggation sites I am partial to

Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily

Unlike other sites, which track generic national polls, this site tracks the state-by-state polls. After all, the presidency is decided by 51 separate state elections, the Senate by 35 separate elections (in 2008) and the House by 435 separate elections. As new state polls are released, the maps, spreadsheets, tables, graphs, etc. will be updated. In the maps, the states with white centers are essentially tossups and are subject to rapid fluctuations.

The main page contains a map showing the state of the polls for the presidency. Putting the mouse on a state pops up information about the polls there. Clicking on a state goes to a graph of the polls.



A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 02:46:42 PM EST
Sean Quinn FiveThirtyEight

When we last updated 538's battleground states, we were in the midst of John McCain's post-convention, post-Palin bloom-on-the-rose period. At that time, McCain's projected win would be 274-264. Today, Barack Obama has 269 electoral votes outside the battleground zone. That is, if you only give Obama the states he is projected to win by more than five points [!] that is enough to get him an Electoral College tie, which is essentially the same as a win.

As of this morning before today's polls update, we project Obama victories in Virginia (4.4%), New Hampshire (3.4%), Ohio (2.4%), Florida (2.4%), and Nevada (2.1%), with Indiana a tie. Give all these states to McCain, it's 269-269 and an Obama presidency. Allocated by lead, it's Obama 338, McCain 189, 11 tossup.

This sea-change has happened over the last 10 days as THE issue of the election became 'The Economy' and it was the GOP who made it THE issue.  I noted at the time this was a massively stupid move on their part.  

As of today the question seems not so much is Obama going to win but by how much is Obama going to win.  The folks at 538 give:

Obama Win: 85.4%
within that percentage the chance of an Obama Landslide (375+ EV) is 28.5%
McCain Win: 14.6%

roughly speaking that means Obama is twice as likely to win in a landslide than McCain is to win the election.

Jay-sus.

One interesting state is Texas.  It's a strech, but should the Latino vote go 70%+ for Obama, the NOLA relocatees turn-out heavily, the young people punch above their weight (18-19% of total vote,) and a slight 1-2% down tick in White Males -- it could flip.  That's a bit much to swallow, and I don't, but it's not inconceivable either.  And in the Weirdest Election Ever© -- who knows?


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:19:08 PM EST
Fortunately, it doesn't look very likely anyway, but why is he so certain that 269-269 means an Obama presidency?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 269 Electoral Votes come from states Obama is winning by 5% or more - Rock solid, in other words - and that total doesn't include states still in play; which McCain HAS to sweep (he won't) in order to tie.  

Put another way: only taking the Nebraska Second Congressional District and it's one EV wins it for Obama.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:37:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea - I don't like that easy assumption either - which is probably why Obama is targeting Omaha - it only takes one elector to be bought off

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:37:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nebraska isn't a Winner-Take-All.  The Electoral Votes (5) are awarded by Congressional District.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:45:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3 by congressional district and 2 by statewide winner-takes-all?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 05:02:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And even if that doesn't happen, I doubt anybody has a clue as what will happen in the case of a genuine tie.

As for Nebraska: has their method of allocation of EV's ever been subjected to Supreme Court scrutiny, or has it been irrelevant until now? If it hasn't, how do you think this Supreme Court will rule? To me, it seems obvious that Article Two allows the Nebraska system, but Bush v. Gore seems to me to contradict Article Two as well. I could easily see them coming out with some nonsense about the Equal Protection Clause in such a case.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:48:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IANAL

If it came down to it, I'm sure they'd try.  Do they have a prima facie case?  I don't think so.  But that is why High Price legal beagles get the Big Bucks.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
What If the Electoral College is Tied?

Many people have asked: "What happens if the electoral college is tied at 269-269?" For example, look at the map of Aug. 24. If it ends up like this and McCain wins Virginia, the final result is 269-269. What next?

If no candidate for President receives 270 electoral votes (either due to a 269-269 tie or a third-party candidate has won a few electoral votes), the newly elected House chooses the President, with each state having one vote. Some people have asked what the House is likely to look like in January 2009. Lets start with the House as it is right now.

Go there to read the whole piece (scroll down to the middle of the page), including thoughts about potentially flipping House delegations.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 4th, 2008 at 11:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Georgia is probably more likely to flip than Texas, but the very fact that we are even discussing hard GOP states is an indicator of how things are going at the moment.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:36:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no evidence, now, that either are really in play.  But if either one moves to being in play the other moves with it.

The one substantial difference is Texas is a Minority-Majority state and slightly, IMO, more likely to move first.

Drew knows more about Georgia than I do and his bet is on Georgia.  

shrug  Pays your money & takes your choice.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 04:42:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no evidence, now, that either are really in play.

If these leads build even modestly for another week, Georgia will be in play.  As I said to TBG in the OT, the AJC reported today that black turnout has skyrocketed in early voting -- up to 40% of the vote so far (of about 200,000 votes).

The math is there to win Georgia, and it's not nearly as tricky as Mississippi.  That I know.  Still tough, and still unlikely, but it does work.  It's a seven-point race for now, and closing.  If these early voting figures continue, and early voting gets a good chunk of those blacks and young whites who didn't show up in 2004 (but who were registered) to do so, it turns into a very, very close race.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 07:19:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep in mind too: It's a seven-point race with McCain getting 20% of the black vote.  In other words, this smells like the primary polling in the South to me.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 07:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They polled five blacks, one of them was for McCain thus 20% of blacks, in Georgia, are voting McCain.

Can't argue with Statistics.  ;-)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 10:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
depends how much of the black vote they let vote.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 10:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some really good numbers from 538...many of which do not appear on RCP



Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 06:55:27 PM EST


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