Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain's a "Great" Dad

Awwww, look at this great picture of the McCain and Palin families:

But wait, someone is missing. What about Bridget McCain? She is the adopted daughter of John McCain . . . you know, the one he keeps hidden. He must think that she doesn't fit with the image he wants to create for himself. For those of you not familiar with Bridget, here she is:

I truly wonder what she thinks about Daddy making sure she is rarely around him in public.

Palin's Judgement

The stories just keep coming. It appears that Sarah Palin's water broke while she was at an energy conference in Texas. She didn't go to the hospital. She gave her 30 minute speech and then flew many hours back to Alaska. She gave birth to her son a couple of weeks premature and he was born with Down Syndrome. She says she consulted her doctor, but her doctor said she did not ask for medical clearance to fly. Obviously no sane doctor would approve such a flight. Reckless behavior.

I know my wife and I would have handled it very differently. Others can make their own decision.

It is odd that she was back at work just three days later with a full schedule. Something seems fishy and there is a rumor floating around the Internet that it was actually her 16-year old daughter who was pregnant and she was covering up for her. That seems a bit far-fetched, but at least that would not be as reckless if it were true.

Still, her staff did not know about the pregnancy until very late and supposedly her 16-year old daughter, Bristol, was home for months with mono.

Sarah Palin Republican Queen of Cronyism

Palin's Childishness

The more I read about the unknown Sarah Palin, the more I wonder if John McCain even vetted her. He must think that women are so stupid that they will vote for her because they share the same anatomy. There is little explanation for her selection.

The Achorage Daily News has a opinion piece from earlier this year that takes her to task for getting into a childish conversation about Alaska State Senate President Lyda Green with a radio DJ. The DJ questions Lyda Green's credentials as a mother and refers to her as a "cancer" and a "bitch" a couple of times. All the while, Governor Palin - McCain's champion of women everywhere - is giggling like a school girl.

That is not the hallmark of a serious person who should be VP. Oh and by the way, Lyda Green is a cancer survivor and a fellow Republican.

How long will it be before that tape gets out?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin's Record Debt Accumulation

Palin was the mayor of Wasilla before she became governor. When she left Wasilla, she left a nice, big, fat debt for the city. She invested and botched a major sports complex that left Wasilla $20 million in debt. There are fewer than 7000 citizens in Wasilla. That means she left every man, woman, and child in Wasilla with $3000 in debt.

Now I understand why some Republicans love her - she is just like Bush and knows how to rack up debt.

Here is a link to what one Alaskan blogger thinks about her.

Sarah Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere . . .

before she was against it.

On of the big narratives that right wing tools were hawking all day on the cable news networks was that Palin is a reformer and was against government waste. They cited her opposition to Senator Stevens' $250 million "bridge to nowhere."

Turns out that she was actually for the bridge. Oops, I guess she forgot.

Some Additional Thoughts about Palin

I've read and heard more about her background and I am less than impressed. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Idaho. She is a moose hunter who believes in creationism. Her husband is a commercial fisherman who also works on the North Slope oil fields - he also is a championship snowmobiler.

She does not strike me as an intellectual heavyweight and it seems to me that any Hillary supporters who switch their alliance from the Dems to McCain just because of Palin are mocking Hillary. Palin falls well short of the capabilities and experience of Hillary - she is not even close to reasonably comparable.

McCain was desperate to try to become a change agent. Certainly she is an unusual pick and an outsider, and she seems like a decent person. However, in the end, she and her family will be under major scrutiny that they are not used to. We'll see if she and her husband can handle it.

McCain Picks Sarah Palin for VP


I am sure that is what many folks are going to say. She is the Alaska governor who is a 44-year old, pro-life, governor. I really don't know much about her. She was a beauty queen in 1984, she was a TV reporter before getting into politics. Two years ago she was the mayor of some town. She was elected governor because of the corruption scandals in Alaska that took many Republicans out of the governor's race. Apparently she is also facing a state investigation for some type of wrongdoing (I don't know anything about it, so I cannot be more detailed). Whatever, now, she is going to be on the national ticket.

I won't make fun of the pick, because I am going to assume that McCain is not a complete idiot for picking her. However, it seems to be an odd choice that goes against McCain's whole argument that Obama doesn't have the experience needed to be President. If Obama isn't ready, then how is Palin ready?

Obama's Place in History

We will see what his final legacy is, but there is no doubt that he has a significant place in history. I can think of no other nation in the history of the world that would allow a member of an ethnic minority to achieve the level of success that Obama has already achieved. African-Americans only make up about 10 percent of the U.S. population and he is on the cusp of becoming the President. His personal story is a uniquely American story.

There is still a great amount of work to do, but last night the speech Obama gave was a forceful rebuke of Bush and McCain and it laid out a vision of the differences between the Dems and the Republicans.

Bush made this possible. His utter incompetence and destructive public policies have created the environment that has allowed Obama to flourish. If the country were in good standing around the world, if it wasn't facing the fiscal crisis that it is facing, there would be no opportunity for Obama to bring forth his call for change. I suppose we all have Bush to thank for that.

McCain and his supporters are simply on the wrong side of history. There were voters who opposed Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and John F. Kennedy. The dissent is largely forgotten as those voters fade from the memories of Americans. Time will tell whether Obama wins the election and delivers the change that Americans yearn for. But, what is certain, is that McCain offers nothing new and represents the status quo. The choice is clear and I am confident that Obama is marching into history as the next President of the United States.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention Bounce for Obama

On Monday, when the DNC Convention opened, the Gallup daily tracking poll had Obama and McCain tied at 45%. Today's poll shows a 6 point bounce (48%-42% for Obama).

If Obama can deliver tonight, it may give him a strong surge of momentum to build on for the last 9 weeks of the campaign. Obviously, McCain has his convention next week and it should be interesting to see who he picks for VP. I would love to see him pick Joe LIEberman - that would just be hilarious. Then, good ol' Joe could be a 2-time loser.

ESPN Consensus NFL Picks

The ESPN team of analysts have put out their pre-season picks.

They put the Bears at 3rd in the North.

They put the Redskins at 4th in the East.

We'll have to see.

DNC Convention - Day 3

Loved it. It was a truly great night for Dems. President Clinton's speech was a home run for Obama. He did a great job of giving full support to Obama, defining the differences with McCain, and talking about the fact that he faced the same questions as Obama when he was being nominated.

On a side note, people don't seem to remember that Clinton did not get a majority of the voters to vote for him in the 1992 election. He won with a 43 percent plurality. Bush got 37 percent, and may very well have won if Perot hadn't been in the race.

I thought John Kerry's speech was outstanding. It wasn't covered by the networks but I watched it on C-Span. If he had been as forceful four years ago things may have been different.

Bu, I absolutely loved Joe Biden. I thought his son, Beau, did a great job introducing him. The video introduction was not great, but it was solid. But, he delivered a great speech that hit the differences between Obama and McCain. His personal story and the fact that he is a "regular Joe" are appealing and his experience cannot be questioned (but I am sure Republicans will).

When Obama popped out at the end, it was a good moment to close out the Pepsi Center activities. I've heard some fretting about the Invesco Field venue, but I think the imagery will be outstanding. I am looking forward to Obama's speech and believe he will also deliver.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Political Convention Poll Bounces

The Dem Convention is going well in my opinion. I have heard Republicans claiming that if Obama doesn't get a 10 point bump in the polls then it will show that he is failing. That is complete B.S.

UVA Political Professor extraordinaire, Larry Sabato, has a great posting on past convention bounces. Four years ago Kerry got no bounce and Bush got a 2 point bounce (within the margin of error). If you average the bounces from the last three elections the Republicans got a 3.7 percent bounce and the Dems got a 5.3 percent bounce. These are well below the historical average of the conventions going back to 1960. Clearly, the bounce is becoming a thing of the past. The reality is that it is primarily useful for energizing supporters for the stretch run.

All that said, I would expect that there will be a small 2-4 point bounce for Obama and then following next week there will be a similar bounce for McCain. In the end none of this really matters. As voters consider the two options and pay closer attention in October and early November, they will better understand the differences and then they will make their choice. I expect it will end with a solid 6-9 point win for Obama and an easy win in the Electoral College.

Hillary Clinton's Speech

I thought she really gave a great speech last night. She delivered her part and it will begin to bring her supporters back into the fold. There is still plenty of work to do, but in two months it seems unlikely to me that a true Hillary supporter would vote for McCain.

I thought she struck the right cord between supporting Obama and thanking her supporters. She gave the rationale for supporting Obama and not voting for McCain. Her issues are Obama's issues, certainly McCain is the opposite.

Bill Clinton's speech today will be critical to building on the momentum for unity that is building.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama

I thought she did her job beautifully last night. For many Americans, her speech was the first time that they had ever seen her live. Her mission was to humanize Barack Obama and her family to show that they share the same values of hard-working Americans.

People who want to bash her are essentially bashing to American dream. The Obama's didn't lie or cheat or steal their way to the top. They come from humble beginnings, worked hard, played by the rules, and have maintained strong family values in their meteoric rise. That seemed to come across loud and clear.

Tonight and tomorrow, I would like to see more discussion of the contrast and differences between McCain/Bush and what Obama believes and will work toward. Then, on Thursday, the culmination will be Obama's address that should lay out his broad forward-looking agenda.

It is a natural flow that could play out very well. We'll see.

Hillary Voters for McCain

Look, there is a lot of nonsense in the media about Hillary supporters abandoning Obama and the Dems for McCain. That just is not going to happen for one simple reason - they are pro-choice and McCain is not.

Yesterday, McCain's campaign held a press conference for in which they trotted out Debra Bartoshevich - a Hillary delegate who says she is now supporting McCain. Bartoshevich has been stripped of her power as a delegate for appearing in a new ad for McCain. But frankly she should have been stripped of her position for being so darn stupid.

At the press conference she was asked how she could support the pro-life McCain when she herself is pro-choice. She essentially said, McCain is pro-choice - which is completely untrue. What an ignorant fool she turned out to be. Either she is an idiot or she is completely uninformed. McCain constantly talks about putting pro-life judges into federal positions including the Supreme Court. He has explicitly and openly said that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She allowed herself to look like a complete dolt in front of the national press by becoming a silly tool of the McCain campaign.

Thoughts about the Presidential Campaign

It has been a while since I have posted. With the election just 9-10 weeks away, things will start to get revved up.

The polls are reasonably tight - not really much of a surprise given how little attention average Americans are paying to the policies and positions of the two major candidates. It is the end of summer and folks are more interested in getting in their final trips, getting their kids ready for school, and the upcoming college and NFL football seasons than in what is going on in politics.

About a month from now and throughout October, there will be a greater focus on the very real differences between the two candidates. The problem for McCain is that as this focus becomes more clear, he will end up on the short end. His positions are more in line with the highly unpopular Bushie than with the desires of the American people. Take these three items:

Economy: McCain thinks things are OK and is for making the Bush tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the super wealthy permanent (of course he has flip flopped on the issue). Obama wants to re-write the tax code to put it more in line with the way it was under Clinton (essentially tax cuts for the middle class and increases on the wealthy).

Health Care: McCain like health savings accounts and doesn't want a single-payer system. Obama wants to establish a universal system for anyone who is uninsured.

Iraq: McCain for the unending occupation (even though Iraqis want us out). Obama will get us out.

These differences will become more clear and the people will decide.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Oil Prices

Not surprising - the price of oil is dropping and has fallen significantly in recent weeks. Speculators shot the price up, but there is no shortage of oil and with the dollar strengthening a bit, oil is falling in price.

All the doom-and-gloom folks who are crying, "We need to drill in ANWR" simply do not understand the facts. All that is is an attempt by Big Oil to secure more lands before Bush leaves office.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Silver is a Snyder-Lover

Geez, Michael Silver put out his rankings of NFL owners and, what a surprise, he picked Danny Snyder as the #3 owner.

Last year, he had Snyder at #5.

According to Silver, it is just a matter of time before Snyder gets his Lombardi Trophy. We'll see.