Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Before I start I am realizing that I don't think McCain is the evil devil and the world would end if he wins. That said, I really want Obama in the White House.
Part 1 - Democrats for McCain in Scranton PA story - this was by far the most upsetting part of the show for me. If someone listened to just this piece of the program, it could get them to switch to McCain. The former Clinton supporters were articulate in their reasons for supporting McCain and not Obama. They were not racist weirdos. The worst part was the two young BLACK professionals (Chris and Jessie) who are part of this group were going door to door trying to convince undecided folks not to support Obama. They were very clear and presented good arguments. WTF - A college educated former democrat black man comes to your door and says don't support Obama. While I respect every one's points of view I could not believe what I was hearing.
One of the main points which I think is Obama's biggest weakness is his lack of experience. The show said it best, many on the fence racist folks just got permission from a smart black person to not support Obama. While I am sure these folks are real people and have good ideas, my biggest beef with the show on this segment is that there are probably very few people like this out there in the country and very few people in the country trying to make this case at all, door to door or otherwise. If I were McCain I would let them talk and buy a 2 minute commercial and just use them as your spokespeople. If they are a very unusual team of McCain supporters is it fair to profile them as somehow representative of the McCain supporters or to suggest that there are many smart democrats (not to mention black) who are actually supporting McCain at all. I know that TAL if about capturing real people in the US and talking about their experience but this message seems very powerful and does not really capture the majority of the support for McCain or even the democrats for McCain.
The next part about an effort to register voters at Penn State was also somewhat depressing. What I learned: Penn State students are generally drunk idiots who don't give a crap about the country, those who do care care so much that they make themselves sick, there are racist students at the school who are not embarrassed to admit it, and a little sex appeal and you can get people to register to vote. It was sad to hear how little the students seemed to really care about the election. Overall the segment did not really make a case for Obama at all. Nothing there. The main person profiled was Casey Miller. She sounds very sexy and I was upset when she described her feelings after we lost to Bush in 2004. She is right.
The next part is about the Unions and their effort to get out the vote. Problem 1, the Right hates unions and thinks that it is bad for them to use their numbers, money and power to support democrats. Obama is not where he is because of Unions. Problem 2, this segment also fails to make any case as to why they are supporting Obama. The whole segment is on race and was very well done. They have discussed the issue better than any other place I have seen. It was sad but something I have thought for a long time that there are many democrats who are just to racist to support a black person for President. One interesting point was a concern that Obama would appoint radicals like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to his cabinet if he wins. The Obama supporter assure the guy that oh, no he would not do that but it did make me think about if he does win if he would appoint any prominent blacks. Many of the popular black politicians (Mayors & House members) have baggage and are not popular among whites. We shall see.
The only last saving point for the show was to point out the nuts views shared by many of the "Democrats for Obama". This woman who seemed somewhat normal actually believed that he may be a gay murderer.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There are dangers publicising polls too much but when you start to add up the electoral college math way before the election and include swing states as certain given the uncertain polling it is not right. Then when you put it on the front of one of the top web pages in the country, bad move. This may make some people not show up to vote because they think it is a done deal and it is likely so far off it is not worth showing.
Monday, October 27, 2008
He (Kagen) had three in the recently passed defense-spending bill, including $800,000for Utility Tool and Trailer in Clintonville for aluminum military trailers.
Not surprisingly, two executives with Utility Tool gave the first-term Democratic congressman $4,600 earlier this year, and the pair then chipped in a similar amount in September while the measure was pending.
But Kagen isn't alone in hauling pork home for campaign donors.
Look at what else was included in the same defense bill:
• U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore scored a $400,000 bonus for DRS Power and Control Technologies, a New Jersey-based company with a major office in Milwaukee. The firm's PAC has contributed $11,000 to the Milwaukee Democrat's campaign.
• U.S. Rep. Tom Petri inserted $4 million for John Deere to build tactical utility vehicles, which are manufactured at the firm's Horicon plant in Petri's district. John Deere's political action committee is a longtime fan of the Fond du Lac Republican, having donated $14,000 to his campaign fund over the past five years.
• U.S. Rep. Dave Obey tucked $3.6 million in the bill for Rex Systems, a radar and computer communications business in Chippewa Falls. The company president and his wife have given $8,000 to Obey, a Wausau Democrat, since 2003.
This obviously smells bad but there are obvious benefits for the workers and communities where these businesses are located. All this talk in the campaign about earmarks makes me wonder how good pork and bad pork. Call me clueless but I am surprised that there is this type of pork for the government to buy products from certain companies. I thought there were procurement rules and I don't see how federal law can provide a no bid contract to a company. That seems really bad. The JS is a conservative leaning paper and this only lists democrats (who are currently in power of congress). I would guess that when the GOP was in control they got the same goodies for many of the same businesses. When there have been accusations of pork for Palin or by Obama, I want to know what it is. Somethings like economic development money for an inner city neighborhood seem better than a sweet deal to one business.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The 2006 congressional election in Florida's 13th District produced the nightmare scenario. Republican Vern Buchanan won the contest by a margin of 369 votes. But in a single, Democratic-leaning county, more than 18,000 voters mysteriously failed to record a selection in the congressional race, an undervote as much as six times the rate of other counties. There is no way to know for sure what, if anything, went wrong.>
Of the many problems one that seems likely described in the piece is lack of resources resulting in long lines. If you have something important to do, you can't stand in line for hours.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
James Carabelli, the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party, allegedly told the Michigan Messenger that he would use a list of foreclosed homes to challenge the eligibility of voters. Carabelli later denied that he'd ever said anything of the sort, and filed a defamation suit against the paper.If you registered at one address in April and your home was foreclosed on in September and you were forced to move out to your sister's place, you can't vote in the polling place where you were living. Some of these folks probably won't vote and some who may try are not probably properly registerd. It is sad and they are not trying to cheat; only vote, but probably not legally according to the rules in most spots.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
None of the 3rd party candidates were included in the debates. I like Obama and want him to win but I think that our democracy would be better if other voices were heard in the national dialogue. Barr, Nader and McKinney would all add interesting ideas to the debates. Obama's camp could have pushed for it, it would not have hurt him.
Friday, October 17, 2008
1) Appear on softball shows like Leno, Letterman, Daily Show, Ellen, etc. Seem funny and real. He has come across a bit like a cool robot and if he seems like a likable guy that will help and then he can defend the criticism in a safe relaxed environment. This will reach more people than campaigning all over the place.
2) Appear on TV and at campaign events with high profile, experienced senior supporters/ advisors. The more he can seem to be working with and getting advice from the top experienced folks then he will seem like someone we can all trust. Madeline Albright, Bill Richardson, Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Wesley Clark, non-controverial Mayors, experienced Economic Advisors, etc. These should not just be campaign events, Obama is great, but focused policy meetings to give you the feeling that these are the smart people who will be working with Obama on these tough policy issues.
The economy is struggling.....Fortune 500 companies are worth pennies on the dollar.....100 year old firms are going bankrupt....thousands of wall street investment bankers are out of work
From the folks who brought you Farm Aid and Live Aid.....here comes the largest benefit concert in history.....Wall Street Aid 2009!
I am curious to see if Mr. Buffett can turn his energy and ideas into helping the country in the Obama years.
Check out this comment from an angry reader named "bleeper" to Althouse blog (on a post about the new W movie)because she has expressed some support for Obama and may vote for him:
"You support the guy who is a criminal, a drug user, a smoker, a socialist and who has rigged this election, and perhaps the electoral system so that from now on, every election will be suspect."
How are we going to combat this crap post election. Dispite some problems with registations that ACORN was involved with, I don't see how this would ever change the result in an election. Mickey Mouse will not show up to vote.
I know it is a chick book, but I really liked "The Secret Life of Bees" and now it is a movie?! I am sure it will be ok but it takes away the feelings and images in the minds eye and the the novel will forever been associated with the actors playing the characters. I did not picture women like Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and especially Jennifer Hudson as the characters they play.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
A few people end up on my blog from google but not many since I often use general terms and write one of the millions of web pages that uses the word Obama and Sarah Palin. One of the top pages visited on my blob by google searches was a short link to the Madison A to Z restaurant blog. I figured out why this page gets found. Because I spelled Restaurant wrong in the title to the post so every time someone typed in "Madison Resturant" into Google search, my site was one of the top ones to come up and apparently many people spell it wrong.
I think that someone should invent a way to test people to see if they are good multi-taskers and how they would react to a sudden event on the road while on the phone. If you are good, you could feel confident occasionally doing it and others would learn they should never talk on the phone while driving.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Salon has a piece on the Troopergate report by Gary Kamiya called Palin Family Values. Classic media piece that doesn't put this supposed abuse of power into any context of what goes on each day in City Hall or the State Legislature. There is a group of naive reporters and Americans who think that everyone in elected office and in government just does their jobs, and makes policy and executive decisions based on what is best for the citizens. Which is worse, trying to get one state employee who sounds a bit nuts and has a bad temper and carries a gun for his job or giving out jobs to 100s of family members, friends and contributers who are not qualified or getting a $50 million earmark in a bill for a friend?
I think the GOP would be more effective at their guilt by association game to link Obama to all the classic IL and Chicago pols who have supported him and worked with him.
Don't get me wrong, I think this troopergate thing sounds wrong and I think she is not qualified to do her current job and I like Obama and think he is much more honest and cleaner than most polititions but this is not the scandel to give Democrats the White House.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
- This American Life
- Sound of Young America
- Savage Lovecast
- Ricky Gervais
- Fresh Air
- NPR Driveway Moments
- Le Show
Most as you can see are radio shows that they just put on the iTunes. This is just like TiVo for the Radio, works fine and no interruptions.
Ricky G's famous free podcasts from the Guardian are awesome and were only on-line. I wish he'd do more; a recent free one was great.
The Savage Lovecast is also a great pod only show- he says things you just could not say on the radio. Both of these do have some production quality and include multiple voices and discussion.
Another I also like is the Slate Magazine podcasts including the political gabfest. The political gabfest works well because you have 3 voices doing having a give and take political discussion. It is a bit funny in that it is a bit of news explanation and commentary (how much does the listener follow the news?) but very good. The other Slate pieces are different in that they all the same speaker, Dale Willman who is basically reading a written story. While the pieces are usually interesting, it seems odd because the pieces sometimes have a bit of a personal perspective. Today's piece on Microsoft vs Apple included a line like: "As a tech writer, I feel......" this is not what Dale is saying it is what the writer says. He is a good pleasant speaker but something seems missing. It is like someone reading a magazine to you. Radio writing is different than magazine (even online). From what I have heard it never includes any clips, quotes, interviews, etc. they why should it be audio at all? That said I do like the topics and ideas but it feels flat to the listener. A good podcast needs more.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I actually had the pleasure to skim through the bailout bill to find something work related. I could not believe all the pet provisions, tax cuts and programs that are completely not related core economic crisis we are facing. It is funny how no one really mentioned all the goodies. I find it very sad that when we as a country are facing a real serious economic problem that congress can not get its act together and actually get a bill signed that does only what they say they needed to do. If these provisions have merit, they could have easily passed together in another bill where they could have been understood and open for debate.
here are some examples:
306. ACCELERATED RECOVERY PERIOD FOR DEPRECIATION OF SMART METERS AND SMART GRID SYSTEM
401. LIMITATION OF DEDUCTION FOR INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO DOMESTIC PRODUCTION OF OIL, GAS, OR PRIMARY PRODUCTS THEREOF
Sec. 309. Extension of economic development credit for American Samoa.
Sec. 316. Railroad track maintenance.
And the winner is........
Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children. - Huh?
Monday, October 6, 2008
I find this demographic block interesting since I know some of them well and have spent time down there. I have written before about how I think they are generally a racist bunch and are not happy to vote for a black man. Also, the older Jews are overall becoming more conservative for a range of reasons.
One interesting part of the Salon story is that they estimate that only 5% of the voters in FL are Jewish. How many of those are undecided/ independent anyway?
Why is there so much attention on this demographic? This a group related to the rich, powerful and connected people in this country. Many working in Hollywood, in the NY and Washington Media, in the financial world as well as the Universities of the country are Jewish and have family down there and they therefore think about that strange world and write about them. Of course we had the whole Gore Bush 2000 thing but I think that this group overall is not very important at all in grand world of elections but people find it fun to examine their views. Also, many of the people down there are snow birds and vote in their home state. So if there is a campaign event at Del Boca Vista, some of the crowd won't even be counting at all as part of the FL election.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Feingold called the plan that secured Senate approval by a 74-25 vote "deeply flawed."
"It fails to offset the cost of the plan, leaving taxpayers to bear the burden of serious lapses of judgment by private financial institutions, their regulators, and the enablers in Washington who paved the way for this catastrophe by removing the safeguards that had protected consumers and the economy since the great depression," said Feingold. "The bailout legislation also fails to reform the flawed regulatory structure that permitted this crisis to arise in the first place. And it doesn't do enough to address the root cause of the credit market collapse, namely the housing crisis. Taxpayers deserve a plan that puts their concerns ahead of those who got us into this mess."
from Capitol Times
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Watching this video has disturbed me more than almost anything I have seen in recent years. It is the kind of exploitation of children that reminds me of Young Pioneer Camps I saw when visiting the Soviet Union in the Eighties
I also think it is upsetting to watch this. At first I thought it seemed ok but then after thinking it over I don't like it. Kids this young should not be pushed by their parents to be part of some brainwashing thing to support an adult political candidate. It is sort of a fine line. I think that kids are interested in the election and some, depending on their maturity may want to help support the campaign a bit. My kids played at the play area at the Obama campaign office here while we volunteered. My 6 yr old has talked with us and others about Obama and she wants him to win. She requested a button and we bought it for her but she doesn't wear it.
I certainly see how older kids (9-10) would want to do more active work for a campaign with their friends or family. I also think art for a political campaign is great and a campaign does not need to be limited to boring sterile flyers and speeches, I love the Wil.I.Am thing and think that we can have music and art, theater, etc. to help build and show support. It is not cult like and is how many people express their feelings. There are important issues in a presidential campaign that impact our lives and the planet and it is ok to express deep feelings about it in lots of ways. But when you mix the kids and the art it seems like singing in church, do they understand what they are sigining about and why?
While this was on the community part of the Obama website and probably not an official campaign event, it is valid for the right to criticize it because it shows how a group of Obama supporters express their feelings about him. All these families thought it was a good idea to put this together (it is also not preformed very well) and it makes me questions a bit of their judgement and understanding of the role that policiatns should play in our lives. Why are most Obama supporters supporting him?