September 24, 2008

Required reading

Orson Scott Card not only adopted the town in which I grew up, he's a pretty fair writer. Excerpt:


Is Obama really so stupid that he believes that Bush is merely doing what Obama called for a year ago?

Of course he's not stupid. He's lying. He's pretending that there's no difference between his position then and Bush's (and McCain's) achievement now. He thinks that the American people are so dumb that they will take his obviously-false claims at face value.
...
Obama ludicrously claimed that running his campaign for the past year is somehow comparable to governing a state. What a laugh! In the campaign, everybody serves at the candidate's pleasure. In the executive branch, most of the employees are under civil service regulations and can't be fired.

If Obama doesn't understand the difference, he really is unqualified to be President, because he clearly doesn't have a clue.
...
Where and when has Obama taken anybody on in his own party? Where is his vote that flew in the face of his party's discipline, like many of McCain's? Obama liked to claim that McCain voted with President Bush ninety percent of the time. But that means McCain voted against a President from his own party ten percent of the time.

Meanwhile, Obama has voted with the extreme left of his party, right in line with the party leadership, one hundred percent of the time.

That ten percent of McCain's votes that went against his party is actually a remarkable record of independence. One that Obama has never even attempted.
...
f we wanted to elect a man who yearns for America's defeat and can never admit to making a mistake, we could have elected John Kerry four years ago.

A lot of us really wanted to elect you as America's first African-American president.

But there are things more important to our future than mere tokenism. You should only be our President if you are the best person for the job, and you clearly are not.

We don't need a president who hasn't the courage to admit that his previous policy failed and openly change his mind -- the way President Bush did when he determined to change strategy and execute the surge.

We saw your true colors when you sneered at white middle-class voters who cling to guns and religion because they're bitter, as if an entire class of "those people" can be analyzed and dismissed in a sentence.

McCain was not my choice for President at the beginning of the campaign a couple of years ago, Mr. Obama. You were. I rooted for you. I voted for you as recently as the North Carolina primary.

Obviously, I have changed my mind. Why?

I learned a little more about McCain. I learned a lot more about you.


Posted by: Physics Geek at 03:20 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Food for thought

As I mentioned, I cannot quit politics entirely, especially in a presidential election year. Anyway, Patrick Reddy types an article that posits Eight Keys to 2008. Excerpt:


2. Will race sink Obama?
...
The problem for Democrats is that the last two elections were decided by less than three points, and this year is that close, so even a small racial vote could tip the balance here. As of September 14, the average of national polls complied by RealClearPolitics.com showed the horserace essentially even. Assuming that undecided white voters will break heavily against the black candidate in the privacy of the voting booth, Obama is actually behind right now. As my former boss, CNN Analyst Bill Schneider used to say, any black candidate below 50 percent in late polls in a two-way race is extremely vulnerable.
...
#8 Is Obama’s support too geographically concentrated? Obama will probably carry New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia by a total of 5 million votes, but in an electoral-college system where each state’s winner gets all the state’s delegates (except in Maine and Nebraska), it wouldn’t make any difference if he carried these states by one vote each. If the national popular vote is close, that means that McCain is ahead in most other places: Generally speaking, Republican votes are more efficiently spread across the small states of the Heartland. By carrying battleground states by one percent or less, McCain could win the election without winning the popular vote.

I made point #8 to some friends recently about the popular vote versus the electoral college. States like CA, NY and MA have become even more Democratic the last few years, meaning that a Lamppost-D would probably win a huge majority of votes in those states. However, those votes do not translate to other states, meaning that a handful of states will almost definitely decide the election. I don't have a feel overall on how things will go, but I'll make a stab at a couple of states:

1) Virgina: I predict that McCain will carry the state, albeit by a small margin. Fairfax County, a Democrat stronghold, has grown a lot the last few years. However, polls in VA historically under count that final GOP vote tally by 5%-8% (Dole was behind by a couple of points, but won by 4% against Clinton). Even if that discrepancy is now down to 4%, McCain will almost certainly win the state's electoral votes if polls going into election day show him within 2%-3% of Obama.

2) Colorado: Right now, I think that Obama will probably win the state's electoral votes. If he does not, I think that it's over for Obama. The possibility exists that the debates will cause a shift, or Joe Biden will make another spectacularly Bidenesque gaffe to turn the tide, but I'll go with my gut.

3) Florida: McCain wins here, unless he goes on an axe-wielding rampage in a retirement community.

4) Ohio: It's gonna be close, but I think that McCain wins here as well. Too many 2nd Amendment voters live in that state, I believe, for Obama to win. Also, I think that we could see a 1%-2% Bradley/Wilder (for us VA residents) effect at play.

5) New Hampshire: This one's tight and could go either way. I might change my mind, but McCain is popular in this state and I think that it will flip into the GOP column.

6) Pennsylvania: If the election were today, McCain would almost certainly carry it over the "no clean coal" ticket. Also, there are a large number of blue collar Democrats in the state who appear to be less than fond of Obama, although this group's antipathy will be offset quite a bit by the fact that the state is strongly pro-union. Kerry won PA by a narrow margin over Bush in 2004 and I would normally expect a similar result this year. However, the anti-coal message of the Democratic ticket, the anti-elitist sentiment against Obama, combined with, again, a small Bradley/Wilder effect will flip this state to McCain by a slim, slim margin.

7) The rest of the states remain their election day 2004 color.


That's my political analysis of how the race stands TODAY. How it will look after the debates is anyone's guess. Also, I have way of predicting what national and/or world events might occur before election day that could influence the race. I'll revisit this analysis right before the election and, afterwards, compare it to the actual election results.

Update: I almost forgot: I think that New Mexico will flip back to blue this year. Just an FYI.

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September 23, 2008

Because I can't quit politics

Okay, I give: I can't entirely ignore politics on this blog because I'm too much of a news junkie. I'll make a few points and then go back to boring everyone with whatever amuses me:

1) The 50 state campaign was a fool's errand. Obama, not being a fool, is concentrating on the 10 states likely to decide the election.

2) I still don't like McCain the politician; actually, I loathe him, although I respect him both as a man and for his service to this country in the time of war. However, I like Gov. Palin a great deal.

3) Those of you who continue to claim the Palin is unqualified for Veep while simultaneously claiming that Obama IS qualified for President are, to be blunt, full of shit and fooling no one. The best quote that I've seen on the topic is from a liberal commenting over at Rick Moran's site:


Note to my fellow Obama supporters:

Obama has accomplished essentially nothing in the public sphere. It’s a fact. Live with it.

My reasons to support Obama over McCain are 1) I prefer Obama’s positions to McCain’s, 2) I think Obama will do a better job of uniting the country, 3) I think McCain is a man of the past and Obama is a man of the future.

Stop pretending Obama is something he’s not. It’s waste of time and you’re playing a losing game.

The appropriate response to accusations about Obama’s lack of experience is to laugh and say, “You gave up that argument when you nominated the mayor of Wasilla.” And then talk policy.

I'd quibble about his final sentence comparing the Dem #1 to the GOP #2, but he's pretty much spot on otherwise.

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September 05, 2008

Common sense

From an expected source.

John Scalzi and I differ quite a bit politically, but he's always given the impression of being a decent guy, and not just at his book signings. Anyway, he makes the following comment, which I think everyone should read:


And at the end of the proverbial day, this election is the guys who are the headliners: about McCain and Obama, and their policies and plans, or lack thereof. One of these guys is a rock star, and the other isn’t — and to be honest, I hope that doesn’t matter, either. What should matter, and what I hope will matter, is the substance of the two candidates. Substance is not what people come to “rock stars” for. But it should be what we look for in a president.

Update: He also doesn't take kindly to anyone, regardless of political stripe, crapping in his sandbox:


Also remember that this site gets lots of people of all sorts of political persuasion visiting, including persuasions that aren’t mine, and I see that as a feature, not a bug. Also, you know what? Each of them are my guests. Please don’t be rude to my guests. Because then I might be compelled to be rude to you. And as we all know, I’m really good at being rude.

I've seen Mr. Scalzi angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

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What he said

Frank J. echoes pretty much what I was thinking while watching McCain's speech last night:


He's McCain; what else can you say. You may not like him, but it will be hard to meet anyone half the man he is.

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September 02, 2008

One quick question

I like the Palin pick for VP, but is it possible that the excitement and enthusiasm felt by conservatives and libertarians is limited to political junkies like me? In other words, are most people so out of touch and politically unaware that this pick makes no difference whatsoever to them?

Posted by: Physics Geek at 09:11 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 01, 2008

Treacher, you magnificent bastard

Quoted in its entirety:


ne of them is little more than an elegant, attractive, dare I say sexy piece of eye candy.

The other one kills her own food.

Related update Related because I say so. From KP:


Dems have been comparing Palin to Joe Biden and laughing derisively at the contrast. But for some reason, the comparison between Obama and McCain - who are light years apart in terms of experience - doesn't incite the same level of concern or condescension.

I actually buy the Obama camp's original argument that Washington experience isn't the only thing that matters. Life experience, thoughtfulness, intellectual curiosity, a willingness to listen and learn, shared values and an ability to inspire and communicate - all count as much.

The jury is still out on Palin but the argument that Washington experience isnt the most important criteria still holds true, even if you have ovaries.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 04:33 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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