Thursday, October 30, 2008

We've set this country up so that most people can't walk to a corner store or a coffeeshop. We have a public transportation system which is barely worth mentioning. We are totally dependant on cars for every trip we make.

General Motors needs $15b, or they're going out of business.

This is like the only opthomologist in a town full of myopic people going out of business.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For all the fuss they made about Bill Clinton's sex life (including, ultimately, his impeachment and an unsuccessful attempt to remove him from office), isn't it ironic that Republicans are going to vote for an adulterer over a faithful husband?

Does character count, or doesn't it?

Or is "character counts" just another cynical ploy, used to convince religious people to vote against their own economic interests?

Also: the fact that you probably didn't know that McCain is an adulterer proves that we do not have a functioning press corps.
Sean Quinn:
Tonight we'll be at the Obama-Clinton rally in Kissimmee, Florida, and we're breaking in from Miami, where John McCain just concluded his "Joe the Plumber" rally at Everglades Lumber.

After the rally, we witnessed a near-street riot involving the exiting McCain crowd and two Cuban-American Obama supporters. Tony Garcia, 63, and Raul Sorando, 31, were suddenly surrounded by an angry mob. There is a moment in a crowd when something goes from mere yelling to a feeling of danger, and that's what we witnessed. As photographers and police raced to the scene, the crowd elevated from stable to fast-moving scrum, and the two men were surrounded on all sides as we raced to the circle.

The event maybe lasted a minute, two at the most, before police competently managed to hustle the two away from the scene and out of the danger zone. Only FiveThirtyEight tracked the two men down for comment, a quarter mile down the street.

"People were screaming 'Terrorist!' 'Communist!' 'Socialist!'" Sorando said when we caught up with him. "I had a guy tell me he was gonna kill me."

Asked what had precipitated the event, "We were just chanting 'Obama!' and holding our signs. That was it. And the crowd suddenly got crazy."

Garcia told us that the man who originally had warned the two it was his property when they had first tried to attend the rally with Obama T-shirts was one of the agitators. Coming up just before the scene started getting out of hand, the man whispered in Garcia's ear, "I'm gonna beat you up the next time I see you." Garcia described him for us: "a big stocky man wearing a tweed jacket." He used hand motions to emphasize this was a large guy. We went back to look for the gentleman twenty minutes after the incident but didn't find him.

The two Obama supporters had attempted to attend the event with tickets printed from the McCain website. Both were clad in Obama T-shirts, Sorando in a blue "Obama '08" shirt, and Garcia in a white "Obama-Biden" shirt. They were told that the event was being held on private property and that wearing the shirts or carrying the signs they would be asked to either remove the shirts or not attend.

For an hour during the rally, the two had stood across the street from the lumberyard on public property holding yard signs. Some drivers honked in support, and others honked in disapproval. When the rally ended and the crowd spilled out, the disturbance began.

Garcia had a message for his stocky, tweed-clad threatener. "You tell that guy he can find Tony Garcia down at the West Dade library every day from 7 to 7 helping people early vote. I'll be there from 1 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. You tell him if he wants to kick my ass that's where he can find me. Come beat me up."
I am glad that I am not associated with the political party whose candidate in this election is inciting violent emotions in their supporters. Republicans should (again) be ashamed of the dispicable, racist, un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible campaign that their candidate has run.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Socialism" is the latest target for Republican politicians to demonize. I don't begrudge Republicans demonizing things --- after all, that's all that they know how to do.

But here is socialist Senator Bernie Sanders shellacking Alan Greenspan in a way that could definitely appeal to ordinary, working-class Americans, even those who might normally call themselves "conservatives".

If the economy continues to tank, look for this type of rhetoric to have greater resonance for Americans. And look for those who hitched their wagon to Greenspan's train --- namely, Republican politicians --- to reap a whirlwind of anger and resentment as Americans suffer under a collapsing economy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

(Click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I made this chart from's national poll data. Positive numbers equal Obama lead; negative equal McCain lead. Each data point is the average of each day's national polling numbers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This is a graphic from a WSJ article about the scary scary laws those horrible liberals will enact if they get the Presidency plus 60 Senate seats. Among the scary scenarios is included "Representation for District of Columbia"

The District of Columbia has more people living in it than Wyoming does.

I think that everyone can agree that it would be completely outrageous if Wyoming was not represented in Congress, no matter what the reason. But Republicans can get away with blocking debate on Congressional represention for DC. Why? How can they get away with blocking congressional representation for 600 thousand people while keeping their political reputations intact?

Because Wyoming is populated by white people, and DC is populated by black people.
McCain supporters heckle, mock and shout at early voters:
Photographer Joe Eddins and I headed over to the closest one and found a steady line of voters hoping to cast ballots early. Most seemed to be Obama supporters and several had come from the rally. Nearly all the voters were black.

Also at the polling site was a group of loud and angry protesters who shouted and mocked the voters as they walked in. Nearly all were white.

As you can see from these videos, no one held anything back. People were shouting about Obama's acknowledged cocaine use as a young man, abortion and one man used the word "terrorist." They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting.
If McCain supporters don't want people to vote, maybe they should go live in a country where people can't vote, rather than trying to block people from doing so in this country.

See also.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have a question for my friends in the Christian Right. Did you accomplish what you wanted to in the Bush years? Did they bring about the Millennium? Did they usher in a new religious revival?

If so, congratulations. You have two more months to revel in your Golden Age before Barack Hussein Obama takes power.

If not, why not? What stood in your way? You controlled all three branches of the government for six years. Was it that George Bush was not conservative enough? Too much of a moderate? Remember, after 11 September 2001, he had the good will of the entire world and of about 95% of the population of the country. He had a mandate to do whatever he wanted.

And...this is what you wanted to accomplish? This is the zenith of the Conservative Movement? A country, once a superpower, which you have reduced to a global laughingstock? Its armies tied down in two wars in Asia, imminent economic collapse, nationalization of the banking industry forced upon us? A Department of Justice paralyzed by corruption? Senior administration officials guilty of international war crimes?

I trust that you will excuse us unpatriotic liberals for observing that you don't have any idea how to run a country. Given your record, your qualification to vote should be in question.

And was it worth it? All of the Lee Atwater dirty tricks that you could think up? Particating in the character assassination of a Vietnam veteran? The betrayal of a CIA agent? The deaths of over 3000 American servicemen, and of untold thousands of Iraqis? (I guess it depends on your theology whether their lives count for anything.) Collaborating with dictatorship to have suspect tortured? Allowing the executive branch to illegally imprison American citizens?

You voted for all of this. You endorsed it. You have blood on your hands.

If the electorate were wiser, more educated, and better informed, it would mean the end of the Republican Party. No candidate would again use the term "conservative" to describe himself. Alas, that is not the case.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Josh Marshall says McCain's prospects are better than they might appear:
McCain's final strategy relies on two pillars. The first is aggressively playing to voters' fears of electing a black president. Make no mistake: not just his campaign in a general sense, but McCain himself and his top handful of advisers, are banking on the residual racism in a changing America to get them over the finish line. The second is an aggressive use of innuendo to convince casual voters that Obama is in league with Islamic terrorists bent on killing Americans.


For the McCain campaign, Bill Ayers has nothing to do with 60s radicalism. Ayers is nothing more than a tool that permits McCain, Palin and all their surrogates to use the noun "terrorist" in polite company in the same sentence as "Obama," over and over and over again. It allows them to cobble together a 'respectable' version of those Obama smear emails they can push in commercials and robocalls and surrogate talking points every hour of every day.

Stripped down to its components McCain's message to voters is this: "Don't forget. He's definitely black. And he may be a terrorist." That's the message. The nuts and bolts is a concerted effort to keep Democrats from voting -- through intimidation, by striking new voters from the rolls, which is going to happen to lots of them, clogging polling stations to create delays that keep late day (predominantly) Obama voters from voting altogether. Smears in the air and voter suppression on the ground.
Any religious person who supports McCain's racist, unpatriotic, and cynical campaign has got some serious cognitive dissonance to deal with.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So McCain has run a dishonest, cynical, desperate, racist campaign, accusing Obama of all kinds of things which everyone knows are blatantly false, like "palling around with terrorists", as well as the usual policy distortions which we have come to expect from Republican politicians. In his most important action as candidate for the Presidency, McCain made deeply cynical decision, choosing a clearly unqualified candidate who is guilty of abusing her executive powers as governor in order to pursue a prsonal vendetta against a state employee. Palin is reminiscient of the worst excesses of the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld-DeLay years.

McCain supports the Bush administration policies that have been shown to be utterly disasterous, including their stances on diplomacy, taxes, fiscal matters, economic deregulation, environmental issues, energy policy, etc.

Now McCain has embarked on a campaign to flood the battleground states with robo-calls --- recorded telephone messages which he can easily blame on a third party if he is asked to defend them. Sean Quinn reports:
Over in Indiana, PA and Northern Cambria, PA, volunteers fielded complaints of a massive wave of ugly robocalls both paid for by John McCain's campaign and those paid for by third parties. The third party call was interactive, and purported to be from Barack Obama himself. The call starts out reasonably, and then "Obama" asks what the listener thinks is the most important issue. Whatever the response, "Obama" then launches into a profane and crazed tirade using "n***er" and other shock language.
And yet with three weeks to go, 43.3% of likely voters are currently planning to vote to put into office this unwise, morally bankrupt, clearly corrupt, and unreliable candidate.

What does this say about our society? What does it say about what the "conservative movement", ostensibly something which was supposed to promote individual responsibility, small government, and conservative religion, but which has instead promoted intolerance, narrow-mindedness, political corruption, and increased economic inequality?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

After endorsing Obama, Christopher Buckley, son of the founder of modern conservatism William F. Buckley, resigns from the National Review:
While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.
According to Nate Silver's statistical model, Obama has a 53% chance to win in a landslide. McCain...not so much.

Kevin Drum makes predictions:
*If Obama wins, unemployment will average about 5 percent. If McCain wins it will average about 6 percent.
*If Obama wins, real GDP growth will average about 3 percent per year. If McCain wins it will average less than 2 percent per year.
*If Obama wins, poor families will see their incomes grow by more than $6,000 during the next eight years. If McCain wins their incomes will grow by less than $1,000.
*If Obama wins, middle-class families will see their incomes grow by about $13,000 during the next eight years. If McCain wins their incomes will grow by about $5,000.
*If Obama wins (hold on to your hats for this one), rich families will see their incomes grow by about $36,000 during the next eight years. If McCain wins their incomes will grow by about $32,000.
*If Obama wins (hold on to your hats again), the stock market will perform better: the average return on stocks compared to Treasury bills will be about 9 percent. If McCain wins it will be about 4 percent.
*If Obama wins, the national debt will grow about $150 billion per year. If McCain wins it will grow $400 billion per year. (For more, see Gregg Easterbrook, page 15.)
*And no matter who wins, average annual inflation will be around 4 percent.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bev Conover:
It’s bad enough that right-wing talk show hosts call for people’s deaths -- and we saw how that played out when Jim D. Adkisson shot up the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, killing two and wounding five, because he hates liberals as well as gays -- but for a vice presidential candidate to hurl verbal bombs that could lead to a man’s death is not just over the top, not just "mildly dangerous", as Joe Biden called it, it’s criminal.

If John McCain has any integrity at all, this ignorant, vindictive, hate-spewing woman should be immediately removed from the Republican ticket and sent back to Alaska, where she can continue carrying out her vendettas by figuratively shooting anyone who crosses her and literally shooting innocent animals from a helicopter. She is a disgrace not only to all women, but also to all human beings.

McCain better consider that if some rabid right-winger is incited to harm Obama due to Palin’s words, she is an accomplice and he, for lack of denouncing and ridding himself of her, may very well be too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Obama hits 90% likelihood of winning election in Nate Silver's statistical model

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Watching the VP debate, I think that Sarah Palin will really appeal to Americans, especially the most illiterate ones. She is Exhibit A in the complete, total, absolute failure of the American educational system.

Anyone who watched this debate and thinks that this mental chipmunk is qualified to be President of the United States of America should be unqualified to vote.

This is not American Idol, people. This is the leader of the Western World.

(We used to say "the free world", but that's become more muddy in recent years.)