Sep 27, 2008

Obama v. McCain 1st Presidential Debate: There is a Winner!

The first much-anticipated debate between Obama and McCain is over and there's a winner for the following reasons:

  • Obama looked presidential and knowledgeable.
    McCain failed to win, especially when this topic--foreign policy and national security--was his strong point. Next up, the economy...
  • Obama connected more with independents and the undecideds.
  • McCain, through this debate and his performance in the last week, did not gain any points or close the gap. I believe the polls that will come out in the next few days will show that either BO maintains his 4-5% advantage or even increase it.
  • McCain missed this chance; he will have to wait a couple weeks to try to knock Obama down a few notches--a task that will become even harder after next Thursday's VP debate. Biden was all over the networks whereas Palin was nowhere post-debate. As I've said before, she is going to be a net negative to the GOP ticket. Even cons don't really believe that Palin is qualified to be VP or a 73-year old heartbeat away from the presidency!
Now, if you want more analysis, keep reading. If you're a progressive liberal or someone who wants BO to win, you should feel increasingly more confident and, hopefully, you'll put some time & effort into making it happen.

Back to the debate. I didn't think either man did such a great job as to dislodge people who were in one camp to jump to the other. But, again, that's OK, because it solidified BO's presidential stature--the more acceptable of a choice he appears, the better his chances. I suspect that there are (and will be more) Republicans who could "live" under a BO administration. This will translate into less excitement (and votes) for Mac. If Mac couldn't beat BO on this topic of the first debate, there isn't much hope he can do it on the economy or anything else. The GOP now has to hope for an external factor to reverse the national trend against their ticket.

We need change and the country seems to want that. Obama leads by big numbers in this category. The economy's horrible mess also favors BO. I suspect that Mac lost points by talking about winning in Iraq,and bringing home the troops only in victory. Most Americans know we've lost the occupation and the peace there. I thought BO could have done a better job to destroy Mac's argument that he has "the right judgment" to be commander in chief. When it came down to make a judgment call about Iraq, McCain said yes to the war while BO said no! And, initially McCain kept repeating all that nonsense about a short war, liberators, and spare change.

I'm glad to see the national economy being part of national security. War has been a distraction & occupation for most of human history; militarism has been the main activity of government besides taxing the people who can least afford it. This robs society of resources that can be better used to promote the general welfare. When the US spends more on armaments than the whole world combined, it surely means that we're not spending enough on health care, education, etc. [Check this Bill Moyers essay on the cost of war]

BO should remind the voters that Mac and the whole Bush administration were telling us (just a few months ago) that the US economy was good, no recession/depression in sight, and that the fundamentals were strong! Hmmm. This is either lying or really bad judgment!

Besides, keeping Americans as safe as possible should mean that improving and prolonging human lives is a good thing. Isn't it? But, some 20,000 Americans die every year because they don't have health insurance. McCain would be dead already had he not been treated 4 times for cancer; he, like all members of Congress, have the best health care coverage. Same for president Bush who had precancerous polyps removed during a regular checkup--a benefit tens of millions of Americans do not have!

Finally, Obama must hit harder McCain and Republicans for being hypocrites when it comes to caring for the veterans. First, they trick Americans [including many non-citizens] into service. Then they send them to battle on false pretences and without appropriate armor or in sufficient numbers. Once injured, they put them in filthy facilities to recover. They make them serve longer tours of duty, including those in the National Guard. When Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a 21st century GI bill [free college tuition for the veterans], guess what, McCain and the GOP voted against it! That's how much the Cons "love" the vets. Love to me means to take care of those you love, not expose them to unnecessary danger and give them all the support you can.

On a sad note, we lost a liberal in Connecticut today. Paul Newman died battling cancer at 83.

PS. The Washington Post has a good coverage of the debate, plus the whole video.

Sep 18, 2008

Why Obama Will Beat McCain? Here Are Some of the Reasons..

In just over a month the country will elect a new president, but still there's plenty of time for the voters to move or make a decision. I know the chart (on the blog's right column) shows McCain having the advantage in the Electoral College today, but even though I think it's an snapshot, it does not give the complete picture. There have been some nail-biting moments of doubt and conversations among the progressives who are almost convinced that Obama will lose. I think Obama will win this, probably by a more comfortable margin that most people expect today. Let me tell you why.

Sarah Palin. She will be a net negative to the ticket. This will become very clear in the next few weeks as her record and her statements during the campaign (and before) come to light. The debate with Biden hopefully will also show that she's very inexperienced to be presidential material. McCain needed to pick a VP who could take over on day two, if not day one! Obama must exploit this, and connect it to Mac's poor judgment. Whatever motivation the conservatives got from the Obama-Biden ticket cannot match the motivation the progressive had against McBush already. With Sarah added on, then more money and volunteers will go Obama's way. Most voters (60%) think that BO chose Biden because of his qualifications, but Palin was chosen to help Mac win (75%), not for her qualifications (17%). On balance, Palin's negatives will grow at the expense of her positives. I know most people vote for president and not his VP, but the bounce the GOP ticket got post-convention was because of Palin, therefore, this phenomenon will change to Mac trailing BO as before the conventions. Further, I believe that Sarah is a liability and will further damage the ticket.

The Economy. Yes, how can you not think that the Democrats don't have the advantage on this issue? Our government--properly accountable to the people--has a vital role to play in the marketplace. Regulate big business from indulging in excesses that hurt the "average American" the most. This way, and there will be less need to nationalize private businesses, and/or the taxpayer has to bail them out. [The Republican economic plan: socialism for the rich--private profit, social risk--and capitalism for the poor. But, the Dems and especially Obama must draw this connection soon.] "It's the economy, stupid!" Traditionally, the Dems have an advantage when the excesses of the marketplace threatens everyone--and nowadays almost any working person with savings or a pension has a stake in the performance of the marketplace.

New Voters. What's been missing from the polls is the enormous advantage the Obama/Dems have this season. Millions of new Dems have been registered, many are under 35 years old. Quite a few only have a cell phone and can't be polled by traditional landline methods. In addition, there's lots more excitement on the Dem/progressive side. The Repubs/cons got excited with Palin, but they're sensing it now: their ticket isn't going to win. As the gap (national polls) grows between Obama & Mac, many GOPers are more likely to stay home on election day.

Electoral College Map. If Obama is to win, he must carry all the Kerry (2004) states plus some. McCain has not added one Blue state to his column yet. There are a few states that are very competitive for both. However, Mac has not added any; he has lost Iowa already, and he'll probably lose New Mexico and Colorado, possibly Nevada too. In this scenario, if PA returns to the Blue column, Obama wins. Again, in the following weeks, I expect the national polls to show an increasing spread between BO - JM; this will add a few percentage points for BO in the battleground states. It may even turn into a landslide in the Electoral College.

Change. Most Americans by huge margins accept that Obama is the agent of change. This poll confirms that McCain may talk about change but he does not represent true change. Mac has the advantage on "experience" and being the commander-in-chief (especially the latter), but, the way I read it, most of the country wants change in the direction, priorities, and role of government--not merely a change of faces in the White House. Advantage BO. Even though the war is still a big issue, Mac's advantage on military leadership will be trampled by Americans' wish for the war to end. It's been too costly and people know it. I hope the Dems keep making a connection between a bad economy and the war.

"Results from the New York Times/CBS News Poll released Thursday indicate voters view McCain as a "typical Republican" who would continue or expand President Bush's policies. The latest poll found 46 percent of voters thought McCain would continue Bush's policies, while 22 percent indicated they thought he'd be more conservative." UPI/NY Times

Nobody knows the future, especially when there are many fluid factors as they are in an election cycle, but some movements and trends can be identified. We examine the numbers as we have them (subject to mistakes), see the prevailing voters' views, and then make educated guesses. When we want something, really long for it, our judgment may be clouded--I'm aware of this. However, I'm following a reasonable path to forming a conclusion, which is: this election is for Obama to win or lose, and I think he will. Call me on November 5th.

Update, 9/20/08
When I wrote this a couple days earlier, the electoral map (on the right column) showed a McCain advantage, as most others (like CNN's) have the Republican ahead. There's a seesaw race up to this point, but I think this will change to Obama's favor in the next few weeks.

Sep 12, 2008

Some More Straight Talk.... "I'm John McCain and I approved this message"

I know, I know, I'm appealing to the rational. By any reasonable standard, this election shouldn't even be close, but it is--according to most polls. Those who are going to flip the contest--the ones who float from side to side and form their views on superficial impressions--are more likely to decide on a gut reaction. The conservatives know very well how to play this game. It's a bi-polar exercise: fear, and reward (by obeying Big Brother).

I think the rational arguments and the parade of facts obviously appeal only to those who are interested in them. The rest have impressionable minds swayed by simplified emotional appeals. [I'm glad I'm not running for public office] Yes, it's important to keep presenting the truth and supporting evidence, because many Americans require them. But, we have to find a way to reach the gut of a few million Americans.

The presidential game has now turned as it has in the past: winning the swing states. As the Current Election Polls (on the right sidebar) show, McCain has a slight lead in the Electoral College. But, Mac cannot afford to lose any state. Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, have been going back & forth. Nevada and Colorado may go from Red (2004) to Blue, and NM remain in the Blue column.

I have many progressive friends who are fretting that Obama may lose. Of course, everything is possible in this more-conservative-than-we-like country. But, here's some good news. Obama has been registering millions of new voters in a way not seen before. Will they vote? Who knows. However, those who are not register cannot vote.

The other plus is that the new registrants are Americans under 35 years old--a group that favors progressives by a large margin. Also, many of them don't have landlines to be polled like the rest of the country.

Sep 4, 2008

GOP: God's The Head Coach for the Republicans; How They Will Never Allow Another 9-11 (again); Democrats Hate America, and McCain is a Hero!

McCain is a hero because he dropped napalm bombs on the Vietnamese, got shot down and spent years as a POW. From this he gained the experience to be commander-in-chief, and the judgment to be president of all America & the world.

For a moment I thought Mac would want to reinforce the "maverick" label... but, he just said he is very grateful to president Bush for leading our country so wisely after 9-11. Doesn't this show how "common-sense conservative" he is? Sure!

Wait a second, Mac: "get this country back to prosperity and peace" ???!!! Really, Mac! Who got us into this mess?!!

Is the crowd on Mac's page? He talks about struggling Americans and those who lost their jobs, and the crowd interrupts with shouts of U-S-A, U-S-A! What the f..

Oh, here it is... Mac: "Change is coming"... Change Washington? Hmmm. Ah, he'll change it because he's a maverick! Geesh. Enough already!

[btw, some friends, (no names needed), are playing the drinking game... one drink every time maverick is heard; but some people are already drunk because they chose, god]

Thank you John for reminding us that the Supreme Court also rides on this election!

Mac will cut taxes whereas BO will raise them (no mention for whom--I think it matters, don't you think?)...

Mac: Gov-run bureaucratic system will stand between us and our doctors! I see. It's a ridiculous argument. It's time to give the GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED health care coverage McCain (and all of Congress) gets to ALL AMERICANS! End of story!

Did he say, "Education is the civil-rights issue of this century"??!!! I think idiocracy is beneficial to the Republican party!


I'm getting tired of this tirade of conservative garbage. This may be appealing to the simplistic mind... I'd rather engage some other spirits right now... Ah, go drill off-shore and everywhere you want... Like the Iraq, war were told, would make oil cheap for our humongous SUVs! Sound energy policy, no?

Good night and good luck!

I'm watching the last day of the Republican convention, so I'm writing my impressions as I'm listening to the speakers. All of them, thus far have said that God has a plan and, of course, he's on their side. Patriotism--or the big talk about patriotism--is a main theme. After all, it is the Dems that have to prove their patriotism. The Repubs love America, except (as John Stewart said) when they hate the other 50%!

A video showing Islamist fanatics who "want to kill us" is on. Lots of imagery and references to 9-11. The Repubs will never allow this to happen again. I guess the first time they allowed this to happen they didn't realize that the Soviet Union had collapsed and thus wanted to continue the Star Wars program. Those "two-bit" terrorists wouldn't amount to much of a threat.

Family values is another big theme. Of course, the Repubs are the great moralists with solid family values. Well, don't look at their presidential candidates and their conservative religious wingnuts. I'm wondering what the conservatives would have said if Chelsea Clinton had dropped out of school and been pregnant at 16! Obviously Hillary & Bill would have been chastised for failing to protect their teenage daughter and to teach her abstinence-only sex education!

Now, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is speaking. The surge, he says, has worked in Iraq, and that country is not a failed state. We have AlQaeda on the run there and elsewhere. Nice. On the other hand, Obama wants us to fail in Iraq! Graham knows better because he took a trip to Iraq with McCain and Lieberman. No mention of why the Repubs sent insufficient number of troops without proper equipment to get killed in Iraq... Fight 'em over there...

Oh, yes, thank God Joe Lieberman stood with the Repubs and is a great friend of McCain!

John McCain: Maverick! Sarah Palin: Maverick! Oh, both are environmentalists. They didn't mention if humans have anything to do with global warming. What do you think? Palin loves Alaska, loves America. Government should be for the people--even if it means 3 people who live on that island that deserves a $300-million bridge! Oh, and she's got foreign policy experience, because Alaska borders Russia! [She's good for Obama so far... BO raised $8 million following her speech!]

Palin's resume here. Oh, and she's a mother of 5 children who'll have time to be VP. Does she need any training to step in as Prez if something happens to Big Mac? Hope she finds the time, or maybe she's figured it out already: nothing to do.

Tom Ridge (former PA gov and Hommie Tsar) is up. He would have been a good VP choice for McCain. Not that I like him; the guy who established the color coded (and totally useless) alert system. Did you forget the plastic & duct tape we were told to supply ourselves with? Ha! At least Ridge admitted that the Bush gov. used the "high alert" terror warnings for political purposes--not for any other good reason! Why, no surprise there. They were incompetent, screwed up on 9-11, and began to lie to the American people the second after the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Remember what EPA said to real American heroes who rushed to the disaster area to help & recover? That air was safe! And, then, all the lies about the "need" to invade & occupy Iraq... Tsk.

Cindy was a great catch for Mac. She cares about the sick, and the poor--even though, we know, they're responsible for their fate and that government's role is not to provide services like universal health care and education! Mac scored a 24-year old at 37. Not bad, not bad at all. Oh, the money, who cares about the money...

Yeah, but Mac left his wife (who waited while he was a POW) for Cindy because of love; but John Kerry, well, we know he did it for the money by marrying Teresa Heinz! Kerry was a ..Democrat.

Cindy: Our party stands for freedom! Lincoln was a Republican, remember? Does she mean like the freedom to work for Burger King or McDonald's if you can go to college?
Oh, no, Cindy makes a reference to Mother Teresa! [her great work] How moving! Part of God's plan too?...

[I'll update, on the top of the page, when Mac speaks, meanwhile enjoy BO's video below]