Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Undecided? Join the club.

Not me, of course, but they're out there. Nate Silver at 538.com has an interesting write up though. Have a look.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The Undecideds

Earlier tonight, I suggested that there were in fact proportionately more undecideds among white voters than black voters, as the McCain campaign claimed today. This was based mostly on a recollection of numbers that I'd looked at several weeks ago when the fraction of undecideds was higher. However, this claim is more debatable now.

Below, among seven current polls which have released racial breakdowns, are the numbers of voters who did not declare their support for either major-party candidate. These totals include undecideds as well as third-party votes -- a group that I refer to as "uncommitted" voters.

Undecided + Other

Pollster White Black Hispanic
===========================================
Gallup 6 5 8
Research 2K 8 2 4
Rasmussen 3 6 7
Battleground 7 5 7
Economist 10 5 11
Pew 12 9 --
Zogby 6 3 --
===========================================
AVERAGE 7.2 5.4 7.4

A somewhat higher proportion of whites (and Latinos) are uncommitted, but the differences are not overwhelming. Suppose that McCain were to win 2/3 of white uncommiteds -- which I'd probably consider optimistic, although perhaps not since the uncommitted whites appear to be fairly downscale. Suppose also that Obama wins 90 percent of black uncommitteds and 60 percent of Latino uncommitteds. Suppose furthermore that the breakdown of white/black/Latino voters is 74/12/10, reflecting slight increases in the latter two groups from 2004's 77/11/8. Under these assumptions, McCain would pick up 3.9 points from uncommitteds and Obama 2.8 points, a net gain of 1.1 points for McCain:

Uncommitted Allocation I

Group % of Electorate to McCain to Obama
White 5.33 --> 3.55 1.78
Black 0.65 --> 0.06 0.58
Latino 0.74 --> 0.30 0.44
===================================================
Total 6.72 --> 3.91 2.81

As I said, however, these assumptions are arguably optimistic for McCain. What if, instead, the distribution of the uncommitteds roughly resembles that of committed voters within each racial group, which means that whites go about 57/43 for McCain, blacks go 95/5 for Obama, and Hispanics go 65/35 for Obama? Under this set of assumptions, the undecideds split essentially evenly:

Uncommitted Allocation II

Group % of Electorate to McCain to Obama
White 5.33 --> 3.04 2.29
Black 0.65 --> 0.03 0.62
Latino 0.74 --> 0.26 0.48
===================================================
Total 6.72 --> 3.33 3.39

Another problem is that we haven't been distinguishing undecided voters from third-party voters. There is an argument that third-party voters should be treated as quasi-undecided voters, since third party support tends to collapse at the voting booth. Nevertheless, Bob Barr and Ralph Nader will probably pick up a collective 1-2 percent of the electorate, and third party support tends to be overwhelmingly concentrated among white voters.

Four of the seven polls distinguished undecided voters from third-party voters. Looking only at those four polls:

"True" Undecideds

Pollster White Black Hispanic
===========================================
Research 2K 2 2 1
Rasmussen 2 5 4
Battleground 4 3 4
Economist 6 3 11
===========================================
AVERAGE 3.5 3.3 5.0

With the third-party votes removed, there is essentially no difference between the number of white and black undecideds, though Latinos perhaps are undecided at somewhat higher rates.

Long story short ... given optimistic assumptions (McCain wins 2/3 of white undecideds, 100 percent of third-party support collapses), the undecided vote is worth a net of about a point for McCain. Given what I'd consider to be more neutral assumptions, there's no particular reason to think that the undecided vote favors him.

My guess is that the truth is somewhere in between and that this is worth, say, half a point for McCain. Even give him the full point if you like. This effect is probably smaller than that of the cellphone problem, from which there may be 1-2 points of cushion in Obama's direction. If on top of that the polls are being overly conservative with their likely voter modeling, the numbers are more likely to be underestimating Obama's standing than overestimating it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When baseball and politics collide...




Can Obama pull a Ted Williams??

Monday, October 20, 2008

Polling can be misleading (shocking, I know).

There's been lot's of chatter the last few days about a "tightening" of the polls...this should make you feel better (though I will note that national polling is irrelevant and useless for anything other than noting momentum - remember, we elect the President in the states, not as a national referendum).


For McCain, When The Gap Closes, And Doesn't.

20 Oct 2008 11:51 am
Well, sort of, but not really.

The Washington Post's Ben Pershing makes a fundamental point about comparisons, one that the Wall Street Journal apparently neglected as well in its lead headline, entitled "Obama Takes in a Record $150 Million, But McCain Narrows Gap in Some Polls."

The sort of: looking at the polling averages, Obama's lead is now just above five points; it was eight points last week.
Case closed, right? As Pershing writes:

"The average last week included some surveys (like the NYT, WashPost and LAT polls) showing Obama with leads of 9 or more points. Because RCP uses a rolling average, those polls have now dropped out, and as of now the average only includes the major tracking polls, which show a closer race. But Obama's lead has actually grown in those tracking polls from where they were last week

Wait a few more days....until the new national surveys have been released. If McCain has made statistically significant gains in a few of those polls, then it's safe to conclude that he's "closing the gap." (Privately, the McCain campaign believes that McCain can still win the electoral college if he comes within two or three points of Obama in the popular vote.)

But even there, there's a conceptual problem. There are lots of gaps; even the Obama campaign, in its wildest, filthiest dreams, doesn't anticipate winning the popular vote by more than five points. The biggest gaps for McCain are in state polls -- in at least six of them, he needs to close the gap _and_ open up a lead in order to account for the multiplier effect of Obama's. It might not be fair to hold McCain to this standard, but this is the challenge he faces.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beware Overconfidence...

I'll admit ahead of time that I haven't watched the entire video yet, but if you click on the title, it will take you to a video entitled "Inside the Bubble," which chronicles the last few days of the 2004 election from inside the Kerry campaign.

The point here is very simple: don't get caught up in talk of a landslide; electoral, popular, or otherwise. In the coming three weeks you will read about newspaper endorsements and shifting poll numbers, cash-on-hand advantages and superior field operations. Everyone will pat themselves on the back and start speaking confidently of an Obama Administration and all the good it will do.

STOP.

Let me be frank - the Democratic Party has one skill that almost always shines through on Election Day: the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Don't let it happen on YOUR watch. DO SOMETHING.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This House is on fire....

...and I'm not talking about the Dow.

The question I have to keep asking myself is this: is John McCain willing to win at any cost? And if so, is he then willing to accept responsibility for the yawning chasm of hatred and mistrust that he is ever-so-quickly digging?

It's sad to me that for so long, this man held my respect; not for his political views, many of which I vehemently disagreed with. Rather, it was for his ability to recognize the greater good and to commit to doing what was in ALL of our best interests, at the risk of his own political hide. The Gang of 14 was a personal inspiration - I almost started a new company on the shoulders of this idea, that there was room in the middle for people to come together, even if only on occasion.

Today, John McCain is a shadow of the man he was, and his legacy is lost. I hope what he has left for the rest of us isn't a tragic inferno of antipathy towards all that is different.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Relief? Perhaps.

I don't want to post too much more on Palinmania - there are too many people more talented than I am writing on the subject - but I have to say a couple of things about yesterday and last night before I can move on.

First, I want the record to show that I was saying to anyone who would listen that last night scared me heading into St. Louis, because Palin had a record of eating people alive in debates; she didn't get the nickname "Barracuda" because of her love of Heart (though some of those older pictures, you can totally envision her front row center at a Heart show). She clearly exceeded expectations, but as one pundit put it, she spent last night trying to convince people to take her seriously, while Joe Biden spent last night showing people that he could be President. So I feel pretty relieved on that front.

Second, people shouldn't lose sight of the biggest news of the day yesterday: McCain gave up on the Big Mitten. This should NOT be underestimated; the path to 270 electoral votes is tricky, and taking Michigan off the table means McCain is shifting to almost straight defense, moving people into Indiana, Ohio and Virginia. This strategy is akin to drawing a line outside the front gate at the Alamo - if you are a Republican and have to fight for those three states, you have big problems. And today's economic news doesn't really help if you are Team Maverick.

Which leads to my third and final point. People have been watching the Dow go up and down as dinner theater (or blood sport), when there have been greater indicators of economic distress, not the least of which was the jobs report that came out today, showing the greatest job loss in any given month in five years. THIS IS SERIOUS SHIT, and I really hope that people look at the economic policies of the last eight years as a guidepost for how they evaluate these two candidates. Because the economy is getting really, really scary, and people need to keep their eye on the ball come November 4th.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Your move, Jonnie S and L.

I'm amazed they were able to accomplish ANYTHING with McCain in NY!

'Fundamental agreement' reached on bailout

Top congressional negotiators have announced that they have a "fundamental agreement" on a government bailout of the nation's financial system, granting extraordinary powers to the secretary of Treasury to purchase hundreds of billions in bad debt while attempting to stem foreclosures for homeowners struggling on Main Street.

The announcement came in the Capitol after a three-hour meeting involving a dozen of the top negotiators from both parties and both chambers of Congress.

Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) said, "We believe we are prepared to act expeditiously on a package ... and send a message to the markets."

But Dodd cautioned that this is still a "set of principles" and not completed legislative language. Quite often, the nitty-gritty details of bill language can slow the process. Still, Dodd and other key negotiators seemed more confident Thursday afternoon than they have at any other point in the week long bailout negotiations.

The bill could reach the president's desk in a few days, Dodd said.

House Republicans continue to warn that they haven't signed off on this deal, but the bailout ship may sail without them given the pace of legislative activity today.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), the top GOP negotiator in the Senate, said, "We have a plan that will pass the House, pass the Senate and be signed by the president, and bring certainty to the markets."

Dodd said the agreement includes a crackdown on executive compensation, but it does not appear to have a bankruptcy provision, coveted by liberal Democrats, which would allow judges to restructure mortgages for people facing foreclosure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If I were Obama, this would be my response

to Senator McCain's request to postpone the foreign policy debate on Friday.

“I’m relieved to hear that Senator McCain has finally recognized that the fundamentals of our economy are in fact not strong, as he was insisting as recently as six days ago. I also applaud his commitment – which I share – to do whatever is necessary and prudent to turn our economy back in the right direction.

However, I must respectfully decline the Senator’s request to postpone our upcoming debate. I can think of nothing more important right now than the opportunity to stand in front of the American people and speak to their concerns, not only about the economy, but about our failed foreign policy, a foreign policy that has resulted in nearly a trillion dollars being spent on a war that was never needed, a trillion dollars that could have – should have – been spent here in the United States, a trillion dollars that would come in awfully handy right now.

I can also appreciate the Senator’s concern that the current economic crisis stands in the way of preparation for this debate, but I am quite frankly flummoxed by the idea that after nearly three decades in Washington, Senator McCain is unprepared to have a conversation about his foreign policy vision. There’s no question that in a global economy, how we engage the world is intimately connected to our economic health and well-being, and postponing this incredibly important but scant 90 minute conversation is not in the best interests of our country. Surely, an expert on foreign policy like Senator McCain could have this debate in his sleep.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kiss My Fannie.

One of the benefits of reading blogs (mine notwithstanding) is catching stories you might otherwise miss because, well, you have a life and can't possibly read every paper and story that is out there. This one caught my attention this morning. Not because of the connection between McCain, McCain's advisors, and the industry that has single handedly sent our financial system back to the 1920's; we all knew that Jonnie S and L McCain was in bed with these guys. What caught my eye was the overwhelming brazenness of the relationship between Fannie Mae (heretofore known affectionately as "my ass") and Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager:

(From the NY Times)

"The value that he brought to the relationship was the closeness to Senator McCain and the possibility that Senator McCain was going to run for president again," said Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, who said that while he worked there from 2000 to 2002, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together paid Mr. Davis's firm $35,000 a month. Mr. Davis "didn't really do anything," Mr. McCarson, a Democrat, said.

Let's do the math together, shall we? Rick Davis took in roughly two million dollars to help "my ass" get really close to Jonnie S and L McCain. That's it. No long memos, thick, detailed research books, not even a mani and pedi. Just because my ass wanted to develop a nice little inroad to Jonnie S and L.

Ok, ok, ok. Let me get this straight. Jonnie S and L thinks Obama is part of the "Washington problem" because someone on his staff called the former Fannie Mae CEO to ask a couple of questions. Meanwhile, there are 19 former Wall Street lobbyists who are officially advising Jonnie S and L, including someone - WHO IS RUNNING HIS CAMPAIGN - who earned (I use that term lightly) $2 million to give the Pale Horseman an inside track to his boss. Now THERE'S change you can believe in!

I smell a little anger seeping in to my blog, so I think I should just leave it here. But I do want to point out that Jonnie S and L (I like the way that sounds) is even as I write running ads across the country, claiming for himself the mantle of "Washington outsider" in the midst of this economic Armageddon.

My ass.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, that didn't take long.

Palin's Favorability Ratings Tumble (per The Politico)

"Gov. Sarah Palin's favorable/unfavorable ratings have suffered a stunning 21 point collapse in just one week, according to Research 2000 polling. Last week, 52% approved and 35% disapproved of the GOP vice presidential nominee (+17 net). This week, 42% approved and 46% disapprove (-4 net).

Earlier this week, Newsweek also saw the drop in other polling. "Over the course of a single weekend... Palin went from being the most popular White House hopeful to the least."


Now, one MIGHT look at these numbers and proclaim this as evidence certain that the liberal media has it in for Sarah Palin (and Republicans in general), and this is a direct result of the terrible "disrespect" she has received from the Fourth Estate.

Or, one could look at it in a more circumspect way. I think the sentiment that best captures this viewpoint is "it's about damn time." Or perhaps, "what took you so long?!"

God forbid the media expose a candidate for they sham they are, rather than get lambasted as anti-American, Commie-loving socialists, as they are typically called when daring to criticize those on the right.

What's funny to me is all they really did was ask questions. For once, all they really did was do their job. It's about damn time.

Meanwhile, if you critically analyze her favorability numbers, you'll see her support is essentially the same percentage as those who indicate they will vote for their Republican candidate for Congress this fall (the generic ballot). That to me make makes complete sense - knowing what we do about her, who the hell would really like her other than those who are diehard Republicans anyway??

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes, life is better than fiction...

From the AP:

Wayward squirrel cuts power to Clemson campus
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CLEMSON — A squirrel caused a weekend campus-wide power outage at Clemson University. Campus officials say one of the critters crossed power lines at the main campus substation around 10 a.m. Sunday, causing a massive outage.

University spokeswoman Robin Denny told The Greenville News it took more than seven hours to get all the power back on.

Clemson has been battling with squirrels for years. Graduate students are testing contraceptives to try and control the population, which is estimated at 12 squirrels per acre of the 1,400-acre campus.


So here is my question: why are the Clemson graduate students testing contraception? Wouldn't it be easier to just stop having sex with the squirrels??

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mad As Hell

Sometimes, you don't even need to comment. All I'll say is this guy has PASSION. I like it.

Oh, and I wish people had listened to him. He was clearly on to something. This was recorded in August of LAST YEAR.

(Click on the title)

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's A Wonderful Life?

I am a tempest of mixed emotions this a.m., and I thought I would share a few of them with you, my dozens of readers....

First, I should start with my beloved Gamecocks, who proved yet again that you can be good AND mediocre at the same time. God bless 'em, though, because at least it was an entertaining game. And for the record, you CAN put more crap into a four year old than what she actually weighs (M&Ms, cotton candy, some frozen strawberry concoction, and so on.)

Now, my wife and I are far from wealthy (oh yes, we are rich in love), but turning on the TV this morning, one has to wonder if the end of the world is nigh, and if so, will the High Horse of Death be ridden by none other than Gordon Gecko? And is he coming to take away my paltry life savings as a down payment? I grew up in the age of really bad movies (I mean really good, but far from what film critics would call "good"), highlighted by one of my favorites, "Wall Street." (How can you not love to hate and hate to love Gordon Gecko?!?) Point is, it's hard to feel bad for some of the detritus living fat on the cow of the American working man and woman while they cascade ever so violently into the abyss (as I write the this, the Dow is down like 300 points in 25 minutes).

And so while the financial markets give us their version of the bank run of "It's A Wonderful Life," I am torn between glee and real fear. This type of collapse is never good for anyone, and with the economy already struggling, the last thing we need is Ma and Pa Clampett taking their stacks of old, worn dollar bills and hiding them in an empty cookie tin that they keep on top of the fridge.

Why glee? Well, two reasons, really, somewhat unrelated. One, as I mentioned earlier, I've no love for an industry whose raison d'etre is to MAKE MONEY (I know, I'm a commie).

Two, considerably more important, is that despite the cornucopia of screw ups the weekend has revealed from the McCain-Palin campaign, I would REALLY like to see a return to the issues, which I've always believed heavily favored the Democrats. The collapse of Wall Street - predicated on the failure of the mortgage industry - should provide a nice, wide avenue for Barack and co. to start taking well-shaped body shots at the other team. The sooner the race can be framed around a referendum on the Bush economic plan, the better for Obama.

Like I said, who doesn't love to hate Gordon Gecko? He was a Republican, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Note to Obama: Hire Funnier Writers.

So I woke up this morning at my usual time (6:00 AM, if you are interested), padded downstairs, got a cup of coffee and started reading the morning news. What to my surprise did I see is a note that Senator Obama was on Letterman last night, and was planning to address - in a funny way - the whole lipstick/pig thing. GREAT. Can't wait to see this. It needs to be addressed, funnily, and then put to bed.

GOOD GOD.

This is what he had to say:

"Keep in mind, technically, had I meant it this way, [Palin] would be the lipstick. The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig, just following the logic of this illogical situation."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!!

My four year old is funnier than that. In the morning, when she's half awake.

I don't think it is possible to script something that screams "intellectual elitist" more than what Obama had to say on Letterman. This is the best Obama's writers can offer up?

I have a few suggestions I would like to offer to Team Obama, were they to ask for said advice:

1) Please, for God's sake, just stop talking about her. You aren't running against her, and it's beneath you to keep talking about someone who's running for VP. Let the 37,459 surrogates at your disposal speak about her.

2) Focus on McCain. The man has offered up a buffet of material that rivals the all you can eat Chinese place my father eats at twice a week. THIS is the man who you are running against. Evidence that McCain is weak? I haven't seen or heard from him in over a week - which is probably due to the fact that my mother taught me not to go messing around in married women's skirt folds, which is where I suspect he is hiding.

3) Put an APB out on your funny bone. Someone done stoled it. And if you can't find it, please hire some people who know the difference between a joke and what you said on Letterman last night. I know funny. That wasn't it.

4) Get mean. Grow a spine, buy some brass knuckles, and take shots. You are getting hammered by the Empire and the best you've got is some lame commentary on an illogical situation? ILLOGICAL SITUATION? This is politics, man. Wake up. Logic will send your butt right back to Chicago. Or Harvard. Or Hawaii. Anywhere but the White House.

There's a lot of news about "whispering" among Democrats that you are letting this election slip away. I don't think we've gotten that far yet, but I can sure see the sharp bend in the road ahead.

Two more words of advice, if you really want to take this by the reins: Bill Clinton. 'Nuff said.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sugar and Spice and everything nice...

So for all of this talk about Sarah Palin and women and the glass ceiling, it occurred to me the other day that I lead an incredibly blessed life. I have wonderful friends and family, a great job, and though I work hard and often look at the bank account wondering where it all went, I generally lead a life free of want and certainly absent some of the terrible conditions I know so many suffer.

SO WHAT, you might be asking, does any of that have to do with Sarah Palin? Nothing really. What really occurred to me is that I am surrounded by incredible women - or at least those without a Y chromosome. I have a beautiful, talented, smart(ass) wife, two wonderful, curious, far-cuter-than-I daughters, a female cat, and I'll bet even all of my fish are female.

But let's speak frankly for a minute, if we can, about this "sugar and spice" business. I am a man of many flaws - I know this because I am married - and so it certainly isn't for me to point fingers at other people. But let's face it; little girls can be mean. And the author of this little "sugar and spice" ditty was either A) a little girl, or B) delusional. Or, perhaps, the writer was struck by lightning before being able to complete the stanza (ok, it was probably Robert Southey).

I would like to, in the interests of artistic license, take a whack at this. Here is the original stanza:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"
What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

And here is Father Boxt's version, leading off with the little girls part:

What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

What more are little girls made of?
"3 am screaming and punching in the crotch,
fighting to take baths and more TV to watch,
Yelling in the car and pooping in their pants,
Crying that their lollipop is covered in red ants,
Dessert without dinner, pushing little sis,
throwing tantrums on the stairs, yes they DO do this."

But the real truth?
"The most beautiful thing I see, on any given day,
the sight of my girls smiling in their very own special way.
The words "I love you Daddy," nothing sweeter to the ear,
what little girls are made of, is everything I hold dear."

I know, I'm a cheeseball. What can I say? Guilty as charged.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If it smells like an elephant, it must be elephant crap.

This is a tough post for me, because in my heart I want to believe that I am a forgiving person, not a mean, vindictive, petty, shallow person. But after months of hedging, dodging, and plain ignoring, I have come to the conclusion that Joe Lieberman must be tossed, ass over tea kettle, out of the Democratic Party. No different than Zell Miller, this man has become an embarrassment to himself, his party, and the millions of people who gave their time and money to help elect him Vice President.

First, and this is no real crime in my book, Joe expressed a true and undying friendship with John McCain. Fine. I have a few of those too. No biggie.

Then he decided to support him for President, though he pledged at the time this was not about Obama, but really about John. And the war. Fine. I get it Joe. You're a hawk. I've had some of those tendencies myself over the years. And there are plenty of Dems who supported this war in Iraq. No reason to revoke your card on that count (despite the protestations of many).

Then he said he wouldn't out and out bash Obama, and even though he was supporting McCain for President, he would continue to vote with Democrats in the Senate. Now, this is a big deal, as the margin there isn't large, and when there were actual things being done in that chamber, we needed every vote we could get.

Now this is where things start to get slippery. Joe then begins to take shots at Obama, even joining in the McCain chorus of questioning his patriotism. Really? Really Joe? Coming from a guy who's had to absorb the very same accusations because of your full-throated support of Israel? REALLY?!?

And then we get to the RNC and the Palin pick. Now Joe, I understand your view that national security is our greatest issue today, and you support John because of Iraq and the war on terror. Truly, I understand. I disagree, but I understand. But I have a few questions for you.

One, who wrote your RNC speech? It's awful. Have you forgotten why you are a Democrat? It's not about choosing sides, or being less partisan, Joe. It's about standing up for the things you allegedly care about, cared about enough to accept the Democratic Party's nomination for Vice President. For a woman's right to choose. The right to organize. The right to attend school without fear of the invasion of religion. The right to access to quality health care. The right to live in a world that doesn't treat its backyard as a junkyard. Or how about enacting some sensible gun laws? Equal pay for equal work? Any of these things mean anything to you anymore?

Because if you bought the line from McCain that national security is our number one issue, how do you rhyme that with the choice of a 20-month tenured Governor from a state with fewer people than Rhode Island? A woman who has been outside of the United States ONCE? Is that the experience you are looking for? She's more experienced than Obama? My school system had more people than the town she was a "two-term Mayor" for. With an administrator. You have to be kidding.

And then there are HER positions. A woman who denies the human impact on climate change. A woman who is opposed to all abortions, even in cases where a woman's health is at risk (she makes Mitt Romney look like a flaming liberal). Pro-creationism. You think Obama's church was bad, Joe? Go spend a few months in HER church. You like Jews for Jesus, Joe? Because HER church does! I don't begrudge a woman her views, or her church. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander. You want to talk about associations, Joe? McCain CHOSE her. And not YOU. That means if HE wins, SHE wins. And when he is done, SHE is next. She really who you want there in the White House Joe? You think she'll do a lot of horse trading given her ideology, Joe? A lot of reaching across the aisle to overturn Roe v. Wade? To "drill here, drill now, drill everywhere, holy cow!?"

And don't get me started on the abuse of power stuff that is already starting to come out. Or how she was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Or the memo she sent in February to Senator Ted outlining $200 million in federal earmarks she wanted for Alaska.

Joe, if she is really who you want making decisions in the White House about these issues, do us all a favor. Stop the charade. You're an elephant, Joe. And that makes me sad.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Frightening.

So, for those of you who know me, you know that I am a partisan Dem but fairly moderate in my political views. I will admit (painfully) that I was a John Edwards fan, less because of his policies and more for his (get ready for it) character. When he departed, I was left with a very difficult choice, but in the end - for too many reasons to get into here - I voted for Hillary Clinton in my primary. Can I pick 'em or what?

Moving into the general election, I was one of those Dems who would probably in the end vote for Obama, but with less enthusiasm than many in Chicago would have liked to know. McCain today in my view is a far cry from the McCain who got eviscerated by Team Bush in South Carolina 8 years ago, but I could still live with him were he to be elected. That was, until three days ago.

Three days ago was when I learned, along with millions of my friends, that John McCain had chosen a fourteen year old student body president from Saskatchewan with 9 kids and a penchant for killing seals with bazookas as his running mate. Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a bit. My point is that I couldn't give a rat's ass about the fact that she is a 44-year old 20 month Governor (who took off time to have a baby), former Mayor of Wasilla, AK (pop: <10,000), a mother of five (and soon-to-be grandmother), pro-gun rights hunter. What I DO care about is that this woman is against all abortions, AT ANY TIME, is against the use of contraceptive devices, even by married people, and wants to see creationism taught in school.

Is this the version of America you want running around the East Wing?

So, call it all you want - it certainly is a big deal to have a woman with a legitimate chance to be Vice President. And I think getting a young (read: inexperienced) person in the White House isn't such a bad thing. And she has a record of thumbing her nose at the powers that be, which I find attractive.

But in three and a half years, when (if) President McCain is getting ready to wrap up his single term in office, THIS is the person who will be her party's presumptive nominee. Think about that. It scares the hell out of me. And, so, I just put an Obama yard sign up. Because a $3 yard sign is a heck of a lot cheaper than having to move to Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Game Day

FOO BALL

I'll bet you didn't know that was two words. Without the "t." Leave it to a Southerner to explain the delicate ins and outs of language to you. Especially when it comes to that most intellectual of sports, "foo ball."

Allow me to illuminate. What you might call "football," a game with one pigskin, two teams, 22 players, a handful of oft-maligned referees, and tens of thousands of fanatics screaming in the stands (joined by millions more at home), I lovingly refer to as "foo ball." This is, of course, a word intended for oral usage. "Foo ball" fans aren't much for the written word. Unless it' s in the sports section, or comes with many, many pictures. Of women. Short of that, we "foo ball fans" lean toward verbal communication. With a decided emphasis on exclamatory words and phrases:

"Dammit!"

"No!"

"Argh!"

"Catch the ball you stupid moron!"

And so forth.

And so, beginning tomorrow night at 8:01 P.M., Eastern Standard Time, I, along with millions of my neanderthaloid brethren, will congregate once, twice, sometimes even thrice a week around the Purveyor of All Things Good and Holy (our televisions), consume ungodly amounts of beer and chicken wings (or brats, if you happen to be a Yankee), and cheer on our favorite foo ballers.

Heaven. Thank god for the fall.


Post script: my ever-so-attractive-and-understanding wife noted with total seriousness that the proper spelling may in fact be "foo baw." Maybe it's a regional thing. Dialects can be SO tricky, as my four year old would say.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Inspiration, a.k.a. I'm a lemming.

Ok, ok, I admit it. I'm spineless. Well, not really spineless, but I'm often a follower. I like to think I'm secure enough to know when someone else is right, or has a good idea, or simply got it before I did, and that's ok. I'm just glad I started a blog before my father did. I don't think I would have survived the embarrassment.

And so you have it. A late comer to the game, with an unnecessarily hostile title, and I'm ready to roll. Scattered thoughts, light-hearted ruminations, random complaining about things most people don't bother worrying about...it'll all be here. In one disorganized blob. I mean blog.

Until the next random spark hits my tuch-ass....

JBoxt