Friday, October 31, 2008

Political Talk: Good News About Voting Machines

I don't really mean "good news," but it's better news than what we've got: we're going back to using paper ballots after this election.

Here's the deal. We're out of the Jet Age now, past the Space Age, and well into the Information Age. Everything is computerized. If you remember "hanging chad," you remember that paper ballots are clumsy and imprecise. Digital information is crisp and clear. With digital voting you could have the votes counted up instantly, as soon as voters tapped the screen the numbers in the central counters could increment, and there would be no ambiguity about which item was selected.

But the industry got hijacked by unscrupulous companies that were too involved with high-rolling politicians, and the systems that were produced were simply unreliable. There were ways to change the vote counts without getting caught -- easy ways. And bugs in the systems sometimes changed votes or tallies systematically, even without tampering.

It didn't have to be this way. First, a voting machine's software has got to be open source. The current devices all use proprietary code, meaning that nobody outside the company knows how they work. Open source computer programs are published on the Internet so any geek with an interest can look through it and see if there is a way to cheat, or a bug that leads to miscounting, or whatever. And believe me, a lot of geeks will look through it. Think about it: it shouldn't be a secret how these things work. They display some names and wording with some checkboxes, the user inputs a decision that checks a box, when the user exits the system their decisions are written into a database. There's no mysterious algorithm, nothing needs to be kept secret, any kid in a high school computer programming class could write code for a voting machine. It inputs and stores data, I don't think they even send it anywhere.

Second, it's got to produce something in the physical world that can be counted in case there is doubt about the digital system. Maybe it spits out a paper ballot for every voter, the voter can check it and complain if it's wrong, maybe nobody else ever has to look at them, but if you need to, there they are. There can be spot-checks for errors, if you have something to check against. In the current system, you couldn't check, because there was no physical record. I'm no expert on voting machines, this just makes sense to me.

Now we're going to go back to paper ballots. It's really dumb to have to take this step back to paper technology, but because of the way voting was handled, between the politicians and the companies that produce the machines, it's the only thing you can do.

From The Post:
Goodbye, electronic voting. Farewell, fancy touch screen. Maryland and Virginia are going old school after Tuesday's election.

Maryland will scrap its $65 million electronic system and go back to paper ballots in time for the 2010 midterm elections -- and will still be paying for the abandoned system until 2014. In Virginia, localities are moving to paper after the General Assembly voted last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out.

It was just a few years ago that electronic voting machines were heralded as a computerized panacea to the hanging chad, a state-of-the-art system immune to the kinds of hijinks and confusion that some say make paper ballots vulnerable. But now, after concern that the electronic voting machines could crash or be hacked, the two states are swinging away from the systems, saying paper ballots filled out by hand are more reliable, especially in a recount.

The trend reflects a national movement away from electronic voting machines. About a third of all voters will use them Tuesday, down from a peak of almost 40 percent in 2006, according to Election Data Services, a Manassas-based consulting firm specializing in election administration. Every jurisdiction that has changed election systems since 2006 has gone to paper ballots read by optical scan machines, said Kimball Brace, the firm's president. And for the first time in the country's history, fewer jurisdictions will be using electronic machines than in the previous election, he said.

"The battle for the hearts and minds of voters on whether electronic systems are good or bad has been lost," Brace said. The academics and computer scientists who said they were unreliable "have won that battle."

The District has one electronic machine in every precinct. But most people vote on paper ballots, said Dan Murphy, a spokesman for the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. Paper Ballot Has Md.'s, Va.'s Vote

Go ahead and argue about politics on this thread.

58 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are also seeing the political version of ideological overreach. Democrats seem headed for a broad victory. But seldom has a cause of such an outcome been more directly traceable to one event. In mid-September, John McCain was running about even with Barack Obama. After a financial crisis identified with Wall Street, bankers and (unfairly) Republicans, McCain was several points behind.

But this obvious explanation has not stopped commentators from claiming the Republican slide as the vindication of other long-held beliefs.

For some, the presumed Democratic victory heralds a broad American embrace of liberalism. This would be more credible if the Obama campaign was not conspicuously devoid of ideas, liberal or otherwise. Obama's largest political success has consisted of avoiding charges of liberalism while possessing a conspicuously liberal voting record. On the evidence of his final appeal, Obama is a committed tax cutter. His political strategy has emphasized reassurance and stability, not ambition or innovation. This may be smart. It will hardly yield an ideological mandate.

For others, a Republican defeat should be interpreted as the final rejection of Sarah Palin -- "a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus" (Christopher Hitchens) -- along with all her theocratic ilk. This judgment is both rude and uninformed. Her mistakes during the campaign have reflected greenness, not religious mania. And her appeal is different from that of the traditional, Southern religious right. She is a distinctly Western package that includes small-town morality, a libertarian emphasis on personal freedom (particularly the freedom to shoot things) and an anti-Eastern populism. And for all the rough edges of the regional idiom, it is impossible to imagine Republicans winning future national elections without a considerable crowd of Palin voters.

Still others are eager to translate a loss for McCain as a national rejection of conservatism. This would, of course, require McCain -- the author of campaign finance reform, the supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, the proposer of a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions -- to actually be a conservative symbol. Initially it was McCain's heresies, not his orthodoxies, that made him a plausible candidate.

October 31, 2008 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Passerby said...

All this copy-and-paste noise is great, Anon, but the fact is, the people are voting to choose between ignorance and intelligence. You can vote for the one who constantly impugns his opponent and simplifies everything until Joe the Plumber is qualified to talk about it on TV, or you can vote for the guy who sees both sides of an issue, who recognizes the goodness in people, and who thinks about issues of ethics and morality in a hard and intelligent way. The people don't always choose intelligence, see 2004 for example, and this election is still up in the air, but that is your choice -- do you want a leader in the White House, or do you want somebody who is just as dumb as you?

October 31, 2008 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Selective plagiarism now, Anon?

You forgot Michael Gerson's closer:

Yet there is little doubt, given a likely (though not certain) McCain defeat, that the conservative movement would enter a period of intense soul-searching. The issues that have provided conservatives with victories in the past -- particularly welfare and crime -- have been rendered irrelevant by success. The issues of the moment -- income stagnation, climate disruption, massive demographic shifts, and health care access -- seem a strange, unexplored land for many in the movement. And McCain, though a past reformer, did little to reaffirm that reputation during his campaign.

After every Republican loss -- whatever the proximate cause -- it is worth recalling the words of Whittaker Chambers: "If the Republican Party cannot get some grip of the actual world we live in and from it generalize and actively promote a program that means something to masses of people -- why somebody else will. ... The Republican Party will become like one of those dark little shops which apparently never sell anything. If, for any reason, you go in, you find, at the back, an old man, fingering for his own pleasure, some oddments of cloth. ... Nobody wants to buy them, which is fine because the old man is not really interested in selling. He just likes to hold and to feel."

That remains the Republican choice: to offer a message for the masses, or to remain in business merely for its own ideological pleasure.


He's telling you that your own ideological pleasure is not a big seller. That's why Obama is ahead. So when are you going to let Andrea help pay for that bus ticket to Alaska where you can join Palin's favorite group, the Alaska Independence Party so you can all do a little soul searching as Gerson recommends?

New Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll out today

Obama retains seven-point lead on McCain

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:15am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican rival John McCain held steady at seven points as the race for the White House entered its final four days, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Friday.

Obama leads McCain by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in the three-day national tracking poll, virtually unchanged from Thursday. The telephone poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

"Essentially there is no difference in today's tracking," pollster John Zogby said. "Obama is holding firm and McCain is not making any gains."

It was the second consecutive day Obama's support has hit the 50 percent mark, and the eighth day out of the last 11. McCain's support has not surpassed 45 percent in more than three weeks of polling.

The Illinois senator held steady among several crucial blocs of swing voters in the November 4 election, leading by 15 points among independents, 9 points among women, 5 points among men and 9 points among Catholics.

Obama led in every age group and among every income group except voters who make more than $100,000. McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, trails among voters with a member of the military in their family.

Mccain, an Arizona senator, also was winning only 26 percent of Hispanics, a fast-growing group that gave Republican President George W. Bush more than 40 percent of their vote in 2004.

"If you are John McCain you want to see something start changing in this race, and right now it is not," Zogby said.

Obama has led McCain in every national opinion poll for weeks, and McCain also trails in many of the key battleground states including Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania...


Early voting is breaking two to one for Obama because Obama is the change we need.

October 31, 2008 9:02 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Here is a very well written blog that touches on a number of the reasons that for the first time since I’ve been able to vote (over two decades), I will be voting for a Democratic candidate for president:
http://www.jonandnic.com/topics/ravings/a-christian-perspective-on-whats-wrong-with-the-gop
(That DOESN’T mean I voted for Bush the second time though! – Unlike Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush Administration luminaries, I can actually learn from my mistakes!)

The included link to the New Yorker article ( http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_talbot ) is a more in-depth look at the abortion / teen sex issue than we normally get to see.

Enjoy.

And Happy Halloween!

Evil Cyn ;)

October 31, 2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Goofy Goblin said...

"Selective plagiarism now, Anon?"

Can you people make up your mind?

Last night, you were all hyper because I was pasting whole articles and now you're whining if I don't. Indeed, last night Jim claimed you would all vote Republican if I would say a few words instead of only pasting articles.

The main idea of Gerson's column is that Obama's lead does not signal an ideological change in the views of Americans.

The point of the lines you cited was that Republicans haven't articulated how this applies to the average American. This is mainly because McCain is a moderate.

Sarah Palin at the head of ticket in 2012 won't have that problem. She'll be there, btw, regardless of the outcome Tuesday. Remember, McCain's brightest moment was when he selected Palin. That kind of argues against the idea that there has been any shift in American values. The coming socialist regime, if it is victorious next week, will not have enthusiastic public support.

Did you know polls in California now show that voters there will reject the gay agenda on Tuesday?:

"The most startling factor in the Presidential election of 2004 could deliver an even bigger shock in the battle for the White House in 2008, if the nation witnesses the possible repeat of the decisive impact of “values voters”.

Four years ago, the media largely ignored the significance of moral and family issues until Election Day exit polls revealed their crucial role in the GOP victory. In the same way, seasoned political observers – especially those who consider an Obama victory a foregone conclusion – have ignored the very real chance that social conservatives may bring about a stunning upset on November 4th.

Four years ago, when asked “what mattered most in deciding how you voted for president,” more voters cited “moral values” than any other factor. According to the authoritative Edison-Mitofsky exit poll, 22% named “moral values” compared to 20% indicating “the economy and jobs,” 19% choosing “terrorism,” 15% “Iraq” and a mere 8% citing “health care.”

Among those who chose “moral values” as their chief concern, a stunning 80% voted for George W. Bush, while his opponent, John Kerry, got a similar 80% show of support from those who primarily worried about “the economy and jobs.” Nearly one quarter of the electorate in 2004 identified as “white evangelical and born-again Christians” and they backed President Bush by a four-to-one margin. Without this overwhelming support from Christian conservatives, Bush could never have won his 51 to 48% victory over Senator Kerry.

Considering the hugely significant role of values voters in the last presidential race, it makes no sense for leading electoral experts to assume that they’ve become suddenly irrelevant in 2008. Did the social conservatives who tipped the scales to Bush and Cheney in a tough race four years ago somehow vanish or give up?

Conventional wisdom suggests that values voters don’t matter this year for several important reasons. First, it’s assumed that social conservatives remain lukewarm on John McCain and won’t give him the huge turnout and overwhelming support that propelled George W. Bush to victory. Second, according to many leading pundits, Barack Obama has neutralized moral issues with his inclusive rhetoric about unity and respect and his comfort in talking about his Christian faith (though not about his long-time pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who has all-but-vanished from media coverage of the campaign). Finally, and most significantly, all major analysts seem to agree that the financial crisis and looming recession have crowded out all other public concerns, leaving little chance that worried voters will once again find themselves “distracted” by social issues like abortion, marriage, or gun rights.

For several reasons, these assumptions may look shaky on Election Day. Yes, it’s true that John McCain has never been a favorite of Christian conservatives (especially after his self-destructive denunciation of Falwell and Robertson in the 2000 primary campaign). But his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, and renewed attention to his strong pro-life record over the course of 30 years (he gets a perfect “Zero” lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood), have helped to rally the troops. The huge, enthusiastic turnouts at recent GOP rallies (particularly those featuring Governor Palin) and the determined, ongoing efforts by prominent organizations on the religious right suggest that “values voters” may return in force and startle the pundits once again.

Most obviously, Obama efforts at “Christian outreach” have largely failed, recognized as a phony, manipulative and, ultimately, insulting strategy. Obama may claim he understands and sympathizes with the concerns of religious traditionalists, but he’s running on the most pro-abortion platform in major party history (calling for a return to federal funding for abortions for poor women) and he famously suggested that the question of when life begins was “above my pay grade.”Of course, leaders of left-leaning Christian and Jewish denominations enthusiastically back Obama (just as they backed Kerry) but traditionalists remain deeply suspicious. Those concerns go far beyond the silly charges that Obama is some sort of “secret Muslim” and involve his slimy, equivocal treatment of all religious questions, whether involving his boyhood study of the Koran in Indonesia, or his twenty years of loyal discipleship with the America-hating Reverend Wright.

Finally, there’s no reason to assume that universal concern about the state of the economy means that religious conservatives no longer care about the future of marriage or the protection of the unborn.

In fact, a dramatic turnaround in voter sentiment in California (of all places) indicates precisely the sort of mobilization of values voters that could derail the Obama Express on November 4th.

The citizens of the Golden State face a fateful choice in the wake of the State Supreme Court’s controversial 4 to 3 decision to mandate gay marriage. Proposition 8 on the California ballot adds to the State Constitution a provision declaring that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.” In one of the most liberal and lopsidedly Democratic states in the union, gay activists felt confident they would defeat this measure by a decisive margin, but recent surveys show an unexpected surge of support for traditional marriage. A Survey USA poll shows a swing of 8 points in the three weeks between September 25th and October 17th, from a 5% margin against the proposition to a 3% margin for it. “Equality for All,” the group leading the fight for homosexual marriage, acknowledged to the Wall Street Journal on October 22nd that their internal polling also showed a shift in voter sentiment toward traditional marriage – with a 4% current lead for the proposition over-ruling the Supreme Court.

In the last days before the election, even voters in deep-blue California (a state the McCain campaign has all-but-abandoned) seem to be rallying against gay marriage – despite Obama and Biden strongly and outspokenly opposing Proposition 8. This should encourage values conservatives to recognize that many (and perhaps most) Americans still care deeply about moral issues.

It’s now crucial for Senator McCain, Governor Palin and their supporters to emphasize those issues --- not even at a time of economic crisis, but especially at a time of economic crisis.

Controversies regarding the future of the family aren’t a distraction from financial challenges; for most Americans, there’s an inescapable connection between economic and values issues. Nothing brings long-term security and prosperity more reliably than a stable, traditional family life and nothing predisposes people for a life of poverty more than out-of-wedlock birth and marital chaos. The educational success of our children, which directly determines their future financial future, depends more on the values they learn at home than the quality of their schools. Learning to work hard, to save money and to live within your means remains a dependable path to economic advancement and the failure to learn those lessons (especially by political and business leaders) helped to create the current crisis.

Moreover, the big-government “spread the wealth” programs favored by Barack Obama represent an assault on the family as well as a threat to the free-market economy. Today’s radical Democratic platform calls for a vast expansion of federal power that would make families and parenthood less important and less necessary.

Consider Obama’s promise of “universal pre-school” for all children age three and above. He insists that attendance at such federally mandated schools will remain voluntary, but paying for them will not. All citizens – including those mothers who choose to stay home with their little ones – will share in financing governmental day care, in effect punishing women who take care of their kids while rewarding those who want to leave them with someone else.

At the other end of life, there’s also legitimate concern over Obama’s support for re-imposition of a crushing death tax, with a confiscatory rate of 45%. Nothing represents a more fundamental right for many families than the ability to pass on to their own children the wealth that they’ve accumulated through honest hard work –and on which they’ve already paid taxes as the parents earned the money.

No wonder that married voters already tilt decisively toward McCain, according to all polls. (The most recent IBD-TIPP survey gives him a margin of 50% to 43%). Obama leads among the public in general only because of his huge lead among single voters (about a third of the electorate).

According to exit polls in 2004, Bush won married voters 57% to 42%. If McCain comes close to that margin he too will win the election.

The chances for a come-from-behind victory for Republicans depend almost entirely upon the return of values voters --- most of them married people who care deeply about religious faith, traditional virtues and family issues. Those voters abandoned the Republicans in the disastrous off-year election of 2006 --- repulsed by the Mark Foley scandal and numerous other indications of ethical lapses among flawed and compromised conservatives in Congress.

If the values voters return to the polls (and to the GOP fold) victory remains possible.

The 2004 prominence of social conservatives was more than a fluke or a temporary phenomenon. The Los Angeles Times has conducted its own exit polling since 1992, asking voters “which two issues they considered most important in deciding how they would vote.” In 2004, 40% listed “moral/ethical values” as one of those top two – a strikingly similar percentage to the 35% who named moral values in 2000 and the 40% who did so in 1996. On a related note, the percentage of religious people who participate in recent elections has remained stable and reliable: 41% of voters in both 2004 and 2000 said they attended church at least once a week and they voted decisively, both times, for George W. Bush.

Leading commentators largely ignored these citizens in 2004 until the results of the election and the exit polls forced them to reconsider. If Republicans concentrate on mobilizing social conservatives between now and Election Day, and speak clearly and persuasively about the powerful connection between economic and moral issues, then values voters may provide the defenders of conventional wisdom with an even bigger surprise than they did four years ago."

October 31, 2008 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

More unattributed spin from another right winger. How boring.

The cons and neocons have blown every last bit of their credibility. No one believes a word they say anymore, well maybe some lemmings. All neocons can talk about these days is fearing one-party rule and that's because of how they behaved when their party was the only one in power from 2000-2006. They shut Democrats out of everything they could and politicized everything that once made America great from our steadfast support of our long-term allies to our stellar scientific research agencies to our fair Department of Justice etc. etc. There wasn't a regulation they did not want to abolish. And in the process, they saddled our children with obscene debts incurred by their arrogant, spoiled brat **play my way or I'll take my ball home** leader.

Obama will lead us out of this mess by bringing people from all over the political spectrum together to work for our common values.

October 31, 2008 11:37 AM  
Anonymous goofy goblin said...

"The cons and neocons have blown every last bit of their credibility. No one believes a word they say anymore, well maybe some lemmings."

Really?

10% of Americans live in California which polls now show will reject the gay agenda redefinition of marriage.

FOX News is the nation's highest rated news channel. The O'Reilly Factor is the highest rated program on cable. MSNBC is the lowest rated news channel.

Most talk radio is conservative. Repeated efforts by liberals to start left wing alternatives have failed because of lack of publiuc interest.

John McCain's poll numbers have improved twice since the Olympics: when he announced the pro-family Palin for VP and when Joe the Plumber revealed to America that Obama wants to restribute wealth.

Polls have consistently shown that Americans are aspirational rather than envious and believe government should encourage wealth creation rather than redistribution.

"All neocons can talk about these days is fearing one-party rule and that's because of how they behaved when their party was the only one in power from 2000-2006."

The last time the Democrats had one-party rule, they lost it in record time. This time, the key players are ultra-leftists. Americans won't like the results.

"They shut Democrats out of everything they could"

The Democrats have had control of Congress for two years. They didn't do a thing they promised. Apparently, their only accomplishment was to have Barney Frank bully Fannie Mae into taking bad loans. If only Bush could have shut him out of that.

"and politicized everything that once made America great from our steadfast support of our long-term allies"

How about an example here?

"to our stellar scientific research agencies"

What planet do you hail from? Government scientists are idiots.

"to our fair Department of Justice etc. etc."

etc etc what?

"There wasn't a regulation they did not want to abolish."

Generalization.

There isn't an aspect of your life that Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to take over.

Americans don't believe in regulation for regulation's sake.

This is some new mantra from liberals but regulated economies worldwide are currently having worst difficulties than ours. How could they be so stupid when they were so regulated?

The current economic mess was created by governmental tampering with private sector decisions.

"And in the process, they saddled our children with obscene debts"

Uh, Obama is planning to vastly increase spending and stifle economic growth with high marginal tax rates and new impediments to fair trade. How will our "steadfast allies" like that?

"incurred by their arrogant, spoiled brat **play my way or I'll take my ball home** leader."

Bush had his deficiencies but at least he didn't think he was the Messiah.

"Obama will lead us out of this mess by bringing people from all over the political spectrum together to work for our common values."

Why would he do that now when he never has done it before?

October 31, 2008 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"politicized everything that once made America great from our steadfast support of our long-term allies"

Canada, France and Germany have all elected conservative leaders who are pro-American and rejected anti-American types since Bush became President. Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and India all support us. China is a rival but, secretly, they love us. They crave our approval and try to imitate us. A bunch of corrupt dictatorships dislike us in the Middle East but Israel and Iraq are allies.

What exactly are you talking about, Aunt Bea?

October 31, 2008 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
WHAT is that picture? McCain is hanging onto DUBYA for dear life.

October 31, 2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Dems are the ones that can't let go of Bush.

What will they run against in 2012?

October 31, 2008 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a sign that we may be about to elect a Vladimir Putin wannabe for President, Barack Obama has kicked three newspapers that endorsed McCain off his press plane.

The Washington Times, Dallas Morning Star and New York Daily News have been banned from Obama's plane for the next five days.

He's also using his millions to hire workers to drive around a pull up any McCain signs in public places like median strips.

October 31, 2008 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. My name is Anonymous, and I'm a reporter in the mainstream media. Like a lot of my colleagues, I'm nervous.

In the newsroom this morning, I spent an hour running from cubicle to cubicle. Everyone dismissed the new polls showing the race had tightened. "Outliers," they said. When reporters call some polls "outliers," it's not a good sign. I'm telling you, people are nervous.

You see, we in the mainstream media know the very term is a misnomer. "Mainstream?" Us? When Slate, the e-zine owned by the Washington Post Co. (nyse: WPO - news - people ), published a survey this week revealing that its staff favored Barack Obama over John McCain by 55-to-1, every "mainstream" reporter I know shared the same reaction. It wasn't surprise. It was irritation.

What did Slate think it was doing? We know we're to the left of the country, but did Slate want everybody to find out? Now? When ad revenues and share prices for virtually every "mainstream" newspaper, magazine and television news organization in the country are dropping? Was Slate aware that just this month Standard & Poor's downgraded the debt of The New York Times? The Gray Lady--junk! People, we're in trouble here!

Which brings me back to these new polls. We'd rather not deal with them.

A tight race now would muddy our narrative about the transformational figure, The One. Forbes readers may scoff at Barack Obama as the messiah, but we don't. Give him eight years in the Oval Office, and the man with the most liberal voting record in the Senate will move the whole country our way. The One will make us "mainstream" once again. He might even make us profitable once again.

Why am I writing for Forbes? Let's put it this way: The Obamacons--the conservatives who have rushed to endorse Obama--aren't the only ones hedging their bets. If McCain wins, the mainstream media will remain what it really is, the "more and more marginal media," and I have a career to think about.

From my notebook, a few matters that we in the mainstream media would really rather not mention:

Forget every poll you've read before this morning. With the race to be decided in just a few days, the only polls that matter are those that measure public sentiment now. Obama's lead of nine or 10 points a few days ago? Irrelevant. The race has now closed, perhaps to just two or three points. It makes me queasy to say so, even anonymously, but if they can pick up a point a day between now and Tuesday, then John McCain and Sarah Palin may very well find themselves taking the oath of office in January.

A point a day? That's a lot, but it's hardly unprecedented. I don't like to say this, either, but it's true. During the last 11 days of the 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan came from three points behind Jimmy Carter to finish 10 points ahead of him. Reagan picked up even more than a point a day.

Momentum matters. Just as an object in motion tends to remain in motion, movement in the polls tends to elicit still more movement. If the latest polls are correct--if McCain is indeed gaining on Obama--then his momentum will be hard to stop.

In the closing days of the 1992 contest, George H.W. Bush drew to within two points of Bill Clinton. Then, four days before the election, Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh handed down an indictment of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Walsh stalled Bush, who lost by eight points. Between now and Tuesday, is any such event likely to stall McCain? It's hard to imagine.

McCain has found a message. After watching their home values fall and their savings shrink, Americans want economic reassurance. Obama was giving it to them--until he told a working man named Joe Wurzelbacher, now known as Joe the Plumber, that he intended to "spread the wealth around." For "Barack the Redistributor," McCain has been telling crowds ever since, change "means taking your money and giving it to someone else." We in the "mainstream media" have been doing all we can to help Obama recover, of course, attacking Joe for his failure to get a plumber's license while throwing up distractions like the cost of Sarah Palin's campaign clothes. But for the first time in this campaign, McCain has a message--a simple, compelling message.

The old guy looks pretty good out there. The McCain campaign has finally figured it out: When McCain appears with Palin, we're forced to cover him. (Nobody attracts newspaper readers like Palin--not even The One--and our editors know it.) And in their joint appearances over the last few days, McCain has appeared relaxed, energetic, buoyant. There's really no other way to put it. McCain looks like a winner. Did I just write that?

Remember the fundamentals. Throughout the campaign we have kept emphasizing the so-called fundamentals. Consumer confidence at a low. Bush's approval ratings right down there with those of Nixon and Carter. Nine out of 10 Americans convinced the nation is on the wrong track.

But you know what? This is still a pretty conservative country, and Obama is further to the left than any other presidential nominee in history. His associations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, his determination to get out of Iraq just as fast as he can, his plans to nationalize health care--we love that stuff in the newsroom, but when the American people step into the voting booths, it might not sit right. America, conservative; Obama, liberal. That's fundamental too.

Am I saying McCain will win? No way. I'm just admitting we're nervous--and really, really tired of all this. For us in the mainstream media, the campaign isn't about choosing a president. It's about us. Coming out of the Democratic convention, Obama looked unbeatable. Now? Nobody knows. You try having your worldview validated for weeks and then suddenly placed in doubt.

One last thing. If this weekend the polls start breaking for McCain, don't expect us to keep up with the story. We're slow to see what we don't want to see. And if we had to admit that McCain was doing better than we expected, we'd have to offer some reasons. Just look at what Howard Fineman found himself writing for Newsweek a couple of days ago. "Why hasn't Obama run away with this? Because McCain has succeeded … in raising the hoary specter of 'tax-and-spend' liberals."

See what I mean? Writing that had to hurt.

October 31, 2008 4:09 PM  
Anonymous goofy goblin said...

today's margins for Obama:

3,4,4,4,7,7,7,8

not quite as good for McCain as yesterday but still not over

alot of things could break alot of ways

anyone as nervous as Anonymous the Reporter?

October 31, 2008 4:31 PM  
Anonymous he who haunts TTF said...

BOOOOO!

Top ten reasons McCain will win:

1) One poll has undecided voters at 14 percent on the last weekend, which means most of them probably really aren’t undecided, that they are either going to stay home or vote preponderantly for McCain and pull McCain across the finish line.

2) Most pollsters are claiming the electorate this year is six to nine points more Democratic than it is Republican. That would be an unprecedented shift from four years ago, when the electorate was evenly divided, 37-37, Republican and Democratic, and a huge shift from two years ago, when it was 37-33 Democratic. A shift of this size didn’t even happen after Watergate.

3) Obama frequently outpolled his final result in primaries, which might have many causes but might also indicate that he has difficulty closing the sale.

4) The argument in the past two weeks has shifted, such that many undecided voters who are now paying attention are hearing about Obama’s redistributionist tendencies at exactly the right moment for McCain.

5) The tightening in several daily tracking polls indicates a modest surge on McCain’s part that could continue through the weekend until election day. If he is behind by three or four points right now, a slow and steady move upward could push him past the finish line in first place.

6) In terms of the electoral map, the energy and focus McCain is directing at Pennsylvania could pay huge dividends if he pulls it off. If he prevails there, it might follow that the message will work in Ohio too. And if he wins Pennsylvania and Ohio, he will probably win even if he loses Virginia and Colorado.

7) Early voting numbers are not oceanic by any means, which may indicate the degree of enthusiasm for Obama among new voters is not something new but something entirely of a par with past candidates, like John Kerry. And they show more strength on the Republican side than most people expected.

8) What happened with the Joe the Plumber story is that Obama has now been effectively outed as a liberal, not a moderate; and because liberalism is still less popular than conservatism, that’s not the best place for Obama to be.

9) The fire lit under Obama’s young supporters in the winter was largely due to Iraq and his opposition to the war. The stunning decline in violence and the departure of Iraq from the front page has put out the fire, to the extent that, like the young woman who made a sexy video calling herself Obama Girl and then didn’t vote in the New York primary because she went to get a manicure, they might not want to stand on line on Tuesday.

10) Hispanic voters, who are always underpolled, know and appreciate McCain from his stance on immigration and will vote for him in larger numbers than anyone anticipates.

October 31, 2008 6:27 PM  
Anonymous very interesting said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 31, 2008 7:27 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, you just posted a 369-line comment without an original word in it. Please link to an article or quote the relevant parts,

JimK

October 31, 2008 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I am wiling to bet that the so-called anonymous reporter is not who he says he is.

October 31, 2008 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the post Jim deleted was a declaration from 300 economists- Nobel Prize winners, Treasury Secretaries, Professors at major universities, et al explaining the importance of John McCain's economic policies; it was a little long because it listed them all

here's the smoking gun about how Obama believes the Constitution is an impediment to social justice; no joke, America needs to consider the step it's about to take:

"The October surprise may turn out to be a seven-year-old interview with Barack Obama in which he strongly suggests that the U.S. Constitution is an impediment to his desire to redistribute the nation's wealth. How does Mr. Obama credibly take the oath of office to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" when he thinks it impedes his socialist agenda?

Is socialism too strong a word? Consider one of its definitions from dictionary.com and tell me it is something other than Mr. Obama's economic philosophy: "A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor."

A complete restructuring of society is what Mr. Obama advocated in a 2001 interview on a Chicago public radio station. According to Politico.com, in that interview, Mr. Obama, "reflecting on the Warren Court's successes and failures in helping to usher in civil rights, said, "I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples." He has it backward. The Creator already endowed African-American people with these rights, which is precisely the argument powerfully made by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Any rights that are "vested" in people by other people may be removed by the same or future people. Endowed rights are "unalienable" and what America did was to finally recognize those rights. The distinction is crucial because it also relates to abortion and many other social issues. If a court can take away the right to life, then no endowed right is safe.

Mr. Obama continues with a comment that the "Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of the redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical." Does he mean that for real "justice" to have been achieved, the Warren Court should have taken from the rich and given to the black poor? Mr. Obama never said what would happen once the redistributed money ran out. Perhaps this was not to be a one-time event, but a lifetime of "reparations" for slavery, as some other left-wing black leaders have proposed.

On Bill O'Reilly's Fox show Monday night, former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro defended high taxes in New York and Mr. Obama's pledge to raise them nationally, saying, "At least they're not taking it all." It may have been an attempt at humor, but this betrays the Democratic Party's attitude. They have the right to say how much of your hard-earned money you can keep. We should be telling government how much of our money we will allow them to spend. Anyone hoping to make more money and improve their lives will have to work even harder to overcome Mr. Obama's redistribution plans.

Mr. Obama thought the Warren Court should have "broken free" from the constraints placed on the Constitution and the courts by the Founding Fathers. This is remarkable hubris. Mr. Obama said the Constitution mostly "says what the states can't do to you... what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf." That's because the Constitution is about liberty and protecting citizens from oppressive and invasive government.

This is scary stuff. That it is only now surfacing is another reminder of the poor job the mainstream media have done in vetting Mr. Obama. Barack Obama thinks the Constitution and the country it helped create should be remade in his image. He wants to be a founding father of a different America, one that would bear little resemblance to the country we have known. This is radical in the extreme and Mr. Obama, along with his many acolytes who are itching to get their hands on unchecked political power, are a danger to this nation's survival. Listen to the interview: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck).

John McCain stands in the way of a complete liberal coup that would transform America in ways the Founders and most Americans would oppose. Mr. McCain may be dull at times; he may have run an imperfect campaign; he should have spent more time exposing Mr. Obama as a radical socialist instead of worrying what the media would say if he did, but John McCain is a patriot who has proved his love, service and dedication to this country in ways Mr. Obama cannot begin to achieve or appreciate.

Electing Barack Obama president of the United States would be a roll of loaded dice. We will live (and possibly die) to regret it. Republicans have made many mistakes and deserve the punishment they are now getting, but the one charge that cannot be laid at their doorstep is that they wanted to rewrite the Constitution and weaken the country.

Mr. Obama will do that and more. Wake up, America, and stop flirting with this guy because you are flirting with potential disaster."

October 31, 2008 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, Marxism isn't just evil, it also doesn't work

just say no to Obama's class warfare

October 31, 2008 8:30 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Another smoking gun? Yaaaaaawn.

That is the problem conservatives had when dealing with Bill Clinton. It was always "something new" every day. And a lot of it panned out to nothing. People got so desensitized to it till when conservatives finally got something working, people were like "so what."

It's the same thing with Obama. This huge collective "there they go again."

October 31, 2008 9:40 PM  
Anonymous keep on smilin' said...

"It's the same thing with Obama. This huge collective "there they go again.""

Apparently, they're still paying attention.

Tomorrow morning, the Zogby poll will report that McCain now leads Obama nationally by 1 point.

You heard it here first.

We're employing the same strategy in America that worked in Iraq.

The Surge.

October 31, 2008 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

I guess we will just have to wait and see, AnonBigot. Are you going to whine as much as your friends at CRC/R-Bigots R Us do when Obama wins?

I am looking forward to it, because it is just so easy to laugh at you.

October 31, 2008 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derrick

If Obama somehow wins next Tuesday, you'll lose just like the rest of America. Confiscatory marginal tax rates will destroy economic growth and unemployment will soar. The minimal checks you get from the government will not compensate for the opportunity, freedom and dignity you will lose.

Have people forgotten what life was like in America before Reagan?

We shouldn't go back.

November 01, 2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Well at least we know know where anonymous is getting his "information."

from drudgereport:

"ZOGBY SATURDAY: Republican John McCain has pulled back within the margin of error... The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama 48% to 47% in Friday, one day, polling. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters."

There can be soooo many incorrect things taken from those words. You really need to be a bit more accurate anonymous. Nascar voters? Oh yeah, big surprise there.

But now I am going to lead you try and configure some more bull out of that drudge headline, anonymous.

November 01, 2008 12:50 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

One more thing - And I am getting this from http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/:

Matt Drudge is touting the results of a one-day sample in a Zogby poll, which apparently showed John McCain ahead by 1 point.

There are a couple of significant problems with this.

Firstly, there is a reason that pollsters include multiple days of interviewing in their tracking polls; a one-day sample is extremely volatile, and have very high margins for error.

Secondly, the Zogby polls have been particularly volatile, because he uses nonsensical party ID weightings, which mean that his weighting process involves making numbers doing naughty things that they usually don't like to do.

Thirdly, Zogby polls are generally a lagging rather than a leading indicator. This is because he splits his interviewing period over two days; most of the interviews that were conducted in this sample took place on Thursday night, with a few this afternoon. The reason this is significant is because lots of other pollsters were in the field on Thursday night, and most of them evidently showed good numbers for Obama, as he improved his standing in 6 of the 7 non-Zogby trackers.

Finally, there was no favorable news for McCain to drive these numbers. Polls don't move without a reason (or at least they don't move much).

November 01, 2008 12:56 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

I do apologize for the serial posting but wanted to bring something to everyone's attention. This is the exact article. Just want to make sure that we have all of the right and correct information - http://www.zogby.com/main.htm:

Republican John McCain made a small gain against Democrat Barack Obama and has pulled back within the margin of error, now trailing Obama by five points, 49.1% to 44.1%, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.

Almost two days worth of the polling -- or about half of the current sample in the three-day rolling poll of likely voters nationwide, was conducted after Obama's 30-minute commercial aired Wednesday evening. There is no evidence it helped him, as he has dropped 1.1 points in the last two days, while McCain has gained 0.8 points during the same period.

Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on."

So basically, drudge is taking only a portion of a poll and trying to spin it into something huge. And of course Fox News and the right wing blogs are trying to do their part. It's amazing how the republicans in this election remind me of the religious right - take a small point, turn it into something big and repeat it irregardless of whether its true or not.

BTW - the poll still says overall - Obama 49.1%, McCain 44.1%

And a last reminder, Obama has the lead in electoral college votes.

November 01, 2008 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Really, AnonBigot? Why would I want McBush in office when my 401k is down 51% and my 403b 66%??? That is exactly what I want, more of the same. NOT!!

November 01, 2008 3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derrick, you fool. The stock market is down because Wall Street is afraid that Obama will become President. It'll never come back if he is elected.

Remember when Bill Clinton was President? He had this country in a mess after two years in office. Newt Gingrich then lead Republicans to make a contract with America and take over Congress. The stock market was at 3300. It's now three times that even after this crash. If Democrats had been in charge over that period, you'd be much poorer now.

Barney Frank, in the two years since Dems took the Congress, has single-handedly demolished our banking system. In his words, he wanted to "roll the dice on subsidized housing". Just last summer, he made a statement that everyone should buy stock in Fannie Mae. Who knows how many retirees followed his advice and destroyed their future.

You'll remember that the week when Fannie Mae and Lehman and AIG made headlines. The stock market looked fine for a while. It soared when Bush announced the proposed bail-out. The problems started when Pelosi couldn't get the bill through a Democrat-controlled Congress.

November 01, 2008 7:36 AM  
Anonymous St Anonymous said...

I see Alvin is so upset by finding confirmation of my tip about McCain's new lead in Friday's polling that it was necessary to make three posts in a row on the same topic.

The funniest part of Alvin's apoplexy was this:

"Zogby polls have been particularly volatile, because he uses nonsensical party ID weightings"

Oh, this is true, Al, but that would tend to skew things Obama's way since there are more Democrats so if it is nonsensical to do that then McCain's lead would be even bigger.

Cutting through Alvin's tsunami of spin, this statement from Zogby remains:

"McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%"

That is a new development and Obama HQ is in a panic today.

Another non-trivial bit of trivia from the polling world:

AP reported last night that 1 of 7 American voters remain undecided and persuadable.

Historically, almost all undecideds in the last week of the campaign go to the side perceived to be losing so the important number is now not the margin but Obama's share of the vote. If he is below 49%, he loses.

Barack Obama sat in the congregation of a church led by a racist who preached liberation theology for twenty years and contributed significant money to this cause. This is a legitimate issue that has been passed over by John McCain. This weekend, a GOP advocacy group will, against McCain's wishes, spend six million dollars saturating the airwaves with commercials explaining this to the American people.

Looking at Obama's statements revealed recently, it's not hard to see Wright's influence.

Liberation theology.

"the Constitution is an impediment to social justice"

"we need to spread the wealth"

"the Supreme Court failed to redistribute assets in the civil rights era"

Americans will vote next Tuesday on whether to continue to be a capitalist country or to become a socialist one.

We can thank Joe the Plumber for waking us up!

November 01, 2008 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

word from Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday in Ohio:

"The Mac is back"

November 01, 2008 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

History question.

Who said:

We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. … The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and … a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

That was John McCain's hero, Teddy Roosevelt.

Does that mean McCain was for progressive income taxes before he was against them? At one time McBush opposed the Bush-tax-cuts-for-the-rich but now he supports them. McShame used to be against regulation of our financial industry and now he is for it. Is there any position on economics McLame truly supports and won't change in his erratic run for office?

Nobody wants a chameleon-in-chief who agrees with Cheney that "deficits don't matter" and who votes with Bush 90% of the time. Bush has one of the worst new job creation records; Bush's policies created only 3.7 million new jobs in the same number of years Clinton's policies created 17.6 million new jobs.

Obama's tax plan will result in tax cuts for 95% of US taxpayers, while it returns the top 5% to the tax rates they paid under Bill Clinton's create-new-jobs-and-pay-down-the-debt-as-you-go administration, which contrasts sharply with the just-borrow-the-money-because-deficits-don't-matter-and-jobs-will-trickle-down-if-we-make-the-rich-richer Bush/Cheney record. BTW, the top 5% was not hurting under Clinton.

Obama will work diligently to enact a progressive tax plan John McCain's hero, Teddy Roosevelt, would be proud of. Obama is the change we need to make this economy work for everybody again.

November 01, 2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama's tax plan will result in tax cuts for 95% of US taxpayers"

This is a lie. His current proposal doesn't do that.

Obama has been saying he won't raise taxes for anyone over 250K. Then, Biden lowered that to 150K last week. Yesterday, Bill Richardson lowered it to 120K. In fact, Obama has voted in the Senate for legislation to raise taxes on those making more than 42K.

With the White House and a filibuster-proof Congress, few analysts believe that Democrats will resist the temptation to raise taxes on people who are not wealthy.

btw, Obama isn't a socialist because he favors a more progressive tax structure. It's because he will give money from raising taxes on those over 120K and give it to people who currently pay no tax. He isn't lowering taxes on lower income people. He is transferring cash from people who already fund the majority of our government to people who currently make no financial contribution. This is socialism.

Capitalism, by contrast, would be concerned with creating opportunity for a productive life for these people rather than dependence on Big Brother, which, as we know from history, comes with a heavy price.

November 01, 2008 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a major gaffe yesterday, Barack Obama declared that those who are opposed to higher taxes are "selfish".

November 01, 2008 9:47 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

anonymous,

not worried but wanting you to be truthful. You took ONE portion of a larger poll and tried to make it into something its not. No one is responding to it except desperate mccain supporters.

JUST like the comment about the so-called Obama gaffe. I thought it was a campaign commercial. Who says it was a major gaffe? You? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Matt Drudge? I really don't think the voters are responding to it.

November 01, 2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You took ONE portion of a larger poll and tried to make it into something its not."

No, I took ONE portion of a larger poll and explained exactly what it was: an indication that yesterday, the moment in time measured by that portion of the poll, McCain was favored by more Americans than Obama.

"Who says it was a major gaffe?"

How about the millions who suddenly shifted into McCain's camp yesterday?

One of your lame arguments against the Zogby finding was "there was no favorable news for McCain to drive these numbers. Polls don't move without a reason".

Maybe his insult to hard-working, tax-paying citizens who think the government already grabs enough of their income was the reason for the shift.

Time to put on your thinking cap, Alvin.

November 01, 2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After several weeks of John McCain’s campaign attacks on Barack Obama’s tax plan and idea of “spreading the wealth around”, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds voters trust McCain more than Obama on taxes, 47% to 45%.

November 01, 2008 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Election Day 2008 approaches with the prospect of a Democrat in the White House and Democratic control of the Congress, only one-third (34%) of U.S. voters think rule by one political party is better for the country.

November 01, 2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (Nov. 1) - Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago,

The Associated Press has learned.
Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUHN on-YANG-oh), referred to as "Aunti Zeituni" in the Democratic presidential candidate's memoir, was instructed to leave the United States by a U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to discuss Onyango's case.

November 01, 2008 10:43 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

"No, I took ONE portion of a larger poll and explained exactly what it was: an indication that yesterday, the moment in time measured by that portion of the poll, McCain was favored by more Americans than Obama."

Every now and then a little truth comes out despite anonymous's pathetic spinning.

Also,you can believe the Obama commercial to be a "gaffe" if you want. Reality doesn't configure with your fantasy.

November 01, 2008 11:17 AM  
Anonymous squeaky clean said...

If Barack Obama wins this election, next Halloween they’ll be handing out gay-marriage licenses instead of candy.

November 01, 2008 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol. well if u dont approve, then don't take one.

and wouldnt gay marriage be good for the economy? another reason to vote for obama

November 01, 2008 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact checking the VP debate:

PALIN: "Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year."

BIDEN: "The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes."

THE FACTS: The vote was on a nonbinding budget resolution that assumed that President Bush's tax cuts would expire, as scheduled, in 2011. If that actually happened, it could mean higher taxes for people making as little as about $42,000. But Obama is proposing tax increases only on the wealthy, and would cut taxes for most others.

November 01, 2008 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Democratic lawmaker on Saturday asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to investigate a leak to reporters regarding the immigration status of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt, suggesting the Bush administration may have been behind it.

"I was startled to read in today's Associated Press that a 'federal law enforcement official' has leaked information about an immigration case involving a relative of Senator Obama," said a letter sent to Chertoff by Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

"Even more troubling, the AP reports that it 'could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved,' a very disturbing (suggestion) indeed," the letter said.


"This leak is deplorable and I urge you to take immediate action to investigate and discipline those responsible."

The AP reported Saturday that Obama's Kenyan aunt, Zeituni Onyango, is living in the United States illegally, even though an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago. The story cites two sources, one of them a federal law enforcement official.

CNN has not been able to independently verify the aunt's immigration status. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Kelly Nantel declined comment, saying the agency "is prohibited from commenting on any individual's status."

November 01, 2008 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's tax hikes on the wealthy don't amount to enough to cover the tax break he plans to give to those who make less than 66K or the cash distributions he plans to make to those who currently pay no tax. Since he is planning a trillion dollars in new spending and says he will balance the budget, he will either raise marginal taxes on the wealthy even more than he says or slap a tax on those making more than 66K.

The middle 20% of Americans make 38-66K so if you make more, congratulations, Barack thinks you're rich and don't need any tax breaks. He won't raise your taxes though. You will suffer, along with the rest of Americans, however, when the socialist administration causes the unemployment rate to rise by raising taxes on corporations and investing and increases marginal tax rates. Income growth will also decline so expect lower COLAs.

The big winner will be India which will see a lot more outsourced jobs leave America and go there.

November 01, 2008 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The Gallup Poll for November 1 reports:

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama leads John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviewing conducted Wednesday through Friday by an identical 52% to 42% margin among both traditional likely voters and expanded likely voters. Obama leads by a similar 52% to 41% margin among all registered voters.

November 01, 2008 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boing-boing-boing

Tuesday night will be interesting

November 01, 2008 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Democratic lawmaker on Saturday asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to investigate a leak to reporters regarding the immigration status of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aunt, suggesting the Bush administration may have been behind it."

Violations of the law are not confidential.

November 01, 2008 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guys, Barack Obama's tax plan will exempt 40% of Americans from paying tax

those over 250K will have the rate go up but historically when the top rate goes up, lawyers find creative ways to shelter income

moreover, much of the income at high levels has come from the financial sector and that cash cow seems dried up for the forseeable future

so, where's the money for Obama's grand spending increases coming from

56% of income is made by those making 70-250K

look for taxes to go up on these "rich" families under the new socialist administration

November 01, 2008 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polls for Proposition 8 tighten in California

49% oppose it (including Gov. Schwartzenegger)

The majority of opinion leaders in the state, including almost every major newspaper, the League of Women Voters, the state NAACP, and moderate politicians such as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein oppose the measure, which critics say unfairly denies one group a basic right.

Corporations that normally shy from contentious issues also have come out against it. The founders of Google, Yahoo and Adobe Systems took out a newspaper ad Friday encouraging Silicon Valley residents to reject it.

"This is the most intense and expensive social issues fight we have ever seen. And I think the real reason is because it's very rare in American life (that) we have ever put existing rights on the ballot," said Patrick Guerriero, a former leader of the gay Log Cabin Republicans who now directs the "No on 8" campaign.


Mac supports putting this constitutional unalienable right to the popular vote.

Word from Arnold -- Mac's on the wrong side of this one.

November 01, 2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“so, where's the money for Obama's grand spending increases coming from

56% of income is made by those making 70-250K

look for taxes to go up on these "rich" families under the new socialist administration”


Agreed. No one should have to pay for anything. Ever.

November 01, 2008 4:05 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Yesterday bad anonymous said "Tomorrow morning, the Zogby poll will report that McCain now leads Obama nationally by 1 point.".

LOL, once again your ability to predict the future is a hopeless failure. You're the same one who predicted president huckabee, Mccain running mates Huckabee, Rice, and Powel and the overturning of the trans inclusive antidiscrimination law. In keeping with your total failure to predict the future today Zogby has Obama by 5%. Get used to president Obama, loser.

November 01, 2008 4:31 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

November 01, 2008 4:34 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I also note that the gallup poll bad anonymous has been lauding has Obama by 9%. Mccain and Palin are going to go down in history as the Republican parties worst disasters.

November 01, 2008 4:55 PM  
Anonymous capt america said...

"In keeping with your total failure to predict the future today Zogby has Obama by 5%. Get used to president Obama, loser."

Learn to read, Preya. Zogby averages three days of polling. They've been doing so all season but as we approach the election, it is not the most relevant approach. As Zogby explains today, McCain lead by one point in surveys taken yesterday. No other pollster has revealed that depth and it is relevant as it shows momentum in the last days.

President Obama's no big adjustment for me. I live in one of the most liberal counties in America.

Hope you're coping with well with the conservative movement sweeping Canada.

If not, you can always move here. We are way tolerant of nuts.

November 01, 2008 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I also note that the gallup poll bad anonymous has been lauding has Obama by 9%."

the Gallup lead for Obama is ten, you idiot

November 01, 2008 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
worked in Loudoun last night for Obama and going back to Va tomorrow. Wow, they actually have Republicans in office in Loudoun - thank goodness, they aren't the communist fake Virginians like those who live in NOVA(whose taxes support the rest of "real" Virginia- so does that mean that the Commies are being forced to suppport the Real Americans)

November 01, 2008 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know I'm a registered Democrat and the Obama minions are constantly calling me trying to get me to go to Virginia too

November 01, 2008 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because Obama supporters are energized and excited, not demoralized like McCain supporters are.

November 02, 2008 9:06 AM  

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