Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Talk: Polling

A friend of mine who I respect is beginning to worry that his guy might not win the election. He has his favorite poll, and it's not looking like a landslide. Other polls are different, nobody's got McCain ahead, some have an overwhelming Obama lead, and some are within the margin of error, or near it. Plus, do not underestimate the Bradley Effect, which can take several percentage points off Obama's lead, and maybe more in a race for President, nobody knows.

Also, it seems to me there is a landline bias. None of these surveys, as far as I know, call cell phones. So they're missing young people, people on the go, the technological early adopters, people who take their calls wherever they are. On the other hand, young people are notoriously bad about actually signing out of World of Warcraft and skateboarding to the polling site. So maybe the two biases will cancel one another.

Strange things. I talked to someone, a lady working in a drugstore, who loves Barack Obama. That's why she doesn't want to vote for him, she doesn't want something bad to happen to him. She'd feel responsible. Another guy I talked to didn't want to vote for him because he was afraid he'd bring people like Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan into the White House. This guy didn't like the alternative, either, especially the Vice-Presidential alternative, but he was going to vote Republican anyway.

I say, you don't know who wins until you play the game. Sometimes a weak team beats a strong one. Tuesday is going to be an important day in American history.

This post is for political discussion. Talk among yourselves.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really is getting interesting, all partisan bickering aside. Bea and Dana, on another post made a couple of good points. Bea notes that Obama seems to be holding steady or slightly gaining in swing states and yet all national polls show a significant tightening of the race. Where are those votes coming from? It seems unlikely they are coming from states where Obama is way ahead and yet that seems the logical conclusion.

Dana's point may be the most significant. With all the early voting this year, the individual ahead a week or two early gets an advantage.

Here's Obama's lead in the national polls released today:


The outlier is the Hotline poll, which also has the largest margin of error, 3.6. It's safe to assume, therefore, that Obama's lead nationally is 3.5% or less.

While you guys seem to exude confidence, it's hard to believe there's jubilation at Obama HQ.

October 29, 2008 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

From what I can tell, Obama's support seems to be holding steady, while some previously undecided voters are speaking up for McCain now, so the polls are tightening.

I have a friend who is afraid to vote for Obama, for fear that he will be assassinated. It's a legitimate fear. Hatred for African Americans is strong enough among some people that they might decide to ruin their lives in attempt on his, or so I think.

October 29, 2008 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on our history, Robert, this is a risk all Presidents face. It's an unfortunate fact of life but the security apparatus is impressive and most people support the lengths the Secret Service has to go to in order to protect this individual. Tell your friend to vote for whoever he thinks will be the best president.

Racism is only one of many reasons a nut might try this. Squeaky Fromme was trying to protect the redwoods and John Hinckley wanted to impress Jodie Foster. You will always have nuts.

October 29, 2008 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I don't believe polls at all- I am sure of my next President, Barack Obama. I am continuing to work for his election in Virginia. In Loudoun County Sarah got a few thousand people, you betcha and Barack got 35,000.

October 29, 2008 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The audio recording of Barack Obama espousing his socialist philosophy of “redistribution of wealth” is all over the Internet and Fox News today (although most other media outlets are ignoring it), but there’s another disturbing section on that tape that has so far escaped notice.

At about 15:30, Obama compares what was going on in the United States during the time of Brown vs. the Board of Education to ... Nazi Germany. Yes, really. Here’s the quote:

“...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”

There you have it. America is close to electing a President who compares his own country to Nazi Germany.

October 29, 2008 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.

Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.

Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?

Do we really have to ask?

So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?

At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University’s Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.

The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi’s allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat’s press agency.

Is there just a teeny-weenie chance that this was an evening of Israel-bashing Obama would find very difficult to explain? Could it be that the Times, a pillar of the Obamedia, is covering for its guy?

Gateway Pundit reports that the Times has the videotape but is suppressing it.

Back in April, the Times published a gentle story about the fete. Reporter Peter Wallsten avoided, for example, any mention of the inconvenient fact that the revelers included Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife and fellow Weatherman terrorist. These self-professed revolutionary Leftists are friendly with both Obama and Khalidi — indeed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has noted that Ayers and Khalidi were “best friends.” (And — small world! — it turns out that the Obamas are extremely close to the Khalidis, who have reportedly babysat the Obama children.)

Nor did the Times report the party was thrown by AAAN. Wallsten does tell us that the AAAN received grants from the Leftist Woods Fund when Obama was on its board — but, besides understating the amount (it was $75,000, not $40,000), the Times mentions neither that Ayers was also on the Woods board at the time nor that AAAN is rabidly anti-Israel. (Though the organization regards Israel as illegitimate and has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism, Wallsten describes the AAAN as “a social service group.”)

Perhaps even more inconveniently, the Times also let slip that it had obtained a videotape of the party.

Wallsten’s story is worth excerpting at length (italics are mine):

"It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."..."

The warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

Their belief is not drawn from Obama's speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.

At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."

Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than … his opponents for the White House....

At Khalidi's going-away party in 2003, the scholar lavished praise on Obama, telling the mostly Palestinian American crowd that the state senator deserved their help in winning a U.S. Senate seat. "You will not have a better senator under any circumstances," Khalidi said.

The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The Times.

Though Khalidi has seen little of Sen. Obama in recent years, Michelle Obama attended a party several months ago celebrating the marriage of the Khalidis' daughter.

In interviews with The Times, Khalidi declined to discuss specifics of private talks over the years with Obama. He did not begrudge his friend for being out of touch, or for focusing more these days on his support for Israel — a stance that Khalidi calls a requirement to win a national election in the U.S., just as wooing Chicago's large Arab American community was important for winning local elections.

So why is the Times sitting on the videotape of the Khalidi festivities? Given Obama's (preposterous) claims that he didn’t know Ayers that well and was unfamiliar with Ayers’s views, why didn't the Times report that Ayers and Dohrn were at the bash? Was it not worth mentioning the remarkable coincidence that both Obama and Ayers — the “education reform” allies who barely know each other … except to the extent they together doled out tens of millions of dollars to Leftist agitators, attacked the criminal justice system, and raved about each others books — just happen to be intimate friends of the same anti-American Israel-basher? (Despite having watched the videotape, Wallsten told Gateway Pundit he “did not know” whether Ayers was there.)

Why won’t the Times tell us what was said in the various Khalidi testimonials? On that score, Ayers and Dohrn have always had characteristically noxious views on the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. And, true to form, they have always been quite open about them. There is no reason to believe those views have ever changed. Here, for example, is what they had to say in Prairie Fire, the Weather Underground’s 1974 Communist manifesto:

"Palestinian independence is opposed with reactionary schemes by Jordan, completely opposed with military terror by Israel, and manipulated by the U.S. The U.S.-sponsored notion of stability and status-quo in the Mideast is an attempt to preserve U.S. imperialist control of oil, using zionist power as the cat's paw. The Mideast has become a world focus of struggles over oil resources and control of strategic sea and air routes. Yet the Palestinian struggle is at the heart of other conflicts in the Mideast. Only the Palestinians can determine the solution which reflects the aspirations of the Palestinian people. No "settlements" in the Mideast which exclude the Palestinians will resolve the conflict. Palestinian liberation will not be suppressed.

The U.S. people have been seriously deceived about the Palestinians and Israel. This calls for a campaign to educate and focus attention on the true situation: teach-ins, debates, and open clear support for Palestinian liberation; reading about the Palestinian movement—The Disinherited by Fawaz Turki, Enemy of the Sun; opposing U.S. aid to Israel. Our silence or acceptance of pro-zionist policy is a form of complicity with U.S.-backed aggression and terror, and a betrayal of internationalism.




Barack Obama wouldn’t possibly let something like that pass without a spirited defense of the Israel he tells us he so staunchly supports … would he? I guess to answer that question, we’d have to know what was on the tape.

But who has time for such trifles? After all, isn’t Diana Vreeland about to critique Sarah Palin’s sartorial splendor?

October 29, 2008 5:29 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

i guess its smear the middle eastern professor time for the mccain campaign okay. now for a little bit of truth - this is from (

In fact, the “public record” shows that Khalidi is a well-respected, mainstream scholar of Middle Eastern studies. As the Washington Post explained in a 2004 profile of Khalidi and his book Resurrecting Empire:

Among other scholars who specialize in the region, [Khalidi’s book] isn’t a radical take on the present state of affairs. Michael C. Hudson, director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown, describes Khalidi as preeminent in his field, a courageous scholar and public figure. […]

Khalidi’s book is equally critical of corrupt Arab nationalist regimes and Israeli policies in the occupied territories. It is measured, perhaps even a bit safe in its main argument.

Further demonstrating the inaccuracy of the McCain campaign’s characterization of Khalidi is the fact that while McCain served as chairman of its board, the International Republican Institute distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi.” Seth Colter Walls reports:

A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. … The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”

As Ezra Klein notes, “This, of course, just goes to show how absurd it is to suggest that Khalidi is some sort of radical polemicist. The guy is such a credentialed and respected scholar that even right-leaning organizations have funded his work, simply because it’s good work.”

October 29, 2008 8:55 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

and could we get the ENTIRE situation regarding what Obama said about Nazi Germany and the United States? He was talking about the situation in the U.S. at the time of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

And you know what? He was right. The climate in the US at the time of the decision (which desegragated schools)could be compared to how it was during Nazi German. You had African-Americans being discriminated against and kept down by segregation, lynchings and other forms of violence. The following is from an anti-Obama supposed Christian press release -

The remark came during a discussion of the United States at the time of Brown vs. The Board of Education.

Obama said, "...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective…there's a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you've got World War II, you've got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home."

October 29, 2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Listen --

The Obama ground game has built this huge early voting lead, and will turn out the vote next Tuesday. It's how Bush won Ohio in 2004 -- the ground game. In some states Obama employs 10x as many volunteers and staff as McCain.

The same goes for money, with O:M:: 4:1. You just can't beat that.

Bush won because it came down to a single state. One state, close race -- anything can happen. Not this time -- it's not even close. McCain would have to win all the Bush states to even have a chance, and it's not going to happen, statistically.

As for the polls, the only polls that count are the Election Day and early voting results, and the only results that matter are state results. The national trackers are only newspaper fodder. The cross-tabs show the "tightening" to be the result of white Southern men coming "home" to McCain. Outside today's infomercial, Obama has stopped all national advertising. So what? Even Mississippi is now in play. McCain can win TN and KY by 30 points, and it's totally meaningless. His entire campaign for the final month has been defending Bush states, with the exception of PA, which is a quixotic effort.

That's the bottom line, and one's ideology is meaningless. I also doubt that any African American will not vote for Obama over fear for his life. Can you imagine explaining to your children you didn't vote for him? Or your grandchildren? The people waiting in line to vote early are not waiting in line not to vote.

October 29, 2008 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

An open letter to the American People from 76 American Nobel Prize winners who endorse Obama

October 30, 2008 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?

Daily Kos reports

...McCain's campaign had Drudge post their demand that the LA Times release their video of a banquet Obama attended in honor of Rashid Khalidi. Background provided by Ben Smith here.

In a stunning development, HuffPost's Seth Walls has uncovered that McCain himself has an extensive relationship with Khalidi, including providing his group with hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money. For some strange reason, Drudge pulled his Khalidi story shortly after the HuffPost article appeared. I think McCain's camp is running scared- please either rec this diary or have Kos post the HuffPost article. This is one attempt at race-baiting that will blow up in McCain's face.

Of course we all know the real reason the Rovians brought up this LA Times video is that the McCain campaign loves to talk about anything except the economic crisis, Iraq, health care, the environment, eradicating poverty, and all the issues that matter to the American people. And this ploy was a great diversion until it was discovered that McCain financially supported this "former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat" I guess this little fact slipped McCain's mind. Afterall, memory is one of the first things to go.

October 30, 2008 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

typical you-tooism from CBTS

the issue is not the dinner that Obama attended three years ago with Yasser Arafat's former spokesman

the one where he sat next to William Ayers, who he barely knows

the one where he applauded speeches calling for the destruction of Israel

everyone can make up their own mind about that

the big issue here is why the media has suppressed a story that might hurt the Obama campaign

the liberal media's involvement in this campaign needs to be examined and some big network heads need to join Dan Rather

October 30, 2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

...and Roger Ailes, no doubt.

Obama never funded Khalidi's work, but McCain's International Republican Institute did.

Enough spin. Let's check the facts. Here's the Obama Biden fact sheet on Israel

They will work to:

Ensure a Strong U.S.-Israel Partnership

Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons:\

Support Israel’s Right to Self Defense

Work towards Ending Hamas Rocket Attacks

Support Foreign Assistance to Israel

Work towards Two States Living Side by Side in Peace and Security

Support U.S.-Israel Research and Development and Energy Independence

October 30, 2008 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


We were discussing media bias not Obama's position on Israel.

As a matter of fact, though, you just recited nothing but a bunch of campaign positions. Obama has become a defender of Israel only as he has become a presidential candidate. You can't get elected in America otherwise.

Truth is, Hamas has endorsed Obama. Half the kids in the West Bank wear Obama t-shirts. They bought them from his website. Technically part of the cost is a donation from foreign sources but no one knows about it because Obama, unlike McCain, refuses to release the identities of his contributors under $200.

This incident also underscores Obama's deceit. When the subject of William Ayers first surfaced, he claimed to barely know him. Then came the revelation that Ayers gave Obama's first fundraiser. Then we learned that they served together on the Board of a foundation that supported leftwing causes. Now, here he is sitting next to him at a dinner three years ago applauding a PLO spokesman.

So aside from the connection to terrorists and the fact that Obama appears very comfortable in their company, this incidence raises troubling questions about how the media has become a blatantly partisan participant in this election and how Obama blatantly lies about his past associations.

Give us the facts, media, and tell the truth, Obama. We'll make up our minds what we think.

Ayers, of course, famously said, in the aftermath of 9/11, that he don't bomb enough buildings in his radical past. Everyone else was in shock after 9/11. Even our bitter enemies in Iran were so disturbed that they declared a day of mourning.

Oh yeah, there was one other group that had a different reaction to 9/11. On the West Bank, the PLO handed out sweets to children and danced in the streets.

October 30, 2008 10:07 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

How dare you, Wyatt, cast aspersion on American Jews' love of Israel? How dare you and your friends, members of a Rapture-loving group of religious extremists who "love" Israel simply to hasten its destruction to fulfill your own religious fantasies?

One of these days, which I expect will be next week, you and your ilk will be banished to the wilderness where you all belong.

October 30, 2008 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you show us where anyone "cast aspersion on American Jews' love of Israel"?

Obama is no friend of Israel, America's only reliable ally in the Mid-East.

"Banished to the wilderness"?

If all goes as expected next Tuesday, the Democrats will control both ends of Pennsylvania Ave and have a filibuster-proof majority. They'll have no excuses left.

Herbert Hoover reacted to a recession by raising taxes on the wealthy and raising tariffs. The result was the Great Depression. Obama advocates a similar strategy.

Let's remember history. Everyone loved Jimmy Carter for a few months until he tried to raise gas taxes and he never recovered. Everyone loved Clinton for a few weeks until he tried to force gays on the military and Hillary tried to take the choice out of health care. Two years later, the Republicans took Congress.

America is in for some surprises if Obama is elected. There will be suffering but, two years from now, the Republicans will likely retake Congress. Until then, they'll be in the fabled "I-told-you-so" seat.

There's an outfit already printing the "Don't blame me. I voted for McCain" bumperstickers.

October 30, 2008 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooh blame the media. it's the media's fault. the media has a conspiracy with obama and the reporters who disagree with him have suddenly disappeared. That last part was tongue in cheek but it reminds me of when Clinton was running for president in 1992. Remember the Clinton Chronicles. Just stop it, anonymous. You can't cite facts so you cite more innuendo than you know what to do with.

October 30, 2008 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And about those McCain bumper stickers - see Obama is helping the economy ALREADY. LOL

October 30, 2008 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I am willing to speak here as a strong supporter of Israel- 5 trips- the last was last year. I was asked to join the Board of the Women's Division for the Israel Board Committee locally which means I also invested in Israel. Now I have eaten at Busboys and Poets several times- owned by Andy Shallal-I guess this means I hate Israel. The DCJCC has hosted discussions on Israel and the Palestinians- I guess it means the DCJCC hates Israel and wants it destroyed.

October 30, 2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fact: Obama attended a dinner with a PLO spokesman and sat with William Ayers three years ago

fact: the LA Times has refused to release a videotape it has of the event

fact: Obama said in an interview in the late 90s that it was too bad the Supreme Court didn't redistribute assets during the Civil Rights movement

fact: you won't hear about it in the mainstream media

fact: Obama compared pre- Brown Vs Board of Education America to Nazi Germany in this same interview

fact: you won't hear about it in the mainstream media

fact: the media made a big hoopla about what a waste it was to buy Sarah Palin 150K in clothes but seemed fine with Obama's 4 million dollar infomercial complete with a fake Oval Office and renting out a football stadium and building a Greek temple to give his nomination acceptance speech in and making up a fake presidential seal for his podium back in June

fact: the media for a while was trying to manufacture a story that McCain supporters were violent racist mobs while McCain refused to capitalize on the legitimate issue of Obama's long-term association with a racist preacher out of a misdirected sense of fairness

these are all facts

the media has been biased this time out

we need a new generation of objective professional journalists to take their place

October 30, 2008 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The DCJCC has hosted discussions on Israel and the Palestinians- I guess it means the DCJCC hates Israel and wants it destroyed."

Come on, Andrea.

If you were invited to a dinner honoring a PLO spokesman, would you go and sit next to a guy who bombed the Pentagon and the Capitol and applaud while the speakers attacked Israel?

Obama did.

Here's today's poll numbers:


Obama will probably win but he doesn't seem to be able to break out.

We remain one revelation away from a Republican victory. With the stuff we know the media has suppressed, who knows what's out there we don't know about yet.

October 30, 2008 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

No you were discussing media bias and you introduced untrue GOP spin as evidence of that bias. You posted a National Review piece by conservative author Andrew C. McCarthy, who thinks water-boarding is not always torture. He's about as far from being an objective professional journalist as anyone can be.

The fact is Obama has long been and will continue to be a solid supporter of Israel. Another fact is that McCain has financially supported the so-called "terrorist" Khalidi to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.

Fox News' Shepard Smith got it right. President Obama remains a friend and supporter of Israel as his policies clearly show. You Sore Losermen McCain supporters are downright frightening in your desperation.

October 30, 2008 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

AOL News reports:

NH Republican quits McCain campaign to back Obama
posted: 12 MINUTES AGO

CONCORD, N.H. -A prominent New Hampshire Republican who was a delegate to the party's nominating convention is quitting John McCain's campaign and endorsing Barack Obama.

Fred Bramante says he is resigning as a member of McCain's New Hampshire Leadership Committee. He had been a co-chairman of Mike Huckabee's New Hampshire presidential campaign and joined McCain after the former Arkansas governor dropped out of the race.

Bramante, a member of the state Board of Education, said he opposes McCain's support of school vouchers, which he said politicians must abandon if they want to improve education.

Bramante said he's concluded that McCain would do little to improve education, while Obama supports new and innovative ideas.

October 30, 2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon

I guess the 47 papers that endorsed Bush but are endorsing Obama this time are now "liberal elite media"

From Editor and Publisher
Tally Of Newspaper Endorsements -- Obama Maintains Big Lead at 234-105

By Greg Mitchell and Dexter Hill

Published: October 30, 2008 12:25 PM ET Thursday

NEW YORK We're in the homestretch! And the Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements. The Democratic team now leads by 234 to 105, a better than 2-1 margin and an even wider spread in the circulation of those papers -- see full tally below as of today. The circulation of the Obama-backing papers stands at over 21 million, compared with McCain's 7 million.

Obama's lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205. Obama, with 231, has already easily topped Kerry's number with many more yet to be tallied.

At least 47 papers -- the most recent, the Cape Cod Times -- have now switched to Obama from Bush in 2004, with just four flipping to McCain (see separate story on our site). In addition, several top papers that went for Bush in 2004 have now chosen not to endorse this year, the latest being the Indianapolis Star in key swing state Indiana.

The Chicago Tribune endorsed Obama--the first Democrat that it has backed in its long history. Three of the top five dailies in deep red state Texas switched from Bush to Obama this time.

October 30, 2008 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No you were discussing media bias and you introduced untrue GOP spin as evidence of that bias."

No, I was discussing media bias and the fact remains that the LA Times won't release the tape because they don't want the American people to see how Obama reacted to the anti-Israel rhetoric of the speakers.

No such tape exists of McCain. He wouldn't be seen in such company.

Dinner with Ayers and the PLO.

Three years ago, not when he was 7.

You'd almost think he was palling around with terrorists.

"Bramante, a member of the state Board of Education, said he opposes McCain's support of school vouchers, which he said politicians must abandon if they want to improve education."

Voucher programs are currently rare and very limited where they exist. Why aren't the public schools wonderful now?

Even liberals such as Adrian Fenty and the Washington Post support giving underprivileged families the same options Barack Obama's kids have. Even if the education was only equivalent, and it isn't, private schools are actually safer than inner city schools. Kids deserve a chance to live and learn in a safe environment.

"Bramante said he's concluded that McCain would do little to improve education, while Obama supports new and innovative ideas."

Other than send more kids to pre-K programs, Obama isn't admitting to any new ideas. He'll probably appoint William Ayers Secretary of Education though. Ayers and Obama wrote a grant proposal when they worked together saying that schools should be more for producing politically radical students than reading and 'rithmetic.

Face it, the loser you're mentioning is just trying to jump on a bandwagon.


October 30, 2008 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most basic explanation for why Barack Obama may win next Tuesday is that voters want economic deliverance. The standard fix for this in politics everywhere is to crowbar the old party out and patch in the other one. It is true as well that the historic nature of the nation's first African-American candidacy would play a big role.

Push past the historic candidacy, however, and one sees something even larger at stake in this vote. One sees what Joe (The Plumber) Wurzelbacher saw. The real "change" being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of "the past eight years" but with the American economic philosophy of the past 200 years. This election is about a long-term change in America's idea of itself.

I don't agree with the argument that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid government is a one-off, that good old nonideological American pragmatism will temper their ambitions. Not true. With this election, the U.S. is at a philosophical tipping point.

The goal of Sen. Obama and the modern, "progressive" Democratic Party is to move the U.S. in the direction of Western Europe, the so-called German model and its "social market economy." Under this notion, business is highly regulated, as it would be in the next Congress under Democratic House committee chairmen Markey, Frank and Waxman. Business is allowed to create "wealth" so long as its utility is not primarily to create new jobs or economic growth but to support a deep welfare system.

The political planets are aligned to make this achievable. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, prominent Democrats, European leaders in France and Germany and more U.S. newspaper articles than one can count have said that the crisis proves the need to permanently tame the American "free-market" model. P.O.W. Alan Greenspan is broadcasting confessions. The question is: Are the American people of a mind to throw in the towel on the system that got them here?

This would be a historic shift, one post-Vietnam Democrats have been trying to achieve since their failed fight with Ronald Reagan's "Cowboy Capitalism."

Of course Cowboy Capitalism built the country. More than any previous nation in history, the United States made its way forward on a 200-year wave of upwardly mobile, profit-seeking merchants, tradesmen, craftsmen and workers. They blew out of New England and New York, rolled across the wildernesses of the Central States, pushed across a tough Western frontier and banged into San Francisco and Los Angeles, leaving in their path city after city of vast wealth.

The U.S. emerged a superpower, and the tool of that ascent was simple -- the pursuit of economic growth. Now China, India and Brazil, embracing high-growth Cowboy Capitalism, are doing what we did, only their cities are bigger.

Now comes Barack Obama, standing at the head of a progressive Democratic Party, his right hand rising to say, "Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be for-profit cowboys. It's time to spread the wealth around."

What this implies, undeniably, is that the United States would move away from running with the high GDP, high-growth nations rising today as economic and political powers and move over to retire with the low-growth economies we displaced -- old Europe.

As noted in a 2006 World Bank report, spending in Europe on social-protection programs averages 19% of GDP (85% of it on social insurance programs), compared to 9% of GDP in the U.S. The Obama proposals send the U.S. inexorably and permanently toward European levels of social protection. This isn't an "agenda." It's a final temptation.

In partial detail:

Obama's federalized medical insurance system starts the transition away from private medical care and toward Obama's endlessly promised "universal health care." This has always been the sine qua non of planting a true, managed-market economy in the U.S.

Obama's refundable tax credits are direct cash transfers from the federal government. This would place some 48% of Americans, nearly half, out of the income tax system. More than a tax proposal, this is a deep philosophical shift, an American version of being "on the dole."

His stated intent to renegotiate free-trade agreements such as Nafta is a philosophical shift. It abandons the tradition of a hyper-competitive America dating back to the Industrial Revolution, toward a protected, domestic workforce, as in Western Europe. The Democratic proposal to eliminate private union votes -- "card check" -- ensures the spread of a static, Euro-style workforce.

Eliminating the ceiling on payroll taxes changes Social Security from an insurance to a welfare program. Obama's tax credits requires performing government-identified activities, the essence of a "directed economy."

All this would transform the animating American idea -- away from creation and toward protection.

Many voters -- progressive Democrats, the asset-safe rich, academics and college students -- regard this as where America should go. They explicitly want America's great natural energies transferred away from unwieldy economic competition and toward social construction. They want the U.S. to reduce its "footprint" in the world. Monies saved by stepping down from superpower status can be reprogrammed into "investments" (a favorite Obama word) in a vast Euro-style hammock of social protection programs.

One wishes John McCain had been better able to make clear what the truly "historic" meaning of Tuesday's vote is. Once it's done, it's done.

October 30, 2008 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acorn, the liberal "community organizing" group that claims it will deploy 15,000 get-out-the-vote workers on Election Day, can't stay out of the news.

The FBI is investigating its voter registration efforts in several states, amid allegations that almost a third of the 1.3 million cards it turned in are invalid. And yesterday, a former employee of Acorn testified in a Pennsylvania state court that the group's quality-control efforts were "minimal or nonexistent" and largely window dressing. Anita MonCrief also says that Acorn was given lists of potential donors by several Democratic presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama, to troll for contributions.

The Obama campaign denies it "has any ties" to Acorn, but Mr. Obama's ties are extensive. In 1992 he headed a registration effort for Project Vote, an Acorn partner at the time. He did so well that he was made a top trainer for Acorn's Chicago conferences. In 1995, he represented Acorn in a key case upholding the constitutionality of the new Motor Voter Act -- the first law passed by the Clinton administration -- which created the mandated, nationwide postcard voter registration system that Acorn workers are using to flood election offices with bogus registrations.

Ms. MonCrief testified that in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists. Ms. MonCrief also testified she was given a spreadsheet to use in cultivating Obama donors who had maxed out on donations to the candidate, but who could contribute to voter registration efforts. Project Vote calls the allegation "absolutely false."

She says that when she had trouble with what appeared to be duplicate names on the list, Ms. Gillette told her she would talk with the Obama campaign and get a better version. Ms. MonCrief has given me copies of the donor lists she says were obtained from other Democratic campaigns, as well as the 2004 DNC donor lists.

In her testimony, Ms. MonCrief says she was upset by Acorn's "Muscle for Money" program, which she said intimidated businesses Acorn opposed into paying "protection" money in the form of grants. Acorn's Brian Kettering says the group only wants to change corporate behavior: "Acorn is proud of its corporate campaigns to stop abuses of working families."

Ms. MonCrief, 29, never expected to testify in a case brought by the state's Republican Party seeking the local Acorn affiliate's voter registration lists. An idealistic graduate of the University of Alabama, she joined Project Vote in 2005 because she thought it was empowering poor people. A strategic consultant for Acorn and a development associate with its Project Vote voter registration affiliate, Ms. MonCrief sat in on policy-making meetings with the national staff. She was fired early this year over personal expenses she had put on the group's credit card.

She says she became disillusioned because she saw that Acorn was run as the personal fiefdom of Wade Rathke, who founded the group in 1970 and ran it until he stepped down to take over its international operations this summer. Mr. Rathke's departure as head of Acorn came after revelations he'd employed his brother Dale for a decade while keeping from almost all of Acorn's board members the fact that Dale had embezzled over $1 million from the group a decade ago. (The embezzlement was confirmed to me by an Acorn official.)

"Anyone who questioned what was going on was viewed as the enemy," Ms. MonCrief told me. "Just like the mob, no one leaves Acorn happily." She believes the organization does some good but hopes its current leadership is replaced. She may not be alone.

Last August two of Acorn's eight dissident board members, Marcel Reed and Karen Inman, filed suit demanding access to financial records of Citizens Consulting Inc., the umbrella group through which most of Acorn's money flows. Ms. Inman told a news conference this month Mr. Rathke still exercises power over CCI and Acorn against the board's wishes. Bertha Lewis, the interim head of Acorn, told me Mr. Rathke has no ties to Acorn and that the dissident board members were "obsessed" and "confused."

According to public records, the IRS filed three tax liens totaling almost $1 million against Acorn this spring. Also this spring, CCI was paid $832,000 by the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote efforts in key primary states. In filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Obama campaign listed the payments as "staging, sound, lighting," only correcting the filings after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed their true nature.

"Acorn needs a full forensic audit," Ms. MonCrief says, though she doesn't think that's likely. "Everyone wants to paper things over until later," she says. "But it may be too late to reform Acorn then." She strongly supports Barack Obama and hopes his allies can be helpful in cleaning up the group "after the heat of the election is gone."

Acorn's Mr. Kettering says the GOP lawsuit "is designed to suppress legitimate voters," and he says Ms. MonCrief isn't credible, given that she was fired for cause. Ms. MonCrief admits that she left after she began paying back some $3,000 in personal expenses she charged on an Acorn credit card. "I was very sorry, and I was paying it back," she says, but "suddenly Acorn decided that . . . I had to go. Since then I have gotten warnings to 'back off' from people at Acorn."

Acorn insists it operates with strict quality controls, turning in, as required by law, all registration forms "even if the name on them was Donald Duck," as Wade Rathke told me two years ago. Acorn whistleblowers tell a different story.

"There's no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances," says Nate Toler, who worked until 2006 as the head organizer of an Acorn campaign against Wal-Mart in California. And Ms. MonCrief says it is longstanding practice to blame bogus registrations on lower-level employees who then often face criminal charges, a practice she says Acorn internally calls "throwing folks under the bus."

Gregory Hall, a former Acorn employee, says he was told on his very first day in 2006 to engage in deceptive fund-raising tactics. Mr. Hall has founded a group called Speaking Truth to Power to push for a full airing of Acorn's problems "so the group can heal itself from within."

To date, Mr. Obama has declined to criticize Acorn, telling reporters this month he is happy with his own get-out-the-vote efforts and that "we don't need Acorn's help." That may be true. But there is no denying his ties with Acorn helped turbocharge his political career.

October 30, 2008 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha

When you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the job is. Joe Biden failed that test in the VP debate. He couldn’t even get right what a vice president does, but the media didn’t notice.

The media is all over itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political analyst Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy. Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a simpleton.

Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the role of the vice president:

"Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous."

One should be careful when throwing around terms such as “most dangerous” and “bizarre.” But Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I). More importantly, the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong. Nor is it true that the only legislative involvement the vice president has is to break tie votes. The vice president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators.

Early vice presidents spent a lot of time in the Senate. Thomas Jefferson even spent his time writing “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice: for the Use of the Senate of the United States.” Modern vice presidents may show up only when they think tie votes will occur, but that is their choice.

This isn’t rocket science. The Constitution on this point is very straightforward: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

Instead, it was Palin who got it right. Besides correctly stating that the vice president holds positions in both the executive and legislative branches, she also noted that:

Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and [I] will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chooses to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

But just as the vice president’s job includes more than simply being ready to assume the presidency if the president dies, the Constitution merely states what the vice president’s minimum responsibilities are.

Compare the uproar over Palin’s answer to Charlie Gibson about the “Bush Doctrine,” a doctrine that Gibson clearly didn’t understand and for which there apparently exist at least four different versions. Where is the outrage over Biden not understanding what vice presidents do? For Biden, his inability to correctly say what vice presidents do was surely his “gotcha” moment.

October 30, 2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

So we are no longer having political discussions. Anonymous is now posting entire articles from right wing web pages. I am one for political discussions like the next guy but I really think I should call foul here. Not because of the difference of opinion but due to the fact that now that anonymous has a venue to discuss (so as not to distract from other blog postings) he or she chooses to monopolize the space with long articles that he or she is obviously cutting and pasting.

It's truly pathetic and EXTREMELY juvenile.

October 30, 2008 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just trying to spur conversation, Alvin

Wall Street Journal is not "right-wing".

It is centrist conservative, much like John McCain.

Liberals used to like McCain until he got in the way of their new mystery man.

October 30, 2008 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, the view from the mainstream in the conservative country of Canada. David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen writes:

"One writes these columns to a specific word-length, and I sometimes regret the last-minute omission of some quibbling qualification, or supplementary jab, from the need to eliminate words quickly. A good example of the former was in my Saturday column, on messianic pretensions in politics. I said somewhat mischievously that if Barack Obama completed one presidential term, it would be his longest steady job.

When the column touched the blogosphere, innumerable U.S. Democrats challenged this assertion, and a gentleman in Chicago was so kind as to forward a summary transcript of Mr. Obama's employment record at the University of Chicago, proving he had taught there for more than four years, continuously. Not a full-time job, but hey.

I'd rather retract that sentence for a different reason: it did not make my point well enough. My point -- and it is one worth frequent repetition when discussing politicians, especially on the left -- is that the citizen-voter should look at a candidate's life experience. Everyone has some, by the age of four, but the question is whether the candidate has done anything as an adult besides running for and holding political office -- or, in the case of candidates farthest left, engaging in agitprop activities such as "community organizer," or boffering in the academic trenches, which amount to the same thing.

There are "credentials," and then there is "cred." It is sometimes necessary to shorten or otherwise alter a word, to recover its original meaning. Here we are discussing not a job resumé, but what can be seen through it.

Of the four candidates on the two U.S. presidential tickets, it strikes me that both John McCain and Sarah Palin have some credible personal background to equip them in dealing with the interface between politics and life. By comparison, neither Barack Obama nor Joe Biden has ever done anything much, except master party political machinery.

Even within politics, the contrast between, say, Ms. Palin and Mr. Obama is instructive. Ms. Palin rose in Alaskan politics through a series of fights, in each of which she took on vested interests, starting with her local school board, and ending with her own party's old-boy network in Juneau. She had to fall back on her own personal resources -- and I mean psychic, not financial, for she had to raise her own money, too -- all along the way. She has grit, but with this grit, she was acquiring firsthand experience of how politics enters the lives of people who are not essentially political; who raise families, and work for their livings.

Whereas, Mr. Obama was from his political beginnings the darling of a Chicago political machine, notorious for both corruption, and harbouring radicals. His very smoothness and articulacy, even his blackness, made him their golden boy, assuring him of financial patronage along his way.

This has practical consequences. I am not saying that Mr. Obama is himself corrupt or even radical; only that he is smooth.

Now, who can imagine him having the desire, or, should he find the desire, also finding the will, to stand up to a spendthrift and intrusive Congress? Or, making appointments that require political imagination and nerve? (Consider the Joe he chose as running mate.) Let alone, facing down America's mortal enemies abroad, when the way forward cannot possibly be along the path of least resistance?

Whereas, I can easily imagine Ms. Palin digging in her formidable heels, and the only question -- a fair one, mind -- is, does she know enough about the mechanics of Washington and world affairs? (And to be even more fair: does Mr. Obama?)

For that, as on the campaign trail, she has shown herself to be a very quick learner, with sound gut instincts. She is no radical, notwithstanding left media efforts to paint her that way; her outlook is mild Reaganite -- ranging from right towards centre. She wears her allegiances on her sleeve.

By comparison, as a reading of his memoir-manifesto, The Audacity of Hope, will confirm, Mr. Obama's outlook does not range from left towards centre, but rather, from left into defensively impenetrable. As we have seen through the campaign, every solution he proposes involves additional government spending, and additional intrusion into private lives. It is the natural mindset of a person who has himself lived (except for the royalties from his books) entirely on taxpayer or political subsidy.

"Caribou Barbie" can famously field-dress a moose; the man whom no one dares to nickname in public tells you to keep the tires on your car properly inflated, while he "spreads the wealth around."

Is this an unfair comparison? No, because one could patiently muster a hundred more such juxtapositions, in which the contrast is between trust in government, and trust in life. And the clue to these contrasts comes, consistently, from the candidates' very different backgrounds."

October 30, 2008 10:59 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, I don't like to censor the comments, obviously, but Alvin does have a point. It would be a lot nicer if you expressed your own opinions here, with a link to a relevant article or maybe a quote of the really relevant part. You would get your point across better too, and I'll bet you would convince everybody here to vote Republican on Tuesday.


October 30, 2008 11:08 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

You are not spurring discussion. You are like a child throwing a tantrum because he can't get his way.

And BTW you did mention the publication, but just who EXACTLY is the author of the pieces you are pasting here. You call the WSJ centrist but the author of the pieces could be someone like Charles Krauthammer or William Kristol; people not necessarily centrist. You are not being honest per usual.

October 30, 2008 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually wait until I soil myself and then I just go to bed. That is basically the ritual every night for me.

October 30, 2008 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anonymous is boring.

October 31, 2008 3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" Troll: Using your poll citations, here are today's Obama poll numbers: 17, 12, 10, 13, 15, 25 !

October 31, 2008 9:21 AM  

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