Thursday, January 31, 2008

Momentum

After the meaningless results from the Florida Democratic non-primary I tried to comfort Obama supporters by pointing out that momentum was on his side. I was looking at the exit polls which showed that among Florida voters who made their mind up in the final days - Obama was the clear choice. Seems that momentum is being felt nationally. just look at this tracking poll! (click on it to see it full size). I may not get to watch all of the debate tonight on CNN but let's hope Barack suceeds in continuing the trend.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Out!

John Edwards will announce today that he is leaving the Democratic race for President. I think this should help Barack Obama heading into Super Tuesday. It would be helpful if Edwards gave an endorsement to Obama, but I think Edwards followers will naturally gravitate to him no matter what. Let's hope so.

Florida

The Democratic results are useless as far as gauging future performance of either Clinton or Obama in a general election. There was no campaigning so Clinton had the benefit of name recognition and won the absentee ballots as well as the vote of those who made their decision weeks ago. Obama won the votes of those who physically went to the polls and made up their mind in recent days. So, since no delegates were at stake, the lesson of the Democratic election may be that Clinton has the machine, but Obama has the momentum.

John McCain's victory was due in no small part to the appeal of Mike Huckabee. Most of the pundits seems to sense a McCain/Huckabee ticket and for once they might be right. I'm finding it interesting that John McCain is getting the key endorsements from virtually everyone in Republican politics, but movement conservatives just hate him. I suspect they believe they can control the desperate to please Romney if he should make it to the White House. It'll be hats off to John McCain if he can overcome this resistance.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Endorsements

I have been asked by some people in Florida what I think about their primary coming up. Since my own primary in New York is very close too, I figured this would be a good time to give my endorsements. No surprises really, I have been supporting these guys the whole time but here are some reminders why. As usual, please excuse any choppiness or grammatical errors. This blog is done usually without revisions (due to time constraints) so fight your way through it and I hope you catch my drift. Maybe one day, when this is my full time job I can revise, rewrite and make everything look perfect. In the meantime read what I am quickly typing while the boss is away getting coffee.

Democrats: Barack Obama

This was always a bit of a close call for me - especially at first. I had great respect for Bill Clinton and while Hillary was never a favorite, she seems to be very smart and quite able to be President of the United States. Barack Obama lacks Washington experience and seems almost too nice for the job. However, over these few months of the campaign, I have seen two things that puts me solidly in the Obama camp. First of all, Barack is indeed smart enough and tough enough for the job. His impressive leadership abilities are apparent in the way he has created an effective national campaign in a very short period of time. Barack Obama also would bring the most change to national politics - which we desperately need. Secondly, Hillary, or "Billary" as it now seems to be the case, have shown over the past couple months a shocking disdain for the truth and common decency. The Clinton administration of the 1990's was competent and much better than what preceded and followed. However, their choice to lie, mislead and most recently introduce hateful racial undertones to the current campaign disqualifies them from my consideration. It also has sent my opinion of Bill Clinton way, way down. As someone, who loved Bill and was never a Hillary hater - I am surprised to find myself saying this but if she wins the nomination I MAY NOT even vote Democratic! Anyone who knows me understands just how much the Clintons have irked me for me to say that. They are acting like ... republicans ... in this election. In the interest of consistency I have to publicly rebuke them for that. It really is a shame.

Republicans: Mike Huckabee

Reports of Mike Huckabee's demise is premature. And I sure hope it is wrong all together. Although Huck has said some really odd things on the campaign trail, I still think he would is the best of the choices on the GOP side. To this day, he remains the only Republican that seems to understand that trickle down economics does not work for everyone and that compassion is not a dirty word. He is a breath of fresh air and, if not for a lack of money and experience in the national spotlight, would be the runaway favorite for the Republicans. I still think he has a real shot to win it all - after all he won Iowa with little money and came out of nowhere to do it. Florida can put him back in the mix and I sure hope they do.

Asses

The Republican run FCC is at it again fining ABC television $1.43million for an episode of long ago terminated series NYPD Blue. The offense? Showing a bare buttocks of a woman! Let me get this straight: every night we see the carnage of an unnecessary war and hear lies repeated by "moral" politicians. Yet a bare ass is what the government pursues. Really? Is it any wonder that the Republican party is in shambles? This is another reason why we should all hope it stays that way.
"We find that the programming at issue is within the scope of our indecency definition because it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs -- specifically an adult woman's buttocks," the FCC wrote. "Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense."

Barack is Back!

E-mail smear taxes Obama campaign

Unfortunately, once again, naive Americans are being targeted by e-mail smears, this time about Barack Obama. The same people who were conned into believing George W. Bush was a suitable candidate for President are now being told that Obama is a secret Muslim who won't pledge allegiance to the flag. The type of people spreading these lies are the same one who have been dominating politics and policy over the past generation. Will naive Americans be fooled again? The future of this once great nation may depend on these voters abilty to rise up and reject the stream of lies being fed to them by radio and e-mail.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stopping the Red Menace

I came across this letter to the editor today that explains exactly what should be brought to the attention of the American people in this important election year. While I have said it different ways many times, this short letter sums it up more succinctly than I ever could.
Today we are hearing many conservatives lamenting that conservatism has lost its way. The truth is that conservatives had their way. In six years of unified control of the levers of power, they did more damage than is imaginable. It could take us a generation to regain our former prestige and clout.
Conservatism failed in the 1890s, again in the 1920s, again in the 1980s, and again at the beginning of the 21st century. That is the message Democrats need to hammer home at every possible occasion.
Conservatives failed because conservatism is a failed ideology. The greatest periods of American history all rejected conservatism in favor of the ideals our nation was founded on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Spy Gear and Police Technology


Follow this link to see some amazing technology that will soon be used by Homeland Security and Police Departments. Here is just one example : The Remington R1 - a throwable wireless camera. Just toss one of these bad boys through that window you’re about to jump through and you can survey the area with a push of a button.

So much to say ...

..and not nearly enough time to write it. The Democratic debate last night was really exciting. Clinton and Obama really got into it and I'll tell you it did not make Obama look good. Those debates are not his strong suit. I think Hillary may be on the verge of seizing the momentum for good. Despite her many weaknesses as a candidate she knows how to battle. On the GOP side my man Huckabee really seems to be "not ready for prime time". Some of his comments and that by his bud Chuck Norris, seem to be hurting his campaign. I thought that he would be better off to ride the wave of support rather than try to push too hard. On a positive note the chart below seems to show Huckabee (green) still very much still in the race in Florida.UPDATE 2:30PM Fred Thompson has dropped out of the race which might help Huckabee. At the very least, the epitome of movement conservatism is out of the picture and hopefully so is that poitical ideology!I watched Bloomberg all night to see the overseas stock markets. They tanked - only to rebound a little bit after the Fed announced the rate cut. It could be a very interesting day on Wall Street. My only hope in all this is that people realize that the "trickle down" economics the USA has been using since 1981 is the cause of this mess. Greed is a good fuel for a capitalistic economy but it should never been made the engine. Today we may see what kind of price we pay.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sprint to Close 125 Stores, Cuts 4,000 Jobs

"The news keeps getting worse at Sprint. The struggling wireless telco suffered its worst quarter yet for customer defections, saying a staggering 683,000 post-paid users headed for the door in the fourth quarter. Sprint's churn, reflecting the rate of monthly subscriber loss, rose to 2.3 percent, which is more than double the rates recently posted at the fastest-growing big carrier, Verizon Wireless."

World Stocks Free Fall

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mich. for Mitt

I have been so busy that I have not even had time to pay much attention to politics. But from what I have picked up here's what I think. Mitt Romney won Michigan last night meaning that in 3 contests 3 separate Republicans have emerged victorious. It certainly muddles the picture. I really don't have a sense that Romney will carry his success over into other primaries. Fred Thompson, my least favorite of all the candidates out there, is hoping to win in South Carolina and Rudy needs Florida. While I think Giuliani is pretty much through, I do worry that Thompson could catch fire and string together some wins. He would be the worst. He is George W. Bush with less brains, less energy, less intellectual curiosity and perhaps a stronger allegiance to the failed ideology of "movement conservatism". He could be the only person out there that could actually take us BACKWARDS from George W. Bush! Right wingers love him. I am still sticking with my call of Mike Huckabee winning it all on the GOP side, although it will be a tough road to hoe. I do think that it is almost a sure thing that Huckabee will be the VP pick if he doesn't win it all. He is just too strong in the religious base where others are weak. Same sort of thing for Obama. If Hillary should take the nomination she will almost HAVE TO have Barack as her #2. Otherwise there will be a significant segment of (new, young) Democratic voters who might stay home in November. The democrats will not risk that.

I'll write more when time permits. in the meantime check out my other website Reaching Across The Aisle, where I write with Big Daddy Jeff on political topics of interest. GO THERE NOW TO VOTE FOR WHO YOU THINK WILL WIN THE PRESIDENCY!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Friday! (Don't Stop Thinking About Yesterday Edition)

I missed the Republican debate last night - in fact I didn't even realize they were having one. But, in case you missed it, here are some highlights. I hope the Republicans keep this up because if this election is about the future - they are still stuck in the past.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

10 Creepiest Old Ads

Here's a couple of the creepy old ads compiled at the website 2Spare. Enjoy. Or not.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Anti-Inevitability?

I was really surprised that Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary. Seems that voters may have an anti-inevitability thing going on. When Hillary seemed a sure thing - Obama surged. When in the past few days (which may go down in history as temporary "Obamamania") when Barack looked to be rolling toward the nomination, Clinton got a surge of her own. Maybe Democratic voters want to keep the candidates from getting too comfortable in their front runner status?? Fairly or unfairly, Obama was seen to be acting like he had NH in the bag, I think that hurt him with voters who waited to decide until the last minute. Also, I think that jealousy between Iowa and NH was a factor in some voters not choosing Obama. NH wants to be different than Iowa. This could have been their way of showing it. At any rate - we do have a race here folks and it could be one of the most interesting in years.

Same on the Republican side. McCain won NH as expected and now seems to be the GOP front runner. Romney, by placing second again, must win Michigan to remain viable. (So much for the so-called focus group the other night) Mike Huckabee got 11% - about what expected and a very respectable third place. He's still in a very strong position for the upcoming contests and should be considered a co-front runner with McCain. Giuliani barely beat Ron Paul and seems to be placing all his hope on Florida. Personally, I think he is through - but we'll see. Fred Thompson got only 1% - disappointing even by the low expectations he went into NH. Unless he gets a victory before Super Tuesday (2/5) he will be forced to exit the race he so reluctantly entered in the first place.

Check out Reaching Across The Aisle, where my blog buddy Big Daddy Jeff shares his thoughts. He also talks about the inevitability factor.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

They're back!

Funny news men Jon Stewart and Steven Corbet are back on the air after missing time due to the writers strike. This picture, which I assume is a still from tonight's show, is just too funny not to post.

First In The Nation

Today is the New Hampshire Primary. It looks like Democrat Barack Obama will win his primary comfortably while John McCain seems to be poised for a victory on the GOP side. It will be fascinating to see all the results. In addition to who wins, I will be interested in how well Huckabee and Thompson do. Huckabee has been polling at around 10% in New Hampshire. If he should get 15% or more, then it might reveal a strength that the polls don't measure. If Huckabee does surprise, then it might indicate future strength in the upcoming contests. As far as Thompson goes, he is the last hope for the real hardcore movement conservatives. While Romney seems to be the conservative establishment pick now, Thompson has the right wing people movement behind him. His performance today will be an indication on the strength or weakness of this ideology. Needless to say, I can't wait to get home tonight to watch the results roll in!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Reds for Romney?

Very quick comments on the FOXNews debate... Huckabee finally took a hit when he was asked about immigration and got caught flatfooted. Was quoted as saying that he would not punish kids but had to admit his immigration plan would force them back to Mexico. Romney and Thompson seemed to do slightly better than last night, Guliani was mediocre and I think John McCain was probably the winner. The post debate "focus group" analysis slammed Huckabee and was strongly pro-Romney. It was a house full of people who said they were uncommitted at the beginning and claimed to become Romney supporters because of the debate!(?) But Frank Luntz, the guy running the focus group, is partisan hack so I take it with a grain of salt. Important to note that FOXNews went right to Luntz after the debate and he slammed Huckabbe within 60 seconds of the end of the debate. Could be the Reds are bailing on Guliani and moving to Romney. The way Romney flip flops like a fish on land, they must figure they can make him their new puppet if they are viewed as helping him get elected. Either that or some Romney supporters snuck into the group to skew the results. Something seemed inauthentic about the almost universal dislike for Mike Huckabee AND sudden fondness for Mitt Romney after one unremarkable debate. Hmmmmm
UPDATE Monday 10:00AM: I knew something was up.... there are reports now the the focus group was fixed. I'll keep up on this and let you know if it is true.

Sunday Roundup

I'm kind of looking at today as the first day of 2008. I have been anxious to turn the page on 2007 and last week seemed to be a transition time between the old year and the new one. I think I have pretty much closed the book on '07 and am charging full steam ahead with '08.

I didn't write much about my Christmas trip to Florida but it was really great! I got to see almost everyone in my family (except you David) and we all had a blast. I got to play bartender and really enjoyed that. Everyone was in good health and good humor and I was really reminded that no matter what - that's what's really important. As I move ahead in 2008, I will frequently look back to Christmas and remember how lucky I am to be part of a great and loving family. I can't wait to visit again.

The double feature debate last night was fun to watch. Briefly -- I think that Romney is pretty much done. He looked terrible last night - seemed so desperate and unhinged. Thompson actually seemed to have a pulse and while his ideas are outdated - he at least seemed to be fully awake for the first time this campaign season. Huckabee, I have to say, kicked ass. People I was watching with were stunned to see a Republican talk the way he did. While it may not move him quite into 1st place in New Hampshire on Tuesday, his performance last night will enhance the surge he is already experiencing. McCain was good, Guliani OK and Ron Paul as entertaining as always. Overall -- big win for Huckabee, mild plus for McCain and Thompson and big loss for Mitt. (FOXnews has another Republican debate tonight. They are pro Rudy and Thompson and strongly anti-Huckabee. It'll be interesting to see how theses pseudo-journalists question the candidates.)

The Democratic debate was actually less interesting than the Republicans and the candidates looked as tired as I felt. I think Obama helped himself while poor Hillary, a victim of bad timing(She should have run in '04) , seemed to just dig herself into a deeper hole. Overall -- Obama helped himself and kept momentum going on his rise, Edwards confused me even more by backing up Barack and Clinton did her best but could not reverse the trend against her.

SUNDAY READING
Why Obama and Huckabee are doing so well
Are all right wing pundits mentally ill?
Roger Clemens uses Larry Craig defense? - didn't know what was getting stuck in his ass
The NFL in decline - now goes as far as to REWARD cheating
This party would shock even me

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Saturday Night Double Feature!

Tonight (Saturday) ABC Television is having 2 - count them 2 - debates! Both the Democrats and Republicans will face off in what should be a very good pre-New Hampshire primary face off. The format is different, the lower tier candidates have been left out (thank God!) and a whole lot is on the line. This should be the most watched debate of the year since it is on network television so all the candidate will be giving 110%. Romney and Clinton will be trying to save their campaigns while Huckabee tries to move his numbers up in NH and give the rest of the nation a look at him. Obama will try to build on his momentum and attract Independents who can vote in either primary. McCain, who won NH in '00 will try to recapture that magic and Edwards, Guliani, Thompson and the rest will try to get a last minute boost. All the fun starts at 7pm - don't miss it!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Who could have imagined?

Of course I have to remind you that it was ME who predicted this many months ago.

Yes, I did see this coming and yes I love to brag. I admit that it is very satisfying but also kind of frustrating that I am not doing this for a living while people like William Kristol, who has been consistently wrong in his hypothesizing, gets a job at the NY Times. While the USA is shaking off the nightmare that has been Red America - it seems it will take time before those who got our nation in this mess to stop being rewarded and those of us who warned against it in the first place to see some benefits. We'll see. I'm not holding my breath.

As far as the results goes there are a few factors in the Huckabee and Obama wins that should be taken into account for the future. Huckabee first. In Iowa there are a lot of Evangelical Christians who supported his candidacy and the percentage of those type of people is lower in New Hampshire and across the country. It's important to remember that Pat Robertson won Iowa in 1988 only to fade out of the presidential race once it moved on. Huckabee still might suffer a similar fate.

Having said that - the Iowa polling that I have seen (and I have not studied it in great detail yet) seems to show that Huckabee did pretty well outside of this group too. This could be good news for him heading into the other primaries. Also encouraging is the fact that Huckabee is NOT a "movement conservative" yet still got the votes of what has been called the "Christian Right". This shows me that they recognize that "movement conservatism" is a failure and that their Christian values are not based on what William Kristol, George W. Bush or Rush Limbaugh says, but might actually be based on the words and deeds of Jesus Christ. Imagine that. I also think that many if not most Republicans have come to realize that "Movement Conservative" politicians and policies are simply a fraud. This realization, if truly present in the GOP nationally, should keep Huckabee at the top of the GOP pack. I think Huckabee will continue to do quite well with republicans looking to break away from the movement while his opposition will be divided between the remaining "movement conservatives" who will go for Thompson, military hawks who will trend toward McCain and much of the rest for Romney or Guiliani. To me that still equals Huckabee as the eventual GOP nominee.

As far as Obama goes I would warn against over optimism based on the fact that so much of the vote for him was brand new, young voters. The caucus system in Iowa allows anyone who is 18 to come in and vote. Since you have to be registered to vote in other states, it could be more of a challenge for Obama to get those young people to the polls. Still, his campaign is very organized and has the momentum. Barack Obama is the very definition of "change" and the American people certainly want that. So I maintain my prediction that he will win the Democratic party's nomination and the Presidency.

It was interesting watching the returns last night. The general feeling among the old pros is that it was a historic night for American politics. They also seemed shocked at the results. Maybe because I was so busy and tired last night, but it was not a big exciting evening at all. I was certainly happy, because I think it's good for America and also I love to be proven right at anything, but I was not surprised. I genuinely believe that a candidates race is not a big factor anymore and that traditional "conservatism" has been plainly debunked to all but a few remaining true believers. That, combined with the communication skills and policy ideas of Huckabee and Obama, made last nights results not just unsurprising but inevitable.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Caucus Day

Tonight the Presidential primaries kick off with the Iowa caucus. Iowa is a small state and it's influence on the rest of the campaign uncertain, but the candidates have spent vast amounts of time and money there. The results, due very late tonight will be very interesting. What will be most important however is the spin by the candidates and media after the results are announced. A good spin could even turn a third place finish into a springboard for New Hampshire and beyond, while poor media focus could hurt even the 1st or 2nd place candidates. So I'll be looking to see who won for sure, but the real influence of Iowa will be seen in the hours and days to follow to see who can build momentum out of whatever results a particular candidate gets. Let the voting - and the spinning - Begin!