Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Businesses and Markets Brace for Obama Administration

With the presidential election just seven days away, the markets and businesses are preparing for an Obama Administration.

The Heritage Foundation, has calculated that in 2008 Congress enacted $332 billion of "emergency" supplemental spending bills, only half of which was for the Iraq war. And Democrats in Congress are preparing for $150 billion to $300 billion in new spending.

Small businesses, which create nearly 80% of the new jobs in the American economy, won’t fair well under Barack Obama’s proposal to send the bulk of their job-creating profits to Washington.

Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration has reported that since the mid-1990s, the small business sector has created 78.9% of the net new jobs in the United States. Sen. Obama is claiming his proposed tax hike on incomes over $250,000 will hardly stifle job creation in this key job-producing sector because "98% of small businesses make less than $250,000."

But Obama arrives at his 98% figure by lumping firms with no employees, the majority of small businesses, with small businesses that have 50 or 100 employees (SBA's Office of Advocacy reports that 52% of small businesses in the U.S. economy are home-based). Census data show that 79% of all American companies, counting both large and small firms, have no employees.

What-is-more the tax rate on the lion's share of small business income could reach 54.9% under a President Obama. The individual top rate will climb from 35% to 39.6% and the Social Security/Medicare tax rate could climb from 2.9% to 15.3%. Put those together and you get 54.9%.

But it’s not just small business or Wall Street that is worried, Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said this past Sunday no date has been set for selling up to 45 percent more of the team to Stephen Ross, but the presidential election is among the issues weighing on his decision.
That's because a Barack Obama administration is expected to mean higher capital-gains taxes.

"He wants to double the capital gains tax, or almost double it," Huizenga said."Ross purchased 50 percent of the team and Dolphins Stadium for $550 million earlier this year with the intention he would eventually become majority owner if NFL owners approved the deal.
"If you do it this year or you do it next year, the difference is humongous because of the taxes," Huizenga said. (Regardless of when he sells, Huizenga vows to maintain a 5-percent stake in the team.)

The recent volatility in the markets has been due not only to the sub-prime meltdown and credit instability but also to the would-be punitive tax plan under an Obama administration.

Monday, October 27, 2008

If You Didn't Believe Ted Stevens, Don't Believe the Media Hype

From the moment Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens denied the allegations against him, I didn't believe him. And today, my reaction was validated both as accurate and knee-jerk.

So why the double validation?

First, since I begun writing on politics in the mid-1990's, there has been so many examples of politicians betraying the public trust, I simply don't even give them the benefit-off-the-doubt.

And why should I? Here's just a partial list:

Mark Foley
James Traficant
Bill Clinton
Gary Condit
John Edwards
Tim Mahoney
Vito J. Fossella
Eliot L. Spitzer
David Vitter
Larry Craig
Ted Stevens
Mike Nifong

But it doesn't stop with politicians, there have been a number of media scandals. Of the past few years, the most egregious were perpetrated by Jayson Blair and Dan Rather. Blair was found to have been making stories out-of-whole-cloth and Rather used forged documents in Memogate.

Sometimes, media bias and scandal is revealed by content or by favor (the NYT gave a sweetheart rate to Moveon.org for an ad). Other times, the media is caught in deception as Michelle Kosinski proved in a video report in Wayne, NJ on the Today Show (she was in a canoe paddling in supposed deep flood waters when two men walk by and reveal the water only to be inches deep).

Just days ago, the Pew Research Center released it's findings on Obama/McCain media coverage, and to no surprise, the democrat candidate faired far better than the republican. Thirty-six percent of the stories about Obama were positive, and thirty-five percent were neutral or mixed. While McCain negative stories were fifty-seven percent and a lowly fourteen percent were positive.

This is why I do not believe the media hype about a landslide Obama victory. As I have written before, the polls will tighten in these last days of the campaign and tighten they have. As of today, five national tracking polls show a close race:

IBD/TIPP--Obama 47, McCain 44
Obama +3

Diageo/Hotline--Obama 50, McCain 42
Obama +8

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby--Obama 50, McCain 45
Obama +5

Gallup (Traditional)*--Obama 50, McCain 45
Obama +5

Rasmussen Reports--Obama 51, McCain 46
Obama +5

And with the finding of Obama's 2001 interview, in which he clearly promotes wealth redistribution, the polls will tighten further and might even swing to a McCain lead. We the public have been subjected before by the media hype and this surely won't be the last time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gaffe-O-Matic Joe

Here is a list of pratically every gaffe Joe Biden has made (since he was picked to be Obama's running mate, that is).

1. August 23rd
“A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States — Barack America!”

2. September 3rd
At a campaign stop in Fort Myers, Fla., Biden referred to the future "Biden Administration," which he quickly corrected to an "Obama-Biden Administration.”

Believe me, that wasn't a Freudian slip," Biden said. "Oh Lordy day, I tell ya.”

3. September 9th
"Stand up Chuck let me see you," Biden said to State Senator Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair. "Oh, God love you, what I am talking about. You're making everybody else stand up though, aren't you pal?”

4. September 10th
“Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let's get that straight.

She's a truly close personal friend; she is qualified to be president of the United States of America. She's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and quite frankly it might have been a better pick than me, but she is first-rate.”

5. September 17th
At a campaign stop in Maumee, Ohio, Biden told an environmentalist that their campaign doesn't support clean coal. "We're not supporting clean coal.”

But they do. Obama said his administration will "enter into public private partnerships to develop five 'first-of-a-kind' commercial scale coal-fired plants with clean carbon capture and sequestration technology.”

6. September 21st
“I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you. I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem. I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it. So give me a break. Give me a break.”

Isn't it illegal to make a threat against a presidential nominee? Better call the Secret Service. Also, tell Barack that he should watch his back if elected

7. September 21st
Biden told the miners he is one of them. "Hope you won't hold it against me, but I am a hard coal miner — anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania, that's where I was born and raised."

Biden was born in Scranton, moved to Delaware at age 10 and has never had experience in the mines. His father worked in the oil business and ran a Delaware car dealership.

8. September 22nd
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed."

Herbert Hoover was president in October 1929 when the stock market crashed. FDR wasn't elected until 1932, and television made its debut a decade later, in 1939

9. September 22nd
When asked by CBS how he felt about an Obama campaign ad that made fun of John McCain's inability to use a computer, Biden replied that he thought it was "terrible”.

“I didn't know we did it," he said, adding that he wouldn't have approved the ad, but defended Obama's decision to approve it. "The answer is I don't think anything was intentional about that. They were trying to make another point."

10. September 29th
“If you want to know where Al Qaeda lives, you want to know where (Usama) bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are."

Senator John Kerry, however, set the record straight, telling the Associated Press that the helicopter was "forced down" by a snowstorm

11. September 29th
“The Yeshiva crew team sent a spy to Cambridge to find out why the Harvard rowers always beat them. The informant called his coach from alongside the river. He said, 'They've got eight guys rowing and only one yelling!'”

Isn't that a little anti-semitic?

12. October 2nd
(Vice Presidential Debate)
“We've spent less in Afghanistan in seven years than we spend in a month in Iraq."

According to the Congressional Research Service, spending on the war in Afghanistan since 2001 has been $172 Billion. Spending in Iraq is, as the Democrats repeatedly mention, a little under $10 Billion a month…Biden's number is off by 2000%

13. October 2nd
(Vice Presidential Debate, again)
“Vice President Cheney’s been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. He has 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 — he works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.”

Article 1 of the Constitution defines the role of the legislative branch, not the executive branch.

14. October 2nd
(Vice Presidential Debate, once again)
When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, and Barack said, ‘Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

Reuters news believes he meant to refer to Syria, but I still don't think it would be accurate to say the U.S. kicked Syria out of Lebanon. The Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon.

15. October 2nd
(Vice Presidential Debate, yes again)
“With regard to arms control and weapons, nuclear weapons require a nuclear arms control regime. John McCain voted against a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that every Republican has supported."

When the roll was finally called on October 13, the resolution to ratify the CTBT (including the six safeguards that Daschle had submitted as an amendment) was defeated by a 51-48 vote with one abstention...do the math.

16. October 2nd
(Vice Presidential Debate, okay this is becoming redundant)
"Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan's weapons can already hit Israel and the Mediterranean."

The distance between Israel and Pakistan is 2,085 miles, or 3355 kilometers and the longest range missile the Pakistani’s posses has a range of 3000 kilometers.

17. October 15th
“Look, John's [McCain] last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word; jobs. J-O-B-S."
18. October 19th
“It will not be six months [after the inauguration] before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy…And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

14 Day Election Countdown -- Politicking Strategies

So being that the general election is only 14 days away, the republican, democrat campaigns and the media are all strategizing to win.

On the democrat side, Michelle Obama and (perhaps Joe Biden) have been sequestered because of their inability to wisely choose their words. (One of Biden's latest gaffes was a McCain slam gone awry, "Look, John's [McCain] last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word; jobs. J-O-B-S.")

Both McCain and Obama have staked the economy as the centerpiece of the campaign, which practically every pundit has given the advantage to Obama. And McCain has suffered because national security and foreign policy have been off-the-radar.

But two instances have put Obama on defense on both the economy and national security/foreign policy first was Obama's fumbled answer posed to "Joe the Plumber"; second was Joe Biden's unscripted insertion of national security with his remarks about Obama being tested within the first six-months of their administration. As a result, the polls will tighten and shift toward the republican nominee.

According to Dick Morris, Obama may have picked too soon and most astute political observers would have to conclude or conceed that the Illinios Senator is losing ground in the polls and not because of anything McCain has done in-particular -- as with most of these historical phenominoms, the damage has been self-inflicted (e.g. Dukakis' tank ride, George H.W.Bush's "read my lips, no new taxes", Dole's senate resignation, Al Gore's three distinct debate personalities, Howard Dean's scream-heard-round-the-world, Kerry's "I voted for it before I voted against it".

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" and "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama...watch, we're gonna have an international crisis..." these two qoutes have turned the campaign-focus to where Obama is weakest.

What-is-more is that GOP leaners have learned from 2000 and 2004 wherein both elections were close and allegations of voter fraud, mishandled counting and the like. So this year, they are being proactive in putting the so-called voter registration organizations (particularly ACORN) on defense. And now, with the revelation that ACORN has registered Mickey Mouse to vote, the public will be suspicious of Obama's past and present associations.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is also strategizing for themselves and for the democrat nominee as media bias is now as transparent as could be possible, without being honest. It is plain to see that the network newscasts are and have been favoring Obama.

No matter, every year the mainstream press features stories about the coming dismal retail sales and every year, sales are higher than forecast. And every presidential election, the mainstream press predicts a race too-close-to-call...well, they've been right at least once.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Tale of Voter Fraud, Money, Polls and a Plumber

ACORN voter fraud investigations are underway in Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, PA, North Carolina, Connecticut. One Ohio youth registered 72 times. And Ohio's Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, is fighting to keep from verifying thousands of voter's eligibility.

Every presidential election encounters voter fraud, but this year is incredible in that the fraud is right out-in-the-open. And the American people are well served to have the FBI investigating these allegations.

Politically what is striking about this (outside the blatant illegality) is that with all of this intended to help Obama, is the fact it is diametrically opposed to the in-the-bag predictions Obama's supporters are espousing.

Karl Rove's analysis puts Obama's spending 3 to 1 over McCain, yet today's Gallup tracking poll among likely, traditional voters has McCain within just two points and the latest Investor's Business Daily IPP poll which called the 2004 presidential race within .04%, also has McCain within three points and both polls are within the margin of error. Moreover, an AP/Yahoo poll* that weighted 873 democrats against 650 republicans shows a two-point difference, with Obama at 44% and McCain at 42%.

What's more is that Obama has purchase costly air-time in late October and has ads running non-stop, plus, he's spending money in states he shouldn't really have-to -- meaning that the campaign coffers are quite large.

So, as often cited in this blog, something had to occur to move the polls in this direction as polls don't just move without reason. Perhaps the debate moved the poll numbers but that isn't seeing the forest-for-the-trees. What's moved the numbers in a McCain favorable direction is one man's words.

And it isn't the words of either of the candidates; it was a man now known as "Joe the Plumber". Now a national figure, this (pun-inescapable) average joe, this joe-six-pack has put the presidential race into a simple issue: taxes.

What may go down in election history is the now famous exchange between the plumber and the democrat nominee when Joe asked Senator Obama, "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" Obama answered the question with a redistribution qualifier at the end of his reply, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

This has lit a fire under the McCain campaign and put Barack in an awkward position, having to redefine his statement so not to include the dreaded "s" word: socialism. And the mainstream media has been on a quest to disqualify the plumber.

Obama may have committed a faux pas that defines him going forward into the last three weeks of the election. What's more is John McCain has found a way to diffuse Obama's repeated attempt to lump the maverick with George W. Bush by introducing the last debate the humorous
fact, “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you want to run again President Bush, you should have run four years ago.”

Coupled with McCain's new focus and talking points, he may well prove the conventional wisdom wrong.

*Interview dates: October 3, 2008 – October 13, 2008Interviews: 1,769 adults; 1,528 registered voters873 Democrats; 650 Republicans Sampling margin of error for a 50% statistic with 95%confidence is: ±2.3 for all adults; ±2.5 for registered voters±3.3 for Democrats; ±3.8 for Republicans

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Dud Debate

Last night's debate was a snoozer; period.

McCain looked as though he was just thawed out, programed with voice-recognition software and put on stage. Obama came across as arrogant at times and the majority of his remarks either made little sense or were peppered with euphemisms for "big brother government".

But niether candidate made a news-worthy gaffe or botched an answer or got in a knee-slapping zinger.

What this means is the race still remains just as it was yesterday before the debate: close.

Today's national tracking polls among likey voters are beginning to show signs of turning back to McCain, but this assertion requires another two days of the same tracking. And by that accepted standard, would effect a trend. Last night's debate will not have a full three day effect because (by comparison to the veep debate) no one watched the damn thing.

And with viewership as low as this debate garnered, the polls are highly unlikely to show significant swings. So with the polls starting to shift, and without a big bang to point to, the explanation must lie elsewhere.

Rush Limbaugh on his radio program today made a point to note that Obama has never put-up a fight in a tight race and won. "He can't close the deal" the radio talk show host observed. Even the primaries put on display the Illinois Senator's weakness: practically all media had declared Hillary down-and-out and then, like Rocky Balboa, she got up and fought back. Mrs. Clinton won state after state and put to-the-test the democrat primary system.

But as pointed out in this very blog, the fix was in from the get-go as the beltway dems, the far-left activist 527's, the DNC, democrat pundits and sympothetic media had enough of the Clinton reign.

Yet even with that massive support group Obama could not stop Hillary from capturing the most important primaries. His nomination came not of his own integrity and valition, but by the grace of the superdelegates.

So what would explain the stagnating poll numbers?

As William of Ockham would conclude, the simplest explaination tends to be the correct one. And that is: Obama is still a relative unknown and what is becoming known isn't so appealing to the man-on-the-street. And with Labor Day now five weeks behind, the voting public are paying day-to-day attention (probably because they have little choice given the onslaught of 24/7 meida and campaign politicking both by the parties).

McCain will also suffer from more media attention because of his lack of charisma and frankly, because of his age. But McCain has an advantage: he is a statesman whereas Obama is an upstart.

Moreover, though some of McCain's associates might be lobbyists, none have bombed the Pentagon, none have preached America a racist country, and probably none have been convicted of fraud, attempted bribery and money laundering charges.

Further, with negative ads characterizing Obama as a typical tax-and-spend liberal coupled with the his own gaffes, and those of his running mate, Joe Biden, the voting public are forming their opinions.

The polls are begining to reflect that as Obama's past associations, public statements and voting record become more known the harder it will be to explain away.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Veep Critique and the Latest (Stacked) Polls

Last night's vice-presidential debate was a big television draw, garnering more viewers than the lack-luster presidential between Obama and McCain...congratulations to Sarah Palin and Joe Biden for delivering solid and interesting performances.

Governor Palin shined brightly and spoke directly to the American people, connecting through the airwaves straight into "Joe six-pack's" living room. Senator Biden was astute and showed the priming of a well-seasoned politician.

Both managed their time and answers well, but in the end, Palin scored on style with plenty of substance to reignite the McCain campaign and score political amnesty from the Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric "gotcha" interviews. Gwen Ifill moderated well enough, and wasn't overtly biased.

Yet even with Sarah Palin's stellar performance, the national tracking polls still show an Obama lead. (Remember a rule of polling is that something has to occur to move the polls.) Perhaps the polling is still reflective of the bailout debacle, but with the Senate passing the bill yesterday and the House just passing it this afternoon, Wall Street is reacting, and so should the polls.

In examining today's tracking polls, the forecast until the week of October 27th is an Obama lead. And the reason for this conclusion is simple: the weighting samples are stacked with democrats and 2004 independent leaning Kerry voters.

And so it is for nearly every tracking poll, whether state-by-state or national, the pollsters are stacking their samples with a greater percentage of likely-voter democrats than republicans and then releasing their numbers that reflect an Obama lead...just as was done in the last two presidential elections.

This should come as no surprise with the blantant bias the media personalities have exhibited, from Katie Couric's interview and hack-editing of Sarah Palin, to Charlie Gibson's pomposity, to Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman's demotions for unbridled partisan editorializing.

The fix is in and the mainstream media is in the tank for the Illinois Senator but they'll maintain their facade of objectivity, at least until November 5th.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

3 for 1: The Veep Debate Bias; Bail-Out Boondoggle; What the Polls Mean

1) The Veep Debate Bias

If you've not yet heard, Thursday night's vice presidential debate is going to be moderated not only by a PBS correspondent, but one who has written a pro-Obama book due to be released on inauguration day.

Gwen Ifill, a managing editor and moderator for PBS's Washington Week and a senior correspondent for the network's News Hour has been accused of bias when moderating the Edwards' / Cheney 2004 veep debate.

PBS is notorious for it's hard-left bias and the news personality own instances of subtle bias are cause for republican pundits to cry fowl, but these indicators aside, would the mainstream media be so ambivalent if the moderator had written a pro-McCain book?

There's little here to analyze beyond the obvious and Palin should not expect any favors.

2) Bail Out Boondoggle

It's a bad deal now and there's little or no hope that it will get any better.

As the senate prepares to take-up a vote on a hybrid bipartisan pet-project goodie-bag, those that brought us to this economic impass are telling the American public they have the propriety to fix it.

It should be no secret that it was overwhelmingly democrats that pressured Fannie and Freddie to grant loans to those who would not otherwise qualify for one. Likewise, it's blantant that in holding the majority of the House (and the Senate) that the House Speaker was rendered ineffective by her own incompetence. Had the democrat majority wanted to pass a bill, they could have with very little republican support.

But since this has become a political timebomb, neither party wants to handle it for fear it might detonate in their hands. And with the election under 35 days away, each party is looking to score political points. So, cooler heads won't be able to prevail and the American people are going to be left holding the bag while each party asks them to vote with the other.

Because of the fever-pitch this crisis has reached during an election, there's really no point to delineate a better mousetrap fix.

3) What the Polls Mean

Now that the first presidential debate has been held and the nation's attention is turned to an economic crisis, the polls (finally) reflect a clear Obama lead.

Time to celebrate at Camp Obama?


Under the current circumstances, Barack ought to be up, but by more than he is now.

The Illinois Senator has demostrated in the primaries that he has trouble closing and not much has changed. With a huge domestic issue on his side, the democrat nominee should be up by 10 to 12 points and after the second debate, if he isn't up by that much, the last leg of the race is going to be the longest and hardest.

Senator Obama needs to get a grip on the voter's pulse and get a grip on what is really going on at his job. If he can manage to do those two things, he'll be able to frame the rest of the race. But if he stays on his current path, he may be doing John McCain a huge favor.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Semi-Private doesn't Profit

So the 24/7 news channels are bludgeoning their consumers with non-stop coverage of the Fannie/Freddie bailout. And while Rome is burning the politicians are playing partisan violins.

What anyone who's been involved or reported on politics knows is that congress and the administration are going to inflict a cure that's worse than the disease. Whatever Frankenstein fix is passed, the American public will be told the other party's to blame while the only party that can pass a bailout without bipartisan support is the democrat party.

And with the presidential election less than 40 days away and a lowly 9% congressional approval rating, the democrat controlled congress is not going to shoot themselves in the foot without making look like the republican minority pulled the trigger.

But politicking aside, the bailout of these semi-private institutions wouldn't not be necessary had they been subject to the free market without government entanglement because market forces would have not taken the risk of giving mortgages to consumers who could not afford them. It was the government, not the free market, that directed these entities to grant loans that had a high risk of default.

This is not to say that once the madness got to fevered pitch with massive amounts of paper trading and the money that followed didn't intoxicate those who would benefit from the risk and would likewise not be responsible for the mounting crisis.

The lesson here is that when the government is part of an institution, that institution is immune enough to the full forces of the free market: AmTrack and the US Postal Service are prime examples.

Both AmTrack and the US Postal Service have not realized a profit, though both have raised their rates and not reduced costs. Because these are not true businesses that have a responsibility unto themselves or their consumers.

Now the time-bomb has blown at Freddie and Fannie and the taxpayers are left picking-up the tab and the democrat controlled Congress may become the minority again soon.

The Clinton's Campaign

The Internet buzzing rumor that gaffe-o-matic Joe Biden is due to be dropped by Barack Obama the first week in October and replaced by Hillary Clinton has now been picked-up by the international tabloid media.

While the credibility of the email that's claiming this strategy cannot be quantified by Snopes.com (which lists the virtual chain letter as undetermined), it nevertheless is garnering more attention. Probably because Biden's gaffes are becoming impossible to ignore: asking a wheelchair-bound state senator to stand, lauding Roosevelt's televised leadership when the stock market crashed, trashing coal energy in one state while his running mate cheered it in another, telling Katie Couric he disapproved of a negative McCain ad that was approved by Obama.

But to spite Biden's gaffes, the Obama camp has not made any moves to drop it's veep. Though I and many others have written that it would be a way to shake the presidential campaign and possibly fast-track Obama to victory. But the likelihood of this stunt in the current political climate is both nil and frankly, stupid (see George McGovern's 1972 campaign).

It is quiet clear the democrat party remains divided, polls consistently show Hillary supporters are not flocking to Obama and a small but unwavering percentage are supporting McCain.

Let's be completely honest, the Clinton's have no love for Obama and feel (rightly so) they were mistreated by the media, betrayed by the beltway dems and left campaign-cash poor by the far left. Indeed, the Clinton's were being jettisoned from the party leadership and figured to be resigned to political flotsam.

And when the history of this race is told in hindsight, that is precisely what happened: the DNC, K-street dems, and anti-war, anti-establishment left and the media were tired of being collectively suffocated by the Clintons and when presented what at the time seemed to be a viable alternative, took it with blind enthusiasm.

But the irony of the Obama nomination is that it wasn't ever supposed to happen. After George McGovern's electoral thrashing, the democrat party took it upon itself never to be caught nominating a far-left nominee, estopped in future elections by their "superdelegates". Yet with their eagerness to rid themselves of Bill and Hillary, the democrat party did just that.

Returning the favor as revenge dish served cold, Bill Clinton has been all over television in different interviews throwing Barack under the bus. All the while, Hillary has become more tepid in her tongue-biting support of Obama. Moreover, media elite liberals are beginning to question the viability of their nominee.

Thre is no doubt that Obama needs the full support of both President Clinton and Senator Clinton to win in November, while the former president and his senatorial wife are campaigning, they certainly aren't campaigning for their party's nominee...the political irony is just too much.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Poll Dancing

Yesterday morning, my wife was checking her email and was browsing through the AOL headlines. She clicked on one such headline that proclaimed a "huge lead" opened in the presidential race. Knowing my interest in such developments, she shouted out to me "Obama's got a 9-point lead."

I looked over her shoulder at the monitor and after a quick browse said, "I don't believe it; that cannot be right."

Picking up my notebook, I went to RealClearPolitics.com and there it was a ABC/WaPo poll showing a 9-point national tracking lead for Barack Obama, yet every other national tracking poll had Obama up within or just outside the margin of error. These polls seemed reasonable given the Freddie/Fannie bailout upheaval -- the democrat nominee should get a bump from the economic uncertainty.

But a lone poll showing a lead three times the typical margin of error? What gives?

So I looked into the poll, figuring the poll was taken from registered voters instead of likely voters. But it was LVs and I was even more suspicious because nothing had happened to either candidate (McCain didn't fly-off-the-handle flaring his infamous temper, Obama didn't stutter his way around a Biden-esq gaffe). In other words, there was no catalyst to justify such a huge bump.

Again the current bailout fears should rightly give Obama a small spike, but nine points?

Come to find, I was right, the poll wasn't accurate. It wasn't accurate because of its weighting sample. The sample taken was nearly 40% democrat, and under 30% republican, with the independents obviously leaning democrat. Shazam! A near ten-point national lead!

At this juncture in the presidential race, national tracking polls aren't nearly as accurate as state-by-state polls, which hold the electoral race key.

Over the next week, with what Rush Limbaugh has called "the congressional hindsight committee" will head-over-heels engage in showboating and finger-pointing. The presidential polls will dance with the ebb-and-flow set by Capitol Hill happenings. Likewise, the coming debates will lead the polls in concert with the nominee's performance.

What this suspect poll has again demonstrated is mainstream media bias and its Obama cheer leading, disguised as legitimate poll reporting.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Please take a moment today to say a prayer for the victim's families of September 11th and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our troops.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Turn Strategy (Part II)

McCain/Palin are up in Florida, they're up in Ohio, they're within the margin of error in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Intrade Market Odds have McCain over Obama 52.6 to 46.1. Rasmussen, Gallup, Hotline/FD tracking, Ipsos all have McCain up in their national tracking. Moreover, Intertrade has Biden's potential withdrawal from the democrat ticket skyrocketing.

So here's the rub: Obama is remains in serious trouble and Biden is weighing him down. Make no mistake about it, among the newest Joe Biden gaffes was a deliberate trial-balloon regarding his higher qualification of Hillary Clinton to be Vice President. What makes it appear to be a gaffe is that the Delaware democrat is gaffe-o-matic.

Since being tapped as Obama's running mate, I have been unable to offer one serious compelling reason to add Biden to the ticket. Joe is gaffe-o-matic, he was run-out of the 1988 race for plagiarism, he didn't garner any substantial support in the primaries, he doesn't bring any identity politicking (other than white males).

The turn strategy I just wrote about is needed this instant, if Obama wants to regain control of the polls, the race, and momentum perception. With desparation clearly setting-in on the left and what the interals are identifying, Obama is self-imploding. Desparte times call for drastic measures and he needs to do the following:

1) Dump Biden (give him a graceful exit and then leak vetting governors Bill Richardson and Kathleen Sebelius; let the press have a feeding frenzy for a few days, then yank the rug and name Hillary Clinton).

2) Stop running against Bush, it is not working. If it were, the latest polling wouldn't show that voters are even less confident in democrat's on national security.

3) Drop the ad-libbing, drop the ad-hominem attacks, and drop the pessimism. Get optimistic about the future under an Obama administration.

4) Stick to the stump issues and talk-up tax cuts for middle-class America, energy independence with new technologies requiring the oil companies to lead the way, turn education around from the ground-up, a better health care system with doctor's in charge and let the Iraqi's take the lead, while the US begins an incremental draw-down.

McCain and Palin are leading because they're looking forward and have divorced themselves from Bush, while Obama is looking backward, and you can't lead by looking back. Dump the hope and change and the more-of-the-same messages and get voters to look at a better America four years from now.

Turn Strategy

Now is the time for what I call a "turn strategy" which is being able to redirect a campaign direction without changing the fundamental platform.

McCain did this by picking Sarah Palin -- although not trailing far in the polls, McCain was obviously having trouble pulling it together. Palin has proven beyond a doubt that her balance on the ticket has made this a winnable campaign.

Obama is publicy struggling to keep his momentum: the backfires of the European tour, the Biden poll flatline, and the upstaged convention have put the Illinios Senator on ad-hominem defense.

If the former community organizer wants to get back on solid ground, he's going to need a turn strategy straightaway.

The allies that got Obama past the primaries are still viable: the mainstream media, the anti-Clinton crowd and the anti-war liberal base. Now that he's in the general election, these groups are still at heart Obamamanics but independents need reassurance to believe.

The hope and change message was always risky because it forever begged a definition. Sooner or later the lofty has to be made real because the American public always want to know the catch.

As the democratic nominee has begun to fall in the national polls, he has done more self-inflicted damage by getting specific (see http://killswitchpolitick.blogspot.com/2008/08/devil-is-in-details.html) and by attacking Sarah Palin.

Neither of these strategies turn the negative attention away from Obama and only help to bolster the McCain/Palin policy maturity. It also makes small Obama's stature.

Obama needs to stop the ad hominem attacks and focus optimistcally on the issues, as the issues are to his benifit when stumping positive. Likely independent voters are turned-off by the farding a sow comments, but speaking about a better America gets their attention and perhaps their admiration. Likewise, moving to the center or center-right on taxes, eduction and the economy may disturb the hard-left now, but come November, they'll still pull the handle for the democrat, plus independents as well as disaffected r.h.i.n.o.s may give him a chance.

The turn strategy is due at this very moment, without a clear direction change the democrat nominee will be watching the inaguaration from the bleachers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Media Oblique

This past week has put on full display for anyone who pays even scant attention the blatant bias of the "mainstream media" (e.g. MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times) vis-a-via the assualt on Sarah Palin and the likewise treatment given to Hillary Clinton during the primaries.

Even Oprah has shown her political bias by not inviting the GOP VP nominee, claiming that she does not want to lend her ratings as a political platform (yet that self-imposed standard was not applicable when Barack Obama appeared twice as a presidential candidate).

The common thread here is not particularly gender bias, but political bias.

Ask the average man on the street if Rush Limbaugh is a conservative or liberal, you're going to get the correct affiliation (perhaps peppered with explicatives). Dittos for Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, the second and third most listened-to radio talk show hosts. The answer maybe correct but the source from which the answer given is likely to be third-party drawn.

But if you actually tune-in to one of these three, they won't claim objectivity, they tell their audiences their political diposition.

When the New York Times, CNN, or MSNBC cite one of these three personalities they routinely qualify the introduction with "conservative talk-show host". While Chris Mattews, Keith Olberman rant against anything Republican or conservative, they claim objectivity.

If you've seen the TV ad for National Review, it boasts its conservative dispatch, but the New York Times TV ad says nothing of its ever more left leanings; instead it highlights its fashion, style, weekend, and et cetera sections.

Remember Rep. Gary Condit?

That's pricely how most ever print publication and TV news crawl labeled the former California congressman. His (D) political affiliation rarely appeared after his name, whereas in 2006, Republican Mark Foley's name was ubiqitous.

This is also explains why so little coverage is given to Biden's public record, but the same outlets are quick to highlight Palin's personal life.

The Matthews/Olberman demotions are proof positive that news consumers know when they're listening to commentary and when they're listening to hard news. The late Tim Russert was a democrat, but you wouldn't know it by his moderating, you'd have to derive that fact from his work-history.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin and the Polls

We all know that Obama did not get a bounce from selecting Joe Biden as his running mate. The McCain camp hopes that after tonight, Palin will deliver an uptick in his poll numbers, and given the enthusiasm the GOP is showing, it is all but certain.

Given that we live in a poll-driven 24/7 news cycle, the media will surely over-analyze Palin's convention speech and tomorrow, will inundate its consumers with new flash polls and talking-head speech impact predictions.

Should McCain receive a bounce, the media is likely to report it as a dead-heat horse race; should Palin not deliver, the media will likely cast her as a pariah. (Media bias has become more definable and the average news consumer is now telling pollesters just that.)

Any political anaylist worth his salt will tell you when it comes to polls, the devil is in the details. Campaigns look at their internals and toss aside things such as registered voter polls, flash and exit polls, frankly because respondents prior to election day lie about their intention to turn-out, or are reacting to some news event, or on election day, who they actually voted for.

That's why likely voters are the best indicators prior to the election, however the day, time, and demographic are key to deciphering the accuracy.

Over the past few weeks, LV polls have shown time and again, Obama is in trouble. At this juncture, the Illinois Senator should have at least 12 to 15 point lead -- he does not. What's more his generic electoral count is mucher higher than McCain's, meaning he has little room to grow, whereas McCain can make bigger leaps.

McCain is leading in Florida and Ohio, and is within a point of the margian of error in Michigan, and nearly as close in PA. Save the partisan 527 sniping, any real momentum is likely to come from the debates and with the approach of the debates, it means voters are still unsure about Obama and he can little afford a misstep.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Devil is in the details

Many conservative and liberal talking-heads (among them Rush Limbaugh and Howard Wolfson) have said that Barack Obama needs to get specific and come-down from the lofty hope and change politicking; I even have been engaged in anecdotal conversations purporting the same.

It is understandable that many have arrived at this given Obama's sliding poll numbers and the backfire of the high-minded Berlin speech, the absence of a VP bounce and to-date a mundane convention.

But there's one problem with this idea: when it comes to experience, there's no there there.

Let me explain this the way I have in ordinary conversation: I first qualify my question with "Whether you may agree with them or not, do you give credibility to Bill Clinton when he speaks on foreign policy, economics, or American politics?" Then I continue to ask the same about Newt Gingrich. The answer is inevitably "yes".

The answer is "yes", because , they have to their credit, first-hand experience...Clinton was a professor, state attorney general, Chair of the National Governor's Association, and a two-term governor; Gingrich a history professor, congressman, Speaker of the House, and author.

Barack has an unremarkable state representative record and just half a national senatorial term, which translates into a real deficit on credibility.

Should Obama begin to espouse specifics on his policy intentions, the door to questioning his credibility deficit swings wide open into his own face.

He can't get specific because of this fact and if he does and is questioned he can only revert to relating to his time as a community organizer (which will not stand the test of reality) or that he's relying on his advisers and veep (which begs the question, why then is Obama on the top of the ticket).

Moreover, conspicuous by it's absence is any political rung climbing. That is, the run for and holding of lesser offices -- as is the recognized standard. Barack seems to be reaching too far and when one considers how he arrived at his previous office, it looks all the more like a leap of faith (hence the hope and change identity).

So the senator is left to talk high ideals and chant hope and change, sloganeer overcome, but that too makes clear that the democratic nomination when to the wrong gender.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Hillary 2012 Strategy

The Internet is buzzing with the news that Phillip Berg, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Senator Barack Obama, the DNC and the FEC claiming that the presumptive democrat nominee is not constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States.

(Berg is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, ex-chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County, PA, past member of the Democratic State Committee, and previous Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania).

We also know that Hillary has not released her delegates and rumors fly that her supporters lobbied the super delegates, which assisted in placing her name in nomination for a roll-call vote at the Democratic Convention.

Likewise known is the lack of support from Obama’s campaign to aid in retiring her campaign debt and her tepid stumping for Obama, while getting prime billing at the convention for herself, Bill and Chelsea.

What is one to make of this?

The most convenient and simplest answer is trying to figuratively secure the nomination for herself. I use the adjective “figuratively” because she is attempting to place her viability before the DNC and the average democrat voter.

The more her supporters are able to undermine Obama’s run for election, the more she looks to be the obvious choice in 2012. One might then contend that her inevitability didn’t bring her nomination to fruition in this go-around.

That is because it’s now painfully obvious that Nancy Pelosi, the DNC and beltway dems tried to jettison her (and Bill) from the party leadership. Clinton fatigue has assuredly set in, and the time was right to rid themselves of the couple from Hope.

However, if her supporters (who are not by-and-large backing Barack) are successful at putting the kibosh on Obama to the extent it costs him the election, she becomes the natural choice in 2012.

And with Obama doing so poorly in the polls (he should be well ahead of McCain by at least 15 points among likely voters), it makes evident the fact he is not connecting with the American public – no matter what the mainstream media has reported.

There are of course other factors that have kept him from running further ahead: his guilt by association scandals, his inability to speak off-the-cuff and his lack of experience make it all-the-more-difficult.

But with all of the ancillary help he’s received (e.g. favorable media coverage, endorsements, the shutting-out of Bill and Hillary, et cetera) he’s still not been able to capitalize on it.

Hillary knows these facts full-well and won’t hesitate to use them in her favor. As we’ve learned about the Clinton’s, that which doesn’t kill them only makes them stronger.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

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