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 (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 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 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.