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26 September 2008


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Dave of Maryland

Makes one long for Gerry Ford.

Duncan Kinder

Meanwhile, back on the farm:

Pakistan warned U.S. troops not to intrude on its territory Friday, after the two anti-terror allies traded fire along the volatile border with Afghanistan.

It seems like the "War on Terror" is morphing into a war with Pakistan while no one is watching.

Nancy K

I believe racism has much to do with Obama not being ahead by double digits. I live in Calif and I have heard a number of people say they would never vote for a black man and they didn't say it so kindly. I also believe that if McCain wins, America deserves who they get as their next president and VP.
I was a psychiatric nurse for years and when a crisis occured on the unit, the truly effective staff were the ones who became very calm when everyone else was escalating. Calm in chaos is truly a desirable attribute, but I quess not in this country.

William R. Cumming

Unusally weak lineup this November for the White House. Whomever wins all four lacking in gravitas, competence, and ability. Predict low voter turnout not high (with the exception of certain voting blocks) and the result could be highly aberational. The weak (not strong) Presidencies since Nixon/Ford continue to reflect the failure of leadership in the US. Too bad many qualified candidates self-select out. Probably the two strongest candidates and most competent politicians in US right now are disqualifed Constitutionally or de facto by their religion. The "Terminator" and Mayor Bloomberg. The third party candidates have not been the focus so far but they may do some real damage to the major parties in some jurisdictions.


PL: Once again, his numbers should be higher than they are in the polls.


This should not be a contest.

There was 911, Iraq, Katrina, and now the Cry Baby Capitalism Bail Out and people in the South are yearning for 4 more years of the `GOP washing the dicks of the Super Rich in hidden posh whorehouses' at their expense?

You know, though, I wonder about the accuracy of the so called `polls'.

I am going to start to look closely at the methods used.

Some how I doubt that citing a >>single<< poll based upon 500 (?) interviews captures the true feelings of millions of Americans.

A single poll ....

Sell! Sell! McCain is tanking!

For whom the polls fell.

.... McCain's poll numbers. They've been dropping like last week's Dow. In the key state of Pennsylvania, Obama now leads by 9. In Wisconsin, it's +7, Colorado +4, Michigan +4, Minnesota +2, and Virginia +3. Even in Florida it's +2.

The Washington Post/ABC poll shows Obama now leads the national horserace by 9 points, a turnaround of 11 points in two weeks. The poll found 79 percent of the American people are very worried about the national economy, and 60 percent are worried about their own finances. Obama is beating McCain by 14 points in understanding people's economic problems.



To echo Nancy K: so would these people who are mistrustful of Obama's calm manner prefer someone who flies to hysterical pieces under stress? The nation truly is doomed.


I recommend that everyone remain calm in these troubling times of war, poltical gridlock, economic meltdown and uncertainty.

Sarah Palin has remained calm and has been taking matronly care of John McCain. She now sees him off to bed with a nice plate of warm cookies and a glass of Chinese milk.

It's all God's plan.



In re: Obama.

He strikes me as a well-trained lawyer. Able to converse intelligently about subjects upon which he lacks substantive knowledge. And also able to ask intelligent questions when faced with the same.

Is that off-putting to the electorate? Perhaps, but some would prefer someone in the WH who can ask questions and push back.

Americans, of course, do not like lawyers, unless they need them. Perhaps they need/want one now, slippery as they are.

Still, it is unclear to me as to his skills in manipulating the machinery of the federal bureaucracy, but that is very much what his advisers are for (who is Obama's Cheney? I don't know).

It seems to me that since the advent of the boob tube, the Presidency is largely about personality and marshalling public momentum for any particular policy.

This may be unfortunate on many levels, but I don't see the Republic going back in time. Nor do I imagine that even the most literal among us can avoid imbuing the candidates with our own kind of wishful thinking or nightmarish fears.


IIRC George Bush was perfectly calm when he was informed of the events in New York on 9/11.

Michael Torpey

Two words. Taxpayer Revolt! The new Boston Tea Party can start by dumping Bush in the Potomac.

She also expressed once again the vague idea that Israel should not be "second guessed" in whatever Israel decides to do in the world.

What politician does not say that or something like that?

eppur si muove.

"Fuck 'em, they don't vote for us anyway" makes for bad press and lost elections.


It makes one long for Hillary Clinton. She would have broght this campaign to a new intellectual level, and left poor ole' John in the dust. That said, Obama is THE MAN to handle the office, but John may very well pull it off - if he continues to keep his mouth shut and avoid a debate and play it low key and keep diverting attention (Palin helps immensely here). Biden is a gaffe, but his actual skills and experience to run the country are there - he's the one who REALLY needs to keep his mouth shut. Palin, until she assumes office (face it - it is a distinct possibility) is mere entertainment. But the moment when she may assume the highest office in the land will go abruptly to a nightmare: sort of like when that tiger guy in Vegas had one of the beasts suddenly turn on him.


White America is finally losing control of the country, fear is in the air.

"Fear, fear is my ally" - Darth Maul, The Phantom Menance

McSame runs as a "...real American..."

Carabou Barbie runs as "...I'm just like you..."

Sad to say that but I think it's true.

Still, Obama will win because the my Republican party has been destroyed by the Neo-Nutties.

"Just Win, Baby" Al Davis


Unless McCain manages to capture populist anger over the bailout package -- which led one Republican to remark that he would accept a Great Depression as the cost for keeping capitalism pure -- I think Obama should come out well from this crisis.

Time did a piece this summer on the candidates' gambling style. Seems that McCain loves the craps tables and that Obama was a calculating, successful poker player during his time in the Illinois legislature. I want a poker player at the negotiating table with Putin.


Great theatre. The way Obama has responded to the financial crisis/bailout bill been less then inspiring and he's rapidly losing my support. While he may genuinely be trying to craft a bipartisan response, he is really getting punked by the Reps.

Obama's "can we all just get along" joint statement was the wrong response. I believe most Americans are against this bailout plan and working with Paulson, Pelosi, Reid and Bush aren't great optics for him. McCain campaign knows Americans are looking for leaders on this, not consensus builders. McCain is betting, hoping we see him as such. While his actions to ride to the rescue on a white unicorn are so evidently political and self-serving (really do we even know what McCain's proposal is? Where is McCain leading us?), he has succeeded in exposing Obama as not being a leader.

The Dems have the votes, and Obama as titular head of the party,should be out in front pushing forward with their version of this sellout proposal? Note: Dem version of this bill is also lousy. Caps on exec comp -- HA, equity stakes -- the assets are worthless.

The Dems are gutless; they want Rep cover -- they won't get it.

I love those Democrat POLITICANS urging politicans to remove politics from the process. Ha, ha. I love that this crisis has dragged the candidates in; they should absolutely be elbow deep in this - one of them will inherit the mess.



"Once again, his numbers should be higher than they are in the polls." What's amazing is that there is any debate about this at all.

It's pretty obvious why his numbers aren't higher--he's black.

A small but significant number of Americans would rather vote for an elderly, dangerous, unstable white guy and his bimbo than for a black.

I agree with Nancy K.

What is it about educated elites that remains in denial about the importance of race in America?

[Republican strategists don't have this problem. It's something they exploit by casting Obama is un-American, not like the rest of us, etc. etc.]


People who achieve calm amidst turmoil usually land in careers like paramedic and emergency room doctor. This "marble like" quality is often found in people whose formative years were spent in chaotic tumultuous environments. Growing up biracial in the 60s and 70s contributed to Obama's calm demeanor. It is a survival technique.

If he stays 3-5 points ahead in the polls for the remainder of the race, he'll win.

Again, he only has to win all the Kerry states and flip two more.

And while we're talking psychology, McCain's demeanor shows he is suited to a career in ........ hmmm .... Congress!


"A small but significant number of Americans would rather vote for an elderly, dangerous, unstable white guy and his bimbo than for a black."

Maybe some of us don't want to vote for either of them.



I thought that Barrack Obama would have to be 10 points ahead to win due to the Bradley Effect. But, this election is the beginning of the end to being able to vote for a white old male (demographics; whites in American, Jews in Israel), no one is hiding their prejudices from the pollsters.

The problem is that the white old male is erratic and prone to grandiose crusades; against Russia, Muslims, Wall Street, gooks; whomever who ticks him off now. Will he even show up for the debate tonight in Mississippi?

Meanwhile, the House GOP revolts.

By Monday, Congress has to decide on a plan for Wall Street.

The huge elephant in the room is the 43 trillion dollars in housing derivatives which are totally worthless. They have to be taken off the books. That is more value than all the money in the world. There are really only three options:

1) Try to keep the current structure intact and flood Wall Street with money in the hope it will survive - The Bush Democratic plan to kick the can down the line.

2) Give Wall Street Tax Cuts - The laughable McCain/House GOP plan, or

3) Nationalize Wall Street [The Swedish Example]. Given the rampart political denial and lack of transparency, nationalization will occur only once the depression hits America.

All this in one weekend. This weekend!


Considering that this week John McCain put in about the most irresponsible performance by a U.S. senator since Joe McCarthy this race is Obama's to lose. That he could still do so is a tribute to the invincible stupidity of much of the U.S. electorate. "Shine perishing republic."


swampy, there is always Ralph Nader. Look at where all the votes for him got us. But at least you can wash your hands of 'responsibility'.

There is probably a lot of that, but there is also unease at the "marble" quality of the man, his unflappability, his unshakable calm, his mastery of every situation.

... but, but, but ...

1. Among many segments of Cracker-American society unflappability is one of the essentials of good form and a requirement for social survival. I believe the same holds true among African Americans.

2. Mastery of affect is not the equivalent of mastery of situation -- much less mastery of every situation.



I understand you don't want to be a rubber-stamp supporter of a Democrat candidate, yet I get the impression that if the world weren't falling apart you wouldn't be a supporter of Obama at all.

Every post you've written about Obama does nothing but raise doubts about his competence. That he is unflappable in the face of crisis is somehow on a par with McCain's recent behavior? That his "mastery of every situation" is somehow a flaw? Why do you feel the need to perpetually undercut the only candidate who may actually reverse the course of this country?

I'm sorry if you feel Hillary would have made a better candidate. I don't. We went through a process to decide that called the Primaries and Obama emerged victorious, not least because he has run one of the most disciplined and error-free campaigns in memory. And yet his unflappability to you is a millstone around his neck.

You may have your own concerns about him, although you frame them as reservations the electorate has, but in the end, all you are doing is keeping his electoral momentum from rolling forward. By airing your doubts, you may feel you're being a responsible commentator, but how would you feel on November 5th if McCain wins by two points because opinion leaders like yourself were unwilling to grant Obama the enthusiasm and support he needs to overcome Republican obstacles?

Come on, Colonel! We need all the help we can get to turn this country around. Wasn't that the original founding impulse of this blog, to do what you could to rescue this country from the excesses of the Bush Administration? You seem to have no trouble identifying McCain as an evil to be avoided at all costs, but by saying he and Obama have equal but different flaws, and more preposterously, that the VP candidates also have equal but different flaws makes us question what you really want to have happen the next four years.


Crypto-racism will be a factor if the race is close, which so far it is looking to be.

I'll say again the arrogance of the Democratic party astounds me. As some of the comments here suggest, already party supporters are developing excuses for when/if Obama loses. They cannot conceive how it is possible that Obama should not be trouncing McCain. I remember similar sentiments from the last two elections. It looks like the dems are refusing, yet again, to take a long, hard look in the mirror and are instead more interested in blaming other factors for their poor performance.

As one who was leaning toward Obama during the primaries, it's sad to see where his campaign has gone. If he thinks he can win with "Change" and "McSame" then he's not as astute as I once believed. That strategy would probably work against most GoP candidates, but not McCain.

As one of those independent voters who is up for grabs every election cycle, I'm beginning to think that Obama's critics who claim he is all style with little substance might be partially right. I'm frankly disappointed in him at this point.


OK....... time to consider PL's real point.... which is ( And I'm certain Pat will kick in real quick if I have got this wrong).

Is why the choices are restricted so fast to two candidates, niether of which you approve of?


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