Friday, October 24, 2008
Update: for further perspective, the combined world GDP is 65 trillion.
I would think that an honest answer to this, the most important question of this election, might clarify the thinking of an Undecided:
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
McCain has cut into Obama's lead for a second day and is now just 1.1 points behind. The spread was 3.7 Wednesday and 6.0 Tuesday. The Republican is making headway with middle- and working- class voters, and has surged 10 points in two days among those earning between $30,000 and $75,000. He has also gone from an 11-point deﬁcit to a 9-point lead among Catholics.
Undecideds are 11.6%.
The New Republic in August, wrote that Heller’s failure to allow the political process to work out varying approaches to gun control that were suited to local conditions "was the mistake that the Supreme Court made when it nationalized abortion rights in Roe v. Wade."
Heller specifically stated that, like most rights, there are numerous restrictions that the political process may place on guns. After a litany of examples, the court went on to footnote: We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive. (FN 26 on p. 55) Heller merely stated that the DC ban went too far.
[Update: Stephanie linked to make a different point.]
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
And then there's this from C.S. Lewis, via a reader:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
I for one do not want to go back to listening to "Garden Line" five afternoons a week. Speaking of Garden Line, would all the organic gardening shows have to give equal time to those who want to use artificial chemicals?
An e-mail from a local Obama aide expressing concern about the internal poll's findings ended up in the queue of a radio talk show host in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He, in turn, interviewed Sean Smith, the Obama communications director for Pennsylvania.
Their chat can be heard here; as the host notes after it's over, Smith doesn't dispute that the campaign's own polling gauged Pennsylvania a tossup." [Redstate]
But now Proposition 2 is on the ballot in two weeks which essentially says, “We gave you the tax break, you built your tony, high-brow shopping area (called the Domain), got ‘er all leased up making representations to your tenants about how much their tax escrow payments will be…and now we’re going to yank the promised tax break.”
It is called Prop 2 here in Austin. What a stinker. Keep Austin's Word.
* Final Certified Results Reveal TIPP as the Most Accurate Pollster of Election 2004An analysis of the presidential election's final certified results shows that TIPP's daily tracking polls proved to be the most accurate in terms of predicting the winner and his margin of victory.
Among the four national daily tracking polls, TIPP came closest to projecting Bush's actual margin of victory (2.1% projected vs. 2.5% actual).
TIPP also outperformed a field of 11 other national, non-tracking pre-election polls, coming within just four-tenths of a percentage point to predicting Bush’s actual margin of victory (2.1% projected vs. 2.5% actual).
Or, if you like, they're [folks like Chris Buckley] "hoping" he'll "change", and break with what passes for his record - the most liberal in the Senate. Across the pond, my old pal Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is also full of "hope":
He needs to stick up more vigorously for free trade, and we must hope that any ill-considered new taxes will be thwarted by Congress.
Ah, right. I think Barney Frank answered that one:
I think at this point, there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat. I do think this is a time for a kind of very important dose of Keynesianism. I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.
I could, maybe, stomach some higher taxes if they were dedicated to deficit decreases but not more spending for which my own president far too responsible for almost eight years.
I would say that I lean more towards Obama in relation to Iraq/Afghanistan; on his statements regarding tax cuts for companies that don't off-shore jobs; repealing tax cuts on big oil companies; gay marriage; abortion rights.
I would say that I lean more towards McCain in relation to illegal immigration; his position on lower tax rates for 401k/IRA and when you have to take out money; his position on health care; his position on social security.
On more general reasons, I think that we need someone younger, fresher, and who can work with Congress. The complaint for many years is that DC gets nothing done. Congress is going to be run by the Democrats and if anything is going to get done, it will be with Obama as President, not McCain. I am concerned about the relative inexperience of Obama, but I believe he is intelligent and will surround himself with the same. I believe he won't have "yes-people" all around him and will actually listen to opinions that differ from his. I think that he will have a harder time staying away from the more liberal Democratic leaders. which is a concern. The Pelosi's, the Frank's, the Jackson-Lee's, the Watter's of the world scare me much more than Obama.
However, the independent nature of McCain is appealing to me. I do believe that he would at least try to involve both parties to find solutions. But, in the end, how will he get anything done? The Democratic majority in Congress will hate him and not do anything he wants, thus making an already do-nothing Congress even more-so. Some Republicans will also turn on him,, since he has turned his back on them. He can wave his veto pen all he wants, but until the President gets line-item veto power, it's useless. Congress will just attach all their spending crap to military bills and he'll have to sign them. He obviously understands the military more than Obama and these days, that is an asset. I like how he is against the Bush policies regarding torture. And while I know Obama is trying to paint him as a continuation of W, and in some cases I think that is true, in others I don't. He isn't W, he isn't Cheney. He is a hot-head and I'm not convinced he'll have people around him to reign him in. I question his judgement in selecting Palin - yes, the base loves her, but please don't insult our intelligence trying to convince us she is ready or capable of being President. She isn't. Biden, whether you agree with his politics or not, is more qualified.
I think that about lays out where I'm at. I'm not sure I can reconcile all these factors by the time I vote and even if I do, the odds are very good that I will vote for neither.
Oh, I forgot the last thing. As Scooter stated, to me these are 2 undesirable choices (3 if you count Hillary). That belief is more than likely the biggest reason I haven't decided.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Here's what I get:
Unless I've done something wrong, this tells us Obama polled on average 2.33 percent lower than he performed.
I've left out Michigan and Florida which were just too goofy to put any stock in the results. I also rounded the vote percentages for most of the states the nearest percentage, but that shouldn't matter much.
Here are RCP averages.
Update: That RCP link above doesn't show Alabama or Connecticut for some reason. But they are here and here, respectively.
Also, I revised the chart with percentages accurate to the tenth and ended up with an average error of 1.99 (i.e. Obama polled 1.99 percent lower than his results):
Then I got an email this afternoon from one of the two named shareholders in my firm. He and his wife decided yesterday to vote for Senator Obama and would be sending out numerous emails about how to support the senator in the next two weeks. He emphasized this was personal and had nothing to do with the firm. The email stated I could get off this email list if I was undecided, was voting for McCain or just didn't want the clutter. I elected, rather cowardly, to just accept the clutter.
This shareholder is absolute hell to work with but is a wonderful person on a personal level. I helped him out on a real estate issue for his mother-in-law and he gave me a $500.00 driver as a reward. He screams bloody murder when he can't reach me by cell when I'm out of the office (I'm the last lawyer on the planet without one and he can pay for it if he wants me to have one).
He loathes illegal immigration as he watches his boyhood neighborhood deteriorate in N. Texas as the new inhabitants just let everything deteriorate.
He's as smart as anyone I've met.
He decided yesterday.
Every year I try to do at least one or two cases pro bono. At the moment I'm doing a divorce for a woman who was judged worthy by an outfit called Volunteer Legal Services. We have been trying to schedule a meeting for a while to go over the final judgment.
At first she asked that I drive to meet her in Round Rock which would have me driving 30 minutes both ways. I declined but told her I could schedule the meeting for before or after work so that she wouldn't miss any work...even offered to come in on a Saturday or Sunday.
She didn't want to do that but said we could meet at 12:30 today at my office. At 1:00 she was still a no-show. I called her at 1:05 on her cell phone and she said she was lost. I asked if we should reschedule so she wouldn't be hurt at work. "No," she said, "I told them I'm taking a long lunch."
She hadn't thought to call me to tell me she'd be late.
She said she was on MoPac (the highway on which I office) going over the big metal bridge over the lake. Well, there is no big metal bridge over the lake on MoPac. I explained she was on the wrong highway and told her how to get to MoPac and then instructed her to call the receptionist to talk her in.
She finally showed at 1:20 and we had our meeting.
While too many doctors have made me wait far too long in waiting rooms, if their patients pay nothing, they'll get the same treatment I got today.
Ketchum could remember only one out-of-character incident.
"Someone pulled the fire alarm next to my door," she said. "We all were told there is an invisible dye that squirts onto your hand when you pull the alarm and you're not going to be able to hide. And Sarah looked at her hands, and said, 'Oh my God, look!' And she went and confessed."
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Having been a rightie since before I even knew what that meant, I don't have that context but I have many left-leaning friends.
But for a few nutjobs [and acknowledging we have those, too] I've never, ever thought they were evil.