Friday, October 31, 2008

Republicans For Obama

Lately we have been hearing a lot about Republicans who have vocally supported Barrack Obama for president, notably and most recently political pundit Stephen Colbert



Colin Powell, Secretary of State under Bush 43

Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush 41

Charles Fried, Solicitor General of the United States under Reagan

Rita Hauser, Former White House intelligence advisor under George W. Bush

Scott McClellan, Former Press Secretary to President George W. Bush

William Milliken
Former Governor of Michigan

Harris Fawell
, Former Congressman from Illinois

Claudine Schneider
, Former Congressman from Rhode Island

Lowell Weicker
, Former Governor and Senator from Connecticut

Larry Pressler, Former Senator from South Dakota

Charles Mathias
, Former United States Senator and Congressman from Maryland

Wayne Gilchrest
, Congressman from Maryland

Arne Carlson, Former Governor of Minnesota

William Weld, Former Governor of Massachusetts

Lincoln Chafee, Former United States Senator from Rhode Island

Jim Leach, Former Congressman from Iowa

Scott Bade also told me that the lauded magazine the Economist is also supporting Obama in this election and here is the link.
http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?source=most_commented&story_id=12516666

In the interest of not appearing so biased i also visited the Democrats for McCain site
http://www.democratsformccain.com/
but failed to find a list of notable Democrats supporting McCain in this election.

Have A Happy Halloween!!



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Biden Bags on McCain Economic Policy

Today, Biden said that John McCain and Sarah Palin had their economic policies upside down. Biden said "Ladies and gentlemen, what more evidence do we need that the Exxon Mobils of the world don't need a tax break? That $4 billion should go to middle class taxpayers, people who need the money. John [McCain] and Gov. [Sarah] Palin have this upside down. They literally have it upside down."

Biden's "slam" on McCain proved to have quite a positive effect on the Democratic supporters and som epotential swing voters using the example of the possible tax break that would be given to an oil company if McCain was elected.

Although the numbers do not lie, McCain accused Obama of being on the side of big oil companies. Obama responded to this by adding figures of what McCain would do if he was elected as the POTUS. McCain brought up the fact that Obama had voted for a renewable energy bill in 2005 that invloved the oil companies. Obama defended himself against McCain's accusation by saying that "given the makeup of congress, it was the best that they could do." It would seem that neither McCain nor Obama wants to take the side of oil companies.

No Socialist Party Nominee On The Ballot Today During The Mock Election?

The socialist candidate for president was shockingly not on the ballot today during the mock election disappointing all students who were willing to vote for someone in a mock election only on the grounds that the candidates name was very similar to his own.

In Related News
What does Carl Marx Put On His Pasta?

Communist Mannipesto

Possible President/Vice-Presidential Halloween Costumes?





Obama Is Friends With Bad People Part ? (can't remeber what part because this has happened too many times)

The McCain has started using robo-calls in many states, this time criticizing Obama for being involved with Chicago Business man Antoin Rezko who was convicted in June on corruption charges. Rezko raised funds in the past in support of Obama's campaign's and advised Obama about house purchases, even buying a property next to Obama's house and selling Obama some of the property. The Obama campaign responded to the accusation by calling the attacks "desperate" and bringing up the Keating scandal. This attack follows multiple attacks by the Republican's about Obama's character and patriotism including attacks about his relationships with Bill Ayers and Rashid Khaled. This campaign has most definitely taken a turn towards blatant mudslinging and attacks. The ironic thing about these character attacks is that McCain's running mate was probed earlier in the campaign about the inappropriate firing of an Alaska State Trooper for personal reasons, and recently has been investigated and reprimanded by the press using state funding to pay for her children's travel. Are McCain and Palin truly the crusaders against corruption they claim to be? I will let you answer that question.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mature Adults or Children on a Playground?

Politics have evolved greatly within the US from when they had started. Politicians have always kept to the issues, providing information on their beliefs, and convincing fellow Americans to vote for their party because of their platforms. That concludes the positive campaigning, but what about all the negative campaigning? Since our first President there has always been negative campaigning. But since the invention of campaign ads on television, Politics has changed greatly in its negative campaigning. All over politicians used the television to communicate to all Americans providing an "inside look" on a candidate that may not be always true.

Senator Elizabeth Dole is no different from any of those politicians attempting to strike down their opponents by running negative campaign ads. Among the recent McCain attacks on Obama, Senator Elizabeth Dole ran an attack ad against Kay Hagan calling her "godless." Here is a video of that.



Dole's mudslinging tactics are but minuscule to the many attack ads that are constantly being made by many politicians. Polling had shown that voters are attracted to negative campaign ads, but do not necessarily like them. How do you feel about negative campaigns ads that are complete malarkey?

Oh No! Obama's At It Again!

Did you hear the news? Obama is associated with another "radical professor." Today Sarah Palin accused Obama of being associated to a Professor Rashid Khalid, who is supposedly a spokesperson of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Evidence backing up this claim included Obama being sighted at a farewell party for Khalid when Khalid was leaving to join another university in 2003, Khalid being of close to the same age of Barack, and that talking monkeys brought pictures showing secret meetings between Obama and Khalid. As you can tell by the tone of sarcasm, it would appear that the standard for actual evidence has declined. The Republican offensive has turned quite nasty. Although there is no proof associating Khalid with the PLO, the point is that the Republicans are accusing Obama of everything. Obama commented on this by saying that McCain was just "calling him every name in the book."

The Obama campaign stated that Palin's remarks were "another recycled, manufactured controversy from the McCain campaign to distract voters' attention from John McCain's lockstep support for George Bush's economic policies."

The McCain campaign, when asked why the attack after 6 months of the first article about Obama's possible relation to Khalid was published, responded by saying "Because we are one week away from potentially electing Barack Obama."

As it would show, the McCain Campaign is throwing out a last minute effort to make Obama look bad. What do you think though? Do you think these last minute attack ads are swaying any undecided voters? Do you think the ads reflect more on Obama or McCain?

Obama's American Stories Ad



Here is an embedded version of the thirty minute long advertisement that Mr. Obama's campaign spent 4 million dollars to put on major television stations earlier tonight. Though it has been criticized by the McCain Campaign as a stunt, I personally think that it is a smart tactic to leave a good last impression in voters minds close to election day. What do you guy's think? Will the advertisement be effective in getting voters to the polls? Was it a good idea this late in the game to make such a substantial move especially with a lead in the polls?

In other news John McCain was sounding rather senile recently, warning voters that "We're getting only a glimpse of what one-party rule will look like," while criticizing house and senate democrats for wanting to win more seats in government. Sounds a little two faced to me, at least I don't remember hearing any complaining from John McCain when the Republicans had a solid grip on the government.

Who Are The Real Americans Supporting On Election Day?

Among all of Sarah Palin's talk about the pro-American parts of America and pro-American American's, you might be asking yourself, who are the REAL Americans voting for? Well , considering that the real "original" Americans are technically native Americans, and that Native American tribes have donated more than one million dollars to Barrack Obama's campaign which trumps the amount gievn to the campaign of John McCain , I suppose who have your answer. Due to a tax loophole, Indian tribes are allowed to donate large amounts of money, $213,000 in the case of the Seneca nation, and during this election that money has been funneled to Barrack Obama. A honorary member of the Crow Nation, will most likely benefit from the Native American Vote in swing states like New Mexico. This loophole serves as a great example of the ways in which campaign contribution laws are not airtight and can allow interest groups, for example Indian nations that benefit from Casinos, to spend large amounts of money on campaigns.

Who Are The Real Americans Supporting On Election Day?

New Voters Are Swinging The Polls In Obama's Favor... Will They Vote On Election Day?

A poll conducted by NewsCorp from October 17-20 that asked new voters who they would be voting for and whether or not they were certain to vote, turned out some very interesting statistics. Though new voters favored Barrack Obama (69%) to John McCain (27%) only 60% of those polled said that they were certain to go to the polls on the 4th. When you compare this to the polls of all voters, in which 52% said they would vote for Obama, while 42% said they would vote for McCain, but 90% of of voters were certain they would vote , One might think that the current polls may not show this elections results. In a day where it has become very trendy to be registered to vote and seen sporting a T-Shirt supporting Mr. Obama one must ask how many of these "supporters" will actually make it to the polls on election day. This year will truly be the test of the willpower of America's youth to vote because if a "star candidate", a war, and a struggling economy are not enough to generate the desire among youth to have some say in political process what is?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Poor choice of words leads to being bitten on the ass

The National Republican Campaign Committee has recently released multiple attack ads on US Democratic Senator John Murtha. In an interview, Murtha stated that there were "racists" in western Pennsylvania. He goes on to say that many people there were "rednecks." Although Murtha apologized for his comments made the day before, the impact on western Pennsylvanians was still great. Murtha had also stated in a previous interview that he predicted that Obama would win Pennsylvania in the election but it would be with little help from the western part of the state, including a portion of the state that he represented.

Murtha's public announcement of these predictions and beliefs proved to bite him on the ass as the National Republican Campaign Committee opened fire on this Democratic Senator.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0Gx8IAaRS0

Is Obama an Extremist bent on re-writing the Constituion or is Palin just confusing facts with garbage?

Sarah Palin accused Obama today of wanting to "re-write the Constitution." The potential VP attacked Obama's remark that he had made to a radio interview in 2001. Obama had stated on air that he wanted to "redistribute change." Palin assumed that Obama was talking about redistributing the wealth in America through the enforcement of the Supreme Court. but as more facts were revealed, it came to be known that Obama was discussing the courts in the context of the civil rights movement, and was not referring to taxes. In addition to the proper context of the qoute, Obama also stated that he thought that civil rights leaders shouldn't rely on the court system alone to affect social changes, and that calling for any redistribution of wealth belonged to the legislators.

Palin continued to say that a vote for Obama is a vote to allow a powerful, slightly executive portion of the government to sieze your property and your personal income and to distribute the wealth around with everyone else. Is Sarah Palin saying that a former constitutional law professor would allow and possibly encourage judges to "confiscate your property and your hard, all of your hard-earned money and then re-distribute that"? Further investigation of the matter showed that Obama's quote was taken out of context and that much of what Palin had said was a conjecture.

A Possible Obama Assassination Attempt?

Monday, October 27, 2008

About one week ago, two men, Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18 were arrested for attempting to go on a "killing spree." The plot included killing 100 African-Americans and beheading 14 of those 100 African-Americans. Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested outside Jackson, about 75 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee, after an aborted robbery attempt last week, according to court records. Both men were charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federally licensed gun dealer, and making threats against a presidential candidate. Although the men did not seem to have any knowledge of Obama's schedule, this threat is not taken lightly. Secret Service member Zahren said that "it was unclear whether the suspects would have had the capability or means to carry out any sort of plot." But he said afterwards that the matter was being taken seriously, and a joint investigation was under way.

Obama is the first African-American on the ticket for the presidency of a major political party. The Men arrested were self decalred white supremacists. Although this is not the first attempt on presidential candidate Obama's life, security measures have tightened immensely and no further comments were made by the Secret Service.

On a side note, every potential presidential candidate had to deal with tough issues surrounding his campaign for the presidency. Whether they are external factors including failing economies, or a position on a current war situation. For Barack Obama, it is dealing with racial differences within the many U.S. societies. Over the last 220 years, Many Presidents had to deal with issues surrounding their politics, but none of them faced racial differences. It is a opinion of mine that Obama is fighting two wars during his campaign. The first war is the war to win the votes through his politics, and the second war is the war that based on his ethnic background. Although Obama is seemingly ahead in the polls, I just wanted to remark that it appears that Obama has been fighting more than most presidential candidates had to do during their running for the presidency. Compared to the opposing candidate, McCain, politics is the only war front for him. It is not like his war record is coming back to haunt him.

Could Provisional Ballots Hurt The Democrats This Election?

Today reading the paper, i came across an article in the wall street journal discussing the treatment of provisional ballots in different states. Under the Help America Vote Act, states are required to give provisional ballots to voters who may or may not be eligible and then get to count or not count these votes under their own discretion. Considering that new voters are more likely to be given provisional ballots, and that newly registered voters are more likely to vote for Obama, as many of them are young, this practice could hurt the Democrats in this election. According to data from the Pew center some states counted up to as few as 29% of provisional ballots in the 2008 primaries. In such an important election, and especially after how close 2000's election was I hope that the government will come up with a solid, easily followable system, that will ensure that provisional ballots in every state are counted evenly in order to make sure that every citizen gets the right to vote.

Ted Stevens Convicted; Crooked Politicians everywhere morn the fall of a hero

Ted Stevens was convicted Monday of hiding about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars of bribes he received in the forms of house renovations and gifts from oil companies and others. This conviction has an even greater significance because the Alaskan Senators seat is being heavily contested right now by Democrat Mark Begich as this seat could help the Democrats win sixty seats in the Senate which could prevent filibusters. Sarah Palin said that such behaviors were the types of behaviors she fought as a governor in Alaska but did not call for Stephen's to step down. Ironically, Palin used Stephens endorsement in campaign ads during 2006. Stephens currently says that he plans to fight the case and has no plans to step down or stop campaigning. If he wins reelection chances are he will eventually be expelled from the senate.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Single Panel To Control Financial Regulations? GM and Chrysler going bankrupt?

Talks are currently occurring in congress about whether or not to create a single bipartisan panel that would focus on changing the current financial service regulations. This panel, which would be similar to the panel created after 9/11, would have specific jurisdiction over financial regulations, taking away from the power of the 10 or so other committees that currently have some power regarding financial regulations. Personally I do not think that this idea would have the positive effects on the economy that the current smaller committees could have if each challenged to come up with regulations for their specific sectors. Though a task force might pass legislation more quickly, a diverse group of legislators from different sectors in different groups might create more effective legislation.

In related news in the financial sector today Chrysler and GM are seeking financial aid from the government and leaning towards a merger as it has become apparent that among slowing sales and high costs the companies are set to run out of cash within the next 12 months. The bankruptcy filings of one of the big three American auto companies would have rolling effects through out the auto part industry and also causing layoffs that would leave many jobless. As with most everything else the presidential candidates have very different views on this issue. Though the government is currently promising 25 billion dollars in loans to automakers in the U.S., Barrack Obama has suggested that that amount be doubled while John McCain is standing strong on the position that automakers should be given the first 25 billion before any more is loaned.

Palin is frugal, she wears jeans

As we are all finishing our game boards, Sarah Palin is claiming that the 150000 dollars spent on her is not hers. She says her and her family live frugally, and she wore jeans to an event in North Carolina to prove. How frugal. That move really demonstrates her claim to me. Good for you Sarah Palin.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-politics/20081026/Palin/

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Record Set on Gas Price Drops!

What exciting news................................................................... but possibly not.

The 53 cent drop in gas prices in the past 2 weeks is the fastest drop in the price of gas up to date. It is predicted that gas prices will continue to drop, but at a slower rate. The average price of gas was only $2.78 a gallon on Friday, down from $3.31 on October 10. These drops were attributed to the drop in price of crude oil, due to lower demand in these bad economic times.

Though it seems like great news, I really don't think it is healthy for the economy to fluctuate as violently as it is now. Gas prices skyrocketed and plummeted within just a year, and just look at how the stock market is doing. I have no idea how it is to be done, but we really need to get our economy more stable before it becomes so unstable that it fails. Also, these lower gas prices just symbolize the state of our economy and how poorly it is doing.

Also, from an environmental standpoint, lower gas prices will make people less conservative on oil, which will cause more air pollution and increase the rate that the limited fossil fuels in the world get used up. Soon enough, gas really will be worth $5, and soon after $10 a gallon. I'd much rather be safe than sorry, and have everybody pay more for gas than it's really worth. Until we can find a good alternative to gasoline powered vehicles, I don't think gas prices should be lowered to such low levels. Keep them in the middle.

I guess it's nice that gas prices dropped so much so that I won't empty my entire wallet on gas (although it was more annoying to pay my last $5 for parking yesterday), but if prices stay low, it's effects in maybe just 10 years sure won't be so nice. Hopefully the people in charge aren't making these decisions just because it won't harm them much in their lifetimes, as they'll be sitting around in retirement homes playing bingo. I hope the next president will put this issue decently high on his priorities.

Article here

Electoral Projections

With only nine days left until the election fivethirtyeight.com has Barrack Obama winning 52.3% of the popular vote and currently has Obama's win percentage at 96.7%. If the polls are correct it seems to be looking like something dramatic would have to happen in order for McCain to pull ahead. Any thoughts about stunts that could win the election for McCain?

In other news Saturday Night Live continued to lampoon the candidates in this weeks episode...



this is only a partial clip as YouTube has forced most people to take theirs down.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008 Election: most political cartoons made ever

Well, I don't know if the statement above is a fact, but there sure are a bunch of political cartoons around. I've picked out a few that aren't too mean and that basically sum up the events surrounding the 2008 presidential election. My favorite is the Galveston one--totally funny, but so sad at the same time.
Enjoy!

(They're quite small, but you can click on any of the cartoons for a larger version.)











Watch Your Clothes

In some states, wearing your Obama T-shirt or your McCain hat to the voting booth could get you a ticket home to change your clothes. One of such states against campaign clothing is Virginia. Other states, such as Pennsylvania, do not care and encourage their inhabitants to wear whatever they want. Our own California is against wearing shirts that advertise a candidate, but they plan to offer jackets to cover them up and will not send you home to change.

Such laws banning campaign clothing do not officially violate the First Amendment's right to free speech, according to the Supreme Court ruling in 1992 that law creating a "campaign-free zone" at a polling place and for 100 feet around it does not violate the First Amendment right to free speech. Many people, however, do believe it is a violation, and complain.

But in the end, it's all up to the county that you live in, and how they enforce the rules.

Personally, I don't think it's a big deal that people wear their campaign clothes to voting booths, because people should know who they are voting for before they leave to vote, but if the clothes are to to be banned, I don't think it's a violation of 1st Amendment rights either.

Any other opinions on this?

Article here

Friday, October 24, 2008

"You can vote however you like"

Here's a awesome clip of some students singing and dancing to a song about the presidential election. What made me want to post this is that the song is not just about one candidate-it's about both! You'll find that out immediately after you watch it. (Obama on the left..McCain on the right..yeah yeah~) It's very catchy, check it out.

Click here for video and lyrics.

This performance sends a great message by encouraging people to go out there and vote however they like, no matter what party they may be in. I'm proud of whoever made this song for attempting to show a debate between both sides and that politics doesn't always have to be so nasty.

Bush endorses McCain/Palin (Not Really)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama and his Grandma

So Obama's day off (kind of) from his campaign to visit his sick grandma in Hawaii has finally come, and he's definitely killing several birds with one stone.

First of all, he gets to see his grandma in possibly one of her last days (hopefully she lasts until after the election is over), and who wouldn't want to pay a visit to their grandma??

Second, he gets a break from his hectic schedule. He does not have any public appearances scheduled in Hawaii, but he will still be in contact with his advisers. That's certainly more relaxing than being at a campaign rally, though.

Third, his grandma is getting a lot of attention and support and fame from random people, making both Obama and his grandma happy. "Maybe she is getting a sense of, of long-deserved recognition at--towards the end of her life."

Fourth, he appears more relatable, more human, and more noble for visiting his sick grandma. He can relate with more American citizens emotionally, giving him deeper support, and it shows his morality.

Fifth, he himself is receiving a lot of attention, and his unusual break from the campaign further defines him as the new generation. In fact, this visit probably gives him even more good attention than normal. Contrast this with McCain and his lame attacks, and we can see who's faring better, and with less effort as well.

Brilliant decision, Obama, and good luck to your grandma.

"Gay-friendly" high schools may become option

Some public school officials in Chicago are pushing for the creation of "gay-friendly" schools. The concern that initiated this idea is the increasing number of gay and lesbian students dropping out of high school due to bullying. Not all who face bullying drop out, but they still have academic hardships due to stress and other distractions. The aim of these schools would be to create a safe learning environment for those facing such problems.

A national study revealed that 86.2 percent of those students reported were verbally harassed, 44.1 percent physically harassed, and 22.1 percent physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation. Their average GPA was also revealed to be much lower than that of heterosexual students.

An already existing school, Harvey Milk High School, created in 1985 for gay and lesbian students, has a high graduation rate of 95%. Yet, this school, unlike the one that officials in Chicago proposed, requires that its attendees be at risk of dropping out due to harassment from their previous high school. This school definitely seems like a great solution for those who were struggling with their academics, but unsurprisingly, there are often anti-gay protesters that scream outside and disturb students.

This is a touchy subject and people are very divided about it. (Click here to read about Prop 8, which is about same-sex marriages and will be on the ballot on Nov.4) Yet, doing nothing to help stop the bullying and harassment is going to continue to hurt many people mentally, physically, and academically. Options are good, but is creating separate schools a good idea? Will a safe environment really be able to be created?

Random Question

If the president's wife is the first lady, then what is the presidents husband?

The first man?

McCain's funds rapidly decreasing

McCain used the public finnacing campaign system to get funds and therefore as a restirction, and as reported in this article only has about 12 million out of the 84 million he got to spend in the last days of the election, while Obama had over 150 million in September, becayse he did not choose the public finnace system. The article also said that Sarah Palin had used 150,000 dollars for clothes and cosmetics for her and her family during the campaign. I think ridiculous is an understatement. It also says Palin had a traveling stylist and celebrity makeup artist. Which are clearly necesities. McCain has 21 million leftover cash that he cannot spend in the election because he accpeted the 84 million. What a shame.

Have YOU gotten a Robocall?


Election day is closer than ever and the campaigns on both sides are giving it their all-but not all in good ways.

The people living in the "swing states" are apparently receiving about a dozen robocalls a day. These are basically automated phone calls that try to convince people to vote for a certain candidate or just vote. The problem is that a good portion of these robocalls is made up of negative ads, such as the Ayers-Obama connection that Kevin talked about last post.

Robocalls are okay to have, but I’d suggest campaigns to use them wisely. The numerous and repetitive phone calls are probably quite irritating for those receiving them. They’re not even worth giving out if they are negative and false ads because by now, people have already decided what things they are and aren’t going to believe. Both the Obama and McCain campaigns have said that the economy is the most important thing that should be paid attention to now, so seriously, lets stop the mudslinging!

original article here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poll: Things Look Good for Obama

In contrast to the article that Paige wrote about, this poll holds good news for Obama, who is gaining leads in key states won by George Bush in 2004: Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, although he did lose ground in West Virginia. Even if their overall support is close, as shown in the 2000 election, what matters most are the electoral votes.

According to polls, in North Carolina, support for Obama vs McCain increased to 51%-47% from 49%-49%. In Nevada his support rose to 51%-46% from 50%-46%. In Virginia he remains ahead 54%-44%. In West Virginia he dropped down to 41%-53% from 44%-49%. But we all know how few electoral votes West Virginia gets anyways.

It seems that one reason for these changes is the fact that less than 1/3 of voters actually care enough about the Obama-Ayers terrorist connection for it to possibly affect their vote, according to polls. Considering this has been a focus of McCain's campaign, as a result McCain is not garnering as many supporters as he could. He needs to switch his focuses if he wants a better chance to secure North Carolina and Nevada, which are still within the margin of error, but it may be too late to change, and he can't undo his wasted time.

This is how I see McCain at the moment.

McCain's "Change"

I'm sure you all have been aware of the recent comments from the McCain campaign essentially calling Obama a "socialist" due to his "spread the wealth" comment to the Joe the plumber. Well, I think it's pretty clear that Obama's economic plan isn't socialist. Obama's explanation simply was that he wants to give families of the working class making less than $250,000 no increases on their taxes. People may agree or disagree with the plan, but socialism isn't the right description for it. And apparently, McCain used to think so too.

Click here to view a video of McCain answering a question from the Hardball College Tour on October 12, 2000.


Question: Why is it that someone like my father, who goes to school for 13 years, gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he's a doctor? Why is that -- why does he have to pay higher taxes than everybody else, just because he makes more money? Why -- how is that fair?

McCain: I think your question -- questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more intaxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more.

(skip a few and...)

Question: I still don't see...how that's fair...are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff, when you have -- you have some people paying 60 percent overall in a year of their money to taxes. That's their money, not the government's. How is that fair?

McCain: So, look, here's what I really believe, that when you...reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more...And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.


hmmm. Well, according to McCain's responses to these questions, he used to pretty much agree with Obama. The question is: what happened? Answer: He lost the nomination in 2000 and he won the nomination in 2008. In this 2008 presidential campaign, he has changed his views by conforming to the demands of his own party.

Thoughts? Anyone have anything to say about this?

The Race Tightens

Polls have shown that after the 3rd debate the gap between Obama and McCain has tightened. Wandering Republicans who wandered off for a while are starting to go back to McCain. The article about this said Obama had 44%, while McCain had 43%, that number is so close I don't know how accurate it is but the point is that the race is getting closer. I was talking with a registered independent tonight, and they said that they were originally going to vote for McCain, but that they thought that it wasn't worth it because they thought McCain was sure to lose, so they were pondering whether to not vote at all, or just vote Obama. I hope this attitude isn't shared by a lot of people, because voter turnout is crucial to this election.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20081022/AP.Poll.Presidential.Race/

Suggestions for Presidential Debates?

We all know how boring (or fun for some) Presidential debates can be.

So I thought it'd be interesting to see how you all might improve upon the structure of the debates, whether it be to make it more watchable or more informative or whatever else.

I got the idea from Cracked.

Feel free to share your ideas!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bush: "to whom much is given, much is required"

There's been so much coverage about Obama and McCain, but what's the president been up to?

Today, President Bush attended the White House Summit on International Development in which various topics including disease, hunger, illiteracy, and development were discussed. These main concerns pointed towards the current global financial crisis and its major impact on developing nations. Decreased aid towards these developing nations is likely to result in decreasing funding for the numerous programs, such as those fighting against HIV/AIDS, working for development. Yet, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice strongly urged for nations to avoid cutting the aid budgets going towards these developing nations.
Why?
1. The U.S. and industrialized nations have power to help the less fortunate, so thye must use this power.
2. Stopping investments in the international order would affect all and make everyone poorer.
Bush also mentioned his support for free trade as "the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known." He appealed that trade is essential to economic prosperity for bad times like now.

By making it clear that he believes the US and other industrialized nations should commit to their aid obligations, Bush is trying to show the world that the US isn't completely falling downward with the economic crisis that it is currently dealing with. It's an attempt to show that the US is still powerful enough to be also paying attention to those "less fortunate countries"

I'm thinking the US people and government are pretty busy with the numerous economic problems and that some other "richer nations" are going to have to scale back aid due to the economic crisis. It's true that aiding developing countries is important, but will the US and other countries be able to continue to commit to it? How badly will the economic crisis affect global development?

More bailout aid

The federal reserve plans to help buy up to 600 billion in short term debt. They are calling this debt "the funds that broke the buck" and that it is essential to help with it so the banks can get back on their feet easier. This money along with the money from the bailout plan will add up to about 13 billion in releif for banks. This is the 3rd plan proposed in the past month to help the bad credit.

Original Article:


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/business/economy/22fed.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Any aspiring Prostitutes?

Prop K will decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco, even though under California state law prostitution is illegal. It will still be illegal to prostitute yourself, but police cannot search for or question possible prostitutes. California will be the first state to pass this. The main arguement for this prop, is that it will save the police department from spending millions of dollars prosecuting prostitutes, and that the prostitutes will be safer since they will not have to rely on a pimp. This prop doesn't seem constitutional, and I wonder if it gets passed, if it will be challeneged. It is essentially legalizing prostitution in San Francisco without actually doing it.

Original Article:

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20081021/San.Francisco.Prostitution/

The Palin Factor


It is obvious that Sarah Palin is quite popular, as shown in part by this appealing action figure of Palin in a schoolgirl outfit with a visible pink bra, but how will her popularity shape the election?

According to this article, Palin draws an even larger crowd that McCain does and her support is still growing. She argues energetically in her speeches, and her fellow Republicans love her for it. There are also those who are embarrassed to support Palin in public, but will in secret give her their votes. Her contribution to the campaign is obvious, and she is a power to be reckoned with.

But of course there are those that are still against her. The elite of the Republicans are critical about Palin's lack of President of the United States quality (But this really isn't all that many people...), and the Democrats are all too willing to pick at her many flaws. Conservative David Brooks of the New York Times even called her a "cancer" to the Republican party.

She is immensely popular with Republicans and laughing-stock of the Democrats, but what matters more is her effect on Independents. Will she be able to draw in enough Independents to win an unexpected victory? Well, even if she doesn't, she will be remembered as the woman who almost saved McCain, and according to the article, "represent the future of the GOP."

(This is a time that I'm glad to be a Democrat so that I have Barack Obama representing the new generation instead of Sarah Palin representing my new generation.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Palin seeks federal ban on gay marriage

I just read this article that said that Palin wants there to be a federal ban on gay marriage, rather than McCain's views to make it a state issue. I think this is bad for the McCain campaign to get some moderate votes, and he was already having some trouble with that like Moeka said earlier. At least someone in this election is taking a firm stance, because I can't really tell Biden or Obama's stance on this issue from what htey have said. I wonder if they really aren't for it, or want more votes, and the same for McCain because leaving it to the states doesn't give a concrete answer even though they've all said they are against it. It'll be interesting to see how this news affects McCain's poll ratings.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20081020/Palin.Gay.Marriage/

Original Article ^

The Legacy Of The VP

In about the past 20 years, the VP and possible VP's have made significant errors in common sense. The late 80's to early 90's had Dan Quayle who had his spelling issues, when he spelled potato wrong.

It definatly doesn't look good to have one of countries leaders spell simple words wrong.

There was also when Cheney accidently shot his friend in the face.

Recently Joe Biden made a ridiculous mistake of his own, and forgot how to count, because JOBS is clearly a 3 letter word.

And I don't think I need to cite Sarah Palin's mistakes, since there are previous posts about it.

A little mistake here and there isn't bad, but when your vice president you should know better. I think candidates need to take a better look at the people they are choosing, because who they pick is going to represent them and these mistakes aren't very appealing to the public. Most of these people went to prestigious schools, and its ridiculous to see them make these mistakes. I know when I look back at previous presidencies, these mistakes really stick out in my mind, and I doubt this is how the presidents want their term to be remembered for. So lets hope Biden or Palin don't mess up any more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-eeWow_WU

Biden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZihMFYGM_o

Quayle

Pleasing the conservative, while keeping the moderate



The McCain campaign has been having some trouble balancing their support. While Sarah Palin's conservative social views have gotten a strong hold of a good portion of McCain's conservative voters, many moderates have been skeptical. McCain's campaigning strategies to please the right voters have resulted in a loss of support from the center, which is the support that McCain needs in order to overcome Obama's lead. This was indeed a bad move for McCain because the middle voters are probably the most likely to shift their support from one party to another.

For example, former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell is endorsing Barack Obama ( as I see Kevin mentioned below). Well, what's the significance of this? Despite the fact that it was expected for Powell, well known to be a moderate conservative, to eventually back Obama, his move may just be enough to push many other undecided voters over the edge to vote for Obama. It helps that Powell very clearly stated his views on Obama vs. McCain; he basically said McCain: Nah and Obama: Yah.

With the election getting closer and closer, the undecided voters are weighing the pros and cons of the two candidates. Yet, it seems like McCain's cons seem to be adding up more and more to a greater amount. McCain's rough performance during the financial crisis (think back to "The fundamentals of our economy are still strong.") and his not-so-great VP choice of Palin are some of the things that are really pushing people over the edge. McCain got nominated for the GOP nominee spot in the first place for his supposed "maverick" behavior. His "maverick" appeal was that he could also serve for the interests of the independents and moderates and "take on his own party." But now, it seems that McCain is giving into the needs to please his party and his actions haven't been successful in attracting those middle voters, which he so desperately needs.

Powell Supports Obama

Although it wasn't unexpected, former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell's public endorsement of Obama will undoubtedly hurt McCain's chances in the election coming up in just a few weeks.

Powell said that he noticed uncertainty in the way that McCain claimed he would deal with the economic crisis, as he would change his plan constantly. Powell also expressed his concern on McCain's choice for Vice President, Sarah Palin, saying "I don't believe she's ready to be the President of the United States." Furthermore, he believes that the scope of the Republican party has been getting "narrower and narrower" and further to the right, and Powell also expressed his dissatisfaction with the way that McCain attacked Obama for being a terrorist. In response to accusations of Obama being Muslim, Powell further hurts the McCain campaign with his argument that first of all, Obama has always been a Christian, and also, there isn't anything wrong with being Muslim in the first place.

In contrast, he noticed a "steadiness" and "depth of knowledge" in Obama, and believed that his pick for Vice President was indeed ready to be President. He also believed Obama had a very broad reach, "He's crossing lines." He is the "new generation."

McCain had better be worried that other Republicans are feeling this way too.

And no, Colin Powell is not voting for Obama because they are both black. You wish.

Sarah Palin and Tina Fey: Twins on SNL

Here are the clips of Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance on SNL! I think she handled her job nicely, considering that she had been made fun of on the show for weeks. Apparently, the rapping portion was originally supposed to be for Palin, but she refused and Amy Poehler took her place. It was odd watching Sarah Palin dancing and bobbing her head to rap music, but hey, at least she wasn't the one rapping. That would have been very odd and just more material for the media to replay over and over. Overall, this was another funny and entertaining SNL.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Celebrities and Youth?



Note: Please excuse the slight profanity in the video. I guess it's supposed to make it so that it's better related to teens? Haha. Kind of silly.

Some of you may have seen this video. It's a little late since the deadline to register has passed already, but I still wanted to discuss celebrities' involvement with youth's voting. This video is brilliant, amazing, and any other positive word I could use. It's hilarious. Many people think that youth votes are very important. After all, they make up a huge percentage of the population. Just think about it, even the economy relies a lot of our desire for material objects. How much money do we spend on clothes, accessories, and eating out? But there's also the issue of whether people really know what they're voting for. Is the average 18-year-old informed enough to make a decision that would benefit them? Maybe. Some adults don't even know. So many people get caught up on the "band wagon" or just taking whatever opinions they are surrounded by without formulating their own. And it made me wonder... if celebrities could convince a youth to register & vote, who's to say that they can't influence WHO they vote for? A previous blog entry had a few quotes of celebrities publicly announcing who they're voting for. Does that swing things? Would it be better if celebrities didn't share their ideas with youth? It's something to think about, and I still can't decide since there are pros and cons to both.

Feel free to comment :) I love reading the discussions.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is McCain and Obama now basing thier opinions on "Joe the Plumber"??!

During the third and final presidential debate of the year, it seemed much of the conversation revolved around 'Joe the plumber'.

But...who actually is Joe?
His full name is Joe Wurzelbacher from Ohio. He was picked from the crowd at one of the rallies. Since then, McCain has been refering to Joe as the "average American citizen". This is a political strategy that McCain uses to prove that they too understand average American problems by referring to a specific individual. It seemed like only a McCain thing, however, Sen. Obama started to mention Joe the Plumber, as well. In fact, in yesterday's debate alone, Joe the Plumber was mentioned more than 20 times! They even used his name more than "change" or "reform" combined.

Now, Joe has become some sort of celebrity in the campagin. He has paparazzi following him and camping out at his house. He says that he feels like "Britney Spears with a headache", everyone wants to know about what he has to say. Joe, who makes less than 250,000 a year, is planning to buy a plumbing comany and he is worried about tax rates and the economy. If Joe bought the company, it would be making more than 250,000 a year. Obama says that under his plan, tax rates would stay the same, but if Joe earned higher than 250,000 a year a possible 39 percent tax could be proposed. Joe doesn't mind Obama's plan right now because he's earning less than the 250,000.

Joe doesn't want to release to the press who he is going to vote for, but hopefully he will tell the public after the election who his decided candidate was because, of course, EVERYONE cares what Joe the plumber thinks.

P.S. if anyone is interested here is the actualy encounter between Obama and Joe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

last presidential debate of '08

With less than a month until the election, this was the last chance for McCain to gather support from the swing states. In my opinion, McCain didn't do that bad, but the debate didn't really help him either. During the entire debate, McCain was being incredibly rude to Obama and acted way too overconfident, which probably didn't help his campaign. On the other hand, a beneficial aspect of McCain's performance was that he spoke directly to Obama compared to previous debates. 

In regards to the content of the debate, nothing new was really said about each candidate's economic plan, which was disappointing considering how important this issue currently is to the average American citizen.  

Overall, this debate touched on a lot of various issues ranging from the economy, education,the negative campaign, healthcare and abortion. Also, it was the most interesting debate among the three.

Quick update...

As I'm watching this, I can't stop thinking MCCAIN IS BEING A JERK! Gee, do you think you could let Obama finish a sentence or two? No? Well then...

I've never seen this side of him. On one hand, he seems to be a little bit more confident. But on the other hand, he's looking really rude. Maybe it's because he knows he has nothing to lose, but everything to gain if he does it right.

All while Obama sits, nods, and smiles. How graceful of you, sir. I applaud you!

Gearing Up For The Debate...

As most of you know, the last Presidential Debate is tonight! If we look at past debates and the debates now, we realize that they were a lot more intense before. In class, we watched a video of old debates and some of those reporters were harsh & direct. Do we see any of that anymore? Nope.

So I thought that before the debate happens, we could think about some things that the public would really like to hear addressed.

For example, a lot of people have a problem with McCain's age. Will his old age affect his presidency & what would he say to voters worried about it? If he dies within his presidency, that means Palin would become President. Most people (at least, I'd think so) would pick Obama over Palin at the very least, right? Even Republicans? And the constantly reiterated point that he's a POW. Is that enough of a platform to win? Does that prove that he will be a good President?

One of the main problems people have with Obama is his youth and lack of experience. I think the laws put in place by our forefathers said that the minimum age necessary to be President is 35. Obama is past that age, and yet some people still have a problem with it. Lack of experience? The Republicans have no argument considering the person next in line for Presidency after McCain is even more inexperienced than him. Is that really a legitimate case against Obama? And another is his race/skin color... I heard some political figures actually saying that would put the U.S. back with foreign countries because they'd see him as an ally with terrorists?? Wow.

Since this debate is going to be such a turning point for McCain's campaign (or breaking point), I wonder if any of these issues will be addressed tonight. Will they hurt Obama, and therefore help McCain? Or will they help Obama, and push him further ahead?

We'll see.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anticipating tomorrow's final presidential debate of 2008

Anyone phyched about the tomorrow's presidential debate?

It seems like, for McCain, this debate will be a make or break deal. Both candidates have to prove to Americans, or those who can be swayed, that they are the right leader. Currently, Obama is leading with mostly Democrats, and McCain is lagging on behind him. Both leaders have a plan in mind of what they would do to the failing economy, if elected President of the United States. Tomorrow's debate will discuss the candidates' economic policies.

Obama feels that the economic condition would better if a Democrat led the presidency. Obama feels that the government should be involved with regulating the banking crisis, or at least investing in them. Why? "It gives taxpayers a better chance of getting their money out. Potentially, it also gives the Treasury some more direct mechanisms to monitor and apply some ground rules to participating banks." (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/obama;_ylt=ApTqOy0ya7pzsQjdb653G7ph24cA) Obama thinks that top executives should have limits to their salaries and taxpayers must get the same ownership and returns as other investors in the banks. He admits, though, that investing in the banks is not going to do much in regards to solving the current economic crisis. However, the basis of Obama's plan to help the economy is:
• Penalty-free withdrawals of up to $10,000 from IRAs and 401(k)s in tax years 2008 and 2009.
• A $3,000 tax credit for every new full-time job created in the USA by businesses in 2009-10.
• A requirement that banks benefiting from the federally funded bailout provide a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures to give homeowners time to work out a payment plan.
• Empowering the Federal Reserve to provide short-term loans to state and local governments caught in the credit crunch.
(from: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-10-13-obama_N.htm?csp=34)


McCain's plan is a proposal of a 52.5 billion dollar bill. I was looking at an article on yahoo on McCain's plan (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081014/ap_on_el_pr/mccain;_ylt=AhUizegYOQY.qMa3.gQTtzZh24cA), and basically what McCain is proposing is buying the shares in the nation's leading banks. He wants to take the government out of the business of the bailouts and leave them to their business. He also call for a tax cut. More specifically, down to 7.5 percent for two years, in hopes of encouraging people to buy more stuff, spend more money and therefore stimulate the economy.


Does anyone have a preference for either plan?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reagan's 1980 Debate Surge

In an effort to debunk the idea that Reagan made a comeback in 1980 that might inspire hope for a McCain rally, Jon Cohen writes:

...there was no evident momentum for either candidate as the 1980 presidential election neared its completion. That is until Reagan's breakthrough debate performance.

Of course, at that time Carter was the president with sub-30 percent approval ratings, and Reagan the relative outsider seeking to prove himself to be a "safe" choice.


Of course, being the only debate between the 2 major party candidates and having it on October 29th made it an even bigger deal than any one of three debates will be this cycle. Taken as a whole, however, I think they'll have the same impact: legitimizing the newcomer in a way that activates retrospective voting.

The public is vicous.

Hey everyone,

I thought I'd post about campaign ads. I'm sure everyone has seen Obama's "Hope" sticker:




http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_KpuIlekkt-4/SIihFajVutI/AAAAAAAAAPE/qB883qtMGak/s1600-h/Obama_Hope.jpg

And they've made an anti-McCain version too:



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_KpuIlekkt-4/SIj5RDuN14I/AAAAAAAAAPc/bb0x-k4WXVY/s1600-h/125-McCain-Nope.jpg

I found this on another blog. Can you believe they make t-shirts out of these?
The caption that reads under McCain's sticker is "Peace? Nope. Health care? Nope. Fair trade and tax? Nope. Choice? Nope. Environment? Nope. Get the idea? Get the T-Shirt!"

I thought it was funny, but yes, I am biased.

Now on to the real point. These are actually pretty mild in terms of attacking the opponent. I've seen some images that are really racist. I saw a caricature of Obama (with big ears, looking like a monkey) on the phone with a terrorist. Really, people? This is the 21st century. If all you can attack him for is his skin color, then I think it's pretty obvious who should be President. It's one thing to attack a candidate for his policies or even his eloquence, but personal attacks? This then made me think if candidates take it all personally. Political figures have to have really tough skin to do what they do, and I never respected or admired them as much as I started to recently. I know I personally was waiting for Palin to mess up during the Vice Presidential Debate, but now I have a little more respect for her for not completely cracking.

But you know, that's just me. I dislike prejudices and stereotypes. Thoughts, anyone??

Relief on Wall Street

As the week begins, I’m sure that it is a relief for many to see that the Dow Jones Industrials has attained a shocking 936-point increase, especially after eight consecutive days of losses. Also, United States stock market paper gains reached $1.2 trillion. Following suit with this surprising turn of events, the NASDAQ composite index also increased by a total of 195 points. In the previous week, the Dow dropped by a devastating 2,400 points and about $2.4 trillion in shareholder wealth. Although this is comes as a major relief, Wall Street still has a long way to go in order to restore our economy. As of the today, the Dow’s current 9,387 points still remains to be about 5,000 short of the 14,165 seen a year ago. In addition to the stock market, Wall Street has other issues to tackle, including a troubled housing market as well as worried investors. In the end, it’s reassuring to see that hope is beginning to resurface; however, time will tell if this same trend will follow in the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

National debt; too large to count

It is no secret that our country is in debt. This debt however has skyrocketed in past eight years and as recently as Saturday afternoon, it reached 10.2 trillion dollars. Ironically, the debt clock in Times Square cannot record the digits of such a large number. Our national debt is so large that it is unable to be recorded. No one could have predicted that the national debt could have risen this much in recent years and the clock being unable to accurately record our debt is symbolic of how drastically the American economy has been altered. In addition to recording national debt, the clock also displays how much each American family will owe. This amount almost reaches 90,000 dollars, which is more than most American families earn in a year. Everyone is impacted by such poor economic decisions and in this case the people are paying for the mistakes of others. Unless the economy improves, the American lifestyle of overbuying and risky investment will be a thing of the past. As the economy worsens, people should begin to be more wise with their money.

The 700 Billion Dollar Bailout in Text, and What it Means for our Economy: Post 2 (The Good)

...damn...

Been trying for a hour to think of one way the bailout could have saved our economy, but from the last week, we can see it isn't working...
Was worth a try, was supposed to stall Armageddon, guess that didn't work...

a week in review...

... It's Been One Hell of a Week....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fundamentals

I found Tuesday's debate to be fairly interesting. With the economy as the number one hazard, McCain was surprisingly short on his answers economics, instead trying to distance his beliefs from those of Obama's and criticizing the Illinois Senator about his policies, rather than specifying his own. in the debate, the Senator from Arizona said that he "knows" how to fix problems like the economy, Bin Laden, crisises more than 7 times, but only twice did he actually bother to tell us "how" he would actually do what he said he would do. The alleged "King of the Town Hall" was also defeated soundly by Obama on most of the policies. If America does indeed vote for McCain... I will almost definitely be moving to Canada.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crisis

The Japanese stock market has dropped 11% so far in Friday trading.

Friday stands to be a crazy day. I'm reduced to hoping it isn't a historical day.

Rationally, it shouldn't. The physical capital, the technology, the infrastructure, the innovation, and the productivity of the US and global work forces are intact. There was an interesting report on PBS News Hour tonight about Silicon Valley and how many entrepreneurs here are optimistic about the potential for new startup companies in the tech sector. There has been no violence to the people or machines that drive economic growth. Unfortunately this has the potential to be beyond rational, and the worst case scenario is on the table, and that's really, really bad.

The next time a student whines that social studies are not relevant to their daily lives I think I might have a complete meltdown. It is nearly impossible to imagine people retiring at 65 as planned with people's savings worth 30% less, and that's just counting the situation as of the close of business Thursday -- basically, it looks like we all just got sentenced to thousands of hours of extra work. That isn't relevant? The baby boomer generation just got whacked and will want to be sticking around in the labor market for much longer than expected. That will either produce greater competition for jobs, or, if they get replaced, put an unforeseen burden on younger generations to take care of their elders.

In 1987 a speculative bubble burst, with housing and bad banking in the mix, and the market tanked 20% in a day. The next day, it bounced back, and people who bought at the bottom made huge gains for more than a decade. That probably won't happen this time for all sorts of macroeconomic reasons. I'm just trying to find a silver lining, hoping that we've reached bottom. If not... yeah... I'm basically down to hoping that we make it through tomorrow, the next week, the next month, and if we do, we'll get away with "only" a bad recession. Whoop. De. Doo.

Ask not what your country can do for you

I was just watching Glenn Beck's talkshow and his guest tonight was actor Kelsey Grammer. Both are conservative and support McCain, yet i found it interesting that although both bashed Obama regularly, they were more concerned with the current state of government. Regardless of party affiliation, both Beck and Grammer suggested that a smaller Congress and government in general would be an improvement. This made me think about whether voters are interested in a particular candidate or altering the current state of government. Obama's platform has always been to bring about "change" in Washington and he has been very sucessful.
Grammer said that he fully believed in Kennedy's iconic phrase "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," and that it appears that all America is concerned with at the moment is what the government is going to do. I am guilty of this as well. I want government to solve all of my problems: social, economic, and political, but is that really fair? We are naive if we believe that government has all the answers. In fact government really should just be the vehicle for organizing the public's ideals. Setting unrealistic expectations for our next President will only lead to disappointment. If real change is going to occur it needs to come from the people. We need to be more responsible with our investments and we need to reduce our our dependence on oil. The government has only a responsibility now to get us out of a national crisis, but if we want permanent change, then we have to be more active in ensuring that the voice of the people is reflected in legislature, not the voice of politicians. I do believe that the government needs to be reformed and that it should be more involved in guaranteeing that Americans have homes and healthcare, but I am also firm in my belief that government should always have in mind the best interests of the entire nation.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some Cartoon Perspective


Photobucket


Will McCain actually be able to catch up? I dont think so unless his next performance is alot better than last night's. You're going to have to earn those states back "My friend."



Photobucket
Keeping in mind that McCain is a moderate Republican, both candidates are slightly more liberal than they have been in the past. Regardless of who wins the election I think that both will inspire and work for change in Washington.

For those of you who were at the Potluck yesterday night: The Presidential Debate

A link to a video stream of the debate:
The Debate

For all those people who were at the Potluck who could not watch the Debate yesterday night.
This is just a quick post right now in the morning, I will post a detailed followup to the debate later.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If McCain says "My Friends" one more time i might just scream

For the most part tonights debate was business as usual. McCain and Obama bickered about who signed what bill and positions regarding alternative energy, the economy, and international affairs seemed typical. I found that instead of having a better understanding regarding the actions that each candidate will take, after watching the debate I am even more unsure of how this country will ever put the pieces back together. The debate began with a discussion regarding the economy and what each candidate plans to do to help the people. It became quite evident that I am not the only one who wants to know what the governemnt is going to do now to ease the suffering caused by our failing economy. A young man asked what the government plans to do now to help those who are not earning enough to support themselves and who are faced with the harsh reality of losing their homes. McCain was quick to state that the bailout will be the resolution to such hardships and suggested that "Fannie May and Freddie Mac" were responsible for the current state of our economy. While McCain was placing blame and oversimplifying the course of action required to repair the economy, Obama offered a more reflective response by stating that the bailout was just the beginning of a long hard process to restore national economic stability.
I felt that Obama outshined McCain in the economic portion, but I was disappointed by both responses to a question that required that both candidates offer their opinions on what would have to be sacrificed by the American public in the midst of such crisis. Neither candidate bluntly stated that yes alot will need to be sacrificed and people will lose their homes and their jobs and continue to worry about their retirement. Instead both discussed how policies would be thrown out and how they were hopeful about the future. Im pretty sure at this point no one thinks that the next couple years will be easy and so a more honest answer would have given the voters more insight into how both candidates plan to fix the economy .
I was also disappointed by both responses to the closing question: "What do both of you not know and how do you plan to learn about it?" Both responded similarly in that they are unsure about the future of this country. While Obama seemed to be more concerned about preserving the "American Dream" ideals and the the U.S. continues to be a place of opportunity, McCain simply stated that he was unsure about the future.
In all i was a little disappointed, but more so by McCain's performance than Obama's. McCain is trailing Obama and frankly i expected more from him. McCain continuously made historical references and at times was condescending (especially during the foreign policy portion.) He also insisted on addressing the audience as "my friends" the entire night which is just simply annoying. I admit that at times I am biased becuase I support Obama, but tonight i was rooting for McCain and was expecting a performance that showed that he is ready to be our President, but after tonights debate he just seems like more of the same.
All in all the debate was not great, but important topics were discussed. Even with rehearsed responses, I felt like the character of both candidates still shined through and at times that can be more influential than ideology. So who won? Im not sure if there was a winner, if I had to choose I would say that Obama was more fluid and personable in his responses and therefore was more captivating, but there really wasnt a decisive victor. I am very interested to see what you all think so if you havent watched the debate theres a link attatched to the title.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Who will save us from our own economy?

When the bailout was first rejected I was anything but surprised. "Big business" needed to be punished and a 700 billion dollar bailout is hardly a slap on the wrist. But now even with the bailout, the economy is still in shambles. The stock market plunged earlier today and the American economy is in such despair that our misfortune is translating into problems in markets overseas. European markets are beginning to feel the ripple effect of our economic instability. With or without the bailout the U.S. would have had immense obstacles to overcome and there is still much uncertainty regarding how effective the bailout will be in offering relief. Even with the billions of dollars that the bailout provides, experts say that close to 100 banks will still be forced to close within the next year. What we can conclude from this is that more needs to be done. The bailout cannot solve all of our economic problems. WE NEED A PLAN. Our economy is slowly falling into a downward spiral. Unless something is done to breathe life back into what is left of our economy, Americans will be forced to endure more foreclosures and unemployment and world markets will continue to suffer. So who will come to our rescue? The current state of the economy will certainly be a main topic in the upcoming debate. The candidate with the most convincing and stable plan to bring us out of this recession will undoubtedly pull ahead. How to win over the American public: promise to get them their homes and jobs back.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

700 Billion Bailout Critique, the Jon Stewart Way

Here ya go:

The 700 Billion Dollar Bailout in Text, and What it Means for our Economy: Post 1 (The Bad)

Here it is in all its glory, The 700 Billion Dollar Bailout Plan (accompanying fanfare inserted here):
Legislative Proposal for Treasury Authority To Purchase Mortgage-Related Assets, Wahington Post

After reading this, t
he first thing that popped into my mind was, "We are screwed..."

If you read closely, you will see that the Senate and House, not to mention "Double U" Bush have effectively placed, 700 Billion Dollars (say it a few times, let the number roll in your mouth and sink in) into the hands of Secretary of the Treasury Paulson's hands and added that amount onto the already immense public debt, raising it to
$11,315,000,000,000(with an estimated 1.5 trillion directly to China). I don't have to be an economic expert or a mathematician, but according to these absurd numbers, this bailout alone raised the taxes that each taxpayer owed to the world by two thousand three hundred dollars, bringing our individual debt to other countries to 37,716 dollars, or roughly 20 years of taxes used on nothing but paying our debt off and the bare necessities of the United States State and Federal Governments. I know that the now OKed proposal says that Paulson can only spend a maximum of 700 Billion Dollars(No, I can't stress that enough) over the course of 2 years, but hear me out, it also states "at any one time." which translates neatly to banks as "as long as we can sell off these mortgages, we can always loan you more money.". And really, I haven't even gotten to the worst part of the plan, which is that Paulson gets to use this money all with no possible reprecussions or strings attached, as mentioned in Section 8, which means we will never be able to critique this bastard on the poor investments he will undoubtedly make.

It is a sad state of affairs, a sad sad state of affairs...

Leaving on a Fun Note

I just watched the SNL skit that ana posted...pretty darn funny. especially with palin's answers and use of the word "maverick" as an explanation. anyways here's some funny cartoons i found to round up the week...

hmmm...i do think that there is truth to this cartoon. it seems as if the media is picking on palin a little more than they are biden, but then again, palin's giving quite a bit of parody material.





SNL's VP Debate

For any of you who missed SNL here is the clip they did on the VP debate. I thought it was pretty funny, although not as good as the Couric and Palin interview. SNL didn't seem biased to me because they made fun of Biden and Palin equally. I am knida sad that they didn't do anything on how Sarah Palin says "nuclear" or how she said "straight up" during the debate.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Corrections

As disclosed, I only caught about 30% of the VP debate on radio.

Apparently, the frequent downward glances by the candidates was innocent -- they had blank scratch paper only. So the joke we started class with was not literally true. See here. (Still pretty funny IMO.)

On the VP question, I maintain that Sarah Palin's answer was a conceptual trainwreck. Having seen the transcript, however, I have to admit that Biden's answer was at the very least a verbal trainwreck.

The Vice President in mentioned in both Article I and Article II of the US Constitution. That does not mean the VP is simultaneously considered to be "in" both the legislative and executive branches, despite Dick Cheney’s bald assertion of uncheckable power to that effect. The title "Vice President" and method of election or impeachment clearly place the VP in the executive branch.

In practice, the VP had a very small role in either branch for most of US history. Recent VPs have been major advisers to the President, diplomats on his behalf, and lobbyists to the US Congress on behalf of the President's legislative priorities, which build a pattern of the VP acting as a liaison from the executive toward the legislative, as part of the executive branch.

Article I, Section III of the United States Constitution says:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.


The tiebreaking vote isn't considered a major power. No VP since the Reconstruction era has cast more than 10 votes in the Senate. (Senate.gov)

The Senate President pro tempore provision clearly anticipates the absence of the VP from daily deliberations in the Senate chamber. VPs have rarely presided over or worked worked live in the Senate chamber, although recent ones have lobbied the Congress behind the scenes, trying to persuade legislators to vote in accordance with the President's agenda. In practice, the Presdient pro tempore (the pro tem) doesn't have the most authority in the Senate, although he is next in line to the Presidency after the Speaker of the House. The Senate Majority Leader is the most important Senator from a legislative point of view. The Senate has a long institutional history of valuing the equality of its members, and is unlikely to accept an expansive view of the VP's legislative role and Constitutional powers even if that VP was of the same party.

Palin says:
"No, no. Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are."


No, you are not expected to take that position very seriously also. You might be expected to lobby and/or campaign for the McCain agenda, but the 55-58 Democrats in the Senate would reject a Democratic VP trying to read the Constitution to "allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate," much less a Republican one. Ridiculous answer. She goes on to agree with Cheney’s view that the VP is in both branches at the same time. Yeeech. Did she misspeak or does she think that highly of herself and her future powers?

Biden said, "I would be the point person for the legislative initiatives in the United States Congress for our administration" and goes on to describe a robust role for himself in an Obama administration more or less along the lines of Gore.

Biden's 2nd answer:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. 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 Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.


No, Article I is the legislative branch. He probably meant to say Article II. That makes more sense, but it could be construed as if Biden didn't realize the Vice President was mentioned in both Articles. (The Senate is mentioned in Article II's "advice and consent" clause on Presidential appointments, but that doesn't mean the Senate is also "in" the executive branch.)

So did Biden misspeak or did he really not know the text of the Constitution? Here's where Biden's resume makes him bulletproof in a way Palin's doesn't. Of course he misspoke. He went on to say:

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

I agree with all of this except the last sentence. The Constitution is somewhat vague about the VP, and assigns the office few formal powers, and describing it as "explicit" marginalizes the importance of historical precedent in framing the role of the VP.

The final part of Biden's answer cited the "unitary executive" doctrine as dangerous. Agree or disagree, he had a clear opinion that the VP, the office he is seeking, has less power than Cheney or Palin claim for it.

Update: for more on how both candidates whiffed at the question about the office they are seeking, see here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bill finally passed

Bush quickly passed the bailout plan and we now have a basis for our economy to restore. That's not to say that years of debt and mistakes will just disappear with the presence of 700billion dollars. In fact, our economy will probably still be hurting for weeks and months to come. But at least now, we were able to get something passed that will hopefully slow down the current crisis that is going on. And even if our economy heals, I think regulations definitely need to be made in terms of housing and the borrowing/spending of banks. This solution technically is a bailout for the rich sector of the population that is partially to blame for this mess and hopefully, but I still think that in this time of chaos and recession, something needed to be done, and done quickly. So I am not going to complain or disagree with the passing of this bill.