Snarky Behavior

Entries tagged as ‘obama’

More on Palin

August 29, 2008 · 3 Comments

via Wikipedia…

Palin was selected as the runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest.  Runner-up!  That’s classic.

She has five kids, the youngest of which has downs.  She had  her youngest son at the age of 44 (which I consider irresponsible but hey, it’s not my body), and pre-natal tests indicated he had an additional chromosome.  This will energize the right to life discussion, undoubtedly.  What a dumb distraction.

She won the 2006 Gubernatorial election with… get this… 114,697 votes!  Really?  I’m pretty sure more people vote in Irvine for freaking mayor.  Now she’s a heartbeat away from running the country?

Look, John McCain has led a hard life.  He’s 72 years old… far older than Tim Russert or Bernie Mac or anyone else you want to point to who died unexpectedly.  Maybe it’s rude to suggest, but the relative odds of him dying in office are MUCH higher than say, Bush, Clinton or (especially) Obama.  If he dies, we’re now being led by someone with 2 years of governance, and presumably ZERO foreign affairs knowledge/experience?

As an American, with a rooting hedged interest for the best possible candidates from each party, I am uncomfortable with this pick.

Categories: Opinion
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Sarah Palin

August 29, 2008 · 1 Comment

My friends…choosing a woman makes sense, but methinks the vetting process of Kay Bailey Hutchinson must have gone terribly wrong.  It’s hard to attack Obama for being inexperienced when your own Veep has less than 2 years in a major political office.

Alaskan politics is about oil, and an Alaskan VP means drilling in ANWAR.  All of the eggs are now in the “lower the price of gasoline” and “reduce dependency on foreign oil” baskets.  Let it be remembered that Hillary Clinton tried this approach, and lost.

I’d like to think that Americans are more intelligent, and that their problems more substantial, than to vote on the promise of cheaper gas.  And if not, I’m willing to forfeit this experiment in democracy for good.

Categories: Opinion
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Joe Biden

August 25, 2008 · 1 Comment

I know some friends who were disappointed with the choice of Biden, but I really like the pick.  I think (and I could be mistaken) that the disappointment was more strategic than ideological… it’s unclear how a Senator from Delaware helps in key swing states, with the possible exception of Pennsylvania.

Still though, Obama’s perceived weakness is the 3am emergency, and there’s nobody in Congress with more knowledge and experience on foreign affairs than Biden.  Not that this helped John Kerry… but I think Biden has a way about him of assuring his expertise and leadership on issues without carrying the ivory tower stigma:

Now, it’s relatively easy to rip into a one-trick pony like Giuliani, but as Joe Klein reports, Biden can take it to McCain as well:

Biden called me in June to express his amazement that McCain continued to insist that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the leader of Iran, even after I pointed out–during a press conference–that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei controlled Iran’s foreign policy and nuclear program. McCain’s response was that the “average American” thought Ahmadinejad was Iran’s leader…and Biden proceeded to jump all over that in a subsequent interview with Think Progress:

I don’t want an average American as president. I have great respect for average — average Americans don’t want an average American president of the United States of America. I want someone above average. I want someone who knows what they’re dealing with. And it surprises me that John didn’t understand the complexities of the power struggle going on in Iran right now.

Categories: Opinion
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The Final Stretch

August 19, 2008 · Leave a Comment

As Paul Krugman observes, Barack Obama’s lead in the polls is not as dominant as it once was:

This chart is from fivethirtyeight.com, a (very pro-Obama) poll analysis site. The site now warns:

Although Barack Obama remains a slight favorite in this election, his position is more vulnerable than at any point since the primaries concluded, and he no longer appears to have a built-in strength in the electoral college that we had attributed to him before.

I’d like to do my part:  I have created a Grass Roots campaign contribution page through Obama’s web-site with a stated fund-raising goal of $500.

I’d like to STRONGLY urge anyone who cares deeply about the short and long-term trajectory of this country to contribute ANY AMOUNT to this goal.  No amount is too small to usher in the change we need.

Categories: Opinion
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Sing it Through the Hills

July 21, 2008 · Leave a Comment

Sing it far, and sing it wide!

SPIEGEL: Would you hazard a prediction as to when most of the US troops will finally leave Iraq?

Maliki: As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.

Categories: Neato
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Inform Your Vote: Tax Edition

June 11, 2008 · Leave a Comment

via CNNMoney.com: (Thanks to Melissa)

BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS
Here’s how the average tax bill could change in 2009 if either John McCain’s or Barack Obama’s tax proposals were fully in place.
MCCAIN OBAMA
Income Avg. tax bill Avg. tax bill
Over $2.9M -$269,364 +$701,885
$603K and up -$45,361 +$115,974
$227K-$603K -$7,871 +$12
$161K-$227K -$4,380 -$2,789
$112K-$161K -$2,614 -$2,204
$66K-$112K -$1,009 -$1,290
$38K-$66K -$319 -$1,042
$19K-$38K -$113 -$892
Under $19K -$19 -$567
Source:The Tax Policy Center
So if you’re voting in your self-interest, and the tax rate is a primary concern of yours, it doesn’t make sense to vote for John McCain unless your income is over $161K.
I’m not sure how capital gains is figured in all this but I guess you can go tot he Tax Policy Center to get a better understanding of the methodology.

Categories: Uncategorized
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Balling

April 30, 2008 · Leave a Comment

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If this isn’t “straight talk,” then what is?

April 13, 2008 · 1 Comment

Makes...me...ANGRY

At a recent fund-raiser in San Francisco, Obama was asked the question about voters in Pennsylvania:  Why doesn’t his campaign resonate with working class white voters?

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

While his response may have included some poorly-chosen words, for which he has since taken substantial criticism, it was at least an honest appraisal.   Consider the following:

America is often recognized for its diversity, but too often we consider this diversity as a melting pot (with the New York urban-ideal as the cognitive model) than as a heterogeneous hodge-podge of cultural identities.  Obama succinctly made this point at the 2004 DNC in his now famous “Red State-Blue State” speech (”we worship an awesome God in the blue states, and yes we’ve even got some gay friends in the red states”, etc.).

So for a wealthy donor from Marin county to understand the voting tendencies of a “fellow Democrat” pension-deprived ex-steel worker of Allentown, he/she needs an accurate explanation, and a good deal of empathy.  These donors are (in large part) the ones funding Obama’s campaign, which means they provide money for polling, focus grouping, message development, etc., and they have a right to expect an explanation of the results of that research

Right now we have a political system where the campaigns engage in election “strategies,” which CNN and others than attempt to decipher and decode, without explaining the underlying assumptions of those strategies.  It is taken for granted that Clinton “appeals” to blue-collar voters, because that is the demographic she is targeting (and resonating with).

When Barack Obama lets these donors peek inside the key-hole of voter research, he may seem like a detached social scientist professor– the Ivory Tower paradigm.  But the truth is that he cannot be all things to all people.  He can only try to understand and capture the concerns of the majority of the voters in his party, and assuming he wins the nomination, in the country.

It is not Ivory Tower to try to understand a group of voters with whom a candidate has no shared background, if the candidate’s efforts are genuine, so that he/she may better represent those voters.

On the other hand, nobody likes to be categorized and have their behavior and motivations analyzed.  The thing is, this happens all the time, in market research, in commercial advertising, and certainly in elections.

Is it a poor strategy to let people peek behind the curtain instead of relying on a lazy media as a proxy to interpret campaign messaging?  Haven’t the last few years taught us that “reality” is the favored-model of communication?

If this isn’t “straight talk,” then what is?

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Clinton’s Advisors

April 2, 2008 · 2 Comments

Penn
Is it just me, or does the Clinton campaign seem to be filled with villains from the Batman franchise?
Clearly Mark Penn is the penguin… the half-breed who shaves his teeth and eats raw fish like Golem.
Clinton herself is the Joker, for her perma-grin and oddly timed cackles. (I will now resign for that unfair and sexist ad-hominem attack).
But it gets better! The LA Times is reporting on Harold Ickes (the Scarecrow) who is now responsible for pouring the pestilence into the ears of Superdelegates:
In a Clinton campaign that can seem machinelike, Ickes is conspicuous for his idiosyncrasies. A female aide said that when she noticed his dress shirt unbuttoned practically to the navel, it was like glimpsing an unzipped fly.
I ‘m not sure how this whole mess is going to play out, but I am sure if it were a Hollywood script, it would end with Penn making some double-crossed backroom deal with Obama at the convention, then Obama wigging out on stage Othello-style and stabbing Penn in the gut like the Queen in 300 did to McNulty, and whispering: “Here’s a microtrend for you… your stomach bile is slowly dissolving your internal organs. It will not be quick… it will be painful.” Then throwing his hands up in the air as he’s tackled by the secret service.
That would be Hollywood’s take. And it would be an utterly redemptive scene. To see Obama, the model of temperance, be upended by the very machinations he had worked so hard to transcend, and realize everything he had worked so hard for had been stolen by a sniveling self-proclaimed “mastermind”… the whole audience would be rooting for Penn to get got.
But oh yeah, this is the most important election ever. So let’s continue to give these power-brokers credit for destroying that hope to transcend the stupid bickering that they themselves are responsible for. And let’s call the negative trench warfare gains the Clinton’s have managed “momentum,” and let’s slowly destroy the most inspirational political candidate since Bobby Kennedy.
Yeah, that sounds like a better ending.

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Riding Coat Tails

February 8, 2008 · 2 Comments

Let’s frame our political options in the following way, shall we?:

The Republican Party is fractured. The big tent is folding in on itself.

Conservatives, social progressives, fiscal hawks, and the establishment are fighting for the “soul” of the party.

Most Republicans are luke warm on the candidate they have chosen for themselves, John McCain.

McCain therefore represents the candidate who is least likely to lose an electoral blowout, and save the most seats (and face).

McCain’s appeal lies with independents.  Pundits would have you believe he is therefore more a viable matchup against Obama, who also appeals to independents.

Obama appeals MORE to independents.  And he appeals to his party base.  He wins.

Not only does he win, but he brings more Dems into the fold…  Republicans are less likely to “hedge” against Obama… that is, they’re less likely to vote for a Democratic president and a Republican Congressmen.

If Hillary’s the ticket, right-center independents hedge against the perceived establishment.  Gridlock ensues.  No clear mandate is achieved.

Hillary’s coat-tails are far shorter than Obama’s.  She’s not a better candidate against McCain, no matter what conventional “wisdom” might tell you.

Forget the polls.  The fact is, the next President will be a Democrat.  They have too much momentum, too much money, and too much George W.

The real question becomes: who carries the party further?  Who carries the country further?

If you frame it this way, the choice is clear.  Obama for President.

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