Friday, August 29, 2008

At Least Its Not Romney

That was my original thought when I heard Palin was announced as VP. Having given it a little more thought though I have to say that McCain's decision is a calculated risk. McCain had to know that this would generate more buzz than Biden being tapped for veep would ever get. Additionally during an election that is about change it allows him to have a a running mate that doesn't promote the GOP old white guy stereotype. To some degree Palin's views will help assuage part of the GOP base. It could also greatly influence the outcome of the VP debates.

Because Biden repeatedly ripping Romney (or Jindal or Pawlenty) a new one would have the equivalent of political bloodsport if he does the same thing to Palin he'll just appear to be a bully. That means Biden will have to walk a fine line and that's not something he's particularly good at.

On the other hand he chose an inexperienced governor of a sparsely populated state. But if she's as personable and as smart as I hear, campaigns well, and can keep Biden off balance she might be given a pass. After all America seems to have a fascination with fresh faces this election season.

Plus she's not Romney.

Thanks to Shortwoman for linking to this post.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain's Message to Obama

Apparently scheduled to run tonight during the convention...


Speaking as someone who donated to both Obama and McCain during the primaries in the hopes that we'd see the cleanest election in years I can say that I don't believe that any other GOP candidate other than John McCain would have bothered to do this.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama is the Official Nominee

Now all the talking heads can stop saying "presumptive nominee" when talking about Obama...

From MSNBC:

DENVER - Barack Obama, a 47-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, became the first African-American ever nominated for president by a major political party after delegates to the Democratic National Convention chose him as their standard-bearer Wednesday.

The nomination process, a subject of debate and speculation right up until the voting began late in the afternoon, ended when Obama’s chief rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, asked her supporters to join in accepting Obama’s historic nomination by acclamation.

Regardless of how you feel about Obama you have to admit that his nomination represents a milestone in American history. In less than a generation we've gone from legalized discrimination to placing a minority member one step away from leading the nation.

Now the question is, in regards to the history books, can he pull a twofer?

Bob Barr Cements Texas

By being the only presidential candidate on the ballot. Apparently the other two parties forgot to file in time...

From Ballot Access News:

Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”

This year, that deadline is August 26. UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.

This year, neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party obeyed this law. See this link to the Secretary of State’s web page showing a blank for the Republicans and Democrats for president.
Well that kind of puts McCain in a bit of a bind now doesn't? In all seriousness I'm sure both parties will find a way to get around the letter of the law. But still as a purely hypothetical situation this is funny as heck to ponder for a bit.

H/T Below the Beltway

Obama Losing the Middle?

Looks like he may be losing both conservative Democrats and some independents...

From Gallup polls:

...support for Obama among all Democratic registered voters fell from 81% in early August (Aug. 4-10) to 78% last week (Aug. 18-24). Obama's support from Republicans over this period also dipped from 9% to 7%, while 42% to 43% of independents have consistently supported him.

Now I realize that polls are little more than snapshot of current public opinion but this particular one happens to mirror some of the talk I'm hearing amongst moderates both online and off. I can't help but think that part of this loss of support from the middle has to do with the fact that many moderates were waiting for Obama to unveil innovative and thoughtful policies. However as the race has moved to the middle and the distinctions between Obama's economic and energy policies and McCain's become less clear the more that works in McCain's favor. He is after all a figure that the political center of this country knows pretty well. Obama? Not so much.

If Obama doesn't start defining exactly what change is going to look like many independents and moderates may decide to back the devil they know over the devil they don't.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Of Note

Over at Middle East Journal Michael J Totten has an enlightening post up regarding who actually fired the first shot in Georgia and the circumstances that led up to the conflict in the first place. Its long but well worth the read.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Bit About Biden

Obama's choice for VP didn't surprise me out side of the fact that Biden denied being tapped for the job till the very end. To me Biden was the safe choice. He's got the credentials and experience that Obama lacks. While some think that the choice of Biden highlights Obama's faults I don't see it that way. Personally I can't fault a man that sees his weaknesses and then brings on someone who can help compensate for them. Of the primary candidates there were two people capable of doing that Biden and Richardson. Since America isn't ready for an all minority ticket Biden was the logical choice.

Yeah, Biden is prone to slips of the tongue and he's got a bit of a temper but in a weird way that's part of his appeal. He's one of the most human people in politics. I can also see where his faults can be turned to Obama's advantage. He can play bad cop to Obama's good cop. If they can get that act down pat it'll pay off for Obama in the long run. Additionally Biden has one major plus. If you look at McCain's short list of veep prospects not one of them can go toe to toe with Biden in a debate and win. He's experienced enough and a decent enough speaker that he'll keep McCain's Veep pick on the defensive the whole debate. All he has to do is not come off as mean in the process. After all its one thing to eat someone for breakfast, its another to come off as having relished it.

Finally there is a weird sub dynamic going on in this presidential election that makes the veep pick more important than many previous elections. Given McCain's age there is a possibility he might not make it four years. Additionally many people I know have voiced concerns that Obama might not see the end of his first term. Considering that the Denver PD today thwarted what what may have been an assassination plot against Obama today I'd say their concerns are indeed justified. As insurance against such a plot succeeding Biden is a safe choice. Personally if Biden had to finish out Obama's term I wouldn't be concerned (unlike oh say Dan Quayle taking over for Bush Sr.). I wouldn't be particularly excited either.

Obama's choice of Biden some credence to Andrew Sullivan's claims about Obama's pragmatism. Biden was the safe choice. Converesly when I look at McCain's short list of veep picks (including Lieberman) I don't have the same level of comfort. In my minds eye Mccain is in a sticky situation. If he picks a VP to appease the GOP base he risks losing independents and vice versa. With that in mind I'm left wondering how much will Obama's choice affect McCain's decision making? I can't help but think that the choise McCain makes will say alot about what his presidency will be like and I for one am very curious as to what is going to happen next.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off the Deep End

Looks like scifi writer Orson Scott Card can now add a Malkin award to his Hugo and Nebula awards.

"Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. Biological imperatives trump laws. American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die,"
I am now officially glad I never bought any of his books. It is disturbing though to find yet another American that shares the same mindset of members of Al Qaeda. It makes me wonder how long it will be before they start trying to use the same methods.

McCain Ahead of Obama?

According to recent polls McCain has actually gained ground Obama and pulled ahead. Zogby polls has McCain at a five percent lead which represents an eleven point gain from last months poll.

From Zogby:

McCain leads Obama by a 46% to 41% margin.

And McCain not only enjoys a five-point edge in a two-way race against Obama, but also in a four-way contest including liberal independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, the poll reveals. In the four-way contest, McCain wins 44% support, Obama 39%, Barr 3% and Nader 2%.

This latest Reuters/Zogby poll is a dramatic reversal from the identical survey taken last month – in the July 9-13 Reuters/Zogby survey, Obama led McCain, 47% to 40%. In the four-way race last month, Obama held a 10-point lead over McCain.

So what happened? There are several possibilities like Obama burnout, summer doldrums, a post Georgia bump, a post Saddleback bump, or all of the above. Additionally I think that Obama's run to the center has caused a wane in enthusiasm for some voters. What remains to be seen is how big of a post convention bump Obama and McCain receive. After that, barring any major screwups, the next chance for the candidates to get a jump in the numbers will be the first debate on Sept. 26th. However given that neither candidate is a particularly strong debater maintaining the the lead after after the conventions may prove to be of key importance.

Its still anybody's race at this point. But I'm still of the opinion that its Obama's race to lose.


h/t Memeorandum

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Veepstakes: No Clear Winner Yet

Earlier today the blogospheric buzz was all about Biden. That was until Biden himself threw a crowbar into the gears of the e-rumour machine.

From ABC's Political Radar:

As Delaware Sen. Joe Biden was leaving his house in Wilmington this afternoon, he slowed down and said to the gathered news reporters outside his home: "Hey guys, I'm not the guy. See ya."
Members of the news media camped outside his Wilmington home today as speculation swirled that Biden is on Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's short list of vice presidential candidates.
I've generally avoided covering the Veepstakes since up until now most coverage of the topic has been pure speculation largely based on disinformation campaigns run by both candidates' campaigns. The Biden buzz though made a certain amount of sense. He does have the experience and the foreign policy chops that Obama lacks. However he also represents a solidly blue state and has a hard time staying on message. I'm guessing that Obama plans on using the VP slot to cement the support of a swing state and of the candidates reportedly on the short list that points to VA or PA.

I've said before that I think McCain will choose former FL governor Charlie Crist for roughly the same reason. Crist has a compliments McCain fairly well. He has a good record as a fiscal conservative, anti-abortion, well spoken, and more telegenic than McCain. All of whuch Mccain needs to shore up the support of the base and help him compete against Obama. This is of course pure speculation on my part. But I'm at least willing to put my money where my mouth is. As to whether or not I'm right it looks like the answer to the first part of the question will become clear this week. As for the second part its expected that McCain will announce his choice the day after the DNC ends.

That'll will officially be the end of the preseason and from here on out the campaigns and their collected special interests will start playing hardball. Those will indeed be interesting times.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I'm sorry to announce that over at Done With Mirrors Callimachus is hanging up his hat. Personally I considered Cal one of the finest thinkers and writers in the 'sphere. His insights will be missed.

The WaPo on Bob Barr

The Washington post did a two page article on Bob Barr today. I'd like to say it was well written, thoughtful, insightful but unfortunately I can't In fact over at TMV Jazz Shaw called it a "hit piece". Personally I can't agree. First of all its hard to call anything in the style section of the WaPo a political hit piece. What it was in fact was an attempt to marginalize Bob Barr. I mean any article that talks more about his dimples than his political positions isn't trying to take the man seriously.

I really have to wonder if there isn't some ulterior motive in both the content and the placement of the article. I mean after all Bob Barr is the most politically viable candidate the Libertarian party has run in a long time. Thats bound to ruffle a few feather. But the least the WaPo can do is tackle the man on his merits rather than try to portray him as a flaky Libertarian also-ran. NPR managed to at least do that much. I'll leave it to you to divine what what that means about the differences in journalistic integrity of the two. As for the WaPo, they could have at least given the man his due.

H/T Memeorandum

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Credibility Lost

Is almost impossible to regain.

For the second time in a week an author on the Huffington Post is claiming that the war in Georgia was a GOP plot. This time its Truthdig editor and former journalist Robert Scheer...

Scheunemann is at the center of the neoconservative cabal (emphasis added) that has come to dominate the Republican candidate's foreign policy stance in a replay of the run-up to the war against Iraq. These folks are always looking for a foreign enemy on which to base a new Cold War, and with the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime it was Putin's Russia that came increasingly to fit the bill.

Yes, it sounds diabolical, but that may be the most accurate way to assess the designs of the McCain campaign in matters of war and peace. There is every indication that the candidate's demonization of Russian leader Putin is an even grander plan than the previous use of Saddam to fuel American militarism with the fearsome enemy that it desperately needs.

McCain gets to look tough with a new Cold War to fight while Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, scrambling to make sense of a more measured foreign policy posture, will seem weak in comparison. Meanwhile, the dire consequences of the Bush legacy that McCain has inherited, from the disaster of Iraq to the economic meltdown, conveniently will be ignored. But the military-industrial complex, which has helped bankroll the neoconservatives, will be provided with an excuse for ramping up a military budget that is already bigger than that of the rest of the world combined.

This is starting to look like a trend on the Huff Po. The question is is it ideological or editorial in nature. Either someone involved in the hiring process is predisposed to the particular line of thought espoused by these writers or there is a severe lack of editorial oversight (or both). If this trend continues the Huff Po will lose its credibility to all but the far left and therefore will only be preaching to choir. At the rate the Huff Po is going however it'll be on my "do not read list" by next week.

H/T to PoliGazette

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Corporate Welfare - Status: Confirmed

This one caught me off guard. I mean I figured corporations were taking advantage of every tax shelter and loophole they could but not to this degree....

From the AP:

Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes

Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.

The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.

...

More than 38,000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1.2 million U.S. companies paid no income tax, the GAO said. Combined, the companies had $2.5 trillion in sales. About 25 percent of the U.S. corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations, meaning they had at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in receipts.

The GAO said it analyzed data from the Internal Revenue Service, examining samples of corporate returns for the years 1998 through 2005. For 2005, for example, it reviewed 110,003 tax returns from among more than 1.2 million corporations doing business in the U.S.

This is obviously blatantly unfair. I've long thought that the tax system needs to be overhauled but to me this report shows that that the need for an overhaul needs to become a priority. The question is how to do it without sending shockwaves through the market. The last thing we need right now is for the price of every good and service to go up by a double digit percentage.

Personally I like the idea of scrapping the current code for a flat tax on profits. I'm liking 15% as its high enough to be significant but low enough to keep our corporate tax rates highly competitive with other countries (and much lower than many European countries). In order to reduce the impact on the marketplace it would have to be gradually phased in. Lets say 5% the first year with a 1% increase the second year and then a 3% increase over the next three years. Based on the untaxed profits the GAO reports that would equal an additional 375 billion dollars a year in tax revenues.

That amount could have a huge impact on this nation. It would go a long way to helping fund sicial security or reduce the deficit or lower the rate that individual citizens are required to pay in taxes. The problem is finding political leaders willing back such a tax code reform.After all it doesn't benefit any of them to increase taxes on two thirds of their corporate donors.

How do we get this problem under the scrutiny of the public eye? The best I can do is hope that there are presidential YouTube deabtes and pray that my question on this matter gets picked. Whats needed is a bipartisan grassroots effort to bring this issue into the limelight. The question is who is going to pick up that torch and run with it?

Where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?

cross posted at We Op-Ed

You Get What You Pay For

Earlier:

ZoneLabs has just released Zone Alarm forcefield and its
free until 4pm tomorrow CST

From The Cheapskate:

"The software relies on a technique called "virtual browsing" to protect your PC against unauthorized downloads, malware installations, phishers, keyloggers, and the like. It also promises total privacy by erasing the (virtual) browser's cache, cookies, history, and passwords. According to Check Point, the program won't interfere with any existing security software you might already have."
Updated:

Having used their free firewall off and on for years I really expected a better product. It slowed surfing down to a crawl on all of my browsers. Additionally its security warnings took at least a minute to disappear and I couldn't browse until they did. Finally it caused Firefox 3.01 to crash.
A truly disappointing product .

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coming Clean

In the interest of making my biases known I have to date donated equal amounts to...

The Obama primary campaign (Who I voted for in the Texas primaries.)

The McCain primary campaign

The Ron Paul primary campaign (although that was actually a reward for engaging inactive voters)

Finally the Bob Barr presidential campaign. I donate to the Libertarian presidential candidate every presidential election year. Mainly because they are the most viable third party in existence.

For the record I backed McCain and Obama because I belived that they were the most moderate candidates their parties offered. Additionally I thought that should they go head to head that the race would be as smear free as could be. While (mainly on McCain's part) that has proven to be a bit of a bust I take heart in the fact that the race hasn't been anywhere near as ugly as a Romney vs Clinton race would have been. For better or for worse we are seeing the best race the two parties can manage. However at the rate the race is going I am seriously looking at the possibility of voting for Barr rather than either of the two mainstream candidates.

America's Other Crisis

The slow death of logic and critical thinking...

It looks like the tin foil hat brigade is starting to form a consensus about the war in Georgia...

Apparently its all a Republican plot orchestrated so that McCain can win the election.


From the Huffington Post

What a Convenient Little War for The Republicans

In classic "Wag The Dog" scenario there is a neat little war brewing between American and Russian proxies, and real Russian troops, in the Caucacus Mountains on the Russian border.
...

What is most interesting is that McCain's chief foreign policy aide, Randy Scheunemann,
has been advising/ lobbying for pro-western Georgia for the last four years.

Can't you just imagine what happened?

Randy lets it be known to the Georgian President that this would be a good time for Georgian troops to invade South Ossetia, which had been an autonomous territory for more than a decade. The Georgians didn't take much persuading, as they had been wanting to crack down with their troops for a long time.

And with American -- Republican -- support, what a better time to act?

Meanwhile Bush is conveniently meeting with Putin at the Olympics in Beijing and lets it be known that if Georgia attacks Ossetia, the US will not "mind" -- Wink Wink -- an aggressive response from Russia.

I recognize the Huff Po for the partisan tool that it is but when your writers start expousing pet conspiracy theories and you happen to be running one of the most heavily trafficked US political blogs on the web its doesn't do crap for your credibility.

I see this as part of a disturbing trend in American culture. Considering that 25% of all Americans believe they have been wiretapped and a double digit portion (lost the link to the poll courtesy of Firefox 2.1) of Americans believe that either the government could have prevented 9/11 and didn't or were behind it in the first place I'm inclined to think that the number of people that are using the basic tools of reasoning is on the decrease. And if Mr. Fleetwood, who used to be a journalist at several reputable publications, is any indicator those same irrational people are actually getting jobs of influence and import which is doubly disturbing.

As for the Huff Po they'd do well to realize that the longer they allow their writers to use their blog as a staging ground for pet conspiracy theories the more they damage their positions and their party.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Obama's Energy Rebate Gets an F

Over at the WSJ Martin Feldstein takes a look at the effects of Obama's proposed energy rebate. He used the economic effects of the last tax rebates to come up with a likely scenario. The results ?

Cost? 65 billion dollars

Amount of Increased Spending? 10 billion dollars

Why? Because people either bank rebates or use them to pay off debt.

Finally the effect that I'm most concerned about..

His plan, to finance those rebates with an extra tax on oil companies, would reduce investment in refining and exploration, keeping oil prices higher than they would otherwise be.
I'd be lying if I said I couldn't use the money. But if the rebate drives up the price of gas in the long term we'll all be paying it back at the pumps.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

John McCain's Energy Plan

In the interest of fairness. Plus I wanted to take Scribd for a test drive.


Read this document on Scribd: McCain's Energy Plan


I note a severe lack of tire gauges in his plan. However it is worth noting that he's against continuing to subsidize agribuisness and ethanol production.

Had Enough of Obamania?

Looks like you may not be alone. A recent Pew poll shows that forty eight percent of Americans think that Obama is overexposed.

"As he has since January, this week, Barack Obama enjoyed much more visibility as far as the public was concerned than did John McCain. By a margin of 76% to 11% respondents in Pew's weekly News Interest Index survey named Obama over McCain as the candidate they have heard the most about in recent days. But the same poll also shows that the Democratic candidate's media dominance may not be working in his favor. Close to half (48%) of Pew's interviewees went on to say that they have been hearing too much about Obama lately. And by a slight, but statistically significant margin - 22% to 16% - people say that recently they have a less rather than more favorable view of the putative Democratic nominee."

Looks like he's ranking right up there with the GEICO lizard and that "Can you hear me now?" guy. Personally I'm not suffering from Obama fatigue yet. But I read news more than I watch it.
Odds are McCain will start getting more coverage after the conventions and particularly after the first debate. He is after all a more practiced debater than Obama. In the mean time it could be worse for Obama after all, according to Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Obama's Energy Policy Available Here

Thanks to Scribd. Scribd does for documents what YouTube does for video. Apparently Obama's campaign has been using it to keep everyone in the know. So here is his complete energy plan. Believe it or not there's more than tire gauges involved....

Read this document on Scribd: Barack Obama's New Energy Plan For America


More policy and positions available here.

H/T to
Donklephant

Obama Losing Ground in Polls

Odds are we'll see a different set of numbers after the conventions once the general public starts paying close attention.

From Zogby (via McClatchy)

Barack Obama has lost ground among some of his strongest bases of support, including young people, women, Democrats and independents, according to a new ATV/Zogby poll.

The Illinois Democrat has also lost some support among African-Americans and Hispanics, where his lead over Republican John McCain has shrunk, and among Catholics, where he's lost his lead.

The net result, pollster John Zogby found, is a race that's neck and neck, with McCain supported by 42 percent; Obama by 41 percent; Libertarian Bob Barr by 2 percent; and independent Ralph Nader by 2 percent. Another 13 percent supported other candidates or were undedcided.

Zogby called the results a "notable turnaround" from a July survey he did that showed Obama leading by 46-36.

Perhaps this drop is caused by the current blurring of the differences between McCain's policies and Obama's. If the public perceives that Obama is co-opting McCain's positions it makes McCain look like the stronger candidate. Obama would do well to show some ingenuity about now.

Texas GOP Pressing Libertarian Candidates to Bow Out

Looks like a former GOP State Rep called a few Libertarian candidates running in close races and asked them to drop out.

From the Austin American Statesman:

A former Republican state representative called three Libertarian Party candidates for the state House on Friday to request that they drop out of their races rather than take votes from their Republican opponents.

Suzanna Hupp, who represented District 54 in Central Texas for 10 years, said she made the calls Friday because of concerns that the Libertarian candidates would take Republican votes and ultimately give Democrats control over state and national seats.

"The fact is, we've got redistricting coming up in a few years," said Hupp, from Lampasas, who served in the House from 1997 to 2007, "and if the Republicans lose the (Texas) House of Representatives because there are a handful of people mad at them and vote for the Libertarians instead, then we could be in big trouble at the federal level."

...

Hupp said she called three Libertarian candidates in races where she knew the margin between the Republican and Democrat candidate figures to be close in November. However, one day after she made the calls, Hupp said she could remember only two of the three districts where she had intervened.

The two districts, candidates and calls that Hupp remembered were the same two that Texas Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict already knew about and had told reporters occurred.
...
Benedict said he told Libertarian candidates to "sit tight and stay in the race" after the calls were made. "I told them that Republicans need to earn those votes," he said.
It was wrong of Hupp to ask them to step down. However whats more disturbing is the level of hubris it took to make those calls in the first place. Given how long the GOP has been in power in Texas though its not surprising. Interestingly enough the Libertarian candidates may be inadvertently doing more to fix that problem than the state Dems. If that proves to be the case at least here in Texas we might see a few more candidates running that haven't forgotten conservatism's Burkean roots.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama's Energy Problem


His recent move to the center on offshore drilling is going to be painted as a flip flop. Additionally the fact that he continues to push for a windfall profits tax on oil companies is pure populism. As for tapping into the strategic reserve it is a bad idea in my opinion. While I, myself, was against offshore drilling a few years ago I believe at this point that moving closer to energy independence is extremely important. As long as the states can decide where drilling can occur off their shores I'll back that.

The windfall profits tax, however, is unfair and not at all business friendly. A more sensible approach would be to cut all subsidies to the oil companies and lease oil and gas rights on public lands (as well as mineral rights) and offshore at fair market value. That at least would be fair. I see no reason to give hand outs to companies that are breaking quarterly profit records repeatedly. As for the strategic reserve rename it the Emergency Military Petroleum Reserve and then leave it alone.


If Obama seriously wants to win he is going to have to differentiate his policies from McCain's and it is far better to have McCain co-opting Obama's policies on energy than it is to have Obama playing catch up to McCain. After all, this is ultimately a race about change vs experience. If Obama can prove that he has quality ideas that seem pragmatic he'll carry the day. Conversely if he appears to be mainly reciting Dem talking points then the election is his to lose.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sitemeter Issues

Sitemeter.com's traffic counter has been causing blogs not to load for Internet Explorer users. I have removed the counter to fix this issue but you may need to clear your browser's cache to ensure that every blog using sitemeter will be viewable.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Things I Have Learned

Just because my car has keyless entry doesn't mean my house does.

Upgrading

I've bought the domain name Dyreportents.com through Google. I did so because Google offers seamless redirection to the new address which means nobody has to change their links or bookmarks. If you're a feed subscriber you probably won't notice that the URL of this blogs feed will change (Yay Feedburner.com!) Hopefully in the long run this will help me pick up more traffic. Additionally I also plan on buying Direportents.com so that you can just say the name and in theory people can find their way here with relative ease.

Friday, August 01, 2008

TGIF

Changing genres yet again.

Danzig's Mother

McCain Going Negative?

This is either a sign of things to come from the McCain campaign or a major screw up. His campaign released a new ad five days ago that proves to be less than truthful.

From Fact Check:

A new McCain ad says Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras."

McCain's facts are literally true, but his insinuation
that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time is false. In fact, Obama visited wounded troops earlier – without cameras or press – both in the U.S. and Iraq. And his gym workouts are a daily routine.
What really happened?
Obama planned to visit wounded troops at a medical center in Germany until the Pentagon said it would not allow him to bring a retired Air Force major general who is one of the campaign's foreign policy advisers. The Democrat may have been poised to blur the line between political events and official troop visits by members of Congress. But there is no evidence that he was snubbing soldiers because he could not appear with them on television.
Obama explained the cancellation...
I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisors, a former military officer."

Continued Obama, "And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy but he wasn’t on the Senate staff. That triggered then a concern that maybe our visit was going to be perceived as political. And the last thing that I want to do is have injured soldiers and the staff at these wonderful institutions having to sort through whether this is political or not or get caught in the crossfire between campaigns."

Supposedly the McCain campaign created two versions of the ad. One for if Obama visited the troops and one if he didn't. Word has it the wrong ad was released. If thats truw then somebody needs to be fired otherwise it will appear that McCain is signed off on the smear attempt. If the latter is case and this trend continues he's likely to lose a ton of independent and moderate voters and consign his presidential run to the same grave as Clinton's campaign.