Saturday, October 25, 2008
Everybody's Pitching In! (5): Family Guy is doing its part! With "provocative concepts and biting humor"! ... 1:15 P.M.
Leon Wiesletier, in the course of endorsing Obama in The New Republic
I must say that the Ayers affair rankles me, because I would not shake the man's dirty hand; and the fact that Obama was eight years old at the time of the Weather Underground is no more pertinent to his moral and historical awareness than the fact that he was six years old at the time of the King assassination.
Everybody's Pitching In! (4): The Simpsons is doing its part ! ... 1:25 A.M.
Bob Kerrey is not doing his part !
If this thing was running the other way, if Obama was taking the public money and McCain had opted out and raised $150 million in September, do you think The New York Times would have an editorial against it?
Everybody's Pitching In! (3): Men's Health is doing its part ! ... 12:53 A.M.
In 2005, Californians passed 75 percent of bond measures, according to L.A. Weekly 's Jill Stewart, who thinks they might rebel this year . Especially if they read the fine print. ... 12:42 A.M,
Everybody's Pitching In! (2): Daniel Craig is doing his part! ... 12:07 A.M.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Everybody's Pitching In! I got home to find a staccato message on my phone machine from a Republican friend:
OK. So depressed about this election that I had to go to Baskin-Robbins and just buy a pint of ice cream and some caramel cones for [my son].And of course, of course , I get there trying to drown my sorrows, and the flavor of the month is"Whirl of Change.""Whirl of Change" with a little Democratic donkey sign.I t's like peanut nougat ice cream with chunks of chocolate enrobed in more chocolate.A nd I think it's also some kind of horrific multiracial metaphor.But anyway so "Whirl of Change." F lavor of the month at Baskin Robbins.I can't even listen to NPR. I get two NPR's and I switched the channel to the other NPR which usually isn't political and they were talking about the Davenport Zither Society and it was great. Fantastic.I listened to that for like twenty minutes.
Baskin-Robbins is doing its part! ...
Background : Here . ... 12:52 P..M.
I never understand poll results like this : "[L]ess than a third of voters" in three swing states said the Ayers and ACORN issues "would affect their votes." This is interpreted by TIME , and others, as a sign that McCain's Ayers and ACORN attacks aren't working. But if the attacks really did move a bit "less than a third"--27% or 30%--of voters into the McCain column, they'd be fantastically effective. ... Obviously, the attacks haven't done that. Most of the 27%-30% of affected voters were probably McCain voters anyway. But the poll doesn't tell us how many weren't. If even a third of that 27% were undecided voters, that could have a huge impact in a close race. Nor does the poll tell us how much these voters votes are being affected, or even in which direction the "affect" cuts. (Maybe the attacks produced sympathy for Obama.) All this is assuming voters are being improbably, brutally self aware and honest about what's affecting them. .... To be sure: I don't think the Ayers and ACORN attacks should be especially effective. I doubt they are especially effective. But poll numbers like this don't tell us one way or another. They're manufactured news designed to give the impression that lines of attack the MSM doesn't want to work aren't in fact working . .. 1:13 A.M.
Is it just my weakness for off-message Dems, or is Kirsten Powers continuing her bizzare hot streak with this column (on Biden's undercovered gaffes)? She's becoming the shikse Krauthammer! ... 12:44 A.M.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Ride My See-Saw: I am encouraged to learn that the See-Saw or Hedge Effect, first suggested to me by emailer M., may have non-trivial grounding in professional polling analysis. .... To recap: M suggested that voters (especially white, swing voters) who don't vote for Obama may feel guilty about it and compensate by voting for Democrats in downballot races (Senate and Congress). But the converse of this theory is equally interesting--voters who do pick Obama, may compensate or hedge for what they feel is a bold, guilt-expiating risk by picking Republicans downballot. In this theory, Obama and downballot Dems are on a see-saw: The better Obama does, the worse the downballot Dems do, and vice versa . ... The technical term for these voters, I've learned, is vertical ticket splitters. They normally constitute a small ("maybe 8-10%") but important part of the electorate. M's point would be that this year their numbers are augmented -- more people will be vertical ticket splitters because of the presence of Obama , who is not only an African American candidate--whom you might feel guilty about not picking--but a relatively unknown candidate whom you might want to hedge against, especially if you voted for him to avoid feeling guilty about not picking him (and then felt guilty about that ).** ... The conventional, expected realization of the See-saw Theory would see an underperforming Obama squeak through a victory while downballot Dems roll up huge, realigning margins in Congress. But the SeeSaw could swing the other way as well. ... Indeed, the See-Saw Theory is mighty convenient for those of us who want Obama to win but fear a big Dem Senate majority (which might quickly enact "card check" and other misguided leftish reforms). It means we can root for an Obama blowout while simultaneously and realistically hoping for a non-overwhelming Democratic congressional margin. ... Go Obama! Go guilt-ridden vertical ticket splitters! ...
**--Note that a significant portion of these ticket splitters won't necessarily be consciously attempting to produce a divided government. They just feel guilty! Or insecure. ... 1:21 P.M.
My neighbors here in beautiful, rich West L.A. are busy setting up phone banks to call into neighboring swing state Nevada . I'm not sure that will help! The "smooth, half-price margaritas" could prove especially counterproductive. ... 2:22 A.M.
Did David Geffen leave Dreamworks so he could buy the Los Angeles Times ? Just asking! ... Maybe a better question would be: Is there a price at which Geffen couldn't resist buying the LAT ? ... 12:47 A.M.
Psst! It's Only Zogby -- but while Zogby's national telephone tracking poll shows Obama opening up an 8 point lead , his online state by state polls are not following suit. They have McCain moving ahead in Nevada 51.5% to 44%, behind in Colorado by only three-tenths of a percent, close in Virginia, New Hampshire, and Florida. I assume this is more a commentary on the accuracy of online polls than on the state of the race. Interesting either way! ... [ Thanks to reader A. ] 12:31 A.M.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mr. Gravitas: What was troubling about Biden's loin-girding gaffe , as Ace of Spades notes , wasn't the idea that Obama would be tested. It was the notion that we shouldn't worry because he has Joe Biden as his backup! ("I've forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know.") ... And here I was giving Biden a pass for his "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do" resume-inflating, campaign-ending 1988 embarrassment . ... P.S.: It's Obama's fault. Obama picked him. It was a hack choice with known dangers , which are even now being realized. ... 1:25 P.M.
Recommended: Tim Noah's 2001 piece on William Ayers' memoir Fugitive Days . A searing and timely review! Noah certainly seems like another pro-Obama Democrat who wouldn't have served on a board with Ayers. He describes Ayers as "self indulgent and morally clueless" and generally thinks we should treat the ex-Weatherman as a pathetic joke. ... Is Noah really 100% comfortable with a Democratic candidate who didn't? ... Backfill: Turns out Noah addressed this question earlier this year , providing some useful background (especially a link to this Ben Smith piece ). You can decide for yourself whether Noah confronts the issue or punts with a joke about a game in which anyone can be connected to anyone else! I still think it's creepy the way Ayers and Dohrn are accepted in Chicago, and Obama's acceptance is part of that creepiness . I also think that if Obama wasn't running for President Noah would admit this. ... P.S.: What is it with Chicago? Is it Australia? Do they have to take anybody they can get there? I always thought L.A. was Australia.. ... 2:54 A.M.
Patterico embarrasses the L.A. Times yet again. ... 2:12 A.M.
Monday, October 20, 2008
As a great McCain admirer, I am sad to say it, but the truth is the video of Powell's endorsement will boil across You Tube and do great damage in these closing days of the campaign.
"Boil across You Tube"? It's not even boiling across HuffPo . It's not, you know, compelling viewing. Maybe if you put some cats in it. .... My guess isn't that the Powell endorsement will fade quickly. My guess is it's already faded. ...
**--I look forward to Klein's return to normalcy after November 4. A Klein make-up-with-McCain post--blaming the shameful besmirching of McCain's honor on Steve Schmidt--should appear sometime around November 10. Unless McCain writes it first. Or, you know, wins.... 11:57 A.M.
Why was I undecided at this point in 2000? It seems crazy to me in retrospect, given George W. Bush's performance. At cocktail parties recently, I've been unable to explain why. .. Well, here's my explanation at the time . It turns out I was worried about the combination of a Dem Congress and a Dem president. That was egregiously wrong ... or eerily prescient! (See next item). ... 12:08 A.M.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
[Nancy] Pelosi dodged a question about whether Democrats would be able to bring about universal healthcare. Pelosi instead cited electronic recordkeeping as a preliminary step.
So we don't get health care but we do get card check? And immigration semi-amnesty? Is there a market where I can bet on Republicans in the 2010 midterms? ... Of course, maybe Pelosi is hiding the ball and really plans an ambitious health care agenda. But then what else is she hiding the ball on? ... P.S.: Note that Pelosi adopts the new, Luntz-style tough-sounding language on immigration:
"I’m just saying register so that we know who you are," said Pelosi, who added that for those who are not willing to register: "You got to go back."
Register or go back! Of course, if you are an illegal immigrant and you register and nothing happens--i.e. you get to stay-- then you've in effect been granted a form of legalization or amnesty. ... This reminds me of the stage in the welfare reform debate when defenders of the old AFDC dole began to adopt the language of its critics without the substance--demanding "work" programs that really only mandated registering for work that was never actually required. Of course, they managed to sustain a wildly unpopular welfare program for several decades using this con. ... 8:22 P.M.
The Power of the Preexisting Story Line: On Meet the Press , Chuck Todd unveiled NBC's latest polling results in three states --relatively, maybe even shockingly, good news for McCain, it seemed to me . McCain's ahead in Ohio by a point ( a week ago the polls on RCP had him down five ). Yikes. He's ahead in West Virgina by six--despite Obama's well-publicized moves to contest the state. Yet on the Meet panel, only Joe Scarborough seemed to react to acknowledge the cautionary news for Obama contained in these polls . Everyone else seemed to hew to the anticipated story line--how Powelll gives a boost to Obama, where the McCain campaign went wrong, etc. ... Hello? ... In order to preserve the Obama-on-the-march theme, poor Chuck Todd is reduced to arguing:
Obama is closer in West Virginia than McCain is in Wisconsin. That sort of tells the story of how this map has shifted, Tom.
If Obama loses in the Electoral College I'm sure it will comfort him to know he lost the states he lost by less than he won the states he won. ... P.S.: I know Obama doesn't need either Ohio or West Virginia to win. Still. ... If Obama's behind in Ohio just when the economy may be about to not dominate the news for two weeks, that can't be a good sign . If he's not ahead now , when will he be? ... P.P.S.: Mark Halperin calls the Powell endorsement "crushing news" for McCain. I dunno. If you were McCain, would you rather have Powell stay neutral or be up a point in Ohio? I think I'd take Ohio. ... 8:08 P.M.