Friday, October 24, 2008


The list of Republicans and conservatives abandoning the GOP and throwing their support behind Barack Obama is growing steadily as this article in The Economist notes - The rise of the Obamacons and this earlier piece in The New Republic.

Here is my tally of Obamacons so far:

Colin Powell - former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff for Reagan; Sect. of State for George W. Bush
Arne Carlson - Gov. of Minnesota ‘91-’99
Larry Hunter - former chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; helped devise Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America” in 1994.
Richard Whalen - conservative author
Scott McClellan - former Press Secretary for W.
Bruce Bartlett - Domestic policy advisor to Reagan and Treasury official under Bush Sr.
Douglas Kmiec - Head of Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan and Bush Sr.
Lincoln Chafee - former Sen. from Rhode Island
Rita Hauser - Bush fundraiser and former member of Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Jim Leach - former Congressman from Iowa
Jim Whitaker - Mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska
Susan Eisenhower - Granddaughter of former president.
Christopher Buckley - son of William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review magazine.
William Weld - Gov. of Massachussetts ‘91-’97
Ken Adelman - foreign policy advisor to Reagan
Frances Fukuyama - neocon author and scholar
Michael Smerconish - Rightwing Radio host
Christopher Hitchens - Former leftist turned Clinton hater and Bush booster.
Charles Fried - Harvard Law professor and former Solicitor General for Reagan.
U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest - R-Maryland
Linwood Holton - Governor of Virginia ‘70-’74
Andrew Sullivan - conservative blogger
David Friedman - son of Milton Friedman
Jeffrey Hart - senior editor of National Review and former Nixon/Reagan speech writer
Wick Allison - former publisher of National Review
Andrew Bacevich - Boston University professor


Former U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler, R-S.D., the first Vietnam Vet to serve in the Senate throws his support to Obama.

The Best Celebrity Endorsement Ever

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die


Commenter Dervish is a musician who made this music video endorsing Obama. I think it’s pretty good. Check it out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bold presidential prediction time

We are still 12 days out from the election, but I’ve already cast my vote and there isn’t much more to do than make predictions.

(Drumroll, please)

Barack Obama will win!

OK, that was too easy. What states will he win? How many electoral votes will he get? Those are the hard questions.
So here goes my best guestimate on how the chips will fall on election night.

Obama will win all the Kerry states — Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine — plus the following Bush states:

Iowa, New Mexcio, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana.

There are recent polls that have show Obama with leads in West Virginia, North Dakota and Montana, and he seems to be catching up in Georgia. But I’m going to assume these are all outliers and will just fall short of switching to Obama on election night.
I might change my mind before the election, of course, but right now I think that is the safe bet.

The above scenario gives Obama 375 electoral votes to McCain’s 163.

I had held out hopes for West Virginia to switch back to the side of light and goodness this election, but a recent survey revealed that more than 40 percent of respondents still think Obama is a Muslim.
My God. It’s like these people are living in North Korea or something. How ignorant can you get?

Colin Powell changes direction

I didn’t have a chance to note Colin Powell’s glowing endorsement of Barack Obama over the weekend. But Vara has an excellent article about it at her place - Voices from Russia.
Powell didn’t just laud Obama, he slammed McCain as this excerpt makes clear:

He criticised Senator McCain for not being able to grasp the economic woes facing the country or offer the public a clear and coherent response to the problem. He criticised Governor Palin for clearly not being qualified for the job (not to mention what this said about Mr McCain’s judgment, he added). He further criticised the negative tone of much of the McCain campaign, specifically decrying their attempts to somehow smear Mr Obama with so called associations to the likes of 1960s radical Bill Ayers, and finished off by commenting that he was uncomfortable with the way in which he felt the entire Republican Party was being taken over by the right wing.

McCain was quoted the other day speaking about the Republican control of government for the past eight years saying:
"We just let things get completely out of hand."
That is true, of course, but it should be noted that this was not just a case of incompetent governance. The Republicans didn’t screw up what they were trying to do. They did exactly what they planned and it just didn’t work the way they claimed it would. That is the most important point that is still eluding most people. It wasn’t just Bush that failed. The Republican policies failed. They would have failed regardless of who was in office pushing them forward. Bush can be blamed for not recognizing this failure sooner and changing course (instead he just stubbornly said “Full Steam Ahead!). But it is not that he was incompetent and failed to administer the policies properly. He did exactly what the Republican policies called for to a T.

Maybe people like Colin Powell are starting to understand this and change direction. We can only hope.

My vote

It took three tries, but I finally got the voting machine to register my vote for Barack Obama the other day. The first two times I tried it highlighted McCain/Palin instead, almost like in this Simpson’s episode:

Fortunately, I got it changed and was very careful where I touched the screen from that point on. But it was disturbing to think that if I had not paid careful attention I could very easily have cast a vote for McSame.
I also cast votes for Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate; Ciro Rodriguez for U.S. Congress; and all the Democrats running for the Texas Supreme Court. I also voted against State Rep. Frank Corte Jr.; for Chip Haas for county commissioner and for extending city term limits to eight years.

I did vote in all the judicial races although I resent having to do so. I believe judges should be appointed because the electorate simply doesn’t have the time or interest to stay informed on the issues in those races and make intelligent choices.

Now I just have to wait two weeks to find out the results.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Expensive clothing, haircuts and hypocricy

I wonder how many of my rightwing friends have contributed to the Republican National Committee this year?
I wonder how they feel about it now knowing that the RNC paid $150,000 to put Sarah Palin in high-fashion clothing for the campaign?
As Atrios points out, this is just rich with hypocricy. The same rightwingers who were outraged when John Edwards campaign reportedly paid $400 for a fancy hair stylist are now faced with a Republican running mate who goes on shopping sprees at Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue all on their tab.

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Is this sexist or what? Do you think the Obama campaign had to spend $150,000 accessorizing Joe Biden? Did they even so much as buy him a new suit?

Remember, this is the party that is supposedly going to bring back fiscal responsibility to Washington! The Express-News said so in their endorsement! Nevermind that they ran up the federal debt $4.5 trillion while they had complete control of every branch of government, Republicans are the ones you can trust with your money. Just look how well their policies are playing out on Wall Street!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The race is tightening!!!!

Baloney. This is a common news meme during the final leg of a long campaign season and the Republicans are going to pick it up and run with it as hard as they can. They are desperate for any thread of hope to dangle in front of their supporters to keep them from sulking at home on election day.
There are something like eight different daily tracking polls out now and they fluctuate continuously. So you can always pick up one of the polls on any day and claim that “the race is tightening”. And then the next day when the same poll shows Obama pulling away again you just ignore it and grab a different poll that is fluctuating the direction you want.

More Tina, less Sarah

After watching Saturday Night Live the other night I can honestly say that I much prefer watching Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin to watching the real thing. Tina actually makes her Palin character empathetic. The real Sarah Palin comes across as cold and calculating and even less human than the parody character.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another awful Express-News endorsement

First they endorsed George W. Bush in 2000. Then they endorsed him again in 2004. Now the San Antonio Express-News is endorsing John McCain.
Clearly the editorial board at the E-N has not learned its lesson. After eight years of what has been without a doubt the worst presidential administration in modern times, the E-N is endorsing someone who was in lockstep with Bush 90 percent of the time and promises to carry on the same economic and international policies.
The E-N says McCain would bring fiscal responsibility to the White House (I could swear they said the same thing about Bush in 2000) and point to his demagoguery on “wasteful earmarks” which make up less than 1 percent of the federal budget. But they ignore the fact that McCain is right with Bush on the two biggest contributors to the ballooning deficits of the past eight years — (1) Bush’s fiscally irresponsible tax giveaway to the rich - which almost overnight wiped out a $236 billion surplus and put us back on the road to record annual deficits all without delivering on the promised boost to the economy; and (2) the $10 billion per month that we continue to flush away on the quagmire in Iraq which has gone on longer than our total involvement in World War II. McCain wants to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent and has no plans to extract the U.S. military from the Iraq debacle.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, has promised to pull us out of Iraq and has a plan to reverse Bush’s disasterous tax cut policies, raising taxes on the wealthy back to the level they were under that oppressive socialist Ronald Reagan.
The E-N also goes on to praise McCain as the only candidate “willing to speak the unpopular truth” about entitlement spending. And what truth is that? That it would be insane for us to privatize Social Security and invest it all in the stock market like Bush and McCain wanted to do?
Under President Bush and the Republicans, the federal debt has increase by $4.5 trillion. That is more than was accumulated under Carter ($337 billion) Reagan ($1.6 trillion) Bush Sr. ($1.6 trillion) and Clinton ($1.5 trillion) combined. I can assure you that was not a result of runaway spending on “earmarks”.
As bad as George W. Bush has been, McCain has the potential to be much worse. He is a 72-year-old with serious medical problems who tapped as his running mate someone who is supremely unqualified to take over as president.
He is admittedly clueless when it comes to economic issues and takes his advice from people like Phil Gramm, one of the architects of the deregulation fiasco that led to the current collapse of our financial system. His campaign is filled with lobbyists who had a direct role in undermining the regulatory framework of our financial markets.
The fact that you can point to a couple of areas like immigration policy and global warming where he has bucked his parties wrong-headed views does not excuse the fact that he would continue leading us down the same path in every other instance.
The fact that the Express-News would make such an awful endorsement has caused me to lose all respect for the paper and its current leaders.