For Obama

A pretty full-throated endorsement of Obama in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with a strong finish:

That the argument about issues has been essentially won by Sen. Obama is plain from the scurrilous attacks now being launched against his character — increasingly by Ms. Palin — alleging guilt by association, unpatriotic behavior and worse.

This closing blizzard of slime is another attempt to spread the wizard’s curtain further: Don’t look at how the economy has impoverished you while a Republican has been in the White House, look at Mr. Obama’s passing acquaintance with an old radical who did bad deeds almost 40 years ago, because that is more important.

Yes, they apparently do think the American people are that stupid.

On Nov. 4, we believe Americans will heed the better angels of their nature and recognize that the election of the eloquent Barack Obama — whose story is a quintessentially American one of impossible odds overcome — will best answer the pressing call of history.

Good for them.

Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I can’t right now.






168 replies
  1. 1
    Ed Marshall says:

    I’ll take even odd’s bets on Obama all day long. From anyone.

  2. 2
    lewp says:

    50-50, John? Are you kidding? 538 has it at 94.1-5.9 at this juncture. Intrade is around 77-22.

    So why can’t you be more optimistic?

  3. 3
    SamFromUtah says:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I’d rather believe 538’s 94.1% likelihood for a MUP FTW.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    I just have to come around to believing its a lock. Not that it will make me work less hard, but what’s the point in worrying now? We might as well enjoy it. Because this is the only honeymoon we are going to have.

    aimai

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    I’m thinking when a lot of people read the phrase "blizzard of slime", it’s not going to be a nice association with Sarah Palin.

  6. 6
    rob! says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins.

    JESUS CHRIST, John. You must be fun at parties.

  7. 7
    Benjamin says:

    I am not quite at "It is a lock" but let me put it this way. A third of all voters vote in the weeks before the election.

    So not only would Obama have to collpase 10 points in two weeks for McCain to be even on election Day but actually he would have to collapse more than that for McCain to win since he is racking up huge margins in early voting right as we speak.

    Short of somethin huge like Osama Bin Laden saying Barack is his long-lost brother, I dont see it how it could happen.

  8. 8
    calling all toasters says:

    I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins

    Big deal. You’re not going to bet against Obama, and Republicans never pay up ("No fair! The stock market wasn’t supposed to crash! McCain didn’t run his campaign like I thought he would! The media is mean!"). I just cannot get easy money this way.

  9. 9

    I’ll be optimistic for you, John. Obama’s gonna win. McCain/Palin are so deep in the weeds that I don’t think even KKKarl could cheat him to victory. Hell, they could resurrect Lee Atwater, clone 100 more of him, and all of them PLUS KKKarl couldn’t do it. Eom.

  10. 10
    Liberaltarian says:

    You know, you could be right. And, for Obama’s sake, his health and his family might be better served if he lost. The country is in a hell of a mess, and anyone shouldering that burden is going to take a real beating.

    And, if he lost, he would still be a great senator, and our country would still be blessed with his leadership and hard work in the Senate. I am not sure that we will get that kind of help from McCain if he stays in the Senate–he’s had years there already, and he just seems to lack the vision Obama has.

    But, selfishly, I hope Obama is our next president. We always need leaders we look up to, but now is probably the most critical moment of my lifetime … I hope. Things could get worse; ask anyone who lived through WWI and then WWII. But, what if they could have had WWI without WWII?? I feel like if Obama becomes president, maybe we don’t have to see how low we can really go.

    Sigh. Sorry, those pics of him knocking on doors made me nearly burst with pride and hope. This is the man for the hour.

  11. 11
    Punchy says:

    Vegas thinks you’re an idiot. Obama -450, McCane +275 currently. That corresponds to about a 10 point fav in a NFL game.

    Let’s pray McCane is not the St. Louis Rams.

  12. 12
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Double-digit leads with three weeks to go in the campaign.

    Its ‘dead girl / live boy’ territory now.

  13. 13
    The Moar You Know says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins.

    Agreed. There are a lot of stupid/evil/racist/angry people in this nation, and George W. Bush didn’t get into office by the flip of a coin. I hope my fellow citizens have learned something from the last eight years, but history is not on the side of my hope.

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think Obama’s got better than a 50/50 chance, but the thing is: there’s still a few weeks left here. The race will tighten over the next couple of weeks poll-wise, even Nate at 538 has been saying people should expect this.

    If we head into election day with polls like this, and McCain ends up winning, I’ll be looking for another country of residence.

  15. 15
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins

    I go back and forth on whether Obama will win this election. One minute I’m sure the path of common sense for even the thickest American is clear and away from the past 8 years.The next minute it hits that Obama is a black man in America, and I wonder if we’ve come far enough in improved race relations to actually make him president. I was hearing on MTP today from Koppel about the last confirmed lynching of a black by whites in 1981, or less than thirty years ago. There are a number of unique dynamics at play this time around, led by an unprecendented economic meltdown, at least in recent history. So I just don’t know what will happen come election day.

  16. 16
    zzyzx says:

    The one thing that gives me hope is that the Republicans are starting to ask who to blame while the Democrats are out working hard. I just finished passing out literature throughout my precinct and I never have done that sort of volunteer work before in my life.

  17. 17
    Comrade Jake says:

    Sully’s Sunday article in the Times is worth a read. He highlights an event this season that I think many at the time were convinced was a strategic blunder by Obama:

    Obama rarely directly attacks. He subtly baits. His most brilliant rope-a-dope of the entire campaign was against Bill Clinton in the spring. In a newspaper interview, Obama cited Ronald Reagan as the last transformational president. He didn’t mention Clinton. The former president was offended by being implicitly dissed, took the bait and unleashed a series of unwise public scoffs at the young Democrat, culminating in a dismissal of Obama as another Jesse Jackson. Suddenly, black Democrats abandoned Clinton’s wife, and the Clintons’ base collapsed. Obama merely stepped out of the way as the Clintons self-destructed. He didn’t just end their campaign; he helped to bury their reputation.

    See, I’ve no idea why that blockquote isn’t boldface.

  18. 18
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Punchy:

    Vegas thinks you’re an idiot. Obama -450, McCane +275 currently. That corresponds to about a 10 point fav in a NFL game.

    Intrade has it at roughly 3-1 odds.

  19. 19
    Scrutinizer says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins

    I want to believe, but then things happen. I go to a birthday dinner for my Mom tonight, and I spend an hour listening to stuff like "Palin is the best thing ever," and "You know, Obama spoke here last weekend, and now they’re gonna have to spray the stadium before they can use it again", and, God help up, "Poor George Bush, they’ve just crucified that poor man!". I look around the table at a bunch of people who are mostly well educated, three of us have advanced degrees, with another one on the way, and I think "I don’t live in the same world as these people."
     
    I just don’t have the words.

  20. 20

    I love newspaper endorsements. They always read like they were written by some guy who’s about 152 years old. [Insert obligatory McPOW joke here]

    As for odds on an Obama win, I’d have to know who has the codes to the voting machines.

    Of course if McPalin win, the Republican party will look like this by 2010.

    Comrade Jake: [blockquote][p]Text[/p][/blockquote].

  21. 21
    Comrade Jake says:

    "You know, Obama spoke here last weekend, and now they’re gonna have to spray the stadium before they can use it again."

    This is vile, vile stuff. Fuck them.

  22. 22
    KJ says:

    I like the fact that despite the favorable polling environment, Obama is still running his campaign like he’s down . . . that this thing isn’t over until the votes are counted. Canvassing in Ohio today for a hour. What presidential candidate in his position does that?

  23. 23
    NonyNony says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I can’t right now.

    Despite how you’re getting beat up here, this just means that you’re getting comfortable in the role of "Democrat". Trying to figure out how the Democratic candidate is going to screw it up is a time honored tradition in Democratic circles.

    I wouldn’t say 50-50, but I think the chances of an Obama win by election day will be smaller than they are now. I still give him the edge, but I don’t think it’s going to be as easy a win as it looks right now. I predict a nailbiter on election night, with the call for Obama not coming until early in the morning on Wednesday (and the court filings by the McCain camp to come shortly after because it’s so close).

    I hope to Grod that this is just my natural pessimism and that I’m wrong and that Obama sails to an easy and obvious victory with over 50% of the popular vote on election day. It would make the next four years so much more tolerable if the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency could only be questioned by total nutbars.

  24. 24
    Clor says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic. Which is why I’ll be placing my toddler in daycare on Nov. 4th and going to Milwaukee to join the GOTV teams.

  25. 25
    ResumeMan says:

    I think Obama’s got better than a 50/50 chance, but the thing is: there’s still a few weeks left here. The race will tighten over the next couple of weeks poll-wise, even Nate at 538 has been saying people should expect this.

    The thing is, Nate’s model accounts for that. Based on my simpleton understanding, the model takes where things stand now, tweaks the results for things like demographic oddities (e.g. if North Dakota and South Dakota had significant differences, the model would push them together some), and then applies typical trends from "now" to the election, and estimates the probabilities from there.

    Of course Nate’s model can’t account for a true October surprise. There’s a chance that something could happen that would be a game-changer (though at this point I wonder if a terrorist attack wouldn’t boomerang against the GOP), but absent that, the trends show a smooth glide to a big win. Just not as big a win as today’s snapshots.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    I like The Early Vote Theory, myself.

    Remember the California primary? HRC banked 40% of California primary votes before Obama took off there.

    It cost him that state.

    I bet they learned from that experience.

    Obama didn’t really get aggressive until mid to late September. Early voting in 16 states began right about the time they announced they were going all in.

    I just don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  27. 27
    xyzzy says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I can’t right now.

    John, I have not really ever known what your area of expertise really is or what you teach/research*, but mine is computer science. Earned my PhD in 2004, and been researching this field for years beforehand (obviously). Prediction markets are a staple of this field, and let me tell you, run properly they are almost never wrong when they swing hard in one direction or the other.

    Intrade is currently 77% Obama, 23.3% McCain. That is an overwhelming advantage, and as a scientific professional in the field, I have to say that I can’t remember any previous such prediction being wrong (barring surprise twists). Now, elections can be stolen — but the market is an accurate reflection of the general trend.

    So you’re right to be worried, but not about the electoral balance. Worry about a crazy redneck with a rifle, or fraud on a massive scale – but the people are leaning the right way.

    P.S. I would note that Obama hit ~70% in the primary race, versus Clinton at about ~30%, right around Super Tuesday when everyone was saying that he was washed up and that she was just going to go through the motions and seal the race (if I recall correctly). And that was far enough out at the time that I didn’t trust it. But with three weeks to go? Obama has closed this deal.

    *Not because I am uninterested, but rather because you don’t spout the kind of bullshit that usually drives one to look into another’s credentials.

  28. 28
    A Different Matt says:

    "increasingly by Ms. Palin"

    Ms?

    Is Palin her maiden name?

  29. 29
    Comrade Jake says:

    Sarah Palin likes to ask.."Who is the Real Barack Obama"…if you happen to read a newspaper, he’s the guy who is kicking your ass!!

    -Bill Maher.

  30. 30
    TheFountainHead says:

    "You know, Obama spoke here last weekend, and now they’re gonna have to spray the stadium before they can use it again"

    Wow, if anyone I knew, let alone someone in my family, said something like that out loud they’d have to call the police for their own safety’s sake. Jesus.

  31. 31
    Emma Anne says:

    Our goal in my area is to have over 70% of the votes in the bag by election day, between vote-by-mail and early voting. 47% of voters have requested mail-in ballots, so we are on our way. October surprises better hurry up.

  32. 32
    Comrade Jake says:

    Heh. This could be kind of fun:

    With the presidential campaign approaching its final stretch, Barack Obama finds himself in an enviable position.
     
    One official close to the campaign said that September’s fundraising haul set a new record, surpassing the $66 million Obama raised in August. Another aide, asked about the campaign’s take, would only describe it: "big."

  33. 33
    Atanarjuat says:

    The media is completely in the tank for Obama, so it’s no surprise that the Presidential election can be viewed as a 50/50 split for the win. If the media actually did their jobs instead of engaging in liberal partisan hackery, the odds would be more like 85/15 in McCain’s favor.

    Personally, I think it will be more like 75/25, but that’s still a virtual sweep for McCain and Palin. There’s little we can do (for now) for all those terrorist-enabling leftist dead-enders who have the audacity to vote as though they actually cared for the well-being of this nation. The fact that Nobama’s intimate association with Bill Ayers doesn’t at all trouble these America Last parasites tells you all you need to know of where their actual loyalties lie.

    By the way, lefties, that droopy dog-faced military coward of yours, John ("Ouch, I just got a paper cut so I deserve a Purple Heart") Kerry also did well in the polls in 2004, but as you’ve all seen, idealism always gives way to cold reality. The Presidential election is the ultimate poll that truly matters, so give up the false hopes, please.

    Country First.

  34. 34
    ResumeMan says:

    Intrade is currently 77% Obama, 23.3% McCain. That is an overwhelming advantage, and as a scientific professional in the field, I have to say that I can’t remember any previous such prediction being wrong (barring surprise twists).

    Didn’t Intrade gyrate wildly right before and after NH? I seem to recall that right after Iowa, Obama jumped up to a huge lead, then immediately lost it after his surprise (though not really that surprising) loss in NH.

    Anyone remember that?

  35. 35
    Delia says:

    I have a somewhat different concern, epressed by Frank Rich in today’s column where he godwins us all on the nasty turn the McPalin campaign has taken and calls them out on it.

    What makes them different, and what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin

    That’s a far cry from simply accusing Obama of being a guilty-by-association radical leftist. Obama is being branded as a potential killer and an accessory to past attempts at murder. ‛Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family’ was how a McCain press release last week packaged the remembrance of a Weather Underground incident from 1970 – when Obama was 8

    etc.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @El Cid:

    I’m thinking when a lot of people read the phrase "blizzard of slime", it’s not going to be a nice association with Sarah Palin.

    Can you put lipstick on slime?

    As for the prospects of Obama being elected, the only thing I can do is be cautiously optimistic and mark my ballot when election day rolls around. A lot can happen in the final days of the campaign, but I am gratified to see that the ugliness whipped up by McCain/Palin is being matched by stories of potential voters deciding that Obama is their man.

  37. 37
    boonagain says:

    I think I’ll donate some $$ to Obama in honor of any delusional Inuits in these parts.

  38. 38
    Soylent Green says:

    I’m with John on this one. If people in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida are lying to pollsters to conceal their racial prejudice, then McCain wins.
     
    Going in, wasn’t Kerry ahead in the polls last time?

  39. 39
    Comrade Jake says:

    Atanarjuat:

    The media is completely in the tank for Obama, so it’s no surprise that the Presidential election can be viewed as a 50/50 split for the win.

    Is Atanarjuat Muslim/Arab/terrorist code for "asshat"?

  40. 40
    ResumeMan says:

    Wow, Atanarjuat, whatever you’re on, can I have some? That’s quite a reality-distortion field you have going on there.

    The only "intimate association" between Ayers and Obama (er, other than the whole ghost-writing thing) occurs in the midst of Right wing fever dreams.

    Oh, and actually, much as I tried to convince myself different at the time, Kerry trailed consistently from the RNC in early September to election day. We were just engaging in wishful thinking (though less, much less, extreme than yours).

  41. 41
    Comrade Jake says:

    Going in, wasn’t Kerry ahead in the polls last time?

    Not by anywhere near this much.

  42. 42
    boonagain says:

    From the looks of it, Bush had the lead most of the time throughout October, but it was a lot closer than the lead Obama is enjoying.

  43. 43
    DFD says:

    Is Atanarjuat Muslim/Arab/terrorist code for "asshat"?

    It’s Innuit for "Todd Palin fapping off"

  44. 44
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins.

    But there’s only a ten percent chance of that.

  45. 45
    Comrade Jake says:

    From the looks of it, Bush had the lead most of the time throughout October, but it was a lot closer than the lead Obama is enjoying.

    You look at those poll numbers for Bush, and you wonder if the 40% currently voting for McCain just can’t bring themselves to admit how badly they fucked up.

  46. 46

    "increasingly by Ms. Palin"

    Ms?

    Is Palin her maiden name?

    A lot of papers go with "Ms." because it’s easier than figuring out who is and isn’t married and what the hell they want to be called. But in this case it should be Governor Palin. I assume the editors were being a little snarky.

  47. 47
    Kali's Little Sister says:

    Kerry was consistently behind from early September on…

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....t3way.html

    I presume the factless idiot has wandered off…

  48. 48
    Comrade Jake says:

    Man the Patriots are pretty goddamn terrible w/o Brady.

  49. 49
    Soylent Green says:

    If the media actually did their jobs instead of engaging in liberal partisan hackery, the odds would be more like 85/15 in McCain’s favor.

    That one was a keeper. If not for the media, then 75 percent of registered Democrats would vote Republican.

    Personally, I think it will be more like 75/25…

    Oh. Well. Much more realistic. I stand corrected.

  50. 50
    xyzzy says:

    Didn’t Intrade gyrate wildly right before and after NH? I seem to recall that right after Iowa, Obama jumped up to a huge lead, then immediately lost it after his surprise (though not really that surprising) loss in NH.

    Market gyrations are to be expected, especially with events in the news cycle, and especially far out from the contract closing date. But this close to the closing, and with Obama shares trading as steadily high as they have been for the last month, it’s pretty clear what the market believes will happen.

    Re: Obama/Clinton+Intrade, I do seem to remember him losing ground a couple of times (at least). But always rebounded back to the high leads that he held early in the year.

  51. 51
    xyzzy says:

    I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins.

    But there’s only a ten percent chance of that.

    "60% of the time, it works 100% of the time."
    –Ron Burgundy

    (nested blockquotes not working?)

  52. 52
    donovong says:

    On this date in 2004, Kerry was down in the polls by 14 electoral votes (forecast)

    As of today, Obama is ahead by at least 60.

    So, there ya go.

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/.....Oct12.html

  53. 53
    ResumeMan says:

    Here is a link to the 2004 tracker. Kerry never had a lead after mid-August.

    Again, we were living in wishful-thinking land.

    Once again, nothing to say there couldn’t be a huge political earthquake, but barring one, I think we can feel pretty comfortable…

  54. 54
    Kali's Little Sister says:

    I don’t know what happened to my previous post.

    Wanted to pass on a reminder that Kerry trailed Bush consistently from early September through election day.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....t3way.html

    He was not as far behind Bush as McCain is behind Obama, but he still lost handily. As will McCain.

  55. 55
    Brian J says:

    Why aren’t you a little more optimistic?

    A lot can happen in a short time, but McCain’s running a terrible campaign with a lack of a coherent message. The themes he chooses to focus on are awful. His surrogates act like idiots. His running mate looks increasingly foolish. He’s running on a platform of tired, terrible ideas. The opposite is true of his opponent, a guy who not only has the wind at his back but a vibrant presence on the campaign trail.

    If you look at the polls, his lead is so commanding in certain states that, even if the Bradley Effect does occur, it looks like it’s not going to make a big difference. Indeed, right now, if he does a lot worse than expected, he’ll finisher closer to 300 Electoral votes, as opposed to the 350-400 he could possibly finish with if things go very well.

    Like you, I am a little worried, because the guy I vote for usually loses, even when it looks like a lock. But if there’s one quality that I am slowly learning, it’s that I can’t worry about everything in such a serious, unyielding manner. No matter what happens, the country will survive. The mess may be bigger and the clean up may take longer, but we’ll get through it.

  56. 56

    John, you mean 50/50 McCain ‘wins’.

    Quotes, because you’re expecting ridiculous, over-the-top, Palin-response level fraud (what if McCain and Palin simply declare that they have won and all the votes were actually mistakes? What if Bush declares martial law and overturns the election on the grounds that it was fraudulent because McCain didn’t win?)

    I don’t think they get to reject this reality and substitute their own, so I think your odds are off, because some forms of ‘win’ aren’t real. I doubt they can really get military force to back them in an outright coup. Not the way they’ve been treating the military…

  57. 57
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Jake – the times article (via Sully) was wonderful, I loved the image Barack as valium for a nervous and stressed nation. It is what many people have been saying all along. He is so damn CALM, how does he do it? He must have an inner strength and sense of purpose that we could only guess at. It is incredibly impressive.

    On another note I was talking to the daughter of my mum’s fiance (does that make her my step-sister to be?) who lives in Australia, she basically said "oh calm down" ( in that wonderful laid back Aussie twang) "the rest of the world already thinks he’s got it, have faith" so I shall listen to the rest of the world, and have faith.

  58. 58
    TheFountainHead says:

    On another note I was talking to the daughter of my mum’s fiance (does that make her my step-sister to be?) who lives in Australia, she basically said "oh calm down" ( in that wonderful laid back Aussie twang) "the rest of the world already thinks he’s got it, have faith" so I shall listen to the rest of the world, and have faith.

    Which reminds me, I think I will enjoy the world’s reaction to an Obama win more than America’s reaction to an Obama win.

  59. 59
    jcricket says:

    The only question for me at this point is how many Senate and House seats we pick up. I still don’t think 60. I think 57.

    And whether we retain the governorship in WA state. Fucking crappy-ass Gregoire campaigner and lying cheat Rossi (coupled with actually complicit media, esp. the Times).

    And I think the Dems have the opportunity, whether they pick up 57, 60, 62, etc. in the Senate to successfully paint the Republicans as the party that created the inevitable mess Obama is going to inherit. The Republicans are already blamed by the public 2-to-1, the Democrats just need to keep the marketing up.

    Oh, and don’t wuss out on the fixes. Don’t be bipartisan. Make the tax code more progressive (a la Obama’s plan). Nationalize the failing banks and spin them out later. Push something like Switzerland’s health system (which is public + private with a high floor/rules/no profit) when the health system fails.

    The American public responds intelligently when the party displays conviction – which is why, despite Republicans lack of results (or rather, bad results), the public still often votes Republican.

  60. 60
    NonyNony says:

    Atanarjuat is one of the best right-wing fake trolls at any site. He’s hysterical. I’m rapidly becoming convinced that "Atanarjuat" is Inuit for "Gary Ruppert".

    And if Atanarjuat is an honest-to-Grod real right-winger then he’s even funnier. This site has been notably low on trolls lately (what the heck happend to myiq anyway) and it’d be good to see someone step into the gap.

  61. 61
    jcricket says:

    John, you mean 50/50 McCain ‘wins’.

    My dad, of the conservatively liberal bent – is a rabid Bush and Cheney hater at this point (having seen them decimate his 401k and ruin the health care system). No radical he, but he thinks there will be serious riots if McCain "wins" under shady circumstances.

    I’m beginning to wonder if he’s right.

  62. 62
    Martin says:

    The polls don’t even factor in the GOTV effort. Obama will win by a landslide. Even if it tightens, it won’t matter. Obama gets to 270 on a 9 point margin state. There just aren’t many tossup states left. Look at the 538 graph – it’s approaching a dirac delta function.

  63. 63
    Rick Taylor says:

    I hope Obama does more than win. I hope it’s a blow-out; I hope McCain is crushed. If it’s a narrow victory, we’re going to endure four years of Republicans whining about Acorn and unfair media treatment and who knows what else. After eight years, I want the country to unmistakably repudiate the results of eight years of Republican rule. I want more than just 50 + 1.

  64. 64
    jcricket says:

    And if Atanarjuat is an honest-to-Grod real right-winger then he’s even funnier.

    When you can’t tell Sarah Palin from Tina Fey from the Onion from Michael Savage from the Nazis, it’s hard to tell who’s a troll.

    Chooknowhatimean?

    Seriously, who would have thought we would read an actual AP headline saying, "Palin releases own report, clearing self in investigation" – but we did.

    Followed by Palin and McCain claiming that because the report says she had a proper gun license, her murder of Monegan was A-OK (to stretch the analogy).

    Next it will be 2+2=5

    In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. (I.7)

  65. 65
    jcricket says:

    And if Atanarjuat is an honest-to-Grod real right-winger then he’s even funnier.

    When you can’t tell Sarah Palin from Tina Fey from the Onion from Michael Savage from the Nazis, it’s hard to tell who’s a troll.

    Chooknowhatimean?

    Seriously, who would have thought we would read an actual AP headline saying, "Palin releases own report, clearing self in investigation" – but we just did.

    Followed soon thereafter by Palin and McCain claiming that because the report says she had a proper gun license, her murder of Monegan was A-OK (to stretch the analogy). And Cindy McCain claiming Obama was running the dirtiest campaign ever (can you remember anything, outside of the response/Keating video that’s even remotely dirty from Obama?).

    Next it will be 2+2=5

    In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. (I.7)

  66. 66
    Comrade Jake says:

    Look at the 538 graph – it’s approaching a dirac delta function.

    It’s Dirac delta, tough guy.

  67. 67
    Keith says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins

    You have got to quit clicking through on the Drudge links. He’s pushing meme’s for Fox right now, and probably scared shitless that linking to reality will incur the wrath of the nutjobs.

  68. 68
    jcricket says:

    If it’s a narrow victory, we’re going to endure four years of Republicans whining about Acorn and unfair media treatment and who knows what else.

    You do realize they would whine even if we won with a Reagan-esque landslide, right?

    We cannot inoculate ourselves against Republican whining, lying, moaning, bitching and caterwauling.

    If it’s 50+1 and we claim a Bush-esque "I earned political capital and intend to spend it" – we’re as fucked as he was.

    However, a massive victory can be appropriately leveraged for future electoral gains and the passage of major new-new-deal policies. I would love to see a return to Clinton-esque (or even higher at the top, top end) taxes. Something like national healthcare. Social security solvency through higher taxes on top earners. A reduction or elimination in the difference between capital gains and regular income (def. get rid of hedge fund loophole).

    Democrats can become the party people think of when they think "who helps everyone", "who makes sure companies don’t rip us off", "who is fair", "who is fiscally sensible", "who balances the budget", "who makes us someone the rest of the world looks up to".

    I don’t expect any of this in 2009, just the start of it, so we can build off the gains we’ll make again in 2010 after we paint the remaining Republicans as vestiges of a failed ideology that got us into this mess to begin with.

  69. 69
    cmorenc says:

    Short of somethin huge like Osama Bin Laden saying Barack is his long-lost brother, I dont see it how it [Obama losing] could happen.

    Bullseye. I wouldn’t put it at all past the Bush administration to have a months (or even years) old OBL tape stashed away for a two-weeks before election day "October Surprise". It wouldn’t even need to mention Obama by name – hey, it could even be a variant of the same one they trotted out three days before the 2004 election, and of the same four-year-old vintage (we don’t find out, if ever, that it wasn’t a fresh tape until weeks or months after McCain takes office). If they do that, it will most likely be timed the early part of the week following the debate (or perhaps even the weekend following the debate, if it goes especially poorly for McCain). CHANGE THE CONVERSATION to national security.

    Now, even this "OBL tape" ploy might not work this time around. The American people are lots more cynical toward the Bush admin/rethugs this time around, and far more focused on the economy, with their jobs and retirement at risk. But it would at least briefly reshuffle the deck less heavily in Obama’s favor.

  70. 70
    jcricket says:

    It’s Dirac delta, tough guy.

    When John McCain was in the Mekong delta he didn’t have any fancy graphing calculators or electoral projections, just white-hot-communist pain!

  71. 71
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    On another note I was talking to the daughter of my mum’s fiance (does that make her my step-sister to be?) who lives in Australia, she basically said "oh calm down" ( in that wonderful laid back Aussie twang) "the rest of the world already thinks he’s got it, have faith" so I shall listen to the rest of the world, and have faith.

    Most of the rest of the world looks at Obama, then looks at McCain, and assumes there’s no way in hell the old man can win. Recall, however, the headlines in Europe after W won in 2004:

    How can Millions of People be SO STUPID?

  72. 72
    liberal says:

    jcricket wrote,

    Push something like Switzerland’s health system (which is public + private with a high floor/rules/no profit) when the health system fails.

    Why would we want to do that?

    Switzerland spends (per this link) 11.6% GDP on health care. Yes, much less than the US, but…Great Britain spends 8.3%; Japan, 8%.

  73. 73
    ronathan richardson says:

    The 538 model only really makes sense if the election was held today, and it isn’t held today. If you use 538, and give McCain a 50% chance of making a move in the last couple weeks, which to me would then make it a 50-50 race, then i’d say overall it’s 75/25 Obama.

  74. 74
    Gus says:

    I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins

    Those of you who have no doubt that Obama will win must not remember the last election. I’ve been a little overconfident myself lately, but I just visited my very Democratic hometown and saw too few Obama signs to feel like it’s in the bag. If Minnesota is a must win, I gotta say I’m a little worried.

  75. 75
    SGEW says:

    I think that Mr. Cole is playing the expectations game, to save himself the agita. Allow me an analogy, dramatized:

    The Expectations Game, in Two Acts

    Act I

    Mr. A: Man the new Star Wars Episode 1 movie is gonna be great!

    Mr. B: Meh, it’ll probably suck.

    (later)

    Mr. A: My life is ruined.

    Mr. B: I told you so. Ha ha.

    Act II

    Mr. A: Man, the Twin Towers is gonna rock like crazy town!

    Mr. B: Meh, it can’t beat Fellowship. I betcha it’ll suck ass.

    (later)

    Mr. A: Yeah, it was pretty good . . . but I wanted more.

    Mr. B: ZOMG THAT WAS AWESOME!11ONE1!

    [De gustibus non est disputandum]

  76. 76
    TheFountainHead says:

    Great Britain spends 8.3%; Japan, 8%.

    I don’t think the United States should shoot for percentages like that. We just won’t ever get there. Japan and Great Britain have too many other built in advantages.

  77. 77
    Comrade Jake says:

    I hope Obama does more than win. I hope it’s a blow-out; I hope McCain is crushed. If it’s a narrow victory, we’re going to endure four years of Republicans whining about Acorn and unfair media treatment and who knows what else.

    So, with the ACORN thing, has anyone actually explained how what they’re supposed to have done would translate into actual votes? That seems to be a key piece the right-wingnuts are missing. If all they’ve done is registered lots of people who don’t exist, that’s not going to do jack-shit.

  78. 78
    The Moar You Know says:

    Atanarjuat

    9/10. This is how it’s done, trolls.

  79. 79
    NonyNony says:

    I wouldn’t put it at all past the Bush administration to have a months (or even years) old OBL tape stashed away for a two-weeks before election day "October Surprise". It wouldn’t even need to mention Obama by name – hey, it could even be a variant of the same one they trotted out three days before the 2004 election, and of the same four-year-old vintage (we don’t find out, if ever, that it wasn’t a fresh tape until weeks or months after McCain takes office). If they do that, it will most likely be timed the early part of the week following the debate (or perhaps even the weekend following the debate, if it goes especially poorly for McCain). CHANGE THE CONVERSATION to national security

    Doesn’t help at this point. First of all, it won’t actually change the conversation much because the economy isn’t going to be doing any better. Second of all, what it will mostly do is remind people that bin Laden is still fucking on the loose and still fucking able to make video tapes in whatever cave he’s sitting in.

    Thirdly, whether McCain knows it or not, Obama has deftly – with an assist from McCain – neutralized the "bin Laden’s gonna getyuw" meme for all but the most devoted hard core of the GOPer base. Because McCain’s been telling everyone that Obama is so "reckless" that he’d invade Pakistan to get bin Laden if we knew he was there and if Pakistan didn’t agree to let us come in and get him. Which means, hilariously, that if bin Laden crops up on tape and does his "boogey-boogey" schtick again, it’s just as likely to help OBAMA as it is Johnny Drama.

    McCain’s tactic of throwing shit at Obama about the whole Pakistan comment has been a huge "WTF" thing for me from the first time he started doing it. All it does is portray Obama as more hawkish about going after bin Laden than McCain himself is. It was a crazy tactic and it becomes crazier the more the polls show that people are becoming comfortable with Obama. If bin Laden shows up again I don’t expect the polls to move at all because of Johnny Drama’s weird tactic.

  80. 80
    SGEW says:

    Oh, btw: I vote that Atanarjuat be given more encouragement. If he had a blog, I’d read it.

  81. 81
    Walker says:

    Prediction markets are a staple of this field, and let me tell you, run properly they are almost never wrong when they swing hard in one direction or the other.

    As a PhD in mathematics, who also works in computer science, I will say that this depends. It all depends heavily on the application. They can be abused like any other mathematical model. And I think that, with their recent trendiness, they are being abused a lot right now.

    Barry Ritholtz (of Big Picture fame) has talked about the failure of prediction markets for years now. Particularly in the case of sentiment swings (which you reference), prediction markets can be a lagging indicator and and not a leading one. As a trader, Barry is well aware of market timing and he has documented quite a few of these cases.

    Edit: As a case in point, note that Intrade flubbed GOP senate retention in 2006.

  82. 82
    TheFountainHead says:

    I vote that Atanarjuat be given more encouragement. If he had a blog, I’d toss it to my wingnut associates and watch them slather all over it like jackals at a carcass.

    Fixed.

  83. 83
    NonyNony says:

    @SGEW:

    Oh, btw: I vote that Atanarjuat be given more encouragement. If he had a blog, I’d read it.

    Seconded!

  84. 84
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    You know, with a few adjustments Atanarjuat’s posts can serve as a useful template for a quick and easy, low-effort rebuttal. For example, Atanarjuat said:

    The media is completely in the tank for Obama, so it’s no surprise that the Presidential election can be viewed as a 50/50 split for the win. If the media actually did their jobs instead of engaging in liberal partisan hackery, the odds would be more like 85/15 in McCain’s favor.

    Personally, I think it will be more like 75/25, but that’s still a virtual sweep for McCain and Palin. There’s little we can do (for now) for all those terrorist-enabling leftist dead-enders who have the audacity to vote as though they actually cared for the well-being of this nation. The fact that Nobama’s intimate association with Bill Ayers doesn’t at all trouble these America Last parasites tells you all you need to know of where their actual loyalties lie.

    By the way, lefties, that droopy dog-faced military coward of yours, John ("Ouch, I just got a paper cut so I deserve a Purple Heart") Kerry also did well in the polls in 2004, but as you’ve all seen, idealism always gives way to cold reality. The Presidential election is the ultimate poll that truly matters, so give up the false hopes, please.

    Country First.

    With just a few tweaks I am ready to respond with:

    The media is completely in the tank for McCain, so it’s no surprise that the Presidential election can be viewed as a 50/50 split for the win. If the media actually did their jobs instead of engaging in partisan hackery, the odds would be more like 85/15 in Obama’s favor.

    Personally, I think it will be more like 65/35, but that’s still a virtual sweep for Obama and Biden. There’s little we can do (for now) for all those terrorist-fearing rightist dead-enders who have the audacity to vote as though they actually cared for the well-being of this nation. The fact that Saracuda’s ethics violations doesn’t at all trouble these America RULES! parasites tells you all you need to know of where their actual loyalties lie.

    By the way, righties, that puffy faced jet crashing wife dumper of yours, John ("Did you know I was POW?!") McCain did well in the polls immediately after the convention, but as you’ve all seen in the polling since, fluff and stuff always gives way to cold reality. The Presidential election is the ultimate poll that truly matters, so give up the false hopes and quit purging the voter rolls in swing states, please.

    A country does not make its people great, its people make a country great.

    People first.

    It’s a nice and easy way to respond to the mouth breathers that pop in to say ‘Hi!’. Being the kind of slacker I am, this works very well for me and puts the bulk of the work on the wingnut. Of course, to rebut the response of the last sentence, I will say: What else do expect from an elitist?

  85. 85
    The Moar You Know says:

    Oh, and don’t wuss out on the fixes. Don’t be bipartisan.

    A-fucking-men. If we get sixty in the Senate, I want Dems to treat Republicans in the same fashion they were treated from 2000-2006. Hearings in closets. No air conditioning. No opposition statements or discussions other than what is absolutely required. No rooms made available for press conferences. Hell, brick up their fucking toilets, make ’em use porta-potties during the DC summer. That’ll be fun.

    Treat them like they are the asphalt under a steamroller. Turnabout is fair play.

  86. 86
    Clor says:

    I just visited my very Democratic hometown and saw too few Obama signs to feel like it’s in the bag.

    It’s not just in your town; yard signs are really hard to come by. The Obama campaign isn’t investing heavily in them. They’re more concerned about getting people out to canvass, phonebank, etc.

  87. 87
    SGEW says:

    Don’t be bipartisan.

    Hey, I strongly disagree! I’m fully in favor of bipartisanship: the Democrats should definitely work with Bernie Sanders, and any other Independent*, Green, or Libertarian candidates that might make it into Congress over the next eight years.

    . . .

    Or were you talking about some other political party?

    *But not Joe Lieberman, of course.

  88. 88
    Comrade Darkness says:

    No radical he, but he thinks there will be serious riots if McCain "wins" under shady circumstances.
    I’m beginning to wonder if he’s right.

    Goddang, I hope so. After watching the people meekly wring their hands in dismay in 2000 with the scotus decision and then in 2004 with the creepy ohio ballot count, I’m ready for a knock-down drag out crowd crushing riot.

    to the castle!

    damnit.

  89. 89
    NonyNony says:

    I want Dems to treat Republicans in the same fashion they were treated from 2000-2006.

    Meh. I wouldn’t. For the most part I’d like to see the Dems be smiling and gracious as they proceed to kick the Republicans in their metaphorical nuts.

    Give them things to whine about that make the folks at home go "WTF? Are you a baby or something?" The Dems did this in 2006 when they decided that Congress needed to be in session for 4 days a week. Man the GOPers bitched about that and everyone at home went "WTF? Do your jobs, bozos."

    One thing I’d like to see the Dems twist the knife on – make filibusters real filibusters again – none of this "oh if we don’t have 60 votes we don’t bring it up at all" crap – if the GOPers want to hold up legislation with 35 votes or less, make them spend that time being broadcast on C-SPAN for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so the folks at home can see just how devoted they are to not extending unemployment benefits or to not expanding S-CHIP funding. Make them suffer for their obstruction. And make them hand you some real fodder for that next election cycle when their opponent is trying to push them out of office.

  90. 90
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    The 538 model only really makes sense if the election was held today, and it isn’t held today. If you use 538, and give McCain a 50% chance of making a move in the last couple weeks, which to me would then make it a 50-50 race, then i’d say overall it’s 75/25 Obama.

    Sorry, a lot of people make that assumption, but it’s not true. See the 538 FAQ for the difference between the snapshot (results if the election were held today) and the projection of what Nate Silver expects to happen in November. The Win Probability he develops (currently 94.1%) isn’t based on the assumption of the election being held today.

    How is Win Probability determined? By simulating the election 10,000 times each day by means of a Monte Carlo analysis, based on the current Projection in each state.

  91. 91
    ploeg says:

    @Gus:

    Don’t worry about the Obama/Biden lawn signs. John McCain will make certain that everybody will know their names. All of their names!

  92. 92
    cain says:

    Oh, btw: I vote that Atanarjuat be given more encouragement. If he had a blog, I’d read it.

    I agree, he needs to be encouraged to fellate us more. We’ll never get the full pleasure if it ends too soon.

    cain

  93. 93
    DaveInOz says:

    I imagine that most of Australia is hanging on for an Obama win. John Howard’s cosying up to W didn’t do him any favours in the last election when he got ditched.

    Check out here for the last three months of Nate’s 538 figures. As you can see from the graph, it was only the Palin bounce that put McCain in front for a short (but very frightening) period of time.

  94. 94
    David Robinson says:

    Voting is already going on — the polls apply to the present.

  95. 95
    xyzzy says:

    Particularly in the case of sentiment swings (which you reference), prediction markets can be a lagging indicator and and not a leading one. As a trader, Barry is well aware of market timing and he has documented quite a few of these cases.

    Well, of course, I said that the markets are "almost never" wrong under certain conditions — which means that they can indeed be wrong. But in the case that you quote (GOP senate retention), that’s a very murky contract. What does "retention" really mean? A majority? Near-majority? The markets predicted GOP retention, and I could argue that they were right, because (1) the dems do not now have a filibuster-proof majority (so they can’t actually push through any legislation that the GOP hates), and (2) the GOP stick together on votes, whereas the dems (usually) don’t. That might as well be "power retention," since people are aware of how the two parties work (or don’t). These things do factor in to buying decisions that people make on the contracts. Wording on the contract matters: it’s a problem similar to crafting polling questions, IMO.

    The presidential election is very different. Obama isn’t going to half-win and be forced to give some executive power to McCain. He either wins, or he doesn’t. People right now are buying or selling with that clear distinction in mind.

  96. 96
    Original Lee says:

    I agree with you, John. I think the level of election fraud this time around will be record-breaking, and if we have a clue about who won before Thanksgiving, it will be a freakin’ miracle. I’d rather be overly pessimistic now, thank you very much.

    I’m with John because (in part) of something I learned today:
    A coworker recently moved to a neighboring county that has been undergoing a fairly rapid demographic change (from 90% white to approximately 40% white in under 10 years). She has been visiting several different churches near her home and has really liked one of them (a Methodist church) enough to schedule an appointment with the pastor to discuss joining that church. The pastor was very up-front with her and told her that they lost approximately half of their congregration in 2006-2007 over race issues. This was just in the last two years, that white people in that neighborhood could not bear to be in the same church with black people and left to join a whiter church nearby. So now this church is moving toward a 50-50 racial balance, but every time the percentage of black people nudges up, they lose a bunch of white people. My friend believes that pastor was telling her this to let her know she’d better look elsewhere if she can’t be tolerant of the racial mix of the church, which is terrific if true.

    But that’s why I agree with John that it’s still 50-50 that Obama wins.

  97. 97
    Brian J says:

    That seems to be a key piece the right-wingnuts are missing. If all they’ve done is registered lots of people who don’t exist, that’s not going to do jack-shit.

    They piss and moan about this shit all of the time, but when it comes to presenting evidence of some conspiracy, they fail to do so. Interestingly enough, it’s because none exists. Even in the separate issue of voter registration fraud, very little evidence exists for it.

    This is one of those talking points that fall apart by simply asking a few questions. Just ask, "If the Democrats are having dead people, cats and dogs, criminals, those in nursing homes who have no idea what they are doing, or [fill in group that is usually mentioned in these stories], why haven’t you done anything about it? If you have such great proof of these problems, why isn’t anything being done?" Mention that it’s like complaining that someone always robs your house and having proof that this person is doing it, but never reporting it to the police and having them convicted. It might not work on the true wingnuts, but on everyone else, it might help.

  98. 98
    Saul says:

    Shalom Gentlemen

    Atanarjuat is a true patriot. He understands that Heartland values always prevail. Believe the poles if you want to. Denude yourselves all day long. Here in the Heartland, we will never let Barak Hussein Nobama take away our values. The Heartland is rising and the wise will take heed.

  99. 99
    DaveInOz says:

    Here’s a graph of the last three months of Obama’s stats on 538.com (if the image link works)

  100. 100
    oh really says:

    50-50, John? Are you kidding? 538 has it at 94.1-5.9 at this juncture. Intrade is around 77-22.

    So why can’t you be more optimistic?

    Perhaps, John has a more realistic appraisal of the magnitude of Republican election fraud. My guess is that right now there is a lot more thinking going into how to steal the election for McCain than there is into figuring out how to make a erratic, incompetent old fool and a ridiculous bimbo appear more palatable to the people.

    There’s an interesting article in the NYTimes tonight about Andy Martin — the intellectual backbone of the modern Republican Party. One of the more fascinating "revelations" is about Fox News’ attitude toward Martin — it could be boiled down to "sure the guy’s a nut and a liar, but we have no trouble giving him air time because we think he could help our cause, which is, of course, getting McCain/Palin elected."

    The only program Martin should ever be allowed to appear on is one about sociopaths, psychopaths, and treatment for the criminally insane.

  101. 101
    Shouting at the Rain says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt

    I loved the image Barack as valium for a nervous and stressed nation. It is what many people have been saying all along. He is so damn CALM, how does he do it?

    Two words: Michelle Obama.

  102. 102
    xyzzy says:

    prediction markets can be a lagging indicator and and not a leading one

    P.S. This is somewhat curious language. Lead/Lag calls to mind notions of phase shift and linear filters, but phase-lead filters have knowledge of the future, in a specific sense. Prediction markets cannot, and hence are lag filters by definition.

  103. 103
    SGEW says:

    A new contender in the ring, with the introduction of Saul! But if you want to catch up, you’ll need a good catch phrase to end with.

    Believe the poles if you want to. Denude yourselves all day long.

    Subtle, but given away by "denude." (polite golf clap)

  104. 104

    By the way, @Atanarjuat: you have a tell.

  105. 105
    Ron says:

    I understand your concerns. As a Democrat, I always am fearful of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And I go back and forth. I look at the polling data, look at all the electoral maps out there and think "Hey, maybe we DO got this one." Then something starts to make me worry about what can go wrong. All that being said I think 50/50 is pretty pessimistic. Maybe Nate’s numbers aren’t perfect, but 50% is along way off from his 94.1%

    I wonder if he has access to the polling data from back in 2004. Would be interesting to see what his model would have projected given the polling data from then.

  106. 106
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Denude yourselves all day long

    We Denude ourselves every morning at the Funhouse, though we call it putting on our clothes. I would think a good conservative would consider the term a bit elitist, maybe even a little French.

    Believe the poles if you want to.

    The poles have their own problems and we haven’t much from them recently. And why would we listen to a bunch of furriners anyway.

    Here in the Heartland, we will never let Barak Hussein Nobama take away our values.

    Why would Obama want to take your values Saul, They wouldn’t buy a single rock of Crack. Your Teevee on the other hand.

    You know how they are, those darkies.

  107. 107
    Brian J says:

    A new contender in the ring, with the introduction of Saul! But if you want to catch up, you’ll need a good catch phrase to end with.

    Believe the poles if you want to. Denude yourselves all day long.

    Subtle, but given away by "denude." (polite golf clap)

    He also forgot to capitalize Poles, as in the Polish people. They are often forgotten, as Bush famously mentioned in one of the presidential debates in 2004.

  108. 108
    Krista says:

    Shalom Gentlemen
    Atanarjuat is a true patriot. He understands that Heartland values always prevail. Believe the poles if you want to. Denude yourselves all day long.

    You heard the man. Kits off, everybody!

  109. 109
    bvac says:

    In 2006 I’m pretty sure all the indicators said democrats would ride a tsunami, and even though they lost a few races they could’ve or should’ve won (Lamont, Hackett, Busby, Ford), it pretty much turned out the way everyone thought it would.

    I’m predicting an Obama win by 10,000,000 popular votes, and who knows how many electoral votes.

  110. 110
    Bad Horse's Filly says:

    I loved the image Barack as valium for a nervous and stressed nation. It is what many people have been saying all along. He is so damn COOL, how does he do it? He must have an inner strength and sense of purpose that we could only guess at. It is incredibly impressive.

    .

    There. Fixed.

    I kind of miss myiq – much better quality of troll than what b-j is attracting these days.

  111. 111
    Anne Laurie says:

    I want Dems to treat Republicans in the same fashion they were treated from 2000-2006. Hearings in closets. No air conditioning… Hell, brick up their fucking toilets, make ‘em use porta-potties during the DC summer.

    Come November 5, any Rethugs who aren’t already wearing Depends to cope with their phobias about ZOMG TERR-RRISTS!eleventy-one! will switch to the high-absorbency models to cope with their terror of ZOMG OBAMANATION, so the porta-potties aren’t really necessary.

    NonyNony’s right, though — we need to get some reality-based media coverage of the Wingnut WATBs, the kind of stuff Tip O’Neill famously pulled on their progenitors during the 1980s. Have the congressional cameras show David Vitter ranting to a live audience of three sleepers and a janitor, or include a crawl of each Senator’s actual votes when they bloviate about how the dirty Demon-crats done their constituents wrong. (This would, of course, put the last nail in McCain’s political coffin, assuming Old John doesn’t stroke out once the votes have been counted & Bible Spice gives a ‘concession’ speech divided between blaming McCain and calling for Obama’s assassination.)

  112. 112
    Saul says:

    I am predicting a resounding triumph of Heartland values on November 4th. We have the facts and arguments won already. Who wants to pay more taxes for Sharia law to be taught in our schools? I can assure the Heartland does not.

    The silent majority will show up on Election Day and deliver for the hero John McCain and Govenor Palin. Unlike you liberal East Coast liberals, we don’t look down on Mrs. Palin because she is from Alaska. Make fun all you want. Call her names. She will be Vice President in less than a month and she will take the fight from the Heartland to your shores.

  113. 113
    Lesley says:

    50/50? You’re shitting me right?

    What part of the past eight years isn’t America feeling in the ass yet? What’s more, Palin would charge her for the rape kit she’ll need once the Bush Administration is through with her.

  114. 114
    Brian J says:

    Then something starts to make me worry about what can go wrong. All that being said I think 50/50 is pretty pessimistic. Maybe Nate’s numbers aren’t perfect, but 50% is along way off from his 94.1%

    The McCain campaign may have had some high hopes, such as competing in New Jersey, Connecticut, and other Northeastern states, and some really high hopes, such as the claim that they will win the state of California, but it doesn’t look like it’s going the way they had projected. In fact, it now looks all but certain that Obama will win all of the Kerry states. McCain’s camp may try to compete in Pennsylvania, but based on what we’ve seen in the public polling, it looks like North Carolina in 2004: just a route by the Democrats against the Republicans. Maybe the internal information is different, but I don’t see why one set of assumptions would be used unless they feel the others used in public polling were so bizarre.

    Maybe the state is closer than we realize, but go with me for a second. Once again, assume that Obama wins all of the Kerry states, plus Iowa and New Mexico. Again, there are some reasons why the public polling might not be entirely accurate, but it looks like Obama will win both of these states. That would leave him with 264. That means that he needs just one of the following states: North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, or Colorado. Just one, and he’s the next president.

    In other words, Obama has so many more paths to victory than McCain. It seems like so much is going in his favor right now that things would have to get really, really bad for him to lose.

  115. 115
    Lesley says:

    Oh look, it’s Saul (scroll up one), the troll who’s moved on from SadlyNo. I guess when we all added him to our "killfile" commenting stopped being fun.

  116. 116
    Bad Horse's Filly says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    The first thing I’m holding the Obama Adminstration to is an open government. I want everyone’s votes easily accessible…and I’d love to see votes on a crawl on every newscast.

    Saul, you’ve got to pick it up a bit to compete here. Get some better material. You’re not living up to expectations here.

    I know you can do better, put your HEARTland into man. This C- performance isn’t going to cut it here. You’ll need to try harder to be a top-notch troll. I suggest lots of homework and maybe some GOP talking point flash cards. Good luck, man. I’m pulling for ya, you betcha!

  117. 117
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Oh look, it’s Saul (scroll up one), the troll who’s moved on from SadlyNo. I guess when we all added him to our "killfile" commenting stopped being fun.

    Saul has the feel of a genuine spoof bot that spits out wingnut nonsense every few minutes or so.

  118. 118

    @Saul:

    He understands that Heartland values always prevail. Believe the poles if you want to. Denude yourselves all day long.

    Saul speaks the truth. The Heartland has always beaten off any threat of invading outsiders, as Saul knows. Only the self-denuded would lose track of that fact and look only at the poles hardening in response to the thought of the election of Gov. Palin and, her running mate, Sen. McCain.

  119. 119
    Saul says:

    Brian J – your analysis proves my point. Those states you list? They are all Heartland states with Heartland values. Your beloved savior stalls at 264. I give you President McCain for 4 years and President Palin for 8 more after that.

  120. 120
    MobiusKlein says:

    Funny that we give a tihs about some troll who thinks we will have a new VP in a month. . . Does this troll understand when the inauguration occurs in this country?

    Oh, to make you feel better about Obama’s chances –
    Graph of electoral collage trends
    Compare 04 to 08. It would take a large Bradley effect or some October surprise to shift things to McCain.

  121. 121
    LiberalTarian says:

    Idn’t it funny how the Sauls of the world say they love this country so much? Then threaten over half the people who live here???

    Saul–loving America, hating Americans. But but but but … if you kill off all us money making liberals, who’s gonna pay taxes to provide your food stamps and welfare checks??? Who’s gonna pay for the library computer you hog all day???

    I kinda think you are right though. You sound pretty homegrown terroristy. I think someone should be dropping the dime on you buddy.

  122. 122
    WarrenTerragon says:

    It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign.
    He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed.
    He may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.
    But I’m not convinced by such claims of inevitability. McCain isn’t Bush. The media isn’t all-powerful. And the economic crisis still presents an opportunity to show leadership.
    The 2008 campaign is now about something very big — both our future prosperity and our national security. Yet the McCain campaign has become smaller.
    What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway.

    Kristol’s OpEd from Monday morning’s NYT.

    First, the intellectual trainwreck that only days ago was telling McCain to do more of what he was doing, is now telling him to stop.

    Second, 50-50? Sorry John, in view of the current situation, that’s so bad a prognostication I don’t know what else to call it but a troll of your own blog.

  123. 123
    Liberaltarian says:

    Hey, the dude from earlier in the day is right that the black screen of death goes away when you [ctrl][-] to make the font smaller. Odd, huh? It comes back when you enlarge the font. Interesting.

  124. 124
    ThymeZone says:

    I give you President McCain for 4 years and President Palin for 8 more after that.

    I got a hundred dollars says your guy doesn’t get within 7 points of Obama in the popular vote total. That translates into an electoral landslide.

    Money, meet mouth.

    Put up or shut up.

  125. 125
    The Other Steve says:

    Prediction Markets are a lagging indicator. They pretty much always follow conventional wisdom, and seldom predict the actual results.

  126. 126
    xyzzy says:

    Prediction Markets are a lagging indicator. They pretty much always follow conventional wisdom, and seldom predict the actual results.

    That statement is opinion, and is not supported by empirical data.

  127. 127
    The Other Steve says:

    Brian J – your analysis proves my point. Those states you list? They are all Heartland states with Heartland values.

    Hmm, Obama is from the heartland. Lives pretty damn close to Peoria in fact.

    McCain and Palin? Not so much.

  128. 128
    Liberaltarian says:

    That statement is opinion, and is not supported by empirical data.

    Oh man, Dirac delta functions and calls to empirical models. My little scientist heart is all a flutter. Earlier someone explains that 538 uses Monte Carlo simulations, and I thought I was going to swoon. Man John, you really draw the talent!!

    You could use better center right comments though. Cuz you know, I Want To Believe. :D

  129. 129
    The Other Steve says:

    That statement is opinion, and is not supported by empirical data.

    Sorry, the statement that prediction markets predict is not supported by empirical data. I’ve watched these things for years, and I’ve yet to see them actually predict something. They trend with the polls. That’s not prediction, that’s a lagging indicator.

    Believing in fairy tales is not science.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, but prediction markets are easily falsified, which doesn’t make the science very sound.

  130. 130
    ThymeZone says:

    They are all Heartland states with Heartland values.

    Like, uh, Iowa?

    RCP’s average of polls has Obama up by ten there.

    More than eight in MI, WI and MN.

    You betcha, those corngrowers and midwesterners are gonna put Obama in the White House.

  131. 131
    xyzzy says:

    Oh man, Dirac delta functions and calls to empirical models. My little scientist heart is all a flutter. Earlier someone explains that 538 uses Monte Carlo simulations, and I thought I was going to swoon. Man John, you really draw the talent!!

    Just sayin’, Liberaltarian.

    So maybe the number of scientists-per-square-inch is a little higher here than over at Red State, and we’re going to debate. Better than the the number-of-angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin shit that they deal with. Let us not even mention the frothing Freepers.

  132. 132
    iluvsummr says:

    Just got back from canvassing for Obama in Las Vegas with some other Angelenos. Nothing like talking to would-be voters to cheer me up. We visited over 200 homes.

    Best experience: The older Italian gentleman (a registered Republican) who told us that for the 2nd time in his 44 years as a US citizen he’d be voting for a Democrat. He was really excited about Obama’s candidacy and eager to share everything he liked about Obama’s proposed policies, etc. Amazing!

    Worst experience: The elderly man (non-partisan) who threatened to call the cops the moment he opened his door and yelled at us to get lost.

    Pleasant surprise for me: in over 200 homes visited only 1 person had that type of negative reaction! In fact, after letting us know he wouldn’t be voting for Obama, one registered Republican actually thanked us for canvassing and "doing something." Said it made him feel proud!

    My conclusion: most real voters are a lot nicer than the partisans we see on TV.

  133. 133
    xyzzy says:

    I’ve watched these things for years, and I’ve yet to see them actually predict something.

    Sorry, TOS, that statement disqualifies you.

  134. 134
    ThymeZone says:

    "After I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we’re going to be going out 24/7," the Republican nominee told volunteers at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, sparking laughter and applause from the group. McCain immediately added: "I want to emphasize again, I respect Senator Obama. We will conduct a respectful race, and we will make sure that everybody else does, too."
    Outside the doors of his campaign offices, McCain is fighting to hold on to the traditionally-red state. McCain talked Sunday about the tough fight for Virginia, where Obama currently leads by four points, 49 to 45, in the state’s most recent CNN poll of polls. He also pointed to battlegrounds states like Ohio — which Sarah Palin visited Sunday — and Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
    "And I’m telling you, we’re coming on and we’re going to work 24/7 for the next — who’s counting — 22 days," he said.
    McCain acknowledged the dip in his poll numbers since the financial crisis began, but said overall trends were in his favor. "…I’d like to give you a little straight talk, we’re a couple points down, ok,
    nationally, but we’re right in this game," he said. "The economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two, but in the last few days we’ve seen it come back up because they want experience, and they want knowledge and they want vision. And we’ll give that to America, and I know that we’re going to win this race."

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Look out, they’re coming on!

  135. 135
    The Other Steve says:

    Going back to post 50…

    Market gyrations are to be expected, especially with events in the news cycle, and especially far out from the contract closing date. But this close to the closing, and with Obama shares trading as steadily high as they have been for the last month, it’s pretty clear what the market believes will happen.

    Which means they don’t predict. They are in fact a lagging indicator of conventional wisdom expressed in polls and the media.

  136. 136
    xyzzy says:

    TOS, you’ve disqualified yourself by stating that you have "yet to actually see them predict something." That is not objective analysis of data.

    Prediction markets are an active research area precisely because they are unusually accurate when used correctly. The outcome of the presidential election is an example of a situation in which it is difficult to pose the contract question poorly, and hence the Intrade outcome as the contract date draws near is a probably a reliable indicator of the outcome of the election. Obviously, you can dispute that, but you don’t have much company supporting your position.

  137. 137
    MobiusKlein says:

    So when do us coastal elites quoting Dirac and Decartes get to legalize weed? Isn’t that the next thing the Lib/Libertarian dynamic duo can agree on?

  138. 138
    MobiusKlein says:

    DP.

  139. 139
    Liberaltarian says:

    xyzzy–yeah, here vs. freepi central? Might have something do with the folks here preferring observable, measurable phenomena to batshit crazy visitations. I dunno.

    But, here’s the thing. All evidence is anecdotal until some kind of systematic scheme is superimposed on it to assign (x,y) values to it, and occasionally the more complete (z,t) dimensions. And, for instance, with trying to frame human behavior from the study of albino lab rats being tortured and starved, getting a Z(x,y) is not necessarily meaningful.

    ToS might in fact be an astute observer, and be right 95% of the time, allowing for the other 5% variance due to simple random chance. On the other hand, he has called me a moron more than once, so before I pick up the pom poms on his behalf let me qualify my enthusiasm.

    I’m just saying he might have a point. :) Since I do environmental science, all I have are lagging indicators and a whole lot of data that tends to not really say anything unless I use my rather vivid imagination and hope that I get more $$$ to study it longer.

    But, I do love science. And science geeks are way up there on my list, too. Especially mathematicians … I hate it pretty much myself, but I love watching their eyes roll back in their heads while they talk about how a coffee cup is actually a torus …

  140. 140
    Brian J says:

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Look out, they’re coming on!

    Absent some sort of on the ground strength that we saw in 2004, all accounts seem to suggest that McCain and his supporters have no idea what they are up against. Much to my discredit, I haven’t done any phone banking or any other volunteer work, but so many others have. It’s supposedly unlike anything in politics in many decades. I have a feeling that the McCain campaign could be steamrolled in November for this reason alone.

  141. 141
    Comrade Tax Analyst says:

    John, if McCain had run a reasonably good campaign I might agree with you. But he hasn’t. What he HAS done is run one of the worst Presidential campaigns that I’ve ever seen. No…scratch that, "one of…" part…McCain’s campaign is THE worst campaign I’ve witnessed since I started paying attention as a 10-year in 1960.

    McCain COULD have had a shot if he hadn’t made so many incredibly reckless and ill-conceived moves during the campaign. But given his history, I don’t think it’s surprising that he did. In fact, his campaign is the greatest argument against his being suited for the Presidency. Miserable judgment…poorly thought out and impulsive choices…horrible temper displays – and so on down the line. Add that together with a rather toxic environment for a Republican to run in and a very clear-headed opponent who has run a nearly flawless campaign that has just about made McCain’s head explode and I think we’re looking at a big Obama win…maybe not as big as it OUGHT to be. I’m counting 318 electoral votes, and that’s NOT including MO, IN,OH,NC, and possibly even your home state of WV, any or all of which I think Obama COULD win, but recognize he might not. THREE-HUNDRED & EIGHTEEN! And I just don’t see McCain winning any of the States I’m including in that number. If this election were 2000 or 2004 I would agreee with your 50-50%, but it’s not.

    Yeah, the possibility I’m being over-confident scares me a little, but this election is breaking a whole lot differently than the 2000 & 2004 Bush debacles. Based on the way both campaigns and candidates have performed so far as we head toward the finish, I’m having a hard time visualizing John McCain suddenly appearing as a competent or desirable candidate in the eyes of enough voters to turn the count in his direction.

    But I guess we will see on November 4th/5th.

  142. 142
    MobiusKlein says:

    For the prediction markets – I recall that in 2004, some leaked exit polls came out showing Kerry ahead, and the Intrade shot up to 95 Kerry (or something) . That was a lagging indicator, based on various rumors. No wisdom of the crowd there.

    The feedback loop for that case blows out any predictive markets. Also the hard deadline that would clamp the value to 0 or 100 makes the end conditions susceptible to wild fluctuations.

  143. 143
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Saul has the feel of a genuine spoof bot that spits out wingnut nonsense every few minutes or so.

    Kind like the old AfterDark screensaver called "Nonsense". Just put a bunch of words in a text list and it generates random sentences from it. I have a copy of it on my other laptop, I may stick Saul’s lame drivel in it to see what happens. I ought to do the same with one of Palin’s speeches too. I wonder what would happen. Would it improve her sentence structure or nuke the laptop?

    Bets anyone? ;)

  144. 144
    ThymeZone says:

    CL, it would be easier and cheaper to just use a Magic 8-Ball.

  145. 145
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Just to let you know John, this thread hit the BWOD at post #142, after the second sentence at 75 % font size. I am at 50 % size so I can see the comments box but the text is microscopic so I can’t check my spelling (speling? ;) )

  146. 146
    xyzzy says:

    But, I do love science. And science geeks are way up there on my list, too. Especially mathematicians … I hate it pretty much myself, but I love watching their eyes roll back in their heads while they talk about how a coffee cup is actually a torus …

    OMFG a fucking topology sympathizer! I BANISH YOU BACK TO YOUR HOLE! GET BACK!

    But srsly I hear you. I’m not even a prediction market researcher, I just have a difficult time believing anyone who states personal experience as a reason to disbelieve research results. If someone says "I’ve watched these things for years, but…" and then doesn’t back that up, I automatically don’t believe them.

  147. 147
    MobiusKlein says:

    Mmm – glad somebody out there remembers ‘nonsense’ – I did a bit of work on some version of that. (Windows port, or some such.) Your purchase of that helped MoveOn’s founders get their dough.

  148. 148
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Another microscopic post (font wise):

    McCain, via TPM Election Central article:

    "We’re going to spend a lot of time and after I whip his you-know-what in this debate, we’re going to be going out 24/7," McCain told a crowd of volunteers at the campaign’s national headquarters in Virginia.

    Whip? The black guy? I know what McCain meant but wow. Cultural sensitivity is not his strong suit, that’s for sure.

  149. 149
    Liberaltarian says:

    Heh. Yeah, I’ve hung out with the topologists. :) They can really put down the beer! Ecologists are big drinkers too, but not as much fun (they tend to cry in their beer, not try to explain it’s internal dimensions).

  150. 150
    robertdsc says:

    John, I take it one day at a time. I see many positive things, but until the votes are cast, we can only hope.

  151. 151
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Mmm – glad somebody out there remembers ‘nonsense’ – I did a bit of work on some version of that. (Windows port, or some such.) Your purchase of that helped MoveOn’s founders get their dough.

    Yeah, and it was money well spent! I had to hack the crap out of AfterDark 3.2 and 4.0 to get them to work properly under XP. My favorite of the bunch is "Bad Dog", but almost all of their screensavers were great.

  152. 152
    Soylent Green says:

    This site has been notably low on trolls lately (what the heck happend to myiq anyway) and it’d be good to see someone step into the gap.

    myiq1/2u has taken up permanent residence at the Confluence with his fellow rabid pumas, cheerfully dispensing his Obama-vilifying screeds while slyly shilling for McPain. Some of the folks there treat him like some kind of Jedi master, which must be more gratifying than getting beat up over here.

  153. 153
    Soylent Green says:

    I’m having a hard time visualizing John McCain suddenly appearing as a competent or desirable candidate in the eyes of enough voters to turn the count in his direction.

    What some of us fear is not that McCain will start looking more desirable but that numerous people have lied to the pollsters because the other candidate is black. I know the experts think they have a handle on how much Bradley Effect will we see, but I’m inclined to view it as an unknowable unknown.

  154. 154

    I’ve been a registered Democrat since 1971 and I’ve seen stupid things done and even stupider things done by the electorate. Short of Obama doing something truly stupid or something bad coming out (that is the R fantasy) this thing is going to be an Electoral blowout. Some of my Democratic friends are freaked about fraud, not going to happen, that is possible in 50+1 elections where a few votes tip the scales. The kind of mass theft you’re worrying about leaks, too many people involved.

    I figure 5-7 % margin on popular vote which is a beating. Without the economy tanking and with a good McPOW campaign it might have been closer, but not a whole lot. This country has been seriously dissatisfied for a couple years now and George II has that R label.

    If you want to do comparison, you could put McCain in the Carter slot, he never did anything bad, but sure left the country feeling sour. All the McMavericky spin in the world will not take that R off McPOW, he stayed in the Party and has real publc picture of him kissing GWB. The country does not like the War in Iraq, they’re less pissed ( in a general "they" sort of way ) but they do not like it and they like it less than they do the "losing" theme JSM is trying.

    Some may feel as though they don’t know Obama, but they don’t know McCain – either. They’ve heard his name around, that’s about it, outside the interested ones. They do know the R word. If you want to take up the prejudice theme, black is a generalized disassociated sort of thing, R is recent and in your face – kinda like getting mugged last week sort of fear. Two to three years is last week for an awful lot of people, but trying to paint people with the pre-Clinton brush isn’t going to work, it’s too long ago and too dead.

    I won’t stop being an activist because I think Obama is a slam dunk, all that does is encourage me – more votes, more Congress, more media. Taking the damn message out of the R control is the thing. Burying those asshats in their own garbage is the thing.

  155. 155
    Soylent Green says:

    All the McMavericky spin in the world will not take that R off McPOW

    If there’s one thing I would change in Obama’s campaign, it would be to throw the word "Republican" into a lot more of the banter, not just the names of the other slate of candidates — to remind people that a vote for O is a vote against the Republican brand.

  156. 156
    Zuzu Hussein's Petals says:

    According to E&P, 15 papers endorsed Obama today (none for McCain), bringing the total to 26 to 9. With some 300 to go.

    Editor & Publisher

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    Despite the polls and the trends, I still think it is 50/50 that Obama wins. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I can’t right now.

    Any Republican operatives trying to throw the votes will get their heads chopped off.

    If they’re really lucky, they might get a trial first.

  158. 158
    eglenn says:

    NonyNony’s right, though—we need to get some reality-based media coverage of the Wingnut WATBs, the kind of stuff Tip O’Neill famously pulled on their progenitors during the 1980s.

    Just enforce the Fairness Doctrine at Fox. That’ll do it for me.

  159. 159
    I fear that smears work says:

    If the race is even, instead of a runawaya for Obama, one explanation could be viral Emails.

    My niece from New Hampshire, a solid Democrat until now, seems to be weakening under the relentless attacks of internet sliming from the McCain campaign (admittedly, she is still bitter about Hillary’s surrender).

    Anyway, she forwarded the latest bilge from the McCain camp to me last night with a brief "This is circulating around the internet. I haven’t had time to check it yet." Breathless.

    I replied with links to Snopes.com, where that very smear is debunked, and to Obama’s own stopthesmears.com.
    My daughter thinks I wasted my time, but I had to do something. I also appealed to my niece to circulate those debunking sites back through the network of thousands – hundreds of thousands?? – of people who are just "passing it on".

    http://www.fightthesmears.com

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/fanniemae.asp

    the full true-or-false list is here:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/obama.asp#

  160. 160
    LeRoy Ferguson says:

    Sorry, I wrote a message title instead of a name for posting 159.

  161. 161
    oh really says:

    and even though they lost a few races they could’ve or should’ve won (Lamont, Hackett, Busby, Ford),

    Personally, I’m much, much happier that Ford lost. The last thing in the world the party of Harry Reid needs is more "Democrats" like Ford. Wankers like Ford weaken the party immeasurably. It’s been obvious for years that the Democrats need more and better Democrats in office, but I’d argue the "better" is much more important than the "more." If we had 67 "Democrats" like Ford in the Senate, this country would be an absolute nightmare.

    It is my fervent hope that Ford never wins elective office again and that no Democratic president is foolish enough to appoint him to any position of importance.

  162. 162
    Roza Hussein says:

    good to see the PG on board
    can’t wait to see who the Tribune Review endorses ;)

  163. 163
    Napoleon says:

    Breaking, Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize, according to NPR.

  164. 164
    Comrade Jake says:

    Krugman just won the Nobel in economics. Good for him. I hope he goes on every morning show and tells people how McCain’s policies don’t make a damn bit of sense.

  165. 165
    Ash Can says:

    If all they’ve done is registered lots of people who don’t exist, that’s not going to do jack-shit.

    Actually, they haven’t even done that much. ACORN hands out blank and collects completed registration forms, then turns them in to the respective state’s Secretary of State office, which performs the actual registration. According to an internal ACORN memo, ACORN is required by law in most states to turn in all the forms it collects, whether or not they’re obviously bogus. It tries to flag the goofy ones but, according to this memo, "these warnings are often ignored by election officials. Often these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse us of deliberately turning in phony cards." Nice.

  166. 166
    LeRoy says:

    Note: My earlier post failed to appear, possibly because I entered a subject title instead of my name. Here’s another try:

    If the race is very tight, as feared, one explanation could be viral Emails.

    My niece from New Hampshire, a solid Democrat until now, seems to be weakening under the relentless attacks of internet sliming from the McCain campaign (admittedly, she is still bitter about Hillary’s surrender).

    Anyway, she forwarded the latest bilge from the McCain camp to me last night with a brief "This is circulating around the internet. I haven’t had time to check it yet." Sounds breathless.

    I replied with links to Snopes.com, where that very smear is debunked, and to Obama’s own stopthesmears.com.
    I also appealed to my niece to circulate those debunking sites back through the network of thousands – hundreds of thousands?? – of people who are just "passing it on".

    http://www.fightthesmears.com

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/fanniemae.asp

    the full true-or-false list is here:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/obama.asp#

  167. 167
    Comrade Peter J says:

    Breaking, Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize, according to NPR.

    Krugman just won the Nobel in economics.

    There’s no Nobel Prize in Economics. What Krugman won is an award established and funded by the Bank of Sweden in 1968. It shouldn’t be confused with the real five prizes that were established by the will of Alfred Nobel.

  168. 168
    ksmiami says:

    Saul – What "fight to our shores are you talking about?" Palin is practically criminally sociopathic as are her supporters. It is too late for McLame to reboot his campaign, raise Obamaesque contributions, and come up with any type of appealing message. He says he is going to "be himself" from now on, but I think most sane Americans (except for some tire swingers in the media) have pretty much seen that the real McCain is a nasty piece of work and just too temperamental to have his shaky hand anywhere near the red button. He could promise 2000 per family in this country, but he is no leader so just be happy when Obama wins.

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