Originally uploaded by JMK aka Sky Dreams Flyer
Monday, 29 September 2008
On 538.com Obama's chances of winning are now up over 80% for the first time.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
I was pretty impressed with Obama's coolness today. The Surge tactics-strategy argument was probably over most people's heads. I hoped that Obama would have pushed the issue that the objective of 'The Surge' was political reconciliation which hasn't happened yet, regardless of the recent vote on elections (which kicked the Kirkuk can down the road). Plus the fact that 'The Surge' wasn't the only reason for the drop in violence.
At the end of the day, it wasn't the game-changer that McCain needed.
Now on to important matters! Geelong or Hawthorn?
Friday, 26 September 2008
However, I am beginning to strongly believe that the driving motive for all of this is to cancel the VP debate. The problem isn't that Palin won't answer questions but that they have been unable to get her to shut up. She wants to answer questions but McCain aides usher her away from any contact with the press. She's obviously far more confident in her ability than anyone around her is.
I've heard most of the interview with Katie Couric - what on earth was she talking about? No wonder McCain wants to reschedule his first debate in place of the VP's.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Here is a must-read biography of Sarah Palin, from Dickipedia.
In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant, a feat that sounds a lot more impressive than it is unless you’ve ever met a girl from Wasilla, few of whom have either a full set of teeth or a vacant womb. She then finished runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant, a feat that sounds a lot more impressive than it is considering the state is nearly 75% male.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Now with the economic situation in the forefront and Palin still saying 'Thanks But No Thanks' to the Bridge to Nowhere, it looks like the shine is wearing off.
I was expecting a slow climb back up the polls for Obama, but today there's been a big bounce back into credit on 538.com.
Here's a graph of the last couple of months of the 538.com stats.
I drove on these roads for twenty years and never saw a deer. Mind you, a friend of my brother has had two accidents with deer in the past few years on the road between Norwich and Cromer. He was travelling home late at night after shift work so I imagine that the time of day or night is a big factor.
I left ten years ago and I don't recall any stories of fatal crashes with deer when I was there. Are there more deer about now? You wouldn't think so with the reduction in habitat over the last 20-30 years.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
There was a country basically at peace since the Second World War but in essence a simmering cauldron of ethnic tension held down by the military power of the Tito government. On Tito's death, the nationalistic Slobodan Milosovic rose to power and the lid came off. How similar is Iraq, with the US military providing the 'lid' in this case, but the underlying ethnic, or in this case, religious tensions still existing?
Yes, the 'Surge' was part of the success in reducing the level of violence in Iraq. Just as important though, I believe, were the decision by the Sunni tribes to join the fight against Al Qaeda - The Awakening, and the decision by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army to observe a ceasefire and the ethnic cleansing and subsequent walling off of various Baghdad districts.
Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, doesn't seem inclined to integrate the Sunni leaders into the country's government. Indeed, the opposite appears to be happening and he is making a grab for power and excluding them. The status of oil-rich Kirkuk is also a potential flashpoint between the Iraqi government and the Kurds, who to all intents and purposes are self-governing.
All in all then, the underlying tensions in Iraq are still there and until there are moves by the Iraqi government to include the Sunnis and Kurds in power, the Yugoslavia scenario is still a possible outcome.
David Ignatius has an excellent column in the Washington Post this week on how McCain has made the Faustian bargain of selling his soul to win the election. Two key themes stand out -his military training and code:
In the military culture that shaped John McCain, there is no more important responsibility than the promotion boards that select the right officers for top positions of command. It's a sacred trust in McCain's world, because people's lives are at stake.
McCain wrote in his memoir of the officer's responsibility for those who serve under him: "He does not risk their lives and welfare for his sake, but only to answer the shared duty they are called to answer."
and the sacrifice of his principles:
In May 2006, after McCain had courted the Rev. Jerry Falwell in an effort to win conservative support, I asked him if he was bending his principles for the sake of winning. "I don't want it that badly," McCain answered. "I will continue to do what is right. . . . If that means I can't get the Republican nomination, fine. I've had a happy life. The worst thing I can do is sell my soul to the devil."
He was right.
This is becoming more and more apparent to everyone as the media finally start to question the lies.
Monday, 15 September 2008
But there are signs that the tide might be turning. There was the hilarious session of John McCain on 'The View' where he probably faced the toughest questions that he has had put to him yet. The MSM seems to be waking up. Obama's fundraising machine just keeps carrying on.
So while it's looking pretty bleak in the polls, I think we'll be seeing a big upswing soon.
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
Brokaw, to his credit, set the record straight: "With all due respect, and said this earlier, I think that issue has not been raised at the highest levels. I think there have been many more concerns about foreign policy experience, for example, about some of her other views, if she's going to appeal to the Clinton voters. She is after all, anti-abortion, not for choice. There are some questions about her real beliefs -- creationism vs. evolution -- and whether or not being the governor of a state like Alaska, with 600,000 people, and a budget that is underwritten by the oil companies, prepares her for stepping into the Oval Office."
Thursday, 4 September 2008
MCCAIN: Sure. And one of the key elements of America’s national security requirements are energy. She understands the energy issues better than anybody I know in Washington, D.C., and she understands.Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that. Look, Sen. Obama’s never visited south of our border. I mean, please.
Eskew’s talent notwithstanding, he was loathed by McCain’s 2000 campaign team. When the media first reported push-poll phone calls from Voter/Consumer Research, a company hired by he Bush campaign, asking South Carolinians if they knew about McCain’s role in the S&L crisis and his scandal as a member of the Keating Five, it was Eskew -- Bush’s South Carolina spokesman – who acknowledged, and defended, the calls.
Tucker Eskew, another senior Bush White House communications aide, is serving as senior counselor to Palin's operation.I understand that McCain and his wife both despise those who were responsible for the smears of 2000. It's a sign of how far McCain will go for the presidency and how much integrity he will shed.
Monday, 1 September 2008
I can't believe that this hasn't been picked up anywhere else. As Glenn says himself
After all, if you don't want the FBI spying on you, or the Police surrounding and then invading your home with rifles and seizing your computers, there's a very simple solution: don't protest the Government. Just sit quietly in your house and mind your own business. That way, the Government will have no reason to monitor what you say and feel the need to intimidate you by invading your home. Anyone who decides to protest -- especially with something as unruly and disrespectful as an unauthorized street march -- gets what they deserve.
Isn't it that mentality which very clearly is the cause of virtually everyone turning away as these police raids escalate against citizens -- including lawyers, journalists and activists -- who have broken no laws and whose only crime is that they intend vocally to protest what the Government is doing? Add to that the fact that many good establishment liberals are embarrassed by leftist protesters of this sort and wish that they would remain invisible, and there arises a widespread consensus that these Government attacks are perfectly tolerable if not desirable.
This is particularly troubling.
During the Olympics just weeks ago, there was endless hand-wringing over the efforts by the Chinese Government to squelch dissent and incarcerate protesters. On August 21, The Washington Post fretted:Six Americans detained by police this week could be held for 10 days, according to Chinese authorities, who appear to be intensifying their efforts to shut down any public demonstrations during the final days of the Olympic Games. . . .
Chinese Olympic officials announced last month that Beijing would set up zones where people could protest during the Games, as long as they had received permission. None of the 77 applications submitted was approved, however, and several other would-be protesters were stopped from even applying.
We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don't know, I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004 success.The 'Land Of The Free' indeed. This is why the next election is so important.
James Gerstenzang blogs for the LA Times (H/T Dan Froomkin)
Just yesterday, Monegan gave an interview to the Washington Post in which he said that not only Palin's aides, but Palin's husband and Palin herself had repeatedly raised the Wooten issue with him and pressured him to fire him. And now he says he has emails that Palin sent him about the matter. (In an interesting sidelight, that may end up telling us a lot, Monegan says no one from the McCain campaign ever contacted him in the vetting process.)The vetting, or lack of it, is turning into another major story.
According to the Alaskan Press that's not quite how it happened.
Check out these entries from the Ketchikan Daily News:
“People across the nation struggle with the idea of building a bridge because they’ve been under these misperceptions about the bridge and the purpose,’ said Palin, who described the link as the Ketchikan area’s potential for expansion and growth.
Palin said Alaska’s congressional delegation worked hard to obtain funding for the bridge and that she ‘would not stand in the way of the progress toward that bridge’.
‘We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,’ Palin said.”
Ketchikan Daily News 9-28-06
Mudflats is probably going to me the most read Alaskan for the next couple of months.