Monday, 13 October 2008

McCain's Vanishing Chances

According to fivethirtyeight.com, McCain's chances of winning are now a mere 5.9%. 

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Some Useful Pieces Of Business Advice

These are all worth a read. Here's No. 3
Lesson 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil
lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'
'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care
in the world.'
Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal
masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.'

Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'


Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say. 

I Approve This Message

Don Wright nails it.


North Carolina Update

There's a long and detailed look at North Carolina by Al Giordano on The Field.  It aagain back up the organisation that Obama has set up throughout the country which is going to change the way that elections are run. 
The Field has listened to all the talk of Obama possibly winning North Carolina and its 15 Electoral Votes with a healthy dose of skepticism, but also with great curiosity (which is why we added it to our swing state reporting tour when it was only number 15 among 538's "tipping point" states - it's now number seven). Remember that, in 2004, Republican George W. Bush won 1,961,166 votes here (56 percent) to just 1,525,849 for Democrat John Kerry.
He goes on to quote Hugh J. McColl, former CEO of Bank of America who endorses Obama and stock market guru James Cramer who explains the difference between the two candidates as "Obama is a recession. McCain is a depression". 

However, it is the extent of Obama's ground organisation that makes a real impression.
At the end of the day on Thursday, The Field conducted an unannounced "inspection" of the regional Obama office in Greenville, to which the local organizers report each day. It was 8:30 p.m., the close of phone banking hours, and the headquarters was a beehive of activity with phone-bankers ending their shift and change crew chiefs bringing in the day's tallies. More than 250 newly filled voter registration forms sat atop an organizer's desk. After phone banking, the organizers then get on a regional conference call with statewide organizers to report the day's numerical progress (new voters, phone contacts, canvass contacts, etcetera). It took the local organizers until after 10 p.m. to finish their daily tasks.

Alright. Okay. I get it. This isn't just a political campaign. It's a steamroller (my italics). This is why North Carolina really is in play. And the excitement in this state - from West to East - is the highest and the hungriest among the five states we visited in the past two weeks.
Summing the article up is Obama representative Dan Blue.
"We're definitely in play. If I had to make the call, I believe we're going to win it."
Read the whole thing.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Lego Bricks.....and too much time on your hands!

Well, it filled up their day I suppose. It's very clever and woth checking them all out. There are some very famous photos there.

The Ground Game

Obama's campaign has been run immaculately, with election day always in mind.

Using momentum built during thr primaries, he has built the most impressive ground game that the US has probably ever seen.

Despite tens of thousands of "Neighborhood Team Leaders," and an entire organizing outreach tool actually named "Neighbor to Neighbor," Barone apparently fervently hopes Obama has no peer-to-peer efforts:
The most successful recent turnout drive was that of the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, which relied on peer-to-peer volunteers, local people who made connections with neighbors with whom they had something in common (fellow members of a particular church, fellow accountants, nearby neighbors). The Obama campaign, in contrast, seems to be depending on youthful volunteers who seem unlikely to have such connections.
Wow. They. Are. So. F#$%ed.
the fivethirtyeight.com team have been travelling round the States checking out both parties' organisations on the ground. From what I've read, on this site and others, there's just no comparison. I think Sean Quinn's quote above sums it up.

PG Porn

Pornography - if you like porn but don't like the sex.

With pornography all over the internet and the video store, the Gunn brothers rely on viewers' familiarity with all its conventions - the goofy acting, the bad music, the lace-thin plots - to create movies that look like the real thing but skirt nudity. Comedy substitutes for hard-core sex.

The actor in Nailing Your Wife is Nathan Fillion, who appeared in the ABC show Desperate Housewives, and his castmate is porn star Aria Giovanni. PG Porn will feature similar pairings in the future.

Flickr Of The Day


MC-Cain--Palin
Originally uploaded by jmazur22
I want one of these badges!

A Letter from a Field Hand

This letter illustrates the failure of McCain's campaign - that it is strengthening his opponent.

And yesterday, I cried my last tears, after I watch the venomous, vile, and vitriolic display at the McCain-Palin rally unfold over the last few days. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, and I was taught as a young child when things look bleak and you are backed up against a wall you just let go and let God. We as AAs have been subjected to the system and have the philosophy ingrained that we have to accept the things that we can not change.

Well here and now damn it--I have cried my last tears yesterday. I am going to fight!

Now add in this analysis on physorg.com, which speculates that Obama's numbers are being underestimated!

The Bradley effect is named for former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, a black, who lost a close 1982 gubernatorial election in California after holding a solid lead in the polls. As the 2008 primaries played out, Greenwald and Albertson found that the Bradley effect only showed up in three states -- California, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

However, they found a reverse Bradley effect in 12 primary states. In these states they found actual support for Obama exceeded pre-election polls by totals of 7 percent or more, well beyond the polls' margins of error. These errors ranged up to 18 percent in Georgia.
Bye,bye Georgia? (H/T Andrew Sullivan)

Friday, 10 October 2008

Album Covers Map

What a great idea. I love Google Maps!

This is how it's done, Wolf!

A message to Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the national media. This is how you question a politician or their spokesman. If they won't answer ask them again. Then again. Then again. Until the story becomes the fact that they won't answer and you can question why.



Can we send these guys to question Sarah Palin? Please?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

McCain's Economic Plan

I don't think I need to add anything to the headline.  

There's a big difference here: Democrats want to prevent depression and support the financial markets by investing taxpayer money in banks with troubled assets. Republicans want to give taxpayers money away to the shareholders and managers of banks with troubled assets.

I would say that this is unbelievable, but I do believe it.

Obama's Ace In The Hole

With all of the hype surrounding the polls and Obama's rise, there's always the worry that come Polling Day, the turnout remains low and the other guy (no, that one) sneaks in.

Obama's campaign through the primaries and into the presidential election has been planned and carried out immaculately. I am expecting the his 'Get Out The Vote' plan is equally impressive. 

With his massive numbers of organisers in every state, he should have a huge advantage over the Republicans whose enthusiasm, I should imagine,  is waning as their poll numbers sink.

Chill Out!

I first saw this (on Oliver Willis) during the Palin poll bounce. I was pretty unchilled at the time but now, it's looking prescient.

Feral camels destroying WA outback

There's a headline you don't see every day.

Large herds of up to 100 camels were often found in the more habitable areas where rivers lakes and ranges were located, while camel numbers were lower in areas dominated by sand plains and dune fields, Dr Burrows said.
They've obviously been watching the wrong movies. Don't they know they're supposed to live in deserts.

Well, he was a POW, you know.

Longtime TPM Reader GG says I'm being too kind: "If a Dem had made that statement (my fellow prisoners) and in that context, the repubs would loudly proclaim the man mad as a hatter and unfit for the presidency.

He's as mad as a hatter!


Flickr Of The Day

Mist in the morning near Montepulciano.

This one stood out in a flick through of the last seven days interesting photos.

90.5% !!


I saw Nate Silver of 538.com on the Colbert Report last night which I thought he handled pretty well. Hopefully it will drive a bit more traffic to the news that he is now projecting that Obama has a 90.5% chance of winning the election.

Here's a spreadsheet charting the movements in his figures over the last three months. Apart from the brief (though frightening) Palin bounce, Obama's always been on top and he is strengthening his position daily at the moment.



There's a lot that can go wrong yet, but...

Obama did well at the debate.

Let's hope that there are no more surprises.

Is Wolf Blitzer a Journalist?

Absolutely no challenge to the fact that Sarah Palin will not take questions from the press. He sounds as if the spokeswoman is being reasonable. 

Challenge it!





Sarah Just Pallin' Around

Whilst Sarah is out and about stirring up bigotry and hatred, she is still refusing to talk to the press. In fact, the McCain campaign has no intention of letting her talk before the election. Frightening!

How else will questions like this get answered? H/T Andrew Sullivan



Monday, 6 October 2008

This is worth a read...

H/T to Andrew Sullivan for this link
The Norwegian newspaper VG has reported a truly amazing story about a newly-wed trying to get to Norway to be with her husband, and the stranger who helped pay an unexpected luggage surcharge.  The blog "Leisha's Random Thoughts" has translated the story.

Obama Rising

538.com's daily stats now show Obama's chances of winning next month are at 87.4%

I thought the VP debate response was interesting. I wondered if there would be an uptick in McCain's support as wavering voters manaed to convince themselves that Palin wasn't a total disaster. However, it gave most voters a chance to hear Joe Biden who's basically been ignored on the campaign trail and I thought he came off very well. 

Whilst, Palin failed almost totally, or coherently to answer any questions, Biden was knowledgeable and concide. When Palin stumbled over the Afghanistan commander's name and came out with 'McClellan' (I'm not sure if she was r
eferring to the civil war general or Bush's bumbling press secretary. It seems unlikely she would have heard of the general), Biden, following up, didn't correct her, or use the name McKiernan, but talked of our commander in Afghanistan. This followed on from the tactics Obama used in the preidential debate when he maintained his calm demeanor against McCain.

Here's the graph showing the 538.com stats as they have moved over the last three months.

Pure Genius.

Pure genius from Tina Fey on SNL. I can't tell them apart any more.


Friday, 3 October 2008

What a Speech

Magnificent. (H/T Andrew Sullivan)

Most discussions in the election race have tiptoed around the latent racism that has existed so far. Here, Richard Trumka tackles it head on. This is probably one of the speeches of the campaign.




Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Japanese Binocular Soccer

As recommended by James Richardson on the Football Weekly Podcast (highly recommended). This is hilarious.

Flickr Of The Day


Barnsley v Norwich
Originally uploaded by Miles Seecharan
It's a long way from Norwich to Barnsley and it's great to see families making the trip.

Not a great game apparently, but 0-0 and a point means it wasn't a too depressing trip home (unlike tonight's 2-0 defeat at Southampton)

Economic Crisis Answers

From what I've been reading, there are not many commentators who have an answer to the present crisis. Today's financial markets are so complicated that it's difficult to know how best to respond.

I've just read this article in Time which says that the failing mortgages should be protected but let the financial instruments based on them fail. This makes sense to me at a layman's level - if the mortgages are guaranteed or picked up by the government, then do not the instruments based on them also survive? Unless, of course, that's not the only reason that they are failing.

Do not be fooled. The $700 billion (ultimately $1 trillion or more) bailout is not predominantly for mortgages and homeowners. Instead, the bailout is for mortgage-backed securities. In fact, some versions of these instruments are imaginary derivatives. These claims overlap on the same types of mortgages. Many financial institutions wrote claims over the same mortgages, and these are the majority of claims that have "gone bad."

At this point, such claims have no bearing on the mortgage or housing crisis; they have bearing only on the holders of these securities themselves. These are ridiculously risky claims with little value for society. It is as if many financial institutions sold "earthquake insurance" on the same house: when the quake hits, all these claims become close to worthless — but the claims are simply bets disconnected from reality.