Why Obama-Biden will win, and win HUGE (390).

I’ve heard way too much worrying than warranted from friends and colleagues who lean the right way but fear the election will be lost due to hidden racism or just plain stolen. Well here’s why we’ll win and win HUGE (390 electoral votes)!

Here’s why we’ll win (big picture):

  • The mood in the country is to throw the rascals (republicans) out.
  • The republicans made a huge mistake forcing McCain hard right, pairing him with Rove’s underlings, and making him pick Palin. Not to mention changing the message every other day. I feel sorry for McCain, especially since I supported him in 2000, he didn’t deserve this.
  • The Obama campaign is very enthusiastic and extremely well-run. I volunteered for Kerry and that was amateur hour compared to this one.
  • The polls are underestimating two things, young voter turnout (since many pollsters don’t call cellphones) and many of them are using 2004 stats to figure out how many newly registered voters will vote. Newly registered voters are extremely motivated this year, with high percentages having voted early.
  • The army of lawyers and volunteers that has been dispatched by the campaign will protect voters from disenfranchisement.

A few words about how I get to 390:

  • The media’s claimed Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada are battlegrounds to look fair. Anyone who’s looked closely at the polls knows Obama will win big here.
  • Florida and North Carolina will break for Obama, the early voting seems to confirm that, people in Florida are worried abou the bad housing bubble there and their investments, Obama is much clearer on these issues.
  • I think Ohio and West Virginia will break for Obama, economics trumps everything else. Obama and McCain both like clean coal, Fox fails!
  • In Missouri folks will vote with their better selves in mind, and vote against the divisiveness of the McCain-Palin campaign.
  • Georgia has seen record early-voting, and record African-American turnout. This will be a surprise and good riddance to Chambliss who ran those despicable ads against Max Cleland.
  • Montana voted for Bill Clinton and will come home. Go Tester! Go Schweitzer!
  • North Dakota, just to round things out. They’re too close to Canada not to have the good sense to vote for Obama-Biden!

Oh and hey Lou. Here’s why we’ll win Montana

Is Meg Whitman the entrepreneur behind eBay like McCain says?

During last night’s debate, when asked whom he would pick as Treasury secretary, John McCain said he might consider Meg Whitman and said she had turned eBay into a livelihood for 1.3 million people in America. But there are a few things he left out and glossed over…

John McCain said “Meg Whitman was CEO of a company that started with 12 people and is now 1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Whitman is current co-chair of McCain’s national committee, though she originally supported Romeny (she used to work at Bain & Co.). Apparently, she’s also thinking of running for governor of California in 2010.

By most accounts, Whitman is a competent, hardworking executive. The marketing skills and experience she brought to eBay certainly helped the company navigate the tech-wreck successfully.

The thing is, McCain made it sound like she founded eBay and was single-handedly responsible for kick-starting 1.3 million careers, and that’s a bit misleading.

Whitman started at eBay in 1998. By then, eBay had been going for three years and had 500,000 customers, 30 employees, over $100 million in sales, $4.7 million in revenue and was well on its way to becoming one of the bigger e-commerce players. eBay went public the same year Whitman was hired. Other Silicon Valley companies brought in experienced executives from outside the firm to serve as CEO when contemplating a public-offering (in some cases, VCs demanded this).

The person who founded eBay is Pierre Omidyar. He was the creative mind behind eBay’s birth and the entrepreneur whose vision built it into what it is.

By the way, Pierre currently runs Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm and has endowed a microfinance fund at Tufts. He’s also reputed to be a nice guy.

You know what’s coming…

Pierre Omidyar endorsed Barack Obama back in March and it’s worth reading why.

In fact, there are a lot of creative capitalists rooting for Obama. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Oil and tire pressure

The McCain campaign is trying very hard to turn Obama into a laughingstock for suggesting we should all check our tire pressure to improve mileage on our cars, handing out pressure gauges labelled “Obama Energy Plan”.  I think this is the McCain campaign’s version of the “flip-flopper” slur applied to Kerry.  The Obama campaign needs to hit back hard before the Republicans run away with the issue of gas prices.

The TV spot I’d like to see is one that asks when the country changed so much that we began to think it was cool to allow equipment to rust, and stopped taking care of our cars.  The spot should have as a backdrop various shots of car enthusiasts, a Nascar race, a painstakingly maintained classic car.  Obama should come on and talk about the mid-western values he learnt from his grandparents, who lived through the depression and made the most of everything they had, and did not waste anything.  He should stress we don’t need to do anything different to solve the energy crisis, we just need to summon the can-do American spirit and ordinary Americans will respond to the challenge.  He should talk a little bit about how Americans conserved resources to win the first and second World Wars, even though the threat seemed far and distant.  That global warming was a asimilar potential threat, it is possible that our wealth and isolation might protect us from the worst impacts of global warming, but the threat and potential disruption is too grave for us to ignore it.  Then he should come back to reiterate that waste and profligacy are not American values.  Thrift and commonsense are.  The ad could end with a three point plan on how Americans can save gas driving their current cars, checking tire pressure, taking the car in for a tune-up, driving less aggressively.

Bush and Batman?

Andrew Klavan wrote a rather strange op-ed in the Journal today titled What Bush and Batman Have in Common.

In it he claims Batman: The Dark Knight is doing well at the box-office because it depicts “the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.”  For Klavan these values include tactics from the “by any means necessary” school, tactics allegedly shared by both Bush and Batman.  I wonder why Jack Bauer was left out since we know the Bush administration looked to him for inspiration on interrogation techniques.

I see three reasons why Klavan’s reading is incorrect:

  1. The Ledger factor: Heath Ledger died earlier in the year and understandably this created a great deal of interest in the movie.  It probably didn’t hurt that practically every critic said his performance in the movie was brilliant.  Before Klavan adopts Ledger into his conservative pantheon, we should remember that his breakthrough movie was a tender exploration of romantic love between two men, not exactly the stuff of conservative dreams.
  2. The Star Wars counter: Klavan goes on to claim that films which question the Bush administration’s view have bombed at the box office (Redacted, Rendition).   Lets level the playing field, shall we?.  Batman is probably as big a franchise as Star Wars is.  If you watched episodes I, II and III you probably caught the references to Bush term I rhetoric when the young Darth Vader says “if you aren’t with me, you’re against me”, or when Obi-Wan cries out “Only a Sith deals in absolutes!”.  These most recent Star Wars movies had terrible dialogue and weak scripts, but they still managed to  gross between 310 and 431 million in the US.  There is an audience for nuance in a battle between good and evil on American movie screens.
  3. The Iron Man defense: We don’t have to reach that far back though, Iron Man dealt pretty definitively and specifically with the corruption wrought by close ties between a military-industrial complex (Cheney-Halliburton or Rumsfeld doctrine anyone)?.  It’s still playing and has racked up 310 million, not too shabby for a super-hero who hadn’t ever starred in a movie.  Perhaps there was a lot of pent-up demand for movies about how a strategy focused on forcibly subduing unrest, without using the resulting peace to encourage development would fail in Afghanistan and Iraq (as it did in Europe right after WW-I).

I could go on, Klavan also suggests 300 is a conservative film about Bush administration values.  It deals with the defense of a small nation by a determined band fighting a great power with overwhelming military superiorty.  If there are any parallels to the situation we find ourselves in, they are on the wrong side.  I know we like rooting for underdogs, but on the global military field, we are Persia, not Sparta.  Perhaps Klavan was only referring to the movie’s Spartans losing the battle after they demean and spurn their allies.

In any case, it’s a bit of a reach to look for support of your tactics in the box office results for a superhero movie.  That’s sort of like saying the American people love intellectual serial killers since Silence of the Lambs and Seven were hits.  We don’t have to search for such tenuous links, enough surveys have asked the question directly of the American citizenry.  70% of them say they have a negative view on the Bush administration’s Iraq policies59% give the Bush administration negative marks on fighting terrorism  and Bush wins the contest for worst president since WW-II.   The problem isn’t that the Bush administration has failed to spin their actions as well as Batman or Hollywood can.  They were pretty successful at it for a few years, but there’s a firm strain of independence in the American spirit, and there’s only so long we’re willing to accept authority without question, especially when it is inept.  The American citizen also knows enough to realize that what makes for good theater doesn’t necessarily make for good policy.

The truly frightening thing is that Klavan claims to speak for freedom, but has managed to write a defense of tyranny.   After all, what else would you call oppressive power vested in a single person, the doctrine of the unitary executive?

No worries!

I’m thinking about what it means to be racked by worry. I’ve suffered under that burden occasionally, but I think I’m past it now. I know what satisfies me, and I know it doesn’t require a particula

Seattle Blues

Seattle the last weekend was perfect, awesome weather, fun wedding, great friends (old +new) and marvelous conversation. In the middle of June there was three feet of snow at Mt. Rainier’s lower slop

Ride west

I’m preparing for a motorcycle ride across the US, combined with a couple of hikes and visits to friends.  The prospect of spending so much time in the saddle on the open road can perk me up in a moment.  To cap it off, I’ll be spending time in Glacier NP and Redwood NP, both are places I’ve dreamt of  visiting for years.  I’ve been on the road since I was 6, but this will qualify as my longest solo trip in a vehicle and definitely the longest on a motorcycle.  You can read all about it.?

On your back

Learning to ride a snowboard is hard work.  Particularly so when you’ve 6 foot 4, have a long, wide board and live in the North-East.  Edge changes are not my favourite things in the world right now.  But I do have that trip to Argentina in September to look forward to, hope they have tons of powder down there.?

Occassionaly, I want to share something with the world.