Friday, October 24, 2008

How Does McSame Win?

With McSame all but surrendering Colorado, Virginia and Iowa, and playing directly for "low-information" white voters in rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, how does he get to 270?

The map for McSame is actually pretty simple: The battleground states are now IN, MO, NV, NC, OH, PA, and FL. McSame must now take ALL SEVEN of those states to win. His firewall, Colorado, Virginia, and Iowa, are gone. His back is against the wall...he simply cannot afford to lose any more states.

Polls are showing Florida and North Carolina may go to his column now, but Indiana, Nevada, and especially Ohio are slipping away, and Obama's lead is just too much in PA.

At this point he's going to need a miracle. We'll know more next week.

The Sad, Strange Story Of Ashley Todd

Ashley Todd is a 20-year-old white female college student who told police that she was assaulted by "a 6 foot 4 black man" at an ATM in Pittsburgh, and when the man saw her McSame bumper sticker, the man became enraged and scratched the letter B into her cheek, for "Barack Obama" supposedly. Matt Drudge ran this as breaking news last night, and the whole world bit.

The McSame campaign seized on the Todd story as proof that Obama supporters are violent, hate filled racists. McSame himself called Ms. Todd, and this morning the right-wing noise machine was up in arms...amazingly enough not over the attack, but that the attack was fishy. Even Malkinvania cried "foul" over the account.

And surprise! It turns out Ms. Todd made the entire thing up.
A John McCain campaign volunteer made up a story of being robbed, pinned to the ground and having the letter "B" scratched on her face in a politically inspired attack, police said Friday.

Ashley Todd, 20-year-old college student from College Station, Texas, admitted Friday that the story was false, police said.

Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department's investigations division, said Todd is being charged with making a false police report.

Police doubted her story from the start, Bryant said.

"She just opened up and said she wanted to tell the truth," Bryant said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "She was upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm."
I cannot wait for this election season to die. Really.

There are some sick people out there. Really, truly sick people. You have to be a complete sicko for Michelle Malkin to call you out as a liar.

Sarah Palin: Policy Maven

Today Sarah Palin laid out the McSame policy on special needs children and health care:
In her first policy speech of this election cycle, Sarah Palin elaborated Friday on how a McCain administration would help children with special needs, a topic that has become a fixture of her stump speech in cities across the country.

Palin, speaking at a hotel in Pittsburgh, unveiled a three-point plan that would expand educational choice for parents, increase funding for children with disabilities and improve services available to parents, medical professionals and schools.

Under the plan, federal money would be used to give parents the opportunity to send their children to a public, private or religious school of their choice.

"Because even the best public school teacher or administrator really cannot rightfully take the place of a parent making these choices," Palin said. "The schools feel responsible for the education of many children, but a parent alone is responsible for the life of each child and how to make that life better."

She also proposed expanding funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which was signed into law in 1975 but has never been fully funded. The McCain campaign estimates that fully funding the program will cost an additional $45 billion over five years, money that Palin said could be found by cutting federal pork barrel spending.

"We've got a $3 trillion budget in this country," she said. "And Congress spends some $18 billion on earmarks for their political pet projects, and that right there is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA."

It's nice and all, but the Obama response has rather killed any chance the McSame camp has of making this work:
The Obama campaign called the attack a “hypocritical” one. “This is a blatantly false, desperate political attack made by a campaign that’s out of touch, out of ideas and running out of time,” said Pennsylvania spokesman Sean Smith. “Senator Obama has consistently been clear that he would not increase taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.

“As the Wall Street Journal reported, John McCain’s own health care plan would actually cut $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid that children with disabilities truly depend on, which makes this attack especially hypocritical. Senator Obama has a comprehensive plan to support families that have children with disabilities and empower all Americans with disabilities.”

Arguing to fully fund this program for $45 billion looks rather bad when making $1.3 trillion in Medicare/Medicaid cuts, huh?

Nice try Sarah. Go back to calling attacks on your $150,000 clothing bill "sexist". I'm sure that'll stick too.

Obamanomics Crashing The Markets

The latest GOP screed (and you can count on US News hack Jim Pethokoukis to spew it out) is that Obama and the Democrats are sinking the stock markets.

Are investor concerns about an Obama presidency influencing the stock market? And by "concerns" I mean "existential panic." And by "Obama presidency" I mean "a tax-hiking and regulatory reign of terror." And by "influencing" I mean "eviscerating." At least that's the overwrought take I get from a few of my more skittish E-mailers. Chillax, y'all!

Now a few of my own (more tranquil) observations about a possible jittery Investor Class, the plunging market, and the now famous Obama Discount Theory:

1) I find it hard to believe that fears about a deep recession are suddenly dawning upon investors and thus are solely responsible for kneecapping the market. I've been hearing such dire forecasts for weeks from top Wall Street economists, and I really think they're already baked into the cake. (And credit markets actually look like they are finally picking up a bit—a plus for stocks.) So with that perception locked in, maybe the future political landscape is finally playing a greater role in the minds of investors, especially with polls showing a possible landslide Obama win and big Democratic congressional majorities. Is it really more plausible to suggest no effect whatsoever from a possible once-a-generation, political sea change, especially one that moves away from the winning economic formula of the past 25 years ? Not even a smidgen of worry? C'mon, now.

The article continues on like this for a good bit, the practical upshot is that the markets are so terrified of the Democrats being in charge that smart conservatives are selling, selling, selling and that Obama deserves most of the blame for the Dow not being about 10,000 again after we "solved the credit crisis". I mean it's not like there could be another reason why the markets are falling, could there?

But the GOP is already blaming Obama for the mess because the market is terrified of what he might do in the future, like, I don't know...regulate it.

US Goes Limit Down

World economic numbers are out today, and they are nothing short of catastrophic.
The pound tumbled below $1.53 in its biggest drop in at least 37 years after a report showed the U.K. economy contracted more than forecast in the third quarter, bringing the nation to the brink of a recession.

The decline surpassed that of Black Wednesday in September 1992, when the U.K. was driven out of Europe's Exchange Rate Mechanism. Gross domestic product contracted 0.5 percent in the three months through September, the Office for National Statistics in London said today, more than the 0.2 percent forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The FTSE 100 index slumped as much as 9.1 percent and the yield on the U.K. 10-year gilt headed for its biggest weekly decline in a decade.

``This is once-in-a-lifetime stuff, we're all sat under our desks with tin hats on,'' said Neil Mellor, a currency strategist in London at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. ``The U.K. is in the first step toward a recession and the dollar's bid because of repatriation flows.''

Similar news in Japan and China earlier this morning has led to a disintegration of world markets today. Nikkei down 800 points, European markets are down 7-9% at this hour, and US stock futures have reached limit down numbers.
According to Reuters data, December S&P futures hit a low of 855.20, while Dow Jones futures touched a low of 8,224 -- the lowest levels at which both contracts could trade in a session.

"We are in a panic mode, I don't know how else to describe it and when you're in panic mode, all rational thought goes out of the window," said City Index chief market strategist Tom Hougaard. "We've just got to let this thing rage. I think we'll see the Dow below 8,000 today."

With global recession numbers showing that the UK, China, and Japan may actually be in worse shape the US right now, world markets have now thrown in the towel. LIBOR numbers are still high, having only fallen another miniscule less than 2 BP, and the overnight rate went UP 8.

This is going to be a horrendous day on Wall Street. Despite the global bailout efforts, the markets are once again in total freefall. Confidence is a casualty. This was the week where Wall Street tested the waters, and failed miserably. The Dow's been floating around 9,000 for the last couple of weeks, and Monday's close of around 9250 was a good sign that the worst might have been over.

I said then more pain was coming. Surprise! Folks, when Dow futures hit limit down 2 hours before the markets open, it's a disaster. I've been saying for six weeks now I fully expected the Dow to set a new Bush era low under 7,200.

We may very well be there next week. The next couple of days are vitally important. If we drop through the floor today under 8,000, then I honestly think we're heading for a complete meltdown.

What more can world governments do? The US, Japan, Canada, Australia, UK, and Eurozone took unprecedented action to prevent a meltdown just two weeks ago. That action has now failed. The wheels are off, folks. It's sinking in just how bad this is going to's going to be brutal, and it's going to be global.

You will be hearing those two words often in the next several days, I will wager: limit down. We're approaching the point where trading circuit breakers will kick in and stop the markets, and it will happen if not today (we'd need to see an 869.1 point drop before 2 PM to hit the 10% circuit breaker for an hour time-out) then it will happen at some point soon.

After all, the lower the Dow gets, the lower the 10% circuit breaker level gets.


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