Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Obama: "Cha Cha?" (Walters dog is named Cha Cha Cha)
Bawbwa: "It's short for Cha Cha Cha."
O: "What is a Havanese?"
B: "It's like a little terrier and they're non-allergenic and they're the sweetest dogs.."
O: [Face suddenly changes.] "It's like a little yappy dog?"
Michelle: "Don't criticize."
O: "It, like, sits in your lap and things?"
M: "It's a cute dog."
O: "It sounds kinda like a girly dog."
M: "We're girls. We have a houseful of girls."
O [with hand gestures]: "We're going to have a big rambunctious dog, of some sort."
I've been waiting to write anything about this topic--I am not an economist after all. However, after thinking about this topic for weeks, I don't know how this country, a superpower after all, could possibly let it's domestic automakers go out of business as well as all the supporting parts suppliers dependent on the Big 3 (GM, Ford, & Chrysler). About 2% of the nation's workforce work for the Big 3 automakers alone and 1 out of every 10 American workers is dependent upon the auto industry. Three million people would lose their jobs according to one study by the Center for Automotive Research.
If the Big 3 go under, think of the effect it will have on communities all over the country. Take Lordstown, Ohio, for example: "If the industry failed, among the hardest-hit communities would be Lordstown, Ohio, a village of 3,600 people about 50 miles east of Cleveland that has been home to a GM factory since 1966. If the plant closed, Lordstown would lose up to 70 percent of its budget, a scary scenario that proponents of a multibillion dollar bailout say would be repeated across the industrial Midwest."
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama will be the first Internet savvy president in history. Addicted to his BlackBerry, rarely working with hard copies, and staying in contact with his friends through cyberspace, America's 44th president will truly be the first 21st century president.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
One only need read the article and comments from a post which appeared in the Plain Dealer's blog "Openers" about Butler County, Ohio, a Republican stronghold in Southwest, Ohio. For example, in the article, a waitress at a local diner said "My boyfriend is so upset, he said he's going to go over to Kentucky and join the Ku Klux Klan.... My boyfriend said now the world is going to end in 2012 and that Obama is the antichrist." More disturbing are many of the comments to this particular article. Let me give you a small taste:
*hand on heart* I swear allegiance to the flag of the United Socialist
States of America. And to the republik for which it stands one nation, under
Barack, who's guided by Satan, to deliver food stamps and healthcare to all.
And, how about this little nugget of joy:
by JamesVIII on 11/06/08
There is a difference between the strength of a trait in the
general population and strength of that trait they may be found in a particular
individual. There is no doubt a few very good white basketball dunkers out
there. But if you expect to find the best dunkers go to the black race....We
have many fine highly moral, hard working intelligent blacks in America.
However, they are a distinct minority and they do not exert a notable influence
on the general black population.
Wow, that was educational.
I am hopeful that America can come closer to a "post-racial" society but am not optimistic it will happen soon. It is encouraging that a majority of people in Tuesday's election were able to cast their ballots for a non-White person--something that would not have been likely a generation ago. Perhaps Obama's election will move this country toward that ideal. It will also, unfortunately, increase the tenor and frequency of the intolerant and biggoted in America, especially as they tap away furiously on their keyboard.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
This peaceful transfer of power is one of the hallmarks of a true democracy. And
ensuring that this transition is as smooth as possible is a priority for the
rest of my presidency. We face economic challenges that will not pause to let a
new President settle in. This will also be America's first wartime presidential
transition in four decades. We're in a struggle against violent extremists
determined to attack us -- and they would like nothing more than to exploit this
period of change to harm the American people. So over the next 75 days, all of
us must ensure that the next President and his team can hit the ground running.
For more than a year now, departments and agencies throughout the federal
government have been preparing for a smooth transition. We've provided
intelligence briefings to the President-Elect, and the Department of Justice has
approved security clearances for members of his transition staff. In the coming
weeks, we will ask administration officials to brief the Obama team on ongoing
policy issues, ranging from the financial markets to the war in Iraq. I look
forward to discussing those issues with the President-Elect early next week.
Offices within the White House are at work preparing extensive transition
materials. We're preparing career employees throughout the administration to
take on added responsibilities to help prevent any disruption to the essential
functions of the federal government. Taken together, these measures represent an
unprecedented effort to ensure that the executive branch is prepared to fulfill
its responsibilities at all times. As we carry out this transition I know that
you will continue to conduct yourselves with the decency and professionalism you
have shown throughout my time in office.
So far so good with the Obama transition: a new chief of staff on board and the current president pledging his cooperation.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
ABC's George Stephanopoulos reports that a close ally of Obama's stated that "Obama likes the fact that Emanuel knows policy, knows politics, knows Capitol Hill.
Obama has told associates that he knows that Emanuel will 'have his back.'"
UPDATE I: Emanuel says yes.
UPDATE II: Here's a nice biographical piece about Rahm Emanuel and his brothers from the Washingtonian, published May 2008.
UPDATE: President Bush weighed in on the historic nature of the 2008 election: "No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday. Across the country, citizens voted in large numbers. They showed a watching world the vitality of America's democracy, and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union. They chose a President whose journey represents a triumph of the American story -- a testament to hard work, optimism, and faith in the enduring promise of our nation. Many of our citizens thought they would never live to see that day. This moment is especially uplifting for a generation of Americans who witnessed the struggle for civil rights with their own eyes -- and four decades later see a dream fulfilled....It will be a stirring sight to watch President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House. I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have awaited so long."
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
If McCain/Palin Win
- John McCain would be the first septagenarian (72) and oldest to be elected.
- McCain would be the first Vietnam vet elected to either to the presidency or vice presidency.
- McCain would be the first Arizonan to win the presidency or vice presidency.
- Sarah Palin would be the first female vice president.
- Palin would be the first Alaskan to win the presidency or vice presidency.
If Obama/Biden Win
- Barack Obama would be the first African-American to be elected.
- Obama would be the first President born in Hawaii.
- Joe Biden would be the first Roman Catholic vice president.
- Biden would be the first president or VP from Delaware.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Alaska (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Ted Stevens (R) vs. Mark Begich (D)
Predicted winner: Begich
Observation: Stevens is likely headed for prison. Hard to cast votes from a jail cell. 'Nuff said.
Colorado (Open Republican Seat)
Matchup: Bob Schaffer (R) vs. Rep. Mark Udall (D)
Predicted winner: Udall
Observation: Colorado is trending blue all the way. Udall is a well-respected name in the West
Kentucky (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Mitch McConnell (R) vs. Bruce Lunsford (D)
Predicted winner: McConnell
Observation: Senate Minority Leader in serious trouble. Hangs on by a finger nail; Kentuckians like the earmarks.
Georgia (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Saxby Chambliss (R incumbent) vs. Jim Martin (D)
Predicted winner: Chambliss
Observation: Incumbent hangs on in surprisingly close race. If Chambliss loses, it will signify a rout for Obama and Dems.
Louisiana (Democratic Seat)
Matchup: Mary L. Landrieu (D) vs. John Kennedy (R)
Predicted winner: Landrieu
Observation: Only Democratic seat in jeopardy no longer in jeopardy.
Minnesota (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Norm Coleman (R) vs. Al Franken (D) vs. Dean Barkley (I)
Predicted winner: Coleman
Observation: 3-way race makes prediction difficult. Coleman hangs on in nail-biter.
Mississippi (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Roger Wicker (R) vs. Ronnie Musgrove (D)
Predicted winner: Wicker
Observation: Mississippi is still deep red. Musgrove will come close though.
New Hampshire (Republican Seat)
Matchup: John E. Sununu (R) vs. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
Predicted winner: Shaheen
Observation: In a normal year, Sununu hangs on. 2008 is not a normal year.
New Mexico (Open Republican Seat)
Matchup: Steve Pearce (R) vs. Tom Udall (D)
Predicted winner: Udall
Observation: Sibling tandem in U.S. Senate? Yep.
North Carolina (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Elizabeth Dole (R) vs. Kay Hagan (D)
Predicted winner: Hagan
Observation: "Godless" ad will backfire on Dole.
Oregon (Republican Seat)
Matchup: Gordon H. Smith (R) vs. Jeff Merkley (D)
Predicted winner: Merkley
Observation: Incumbent GOP Senator running ads touting ties to Obama, Biden and Dems? Not a good sign.
Virginia (Open Republican Seat)
Matchup: James S. Gilmore (R) vs. Mark Warner (D)
Predicted winner: Warner
Observation: Virginia electes a different Warner, different party.
Final predicted tally: Dems +7. With Lieberman possibly forced out of Democratic Caucus, he switches to GOP or at least caucuses with them.
Final predicted composition of Senate (currently 51-49 Dem control): Dems 57-GOP 43
Sunday, November 2, 2008
- George W. Bush: 286
- John Kerry: 252
- Obama wins Iowa, Colorado, & New Mexico.
- McCain wins New Hampshire.
In 1796, due to a quirk in the electoral voting process, electors were mandated to vote for president and vice president without a separate ballot for VP. Though this was later fixed by passage of the 12th Amendment, John Adams (F-MA) and Thomas Jefferson (D-R VA) became president and vice president despite representing opposing parties and philosophies of the young republic. Four years of acrimony ensued.
Anyone that lived in Ohio in 2004 who wasn't in a cave with soundproofed walls and no TV knows the routine. The fact that all four candidates and their spouses will be in Northeast Ohio for much of their last-minute Ohio push demonstrates that this part of the state, a Democratic stronghold, will be a key to winning Ohio.
For Obama it will be about GOTV in the urban areas and activating voter groups that are harder to activate typically: African-Americans, young people and college students, and first time voters. Obama needs to overperform in Northeast Ohio to offset losses in red Western Ohio. McCain needs to perform well in places like the Mahoning Valley and rural, suburban, and exurban parts of Northeast Ohio that surroung the urban centers. we'll find out Wednesday which campaign had a better plan to win the Buckeye State.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
- White House chief of staff: Lehman or longtime McCain aide and speechwriter Mark Salter
- Senior counselor to the president: Top campaign official and personal friend Rick Davis
- Secretary of state: World Bank President and former deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick; Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.); former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage
- Treasury secretary: FedEx founder Fred Smith; former eBay CEO Meg Whitman; Bain Capital co-founder and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; John Thain, former Merrill Lynch CEO and now president of Global Banking, Securities and Wealth Management at Bank of America
- Secretary of defense: Lehman; Lieberman; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); current Defense Secretary Robert Gates
- Attorney general: Graham; former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.); former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
- Secretary of education: Former Arizona superintendent of education Lisa Graham Keegan
- National security adviser: Policy adviser Randy Scheunemann
- Office of Management and Budget: Former Congressional Budget Office director and campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Two Ohio names are conspicuously absent: Rob Portman and Mike DeWine. Portman has a phenomenal amount of experience in Washington for someone in his early 50s. Portman previously served in the George Bush 41 White House as associate counsel and in the Bush 43 White House as U.S. Trade Representative and OMB Director. The White House experience bookends his 12 years in the House of Representatives. Perhaps Portman has revealed to the McCain folks that he is more interested in staying in Ohio and running for Governor or Senator should George Voinovich retire. If not, his name should be on the short list for just about any high level staff position or Cabinet slot.
Mike DeWine is a name that should also be on the list. DeWine was an early supporter of McCain's presidential bid and is a household name in Ohio. As a former county prosecutor, member of the state legislature, and two-term U.S. Senator, I would think DeWine would be on the short list for Attorney General.
Of course, half of this speculation about McCain and Obama administration personnel will be moot on Wednesday. It is fun to play the name game though.