Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A cup of heh

I totally missed this last week.

That’s me in that there Instapundit post:


UPDATE: Reader Jeff Dobbs writes:

Yes, that’s obvious in hindsight. All the latte-liberals cut their Stabucks intake to send that money to Obama.

The real question is, will Obama let them go back to spending money at Starbucks — or, once in office, will he continue to ask them to donate to His Cause, never again to return to, what is, let’s face it, just the transient trappings of capitalist self-indulgence.

“Just remember that if you purchase that cup of coffee, the taste will be bitter as you consider what that money could have done to help Barack Obama change the world.”


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Things...

ONE: While I'm not completely walking away from this blog -- post-eleection there will be a dramatically noticable lack of posting.

[VIMH: On to bigger and better things, huh?]
Eh, other and different things, mostly. When something strikes my fancy, I'll wander back. But I have no idea how often that will be.

[VIMH: And?]
And what?

[VIMH: Did you forget?]
Forget what?

[VIMH: You said there were two things.]
Oh, right.

TWO: I really, really don't like long good-byes.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Election Postmortem II

Of course, we all know that the Obama campaign was built upon the theme of Hope and Change. The Audacity of Hope, the Change We Can Believe In.

Worked like catnip amongst Democratic primary voters.

But once out of the primaries, Hope and Change were put on notice.

Whether it was nominating Jim Johnson to head his VP selection committee that signaled his departure from Change (not to mention the assinine VP selection himself, the consumate unchanging Washington insider of consummate assininity), or the entire atmosphere at the Democratic National Convention in Denver that showed his abandonment of Hope, Obama made clear that his primary strategy of Hope and Change in the primaries would take a secondary role in the general election based on Politics as Usual.

But. Now Obama has won. Whatever we may have made of his strategy, it is his strategy that has prevailed.

But whatever happened to the Hope and Change from the early Obama campaign?


Obama Buries Hope and Change

RIP, Hope and Change

Not that many Obama supporters mind, really. Being lied to in the name of electing Obama is a small price to pay, Hope and Change be damned.

Thanks to the incomparable Ann from the JustOneMinute comments community for the pic!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Postmortem

I don't think I've ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did when Fox News called Ohio for Obama. She just couldn't understand why the voters would elect someone like Obama, when so many things are wrong in this country. "Don’t voters care about our country anymore?" she asked pitifully.

I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the voters seem to be abandoning the principles on which our country was founded. "Honey, I am afraid that we have come to the point in our nation’s history when a majority of her people has become fat, lazy and stupid…exploited by the Democrats out to gain power and enrich themselves as the country rots from within.”

I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessness were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, "Honey, I just don't know - I don't know what's going on in this country anymore..."

When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Democrats doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it's too much, but seeing the strength in my young daughter's voice helped me to get through.

TOO CUTE BY HALF (update 11/07): Well, perhaps CheChe isn’t as well known or widely remembered as I had thought. For those who may not remember, let’s point to some reminders of the mini-celebrity from 2006.

Back then CheChe was parodying the left’s reaction to political setback. But it wasn’t clear at first that it was the work of a parodist. Because it rang true. Because people on both the left and the right knew that such a reaction was in line with what one could expect from the blogospheric left.

I hope no one thought that I so completely fell to pieces that I was relying on my five year old daughter for strength because I couldn’t hold it together. That’s not me, and I hope no one believes that is a reaction that rings true of the larger blogospheric right. It certainly does not in the places I traverse.

My post, which may have been too oblique for its own good, is intended in the same spirit as Jim Treacher’s:


You're not them.

(Thanks to Jim who reminded me that not everybody may remember CheChe)

We get defeated and it hurts. I didn't necessarily shed a tear, but I definitely got that "punch in the gut" feeling. But the pain doesn’t debilitate us, it motivates us. We do not rely upon the strength of children to help us keep it together, even if we do look to them for inspiration in our efforts, hoping to pass on to them a nation that is strong and prosperous and free.

We get up, get to work, and – since I committed a Biden in this post by seemingly attributing the words of another to myself, I will use him too in this point – we gird our loins for the inevitable battles that the results of this election ensure that we will face.

Our strength is not diminished even when our political power has been. Let’s get to work.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Want to follow election results in North Carolina?

Here is the state board of elections results website.

Election returns won’t come out until after the polls close this evening. But we will hear about exit polls before that.

Don’t pay attention. Or if you do, cast a very suspicious eye toward them -- Trust Exit Polls at Your Peril.

And above all else, VOTE.

Yes, it is likely going to be a long night.

UPDATE (12:56 AM 11/05): We've held on as long as we could -- trying to wait until North Carolina is called. It's close. Obama was up early, at one point by 8 points, even before Mecklenberg, Wake and Durham counties were reporting. Then McCain came back and took the lead, no more than 1-2 points for a very long time. And just recently, Obama retook the lead, by a fraction of a point. 99% of precincts in -- but no one is calling the race. Razor thin.

AND: Congratulations to now President-elect Barack Obama. We don't like him. We don't support many of his positions. But we respect the fact that he won. We respect the office to which he has been elected. We will oppose him vigorously in the policies he says he will pursue. But when inaugurated, he will be the President. Our opposition will be respectful of the office, of the president -- and, we hope, respectable in the way we conduct it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

Card twelve.

This is our final card. While Obama may not have the same high visibility direct links that others in the deck have, like Franklin Raines and James Johnson, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the breadth of Obama's presence in the varying aspects of the subprime meltdown is disasterously impressive.

Let's return to Stanley Kurtz's NY Post article for his ties to ACORN.

WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit. ...

IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mort gage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.

We'll again admonish anyone who hasn't already read the meat of that article to do so.

For another close link between Obama and subprime lending, how about his national campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker:

White House hopeful Barack Obama talks a lot on the campaign trail about how failing banks have used subprime loans to victimize customers.

"Part of the reason we got a current mortgage crisis has to do with the fact that people got suckered in to loans that they could not pay," he told a crowd in Reading, Pa., last week. "There were a lot of predatory loans that were given out, a lot of teaser rates. Banks and financial institutions making these loans were making money hand over fist."

One of the banks that went under after making a lot of subprime loans -- leaving 1,400 of its customers without part of their savings -- was Chicago's Superior Bank.

At the helm of Superior Bank at least some of the time was Obama's national finance chairwoman, Penny Pritzker, an heiress to the Pritzker fortune.

And if that's not enough, let's judge Obama on his judgement in selecting former CEO of Fannie Mae, James Johnson, to head his VP selection committee.

And finally, let's note that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the epicenter of the subprime disaster, found in Barack Obama a politician worth spending lots of money on. Obama has received over $126,000 from Fannie and Freddie in his not quite four years in the US Senate. To put that into perspective, only Senator Chris Dodd has received more money from Fannie and Freddie than Obama among congressmen -- and the money Dodd has received has come over a period from 1989 to today.

Barack Obama and the subprime disaster? His fingerprints are everywhere.

Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad
Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott
Card six: Jack of Hearts, Gregory Meeks
Card seven: King of Hearts, James Johnson
Card eight: Queen of Diamonds, Maxine Waters
Card nine: King of Spades, Harry Reid
Card ten: Ace of Diamonds, Barney Frank
Card eleven: King of Diamonds, Franklin Raines

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trust Exit Polls at Your Peril

Jim Geraghty posted this yesterday:

McCain Voters Less Likely To Respond To Exit Pollsters

Obviously, it's tough to measure the attitudes of those who refuse to talk to pollsters, but this question in Fox News' latest survey confirms a long-held suspicion [...]

Now, I'll tell you now - polls close first in Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and Virginia at 7 p.m. eastern Tuesday . I find it extremely likely that Indiana and Virginia will be called for Obama immediately after the polls close by at least one network, based on these exit polls that have fewer pro-McCain respondents.

The ingredients are there for a rerun of 2004, when the exit polls indicated a Kerry victory and deviated signficantly from the actual results.

Most interesting. Let's put this in the context of a piece Rick Ballard wrote at American Thinker:

It is my belief that the story from Marion County will become the equivalent of the early call of Florida for Gore in the 2000 election. I expect to see early stories of "massive and unexpected turnout in Indianapolis" all day long with a very early call (like 6:01) of Marion County for Obama, followed by "if McCain is doing this poorly in Indiana, it's all over". The whole purpose of such a story will be to suppress Republican turnout in states where the polls are still open, particularly in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

There is no question that this election is going to be tight. There is also no question that it will be the Republican Get Out The Vote effort which will make or break John McCain's chance of winning. There is no question that Obama, Axelrod and the media will be working hand in glove all day Tuesday to generate as much positive noise about the inevitability of an Obama win as possible. There is a solution to the problem: "Now get out there and vote, dammit"

Yes, Florida in 2000, and the election of 2004, let's just say there's a pattern. Speaking of 2004, when the first exit polls came out, we were subjected to reports that John Kerry was up big in key states. Liberals and Democats were ecstatic, Conservatives and Repulicans were despondent. Both swallowed what the poll data was selling. The Kerry campaign began its premature victory dance:

Kerry spokesman Mike McCurry said Friday that on election day, as Kerry was conducting four hours of local television interviews aimed at increasing last-minute turnout, McCurry and top aides John Sasso and Bob Schrum were receiving wildly positive reports from their state directors and encouraging exit polls on their Blackberrys.

McCurry said they didn't dare tell Kerry the good news, for fear he might stop the interviews, but Schrum could not contain his optimism the moment the candidate had finished.

"Let me be the first to call you Mr. President,'' Schrum said to Kerry.

(and proving that he does not learn from history, Shrum wanted to be the first to call Obama Mr. President, too)

Bob Shrum was not only the first person to call John Kerry "Mr. President", he was the last -- apart from those deluded or those making jokes at his expense.

But listen. We're in for it again on Tuesday. Mark my words. Gird your loins. Trying to sift through innacurate exit polls...it'll be like cleaning the Augean stables, man.

Rest assured, we will hear stories of Obama winning, and winning big, in exit polls. And as Mr. Ballard mentions, it will be used in a manner to help write the narrative that an Obama win is upon us, inevitable, imminent, that there is no need to vote, McCain supporters out west might as well stay home.

But raw exit poll data is seriously flawed for the reason that Geraghty points out. Let's take a look at the numbers. I went to the Fox survey so I could get the break downs for Very likely, Somewhat likely, Not very likely and Not likely at all categories for both candidates in terms of responding to exit pollsters.

Very likely = 46%
Somewhat likely = 31%
Not very likely = 9%
Not likely at all = 11%

Very likely = 35%
Somewhat likely = 29%
Not very likely = 16%
Not likely at all = 16%

Next, let's assign an assumed response rate to each category to represent the percentage of those who would actually participate in an exit poll...

Very likely = 87.5%
Somewhat likely = 62.5%
Not very likely = 37.5%
Not likely at all = 12.5%

NOW...applying the value for the percentage of Obama and McCain supporters who say they are in each category to the response rate of each category, you can estimate the number of voters who would actually participate in an exit poll.

Exit Polling: Who Responds

That is, if you asked 100 Obama voters to participate in an exit poll, you would get the following totals…

Very likely = 40.3
(out of 100 Obama voters polled, 46 of them would be in this category and 87.5% of them would agree to participate)
Somewhat likely = 19.4
Not very likely = 3.4
Not likely at all = 1.4
TOTAL = 64.4

Out of 100 actual Obama voters, 64.4 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

And if you asked 100 McCain voters…

Very likely = 30.6
Somewhat likely = 18.1
Not very likely = 6.0
Not likely at all = 2.0
TOTAL = 56.8

Out of 100 actual McCain voters, 56.8 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

Out of 200 actual voters asked, 121.2 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

NOW…let's say you were to ask 1,000,000 people to participate in an exit poll in an election where the vote was split exactly 50/50…

Exit Polling: 50-50 Scenario

Obama -- 53.1%

McCain -- 46.9 %

Obama would have a lead of 6.2% in the exit poll when the vote was actually 50/50.

Or if you reverse the process…and had the same situation -- but the election itself was McCain 53.1% and Obama 46.9%...the exit polls would show 50/50!!!

Exit Polling: 53-47 Scenario

Watch those exit poll numbers as they come out Tuesday evening. In the hands of competent and objective analysts, who account for the likelihood that Obama voters will participate more than McCain supporters, there can be some great information about who is winning.

In the hands of an Obamaphilic media eager to write the narrative that Obama is winning in order to suppress votes?

Be prepared to endure a great amount of disinformation.

And no matter anything else, let's return to Mr. Ballard's admonition:

"Now get out there and vote, dammit"