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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the debates....

The NYTimes has a surprisingly interesting article on the negotiations for the debates. (They start Friday.)

Short version, Palin-Biden will be tightly controlled to limit interplay at the behest of the McCain campaign. Also, Both the Obama and McCain camps wanted to flip the order so the foreign policy debate is the first one, and economics/domestic issues are last. (First debate on a Friday night? What kind of viewership?)

(Also, from me, Starting midweek the candidates will be really working their debate prep, so watch for the campaigns to try to stir things up this week, forcing their opponents out of their practice sessions and casting a negative spin on the debates. (Maybe that's what the Fournier race article was about?))

Picture of the Day - 2

(An injured man is seen leaving the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, following a large explosion late Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008, killing at least 40 with dozens more likely inside the building. The Marriott in Islamabad is a favorite place for foreigners to stay and gather. (AP Photo/APTN))

(AP, Reuters, AFP, NYTimes, WaPo)

Reinjecting race

The AP has a massively long article on a Stanford poll showing endemic racism in America. Duh.

Later: I didn't even notice the Ron Fournier byline. You might remember that Fournier has authored several very dubious articles favoring McCain and was offered a job in the McCain campaign at one point. So, treat this for what it is.

Picture of the Day

My favorite is on the lower left. "Obama endorsed by the KKK."

How crazy do you have to be to hold up that sign?

(Protesters hold up signs against Senator Barack Obama at the University of Miami, Florida September 19, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

Why I think there will be no "Bradley effect" in 2008.

I don't think the "Bradley effect" (I'm sure he's as happy to have it named after him as Lou Gehrig was) will significantly apply this year.

(Short definition from wikipedia: The Bradley effect refers to a tendency on the part of white voters to tell pollsters that they are undecided or likely to vote for a Black candidate, when, on election day, they vote for his/her white opponent.)

To me, the charge of "inexperience" against Barack Obama is giving an outlet for the legitimization of that racism before the pollsters. Instead of saying, "I won't vote for a black man because I don't think they're capable," the "inexperience" charge allows those racist thoughts an legitimate cover, "I won't vote for this black man because I don't believe he's capable, and here's why.

There's no need for them to lie to the pollsters because "inexperience" allows a specificity to Obama that offers a cover for a broader prejudice in front of pollsters that's considered legitimate and socially acceptable.

So, because of this, no need for people to lie to pollsters to hide their racism. Hence no Bradley effect.

Am I making sense here?

Interestingly, the two most recent technical analyses I've seen showed no Bradley effect in the Dem primaries.

(PS. I'm not saying that all people citing "inexperience" are racist, I'm just saying alot of racists are citing "inexperience." (All poodles are dogs, not all dogs are poodles.))


Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

--John McCain in the Sept/Oct issue of Contingencies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Timing the early voting

One of those under the radar campaign stories has to do with the timing of early voting in states. It's expected that maybe 30% of all votes cast this year may be "early voting" which sets up some unusual challenges in campaign scheduling.

For instance, Florida's early voting starts right about now, so Obama's down in Florida. You figure his in-state appearance will be coupled with local efforts to get out the (early) vote.

It just presents a weird problem adding all sorts of new challenges in the GOTV effort.

Question: Does early voting make Obama's ground game advantage more important, or less important?

You could argue more important as it allows far more chances to get early voters (and irregular voters) to cast a ballot, or you could argue less important in that it allows a longer GOTV window for McCain's fewer volunteers to make contacts.

(Also note that when 30% of the voters are casting ballots before election day, those late swings in polling don't quite mean as much.)

Picture of the Day - 2 - Obama pushes for women

The Obama push for "white women" is officially on.
(Or at least particular demographics within "white women.")

They're attacking McCain's opposition to equal pay legislation, running ads highlighting the GOP platform's extreme stance on abortion, sending female surrogates all over the country, and coordinating with Hillary Clinton in a new push, "Hillary sent me."

(Is this offense or defense? My hunch is offense, trying to take some field position as Palin fades.)

(Barack Obama flanked by Sen. Claire McCaskill left, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wave during a rally in Coral Gables, Fla., Friday, Sept. 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky))

Later: (WaPo) Biden Targets Female Voters in Va.


Has Joe Lieberman been banned from the McCain bus?

Since his speech at the convention, he hasn't been seen anywhere near McCain. (Or anywhere at all, really.)

Picture of the Day

(Sen. John McCain looks on as a supporter show her love for his vice presidential running mate during a rally, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer))

Imagine working for McCain

I just can't seem to imagine what it would be like to work for McCain. One day he blows up, and the next.....
In a drastic change of tone, John McCain called SEC Chairman Chris Cox "a good man" a day after saying the former California congressman had "betrayed the public trust." and ought to be fired.

He's the Ike Turner of political bosses.

Conflicted at the AEI

The folks at the right wing think tanks who would normally be on TV deriding these bailouts have been "locked down."
We ... are on strict 'no comment' lockdown. We've even pulled some analysts of scheduled TV spots and have been declining any new appearances on the issue.

I'm assuming the "lock down" is in political support of McCain.

Palin the pull string doll

FirstRead has the observation that, even now, Palin is still only repeating her convention speech at appearances.

A nasty narrative for McCain

If the national polls do continue to show a return to Obama +4 or +5, that sets up a rather nasty headwind narrative for McCain that Obama +5 is the equilibrium of the race. We also likely get the reinforcing line that the bounce was more convention than Palin.

That narrative sets McCain up as losing despite his efforts. It sets up the idea of a firmness of Obama +5 and the idea of a fairly stable equilibrium. It raises expectations on the debates (he MUST do something,) and it minimizes any recent polling gains as a convention "bounce," nothing more.

If the big polling does bear out Obama +4 or +5, it puts McCain in a narrative of firmly losing, just a month and a half before the election.

(Also, Is the Republican enthusiasm really just about Palin? Or is/was part of it about Republicans' sudden, and self surprising belief they might actually win? If the narrative becomes "losing," how much of that enthusiasm goes away?)

Also, does the perception that McCain is weak on the economy undermine McCain's 3 AM phone call qualification?

(Housekeeping: Blogger's screwy, so I'm not really getting rewrites. This is a first draft, so accept it as such.)

Blogger is screwy.....

Blogger is very screwy this morning, so irregular posting until it's straightened out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


McCain must be in trouble. He's going to try to talk about "issues."
In last-minute Green Bay speech the Arizonan will attempt to distinguish himself from Obama on the financial crisis.

(Obama is setting up an "all star" advisory group for today. Buffet, Volcker, Ruben, Summers, Paul O'Neil, Laura Tyson.)

A surprising Obama endorsement

A former publisher of National Review makes a very interesting endorsement of Obama.

263 words

Bush is getting widely panned from all sides for his statement on the economy this morning. 263 words, less than 2 minutes, and then he turned and walked away.

Picture of the Day - 2

Bigger fonts means more change, right?

(Sen. Barack Obama waves after a rally in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson))

Political bits

An Alaska TV station has a report about how the McCain campaign has taken over Palin's defense in Troopergate. The unquestionable highlight is the bit at the end where Palin's top aide tries to hide from the camera behind a computer monitor in the office of what was once the State of Alaska's attorney in the matter, and is now Sarah Palin's private attorney.

(CNN) Sarah Palin has been "disinvited" from the anti-Iran rally after the McCain campaign started playing politics with her appearance.

(FirstRead) Believe it or not, the SEC chairman, who McCain threatened to fire earlier today, has a few choice words for McCain about the stupidity of such a plan.

(Politico) Chuck Hagel pretty much tears apart Palin's claims of readiness.

And, (CNN video) McCain's Spain gaffe is getting alot of play.

6PM family hurricane update

Everything's fine, nothing's changing in the family's status. I have power, they don't. The projection is they come on Sunday or Monday. Consumables are easy up here. No longer any lines for food, gas or anything.

It's being projected right now that power restorations will continue for at least two more weeks. (Imagine your entire city (or the 4th largest city in the US) without electricity for a whole week. That's pretty much where we've been.)

(And, although we're fine, don't forget about the people down south, not only Galveston, but all along the coast. Structural damage affecting hundreds of thousands.)

"Top of the ticket"

It appears those newly enthusiastic Republicans aren't so enthusiastic for John McCain. A second report of crowds listening to Palin and then drifting out as McCain begins to speak.

Also: McCain tries to make a statement by saying he'd fire the SEC chair. Only problem, the President can't do that.

(He's flailing around trying to pin blame on anyone but GOP.)

"Straight talk express"

McCain has not spoken to the press corps that follows him in five weeks, or invited national reporters onto his bus in more than two months.

Later: From a pretty ugly portrait of "the new McCain" by Nagourney, NYTimes.
There are now not one but two firmly drawn curtains separating Mr. McCain’s spacious quarters on his plane from the press corps.

On the financial crisis. How serious is it?

Bush canceled two GOP fundraisers in Alabama and Florida to meet with economic advisers today.

Picture of the Day

Don't look now, but the swagger is starting to come back.

(Elko, Nev., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson))


Another US drone/missile attack in Pakistan.

(Although Mullen was meeting with the Pakistanis, just hours before the attack, the Pakistanis say they weren't informed before the attack. It sounds like Mullen was there to smooth over the recent US ground attack inside Pakistan.)

(AP) 7 US soldiers die in Iraq in a Chinook crash.

(AP) The Iraqi parliament is deadlocked on the elections law.

(BBC) Maliki questions the future of the US-Iraq SoFA saying there are "serious and dangerous obstacles" to such a deal ever taking place.

(IntNews) The new head of the UN general assembly slams "acts of aggression" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

New Voters

A WaPo frontpager adds more data on new voter registrations.
Maryland election officials said Tuesday that they expect 250,000 new voters to register by next month's deadline. More than 280,000 Virginians have registered to vote since the beginning of the year.

In the battleground state of Nevada, there are 400,000 more voters registered than four years ago. More than 500,000 have registered in Indiana since the beginning of the year....

Besides Virginia, these are huge numbers in some pretty small states. (400,000 in Nevada! 500,000 in Indiana!)

I'm always surprised when the public gets it.

From the CBS version of the CBS/NYTimes poll.
Just 17 percent of registered voters say McCain chose Palin because she is well qualified for the job of Vice President. Seventy-five percent say McCain made the choice to help win the election.

Or this blanket assessment from the NYTimes version.
The contest appeared to be roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice-presidential selections.

Also: A new Quinnipiac has Obama up by 4. (Bounce is over.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

John McCain's bad day continues.

In no order at all, McCain unintentionally all but declares Spanish PM Zapatero an enemy of America to the Spanish press. (TPM 1, 2, 3)

NBC Nightly News (video) tears apart the Palin lies.

ABCNews (video) tears McCain apart over his flip flop on AIG.

Newsweek blasts McCain over "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

The AP's Glenn Johnson hits McCain with an extremely harsh lede blasting him on his insider/outsider claims.

At the UAW plant today, McCain exited to small but audible chants of Obama, and at his campaign stop in Grand Rapids with Palin, the crowd chanted "Sarah, Sarah," but "haven't once screamed for McCain, even after Palin introduced him."

And, if you believe the NYTimes poll (just one poll and all of that) he might be losing his convention bubble, and Sarah Palin is fading. (DKos has a very stilted look at some of the findings.)

It's getting ugly out there for John. Palin was a "game changer" for a week or two. Has he got anything else left up his sleeve?


You would think after the various "economy flubs" over the past two days the McCain campaign would be attacking Obama very, very hard, but it's my impression that they're not. (At least not as hard as they were a week ago.)

Has all the negative press on the McCain campaign's lies and tactics had an effect? Are they now worried about permanent damage to his image?

Picture of the Day - 3

(Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov., Sarah Palin lay flowers at the grave of former president Gerald R. Fordin Grand Rapids, Mich., Wednesday evening, Sept. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia))

Stray thought

Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account was hacked. Thus far, from what I've seen, there's nothing too inflammatory, but it does lead to two questions. 1) Why is a governor conducting state business on Yahoo email.

2) How did they hack it? Did they crack it at Yahoo or did they spoof her into giving up information (which would be a far bigger deal politically.)

The McCain campaign is outraged. (Outraged, I say!)

I've been waiting on this one.....

It's running in Flint, Michigan. (Not in Florida?)

This issue should do well in the older skewing rustbelt states, blue collar, not economically sophisticated, social security dependent workers. In other words, 'Reagan Democrats'.

6PM Hurricane update

For friends and family, nothing has substantially changed. Parents and Catherine still don't have power and commercial life is getting easier by the day.


Even in its wildest imaginings, Al Qaeda couldn't have done more damage to American wealth.

There's a tiger loose in Galveston.

I'll repeat that. There's a TIGER loose in Galveston.

According to a radio report, it was someone's pet left behind during the evacuation, and it has since gotten loose.

The animal control folks can't get to it/can't find it, so earlier today one of the rescue helicopters went around and airdropped meat into areas where it's been seen in the hopes of keeping it well fed and not hunting.

Just a little local color.

Picture of the Day - 2

If anyone cares, FEMA's not really helping.

The mayors of Houston and Galveston are working their tails off, along with the judges in charge of the counties, but FEMA is still slow, late, and too little.

In Houston, the best results so far are coming from the local officials coordinating with private companies.

Krogers, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot all deserve significant positive mention for their corporate efforts to get their stores open and bring in supplies. Each of those worked to get hub locations stocked and open within 36 hours.

Right now, at a FEMA distribution site, getting food(MRE's), ice, or water is 2 hours if they have supplies at that time, whereas, in Houston, I can pop into a Krogers and not even see a line.

It's very different in Galveston. Authorities are not allowing private suppliers to ship onto the island.

(Picture is bigger if you click it.)

(Anita Kasper cleans outside a west Galveston clinic the staff wants to reopen for emergency care. (Scott Olson: Getty Images))

New meme

A new meme making the rounds: McCain peaked too early.

A contender for headline of the year

Poll shows support for torture among Southern evangelicals

Because Jesus would have wanted it that way.....


Under what circumstances would Americans accept civilian deaths at the hands of another country?

(AP) Gates expresses regret for civilian deaths

What should be the message today

From a WaPo frontpager looking at McCain and deregulation.
Three years earlier, McCain had joined with other Republicans to push through landmark legislation sponsored by then-Sen. Phil Gramm (Tex.), who is now an economic adviser to his campaign. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act aimed to make the country's financial institutions competitive by removing the Depression-era walls between banking, investment and insurance companies.....

McCain now condemns the executives at those companies for pursuing the ambitions that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act made possible....

Kinda getting lost.....

What's kinda being lost about McCain's "Blackberry comment" is that the Senate GOP had McCain, a man who didn't know how to turn on a computer, as the Commerce Committee chair, and Ted "a series of tubes" Stevens as the vice chair.... for years.

Seriously, the GOP placed the Senate's internet/wireless/technology committee under the stewardship of these two guys, known for their friendliness with lobbyists, not knowledge of the subject.

Picture of the Day

(Henry Kissinger, speaks with Carly Fiorina in a VIP box at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 4, 2008. (Rick Wilking/Reuters))

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


“This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews. "

(They still want her fundraising, though.)

An unhappy press corps

Like they're going to let him talk to the press after today....
Reporters traveling with John McCain are slightly miffed that the senator hasn't had any face time with them in, well, a month and three days (but who's counting?).

So, when Straight Talk Air departed Tampa today, a dozen reporters chanted, "Bring Mac back! Bring Mac back!".....

The chanting lasted under a minute as staffers in the business cabin smiled and then promptly closed the curtain between business and coach.

Is there a price for screwing your traveling press?

Also, take a minute to note that Tucker Bounds, the McCain campaign spokesman, has now been directly confronted about lying on all three cable networks.

Sometimes it's the things that don't happen

Just curious.....
With little explanation, President Bush on Tuesday scrapped a statement he planned to give on the tumultuous financial markets...

As announced by the White House, Bush was scheduled to make comments to a pool of reporters after huddling with a key financial working group....

Yet after the session began, the White House told the press never mind. Spokesman Tony Fratto said only: "We decided it would be best to limit public comment about markets today." He declined to offer any explanation about why limiting Bush comment would be best, or why on this particular day.

The meeting went on as planned.

After the session, White House press secretary Dana Perino offered only a one-sentence description of the session.

6PM Family hurricane update.

Everything's pretty much where it was yesterday. Catherine and parent's without power, but basic food and ice are pretty easy here. No real lines. Produce and eggs aren't quite in yet, but other than that you can get pretty much anything you need now. Gas is still two hours, but that should be changing as more power comes on. The bottleneck is in powered stations, not supply.

Went to the mall with the whole crew today. (The Galleria and Memorial City both have underground powerlines, so they came back up almost immediately.) Ate crappy Sbarro pizza and walked around.

One of the images I'll remember of this hurricane is all the people gathered around the mall's kiosk power outlets with their mobile phones and computers plugged in so that they contact relatives. With the power out, everybody's in their laundry day clothes everywhere you go.

Anyhow, things are better than expected for us, but once again, down south people are living a very different experience.

"Enough is enough"

The McCain camp must be feeling real pressure over the economy (especially after his "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" statement.)

They're running a new ad which tries to hijack the Obama refrain, "Enough is Enough."

Also notice that today he tries to rewrite yesterday's "fundamentals" comment
Makes a point during the event to say “it is a bad economy,” after Monday flurry over his “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” remarks.

McCain is a lousy "frontrunner."

I don't know what it is about John McCain, but everytime he gets some momentum in a presidential candidacy, he implodes. The Confederate flag in 2000. The campaign collapse when he was considered "the Republican frontrunner" in 2007. Now we have this rash of gambles and mistakes coming about now.

Carly Fiorina off message, "Palin couldn't run a corporation, neither could McCain."

Holtz Eakin saying McCain invented the blackberry and WiFi when McCain self admittedly didn't know how to turn on a computer.

And, of course the unbelievable McCain statement yesterday that "The fundamentals of the economy are strong."

That's three ridiculous sounding soundbites in 24 hours.

I would say there are two things in this. 1) He seems to be a lousy "hands off" organizational manager and his people and message end up all over the place. 2) His campaigns are always better at attacking the other than promoting McCain.

Later: To a lesser degree, add this one. The McCain and Palin stumps right now blast CEO's golden parachutes, like the $45 million Carly Fiorina left with after being run out of HP.


Look, if my language is a little inexact, or my positions seem a little weird, understand that I'm trying to blog amidst hurricane recovery. I'm running from here to my parents', helping my neighbors clean up, boiling drinking water, and trying to access good food and gas.

Accept that you're not getting the "A" game right now.

Picture of the Day

A "commission"?

You know politicians are desperate to distance themselves and buy time when they propose a commission to study the problem.
John McCain this morning called for a commission modeled on the government's in-depth investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attack to probe what prompted the financial crisis now gripping Wall St and sending shockwaves through the market.

(How long does "a commission" take? Is that really his best plan?)

The inertia of lying part II

Sometime last week (pre-hurricane) I wrote a post indicating that the McCain campaign was gambling that the long held media and public image of McCain ("honor," reputation, and biography) would hold through a series of lies and slimy attacks. That slowly doesn't seem to be the case.

It's not just the left howling. "Elite media" opinion does now seem to be turning against McCain.

Add David Brooks questioning Sarah Palin's readiness.

Add Richard Cohen who outright calls McCain a liar.

And these are just two examples I came across this morning. There's an inertia developing against McCain, an inertia of lying. It's beginning to permeate the narrative and show up as shading in the coverage.

(The real dangerous part of this gamble to me is that if McCain does wobble in the polls, this may well be cited as the reason, reinforcing the storyline and potentially creating a cycle.)

The McCain campaign's bet is that the majority of voters don't pay close enough attention for this image/action dissonance to pass through. We'll see if that's true.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What does Sarah Palin have against women who were raped?

Just a weird observation. We all know about Palin's efforts in Wasilla to make women pay for their own rape evidence kits, an effort that eventually led to a law being passed in the Alaska legislature specifically to stop Palin because the policy was considered so wrong.

Next we have Palin's abortion stance. Roughly, it doesn't matter if you were raped, you have to have the baby. (I always have trouble with the "Being raped is god's will" argument.)

Tonight, I come across this in the McCain campaign's efforts to explain away the "Troopergate" firing of Public Safety Commisioner Walt Monegan.
To that end, the campaign released a series of e-mails detailing the frustration several Palin administration officials experienced in dealing with Monegan. The "last straw," the campaign said, was a trip Monegan planned to Washington in July to seek federal money for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases.

I know this this is a very tenuous case, and may be a wildly inappropriate figment of my imagination, but it does seem like, time and again, Palin seems to side against rape victims. (A seeming consistent policy of "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, ladies" "Don't look to the state for help," and "God wanted it this way.") I'll leave the psychological interpolation to y'all.

And, no, this isn't sexist. If it were a man who time and again sided against rape victims, it would be significantly creepy as well.

Alaska has the highest incidence of rape in the country.

(Kind of a late night post. It may seem very wrong tomorrow. If you think this is wildly inappropriate, I'll apologize in advance.)

An interesting pair of Pakistan stories

(AP) "Pakistan's army spokesman says its forces have orders to open fire on U.S. troops if they launch another raid across the Afghan border."

But at the same time, (Reuters) "Pakistani aircraft bombed militant strongholds in a northwestern region on Tuesday while U.S. drones prowled the sky over another militant sanctuary on the Afghan border, a military official and residents said."

So, the US pressure, although officially rejected by Pakistan, does seem to have forced them to bomb off of a US request.

(This is a day after Pakistani troops fired over the heads of US troops on the border supposedly "turning back" a raid.

Pakistani PM Zardari is meeting with the British right now. I'm sure the British are passing some version of the American message.)

Picture of the Day - "Top of the ticket"

(FirstRead) "At his first rally without Palin since selecting her as his running mate, McCain attracted roughly 3,000 people at an arena here with 16,000 seats."

(Politico) "That figure, unchallenged by McCain's campaign, would represent about half of what Palin just drew to her own solo rally just outside Denver, according to estimates from local police and campaign officials."

Daily 6PM hurricane update....

Sorry if the blogging is sketchy, but it's probably going to be that way for a few more days. We have this little life/hurricane thing going on, and I spent the day running around trying to find ice and such for the family.

Everybody's fine. The weather is wonderfully cool for Houston.

Where I am, food is plentiful. Ice and water are available at the few stores that are open without any wait. Power's on in a few spots, but not many, and some restaurants are coming back. More power and stores are expected tomorrow, and the commercial grocery stores are starting to really ship in. Each day is noticeably better.

However, I'm glad I'm not reliant on FEMA. Their distribution sites have been completely jammed with hours long waits. However the supplies there have been pretty consistent. (PS. The FEMA distribution sites have neglected a huge poor black area in south central Houston.)

Gas is a big problem. If you need gas right now, you're looking at multiple hours wait.

Where I am, everything's moving along. People are generally patient, but I'm in an area that didn't get the real force of the storm. No power in most of the areas, but food, water, etc. is available.

Down south where they're relying on FEMA alone, it sounds like it's pretty bad.

(Please pardon the family updates. I'm using the blog as a reference for family, friends, etc. who can't get in touch with the rest of the family.)

Still not at full speed..... Quickhits mishmash

(I'm still not back to full speed here, but there's some big stories out there.)

(WaPo) The entire renewal of wiretapping was Cheney only!!!
President Bush was nowhere in the picture. He was stumping in the battleground state of Ohio, talking up the economy.

(BBC) "Pakistani troops have fired shots into the air to stop US troops crossing into the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, local officials say."

(TheAustralian) Pakistani PM Gilani is sending a message that both he and the President feel "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the (Pakistan) should be respected at all cost."

(NYTimes) "One of the most experienced Western envoys in Afghanistan said Sunday that conditions there had become the worst since 2001. He urged a concerted American and foreign response, even before a new American administration took office, to avoid “a very hot winter for all of us.”

(Reuters) Obama raises $66 million (a record) with 500,000 new donors.

(NYTimes) "the Department of Defense has agreed so far this fiscal year to sell or transfer more than $32 billion in weapons and other military equipment to foreign governments, compared with $12 billion in 2005."

McCain's lies have become news (using the word 'lie')?

Rove offers a "hook" for all the lies coverage by commenting on FoxNews?

(AFP) McCain, Palin defiant in 'lies' storm

A collection of some of the "lies" editorials.

Apparently the Obama camp is now going directly after McCain's character in this ad called "Honor" that I can't get to run right now.

(This is the great gamble by the McCain campaign. They're betting that he can be a lying sleazebag for 90 days, and that the residual "character" cred he's built up over the years among voters will carry through the election.)

And, You gotta give it to Hillary Clinton. She and Bill have always been great at the soundbite.
"We have the opportunity to go beyond the failed policies of the last eight years. I hear a lot of talk about this election, people asking, 'Who are you for?' That's not right question. The right question is: 'Who is for you?' "

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another update

My power is back up, but I'm no sure how long. Family's fine. Frankly, everyone's in remarkably good spirits (maybe because it's not too hot.)

For the broader audience, here's my main lesson so far.

Michael Chertoff will blame anyone else for anything. Nothing is ever his fault. He's dealing blame on the locals as hard as he can.

We're starting to see some stores open, although it's all stuff that was on the shelf pre-Friday. Power's coming back spotty but consistently. I actually saw some restaurants open tonight.

But, new supplies haven't really started to flow in. Limited gasoline, but it's there if you want to wait an hour. No ice, no bottled water where I am, but understand I'm a good 50 miles inland. It sounds like they're not getting it further down south yet either, though.

Chertoff is blaming local officials for ice, water, and emergency food distribution, although that claim seems a little dubious. (See above.)

We're expecting to see more supplies coming in over the next day or two into stores, and everybody seems pretty calm and seems to be taking it pretty much in stride up here in Houston proper, but I'm not really wired into the emergency supply distribution down south where things were so much worse.

(And apparently, because I'm on the subgrid with the police station, I'm a power priority, so family and friends, check back here.

I'll probably be able to post updates somewhat regularly. Parent's and Catherine's phones are down. Their mobile phones work, but they're trying to save the batteries. Feel free to call me. My phone is fine.)

So, I'm doing well, family's doing well, neighbors are doing well.

Just an update.