Friday, November 7, 2008


By now, nearly a full 3 days later, everybody, in every remote corner of the world, knows that Obama won.

I may devote some more space in this blog to a post-facto discussion of Election '08, but I am re-directing reflections on all other topics to my more general blog, temporarily named My Tuppence Worth, hosted at

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Stuff of Nightmares: McCain Win Scenarios

Excellent article with various McCain E.V. win schemes here at

Friday, October 31, 2008

Slate on Obama's Kenyan Family

Great article here. An excerpt that makes me revisit my earlier outrage that Obama may know of but not help his relatives is:

Last August, Italian Vanity Fair "discovered" Barack's half-brother George, who lives in the marginalized outskirts of Nairobi; his plight was sensationalized by international media and in turn exploited by conservatives who suggested that the candidate doesn't care for his own family. Because of the widely brachiated nature of the Kenyan Obama family tree, as for many traditional African families, notions of family are very complicated. Certainly, the Obamas that Barack seems closest with appear loved, financially secure, and not at all resentful.
"Notions of family are very complicated." This line resonated with me because I remembered some friends of mine from the Congo, whose own family structure, though at first seemingly nuclear, I later grew to suspect were complicated and with sub-branches. Perhaps it's only right and fitting that Obama not feel that he owes something to the dozens of cousins he has.

Polls Tightening

Comparing today with Wednesday on

  • VA downgraded to light blue
  • NM upgraded to dark blue

Also, Obama's lead is narrowing, though not in any way justifying panic. Still the fact that several polls (e.g. Rasmussen) don't show more than a 3-4% lead for Obama in VA makes me wonder whether I should get involved....

Speaking of numbers, only 45% of voters saw the Obamercial. I guess Rasmussen's report is typical of all pollster summaries, but it's so densely worded, it reads like an Onion parody. My favorite para:

Forty-three percent (43%) of those who have already voted watched all of the ad. Forty-eight percent (48%) of those who have yet to cast their ballots did not watch any of it. Nearly half (49%) of those who say they are certain to vote were non-watchers, while 26% of that group watched the entire program.
Returning to the Aunt Zeituni story, the Post took it up today. Apparently still no comment from the Obama campaign. The UK press continues this thread, though, with the Glasgow Record reporting Obama's half-brother Abongo is afraid he'll be killed.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Aunt Zeituni in Boston Public Housing?! So much for "spreading the wealth," Barry.

Saw it today. First broke on Times of London here, then I saw a more detailed report in the Boston Globe, here.

I am going to start my dissident alarm. How could Obama have allowed his aunt, whom he so tenderly referenced in his memoir, to languish in poverty and public housing? Why have we not known about her earlier? How can Obama or at least the campaign not possibly know she's here, especially when she's repeatedly been giving small donations?

This is strange. It's not "fishy" in the way that the conspiracy theorists and right-wing loons are saying. But for me, this is the first reason to doubt Barack Obama, to see him as being, quite possibly, an uncompassionate and self-interested person. He may have visited his father's village, but he seems not to believe that it takes a village. (Hmmm...Maybe that basic philosophical distinction would explain the added vitriol in the Obama vs Hillary primary?)

Obesity and Red-state-ness

Having lived in both the Deep South and the Northeast, it hasn't escaped my attention that there are way more obese people down there than up here. This map, based on CDC statistics, is a visualization of that fact.

Now does anybody else see a pattern between obesity and Republican-voting? If there is a correlation, it's only one way. If a state is obese (i.e. 28& or higher--brown and red on this map), it's almost definitely going to go for McCain. Note that Obama has sway with most of the 27's, the orange states--NC, GA, MO, IN, OH are this year's swing states.

However, the converse (leanness implying Obama) is clearly not the case. Only 4 of the 7 leanest states (dark and light green on this map) are reliably Democratic (and, off-topic, I'm proud that 3 of those 4 are in New England and that CT is the 3rd leanest state in the country). Put differently: while Utah is almost as lean as Rhode Island, but they're very different, politically.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A glance 4 years back: Obama as the only hope.

Barring the unforeseen, Democrats shouldn't have to go through the same soul-searching as we did on November 3, 2004, when Kerry conceded. That day--Black Wednesday--was the last day I posted in my blog Metastrophe before sinking into torpor and cynicism. However, there were some who did not sink back--they started fighting. Looking back at my last entries, the seeds of change were clearly geminating. That day, I had referenced the Daily Kos post "Values," which, as you can guess, was about the problem of Dems talking about "values." invoked Obama's way out as the key:

We need to retake the language. We need to reframe the notion of "value".

That's why Obama's speech below is so brilliant. He speaks of God in a way that not just fails to offend this atheist, but inspires me. It's faith used for the purpose of living a good life, rather than faith wielded as a weapon against a whole class of people.

While I don't see the speech "below," it must refer to Obama's speech at the '04 convention. And if you peruse the 711 comments section on that post, there were already lots of people, as here or here, turning to Obama as the only real choice, predicting him to be the next president (wow, I muse, how can these folks have been so prescient? Was I really that out-of-the-know not to have noticed Obama back then?). There were already people using slogans like "Yes We Can" and even referencing groups like "Philly for Obama." Does this mean we can make the case that Obama's campaign, spiritually speaking, began the day Kerry lost the election? I think the Kos post reveals that, yes, we can.