So how long is this election going to take?

by twit

via MSNBC on November 4, 2008:

… keep an eye on the four states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. If Obama wins just two out of the four, it becomes nearly impossible for McCain to get to 270 — even if he wins Pennsylvania.

… if Virginia is called early for Obama, that will be a sign of a possible big night for the Democrats.

… probably the earliest that we might see the election called for Obama (i.e., him going crossing the 270 mark) would be at 11:00 pm ET.

via the Associated Press on November 4, 2008:

Long lines and malfunctioning machines greeted voters Tuesday as polls across the country were deluged by people wanting to cast ballots in this historic race between Barack Obama and John McCain.

this could be a loooooong night…  or maybe not:

ABC News Andy Fies reports: In Manassas, VA where the Confederacy won the first major battle of its war to preserve slavery, Barack Obama held the last rally of his campaign to become President of the United States.

… It wasn’t the Civil War battleground itself — better Known in the North as Bull Run — but it had that feel. Ninety thousand Obama supporters poured over a distant ridge onto a field below, leading up to and surrounding the stage.

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Vote by phone and other fun tricks

by twit

via Threat Level on October 31, 2008:

The residents of Broward County, Florida have recently received misleading robocalls telling them that they can vote by phone on Election Day, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Friday.

um, what?

Another unknown group is distributing flyers (see the flyer after the jump) with official-looking letterhead around the area of Hampton Roads, Virgina that erroneously inform recipients that because of the crowds at the polls, the Virginia State Board of Elections is scheduling Republicans to vote on November 4th, and Democrats on the 5th.

they… really expect that to work?

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that people in the area have been receiving robocalls with the same message. This particular trick is an old one: In 2004, the New York Times reported the same message going out in the Pittsburgh area via flyers.

apparently, yes.

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A United States of America

by twit

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., bottom right, at a rally in St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Associated Press

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Democrat Barack Obama drew his largest U.S. crowd to date on Saturday – an estimated 100,000 people who came to hear him speak at the Gateway Arch — as he campaigned in battleground Missouri just 17 days ahead of the election. […]

Saturday evening, a crowd estimated at more than 75,000 thronged the Liberty Memorial near downtown Kansas City for another Obama rally.

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

Thursday’s first day of early voting drew record numbers across North Carolina, election officials said, as more than 100,000 people turned out.

[…] Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds

but wait, there’s more…

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epic failures in marketing

by twit

via Philadelphia Will Do: “Horrifying Lottery Mascots Terrorize Gallery

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Baby, he was Born to Run

by lestro

Today on his web site, the Boss publicly endorsed Obama:

https://i2.wp.com/wonkette.com/assets/resources/2008/04/brucespringsteen.jpgSenator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President.

He speaks to the America I’ve envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that’s interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit.

That should definitely help some with those blue collar voters Obama may have offended with his ill-advised and poorly phrased “cling to” bit.

But like the Wright controversy, Obama may be weathering this “cling to” thing better than expected and has significantly cut into Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania and Indiana, according to the LA Times:

The poll found Clinton leading Obama 46% to 41% in Pennsylvania — a far cry from the double-digit margins she held in earlier polls.

In Indiana, where little polling has occurred, previous surveys gave Clinton the edge. The Times/Bloomberg poll put Obama ahead, 40% to 35%.

The leads in Pennsylvania and Indiana are within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

It is also important to note when this poll was conducted:

The telephone interviews took place Thursday through Monday, meaning the bulk were conducted just as controversy broke out over an Obama remark widely criticized as demeaning to rural voters in Pennsylvania.

This really isn’t surprising. In every state where he has campaigned, Obama starts out well behind Clinton – whose name recognition, especially among Democrats, stretches back 16 years – but ends up closing the gap and, given enough time, passing her. (This is why it would be completely unfair to include Michigan and Florida in the delegate totals without a re-vote, because Obama agreed to not campaign there, at the request of the DNC and as a consequence for those states scheduling their primaries early.)

The six weeks between the last primary and the Pennsy vote next week could actually give Obama a chance to not only catch, but pass Clinton, whose favorable ratings now hover around the President’s.

But while the more people see of Obama, the more they like him, the more people see of Hillary, the less they like her. And her husband.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that nearly 60 percent of the country now thinks Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy:

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Obama’s “cling to” might come back to haunt him

by lestro

So at a fundraiser last week in San Francisco , Obama said this:

“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Ouch. It’s the “cling to” that really hurts. The connotation on that phrase is not going to play well.

Not that it will matter to the media or most voters, especially those he’s talking about, but here is the full quote in context:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said. “And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

He tried to better explain on Saturday what he meant to say, and it makes sense:

“Lately there has been a little typical sort of political flare up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois who are bitter,” Obama said Saturday morning at Ball State University.

“They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they’re going through.”

“So I said, well you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country.”

After acknowledging that his previous remarks could have been better phrased, he added:

“The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That’s what sustains us.

But what is absolutely true is that people don’t feel like they are being listened to.”

That’s a little better, but being right in this case hurts him even more because those same voters he’s talking about will probably only hear the first quote, pack that in with Jeremiah Wright and the flag pin thing, wrap it up with his middle name (which is odd considering the Rev. Wright thing, but it’s still there…) and the allegations of being a Harvard-educated, condescending, aloof guy are right back to the fore.

And Hillary and McCain pounced.

In Indianapolis on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton told voters she was “taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America.”

“Senator Obama’s remarks are elitist and they are out of touch,” Mrs. Clinton told an audience. “They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know.”

The McCain campaign late Friday evening criticized Mr. Obama for failing to express regret for his remark.

Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for Mr. McCain, said, “Instead of apologizing to small-town Americans for dismissing their values, Barack Obama arrogantly tried to spin his way out of his outrageous San Francisco remarks.”

“You can’t be more out of touch than that,” he added.

Hillary actually went even further:

“People don’t need a president who looks down on them,” she said. “They need a president who stands up for them.”

Ouch again. That’s a haymaker that could very well resonate and only time will tell if it lands or if Obama defense and general fact of his campaign bringing more people together can block it.

The idea that he was too aloof was one of those bad tastes in the mouths of voters that led to Kerry’s defeat as well, something one of Clinton top surrogates, Sen Evan Bayh, was very quick to point out:

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baby robot overlords and other morning cartoons

by twit

It has been a long couple of days of chronicling the slow-motion train wreck of the Democratic Party, but there’s good news, at least by comparison, as the world welcomes its new baby robot overlords:

https://i1.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44482000/jpg/_44482307_e136d46d-e213-4964-a1b4-f412e5f474cb.jpg

A tiny chemical “brain” which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented.

The molecular device – just two billionths of a metre across – was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously.

“… this is the first time we have created a nano-brain,” [Dr Bandyopadhyay] told BBC News.

… One day they may be able to guide the nanobots through the body and control their functions, he said.

and if the baby robot overlords can’t save us in time, there’s always galaxy-crushing gamma rays:

https://i1.wp.com/msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photo_StoryLevel/080310/080310-sstack-rainbow-hmed-8a.widec.jpg

The spooky thing about this pinwheel is that it appears to be a nearly perfect spiral to us, according to new images taken with the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. “It could only appear like that if we are looking nearly exactly down on the axis of the binary system,” Tuthill said.

… Unfortunately for us, gamma ray bursts seem to be shot right along the axis of systems. In essence, if this pinwheel ever releases a gamma ray burst, our planet might be in the firing line.

… Both the massive stars in WR 104 will one day explode as supernovae. However, one of the pair is a highly unstable star known as a Wolf-Rayet, the last known stable phase in the life of these massive stars right before a supernova.

When the Wolf-Rayet goes supernova, “it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way,” Tuthill said. “If such a ‘gamma ray burst’ happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way.”

Since the initial blast would travel at the speed of light, there would be no warning of its arrival.

hooray! now on to the funnies:

https://i1.wp.com/imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PE/333592~Army-of-Darkness-Posters.jpg“The Clintons have always had a touch of the zombies about them: unkillable, they move relentlessly forward, propelled by a bloodlust for Republicans or uppity Democrats who dare to question their supremacy.”

“Will Hillary win Pennsylvania? Who Cares?”

bonus points: “The next time Hillary uses the recycled red phone ad, counter with one of your own. When the phone rings in the middle of the night, have a woman’s voice, with a flat Midwestern accent, answer it and say, “Hold on” into the receiver.

Then she should shout, “Bill! It’s for you!””

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