Friday, October 31, 2008

From the "Did I read that right?" file: Dead even in Iowa

The "herd mentality" polls are showing some cracks in their credibility.

1 Kings 20:11

"Tell him, 'It is not for the man who is buckling his armor to boast as though he were taking it off.'"

A supporter of Obama's nanny state agenda

Oh how we have fallen from JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

A wise man once said, "If you take from Peter to pay Paul, you can count on Paul's vote."

Interesting early voting pattern, if it holds up

Please take this with a grain of salt. It runs counter to anything that people who are much smarter than me are saying. If it holds true, however, I am seeing something no one else seems to be recognizing and I need to immediately be providing political commentary opposite the ever-so-dreamy Megyn Kelly on Fox News. If I'm wrong, chalk it up to me being a hack seeing things through rosy glasses. Here goes:

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the following early voting exit poll results:

Exit polling of early voters conducted by a local political consultant suggests a close presidential contest in the Silver State: Democratic nominee Barack Obama had the votes of 50 percent who had voted, while Republican nominee John McCain had 48 percent of the early vote.

Why is this intriguing? Because there are way more Democrats that have voted than Republicans. According to the article:

On the first day of early voting, 62 percent of Clark County voters were Democrats, while 23 percent were Republicans and the rest nonpartisans or members of minor parties. Through Sunday, 55 percent of early voters were Democrats, 29 percent Republicans. In Washoe County, 51 percent of the early voters through Sunday were Democrats, while 33 percent were Republicans.

What does that tell me? Democrats are getting out to vote, but many more of them are defecting and voting for McCain than was being anticipated. Could it be the Hillary factor? Is there really a Bradley effect? Operation Chaos? We won't know until Wednesday morning.

There seems to be similar early numbers coming out of Florida, too. According to the LA Times:

Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.

We're thrilled at the record turnout so far," said Democratic Party of Florida spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "It's a clear indication that Democrats want to elect Barack Obama and Democrats up and down the ballot so that we can start creating good jobs, rebuilding our economy and getting our nation back on track.

But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.

It could be nothing, but if this trend of heavy Democrat defections continues in all battleground states through election day, it could be good news for McCain-Palin.

Like I said, take this with a grain of salt.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Schwiiing! Aerosmith axeman endorses John McCain

Joe Perry joins Alice Cooper, who endorsed McCain-Palin last month and long-time McCain supporter, Ted Nugent. Tell me, who's the real rock and roll candidate?

As Wayne and Garth would say: "We're not worthy!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Expecting an October Surprise? If there are any, they'll be surfacing soon

Everyone speculates about October Surprises -- a last-minute attempt at a game changer just before election day. Are there any out there? Who knows. What I do know is that if there are any, they'll be out soon. Both would benefit. McCain could use something to finally push him over the hump. Obama could use something to stop the momentum McCain has right now.

If Republicans have anything, it makes sense that the timing would be today or tomorrow - just in time to overpower the Obama infomercials.

If Democrats have anything, it probably won't come out until the weekend. The later the better, giving McCain less time to tell his side before election day.

I don't have any idea if there is anything out there, but if there is, we'll see it soon.

Big Obama mistake coming!

Mark my words: the Obama campaign is about to make their biggest mistake yet. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Obama is about to run an ad slamming Sarah Palin and John McCain's decision to put her on the ticket. This ad is set to run in battleground states. Here's the link:

Don't they remember what happened right after the Republican National Convention? The more they hit her, the lower their poll numbers sank. Governor Palin has been drawing huge, enthusiastic crowds all across the battleground. I don't care what polls have been saying about her, battleground voters identify with her. This shows just how out of touch these people are. The news just keeps getting better and better.

Top 10 rejected ideas for Obama's infomercial

Tonight during prime time programing, NBC, CBS, and the Fox Television Network will be airing Barack Obama's half-hour manifesto -- excuse me -- campaign ad. The Obama campaign spared no cost or effort to put this extravaganza together. Here at The Wit Hits the Fan, we have obtained a few of the production ideas that were left on the cutting room floor. In an effort to keep you informed, here are the ten most intriguing:

10. Foxy boxing: Michelle vs. Hillary

9. John Murtha's "You Might Be a Redneck"

8. ACORN presents: Voting for Dollars

7. "God Bless the USA" a patriotic medley performed by Reverend Wright and the Weather Underground

6. Rappin' with C-Pow!

5. The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class Tax Cut

4. My Favorite Felon: The Tony Rezko Story

3. Night of the Voting Dead

2. Biden Says the Darnedest Things, hosted by Bill Cosby

1. Mr. Obama's Neighborhood, featuring Louis Farrakhan, Bill Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More community organizers in action: McCain volunteers pepper sprayed

I'm sure it was self defense. Those 70-year-old men had that crazy look in their eyes as they ominously reached for their walkers.

The Obama-speak translation: when is a tax hike not a tax hike?

Obama's two tax promises: 1)tax increases will only be on people making $250.000 +, 2) will not raise taxes on 95% of working Americans. Obama has also promised to let the "Bush tax cuts for the Rich" (which gave relief to those making as little as $25,000) expire. It will effectively make your tax burden the same as it was in 2000.

From the book of Obama:
Q: When is a tax hike not a tax hike?
A: When you simply let a previous tax cut expire.

According to the IRS tax tables, comparing 2007 taxes with 2000 taxes, a married family filing jointly and earning $75,000 -- you are looking at a $3,824 tax INCREASE. If you are married and filing jointly, earning $50,000 -- your tax burden will INCREASE $1,512. Under the same parameters, but making $25,000 (hardly Donald Trump numbers) -- you will pay $715 more.

I'm Catholic. I know there are sins of commission (when you actively do something wrong), as well as sins of omission (when you don't do anything to stop something bad from happening). I suppose the Catechism would call Obama's tax policy a tax hike of omission. I think taxpayers would certainly call it sinful.

Some interesting Investor's Business Daily poll numbers

The most accurate poll from the last presidential election has released some very interesting internal polling numbers. The striking thing to me is the large number of undecided voters at this point. In addition, a lot of Obama's strength lies in some of the most unreliable voting blocks (younger and lower income voters).

Though McCain would much rather be ahead at this point, he can take solace in the fact that 1) The Dem presidential candidate always seems to poll higher than the official outcome and 2) (which may be related to #1) undecided voters largely break toward the comfortable, safe candidate. With questions swirling about Obama's income redistribution intentions and the specter of an overwhelmingly one-party rule on the horizon, McCain can easily be perceived as the safer candidate.

(Click for a larger image)

I've posted it before. This is NOT '92 or '96. This is looking more and more like the mirror image of 2000 with McCain playing the part of Al Gore. The difference is Gore didn't have to fight against the vote-suppressing doom and gloom we're seeing from the mainstream media. On the bright side for McCain-Palin, this bluster can work against Obama in that the "casual voter" numbers don't turn out for what they think is a sure thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

When Dems are forced to live by the same rules as Republicans

If you would ask my kids what my motto is, you will undoubtedly hear, "It's good to do hard stuff." It is the standard answer in my house when someone complains they don't want to do something because it's too hard.

Why is it good to do hard stuff? It's easy. Difficulty forces you to overcome. Difficulty sharpens your abilities. Overcoming difficulty today gives you the confidence you need when things get tough tomorrow. Difficulties in everyday life are the ankle weights that make us stronger on race day.

That brings us to Joe Biden.

You will never hear me complain about the media. Complaining about liberal bias in the main stream media is like complaining its cold in January. It doesn't do any good. It's just the way it is. To be honest, I think the slanted playing field forces conservatives to be smarter, better and stronger candidates. It's kind of like Rocky Balboa chasing a chicken through the Siberian snow with an ox yolk strapped to his shoulders (I know, I've probably combined a few different training montages for that one, but I'm on a roll).

What happens when you become accustomed to kid gloves and softball questions? I give you Joe Biden--

How does he handle the tough (by tough I mean relevant, issue-based and not involving choosing a favorite color) questions? He takes his ball and goes home, running to the safe and comforting arms of Chris Matthews and Keith Olberman. He cancels all future interviews with WFTV in Orlando. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No scoop for you!"

To be honest, if I was running the Obama-Biden campaign, those are the questions I want asked, because it gives us the opportunity to dispute the exact charges with which McCain is getting traction.

I'm sure Putin, Ahmadinejad and bin Ladin will stick to the approved script if (God forbid) Biden becomes our VP.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Upon further review: Attack a Hoax

No word as to whether each of the voices in her head will be eligible to vote.

Post your White Board Madness! entries here

This is the "Official Contest Post." Submit your entries in the form of a "comment." Let's have some fun.
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

White Board Madness!

blogger's note: Sadly, election night won't be the same without Tim Russert. Wish there were more like him around.

It's rainy here at the central offices of The Wit Hits the Fan blog. The market's lower. Chrysler warns of job cuts. John McCain can't catch a break. So, what do you do for fun when your team isn't doing as well as you like? As any Detroit Lions fan will tell you, you make a contest out of it. Let me propose a new blog contest.

We're not talking fantasy football here, so there's no picking up Newt Gingrich or Fred Thompson off the waiver wire. It's no use trying to trade for Carl Rove or Dick Morris. We play the team we've got.

I honestly don't know how many readers we have and I'm not sure exactly how this will work, but here goes. Introducing...

The Lee Atwater Memorial White Board Madness Prognosticator Championship
White Board Madness!

The rules: Entrants must submit via "comment" to the "Official Contest Post" what they think the final Electoral College count of the 2008 Presidential Election will be (example: M-534, O-4). The entrant who is closest wins. You may also submit who wins what which state, but it's really the number that counts. For a submission to be valid, the comment must be made before 11:59 pm eastern time (that's 8:59 for you, Brennan in Obamaland) on November 3. ACORN rules do not apply here, so we recognize 1 person with 1 vote. If multiple submissions are given, the LAST ONE SUBMITTED before the cut-off time will be recognized.

This is a just for fun contest, but unlike YMCA soccer, we keep score! The winner will be awarded the Lee Atwater Memorial White Board Madness Prognosticator Championship title (you think that title looks long on your screen, you should see how it looks on the beauty queen sash you have to wear).

Tie breaker: If there are identical winning entries, the tie breaker will be as follows: In an effort to reward the most clairvoyant winner, the official Lee Atwater Memorial White Board Madness Prognosticator Champion will be the one who's valid entry was submitted first.

So, do your homework. Talk to your peeps. Crunch your numbers. Submit your entry. LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have we been here before?

Let's face it, we're impatient. We want to know what's going to happen. We don't want to wait. It's comforting to know (or at least think we know) what's ahead. We think we need to prepare ourselves for the outcome.

There are entire industries based on this very aspect of human nature. We've got news prognosticators, economists, odds-makers and weathermen (the kind on TV, not the underground kind who selflessly seek to reform education for the underprivileged through pipe bombs). There are even people who expect to be paid in order to look at your palm and tell you a dark, mysterious stranger will soon cross your path. These people exist solely to tell us what the future holds.

This presidential election is certainly no exception. Everyone wants to know what is going to happen on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (or as ACORN calls it, cigarette and dollar day in Ohio).

I'm equally qualified to read your palm or predict the score of MSU vs UM this week (State 31, Michigan 20) as I am to see the outcome of McCain vs Obama. The fact is I don't know. Nobody does. All anyone can do is look to the past for similarities and project based on that outcome.

Here's what I think with less than two weeks to go.

First of all, I don't see any similarities between today and 1992. George HW Bush was fighting a two-front war against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Bush found himself defending the economy (which was boom town compared to today) while not being able to tell a reporter what a gallon of milk cost. Ten days out, the polls were heavily in Clinton's corner. Pat Robertson went on the 700 Club and announced that God told him Bush would win. In the end Perot siphoned enough votes to give Clinton a victory with less than 50% of the votes cast in his favor.

We all know Clinton took his victory, combined with Democratic control of both houses as a mandate. He raised taxes (retroactively, by the way), sent his wife out on a double-secret mission to create government health care, and proceeded to welcome in the Republican Revolution of 1994.

I have also heard people comparing this election to 1996. Republicans nominated safe and steady Bob Dole to combat a yet-to-be-impeached Bill Clinton. Dole never got closer than nine points or so in the polls. Ten Days out, the polls were showing a double-digit Clinton lead. Dole predicted a strong finish. Republicans prayed for rain on election day. Clinton pulled another less than 50% vote victory. The final tally was an eight-point win.

Where I see a similarity to today is the GW Bush vs Al Gore election of 2000, but with the parties switched. With ten days to go, the overriding feeling was that W was really taking it to Gore. He was out-spending, out-polling and being out-"misunderestimated." The polls showed Gore with a 6-7 point deficit. The Friday before election day, Drudge posted that it was looking like a George Bush landslide.

Gore campaigned sleeplessly the entire weekend flying from rally to rally in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio at all hours of the night and day. That effort (combined with the famous 20-year-old GW Bush DWI story) literally closed a 5-6 point deficit. The outcome, of course, was the closest election in history. Election night turned into election month. Dem's fumed over the fact that Gore won the popular vote, but lost it in the electoral college.

So, the bottom line? I don't know what's going to happen. I do know it's not over. I also know the herd-mentality polling out there is different from what the candidates believe is going on. It could be a long election night (month?).

I hope Obama left his reservation for the Grant Park victory party open-ended.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jimmy Carter: tin foil hatter or big oil prophet?

tin foil hatter - (n) a person who whole-heartedly believes in some far-reaching conspiracy no matter how far fetched. A tin foil hatter wears a tin foil hat in order to keep the government from reading his thoughts.

As of this afternoon, crude oil prices dropped into the high $60 range -- that's less than 1/2 its high-water mark just a few months ago. This does not come as a surprise to everyone, however. May I present to you the 39th President of the United States-

If the gas lines of the late 1970's taught us anything, it's that Jimmy Carter knows the petroleum industry. Coincidence? Conspiracy? It certainly couldn't be because demand for gasoline is down and the value of the U.S. dollar is up, could it?
Is J-Cart a tin foil hatter or big oil prophet? You be the judge. As Agent Mulder of the X-Files might say... the truth is out there.

More fodder for my fellow poll-watching geeks

Man, I barely had time to adjust my pocket protector before the AP came out with their latest "counter intuitive" polling numbers: Obama by 1. So much for the herd mentality. Somebody must have missed a memo somewhere.

On the subject of polls--here's the latest Battleground Poll

The Battleground Poll is created by a Republican and a Democratic pollster. They have been around for 10 years or so. It shows a 1 point Obama lead.

Interesting read about opinion polls

Here's an interesting read about opinion polls.

I have worked in politics and on campaigns. We've reached the point in the campaign in which time, not money, is the limiting ingredient. It seems to me neither candidate is acting the way I would expect if they believed the latest polls.

For example, if Obama had a double-digit lead in Virginia, why is he spending so much time there? If McCain is down 10+ points in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, why has he been there the last couple of days? And if Indiana is really up for grabs, you better tell John McCain because he's spending almost no time or money in the Hoosier State.

Obviously, each campaign's internals are showing something different than what we're seeing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top 10 Clues Your Presidential Candidate is a Socialist

10. In his first 100 days, he promises to wear army fatigues, grow a beard and smoke cigars in the Oval Office.

9. He sets up payroll tax deductions for his daughters’ allowances, so they can be more patriotic and pay their fair share.

8. He keeps referring to his economic plan as a “manifesto.”

7. He says he wants us to return to the economy of 1984, but he’s talking about the book, not the year.

6. He lists his favorite Marx brother as Karl.

5. He carried a Josef Stalin lunchbox in grade school.

4. He wants to simplify the Federal Income Tax forms to read, “How much money do you have? Please make check payable to Internal Revenue Service.”

3. He was rooting for Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

2. He expands the official definition of “rich” to mean anyone who has a job, which really will be only 5% of the population when he is done.

1. He tells Joe the Plumber he wants to spread the wealth around.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My first go as a blogger

This presidential election has introduced me to many new things. Among them are what exactly a community organizer (formerly known as rabble-rouser) does; why inexperience is only bad when it occurs in your vice presidential nominee, not in your presidential nominee; and a candidate’s given middle name (Hussein) is off-limits, but the foibles of a 17-year-old daughter is pertinent information. –Credit to various talk radio hosts and kooky conservative columnists, none of these lines are mine.

Perhaps the biggest revelation to me has been my introduction to the world of blogs. When I found there is a virtually boundless group of self-important, opinionated, geeky blowhards, I knew I was home. Now, blogs (or web logs) are nothing new. In fact, according to Joe Biden, FDR was famous for his comforting fireside blogs after the market crash of 1929. –My line. Sorry.

Being a political genius in my own mind, I have decided to enter the sparsely populated (ha) blogosphere. My hope is to create a blog filled with optimism, honesty, logic and the insight that springs from my life as a politically-conservative practicing Catholic living in the Midwest. I’ll do my best to add just enough dry humor, sarcasm, and obscure 80’s and 90’s pop culture references to make you a hit at any gathering of the socially awkward.

With that in mind, here are some random thoughts I’ve been having about current events:

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama on Sunday—

Media’s Message: This is a big setback for John McCain. When a Republican former Secretary of State jumps party lines and endorses the Democratic presidential nominee, it’s just one more sign the McCain ship is sinking.

Opposite Side: McCain has been endorsed by four other previous Secretaries of State and hundreds of American military leaders. Obama admits Powell has been advising him for some time now. This endorsement underlines Obama’s weakness in foreign relations.

My Take: Powell’s telling statement during the Meet the Press interview was that he could not stand to see two more Republican Supreme Court nominees. I’m not sure McCain wants the endorsement of someone who feels that way.

There was always some question as to the depth of Powell’s enthusiasm for and loyalty to the Republican Party. Though a decorated hero from the Gulf War and a supporter of previous Republican administrations, he was never a conservative. His relationship with George W became increasingly lukewarm (to put it politely) after Powell’s famous UN presentation of photographic WMD evidence in Iraq.

The real damage for McCain is that ACORN has Colin Powell registered 71 times in various battleground states. That’s 71 votes against the McCain-Palin ticket where it really counts. Just a joke – or is it?

Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput labeled Barack Obama the "most committed" abortion-rights candidate from a major party in 35 years—

Media’s Message: Nothing to see here. Keep moving along. Separation of church and state. The Archbishop’s position is radical and out of the mainstream. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Obama thinks abortion should be rare, but supports a woman’s right to choose.

Opposite Side: Obama has served a relatively short time in elected office. We have a limited voting history with which to evaluate where he stands. Abortion is one of the few issues Obama has demonstrated a clear pattern of support in voting and in rhetoric.

My Take: First of all, the fact that Archbishop Chaput is the latest in a long line of Catholic theologians and laypeople who have not held their tongues this election year is a tribute to John Paul II. During his tenure, the People’s Pope instilled a hierarchy and environment in which the Church stands steadfast and in unison in defense of the unborn. That wasn’t always the case.

Obama’s is the radical viewpoint. When you vote four times against legislation that would allow a doctor to do his or her job in providing care and comfort to a baby born as a result of a botched abortion, that’s out of the mainstream.

McCain-Palin campaign continues to talk Ayres, ACORN, abortion and is labeling Obama a socialist—

Media’s Message: The Republican nominee is not talking issues. He has resorted to going negative and it is not working. He should immediately change his strategy.

Opposite Side: Sarah Palin continues hammering away at Obama on the three A’s and his promise to “Spread the wealth around” is a clear endorsement for socialism.

My Take: The fact is McCain’s polling numbers continue to rise against Obama’s among likely voters (a much more accurate snapshot of the way the electorate will look on November 4). McCain is closing the gap no matter how heavily the polls are Democratically weighted. That doesn’t seem like a failed strategy to me. And make no mistake: McCain following advice from the media about campaign strategy would be like the American military taking terrorist tracking advice from Osama Bin Laden.

Well, that’s the first of what could be many dry and irrelevant entries in my very own blog. Hope you enjoyed it. If nothing else, feel free to print it out and play the game “circle the Seinfeld reference.” In addition, if you record yourself reading it aloud and play it backwards, you will hear John Lennon clearly declare, “I buried Paul” or “Cranberry Sauce,” I’m not sure which.

All grammatical and spelling errors made herein were purposeful and deliberate.