Obama’s Free Ride–Revisited

For weeks now, if not months, I have heard this pundit or that pundit talk about the free ride that Obama’s campaign has gotten in the media.  Some blame the “Northeast elites”.  Most of the ones accussing the media of the free ride have been int broadcast media.  The whole time I never saw it that way, they continually beat up Obama on associations, etc they gave Repub surrogates all the time they needed to push the McCain saga and seldom asked important questions, just the ones the the McCain people wanted to answer.

I continually asked where was the free ride.  Never got a good answer to the question.  Last night on Countdown With Keith Olbermann, he mentioned something that may have answered my question.  He said in his campaign commentary and I quoite,

“And what would be happening tonight in the minds of tens of millions of voters if it had been Sen. Obama who had his people negotiate, behind the scenes and off the record, to force favorable coverage of his campaign at three television networks?”


Now if that is true, which I am beginning to think it is, that could explain the disconnect with me.  I even would go so far as to guess that NBC was one of those that cut the deal with the McCain people, why else was this not reported before the night before the election?

And you think that the media is fair and balanced, that it is not controlled by corporations…..sorry you are delusional.

Today In Labor history

04 November

Populist humorist Will Rogers was born on this day near Oologah, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). One of his many memorable quotes: “I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.” – 1879

Some 3,000 dairy farmers demonstrate in Neillsville, Wisc., ultimately leading to the freeing of jailed leaders of a milk strike over low prices set by large dairy plants. Tons of fresh milk were dumped on public roads, trains carrying milk were stopped, some cheese plants were bombed during the fight – 1933


Vote Nader?

For more than four decades, Ralph Nader has saved lives, opened minds, implemented solutions, and inspired citizens everywhere to participate in building a better, more democratic world. He has founded or organized more than 100 civic organizations, authored countless books and publications, and perhaps more than any other person has defined our modern understanding of the American ideals of democracy, civic duty, and participation for the public good, rather than dominance by the corporate powers. Known for his ethics, integrity and independence, Ralph Nader is recognized world-wide for putting democracy to work.

What is less well known is that in his 2000 bid for President of the United States, Ralph Nader earned the votes of citizens across the political spectrum. Under the banner, ‘Not for Sale’, millions responded to Nader’s message to the American people calling for greater accountability for corporations and an end to corporate-controlled government. According to the exit polls conducted by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, fully 25% of his votes came from Republicans, 38% from Democrats, and the remainder from people who would not have voted. No other American leader can be credited with such broad appeal across the divides of our polarized nation. No other American leader can claim such unfettered independence from the ethically bankrupt quagmire of insider politics where the lives of ordinary Americans are regularly sacrificed to commercial interests.

To his credit, Ralph Nader does more than just talk. As the New York Times said, “What sets Nader apart is that he has moved beyond social criticism to effective political action.” Part of his mammoth legacy is the effective national network of citizen reform groups that labor to preserve the safety and quality of life of EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN. His groups have made an imprint on many areas including civic skills, tax reform, pensions, aviation, regulation of atomic power, renewable energy, clean air and water, clean elections, food, medicine and auto safety, safety in the workplace, access to healthcare, civil rights, civil justice, Congressional ethics, campaign finance, discriminatory lending, the tobacco industry, corporate crime and reform, investor protection, corporate globalization, agribusiness and small farms, intellectual property, medicine prices abroad, freedom of information, and government procurement. The list goes on and on.

Once again, Ralph Nader is standing up for all Americans, proposing brighter solutions and futures while decrying the big government erosion of civil liberties, the vast diversion of tax dollars for wasteful military spending, the Iraq quagmire, and the daily abuses and frauds suffered by ordinary Americans at the hands of corrupt corporations and indifferent bureaucracies. The campaign is seeking participators, to invoke Jefferson’s word, who support his independent campaign for the office of President of the United States.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, author, and has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Americans in the Twentieth Century.

For over four decades Ralph Nader has exposed problems and organized millions of citizens into more than 100 public interest groups to advocate for solutions.

His efforts have helped to create a framework of laws, regulatory agencies, and federal standards that have improved the quality of life for two generations of Americans.

His groups were instrumental in enacting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In the past decade, Nader has dedicated himself to putting people back in charge of America’s democracy, launching three major presidential campaigns.

Because of Ralph Nader we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments.

Could There Be A Landslide?

It is likely, most experts and pundits say, that the polls will tighten, making it look like the election is getting closer. However there are a number of factors which, taken together, can lead to a much bigger landslide than the polls predict.

Many of the issues with poll numbers and other predictions have been discussed separately by experts, such as Nate Silver at http://www.fivethirtyeight.com. But usually they are not all put together.

1. The Cell Phone Issue: Many nowadays, especially young people, don’t have land lines, so most of the polls undercount a section of the populace that is heavily pro-Obama.
2. The African American Turnout Factor: Most polls have likely voter turnout models factored in, based on past turnout levels. If, as is very likely, African American turnout is significantly higher this year and even more Democratic than usual, that can change the outlook in states with a large African American population, mainly but not only in the South.
3. The Latino American Turnout Factor: The same is true for Latino voters, registered and energized by the immigrant rights upsurge several years ago. A greater Latino turnout can be enough to change the results in important swing states like Colorado and Nevada, and have a positive impact nationwide.
4. The Youth Turnout Factor: The same applies to younger voters, who likely will vote for Obama in numbers that this year may ssurpass other demographics, and who will likely vote in much higher percentages than previously.
5. The New Registrants Turnout Possibility: Newly registered voters tend to vote in higher percentages than the population at large, and with new registrations breaking records in most states and many new registrants motivated to vote Democratic, this too will improve Obama’s vote. If they turnout in higher percentages than in previous elections, this can improve his vote significantly.
6. The Reverse Bradley Effect: In some primaries, Obama’s vote was measurably higher than predicted by the polls, perhaps for some of the reasons already listed. It also may be partly caused by African American voters who are distrustful of pollsters and describe themselves in improbably large numbers as still undecided.
7. The Enthusiasm Gap: Obama voters have been much more enthusiastic. With the exception of an uptick when Sarah Palin was first named (which has largely disappeared), Republican voters are much less enthusiastic, which depresses right-wing turnout.
8. The Gender Gap: As has been true for many election cycles, women vote in a larger percentage for Democrats. With fears about McCain’s Supreme Court nominees who would support overturning Roe vs. Wade, with McCain’s sneering about women’s “health” in the last debate, and with more women voting in general, this will continue to be true this year. In even higher percentages, unmarried women trend Democratic, and make up almost 25% of the electorate.
9. The Early Voting Factor: More states are doing early voting, offering same day registration and voting, and more people are voting by absentee ballot and by mail, all resulting in increased turnout. Early voting also gives some voters a chance to correct any voter registration problems in advance of Election Day, and will decrease lines on Election Day resulting in fewer discouraged potential voters who turn away.
10. The Money Gap: For the first time in many decades, the Republicans are at a financial disadvantage. It is not as big as sometimes reported when you put all the Republican campaign funds together with right-wing 527 “independent advertising groups, but it is still important. Obama’s campaign is outspending McCain’s in many swing states (and reserving a half-hour for a political broadcast on October 29th on many networks). As well, the millions of smaller donors for Obama provide more people with a bigger direct stake in the outcome.
11. The Party ID Factor: Voters in many states that have voter party ID requirements show large changes in voter party ID, from Republican to Independent, from Independent to Democrat, and from Republican to Democrat. A generic party ID/turnout is factored into many polls, so if Democratic turnout is higher than what is expected for historical reasons, even by a few percentage points, that can have a huge impact on the results.
12. The Playing Offense Advantage: More Republicans Congressmen and Senators are retiring this year, meaning that there are more Republican open seats up for switching. Additionally, Obama is playing offense in “red” states while McCain is playing defense in those same states. The likelihood of any state switching from Democrat to Republican in the presidential race and in electoral votes is slim to non-existent.
13. The Iraq War: The lies of the Bush administration getting us into the war, the exorbitant costs of what has become our longest war, the disgraceful treatment of veterans, the overstressed military families suffering multiple deployments, the failure of most of Bush’s foreign policy, all have led to large majorities of voters demanding that we end the war.
14. The Reality-Based Program Advantage: Obama’s program is rooted much more in the actual needs of voters—on jobs creation, environmental protection and climate change, diplomacy, and health care, to mention just a few.
15. The Distrust of Bush Factor: In addition to his conduct of the Iraq War and the obvious problems he caused leading to the economic meltdown we face, Bush’s repulsive lack of action during and following Hurricane Katrina have exacerbated our general distrust of Bush’s policies, intensifying the desire for change.

16. The Third Term for Bush Perception: McCain’s inability to distance himself from Bush in any meaningful way ties him to the most unpopular President since polls started.
17. The Financial Crisis Reality: Partly due to McCain’s erratic actions and Obama’s calm, measured response to the financial crisis, but also to the generic preference of voters to trust Democrats more on economic issues, and partly to the size and scope of the crisis, this has accelerated and intensified all the other factors.
18. The “Most Important Election” factor: Every election is claimed to be the most important of our lifetime, but this year many more people believe it is and are more motivated to vote and vote Democratic. This is intensified by the financial crisis, by the last eight years of Republican domination, by the Republican Congressional corruption scandals and general incompetence of much of the Bush administration, by major demographic shifts, and by the sense that there is a real opportunity this year to make a difference on our country’s priorities.

Just a thought!

Something To Think About

As voting begins, the opinion polls indicate that Barack Obama is significantly ahead of his Republican opponent, John McCain. It is possible that Obama and the Democratic Party will win the election. However, the Democratic candidate has made only a limited appeal to popular discontent, one, moreover, which avoids any indictment of the social and economic interests which have determined the policies of the Bush administration.

This limitation, which flows from the logic of the class interests represented by Obama and the Democratic Party, is the principal vulnerability of the Democratic campaign. The continuous appeal of the Republican Party to racism and social backwardness, which remain significant factors in the reactionary political climate fostered in the United States, could really be fought and beaten back only on the basis of a direct appeal to the class interests of all working people.

In keeping with the norms of American politics, where no mention of the working class is permitted and the great mass of working people must be labeled the “middle class,” Obama has avoided any class appeal. To the extent that he has sought to capitalize on popular anger, he has to an extraordinary extent done so on the basis of his individual persona. The Democratic Party has sought to exploit the expectation that the election of Obama, by virtue of his personal background, will substantially change the direction of America. This belief is widely held not only in the United States but throughout the world. It is, however, an illusion.

Several Points To Consider

A vote for McCain, acoording to McCain, would be a “vote to create wealth not redistribue it.”

Way cool only I have a slight problem with that.  I ask how many working class people moved into the catagory of wealthy in the past several years?  How many people were removed from poverty?  Who creates the wealth during a Repub admin?

I believe the answer to those questions are.  1–less than 1% became wealthy, 2–about 7% more people entered into poverty and 3–the wealthy created more wealth for themselves.  So where would a vote for McCain help everyone create wealth?  He is correct that wealth will be created, but only by the wealthy for the wealthy.

Another point–With Obama’s health care proposal one would have to wait in long lines to get, say, a heart transplant.  Sorry, to tell you thgis, but there is already a line for the transplant, any transplant.  Sad part is now, if you cannot come up with the cash, you are skipped in favor of someone with the cash.  It is BS.  If you step in crap, call it by its name–CRAP!

McCain’s plans sound like a dream come true–but not once has he told me how he will provide all this success if he is elected.

Today’s The Day

History is to be made today–GO VOTE!

I have heard Repub surrogates (names easily forgotten) say that an Obama win and a 60+ Congress scares them.  Why?  What about that scares Repubs?

Maybe it is their loss of influence over policy.  Or is it that the working class couls gain a little more clout?  Or maybe that the wealthy will not be in control anymore.  That would be a silly fear–the rich will ALWAYS be in control.

But wait!  What about the South?  Where about 75% of elected representatives are more conservative than a lot of the Repubs.  These people will vote against anything remotely liberal that comes to their attention.  Cochran, Wicker, Taylor, just to mention a few; these people aresome of the most conservative in Congress.

So please4 stop whining and worrying.  Your conservative ideals will be safe from the harm of the liberals.  Southern representatives will guard them wisely.