Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

Live Analysis of President Obama’s Health Care Speech to Congress

September 9, 2009

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post (other than the one I did yesterday), but I figured this was an important issue to talk about, and I’ll probably be writing a column on health care sometime this week, so this will help me get some ideas down a little early.

President Obama is about to give  a speech to a joint session of Congress, and I’ll be giving my live analysis of his speech.  And this is live, so excuse any typos – I’m not always great at typing quickly.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has just gaveled the session into order, so we’ll begin in about 10 minutes here.

The President’s speech is expected to last about 45 minutes (not including applause), so I’m guessing that it will run close to an hour (maybe a little over) when it’s all done.

Speaker Pelosi has now called the session to order – Vice President Joe Biden by her side.

The Escort Committee is now leaving to follow behind President Obama when he enters the chamber.

Michelle Obama is now arriving.  The Cabinet is now coming into the chamber.

President Obama is now coming into the chamber – and he’s getting a lot of applause (as every President does during these joint sessions).

He’s now up to the podium – Speaker Pelosi is trying to bring the chamber to order.  She is now introducing President Obama.

He’s talking about the last time he spoke here – that it was during the worst economic situation we’ve faced since the Great Depression.  “We are by no means out of the woods … a full recovery is still months away.”  He’s saying that he won’t let up until “those who seek jobs can find them.”

Wow – Hillary Clinton looks out-of-place – she’s wearing this red suit and she’s surrounded by men in black suits.

President Obama is thanking Congress for their help and support in trying to fix America’s economy.  He’s talking about building a future for America, and that health care is central to that future.

“I am not the first President to take up that cause, but I am determined to be the last.”  It’s a nice quote, but there’s always going to have to be reform – things change – nothing will ever be perfect.

He’s talking about Teddy Roosevelt talking about health care reform, and Representative John Dingell (D-MI) introducing a bill every session to reform health care.

Talking about the hardships facing those who are uninsured – not those on welfare, but mostly the middle class.  He’s talking about people being denied insurance because of previous conditions.  “We are the only democracy … the only wealthy nation who allows such hardship for its people.”  But we’re also the democracy who other countries turn to for certain health care needs (such as Canadians needing some quick emergency treatments).

Talking about insurance companies dropping patients in the middle of treatment for bogus reasons such as having acne and not claiming it – and I’ll agree with him here – that’s a problem that SHOULD be addressed.

Talking about insurance premiums going up, and leading to businesses not being able to open/survive because of health care costs.

It’s “placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. … We will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other program combined.”  Again – he’s right here – Medicare/Medicaid costs are getting out of control – it’s just the solution where I disagree with him.

Talking about a single payer system like Canada’s or a plan that individuals should buy their own health care, but both of these are radical shifts that would disrupt the health care system.  He’s saying we should use what works as a template and fix the problems in our current system, rather than switch to a Canadian-style system or a completely individual style system.

He’s now talking about the 5 committees coming up with health care bills in Congress – an amount of reform that has been unprecedented in history – and again – this is a good thing – if we have multiple ideas, we have more to choose from and more discussion going around.

Now he’s talking about opponents to reform using scare tactics and just trying to score political points.  “The time for bickering is over.  The time for games has passed.”  Games and bickering are part of the American political system – it’s a sad fact, but it’s true.  And both parties do it, but getting into a “Well the other party did __________” kind of mentality is bad for America.

“If you already have insurance … nothing in this plan will require you to change what you have. … What this plan will do is make this insurance that you have work better for you.”  It’ll make it illegal for insurance companies to deny you based on a preexisting condition.  And that got a LOT of applause.  It will be illegal for them to drop you when you get sick.

“No one should go broke because they get sick. … Insurance companies will be required … to cover routine check ups … and preventative care. … It saves money and it saves lives.”  And that was all for people who already have insurance.

For those who don’t, this plan will give you an opportunity to get quality insurance.  “We’ll do this by creating a new business exchange.”  Insurance companies will want this because it gives them more customers.

And for those who still can’t afford insurance, tax credits will be provided.  The exchange will take effect in 4 years.

He’s talking about immediate relief for those who get sick before then, citing a plan that Senator McCain proposed during the plan during the 2008 campaign – and Senator McCain just got a huge grin on his face.

He’s saying that some people may not want to pay for insurance, but when they get sick, we wind up paying for their health care when they wind up in the hospital.  “Under my plan, people will be required to carry basic health insurance” just like states require people to have basic auto insurance.

And this is where I disagree with the President.  Personally, I don’t think we should be forcing people to buy insurance; however, I also don’t think that we should then be paying for their hospital visits.  If someone decides not to get insurance, and they get sick, then we shouldn’t be footing the bill – they should just have to pay for treatment themselves or not get it.

Now, moving on to “key controversies that are still out there:”

  • Saying that there won’t be plans to try to kill off the elderly who are sick.
  • No money will go toward illegal immigrants. – and somebody just shouted “Lie!” and Speaker Pelosi gave him a stare of death – whoever it was, that was pretty unprofessional and immature.
  • No money will go toward funding abortions.
  • This will not be a takeover of the entire health care system.

These are all good points, and I’d encourage EVERYBODY to read the bill that finally gets introduced instead of just listening to either the Democrats’ talking points or the Republicans’ talking points.

“Consumers do better when there’s choice and competition.”  And he’s absolutely right about that – but instead of setting up a government program to do this, we should open insurance markets to cross state lines, so that companies can compete nationwide, adding more competition all over the nation.

He’s saying that he doesn’t want to drive insurance companies out of business, just hold them accountable.

He’s saying that he would like a non-profit public option (which that surprised me that he still pushed for that – I figured that he wasn’t going to try to push that tonight).  It would be an option for those who don’t have insurance, and people wouldn’t be forced to chose it.  He estimates that less than 5% of Americans would sign up.  He’s saying that this public option wouldn’t be funded by the government, but would have to be self sufficient.

But what would happen if it stopped being self sufficient?  Would it essentially turn into a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

He’s saying that some are suggesting that the public option only go into effect where insurance companies aren’t competing well, or that we have a private co-op instead.  Saying that he won’t back down from giving a choice to people who can’t afford health care.

And the screen just panned over to the Republican section and they really do not look happy about this.

“Now he’s talking about how we’ll pay for the plan – “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit – either now, or in the future. … Period.”  He’s saying that in his plan, there will be a section that will require spending cuts if the means of saving money aren’t there.  He’s now talking about the past administration making a mistake in passing tax cuts that we couldn’t afford as well as the Iraq War.

And while he does have an excellent point with the Iraq War part (which is a whole separate issue), I don’t think that that jab at the Bush Administration is going to help win any Republicans over – and with Senator Kennedy gone, they’re going to need an additional Republican vote in the Senate.  That was a bad strategic move on the President’s part.

Talking about ensuring that Medicare will be there for future generations.  Saying that seniors pay too much out-of-pocket for prescription drugs.  Saying not to pay attention to “scary stories that your benefits will be cut.”  GOP members don’t look happy.  “I will protect Medicare.”

“Making [Medicare] more efficient will [help make] the entire system more efficient.”  Saying that if we reduce waste in Medicare and Medicaid, that will pay for his plan.  Well why don’t we just reduce waste in Medicare and Medicaid anyway!  Why do you need to add one “good” thing to get rid of one bad thing?  Why not just cut waste out of M&M whether or not the other health care reforms pass or not.

Talking about malpractice reform bringing down costs of health care – and all the GOP members stood up and started cheering – even Biden stood up for that one.  Saying that we need to put safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine.  Saying that the Bush Administration wanted to test some of these ideas in individual states, and he likes that plan too.  So now he’s playing to the Republican side a bit – which is good because he’s going to need to do that if he wants this to pass the Senate.

Now talking about it’ll cost $900 billion over the next 10 years, but that’s less than the Iraq War…and I think he said something about the Bush tax cuts – I didn’t catch it.  Whatever it was, the Dems liked it, but the Repubs looked pretty pissed off – Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) really didn’t like whatever was said.

Saying he won’t stand by as the special interest groups fight to keep things the way they are.  “I will not accept the status quo as the solution.”  And he’s right – we DO need reform – I just disagree with him on the type of reform we need.

Talking about reforms leading to saving lives.

“We cannot fail … there are too many Americans counting on us to succeed.”

Talking about the late Senator Kennedy (D-MA) on his death bed talking about this year being the year that health care reform will be passed.

Health care reform has been a source of “rigorous and intense debate”.

Obama’s talking about Senators Hatch (R-UT) and McCain (R-AZ) and Grassley (R-IA) working with Senator Kennedy.  That his p”assion was born out of his own experience … having 2 children stricken with cancer.”  He’s saying that “concern for others … is not a partisan” issue.  “We are all in this together, and when fortune turns against us, others are there to give us a helping hand. … Sometimes government has to step in.”

Saying that Republicans and Democrats joined together in 1965 when they created Medicare.

“When any efforts to help people in need are attacked as unAmerican … and we can no longer engage in a civil conversation” … I missed that last part.  Whatever his point was (I’m sure it was something about engaging in civil debate) – I agree here – we need to discuss it, not try to drown one side out.

“I still believe we can act when it’s hard.”  Saying we need to have “civility” and not gridlock the process but make progress.

“I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test.  Because that is who we are.  That is our calling.  That is our character.  Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.”

Now the Republican response by Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA):

Republicans are ready for reform.  We’ve lost jobs since February.  “Americans want health care reform … [They're saying] it’s time to start over with a … bipartisan plan.”

He’s saying that Obama’s plan will cost Americans more – that even the Congressional Budget Office agrees – it’ll create 53 new bureaus and raise the deficit.  It won’t make the program better for seniors.

“The President [could have] taken government run health care off the table, but he didn’t.”

Americans should be able to get insurance with preexisting conditions.  We should give incentives for healthy choices and preventative care.

“We’re grateful that the President mentioned medical liability reform.”  “Junk lawsuits drive up the cost of medical care.”

We should establish a plan that would enable people to buy insurance across state lines – and that was one of McCain’s big pushes during the ’08 campaign that I really agreed with.

“This Congress can pass meaningful reform soon … working together in a bipartisan way, we can lower the cost of health care.”

Alright – I wasn’t able to catch that much of the response because there weren’t any pauses in that speech, but it was basically the same thing that McCain said during his Presidential campaign.

Overall, I think the President did a moderately good job.  I wish he would’ve gone into detail a little more than he did, and there are some things that I definitely disagree with, but there were some good points:

Malpractice/tort reform is a huge part of the plan that will help lower costs of health care.  Eliminating waste in Medicaid and Medicare is another great thing that we need to do.  Ensuring a way that people can keep their coverage even when they get sick is another necessity that almost everybody agrees with.

I disagree with the public option, and I disagree with forcing people to have some sort of insurance plan.

I wish that he would consider adopting the plan to allow people to cross state borders to purchase health care plans.

Overall, it was a good speech, but I think he took a couple too many jabs at Republicans and the Bush administration (he’s going to need some Republicans’ votes, and that wasn’t a way to win them over).  I also wish he would’ve had more details of his plan, but with only having 45 minutes, that’s hard to do.

I’m not sold on the President’s plan, but I do think there are some good parts of the plan that I’d like to see develop.

We’ll see what’s introduced and what Congress does with the bill(s).

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican

Senate Passes $838 Economic Stimulus Bill: 61-37

February 10, 2009

Just moments ago, the Senate passed the economic stimulus bill, 61-37.  Here’s how the votes fell:

Akaka (D-HI) – Aye
Alexander (R-TN) – Nay
Barrasso (R-WY) – Nay
Baucus (D-MT) – Aye
Bayh (D-IN) – Aye
Begich (D-AK) – Aye
Bennet (D-CO) – Aye
Bennett (R-UT) – Nay
Bingaman (D-NM) – Aye
Bond (R-MO) – Nay
Boxer (D-CA) – Aye
Brown (D-OH) – Aye
Brownback (R-KS) – Nay
Bunning (R-KY) – Nay
Burr (R-NC) – Nay
Burris (D-IL) – Aye
Byrd (D-WV) – Aye
Cantwell (D-WA) – Aye
Cardin (D-MD) – Aye
Carper (D-DE) – Aye
Casey (D-PA) – Aye
Chambliss (R-GA) – Nay
Coburn (R-OK) – Nay
Cochran (R-MS) – Nay
Collins (R-ME) – Aye
Conrad (D-ND) – Aye
Corker (R-TN) – Nay
Cornyn (R-TX) – Nay
Crapo (R-ID) – Nay
DeMint (R-SC) – Nay
Dodd (D-CT) – Aye
Dorgan (D-ND) – Aye
Durbin (D-IL) – Aye
Ensign (R-NV) – Nay
Enzi (R-WY) – Nay
Feingold (D-WI) – Aye
Feinstein (D-CA) – Aye
Gillibrand (D-NY) – Aye
Graham (R-SC) – Nay
Grassley (R-IA) – Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting
Hagan (D-NC) – Aye
Harkin (D-IA) – Aye
Hatch (R-UT) – Nay
Hutchison (R-TX) – Nay
Inhofe (R-OK) – Nay
Inouye (D-HI) – Aye
Isakson (R-GA) – Nay
Johanns (R-NE) – Nay
Johnson (D-SD) – Aye
Kaufman (D-DE) – Aye
Kennedy (D-MA) – Aye
Kerry (D-MA) – Aye
Klobuchar (D-MN) – Aye
Kohl (D-WI) – Aye
Kyl (R-AZ) – Nay
Landrieu (D-LA) – Aye
Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Aye
Leahy (D-VT) – Aye
Levin (D-MI) – Aye
Lieberman (ID-CT) – Aye
Lincoln (D-AR) – Aye
Lugar (R-IN) – Nay
Martinez (R-FL) – Nay
McCain (R-AZ) – Nay
McCaskill (D-MO) – Aye
McConnell (R-KY) – Nay
Menendez (D-NJ) – Aye
Merkley (D-OR) – Aye
Mikulski (D-MD) – Aye
Murkowski (R-AK) – Nay
Murray (D-WA) – Aye
Nelson (D-NE) – Aye
Nelson (D-FL) – Aye
Pryor (D-AR) – Aye
Reed (D-RI) – Aye
Reid (D-NV) – Aye
Risch (R-ID) – Nay
Roberts (R-KS) – Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV) – Aye
Sanders (I-VT) – Aye
Schumer (D-NY) – Aye
Sessions (R-AL) – Nay
Shaheen (D-NH) – Aye
Shelby (R-AL) – Nay
Snowe (R-ME) – Aye
Specter (R-PA) – Aye
Stabenow (D-MI) – Aye
Tester (D-MT) – Aye
Thune (R-SD) – Nay
Udall (D-CO) – Aye
Udall (D-NM) – Aye
Vitter (R-LA) – Nay
Voinovich (R-OH) – Nay
Warner (D-VA) – Aye
Webb (D-VA) – Aye
Whitehouse (D-RI) – Aye
Wicker (R-MS) – Nay
Wyden (D-OR) – Aye

“Ayes are 61.  Nays are 37.”  There will now be a joint committee with the House to hammer out the differences.  On that committee will be 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans: Inouye (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Reid (D-NV), Cochran (R-MS), and Grassley (R-IA).  The House and Senate will now have to hammer out those differences.  The House’s bill was $819 billion.

This is an absolutely terrible day for America.  This bill (which is actually an amended version from the original – it’s the Collins/Nelson substitution amendment) won’t stimulate our economy, it’s just going to drive us into some huge debt.  This bill was nothing more than PORK PORK PORK!

When we’re in an even worse position 6 months down the road, I hope Congress will have the common sense to not pass ANOTHER stimulus bill.  Sadly, I see us right back in this spot in another 6 months or so.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Live: Senate Voting on $838 Billion Economic Stimulus Bill

February 10, 2009

The Senate is now voting on the $838 billion economic stimulus bill.  This vote will be  on the Collins/Nelson (Susan Collins [D-ME] / Ben Nelson [D-NE]) substitution amendment (basically an amendment that made a bunch of changes instead of the old bill being amended 1 by 1).  It’s still a terrible bill.

The cloture vote passed yesterday 61-36, with 3 Republicans crossing over, and I’m guessing that’s how the vote will fall today.

Here’s how the votes are going (based on the votes yesterday, with votes that I’m sure [as in heard the Senator say their vote / heard the name read off] of bolded):

Akaka (D-HI) – Aye
Alexander (R-TN) – Nay
Barrasso (R-WY) – Nay
Baucus (D-MT) – Aye
Bayh (D-IN) – Aye
Begich (D-AK) – Aye
Bennet (D-CO) – Aye
Bennett (R-UT) – Nay
Bingaman (D-NM) – Aye
Bond (R-MO) – Nay
Boxer (D-CA) – Aye
Brown (D-OH) – Aye
Brownback (R-KS) – Nay
Bunning (R-KY) – Nay
Burr (R-NC) – Nay
Burris (D-IL) – Aye
Byrd (D-WV) – Aye
Cantwell (D-WA) – Aye
Cardin (D-MD) – Aye
Carper (D-DE) – Aye
Casey (D-PA) – Aye
Chambliss (R-GA) – Nay
Coburn (R-OK) – Nay
Cochran (R-MS) – Nay
Collins (R-ME) – Aye
Conrad (D-ND) – Aye
Corker (R-TN) – Nay
Cornyn (R-TX) – Nay
Crapo (R-ID) – Nay
DeMint (R-SC) – Nay
Dodd (D-CT) – Aye
Dorgan (D-ND) – Aye
Durbin (D-IL) – Aye
Ensign (R-NV) – Nay
Enzi (R-WY) – Nay
Feingold (D-WI) – Aye
Feinstein (D-CA) – Aye
Gillibrand (D-NY) – Aye
Graham (R-SC) – Nay
Grassley (R-IA) – Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting

Hagan (D-NC) – Aye
Harkin (D-IA) – Aye
Hatch (R-UT) – Nay
Hutchison (R-TX) – Nay
Inhofe (R-OK) – Nay
Inouye (D-HI) – Aye
Isakson (R-GA) – Nay
Johanns (R-NE) – Nay
Johnson (D-SD) – Aye
Kaufman (D-DE) – Aye
Kennedy (D-MA) – Aye
Kerry (D-MA) – Aye
Klobuchar (D-MN) – Aye
Kohl (D-WI) – Aye
Kyl (R-AZ) – Nay
Landrieu (D-LA) – Aye
Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Aye
Leahy (D-VT) – Aye
Levin (D-MI) – Aye
Lieberman (ID-CT) – Aye
Lincoln (D-AR) – Aye
Lugar (R-IN) – Nay
Martinez (R-FL) – Nay
McCain (R-AZ) – Nay
McCaskill (D-MO) – Aye
McConnell (R-KY) – Nay
Menendez (D-NJ) – Aye
Merkley (D-OR) – Aye
Mikulski (D-MD) – Aye
Murkowski (R-AK) – Nay
Murray (D-WA) – Aye
Nelson (D-NE) – Aye
Nelson (D-FL) – Aye
Pryor (D-AR) – Aye
Reed (D-RI) – Aye
Reid (D-NV) – Aye
Risch (R-ID) – Nay
Roberts (R-KS) – Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV) – Aye
Sanders (I-VT) – Aye
Schumer (D-NY) – Aye
Sessions (R-AL) – Nay
Shaheen (D-NH) – Aye
Shelby (R-AL) – Nay
Snowe (R-ME) – Aye
Specter (R-PA) – Aye
Stabenow (D-MI) – Aye
Tester (D-MT) – Aye
Thune (R-SD) – Nay
Udall (D-CO) – Aye
Udall (D-NM) – Aye
Vitter (R-LA) – Nay
Voinovich (R-OH) – Nay
Warner (D-VA) – Aye
Webb (D-VA) – Aye
Whitehouse (D-RI) – Aye
Wicker (R-MS) – Nay
Wyden (D-OR) – Aye

Ayes are 61.  Nays are 37.  There will now be a joing committee with the House to hammer out the differences Inouye, Baucus, Reid, Cochran, and Grassley.  The Senate is now in party caucus meetings, and will reconvene later.

Such a shame.  This bill is not going to stimulate our economy – it’s only going to put us into debt.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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A Normal Day in the Senate: Economic Stimulus, Health Care … Pornography at the National Science Foundation?

February 8, 2009

Alright, so I was watching the Senate discuss more amendments to H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the latest economic stimulus bill.  Anyway, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was talking about his amendment and some health care stuff, when all of a sudden, he breaks off on to the subject of pornography being viewed at work by some of the staff at the National Science Foundation, and that we need to make sure that stimulus money isn’t going towards wasting time at work (whether that’s pornography or not – people should be doing work at work, not viewing pornography or playing Free Cell).  Here’s that video clip, courtesy of C-SPAN: 

more about “A Normal Day in the Senate: Economic …“, posted with vodpod

I will say, I love the looks coming from whoever was sitting behind him.  This one really caught me off guard.  I was watching it, but doing other things, but all of a sudden, this snapped me back into paying attention.

It’s never a dull day in the Senate!

But Grassley is right.  If my tax dollars are going to the NSF, I at least want work to be getting done.  The fact that it was pornography just adds insult to injury.  I don’t care if it’s as innocent as playing Asteroid, it’s government TIME.  And the fact that the one manager was using up 20% of his work time to do this is just appalling!  We need more oversight if we’re going to be putting money into this, and this is proof of that need.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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4 Days to Go: Senate Prediction: Democrats Gain 6 Seats

October 31, 2008

Here’s my Senate prediction.  I already did my Presidential election prediction as well as the Gubernatorial Elections prediction.  The colors ARE switched from what the normal media colors, so sorry about that, but that’s the way the website I use does it.  The maps are courtesy of Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas, and my most current prediction can always be found here.  On to the predictions…

* = Pickup via defeat of incumbent; ^ = Pickup of an open seat

Democrats: 16 (+6)
Republicans: 19 (-6)
Light gray indicates states with no Senate races

First, a note about Wyoming and Mississippi:

  • Wyoming has 2 races, Michael Enzi (R) against Chris Rothfuss (D) and John Barasso (R) against Nick Carter (D). I expect both Republicans to win with results around 63%.
  • Mississippi has 2 races. The maps are predictions for Thad Cochran (R) against Erik Fleming (D). In the election between Roger Wicker (R) and Ronnie Musgrove (D), I expect Wicker to win with around 51%, a much closer race than the other.

Alright, so let’s look at the states where people may disagree with me:

  • Arkansas: Mark Pryor is unopposed by a Republican.  Rebekah Kennedy (Green) is the only opponent, so that’s why I have it so high.  It’s not a mistake.
  • Alaska: Last prediction, I had it going to “Uncle Ted” Stevens.  Then, the jury found him guilty.  I changed my prediction on the U.S. Election Atlas website, but didn’t repost a prediction here (although I did write a blog post saying that Mark Begich would win).  Then, I started thinking, and I think Stevens will pull it off.  I know the polls disagree (but the Research 2000 poll showing him down 22% is just wrong), but I don’t see Alaskans voting out Uncle Ted.
  • Minnesota: Again, like last time, for every poll that comes out showing Franken ahead, a poll comes out showing Coleman ahead by the same amount.  Right now, it’s just too close to call, so I’ll keep it where I had it last week.

Now, the map indicating the confidence that I have that my prediction is right:

Democrats: 16 (+5)
Republicans: 19 (-5)
Tossup: 3
Light gray indicates states with no Senate races

Alright, so what changes did I make since last time, and why?  Here they are:

State

Previous

Current

Reasoning

AK

D50L

R50T

I don’t think they’ll vote “Uncle Ted” out.

IA

D50S

D60S

It looks like Tom Harkin will reach 60% here.

KY

R50L

R50S

Mitch McConnell seems to be making a stronger comeback, back from when it was looking like a close race.  I think he’s now safe for sure.

NE

R60S

R50S

I think this an oversight the first time I did the predictions.

NM

D60S

D50S

I think Steve Pearce (R) has gained enough support that he’ll keep Tom Udall (D) from getting above 60%.

NC

R50T

D50T

Elizabeth Dole’s “Godless” attack ad against Kay Hagan was found out to be less than true.  I think there’ll be big backlash against Dole, and I think it’ll go to Hagan, but it is still a little bit too close to call in my opinion.

OR

R40T

D50S

Like I said last week, if Gordon Smith (R) didn’t pull ahead (as he was looking like he might), I was going to slide it over to Jeff Merkley, and that’s what I did.

By Monday, when I do my final update, I should be able to take North Carolina out of the toss-up category, and if more polls come out with Begich leading by a huge margin in Alaska, I’ll switch it back to Begich.  I don’t think I’ll be able to take Minnesota out of the toss-up category, but Al Franken’s latest campaign ad controversy may help Coleman, and I may be able to slide it to the “Lean” category.

Come back here on Monday for my final prediction.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican

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Hillary Clinton: “I will be making no decisions tonight” on Quitting the Race

June 4, 2008

So, I’ve already analyzed Obama’s speech which was given shortly after Clinton’s following speech.  She had been expected to suspend her campaign and acknowledge that Obama had reached the “magic number,” but not actually concede, but she didn’t even do that.  She just said, “I’ll talk it over and decide later” essentially.  Here’s the speech:

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you all so much. Thank you, and thanks so much to South Dakota. You had the last word in this primary season, and it was worth the wait.

Actually, Montana did because they voted later, but I won’t nit pick.

I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run.

Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved. And our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result. So we are grateful.

Your party may be stronger because of him, but it’s a whole lot weaker because of you.

And it has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend. And, tonight, I would like all of us to take a moment to recognize him and his supporters for all they have accomplished.

You mean winning the primary series?

Now, 16 months ago, you and I began a journey to make history and to remake America. And from the hills of New Hampshire to the hollows of West Virginia and Kentucky, from the fields of California to the factories of Ohio, from the Alleghenies to the Ozarks to the Everglades, to right here in the great state of New York, we…

We saw millions of Americans registering to vote for the first time, raising money for the first time, knocking on doors, making calls, talking to their friends and neighbors, mothers and fathers lifting their little girls and their little boys onto their shoulders and whispering, “See, you can be anything you want to be.”

OK, I have to point out – most of those newly registered voters were because of Obama.

And I think, too, of all those…

all those wonderful women in their 90s who came out to see me, because they were born before women could vote, and they wanted to be part of making history, and the people who drove for miles, who waved their handmade signs, who went to all the events that we held, who came to HillaryClinton.com and showed the tangible support that they felt in their hearts.

And I am just enormously grateful, because, in the millions of question: Who will be the strongest candidate and the strongest…

Who will be ready to take back the White House and take charge as commander-in-chief and lead our country to better tomorrows?

BILLARY WILL!  Oh, what’s that?  You’re NOT going to let Bill sleep in the White House?  Just Hillary?  Not Billary!

People in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories, all had a chance to make your voices heard. And on election day after election day, you came out in record numbers to cast your ballots. Nearly 18 million of you cast your votes…

… for our campaign, carrying the popular vote with more votes than any primary candidate in history.

OK, well when’s the last time that a campaign season lasted this long?

Even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over, you kept on voting. You’re the nurse on the second shift, the worker on the line, the waitress on her feet, the small business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran, the student, the hard-working men and women who don’t always make the headlines, but have always written America’s story.

Well, those naysayers and pundits were… RIGHT.

You have voted because you wanted to take back the White House. And because of you…

… we won, together, the swing states necessary to get to 270 electoral votes.

OK, you’re not the nominee.  You know this right?  Could somebody tell the lady in the pants suit that she LOST!?

And you know…

Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will! Yes, she will!

In all of the states, you voted because you wanted a leader who will stand up for the deepest values of our party, a party that believes everyone should have a fair shot at the American dream, a party that cherishes every child, values every family, and counts every single vote.

And what, the Republicans don’t count every single vote?

I often felt that each of your votes was a prayer for our nation, a declaration of your dreams for your children, a reflection of your desire to chart a new course in this new century. And, in the end, while this primary was long, I am so proud we stayed the course together.

That would be one sacrilegious prayer.

Because we stood our ground, it meant that every single United States citizen had a chance to make his or her voice heard. A record 35 million people voted in this primary…

And that’s good – I AM happy that we had such great voter turnout.

… from every state, red, blue, purple, people of every age, faith, color, and walk of life. And we have brought so many people into the Democratic Party and created enthusiasm among those we seek to serve.

But we’ll see how many actually stay.

And I am committed to uniting our party so we move forward stronger and more ready than ever to take back the White House this November.

You know, for the past seven years, so many people in this country have felt invisible, like your president didn’t even really see you. I have seen the shuttered factories, the jobs shipped overseas, the families struggling to afford gas and groceries.

But I’ve also seen unions re-training workers to build energy- efficient buildings, innovators designing cars that run on fuel cells and biofuels and electricity, cars that get more miles per gallon than ever before, cars that will cut the cost of driving, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, and fight global warming.

And McCain advocates for the same things, just not with the greedy unions going on strike whenever they want a new candy bar machine in the lounge.

I have met too many people without health care, just a diagnosis away from financial ruin. But I’ve also seen the scientists and researchers solving the medical mysteries and finding the treatments and cures that are transforming lives.

Again - McCain has a GREAT health care plan that would allow people to cross state lines to get insurance.

I’ve seen the struggling schools with the crumbling classrooms and the unfair burdens imposed by No Child Left Behind. But I have also met dedicated and caring teachers who use their own savings to buy supplies and students passionately engaged in the issues of our time, from ending the genocide in Darfur to once again making the environment a central issue of our day.

Nobody likes No Child Left Behind – it was a great idea with TERRIBLE implimentation.

None of you, none of you is invisible to me. You never have been.

I see you, and I know how hard-working you are. I’ve been fighting for you my whole adult life, and I will keep standing for you and working for you every single day.

Because in your courage and character, your energy and ingenuity, your compassion and faith, I see the promise of America every day. The challenges we face are great, but our determination is greater.

You know, I understand that that a lot of people are asking, “What does Hillary want? What does she want?”

Well, I want what I have always fought for in this whole campaign. I want to end the war in Iraq.

We ALL want to end it!  It’s not like McCain or Bush enjoy our troops being over there.

I want to turn this economy around. I want health care for every American. I want every child to live up to his or her God-given potential. And I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and no longer to be invisible.

Well, going on campaigning and splitting the party certainly isn’t going to help make them be heard.

You see, I have an old-fashioned notion, one that’s been the basis of my candidacy and my life’s work, that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their own dreams. This nation has given me every opportunity, and that’s what I want for every single American.

That’s why I want universal health care. It is wrong…

… that Americans pay 50 percent more for health care than the people of any other wealthy nation, with costs doubling this decade, and nearly 50 million people without any health insurance at all.

So use McCain’s plan, which encourages competition.  And when companies compete, the consumer wins!

It is wrong for parents to have to choose between care for themselves or their children, to be stuck in dead-end jobs just to keep their insurance, or to give up working altogether so their kids will qualify for Medicaid.

I’ve been working on this issue not just for the past 16 months, but for 16 years. And it is a fight…

It is a fight I will continue until every single American has health insurance, no exceptions and no excuses.

I want an economy that works for all families. That’s why I’ve been fighting to create millions of new jobs in clean energy and rebuilding our infrastructure, jobs to come to all of our states, and urban and rural areas, and suburban communities and small towns.

And McCain is an advocate for clean energy and clean energy jobs too.

And that’s why I sounded the alarm on the home mortgage crisis well over a year ago…

And the way you solve it is by an economic stimulus plan that rewards people for making stupid financial decisions!?

… because these are the issues that will determine whether we will once again grow together as a nation or continue to grow apart.

And I want to restore America’s leadership in the world. I want us to be led once again by the power of our values, to have a foreign policy that is both strong and smart, to join with our allies and confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to global terrorism and global warming.

These are the issues that brought me into this race. They are the lifeblood of my campaign. And they have been and will continue to be the causes of my life. And your spirit…

… your spirit has inspired me every day in this race. While I traveled our country, talking about how I wanted to help you, time and again you reached out to help me, to grab my hand or grip my arm, to look into my eyes and tell me, “Don’t quit. Keep fighting. Stay in this race.”

Now, there were days…

… when I had the strength — there were the days when I had the strength enough to fight for all of us. And on the days that I didn’t, I leaned on you, the soldier on his third tour of duty in Iraq who told his wife, an Iraqi veteran herself, to take his spending money and donate it to our campaign instead…

Well, that was some wasted money.

… the 11-year-old boy in Kentucky, who sold his bike and video games to raise money for our campaign, the woman who came to a rally hours early, waited and waited to give me a rosary, and all those who whispered to me, simply to say, “I am praying for you.”

So many people said this race was over five months ago in Iowa, but we had faith in each other. And you brought me back in New Hampshire, and on Super Tuesday, and in Ohio, and in Pennsylvania, and Texas, and Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota.

I will carry your stories and your dreams with me every day for the rest of my life.

Now, the question is: Where do we go from here? And given how far we’ve come and where we need to go as a party, it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.

But this has always been your campaign. So, to the 18 million people who voted for me, and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you’ll go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can.

And in the coming days, I’ll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way.

This means she’s taking it to the convention floor.

And I want…

I want to conclude tonight by saying, “Thank you.” Thank you to the people across America for welcoming me and my family into your homes and your hearts.

Thanks to all of you in every corner of this country who cast your votes for our campaign. I am honored and humbled by your support and your trust.

Thanks to my staff and volunteers for all those long hours and late nights.

And I thank your families and your loved ones, as well, because your sacrifice was theirs.

And I especially want to thank all of the leadership of my campaign, our chairman, Terry McAuliffe, and everyone who worked so hard.

And, of course, my family, for their incredible love, support, and work, Bill and Chelsea…

… Hugh and Maria, Tony and Megan, Zach and Fiona, and my mother, who turns 89 tomorrow.

And, finally, I want to thank all of the people who had the courage to share your stories with me out on the campaign trail.

Tonight, I am thinking of a woman I met just yesterday in Rapid City, South Dakota. We were outside Tally’s Restaurant. There was a crowd there as I was walking into the restaurant, and she was standing right up against the barrier.

She grabbed my hand, and she said, “What are you going to do to make sure I have health care?” And as she was talking, she began to cry. She told me she works three jobs; she has suffered from seizures since childhood; she hasn’t been able to afford insurance ever since she left her parents’ home.

It is shameful that anyone in this country could tell that story to me.

And whatever path I travel next, I promise I will keep faith with her and with everyone I met across this great and good country.

You know, tonight, we stand just a few miles from the Statue of Liberty and from the site where the Twin Towers fell and where America rose again.

Lady Liberty’s presence and the towers’ absence are a constant reminder that here in America we are resilient, we are courageous, we embrace all of our people, and that, when we face our challenges together, there is no barrier we can’t overcome, no dream we can’t realize, nothing we can’t do if we just start acting like Americans again.

Thank you all very much. God bless you, and God bless America.

So, there you have it – she’s still in it.  And I think she’ll take it to the convention.  I’ve said that she will, and I think this speech confirms it.  Come on Hillary, give McCain the win – I’m to busy to campaign for him, so do it for me!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Barack Obama: “I will be the Democratic nominee”

June 3, 2008

Well, Barack Obama has given a speech, claiming victory as the Democratic nominee.  Well, I’ve got news Barack, it really “isn’t over until the lady in the pants suit says so.”  Why?  Because the lady has a whole host of hit men who have done some pretty good work before (ok, maybe they did work for her husband, but it’s all in the family).  If I were Barack, I would be VERY careful.  There’s a reason that Clinton didn’t concede tonight, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Obama doesn’t make it through until the convention, let alone November 4th.

Anyway,  here’s the speech that Obama gave:

Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said – because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Like I said – it’s not over until convention.  Weirder things have happened in politics.

I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign – through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President.

At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.

Aww, that’s cute!

That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

Don’t kid people – you hate her guts.

We’ve certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who’s shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning – even in the face of tough odds – is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children’s Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency – an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

No, it’s her need for power, not love for the people that got her where she is.

There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well I say that because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time. There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn’t just about the party in charge of Washington, it’s about the need to change Washington. There are young people, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and women of all ages who have voted in numbers that have broken records and inspired a nation.

OK, so you have more voters – they’re still divided voters when it comes to Democrats.  And since Clinton hasn’t conceded yet, after the math shows that it’s over, unless she does something on the convention floor or swings some of your Superdelegates, your party will CONTINUE to be divided.

All of you chose to support a candidate you believe in deeply. But at the end of the day, we aren’t the reason you came out and waited in lines that stretched block after block to make your voice heard. You didn’t do that because of me or Senator Clinton or anyone else. You did it because you know in your hearts that at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – we cannot afford to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We owe our children a better future. We owe our country a better future. And for all those who dream of that future tonight, I say – let us begin the work together. Let us unite in common effort to chart a new course for America.

Again – I’d disagree.  Most of the new voters came out for either you or Ron Paul.  And you did WAY better than Ron Paul – so most of the new voters came out for you.

In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda. They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine. My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign.

Thank you for acknowledging his service – that shows some class that should always shown to our service men, but what accomplishments of yours has he denied?

Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

Well, that’s because he’s OUR nominee – and our party is generally right and yours is wrong.  Of course, when he switches sides, he’s often on the wrong side, but he’s my nominee, so I’m going to vote for him.  He’s a heck of a lot better than you.

It’s not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush ninety-five percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

Um, you’re the one who’s all about change, not McCain.

It’s not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college – policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt.

He has a GREAT plan to get people insured, which is nothing like what Bush has done.  I really like his plan to allow people to cross state lines to get insurance.  And who cares what the gap is between rich and poor – the important thing is helping the poor richer.  The gap doesn’t matter.  That’s what’s wrong with  Democrats.  They care too much about catching up to the rich instead of being able  to just care for themselves.

And it’s not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians – a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn’t making the American people any safer.

OK – I’ll give you some on his one.  We need to embrace Chuck Hagel’s plan, and make sure the Iraqis actually become independent and can function on their own.

So I’ll say this – there are many words to describe John McCain’s attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush’s policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

Change is a foreign policy that doesn’t begin and end with a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged. I won’t stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what’s not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years – especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.

OK, I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again (obviously Barack doesn’t read my blog).  The time we spend there doesn’t matter – the amount of troops does.  We still have people in Korea, and nobody seems to care, that’s because we have a VERY small amount.

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in – but start leaving we must. [What, did Yoda write the speech?] It’s time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It’s time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It’s time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda’s leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century – terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. That’s what change is.

Change is realizing that meeting today’s threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy – tough, direct diplomacy where the President of the United States isn’t afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for. We must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy. That’s what the American people want. That’s what change is.

OK, but you DO have to understand that diplomacy won’t always work.

Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and workers who created it. It’s understanding that the struggles facing working families can’t be solved by spending billions of dollars on more tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs, but by giving a the middle-class a tax break, and investing in our crumbling infrastructure, and transforming how we use energy, and improving our schools, and renewing our commitment to science and innovation. It’s understanding that fiscal responsibility and shared prosperity can go hand-in-hand, as they did when Bill Clinton was President.

McCain HAS a plan to give the middle class a tax break.  And McCain also has plans to use alternative (cheaper) energy – such as nuclear energy.

John McCain has spent a lot of time talking about trips to Iraq in the last few weeks, but maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy – cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota – he’d understand the kind of change that people are looking for.

HAHAHAHAHA AHAHAHA HAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAA!!  Whoa boy – that’s funny.  You’re lecturing McCain about not visiting cities in Michigan.  You’ve visited my state what, 4 or 5 times?  I can handle your misspeakings, but this is just hypocritical bull crap.

Maybe if he went to Iowa and met the student who works the night shift after a full day of class and still can’t pay the medical bills for a sister who’s ill, he’d understand that she can’t afford four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and wealthy. She needs us to pass health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants it and brings down premiums for every family who needs it. That’s the change we need.

And McCain HAS a plan to do that.

Maybe if he went to Pennsylvania and met the man who lost his job but can’t even afford the gas to drive around and look for a new one, he’d understand that we can’t afford four more years of our addiction to oil from dictators. That man needs us to pass an energy policy that works with automakers to raise fuel standards, and makes corporations pay for their pollution, and oil companies invest their record profits in a clean energy future – an energy policy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. That’s the change we need.

Um, no – we don’t need to make cars that run more efficiently on OIL.  We NEED to do like John McCain and advocate for different energy, such as nuclear and fuel cells.  We need to get off oil, not make it more efficient.

And maybe if he spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, he’d understand that we can’t afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American. That’s the change we need in America. That’s why I’m running for President.

Again – college should NOT be a birthright.  Why does everybody need to go to college?  College is SO overrated because of social norms now.  Plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, etc… don’t need to go to college.  Go to trade school and get out in the workforce.  Sure, doctors are more prestigious, but we need plumbers too!  If we send everybody to college, we have a bunch of white collar workers, and nobody to fill blue collar jobs, so we ship MORE jobs overseas.

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don’t deserve is another election that’s governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon – that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

I believe it was YOU who made religion a wedge with your comments in Pennsylvania.

Despite what the good Senator from Arizona said tonight, I have seen people of differing views and opinions find common cause many times during my two decades in public life, and I have brought many together myself. I’ve walked arm-in-arm with community leaders on the South Side of Chicago and watched tensions fade as black, white, and Latino fought together for good jobs and good schools. I’ve sat across the table from law enforcement and civil rights advocates to reform a criminal justice system that sent thirteen innocent people to death row. And I’ve worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with a tax break; to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent; and to reduce the influence of lobbyists who have all too often set the agenda in Washington.

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom’s cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

OK, so that was Barack Obama’s speech that he gave earlier tonight.

He claims he’s the nominee – but really – I think Clinton will take it to the convention where some weird things will happen, but then Obama will prevail.  If Obama’s smart, he WON’T pick her as his VP, but who knows.  He may want to “unify the party,” but Clinton can’t unify anything from the Democratic party, the nation, or even her marriage (admit it, Hill – it’s a sham).

Hello, President John Sydney McCain III

OK, I’ll be looking at Clinton’s speech next.

Done  Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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What Roll Will the VP Candidate Play in 2008? Greatest for McCain

March 27, 2008

Here’s the summary of some recent Survey USA polls done (click to enlarge) that look at the significance of the Vice Presidential candidates:

Now – let’s look at some key states:

  • Massachusetts:
    • 40% say they may vote for McCain based on his VP.
    • 27% say that for Obama (and 20% for Clinton).
    • With how closely MA has been lately, the VP candidate could swing this race to McCain, especially if he picks Romney (like I think he will).
  • Iowa and Wisconsin
    • Both are at 33% for the VP influencing support for McCain, but it’s much lower for Obama and Clinton – but it still could be enough to swing the race – and these are 2 states that will be quite heated races.
    • 50% in in WI and 49% in IA are already opposed to Clinton – YIKES for her!
    • 42% in IA and 40% in WI against Obama is pretty bad for him as well.
  • Missouri
    • 52% opposed to Obama and 47% to Clinton.
    • It’s an essential win for McCain in a state which has been previously classified as a toss-up state.
    • It could affect the heated Governor’s race if people vote straight-party-ticket.
  • Ohio
    • 46% against Clinton and 47% against Obama – another bad sign for Dems. in a large and heated-race state. 

I know that these aren’t all 50 states, but look at the range that people oppose Clinton and Obama: 38-61% for both.  Now look at McCain: 28%-48%.  And this includes the 2 most liberal states (New York and California), and doesn’t include states like Texas.

This polls is a bad sign for Democrats – a sign that a lot of infighting is happening.

But it’s also a sign that McCain has to pick a good VP.  Look at the range for the VP making the difference.  For Obama it’s 12%-28%, Clinton it’s 17%-25%, but McCain it’s 29%-40%.  And this is because of his age.  People are going to ask, “If McCain dies, do I want _________ to become my President?”  We’re going to see a LOT of Vice Presidential debates – more than we’ve seen in a while anyway.

I hope he picks a good VP candidate, but either way, I think we’ve got this election all but in the bag.

Done Predicting,

Ranting Republican
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Geraldine Ferraro Steps Down from Clinton’s Campaign

March 16, 2008

OK, so Geraldine Ferraro (former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate with Walter Mondale; also former member of Senator Clinton’s Presidential election finance committee), in an interview with the Daily Breeze (Torrance, California) last week, said, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.  And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position.  He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.  And the country is caught up in the concept.”  Ferraro also accused the “sexist media” of attacking Clinton too much.

Now, here’s my thoughts on her comments.  Were they out of line?  Yes.  Were they partially correct?  Yes, but because of different reasons than what were behind her comments.  I think that originally (this means back before Iowa), Obama’s race helped him in the media (just like the media helped McCain in New Hampshire once he became the leader in ONE poll.  The media jumped and said – “OH MY GOSH!  HE’S BACK IN IT!!!!!”  And that’s what got him back in the race.  Without the media pouncing on a single poll, he never would’ve become the nominee.  Without the media jumping on Huckabee for doing so well in the debates, he never would’ve won Iowa or even been a contender in South Carolina.).  The point is – the media helps everybody (normally – Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Alan Keyes would be exceptions), and it was Obama’s race and charisma that got the media’s attention.

So, was it his race that got him this far?  Partially, but if he were white, it would have been some other quality.  And I would say that his charisma has helped him out MUCH more than his race ever could.

OK, so Ferraro, in response to a lot of  media attention on her, told the Daily Breeze, “Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says, ‘Let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world,’ you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up.  Racism works in two different directions.  I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.  How’s that?”

She also told  FOX News, “I got up and the question was asked, ‘Why do you think Barack Obama is in the place he is today’ as the party’s delegate front-runner?  I said in large measure, because he is black.  I said, Let me also say in 1984 — and if I have said it once, I have said it 20, 60, 100 times — in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would never have been the nominee for vice president.”

David Axelrod, the top strategist for the Obama campaign, said that Clinton should sever any ties that she has with Ferraro, saying, “When you wink and nod at offensive statements, you’re really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes.”  He said that Ferraro’s comment, plus Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness” to deny that Obama is a Muslim, was part of “an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed.”

Senator Obama said that Ferraro’s statements were “patently absurd.”

He told the Allentown Morning Call that “I don’t think Geraldine Ferraro’s comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party.  They are divisive.  I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd.  And I would expect that the same way those comments don’t have a place in my campaign, they shouldn’t have a place in Sen. Clinton’s, either.

Now, I find this kinda funny.  Axelrod wants Clinton to immediately disassociate from Ferraro, but it took Obama how many years to disassociate from his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

Senator Clinton issued a statement to the Associated Press saying that “It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we’ve both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal.  We ought to keep this on the issues.  There are differences between us.  There are differences between our approaches on health care, on energy, on our experience, on our results that we’ve produced for people.  That’s what this campaign should be about.”

Senator Obama later said, “I think that her comments were … ridiculous. … I think they were wrong-headed.  I think they are not borne out by our history or by the facts.  The notion that it is a great advantage to me, an African-American named Barack Obama, in pursuit of the presidency I think is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public.  Divisions of race, gender, of region are precisely what has inhibited us from moving effectively forward to solve big problems like health care, energy, the war on terror.

On Wednesday, Ferraro sent her letter of resignation to Senator Clinton, saying, “I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.  The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you.  I won’t let that happen.”

She then told CNN that the Clinton campaign did not ask her to resign and that her and Clinton are still on good terms.  She said that she was “absolutely not” sorry for what she said, and that “I am who I am and I will continue to speak up.”  She went on to criticize Obama and his campaign for attempting to keep her from exercising her First Amendment rights.

So, to summarize, I think that Ferraro was out of line (but what she said was partially true), but there is a HUGE double standard in the fact that Ferraro was so criticized by the Obama campaign who has up until recently ignored Reverend Wright’s comments.

I think both candidates need to put this behind them, or the infighting is going to tear down their party more (big shame).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Final Iowa Democratic Caucus Results and Delegate Count

January 6, 2008

OK, here are the final Iowa results as well as the delegate chart as of January 4th (I will be updating it and have another post hopefully tonight:

Date State Candidate State Delegates % Delegates Superdelegates Total Delegates Delegate Count
3-Jan Iowa Obama 940 37.58% 16 2 18 64
  Edwards 744 29.75% 15 2 17 49
  Clinton 737 29.47% 14 2 16 169
  Richardson 53 2.12% 0 0 0 19
  Dodd 1 0.04% 0 0 0 4
  Biden 23 0.92% 0 0 0 7
  Uncommitted 3 0.12% 0 0 0 0
  Kucinich 0 0.00% 0 0 0 1
    Gravel 0 0.00% 0 0 0 0

And here’s the delegate count chart for the Democrats as of January 4th (this will probably change, especially Clinton’s  delegates):

Democratic Delegate Count as of 1-4-07

I’ll get an update sometime later.  As of now, Clinton has a clear lead though.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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