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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Do Early Voters Love Mitt?

October 31st, 2012 - 4:56 pm

Let’s take another look at something from earlier today about early voters, because I found numbers to back it up.

According to a GOP analysis of early voting and absentee ballot requests provided to Secrets, the Democrats are turning out their most reliable, or so-called “high propensity voters” than Republicans, leaving fewer for Election Day. The GOP is pushing weaker supporters to vote early, expecting high enthusiasm to drive their regular supporters to the polls next week.

Now here’s Henry Olsen from AEI on early voting in Ohio:

Twenty-two counties report that early voting in 2012 is already equal or greater than two-thirds the level in 2008. McCain carried sixteen of those, usually with high margins. Obama got more than 55% of the vote in only two of the remaining six, Ashtabula and Trumbull. All of those six are either in coal country or in a corridor from the Pennsylvania border through Canton that the Romney campaign is also targeting.

The numbers are particularly strong for Romney in the southeastern coal country on or near the Ohio River. From Scioto county in the south to Columbiana county in the north, early voting shares range from a low of 63.5% in Monroe to 82.7% in Columbiana. (Athens County, an Obama stronghold because of Ohio University, touches the Ohio River- its early voting share is only 57.4%). To compare, the early voting shares in the largest and strongest Obama counties (Cuyahoga, Lucas, Franklin, Summit, and Lorain) never top 61.0% (Cuyahoga).

Exceptionally strong numbers can also be found in Republican counties in the northwest in the Dayton, Lima, and Toledo media markets. Early voting shares there average in the high sixties, touching as high as 87.5% in Champaign County.

If anything, these numbers underestimate Romney’s strength in early voting because most of the counties not reporting early voting numbers are strongly Republican.

Illegitimi non carborundum, folks.

The Smoking Memo

October 31st, 2012 - 3:50 pm

Did Candy Crowley purposely tip the debate scales for Obama?

Conspiracy Theory of the Day

October 31st, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Will Collier emails:

Old friend of mine who’s a colonel in the Army National Guard was just activated and shipped to New Jersey for hurricane relief yesterday. There are plenty of good reasons for the Guard to be active right now, but still… you have to wonder how many (if any) of the Guardsmen who’ve been yanked up on no notice had a chance to get absentee ballots. You’d also wonder if the Guard from, say, Ohio and Wisconsin and Iowa has suddenly been activated en masse…

It’s not that I believe it. It’s that, after these last four years, it’s believable.

Operation Demoralize: The Dick Morris Edition

October 31st, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Crap. It’s hard to keep the faith when Dick Morris says it’s going to be a landslide for Mitt. Here’s the big man with the big mouth:

In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.

Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?

Once everyone discovers that the emperor has no clothes (or that Obama has no argument after the negative ads stopped working), the vote shift could be of historic proportions.

Seriously, Dick — shut up before you jinx it.

Operation Re-Moralize

October 31st, 2012 - 12:16 pm

With a tip of the hat to Mark Tapscott, here’s Chris Stirewalt fretting about the last week of the election:

But here’s the really chilling part: A massive East Coast storm has worsened the most complicated, confusing polling environment since the invention of the telephone.

(Little known fact: The second sentence Alexander Graham Bell spoke into the telephone was “Mr. Watson, if the election were being held today, would you vote for Republican Rutherford Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden?”)

As if this closing week wasn’t enough of a phantasmagoria, there is the terrifying thought that Ohio isn’t aligning with the national polls.

The current Real Clear Politics averages of polls continue to show a national lead of about 1 point for Republican Mitt Romney but also a consistent Ohio advantage for President Obama of 2.4 points.

First of all, have you seen the internals of the latest Ohio polls? They’re so messed up they look like the Marlboro Man’s chest film. If that’s not enough to comfort you, let’s add a few “Washington Secrets” into the mix:

According to a GOP analysis of early voting and absentee ballot requests provided to Secrets, the Democrats are turning out their most reliable, or so-called “high propensity voters” than Republicans, leaving fewer for Election Day. The GOP is pushing weaker supporters to vote early, expecting high enthusiasm to drive their regular supporters to the polls next week.

“Democrats are cannibalizing their high-propensity voters in advance of election day to get stories that they are winning,” said a GOP analyst. “But in effect they are stealing from Peter, or Election Day, to pay Paul, or early voting.”

“Republicans will have more reliable voters available on Election Day and are spending our efforts turning out low propensity voters in the absentee and early voting periods,” added the analysis.

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Run Away! Run Away!

October 31st, 2012 - 11:01 am

Trifecta: Where did all the independent voters go? Long time passing…

ObamaCare to Colorado: Drop Dead!

October 31st, 2012 - 10:09 am

That’s what some people are going to want to do after they see their premiums in a couple years:

With the Presidential election one week away, it’s worth reviewing how Obamacare will impact the residents of key swing states. In Colorado, as elsewhere, Obamacare will drive up the cost of private health coverage, especially for those who buy insurance on their own. One of Obama’s key health-care advisers, Jonathan Gruber, found that by 2016, individual premiums in Colorado will increase by an average of 19 percent. In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for more than 225,000 Colorado seniors enrolled in the program. And 29 percent of Colorado physicians say that they will place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients. Read on for more details.

Goddamn these goddamn Democrats and what they do when given all the power levers.

Michigan Mittmentum?

October 31st, 2012 - 9:17 am

The Electoral College redshift keeps expanding. Here’s Dan Blatt putting it all together:

Earlier today, the National Review’s Robert Costa referred to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennyslvania as “maybe states,” three “blue” states which could turn “red”.

Perhaps had he written later in the day, he might have added another state to that pile. His colleague Jim Geraghty reports “that the Obama campaign is buying a week’s worth of television ads in the Detroit market.“:

This is an ad purchase aimed at securing Michigan; it is not aimed at crossing into Ohio or any other state. Detroit’s radio market runs into Monroe County which borders the Buckeye State, but it does not cross over, as some metropolitan media markets do.

This is the eleventh-largest media market in the United States and one of the more expensive ones, particularly compared to the smaller cities that make up most key swing state markets.

With such a pricey ad market, as Ace puts it, “You don’t play there for fun.” Reporting on this news, Allahpundit speculates that “Team Mitt may be eyeing not only Oregon but even Washington state(!) as having turned more purplish than anticipated.”

It wasn’t all that long ago that Team Obama was boasting about making a play for Arizona. Set the Wayback Machine for April, right around the time Romney was securing the GOP nomination:

Obama strategists are simply following the same techniques they used in 2008 when putting states like North Carolina and Indiana into play. Then, too, there was much initial skepticism, though both states ended up going for Mr. Obama.

There was even talk from David Axelrod — even if ever-so-briefly — about Texas having some kind of future as a purple state. That talks seem a long time ago. Today he was on one of the cable networks doing the Flop Sweat Tango. By most accounts, he made Nathan Thurm look like Derek Flint.

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Today? Obama is spending the very last Wednesday before the election touring New Jersey’s storm damage. No, I’m not saying New Jersey is in play — far from it. In fact, what Obama is doing is politically quite smart: He’s looking presidential. And that’s a feat he’s had difficulty pulling off these last four weeks.

But it also speaks to his weakness. Obama should be out campaigning hard in the swing states, raising money for relief like some other candidate I could mention.. Instead, Obama is doing what he can to nurture some health back into his enfeebled image.

And if Romney is feeling strong enough to push into Michigan (as I’ve been arguing for weeks he needs to), then image-bolstering photo ops is probably the best Obama can do.

Will Collier sums up the Disney/LucasFilm buyout perfectly.

UPDATE: More from Scalzi.

In Some Places It’s the Only Game in Town

October 30th, 2012 - 4:34 pm

Trifecta: How to stop the Democrats from playing their favorite game of voting early and often.

Steve Ballmer Just Lies

October 30th, 2012 - 3:08 pm

Here’s the MS honcho on Surface RT sales:

When asked by the Journal’s Shira Ovide how the public received Windows 8 and the Surface tablet after their first few days of availability, Ballmer is quoted as having said, “Numerically there’s not really much that’s interesting to report.”

Ballmer continued, “If you were to call the retailers, they would say, ‘Hey, off to a very good start.’ We’re out of stock a lot of places on touch [screen] machines. I was at a dinner in San Francisco last week, and I brought out this beautiful, very thin [touch-screen] laptop, and they said, ‘Wow, I never thought touch could be valuable and important in a laptop.’ “

Yeah, because that’s how people talk to other people at dinner parties.

Actually, I guess they do if they’re hacky marketing douchenozzles trying out new print ad copy on the boss.

The Funniest Thing You’ll Read All Day

October 30th, 2012 - 1:38 pm

The Left, it cannot be parodied. What you are about to read comes, not from The Onion, but from SF Gate. You might want to first tie an Ace bandage around your ribs to prevent cracking. Ready? Here you go:

There’s no shortage of their kind in the politically bluest parts of California. Liberals so freaked out about the prospect of President Obama losing his re-election bid that they can’t sleep at night. Can’t talk about anything else. Can’t stop parsing the latest polls.

David Plouffe, one of President Obama’s top campaign strategists, has a word for supporters he feels are needlessly fretful: bed wetters.

“Oh, I think I’m worse than that,” Kay Edelman said.

For the past several weeks, the 60-year-old San Francisco resident has frequently bolted awake in the middle of the night, in “a panic attack,” she said. She darts for her computer and checks the latest polls. Some days she’s so distraught that she can’t exercise.

Did you get that? Mitt Romney prevents well-to-do Northern California vile progs from getting on the treadmill. He makes them wet their beds!

I’m even about to wet myself.

Is there something Romney can do that will permanently damage their vocal cords?

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

October 30th, 2012 - 12:18 pm
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This is the ad Romney-Ryan is running in Philly.

Yes. In Philly.

It’s What You Can’t See

October 30th, 2012 - 9:14 am

Ben Domenech: Are we looking at an undertow election? He describes perfectly the feeling I’ve had since the Denver debate:

The polls are more sophisticated twelve years later, but they still can only tell us so much. And what they have to tell isn’t the whole story. A wave election is something you can generally see coming, rising above the surface, crushing everything in its path. But an undertow election isn’t something you can see. It pulls underneath the surface with sudden strength, sucking away a base of support thought to be reliable, the ground evaporating underneath you as you claw to stay afloat. It’s maddening for campaigns when voters you had counted as baked in to your models decide they have something better to do on Tuesday. Bush experienced this because of a news story. The Obama campaign may be experiencing something similar now – which may explain their strategic flailing over the past few weeks.

This. Exactly.

But it goes deeper (no pun intended) than just that. The Tea Party, so visible in 2009 and 2010, has largely gone underground to work on GOTV and real grassroots, nuts’n'bolts political operations. It matured away from pep rallies and the like with remarkable speed, thanks to big assists from FreedomWorks and to the remarkable acuity of some of its leaders. Tea Party voters are, I can tell you from many firsthand accounts, probably the least likely to respond to pollsters.

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“Do not buy a Microsoft Surface RT yet.”

October 29th, 2012 - 5:15 pm

So says tech guru Brent Ozar, who’s sending his back after endless frustrations. He loves the hardware, but the Microsoft hasn’t thought the software all the way through. Here’s a clip of him trying (and failing) to save a Word RT document.

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In Pages on an iPad, you don’t even save documents per se. You type them up and they simply exist in iCloud. If you have the same document already open on your desktop or laptop or iPhone or iPod Touch, any changes or additions will appear before you can put down the iPad and pick up your MacBook. Nifty.

So what bugs me so much about this video isn’t the fact that Ozar can’t get permission to save his document. Or that he doesn’t even have a way to copy and paste what he already has so he doesn’t lose any work. The troublesome part is, requires you to access the file system at all. That’s antithetical to the entire notion of how tablets are supposed to work: Invisibly.

Now let’s get to the big finish:

The Surface Pro comes out in a few months. The hardware design is very similar, but heavier, thicker, and with a “real” processor that requires a fan. Yes, those are drawbacks, but they come with a very, very powerful advantage: the Surface Pro will run real Windows 8. This means (hopefully) none of the buggy Windows RT problems, and perhaps more importantly, a full stable of applications.

This is where the Surface Pro really loses me. The RT is a nice piece of hardware, hobbled by a paltry selection of software that isn’t fully touch-friendly. The Pro is going to be a massive piece of hardware, with tons of software none of which is designed at all for touch. What you gain in weight you lose in tablet functionality.

If you want or need a laptop, get one. If you want or need a tablet, get one of those. But Microsoft promised “no compromises” with the Surface, and delivered instead a series of increasingly unwieldy compromises unsuited to the form factor.

A Little Hair of the Dog

October 29th, 2012 - 4:03 pm
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Now They’ve Gone and Ruined Everything

October 29th, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Because Too Much is Never Enough

October 29th, 2012 - 12:52 pm

Mitt Romney’s super PAC is making a big buy in PA:

Restore Our Future is launching an eleventh-hour ad blitz in Pennsylvania, POLITICO has learned.

It is going up Tuesday with a $2.1 million ad buy across every Pennsylvania market, including pricey Philadelphia.

The group will air a spot, “New Normal,” that lashes President Barack Obama on the economy and is already up in other parts of the country.

All is proceeding exactly as I have foreseen.

Predicting the Predictions

October 29th, 2012 - 11:29 am

Battleground Poll: Election Day final will be Romney 52, Obama 47.

On Friday I tweeted, “If the polls are around 50-47 in the challenger’s favor on election day, the actual election results will be around 52-48.” I wasn’t including third-party candidates in there, which will probably take more votes from Obama this time than Romney — Gary Johnson included.

Of Course the Game is Rigged

October 29th, 2012 - 10:54 am

BLS might delay the release of Friday’s jobs report — the last one before Election Day and one nobody has any confidence in — due to Hurricane Sandy.

Since the BLS has been making up the numbers for years, I say we make up our own.

Eleventy-billion jobs created! Because of stimulus! Part-time workers promoted to full-time pay for few hours! Hourly wages up, up, up! Because Obama! We’re saved!

There. Think of how much trouble I just saved the good folks at BLS. Now they can stay dry without having to do any of their typical Friday Fluffing.

Oliver Stone’s Moment of Sanity

October 29th, 2012 - 10:08 am

I haven’t enjoyed much (any?) of anything Oliver Stone has written since Talk Radiountil now:

Filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick criticize Obama’s presidency in a forthcoming book called The Untold History of the United States, saying he has too often mimicked Republican predecessor George W. Bush.

“The country Obama inherited was indeed in shambles, but Obama took a bad situation and, in certain ways, made it worse,” write Stone and Kuznick, reports Politico. “Rather than repudiating the policies of Bush and his predecessors, Obama has perpetuated them.”

All that talk about a “net spending cut” and “cutting the deficit in half” after going “line by line” through the budget? Those were just words, with an expiration date even sooner than most. I spent eight years railing against Bush’s spending and deficits, only to see Obama double down on almost every one of Bush’s idiot policies. And I do mean double. Give this guy another four years and he will double the ten trillion dollar mess he inherited. It’s already baked in.

But I understand that. Barack Obama is an unreconstructed old school vile prog. He lives to spend other people’s money while lecturing his unwilling donors about how morally inferior they are to himself. It’s what vile progs do, when they aren’t playing the race card and waging class warfare to distract from the mess they’ve created.

But there’s another part I don’t understand: What the flying blank at a rolling donut is Obama’s foreign policy? On the one hand, we have Surge With an Expiration Date™ (there’s that two-word phrase again) in Afghanistan. One of the fingers on that hand — you can guess which one — is the semi-if-at-all-legal Drone War against al Qaeda’s leadership. But then there’s the other hand, blogged today by our own Roger L. Simon:

Were Obama and others covering up more than their ineptitude? Just what was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi that day? Why had he left the Libyan capital to meet with the Turkish ambassador on the anniversary of September 11?

Rumors abound. According to Admiral Lyons writing in the Washington Times,

…one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.”

Lyons adds, citing a Clare Lopez article at RadicalIslam.org,

…that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with our Benghazi mission. During the terrorist attack, the warehouses were probably looted. We do not know what was there and if it was being administrated by our two former Navy SEALs and the CIA operatives who were in Benghazi. Nonetheless, the equipment was going to hardline jihadis.

Do we know that for sure? I certainly don’t, although on the face of it sounds like a “Fast & Furious” scandal on a global scale with extraordinary geopolitical implications.

Is the President — literally, man — taking with one drone from al Qaeda while giving with the other? Is he leading from his behind again in Syria by arming radical Islamists with heavy weapons that could one day be turned against our jets? (Military or civilian models, take your pick.)

Let’s take a look at Obama’s foreign policy in toto.

• If debt really is our greatest national security risk, then Obama has screwed us, but good. When interest rates rise, as they eventually must, the payments on our existing debt will exceed our total defense budget. That’s just to cover the vig. That ought to keep America’s hands tied for a few generations.

• The Surge With an Expiration Date™ has made the Taliban the “strong horse” in Afghanistan.

• Obama created a power vacuum in Libya, currently being filled by al Qaeda.

• Obama exhausted the French and British air forces in the process of achieve that Libyan power vacuum. Asking them to take the lead on bombing Libya was like asking your neighbor with the heart conditional and your buddy with the bum knee to move your Hide-a-Bed for you.

• Obama is arming al Qaeda-type elements in Syria.

• Obama’s Drone War has enraged the Arab Street.

• Obama sold out our ally in Egypt, devolving power there away from the military and towards the Muslim Brotherhood and the streets.

• WTF has he been doing in Iran? Promising to recognize their right to nuclear technology while pursuing normalized relationships while (belatedly) pursuing sanctions forced on him by Congress? Do I have that right?

• Putting half a trillion dollars in additional defense cuts on the table through sequestration, which he now tries to deny.

• Shutting down American energy production while Russia gets rich on high prices.

So. Russia gets enough cash to go back to being all frisky, and Obama fiddles while the euro burns. About the only thing he’s gotten right is China. Of course, China talks enough smack (and positions enough ballistic missiles) to send its increasingly nervous neighbors right back into American arms no matter who might be in the White House. Sorry, but I find it difficult to praise Obama for this one, where winning is pretty much the default position.

Whether intentional or not, Obama seems to have a foreign policy of “spreadin’ the wealth around a little bit.” Or in this case, the power. Massive debt will soon hamstring what America can do, while the Arab nations become better armed, and more responsive to the psychotic desires of the Arab Street. It’s like community organizing for murderous religious whackos.

Our President seems to have pretty effectively boxed us in and reduced our power, while setting new bunches of well-armed crazies loose in the Crazy Violent Death Capital of the World. (Excluding Chicago.) And I suppose it goes without saying that Obama has shown the world that he’s willing to watch, live on TV, while Americans get killed so long as it doesn’t upset him politically.

You don’t suppose that doesn’t have schemers scheming new schemes in capitals and caves around the world now, do you?

Is it fecklessness? Is it on purpose? In practical terms, there’s no real difference. But it does mean two things for sure.

• The next President is going to have a bigger foreign policy mess to clean up than Reagan did after Carter.

• The next President had better be sworn in January of 2013, because we can’t afford another four years of this violent devolution of power away from America (and our friends) and towards the madmen of Araby.

Here Comes Sandy

October 29th, 2012 - 5:46 am

As always, PJM’s own Weather Nerd, Brendan Loy, has you covered.

Is Minnesota in Play?

October 28th, 2012 - 11:03 am

That what at least one recent poll shows. Of course, Smart VodkaPundit Readers™ saw this coming a long time ago.

He Got Game (Not)

October 28th, 2012 - 6:56 am
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An Offer You Can’t Refuse

October 27th, 2012 - 12:05 pm

Science Fiction author — and frequent VodkaPundit drinking partner — Sarah Hoyt wants to visit your blog.

Yes, yours.

The Week in Blogs

October 27th, 2012 - 6:00 am
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Friday Night Videos

October 26th, 2012 - 10:12 pm
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Easily Duran Duran’s stupidest song, yet here I am almost 30 years later still listening to it.

So is it really stupid? Yes. Try reading the lyric out loud, and you’ll kill more brain cells than a weekend bender spent with Charlie Sheen and Nick Nolte. But it’s also as damnably catchy as anything they ever did.

Sign “O” the Times

October 26th, 2012 - 3:20 pm

Not that I want a war with Iran, but if you’re going to plan for one, it’s nice to have the allies at least semi on board:

Britain has rebuffed US pleas to use military bases on its soil to support forces in the Persian Gulf, citing secret legal advice which states that any pre-emptive strike on Iran could breach international law.

US diplomats have also reportedly lobbied for the use of British bases in Cyprus and permission to fly from US bases on Ascension Island in the Atlantic and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, both British territories.

Churchill’s bust could not be reached for comment.

She’s Got Nothin’

October 26th, 2012 - 2:14 pm

Trifecta: October surprise!

BONUS: I proved eerily prescient on this one.