The Turning Point in the Election

image This may be the turning point in the election.  David Brooke’s explains why.

Thurston Howell Romney

In 1980, about 30 percent of Americans received some form of government benefits. Today, as Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute has pointed out, about 49 percent do. In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large. Even after adjusting for inflation, entitlement transfers to individuals have grown by more than 700 percent over the last 50 years. This spending surge, Eberstadt notes, has increased faster under Republican administrations than Democratic ones.

There are sensible conclusions to be drawn from these facts. You could say that the entitlement state is growing at an unsustainable rate and will bankrupt the country. You could also say that America is spending way too much on health care for the elderly and way too little on young families and investments in the future.

 

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Diary

No Comments 18 September 2012

Michael Lewis on what is it like to be President

image Michael Lewis was able to spent 6 months following Barak Obama. He provides us we a good glimpse of what it is like to be President in his Vanity Fair article.

Here is the key passage:

This was the third time I’d put the question to him, in one form or another. The first time, a month earlier in this same cabin, he’d had a lot of trouble getting his mind around the idea that I, not he, was president. He’d started by saying something he knew to be dull and expected but that—he insisted—was nevertheless perfectly true. “Here is what I would tell you,” he’d said. “I would say that your first and principal task is to think about the hopes and dreams the American people invested in you. Everything you are doing has to be viewed through this prism. And I tell you what every president ... I actually think every president understands this responsibility. I don’t know George Bush well. I know Bill Clinton better. But I think they both approached the job in that spirit.” Then he added that the world thinks he spends a lot more time worrying about political angles than he actually does.

 

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No Comments 17 September 2012

Where the polls on Obama vs. Romney

image From ABC News: The American public may be divided on “Obamacare,” but when faced with choosing a candidate to care for them if illness struck, President Obama is their man. By a 13 point margin - 49-36 percent - registered voters polled by ABC News chose the president over Mitt Romney to nurse them back to health.
When asked who they thought “would make a more loyal friend,” the results were about the same. By a 50-36 percent count, respondents said Obama was more likely to stick with them through trying times.
As for suppertime, still more ugly numbers for Romney. Fifty-two percent of registered voters polled by ABC News said they’d rather have Obama visit their homes for dinner. Just 33 percent said they’d prefer Romney at the table.
But it’s not a total wipeout for the Republican. On what ABC News poll chief Gary Langer calls the most instructive question - which candidate they’d rather have “as the captain of a ship in a storm” - Romney loses to Obama, but by just three points, 46-43 percent.
“Obama’s advantages, in turn, include a persistent lead over Romney in empathy; registered voters by 50-40 percent think Obama better understands the economic problems people are having, and continue to rate him as more personally likeable, by a broad and steady 61-27 percent,” Langer eports. “When the two views are tested against each other, empathy independently predicts vote preferences to a far greater degree than does likability.”
These latest numbers will only build confidence among Obama and his supporters, as the Democrats appear to be enjoying a significant post-convention bump in the polls. The most recent figures have the president with a growing lead nationally, 50-44 percent, according to an ABC News/Washington Post survey. Romney had been up a single point, 47-46 percent, in a poll taken just two weeks ago.

 

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Diary

No Comments 12 September 2012

Obama getting lift on campaign trail from Pizza baker

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Diary

No Comments 10 September 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

image Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, is in retirement and depressed. But a woman manages to sneak into his castle, stealing pearls and awakening his romantic feelings at least enough to lift him a bit out of his depression. Before long he is back in action saving the big city, which is now under attack from a mean terrorist. This film felt much the same as the previous one, which was also too long but at least it had the acting of Keith Ledger.  I had much more fun with Kick-Ass a few months ago because it did do something new with the genre.

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Movies, Phantasy

No Comments 9 September 2012

Rocky Mountain Express: An IMAX Experience

image Canada was formed in 1867. Four year later the colony British Columbia, which was in financial trouble, joined the confederation. The confederation promised British Columbia that it would pay for a railway link between Vancouver and Ontario. Building a railroad through the Rocky Mountains was an engineering feat. This documentary film tells the story how the railroad was built and how it made Canada into a viable country.  A few years ago, the Canadian Pacific railraod restored a steam locomotive. The director, Stephen Low, had to good sense to use it for a film.  He has wonderful job stripping Imax 3D cameras onto the train and filming the steam locomotive from helicopter and other places so you feel like you are travelling from Vancouver to Banff. The pictures are so extraordinary that you feel as if you are the conductor of the train.  After watching the film, one wants to do this trip not just in the movie theatre. In turns out there is a 2-day tour from Calgary to Vancouver running in the summer.

 

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Movies, Documentary

No Comments 8 September 2012

Mitt and “Believe in America”

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Diary

No Comments 8 September 2012

Obama’s pitch to the few undecided voters

image The Economists provides a good review of Obama’s acceptance speech.
The Democratic convention:  Barack Obama’s pitch to the centre

PERHAPS because there are so few of them, campaign strategists for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can describe the undecided voters who will help determine the outcome of this year’s election with remarkable precision. On Thursday evening in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the last night of the Democratic convention, Mr Obama made his case for re-election directly to those elusive swing voters. Who are they? At Mr Romney’s campaign headquarters in Boston recently, senior aides told your correspondent that their target swing voter was a married, middle-class, middle-aged woman who voted for Mr Obama in 2008. Inspired by his promises and swept up in the excitement of electing America’s first black president, such voters now feel deeply disappointed by the president’s actual record, it was asserted. In Tampa last week, Republicans predicted that the president, unable to run on his record, would have to mount a negative campaign and seek to suppress Mr Romney’s vote, paving the way for a grim, ground-out victory on the backs of the various special-interest groups that make up the Democratic base.

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Diary

No Comments 7 September 2012

Bill versus Mitt

image The conservative commentator put the finger on Mitt’s problem.

Given the state of the economy, by any historical standard, Barack Obama should be 15 points behind Mitt Romney. Why is he tied? The empathy gap. On “caring about average people,” Obama wins by 22 points. Maintaining that gap was a principal goal of the Democratic convention. It’s the party’s only hope of winning in November.

Given the state of the economy, by any historical standard, Barack Obama should be 15 points behind Mitt Romney. Why is he tied? The empathy gap. On “caring about average people,” Obama wins by 22 points. Maintaining that gap was a principal goal of the Democratic convention. It’s the party’s only hope of winning in November.

George H. W. Bush, Romney-like in aloofness, was once famously handed a staff cue card that read: “Message: I care.” That was supposed to be speech guidance. Bush read the card. Out loud.

Not surprisingly, he lost to Bill Clinton, a man who lives to care, who feels your pain better than you do — or at least makes you think so. In politics, that’s a trivial distinction.

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No Comments 7 September 2012

Bill Clinton Makes the Case for Obama’s reelection

Last night I was never a big fan of Clinton the person but last night’s speech to win over people who have not made up their mind on how to vote was masterful.

 

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Diary

No Comments 6 September 2012

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