October 2008 Archives

Women Draw Men

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Understatement in mankind history right?  Last night, I had the pleasure of attending another alumni event at my alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park.  Campaign Celebration was like just like all alumni events with the purpose of raising money.

As a good alumnus, I attended and got to speak with the new dean, old professors, and other trusted persons of the Robert H Smith School of Business.  This event was similar to the exhibitions of any industry.  The difference here was that instead of companies hawking their wares, it was the various schools and departments showcasing their current and future projects.

But one thing that definitely was the same as the dozens of conferences I attended were attractive women holding fort at the booths.  OK some booths had men only.  Their departments were very small or had no women...it didn't matter.  Almost definitely, the larger departments and schools had their own young woman handing out pamphlets and other pieces.  I know for sure there was one where I took whatever she was handing out.  Don't remember what department she was with.  It was either soil erosion or greenscaping.  Sorry, I'm an adult male.  I'm attracted to women.  Sue me.  There were definitely booths I had no interest in, but stopped by anyways because of the woman standing there.

Aside from that, it's strange that this culture still exists.  I feel bad, but I know it happens every day at every conference in the United States.  I'll have to enjoy endure this for years to come.

Voter Mis-Registration

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I live in the great state of Maryland.  The voter registration deadline was October 14 and I've been a registered voter since November 1992, when I was first eligible.  Confident that I was registered, for some reason today I remembered that I was still incorrectly registered at my parents old address in 2006.  I'm a part-time voter, so 2007 wasn't all that important to me and I didn't bother to check.  Today, I checked my registration and I'm still registered at the parents house in Montgomery County.  Polling station is my old elementary school.  Go Road Runners!

The problem is that I live in an entirely different county, Frederick.  I changed my drivers license and vehicle registrations to reflect that within a week of moving.  When filling out that form, I checked off the little box that says something about notifying voter registration.  That was 2005.  In 2006, I voted only for statewide elections and left the local politics to the real Montgomery locals.
It was Joe the Plumber night.  Anne Marie Cox said it so right on Twitter.  "Joe the Plumber is so getting laid tonight".

This is the final debate for this election cycle.  Moderated by Bob Schieffer from Hofstra University, this was the most exciting of the three Presidential debates, although it didn't take much.

McCain referenced a conversation Obama had with "Joe the Plumber" and how Obama's tax plans would raise Joe's taxes because he falls in the $250K range.  He came with a great line..."Why would you want to raise anyone's taxes now?".  So true and Obama may yet change his mind on this, but not tonight.

Palin Power

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GOP Vice Presidential Nominee and current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, was found to have abused her powers in the continued investigation of a state trooper.  That state trooper was in a divorce and custody battle with the governor's sister and had allegedly threatened violence against Palin's father, among other things.  It was also determined that Palin used this as part of the motivation to fire the Public Safety Commissioner of Alaska, Walter Monegan, although she was within her rights to dismiss him.

In response, the McCain-Palin campaign issued a statement accusing the investigation of being partisan politics in an effort to discredit Palin and hurt the campaign.

While I see the Republican stance on this issue, when would be a good time to release the investigation results?  It was already pushed up nearly a month so it would not be a last minute event prior to the general election.  Having no investigation would have brought questions about other executive power abuses.  There was an investigation into the trooper prior to Palin taking the governor's office and it was determined that he could keep his job.  According to the current investigation, Palin, her husband, and her Cabinet made several attempts to re-ignite the trooper investigation in efforts to get the trooper dismissed.  Given her personal connection, she should have left it to others re-investigate, if it was determined absolutely necessary and lawful.

I feel for the Palin family if the trooper actually committed such actions, but the system is not perfect and must be respected.  It is Palin who has now put a shadow on the McCain campaign, not the investigation.
Debate Town Hall style.  This one seemed better than their first debate in Mississippi.  Both seemed more active and in attacking mode on policy, but not personal.  Brian Williams on NBC immediately following said the audience participation was basically minimal.  I agree.

Since the questions were driven by 80 undecided voters instead of moderator Tom Brokaw, it's no surprise that the first half was dominated regarding on the economy.  Actually I shouldn't say dominated, it was the first half of the debate.  Fitting for a day the Dow dropped 500+.  After some discussion on healthcare, social security, and energy, they jumped right back into the economy an hour in.  What was most bothersome, at least to Brokaw, is that neither candidate followed the agreed to rules regarding time.

Both candidates pushed their platform and their strengths.  Obama on his "Change", surprisingly without actually using the word.  McCain on his experience.  I didn't see much that would make anyone lean one way or another.

My favorite line was Obama saying "The Straight Talk Express has lost a wheel" in response to a question about fixing social security.  McCain however fumbled this.  He said it was an "Easy Fix".  Identifying the problem is easy.  Lack of Supply vs. Overwhelming Demand.  There is no easy fix for this.  It shows McCain does have an economy problem.  Anybody with Econ 101 in their pocket knows it's not an easy fix.  Maybe McCain knows more than we do.

The debate veered toward foreign policy in the last 15 minutes.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.  Both candidates seemed to go on the attack making sure their platform is heard.  McCain used "My Friend(s)" several times.  Maybe it was a tactic to be more homey and friendly, like what is his running mate's personality.  But not overwhelmingly bad, like Palin's annoying way of answering everything.

The last question of the night came from a voter in New Hampshire via the Internet.  "What don't you know and how will you learn it?"  I do not believe Obama really answered it, but used it to summarize his platform.  In a way he did by stating those things.  McCain did something similar.  So it was a wasted question.

My personal analysis...another draw.  With no surprises or wow moments, we are left with mostly scripted answers.  Their individual personalities came out somewhat, but nothing to persuade one to vote either way.  On to October 15 for the final one, and apparently the one we'll all have to use to make final decisions.
I'm just the messenger, don't shoot.  Here are a couple of links of interesting analysis that don't measure up to a full blog entry.

The Palin Debate Flowchart  Warning - partially NSFW

A Positive Palin review Just so I can be "Fair & Balanced".

As I noted last night, I think it was a pretty even battle, so these are here only to provide for both sides and a little fun.  View at your pleasure.
As Chuck Todd just said on NBC, no car wreck.  Governor Sarah Palin seemed to be very well prepared.  Senator Joe Biden was also reading off talking points, but at key times seemed to be talking from his thoughts.  My initial thoughts are that Biden by the slimest of margins.  Maybe as slim as 2000.

Palin was reserved and sounded like she was reading.  Too much unfortunately.  Positively, she was not uninformed.  She got the name of the commander in Iraq wrong.  We can't fault her for that, if we didn't hold it against George W Bush.  Her true to her roots method, with "Say it ain't so Joe", "Darn", "Mainstreeters", and "Heck" thrown about made her seem very much an everyday person.

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    This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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