Monday, July 20, 2009

Look at me!

As you've noticed im sure, this blog has kind of become dead space for the past 6 months or so.

I can't promise to revive it, i guess if I have anything on my mind I'll put it up here. What i CAN offer, however, is a new blog project: "Exit Port A"

Its kind of a collaboration effort with a few political scientists and friends. Come check us out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Restructuring

As the winter slowly creeps up on us (it snowed today) and Obama begins this transition into the worst job on the planet, things in Tuebingen are ramping up (or down?). I have begun laying out the details of my thesis and wrapping up my classes for the winter holidays. For those of you that will be in the Portland area, I am going to be there from the 15th to the 26th of december. Short trip, I know, but thats life..

to hold you all over until i can write a more thorough post, here's some happy video of our favorite governor! Hattip to Ben Smith (and Johnathan Martin):

Friday, November 07, 2008

We did it!

President Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

Say that out loud to yourself once or twice...

It was a LONG night over here, as I was the main attraction at a DAI election party on tuesday night (wednesday morning). As I said, I was a part of a panel discussion, and was followed around by a camera team the whole night. Litterally, I was wired with a mic and followed with a camrea over my shoulder for most of the night. I also gave a radio interveiw and drank a lot of Jack Daniels. After stumbling home at 6am, i am only now starting to recover.

For those of you taht are interested in some pictures of the evening, head on over to the DAI tuebingen website: http://www.dai-tuebingen.de/de/index.php?sec=news&read=276 or the Schwäbisches Tagblatt page: http://www.tagblatt.de/35690794/Nachrichten/Thema+des+Tages

And those of you that feel like watching a bit of germany can see the video clip they shot of me for SWR Fernsehen here:
http://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/servlet/content/1087800

Also, those that really want to practice their german can read this interview in the newspaper: http://www.tagblatt.de/2705896

enough shameless self promotion..

Alan

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Racists for Obama..

Here's an interesting counter point to the charges that Obama can't win because of racism in america:
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/racists-support-obama-061308

a preview:

"Who: Chairman, American Nazi Party

Likes: Hitler, white people

Dislikes: Jews, immigrants, multinational corporations Career highlights: Being widely quoted bemoaning in the fact that so few Aryan-Americans had the cojones of the 9/11 hijackers: “If we were one-tenth as serious, we might start getting somewhere.”

“White people are faced with either a negro or a total nutter who happens to have a pale face. Personally I’d prefer the negro. National Socialists are not mindless haters. Here, I see a white man, who is almost dead, who declares he wants to fight endless wars around the globe to make the world safe for Judeo-capitalist exploitation, who supports the invasion of America by illegals -- basically a continuation of the last eight years of Emperor Bush. Then, we have a black man, who loves his own kind, belongs to a Black-Nationalist religion, is married to a black women -- when usually negroes who have ‘made it’ immediately land a white spouse as a kind of prize -- that’s the kind of negro that I can respect. Any time that a prominent person embraces their racial heritage in a positive manner, it’s good for all racially minded folks. Besides, America cares nothing for the interests of the white American worker, while having a love affair with just about every non-white on planet Earth. It’d be poetic justice to have a non-white as titular chief over this decaying modern Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Election night plans and pre-election Election Withdrawl

Tuesday is going to be a big day here in Germany as well. Here in Tuebingen the German American Instititue is holding an all night election party in one of the biggest movie theaters in town. They will be showing live feeds of CNN and MSNBC on the big screen, and there is a whiskey bar. As one of the "election experts" at the Institute, I am going to be a part of the festitivies. I am going to be a member of a discussion panel at the begining of the night with some representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties and a few Professors of political science. Throughout the night I will also be followed by a camera crew for Süd-West Fernsehen (www.swr.de) and interveiwed for reactions and analysis. SO that should be fun...

After 20 months of campaign it sees hard to believe its going to be over in just a few days. Although the anticipation is exciting, and the outcome looks like it might just be possibly good (see previous article for Democratic bed-wetting issues) I'm wondering what life will be like after its all over. TNR wrote an interesting artlice about the travelling journalists; those poor souls who have been with McCain and Obama since the very begining. Needless to say, these people have been living an abnormal lifestyle for the past 20 months or so. A short tidbit:
"

Others, like soldiers who have served one tour too many, are slowly losing touch with the world outside the candidate's orbit. Bai, who is married to a Fox producer, has seen the strains of life on the road. "You lose contact with the outside world," says Bai. "You call your spouse at home and talk about the trail and the person at home just doesn't get it or care, because it's the same story over and over again. It's murder on relationships." Every four years, Bai says, there's at least one divorce or break-up. "It's just not a normal human experience."

And even if your relationship survives, your personality might not. Last week, Lizza, who was banned from the Obama plane in July, found his way back on and thought he had stumbled on a lost colony. "It felt like the Lord of the Flies in there," he says. "The people who have been there for a long time have all of their little decorations and knickknacks all over the back of the plane. Everyone's a little grumpy and territorial, and there's this sense of people thrown together who have been with each other way too long. I got the sense that I was dropping in on a hostage-captor situation."


Now I haven't been blogging ALL that regularly, but those that know me know I have been all over this election from day one. Steffi can attest to the hours a day that I spend on this internet box reading about the election (this habit should make for an interesting conversation with the SWR TV guys on tuesday). Whatever shall I do?

Oh right...Masters thesis...



Election Jitters

4 days left until the election...

Are you getting worried yet?

If you are a Democrat, you are either elated beyond belief or quietly steeling yourself for disappointment. All of the vitals of the election seem to point to a win by the good guys: national trackers put Obama at around +7% nationally, and the new political wizard Nate Silver is predicting a blowout (If Silver's predictions hold up, he's going to be a rich, rich man). His Model is predicting that Obama will get 375 electoral votes!
But we Democrats are a lot like Red Sox fans pre 2004, or cubs fans. It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Obama, trying to combat complacency, has actually said, "don't discount our ability to screw this up". The guys over at The New Republic are giving themselves hissy fits. McCain's campaign is pushing a "tightening" narrative, and the networks are pushing it because they've gotta build up to a suspenseful all night political analysis orgy (more on that later).

To calm some nerves in the closing days, I would like to take a look at some of the early voting totals from around the country. As you may or may not know, over 30 States allow early voting of some sort:



The early vote this year has been enormous everywhere, and it is estimated that about 20 percent of all votes will be cast before tuesday. In almost every state that allows early voting, Obama is winning the early vote. Here's a cool interactive chart to see the differences and total votes in each state. I read earlier (can't find the link now) that there have been about 10million votes cast nation wide. For the sake of argument, lets give Obama a 55-45 lead among early voters nationwide. This is a pretty conservative estimate, since most estimations put it at around 60-40 (in nevada, democrats have doubled the early vote of republicans). wit a 55-45 split, that means that Obama now has 5.5 million votes to McCain's 4.5million votes. I repeat: Obama is winning the election by at least 1 million votes already. These are locked in, already voted people.

Don't forget that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 by about 500,000 votes nationwide, and only beat Kerry by about 2 million in 2004. Obama is already at least halfway to this lead.

That doesn't mean, however, that we can just sit on our asses! Get out there and vote and volunteer! As motivation, a quote from an Obama Organizer in Pennsylvania (by way of Al Giordano ):

"To give you a sense of what is going on at ground level, today [Oct. 19th] is the "dry run" or rehearsal of November 4 get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts in North Carolina (additional to the record early-voting numbers they're racking up), and this is an excerpt from the email "pep talk" that one regional field director there sent to her organizers:

Stay calm - and BE RELENTLESS today. Get everyone motivated, educated, and into the field as quickly and as often as possible...

GET THEM COMFORTABLE WITH A BREAK-NECK PACE. They need to be the cool heads by the time GOTV rolls around...

Report your numbers like clock-work. Call me if you need me. Don't stop until your last shift is confirmed for Sunday...

Barack really is expecting a lot out us - and there isn't much else for him to do. He has placed this election in our hands at this point. It's up to us now. We may never again have our hands on history quite like this again for as long as we live. That makes each hour so so precious. We can slack off, sleep in, and make excuses for the rest of our lives. But today - and for the next 3 weeks... whether we knew what we were getting into or not... we have ended up with people's lives, livelihoods, and dreams for their children - all dependent on our performance day in and day out. This is our one chance at history... our one chance at perfection. Our one chance to live forever. So today - breathe this in... realize that your grandkids will be reading about you... realize that you will miss this feeling very very soon... and win every single hour.

Proud of you in advance for a big day...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Federalist?

One of the items from the last debate that I haven't seen much reported is John McCain's response to the question of abortion and Roe v. Wade.

SCHIEFFER: But you don't want Roe v. Wade to be overturned?

MCCAIN: I thought it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of decisions that were bad. I think that decisions should rest in the hands of the states. I'm a federalist. And I believe strongly that we should have nominees to the United States Supreme Court based on their qualifications rather than any litmus test. (emphasis added)

That passage seemed to be a bit odd...so you want the states to have more power, but you are a federalist? Concerned that I might be confused about my history I looked it up on wikipedia. Turns out I wasn't wrong: The federalist party was founded by Alexander Hamilton and advocated a strong, centralized nationalistic government (I seem to remember this discussion from the John Adams miniseries).

Its quite probable that McCain misspoke here, but the way he emphasizes this point (it's more obvious in the video : search federalist and hit play) it seems to me that he really IS a federalist. But if he's really pro central goverment, then the two sentences above make absolutely no sense... Even the name of the party makes it obvious that a federalist doesn't support an expansion of states rights..

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Debate III

Pretty funny recap of the debate by way of Ben Smith today:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ground Game

For those of you that want to know why Obama will win this election, look no further than his Ground Game. Those that have taken my advice and read some of the stuff at www.fivethirtyeight.com know that the Obama campaign is doing crazy well at organizing and getting out his message on a person by person basis.

For a deeper look at what he's actually doing at the ground level, check this article out: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zack-exley/the-new-organizers-part-1_b_132782.html

I think it's pretty amazing the sheer size of the organization the Obama campaign has put together in a little under 2 years. I mean, this is a 500 million dollar machine...