Patterico's Pontifications


How Low Will the Dow Go?

Filed under: 2008 Election,Economics — DRJ @ 8:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Dow ended the day down 678.91 at 8,579.19, the first time below 9,000 since June 2003. The Dow is down significantly from its high last year but I think we could be near the bottom. Thus, I view recent losses as a correction and not a sign of an impending depression. Time will tell if I’m right. [EDIT: In other words, do not rely on me for investment advice!]

So here’s something to debate: I think a small part of this correction is the market reacting to a probable Obama win in November. If so, it’s a win the market doesn’t like.

UPDATE 10/11/2008: The Instapundit has a round-up of sources that also think the market is responding in part to the prospect of an Obama Presidency and a Democratic Congress.


“Say It To My Face” — Ahh, I’m Not Sure That Is The Right Response.

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 5:08 pm

[Posted by WLS]

There is an interesting convergence of events happening today with respect to the manner in which the Ayers issue is being handled by the respective campaigns.

First, watch the two videos over at Jonathan Martin’s Politico blog, here and here. Down 5 points, it’s going be hard for the McCain camp to not follow the lead of his most ardent supporters who show up at the rallies.

Now there are reports that the RNC is readying a significant ad buy for spots highlighting Obama’s shady connections from Chicago politics. These spots go up over the weekend and will likely run to the next debate.

Now, consider these comments by Joe Biden today as reported over at NBC FirstRead:

“All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube … John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him,” Biden said this morning. “In my neighborhood, when you’ve got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him.”

So, is Biden trying to bait McCain into raising the Ayers connection “To His Face”? Who thinks that is a good idea? It practically guarantees a huge audience for this issue — and maybe have it married in context to Obama’s past connections to The New Party and the Democrat Socialists of America Party.

A sharp exchange at the debate on this subject — in effect calling Obama a closet socialist working in close association with neo-communists on the far left wing of the Democrat party — would dominate the post-debate spinning, and can’t help but end up at the top of news coverage the following day.

The charge is simply too incendiary to get buried by more talking point comments on the economy, health care, jobs, etc. It would put Obama squarely on the spot in having to provide a substantive answer himself — which one would hope he is prepared to give having had months to figure out what it is he will say.

So much for the “Yeah, but what about the Keating Five” strategy of dealing with this.


Why Is Gallup Still Running a Tracking Poll of Registered Voters?

Filed under: General — WLS @ 1:16 pm

Posted by WLS:

We’re now 26 days out from the election, and the Real Clear Politics Average of all published national polls gives Obama a statistically significant edge at 49.1 to 43.5.

The range of published polls is from the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll that has Obama +11, to the Battleground Tracking Poll and a couple others which has Obama +3.  I mention the Battleground Poll because I’ve always thought it was one of the most trustworthy because it’s jointly done by a GOP pollster and a Dem. pollster, who have separate polling firms but conduct the Battleground poll together every four years. 

On the other hand, Gallup is one of the last organizations that is still tracking “Registered Voters” rather than “Likely Voters.”  As a result, when it weighs its poll results it is not screening out voters who have historically voted in percentages less than their registration numbers suggested.  This tends to both over-represent segments of the population not likely to vote in proportion to their registration statistics, while at the same time watering-down the impact of those segments of the population that have historically voted in higher than average percentage in relationship to the population overall. 

Right now at there are 10 national polls with numbers from samples taken over the past 8 days.  Of those 10 polls, 7 are of LV, while 3 are of RV.  

The numbers from the LV polls are:

Rasmussen:  Obama +5 —  50-45

Hotline/FD:  Obama +6 — 47-41

Rueters/Zogby:  Obama +4 — 48-44

Battleground:  Obama +3 — 48-45

CBS/NYT :  Obama +3 — 48-45

CNN:  Obama +8 — 53-45

Democracy Corps — Obama +3 49-43

The average of those 7 polls of LV is: 49-44 —  Obama +5

That includes the CNN poll which has Obama +8 and at 53%, and appears to be an outlier.  Without that one he’s at 48.3.  McCain’s number would dip slightly to 43.8, and the lead would be 4.5%.

Here are the three RV polls:

Gallup:  Obama +11 — 52-41

NBC/WSJ:  Obama +6 — 49-43

Ipsos/McClatchey:  Obama +7 — 47-40

Average:  49.3 — 41.3  — Obama +8.

That’s a swing of 3.5% between the two sets of polls.   IMO, Gallup can be ignored from this point forward unless they switch to a LV poll.

Supreme Court Balancing

Filed under: Court Decisions — DRJ @ 12:41 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, an appeal from federal district court and Ninth Circuit rulings that enjoined the Navy’s use of sonar in submarine-hunting training exercises because sonar might interfere with marine mammals’ ability to navigate and communicate. The district court order created a 12-nautical-mile no-sonar zone along the southern California coast and ordered the Navy to shut off all sonar use within 2,200 yards of a marine mammal.

Thus, the issue before the Supreme Court is how to balance the national security and environmental concerns related to the Navy’s use of sonar. On one side, the Bush Administration contends sonar training is “vitally important for sailors who may be deployed around the world in search of enemy submarines” and is crucial to national security. The Administration claims there is scant evidence that sonar harms whales and dolphins.

On the other side, the Natural Resources Defense Council says sonar’s piercing sound is “comparable to the noise of a jet engine magnified 2,000 times” and claims that beaked whales are especially susceptible to damage that “can cause them to strand themselves onshore.”

The linked AP article quotes Justice Stephen Breyer’s response to balancing these interests [emphasis supplied]:

You are asking us who know nothing about whales and less about the military to start reading all these documents to try to figure out who’s right in the case where the other side says the other side is totally unreasonable.”

Quote of the Day, folks.


McCain’s Ayers Ad

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 am

Via Hot Air we see that the McCain camp has a new ad about Obama and Ayers:

Barack Obama and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Friends. They’ve worked together for years. But Obama tries to hide it. Why?

Obama launched his political career in Ayers’ living room. Ayers and Obama ran a radical “education” foundation, together. They wrote the foundation’s by-laws, together. Obama was the foundation’s first chairman. Reports say they, “distributed more than $100 million to ideological allies with no discernible improvement in education.”

When their relationship became an issue, Obama just responded, “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” That’s it?

We know Bill Ayers ran the “violent left wing activist group” called Weather Underground. We know Ayers’ wife was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. We know they bombed the Capitol. The Pentagon. A judge’s home. We know Ayers said, “I don’t regret setting bombs. …. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

But Obama’s friendship with terrorist Ayers isn’t the issue. The issue is Barack Obama’s judgment and candor. When Obama just says, “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” Americans say, “Where’s the truth, Barack?”

Barack Obama. Too risky for America.

Meh. This is OK, but it could be better.

The media is buying the line that this is all about exploiting the past of a man Obama barely knows, who did bad things when Obama was in third grade. As the media goes, so goes the public.

So McCain needs to start citing facts approved by Our Gatekeepers in Big Media, when available. Like:

According to CNN, quote, “the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said.”

And if McCain is not going to bring up this stuff in the debates, it fosters the notion that his campaign thinks this is important, but he doesn’t.

The economy is the foremost issue in people’s minds, but if McCain shows he personally cares about the Ayers issue, is careful to stick to facts nobody can dispute — and can make a connection not only to Obama’s judgment, but to the sort of agenda pursued by the crowd of radicals with whom he traveled in Chicago — then it’s worth pursuing.

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