August 4, 2008

McCain Lacks Internet Capabilities

Posted in News, Politics tagged , , , at 10:45 pm by Katharine Lackey

The presumptive nominee of the Grand Old Party barely knows how to use the Internet, the New York Times reports.

He doesn’t know how to text, blog, or Twitter and relies on young staffers to keep up his Facebook page as well as other internet doings.

While it’s not really essential for a president to know how to use the Interwebs, it would be useful for those occassions when a threat comes to light that deals with the Internet. If some terrorist is using the Internet as a way to get his message across and coordinate attacks, will McCain know enough about the web to be able to make a good decision about what should be done (without relying on the expertise of others?)

Just a few thoughts.

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July 30, 2008

President-in-Waiting?

Posted in News, Politics tagged , , at 10:19 pm by Katharine Lackey

Is Obama acting like the presumptive next President? Not just the presumptive Democratic nominee? Dana Milbank at the Washington Post seems to think so. Barack Obama has been acting presumptuous lately, not just presumptive, the columinst says.

Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection, Obama settled down to some presidential-style business in Washington yesterday.

Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade, while the public and most of the press were kept in the dark about his activities

Remind me to be thankful that I don’t have to commute to D.C.

Secret Service entered with Obama through a side door at the Cannon Caucus Room. Capitol Police cleared the halls — both of these events were what would take place for the actual president.

The press has begun to complain about Obama’s behavior, saying Obama’s campaign was “acting like the Prom Queen” and being more secretive than Bush.

After meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister, Obama’s aides issued a presidential-like statement, “I had a productive and wide-ranging discussion. . . . I look forward to working with the democratically elected government of Pakistan.”

But aren’t all campaigns about confidence — about saying you’re going to win? No one wants to listen to a candidate who says, “I will try to win, but I’m not sure I will.” And doesn’t Secret Service have a right to protect the candidate as they see best? I would think Obama would face more threats than McCain as he is more controversial. Still, Obama’s recently dealings with the media do raise some concern as to whether he’s restricting access.

July 23, 2008

Fist Bump USA

Posted in Business, Politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:44 pm by Katharine Lackey

The fist bump, or “terrorist fist jab,” as one FOX news reporter refered to it, is making its way into the business circle, replacing the more common handshake, USA Today reports. If we’re unlucky enough, ththe phrase “that’s a firm handshake you got there,” will be downgraded to “that’s a sweet fist bump.”

According to the USA Today article, though, not everyone is happy with the bump.

“I have not encountered a fist bump and would judge anyone who tried it as a total redneck,” says Dr. Grace Keenan, medical director of Nova Medical and Urgent Care Center in Ashburn, Va. “I hope that it never is seen as a replacement for a handshake in the business community.”

The article brings up an interesting point — that the fist bump commonly occurs between two male colleagues and one source says a female employee thought the bump was a male-domination gesture. Another woman points out its an advantage for women who get crushed by manly handshakes.

The fist bump came into the national spotlight after Barack Obama and Michelle Obama bumped in victory when he clinched the Democratic nomination in early June. It was at that time that a FOX news anchor teased a segment on the fist-bump, or “terrorist fist jab.” Since then, The New Yorker published its satirical cover, which also shows Michelle and Barack engaging in a fist bump.

Now, Vanity Fair is jumping on board with its own McCain version of the New Yorker cover released on its blog, although its a lot less sensational. It depicts McCain using a walker while George W. Bush stares down from a picture above the mantle. Oh, and the constitution is burning in the fireplace. Cindy McCain is holding pill bottles, which I actually missed since I didn’t know she had an addiction a long time ago.

While the Vanity Fair’s satire on a satire is sure to get some press coverage, (as it already has) I do not think it will be received as negatively since die-hard Republicans will easily brush it off, and we’ve already gotten used to the number and variety of “John McCain is old” jokes.

Side by Side Comparison

July 17, 2008

Presidental race could end in tie

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , at 8:52 pm by Katharine Lackey

With voting day “just” under five months away, political thinkers are already crunching numbers to predict how the race could end up. One such political junkie at the American Enterprise Institute came up with a “doomsday” vote that would tie McCain and Obama for the presidency, ABC News reports.

“Given how close it’s been in the last couple years, there are some reasonable scenarios that you could get to a tie,” said John Fortier, a political scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “After the People Vote: A Guide to the Electoral College.” “It’s not the most likely scenario, but the states can add up that way where you have nobody getting to 270.”

In order to win the election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes available. Under the 12th amendment, if no candidate wins 270 votes, the House of Representatives has to decide, with each state getting a vote — another complication we won’t get into.

The possible doomsday scenario goes like this:

If, for example, Obama wins all the states Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won in 2004, and picks up Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, McCain and Obama would each win 269 electoral college votes — locking the presidential election in a tie.

The story goes on to list other “what-if” scenarios and really details past decisions Congress has had to make in regards to the presidency.

The end of the story states that there is a one-in-200 chance of the doomsday scenario occurring — better chances than winning the lottery.

July 15, 2008

Americans Split Over Iraq

Posted in Politics tagged , , , , , at 12:20 am by Katharine Lackey

A new Washington Post – ABC news poll has found that American voters are evenly split between Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan and McCain’s event-dictated withdrawal (sort-of) “plan,” the Post is reporting.

While the Iraq War loomed large as a hot political topic at the beginning of the primary season, the economy has pretty much taken over Americans concerns leading to lesser coverage of the candidate’s position on the war, unless some charge of flip-flopping is leveled.

According to the poll, 48 percent of the respondents say Obama would be an effective military leader, with 48 percent saying he would not. In addition 47 percent of those polled say they trust McCain more to handle the war, with 45 percent having more faith in Obama. Overall, 72 percent said McCain would make a good commander-in-chief.

In election polls, Obama still leads by a slim margin, edging out McCain but a few points. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll had Obama at 46% to 43% for the presidency.

July 13, 2008

Obama’s Center

Posted in Politics tagged , , , at 12:22 am by Katharine Lackey

Apparently Barack Obama supporters who lean to the far-left aren’t too happy with the candidate these days, reports the New York Times.

“I’m disgusted with him,” said Ms. Shade, an artist. “I can’t even listen to him anymore. He had such an opportunity, but all this ‘audacity of hope’ stuff, it’s blah, blah, blah. For all the independents he’s going to gain, he’s going to lose a lot of progressives.”

Here’s the problem, my dear Ms. Shade, while Obama is a Democrat, his policies are geared toward the center, and rightly so, since he wishes to get rid of blue and red states, and to unify America. Where did you think this unification would come from? The far left?

A very good op-ed piece in the New York Times last week discussed this topic of Obama’s move to the center:

When an extremely intelligent politician tells you over and over and over that he is tired of the take-no-prisoners politics of the last several decades, that he is going to get things done and build a “new consensus,” he is trying to explain that he is all about compromise.

Critics are accusing Obama of flip-flopping and shifting positions on key issues in his campaign, including the war in Iraq, and just last week, the wiretapping bill that passed through Congress, among others.

On the Iraq war issue, for one, I believe his plan is still far superior to John McCain’s, in that we will actually be on the road to withdrawal once Obama’s in office. And I think its important for Obama to talk to our military leaders to determine how quickly that withdrawal can proceed without putting American troops at risk.

As for FISA, his compromise also makes sense, although I would hope that once in office, the senator takes a closer look at the wiretapping program and revises it.