Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama Voting Ground Game Produces HUGE Results In Virginia

The photo above shows the long line of people that has formed just under the awning of this shopping center.  
One thing the polls don't take into account is the massive voter registration drive and "get-out-the-vote" effort the campaign as developed.  Here's an example.  I saw this by Todd Smyth on the Obama listserv:

Just another day of canvassing and churning out good numbers for Barack Obama? Uh.... Not quite. It's Saturday morning and I went to the Mt Vernon and Lee District Obama office (Rout 1, Fairfax, VA) to drop off and pick up stuff for today's canvass. We had 7 satellite staging areas in addition to the campaign office and my crappy cell phone camera doesn't do it justice but as I was leaving to head to my assigned canvass location, I snapped the picture below of dozens and dozens of people lining up along the strip mall to sign in, pick up a canvass pack and knock on doors for Barack Obama.

I stored the picture, closed my camera and headed for my car when I saw another dozen people heading toward the long line and behind them a steady stream of cars rolling into the parking lot. I got out of there before I got boxed in and have to admit, I got a little choked up. These people were showing up on time at 10am on a beautiful Saturday morning to knock on doors for Barack Obama and to change the future for themselves and their children.

The scene at my assigned satellite canvass location was similar with 3 times the number of people expected. We had to pair people up and the canvass packs that had been printed for the entire weekend were gone by 11am. Experienced volunteers had to be called back into the office to create new canvass packs to handle the afternoon shift.

Among other amazing stories I heard today, Grace Nozaki registered 16 voters at the Fairfax Library and Holly Newry registered 45 voters at the WallMart in Kingstowne. Just an unbelievable day for Democracy.

I heard similar stories were going on all over Northern Virginia but couldn't get through to people because they are all swamped. We won't know the total numbers of doors knocked until tomorrow. Talk about being part of something bigger than yourself, Wow!

John McCain: A Man You Can't Trust With The Economy

This is a "video by a concerned private citizen" that get to the heart of the matter of the problems of Senator John McCain.

Inexperienced Sarah Palin Protected By McCain Staff - Gets Easier Debate Format

The whiners that the McCain staff is comprised of got a wish from their grossing and hand-wringing over the upcoming debate GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Gov. Sarah Palin has with Democratic VP Candidate Senator Joe Biden.

Concerned that a "free-wheeling" debate format would allow the far more experienced Joe Biden to chew the very inexperienced Palin, the McCain staffers whined for and got an easier format for her.

Economists Support Obama Over McCain By More Than 2 to 1

Discussed McCain's Poor Decision to Rely on his Advisors and the Truth on Taxes:• 95% of working families would get a tax cut from Obama• 100 million Americans would get NO tax cut from McCain• Most would get a larger tax cut from Obama

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The Picture McCain Doesn’t Want You to See

Remember this great post bmaz did last week? Remember this really damning picture of McCain celebrating his birthday with Charles Keating, the villain of the last big taxpayer bailout of unrestrained Republican greed? Here's the article where bmaz got that photo (download the whole pdf from The Phoenix Sun Gazette, September 12, 1993).

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White Democratic Racism Could Cost Democrats A Victory In November

I just saw this disturbing new report by AP - Yahoo which explains that there's enough racism from Whites in the Democratic Party to possibly cause Democrats to lose the election.

It's hard to read, but it's there. And it addresses issues I've tackled this entire election. What has to be communicated is this: racism is a mental illness, and this is a great example of why. Some people who are White, would rather cut off their nose than pick the person from their own party to win an election just because he has brown skin.

Repeat that.

Repeat it again.

Say it one more time.

If that describes you and you're reading this, do us all a favor: vote Democrat, then see a doctor to get help solving your problem. I'm sorry I don't have anything kind to say, but a little truth is in order -- that's a nutso way to think. I don't care if you learned it from your parents or watched too much television, it's just a simple out-and-out retarded and dangerous way of thinking.

Don't do it. Stop it. And stop working to hurt my party by harming yourself. Of course, you could also just leave the party. If you are that stupid, go away. If you're smart, you'll stick around. But no one should want to be thought of as racist because that basically means you're a pretty fucked up person.

Oil Prices Surge on US Financial Rescue Plan - Petroleum World

From Petroleum World website:

NEW YORK, Sept 22, 2008

Oil prices surged Friday after the US government said it was working on a comprehensive plan to rescue the banking system, prompting traders to reassess the outlook for the economy and energy use.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, jumped 6.67 dollars to close at 104.55 dollars a barrel.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for November climbed 4.42 dollars to settle at 99.61 dollars a barrel.

"Prices continue to rise as market confidence returns, buoyed by a US government rescue plan alongside ongoing supply-side disruptions," Barclays Capital oil analyst Kevin Norrish said in London.

The US Treasury, the Federal Reserve and congressional leaders said late Thursday they were putting together a comprehensive plan to ring-fence the mountains of bad debt that have weighed down banks in the past year.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday a rescue plan for the troubled US financial sector will cost "hundreds of billions" of dollars.

"Of course the big question is will all of this work or will we have Black Monday revisited," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Alaron Trading.

"If the market holds up will oil demand rebound and save the beleaguered demand side of the equation?" he said.

Flynn said, "I think that the moves by the Fed will save the market and oil prices may benefit in the short term. But there will still be economic fallout from this global crisis that will reduce demand."

John Kilduff, analyst at MF Global, cautioned that it would take some time for the machinations in the financial markets to be felt on the demand for oil .

"The prints on the price screens are real and indicative of the power of perception to alter reason. Since late yesterday, global markets have cast a powerful vote of confidence," Kilduff said.

Amid the financial uncertainty, the dollar fell against the euro, with the single European currency fetching about 1.45 dollars.

A weakening dollar makes dollar-priced oil and other commodities a more attractive investment for buyers using stronger currencies.

Investors also focused on market fundamentals. Oil prices were supported by supply problems in the Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria.

Gulf of Mexico crude oil production has been almost entirely shut down since the hurricanes Gustav and Ike swept through the region, which normally pumps 1.3 billion barrels of crude daily.

According to the US Department of the Interior, less than 10 percent of production was on line, nearly a week after Hurricane Ike battered the Gulf.

In Nigeria, the second-largest oil producer in Africa, the main militant group in southern Nigeria -- the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) -- said it had destroyed a major oil pipeline belonging to Royal Dutch Shell.

The attack is the fifth on a Shell facility in Rivers State, the center of Nigeria's oil industry, within a week.

Since it first emerged in early 2006 MEND, which says it is fighting for a larger share of southern Nigeria's oil revenue to go to local people, has cut Nigeria's oil production by more than one quarter.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez Signs Agreements For Natural Gas Joint Venture

This is from Petroleum World:

Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, Sept 22, 2008

Venezuela signed various agreements Friday on the Delta Caribbean offshore natural gas blocks and Mariscal Sucre LGN Gas (CIGMA) project, located in Guiria, Sucre State with foreign oil companies from the U.S., Asia and the Middle East that will guaranty the gas resources needed to develop the CIGMA venture.

President Hugo Chavez and officials from PDVSA, signed various memorandum of understanding agreements for joint-ventures companies that will produce gas in two trains in the CIGMA LNG Project and offshore exploration agreements that will produce gas to be pipe for LNG trains in the CIGMA LNG project.

The joint ventures involves a first LNG train producing 4,7 millions of tons from the CIGMA project with Deltana platform gas, with an expected investment of USD $6.4 millions. In this venture, PDVSA with a 60% stake will work with Galp Energy with 15%, Chevron with 10%; Qatar Petroleum 10%, and Japanese companies Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsui & Co.with 5%. The train is expected operational in 2013.

The second train will also produce 4,7 millions of tons and PDVSA with 60% is to work with Portugal's Galp with 15% stake, Mitsubishi and Mitsui 5%, as well as Itochu 10% and Argentina's Enarsa 10%. An investment of USD$ 5.2 millions is expected and the train will also be operational in 2013.

The memorandum of understanding for the exploration for gas in the two areas awarded, La Blanquilla and La Tortuga with and investment expected of USD$ 5.7 millions, was sign to form a joint venture with PDVSA that will hold a 60% stake, Russia's Gazprom will own 15%, Italy's Eni will participate with 10%; Malaysia's Petronas, will hold 10%; and Portugal's EDP, will control 5%.

Blanquilla and Tortuga areas are located in the Caribbean sea around 60 nautical miles North and West respectively of the island of Margarita, just off the Venezuelan coast. The exploration of these blocks is expected to cost USD$700 million.

The gas to be produce in this blocks is to supply natural gas to a CIGMA liquefaction plant and petrochemical complex and would require an investment of roughly USD$19 billion.

Venezuela said it has proven natural gas reserves of 180 trillion cubic feet, and potential reserves an additional 166 trillion cubic feet, half of that located in off-shore fields.

The CIGMA gas initially would seek to supply the needs of the local economy, and the rest will be exported to markets in Japan, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said during the ceremony.

Story by Elio Ohep, editor of Petroleumworld
Petroleumworld 19 09 08

McCain Staffers Take Over Alaska Governor's Office - WTF?

I'm not making this up. Staffer's of Senator John McCain for President -- I think; it's not his Senate staff is it? That would be illegal, but someone check that -- have taken over Governor Palin's Alaska office. I've never heard of anything like that before. I can't think of a VP candidate that has been so protected against gaffes and errors and yet makes them anyway.

Read this editorial by the Alaska Anchorage Daily News:

McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan announced that Todd Palin will not comply with a subpoena to testify about his role in troopergate, the Legislature's investigation into whether Palin abused her power in forcing out former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

O'Callaghan also announced that Alaska's governor is "unlikely" to cooperate with the investigation by the Alaska Legislature about questionable conduct by Alaska's chief executive.

Monday, he and campaign sidekick Meg Stapleton stood before Alaskans and defended the official personnel decision by Alaska's governor to fire Alaska's public safety commissioner. ABC News reported that Gov. Palin's official press secretary, Bill McAllister, paid by the state of Alaska, didn't even know the McCain staffers were meeting the press to defend his boss.

Is the McCain campaign telling Alaskans that Alaska's governor can't handle her own defense in front of her own Alaska constituents?

Way back when, before John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Palin promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Now she won't utter a peep about it to Alaskans. Nor will her husband, Todd, who definitely needs to explain his role in Troopergate.

Instead, Alaskans have to sit back and listen to John McCain's campaign operatives handling inquiries about what Alaska's governor did while governing Alaska.

Residents of any state would be offended to see their governor cede such a fundamental, day-to-day governmental responsibility to a partisan politician from another state. It's especially offensive to Alaskans.