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The Collective
Saturday, October 25, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

…or are those Old Spice commercials with the Centaur showering just plain weird?

(I will confess that I find the LL Cool J spot to be amusing).

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Electoral Reform you Can Believe in
By Dr. Steven Taylor

We were driving home from the store and were talking about all the campaign signs when Youngest Son (7) piped up in regards to the presidential contest and asked, “Why can’t they just eat a pie and the one who’s the fastest wins?”

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, Kids, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Coalition Woes for Kadima
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Key Israel party spurns coalition

The religious Shas party says it will not join the coalition Tzipi Livni is trying to form, in a major setback for the would-be Israeli Prime Minister.


Ms Livni’s deal with Labour gives her a total of 48 seats in the 120-member Knesset.

With 12 seats, Shas is currently the third-largest party and has often played the role of kingmaker in Israeli politics.

Sometimes the world just cooperates. We are poised to study coalition formation in multi-party systems in my Comparative Government class.

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Filed under: Middle East, World Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
Friday, October 24, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

While the national numbers certainly don’t look good for McCain, the latest batch of state-level numbers is even worse. Nate Silver posted a plethora of such polls yesterday.

Specifically the following caught my eye:

Florida: the Miami Herald poll puts Obama at +7 and Quinnipiac at +5

Indiana: Big Ten poll, Obama +9.5 and SurveryUSA at +4

Ohio: Big Ten, Obama +11.5 and Quinnipiac at +14

Pennsylvania: Big Ten, Obama +10.4, Morning Call at +10, National Journal at +10, Quinnipiac at +13 and SurveyUSA at +12

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (4) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC comes news that European markets are all down substantially in trading today: Shares plummet on recession fears

European share markets have all fallen sharply on renewed recession fears, following an earlier sell-off in Asia.

London’s FTSE index plunged 7% after figures confirmed Britain’s economy shrank 0.5% in the last quarter - the first time in 16 years.

If I cut-and-pasted all of the down indicators, I would basically be posting the entire BBC piece. So for more details, follow the link.

Of course, all of this means a bad day on Wall Street as well. Via the AP: Stocks head for sharp decline on recession fears

Wall Street headed for another precipitous drop Friday as fears of a punishing global recession stirred panic among investors and sent world financial markets into a tailspin. The Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 550 points, triggering a freeze in selling.

The Nikkei was down 9.60% on word of poor earnings reports.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Steve Bainbridge:

Really, was there ever any doubt?

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Filed under: US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (1) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Gallup has a comparative post of two versions of its likely voter model (the traditional model and one that attempts to take into consideration higher than normal turnout) and its registered voter poll: Obama Has Modest Lead Among Likely Voters.

Obama leads in all three, although not surprisingly, the gap between the candidates is more narrow in the traditional likely voter model (50%-46%) is less than in the expanded model (51%-45%) or the registered voter poll (50%-43%).

Looking across the polls, it seems likely that Obama will break the 50% popular vote threshold, which is symbolically significant, as it is perceived as conferring additional legitimacy to a win. The last Democrat to break the 50% barrier was Jimmy Carter in 1976. It is rather unlikely, however, that Obama will get anywhere near LBJ’s 61.05% from 1968.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (3) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via WaTi: EXCLUSIVE: McCain lambastes Bush years

Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted President Bush for building a mountain of debt for future generations, failing to pay for expanding Medicare and abusing executive powers, leveling his strongest criticism to date of an administration whose unpopularity may be dragging the Republican Party to the brink of a massive electoral defeat.

As I have noted on numerous occasions, this is something that I think that McCain should have been doing all along. The problem now, of course, is whether it will be perceived as authenticity or as just another tactical shift in the midst of a losing campaign. Or, more importantly, is the question of whether this is, in fact, just another tactic in the midst of a losing campaign or if it is a serious attempt to raise the issues (sadly, it almost certainly the former).

Not only would crticisms of Bush’s fiscal policies have helped him with the base, but a vigorous discussion of Bush’s view of the executive branch would have been helpful, I think, with a lot of the Republicans who have now endorsed Obama. Along those lines:

He rejected Mr. Bush’s use of issuing “signing statements” when he signs bills into law, in which the president has suggested that he would ignore elements of the bills, labeling them potentially unconstitutional.

“I would veto the bills or say, ‘Look, I don’t like it but I’ll obey the law that’s passed by Congress and signed by the president.’ I think the signing statements was not a correct implementation of the power of the executive. I think it was overstepping,” he said.


“…I don’t agree with [Vice President] Dick Cheney’s allegation that he’s part of both the legislative and the executive branch,” he said.

These are good places to start.1 More, please, as these are issues that need more public attention.

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  1. In fairness, McCain has criticized signing statements before. []
Filed under: 2008 Campaign, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (10) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

James Joyner has an excellent post on the subject.

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Filed under: 2008 Campaign, The Press, US Politics | Comments/Trackbacks (5) | | Show Comments here
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Has anyone had any trouble with links from PoliBlog, especially internal links?

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