Barack Obama: President of the United States

November 5, 2008

Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.

Obama - Hope

The first black man to have that honour.

In 1964 the U.S. passed the Civil Rights Act giving blacks the same rights as whites. In 1965 the U.S. passed the Voting Rights Act. It finally gave Black Americans the right to vote – in every state, without obstacle – and America finally became a true democracy.

The passage for Black Civil Rights campaigners has not been an easy one. At one time or other, blacks had to contend with race riots, lynchings, and the assassination of their charismatic leader Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968.

2008. Just over 40 years later from that Voting Rights Act and America elects a black President.

An incredible achievement and one which Americans should be rightly proud.

Its a glowing example of the American dream finally working.

In 2004 Barack Obama delivered his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. It was just before the Bush – Kerry presidential election of that year. He talked about his hopes and dreams for America, and then added another:

“The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.”

He had hope in America.

Now America has their hopes in him.

Obama continued that speech:

“Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!

“In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.”

Here’s to those better days ahead for all of us!

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McCain gives up on Michigan

October 3, 2008

John McCain has given up on campaigning in Michigan to concentrate on more hopeful states. Campaign officals confirmed the move is to concentrate on other swing states:- Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin.

Its a clear indication that Michigan will be Democrat blue in the coming election.

Michigan is one of several key swing states in the U.S. election.

In fact, Obama is currently ahead in most of these key swing states. This makes it a tough ask for John McCain to make a comeback and win the presidency.

Over at RealClearPolitics.com they have

Obama 260
McCain 163

Still to play for 115

And of those ‘toss up’ states the latest polling is:-

State Electoral votes Obama % McCain % Prediction 2004 result 2000 result
Ohio 20 48.0 46.0 Obama +2.0 Bush +2.1 Bush +3.5
Florida 27 48.6 45.6 Obama +3.0 Bush +5.0 Bush +0.1
Nevada 5 47.8 47.3 Obama +0.5 Bush +2.6 Bush +3.5
New Hampshire 4 46.7 45.4 Obama +1.3 Kerry +1.3 Bush +1.3
Virginia 13 49.0 46.6 Obama +2.4 Bush +8.2 Bush +8.1
North Carolina 15 47.0 46.5 Obama +0.5 Bush +12.4 Bush +12.8
Missouri 11 46.8 48.5 McCain +1.7 Bush +7.2 Bush +3.3
Indiana 11 45.3 47.5 McCain +2.2 Bush +20.7 Bush +15.7
Colorado 9 49.0 44.6 Obama +4.4 Bush +4.7 Bush +8.4

According to RealClearPolitics Wisconsin is already Obama’s to lose.

These results suggests that McCain should concentrate on the bigger college votes of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina; where Obama’s poll lead is tightest.

Lets go with these RealClearPolitics predictions to see what might happen:-

If these bigger key swing states moved to McCain, along with Missouri and Indiana where McCain is marginally in front it would give McCain 260 electoral college votes.

Tied with Obama’s 260 [predicted by RealClearPolitics].

Given that Obama should pick up Colorado’s 9 votes, that could leave the fate of the election in the hands of Nevada (5 votes) and New Hampshire (4 votes).

Should they both go McCain’s way; it’ll be a tie! Something that pundits have already been postulating; here and here. An Obama – Palin presidential ticket?

269 tie Obama - McCain

That is a lot of ifs for McCain, and its doubtful if he’ll manage to take all of the bigger key swing states to make it interesting. We’ll see if McCain’s Michigan gamble pays off.

Right now the election is Obama’s to lose.

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Russell Brand and George Bush

September 10, 2008

Only a couple of days after I suggested Sarah Palin might be forgiven for putting Russell Brand’s My Booky Wook on to her pile of books for her book banning / burning, now Russell Brand has really upset the Republicans.

At the MTV Video Music awards Brand joked that George W. Bush was a ‘retarded cowboy’.

He then came out to urge support for Obama.

“Some people, I think they’re called racists, say America is not ready for a black president.

“But I know America to be a forward thinking country because otherwise why would you have let that retard and cowboy fella be president for eight years?

“We were very impressed. We thought it was nice of you to let him have a go, because, in England, he wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.”

He then rounded on Sarah Palin’s situation with her pregnant teenage daughter.

Speaking of Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend, Levi Johnston, Brand said: “That is the safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become a Republican!”

That’s surely going to drive Palin to strike the match on My Booky Wook!

Now its revealed that MTV had forced Brand into telling lower key jokes!

He revealed: “I had JOHN McCAIN gags pulled. And they asked me to tone down the gags about SARAH PALIN.

“I wanted to say she was forcing her teenage daughter to have a baby because she is so anti-abortion.

“But also, as a Republican, she is pro-execution so she is going to give her the electric chair for being a little sl*t. They weren’t keen on that one.”

Nevertheless, MTV now want him to host the 2009 awards.


Republicans and Hurricane Gustav

September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav makes its way steadily to Louisiana.

As New Orleans is being evacuated and response teams are put in place, it strikes me that this time George Bush is learning from his mistakes over Hurricane Katrina.

But will Hurricane Gustav make the Republicians reassess their stance on climate change?

John McCain has at least made encouraging noises in the direction of tackling the situation. Then he goes and appoints as his Vice Presidental candidate a woman who believes that global warming is not man-made and has an appalling environmental record in her home state in Alaska.

A clear sign that he is pandering to the hard right of the Republican party.

This just smacks of a continuation of the Republican environmental policy instigated under George W. Bush. The defining environmental policy of Bush’s government was a refusal to sign the Kyoto agreement that introduced emission targets.

So do I think the Republicans will reassess their stance? I suspect not directly.

What may make the difference is that these Hurricanes affect the oil price in the United States, as they cut off oil production in the U.S. gulf coast.

Unfortunately, it may take a few of these hurricanes before America finally gets the message on climate change. By that time the global oil price could have sky rocketed and the U.S. may well have made more environmental damage by drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas in its lust to keep its oil price low.

As climate change becomes more pronounced, hurricanes and other weather phemonema will get more dangerous.

How many of these extreme hurricanes will New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf coast have to endure before Republicans take the environment seriously?

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8 out of 10 cats

July 21, 2008

The Daily Mail has a piece on Gordon Brown’s survival.

They state that 8 out of 10 Labour MPs think Gordon Brown should go. Reminds me of that Frankie Boyle joke: “Gordon Brown looks like someone’s drawn a sad face on a scrotum… Does George Bush even know who he is? He must’ve thought Tony Blair put on weight and had a fucking stroke.” Thats the sort of remarks he can get away with on 8 out of 10 cats, I guess.

Three quarters of the Prime Minister’s cabinet think Gordon should go too.

Thinking of it, one of the very few who would want Gordon to stay is Frankie Boyle. He’s probably got a million routines all based on the Prime Minister’s scrotum face.

Maybe like Mike Yarwood sinking fast from trace once Harold Wilson and Ted Heath disappeared from public life, Frankie Boyle might suffer the same fate with Gordon Brown’s demise. Or just start on a new jokebook.

Celebrity status is a double edged sword. The whole point of it is that people recognise you and talk about you. Celebrity and gossip magazines fly off the newsagents’ shelves into the arms of an eager public.

But the other side is when your image is ridiculed. For politicians this is especially dangerous.

Think of Michael Foot wearing that donkey jacket on Remembrance Sunday. Neil Kinnock falling in the sea. John Prescott punching protestors. Currently, Margaret Curran’s slapstick election campaign for Glasgow East.

All suffered a loss of credibility.

At least it was their actions though.

Now think of David Steel on Spitting Image, a tiny figure sitting on David Owen’s lap. Margaret Thatcher with those mad eyes or a grey skinned John Major eating peas.

Satire is at its best when it reflects a public personna; the caricatures providing an insight to the actual people themselves.

At some point though these images seem to become real.

Tony Blair was always framed in the role as Bush’s poodle but this perception was reinforced when George W. Bush called out to him ‘Yo, Blair!’ at a dinner for heads of state.

And so it is with Gordon Brown. So unpopular has he become that comedians can now throw any insult at him and the public won’t be offended.

Calling the Prime Minister a ‘scrotum face’ and saying he looks like he had a stroke, in times past would have resulted in a ton of letters at the televison channel’s door.

Its a reflection of how poorly Gordon Brown is regarded by the public that Frankie Boyle’s comments were unedited.

Its also why there is almost nothing – barring a political miracle on the scale of Gordon Brown launching himself in Afghanistan and Rambo-style bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice singlehandedly! – that Gordon Brown can do that will prevent Labour from losing the next General Election.

The die is cast. Labour’s rating has fallen to just 16% in the new poll by the Metro newspaper – behind the Liberal Democrats.

The 8 out of 10ers are right. Gordon should step down.

The future of the Labour Party and Frankie Boyle’s new jokebook depend on it.