Thursday, August 9, 2007

Volvo Drivers for Obama

I'm on vacation this week, but I never stop working for you. As I travel back and forth across the wilds of Cape Cod--searching for the perfect clam chowder--I am conducting a highly unscientific survey. I seek out the back of every moving vehicle, searching for signs of political preference--that is, bumperstickers.

Bumperstickers are a good indicator of what a pollster might call intensity of affinity. For most people, you gotta like someone a lot to deface your car or truck with an adhesive product that is nearly impossible to remove. Think of a bumpersticker as a tattoo. (I've never applied either one to me or my ride.) And here in the Land of Michael Dukakis (and the Land of Mitt Romney), I've noticed a distinct trend: there are plenty of Obama bumperstickers and none for Hillary Clinton. (I've spotted one or two for John Edwards.)

Cape Cod is, of course, a liberal stronghold. And thanks to pollsters we know that well-to-do, highly educated Democrats--who are well represented in this slice of the Bay State--fancy Obama more than Clinton. He has the Volvo vote. But not one bumpersticker for HRC? Clearly, Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet are Obama country. This is hardly bellwether territory--though New Hampshire is only a few hours' drive away. And there is this to keep in mind: though pollsters do try to measure intensity of support for a candidate, what matters in the end is votes, not feelings. Hillary Clinton's campaign surely knows that. Now it's back to the beach, where I'll be checking out the surf...and the parking lot.

If you spot any interesting electoral indicators in your part of the country, email me at

Posted by David Corn at August 9, 2007 09:41 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Never a perfect chowder (that would end the quest). I will keep an eye out for bumper stickers. I think I have seen a Hillary 08 and a few others.

Thanks for all of your work.


capt said...

China threatens to trigger US dollar crash

BEIJING: The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of US treasury bonds if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation.

Two Chinese officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning, for the first time, that Beijing may use its $1,330 billion (658 billion pounds) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress. Shifts in Chinese policy are often announced through key think tanks and academies.

Described as China’s ‘nuclear option’ in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is breaking down through historic support levels.

It would also cause a spike in US bond yields, hammering the US housing market and perhaps tipping the economy into recession.

It is estimated that China holds more than $900 billion in a mix of US bonds.

Xia Bin, Finance Chief at China’s Development Research Centre kicked off what appears to be a government policy, with a comment last week that Beijing’s foreign reserves should be used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in talks with the US.

“Of course, China doesn’t want any undesirable phenomenon in the global financial order,” he said.

He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Beijing had the power to set off a dollar collapse, if it chose to do so.

“China has accumulated a large sum of US dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in US treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency,” he said.

“Russia, Switzerland and several other countries have reduced their dollar holdings. China is unlikely to follow suit as long as the yuan’s exchange rate is stable against the dollar.”

The Chinese central bank will be forced to sell dollars once the yuan appreciated dramatically, which might lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar, he said.

The threats play into the presidential electoral campaign of Hillary Clinton, who has called for restrictive legislation to prevent America being ‘held hostage to economic decisions being made in Beijing, Shanghai or Tokyo’.

She said foreign control over 44 percent of the US national debt had left America acutely vulnerable.

Simon Derrick, Currency Strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon, said the comments were a message to the US Senate as Capitol Hill prepares legislation for the autumn session.

“The words are alarming and unambiguous. This carries a clear political threat and could have very serious consequences at a time when the credit markets are already afraid of contagion from the sub-prime troubles,” he said.

A bill drafted by a group of US senators, and backed by the Senate Finance Committee, calls for trade tariffs against Chinese goods as retaliation for alleged currency manipulation.

The yuan has appreciated 9 percent against the dollar over the last two years under a crawling peg but it has failed to halt the rise of China’s trade surplus, which reached $26.9 billion in June.

Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, said any such sanctions would undermine US authority and could trigger a global cycle of protectionist legislation. courtesy telegraph


capt said...

Beeman to NYT: Hyping Iran Threat in Times of Diplomacy

William O. Beeman of the University of Minnesota shared with IC this letter to the editor of the New York Times:

"From: William O. Beeman
Sent: Wed 8/8/2007 3:22 PM
Subject: U.S. Says Bomb Suppled by Iran Kills Troops in Iraq

To the Editor:

Re: "U.S. Says Bomb Suppled by Iran Kills Troops in Iraq" by Michael R. Gordon, August 8, 2007

It is increasingly suspicious that every time the United States has begun a diplomatic initiative with Iran--the latest on August 6, some United States military official in Iraq comes forward to accuse Iran of supplying weapons to attack U.S. troops. Perhaps it is coincidence, but the reporter rendering these accusations for the public seems always to be Michael R. Gordon. These military reports and the Times reportage seem timed to undermine these diplomatic talks. Following the historic May 28 talks between Iran and the United States in Baghdad, the Iranian government called for a second round of talks. As negotiations for this second round were underway General Kevin Bergner provided a briefing on precisely the issue of the IED's covered in the August 8 article by Mr. Gordon. Mr. Gordon's last reportage of General Kevin J. Bergner's account of these Iranian attacks ("U.S. Ties Iran to Deadly Iraq Attack" July 2, 2007) was a textbook case in hype. Mr. Gordon significantly enhanced General Bergner's already specious and exaggerated statements to make the Iranian government appear even more culpable than the evidence in the press conference would warrant. Although Mr. Gordon's August 8 reporting on Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's account of essentially the same phenomenon does acknowledge that critics of the Bush administration assert that there is no proof of Iranian state involvement in supplying the IED devices, the article is riddled with innuendo accusatory of Iran, such as identifying "Iranian-backed cells" as if they existed as verified definable entities, and they had been proved to have ties to Iran. Mr. Gordon's piece appears on page 1 of the Times above the fold (as did his July 2 piece) thus increasing the hype factor. The Times should save its partisanship for the editorial pages, and not conscience it in its reporting.


William O. Beeman Professor and Chair Department of Anthropology University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455

President, Middle East Section, American Anthropological Association"


capt said...


"Our great country is in a terrible downward spiral. We're outsourcing jobs, bankrupting social security, and losing lives at war. We need to focus on what's important-- paying attention to our children, our citizens, our future. We need to think about improving our failing educational system, making better use of our resources, and helping to promote a stable, safe, and tolerant global society. It's time to be smart about our politics. It's time to get America back on track."

The Homepage of the Walken 2008 Campaign

O'Reilly said...

Try the Corn Chowder, he he.

I hope you're enjoying your vacation.

Do you ever come to Alternate Reality to read comments?

Congrats on the new gig at CQ. I'll read you there is you open your comments section.

O'Reilly said...

is = if

capt said...

Mortgage concerns hit US markets

US shares have tumbled amid fears that a wobble in the mortgage market may prompt a global credit crunch.
The Dow Jones index fell 199.24 points, or 1.5%, to 13,458.62. The S&P shed 1.7% and the Nasdaq lost 1.4%.

European indexes slumped earlier after the European Central Bank said it was pumping money into the banking market.

There also were reports that the US Federal Reserve was doing something similar to ensure that there was enough cash available for banks to use.

Analysts said that the markets would remain volatile in the near future.


*****end of clip*****

Pumping out more fiat currency is a problem not a solution. “Volatile” might be a huge understatement.


capt said...

US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance

This week the Russian and Chinese militaries are conducting a joint military exercise involving large numbers of troops and combat vehicles. The former Soviet Republics of Tajikistan, Kyrgkyzstan, and Kazakstan are participating. Other countries appear ready to join the military alliance.

This new potent military alliance is a real world response to neoconservative delusions about US hegemony. Neocons believe that the US is supreme in the world and can dictate its course. The neoconservative idiots have actually written papers, read by Russians and Chinese, about why the US must use its military superiority to assert hegemony over Russia and China.

Cynics believe that the neocons are just shills, like Bush and Cheney, for the military-security complex and are paid to restart the cold war for the sake of the profits of the armaments industry. But the fact is that the neocons actually believe their delusions about American hegemony.

Russia and China have now witnessed enough of the Bush administration's unprovoked aggression in the world to take neocon intentions seriously. As the US has proven that it cannot occupy the Iraqi city of Baghdad despite 5 years of efforts, it most certainly cannot occupy Russia or China. That means the conflict toward which the neocons are driving will be a nuclear conflict.

In an attempt to gain the advantage in a nuclear conflict, the neocons are positioning US anti-ballistic missiles on Soviet borders in Poland and the Czech Republic. This is an idiotic provocation as the Russians can eliminate anti-ballistic missiles with cruise missiles. Neocons are people who desire war, but know nothing about it. Thus, the US failures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reagan and Gorbachev ended the cold war. However, US administrations after Reagan's have broken the agreements and understandings. The US gratuitously brought NATO and anti-ballistic missiles to Russia's borders. The Bush regime has initiated a propaganda war against the Russian government of Vladimir Putin.

These are gratuitous acts of aggression. Both the Russian and Chinese governments are trying to devote resources to their economic development, not to their militaries. Yet, both are being forced by America's aggressive posture to revamp their militaries.

Americans need to understand what the neocon Bush regime cannot: a nuclear exchange between the US, Russia, and China would establish the hegemony of the cockroach.

In a mere 6.5 years the Bush regime has destroyed the world's good will toward the US. Today, America's influence in the world is limited to its payments of tens of millions of dollars to bribed heads of foreign governments, such as Egypt's and Pakistan's. The Bush regime even thinks that as it has bought and paid for Musharraf, he will stand aside and permit Bush to make air strikes inside Pakistan. Is Bush blind to the danger that he will cause an Islamic revolution within Pakistan that will depose the US puppet and present the Middle East with an Islamic state armed with nuclear weapons?

Considering the instabilities and dangers that abound, the aggressive posture of the Bush regime goes far beyond recklessness. The Bush regime is the most irresponsibly aggressive regime the world has seen since Hitler's.


micki said...

Do you ever come to Alternate Reality to read comments?

O'Reilly, email him at and just ask him directly.

Then let us know what he says.... ;-))

capt said...

In A Three Minute Monologue, Matthews Gushes Over Bush’s ‘Great Neo-Conservative Mind’

Immediately following President Bush’s press conference today, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spent three unbroken minutes fawning over the president’s “powerful rendition” of his “philosophy” without uttering a single critical word. “I thought in listening to the president, I was listening to one of the great neoconservative minds,” gushed Matthews.

Calling Bush “powerful” on three separate occasions, Matthews marveled at the president’s defense of his foreign policy:

We were given a rare opportunity to hear the real philosophy of this administration with regard to the war in Iraq. A powerful rendition by the president of why we’re there. When he talked about the fact that we can support emerging democracies in the Middle East, and that’s the only way we can prevent future 9/11’s, you’re getting to the heart of why this administration is fighting that war in Iraq.

“This president is ready to fight like a rock through the rest of his term,” Matthews proclaimed. “He made it clear that he’s going to fight as long as it takes to develop a democracy in Iraq. There’s not going to be any change come September.” Watch it:


capt said...

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