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Sean M

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    Sydney, Australia
  1. *official* 2008 us election thread

    I think McCain got in some good attacks. But Obama dealt with them well. He answered the attacks succinctly. And then moved the debate to more favourable issues. He did not dwell on the attacks too long, otherwise it allows McCain to dictate the content of the debate. It looks bad to the voters if you spend the whole debate defending yourself. The "John Lewis" bit was a good attack. Because he can portray Obama as being overly sensitive and having a victims complex. Always being quick to accuse people of racism. In the same way that people resent minorities because they think they get favourable treatment and always use political correctness to their advantage. McCain could have said "how dare you accuse me of racism, I went out there and defended you against the crowd calling terrorist or kill him" But Obama dealt with it well. I think if he had handled the attacks poorly or rambled on trying to defend himself. Then it would become the talking point after the debate and give McCain a new angle to exploit.
  2. *official* 2008 us election thread

    It will be interesting if it is more damaging for him to cover it up than say "I am human and have made mistakes or wrestled with demons etc" What would he have been thinking as a candidate, with all that vetting and scrutiny. That with a bit of luck it would never come out. Or whether he had a plan to deal with it. Like saying it is all Republican mud throwing. Or to break the story himself at a certain point in the campaign. But he probably realised early that his chances of being nominated were low. So hoped it would be kept quiet.
  3. *official* 2008 us election thread

    From an foreigner's or an outsider's perspective. I can understand why people believe Mccain will end up winning. Because you think Bush beats Gore, Bush beats Kerry. And that was only three years ago. We are not in America, we don't see what people are thinking and the difference to three years ago. There has been a dramatic shift in American public opinion on the Iraq war and on Bush's popularity. But then you think, what happens if it shifts again in a short space of time. The anti Iraq war stance was a passionate issue in the rest of the world a few years ago. Only last year it was a big issue in America. Whilst the rest of the world did not care as much about it by then. Things change so quickly, maybe in a few months the election will be fought mainly on some other issue. I think part of Obama's advantage is that he is fresh, promising and new. He is what Edward's was four years ago. And what Mccain was eight years ago. Regardless of policy positions or character, I don't think Mccain can recapture that buzz he had eight years ago. Or that Obama could come back in four/eight years saying the same things and have the same effect. This is his moment.
  4. *official* 2008 us election thread

    Saw something in the news about an Edward's affair. It was gusty of him to run, knowing that at any time the story could break whilst he was a presidential or vice presidential candidate. I wonder how many percentages he would have cost him. Or maybe it would not hurt him as badly if he did not base his campaign on family values.
  5. *official* 2008 us election thread

    I think it is ok for superdelegates to use their judgement. If Obama had started very slowly, finished very strongly and was a much better matchup in the polls against McCain. But was behind in pledged delegates and popular vote. Then his supporters would be lobbying the superdelegates. I think Hillary's best hope is the matchup polls against McCain swings a lot in her favour.
  6. *official* 2008 us election thread

    I think a concern with Hilary would be the quality of her staff, if she had coasted the nomination and become President. Apparently her management style is to delegate a lot of control to a few key people and only give them access to her. Under that system you need quality people in senior positions. But Patti Solis-Doyle did not seem to be a good enough Chief of staff to a President. And that was one of the problems of the Bush administration. That he appointed a few incompetent friends to important positions. And he gave enough power to Cheney and his friends to run their own agenda. And that undercuts both "change" and "experience". Part of experience is being a good manager and having a competent staff. Part of change is the unhappiness with the neocons focusing on ideological and personal gain rather than trying to run the country well.
  7. *official* 2008 us election thread

    I can see why the racist strategy could have a chance of being effective. Clinton has already lost the black vote. And she won't mind winning 51% v 49%, even if the 49% hate her. So if she can successfully redefine him as the "black candidate" who only got ahead because of his race. And say how he gets favourable treatment because it is politically incorrect to criticise him. And how his main support is only blacks and trendy elites. Then she can build resentment among lower income blue collar voters. And then even if she is behind on delegates. She can make the argument to the superdelegates that Obama does not have broad appeal among ordinary blue collar voters. And there is a huge risk of him losing the Democrat base to John McCain. It is a risky strategy but she is behind. And if the Obama people respond and get drawn in, she can then play the "favourable treatment/political correctness" card. And then shift the focus of media coverage on to this issue and really try to polarise people.
  8. *official* 2008 us election thread

    At the Democratic convention would it definitely be resolved on the first ballot since there are only two candidates. Unless a lot of superdelegates abstained. Also what happens to John Edwards 30(?) delegates. Are they obliged to vote for him in the first ballot? Or do they become superdelegates with an unpledged vote. Hypothetically if it did get to a second ballot. Would many of the pledged delegates defect. And would they then choose to vote as individuals or as state blocs?
  9. I enjoyed this episode. I like episodes where they trek deep into the jungle to some location we have not seen before. There is suspense and urgency over what is out there on the island. And it also feels like a shift in pace following a static camp-based episode or mainly flashback episode. I think that is one of the strengths of Lost is that they try to vary the pace. I remember in season one, chasing Ethan into the jungle and the trek to the BlackRock. It felt really intense because it came after some slow episodes and they had a bit of build up. They didn't try to have full on action every episode. I think it was also well done with the changing perspective on Ben and Daniel/Charlotte. Early on I was starting to sympathise with Ben's position against Whidmore.
  10. I don't know. I am struggling to understand all the implications of time travel. The characters don't seem to be able to interfere and strongly change the past. But then what otherwise would prompt Desmond in the past to take two days leave, go to Oxford and talk to Faraday. I am also thinking about last season, where Desmond is trying to save Charlie. And he keeps getting flashforwards of how Charlie will die. It is almost as though the current events are a flashback.
  11. It reminded me of the Desmond episodes from last season. It had a mind**** feel to it, trying to comprehend the time travel ideas. I think there was those Naomi episodes where he had flash forwards, as though he had already experienced the future. And the one where he was in the past but was always destined to do certain things. I think a key point is that they did not physically time travel. But their consciousness did. So characters like Locke may be acting because of fragments of memories/emotions experienced in the future. And the concept of destiny may be re-experiencing the events of your life for the second/third time. =----= There was also the mention of the journal being from a ship that disapeared in the 1800s and subsequently owned by Hanso.
  12. *official* 2008 us election thread

    More so that people instinctly label any third party candidate as a possible spoiler. And the stronger the third party candidate is, the more people are likely to complain. It just seems that strange that a candidate should feel guilty for running. I am sure that Nader/Perot strongly preferred one mainstream candidate than the other. And will be constantly reminded about sabotaging it. But it is meant to be a democracy and ultimately it is the voters choice who to vote for. The main parties should not feel that they are entitled to those votes. Or that those votes were stolen from them.
  13. *official* 2008 us election thread

    The electoral system does not seem to be designed to handle third party candidates. Even if there was a decent third party candidate. He would always worry about being a spoiler. And he would get less votes than he would have, since his voters would worry about gifting the presidency to the party they hate the most. You could have a optional preferential system. Where voters could allocate a second choice, which would be counted if there first choice is not in the top two. But that could have unforseen complications.
  14. *official* 2008 us election thread

    But I think they can't be too calculating about it. Like obviously picking someone to balance out Obama's weakness or McCain's strength or to target one swing state or target a certain demographic group. Isn't that what happened last time when they picked Kerry. He seemed to be very caught up in maintaining that image of a warhero strong on national security. Yet you lose naturalness and you are not really yourself.
  15. *official* 2008 us election thread

    They talked about VP choices at the end of Meet the Press last week. They did not seem to have much idea about who each candidate would pick. They said Obama might go with a military national security figure like Anthony Zinni or Jim Jones. Or a experienced governer like Rendell (pennsylvania) Strickland (Ohio). Or someone like Biden. For McCain they mentioned. "former Congressman, former special trade, U.S. trade representative, former budget director Rob Portman (Ohio)" "From Ohio. Another one would be a younger congressman, ranking Republican on the Budget Committee and a tax cutter, Paul Ryan." "maybe Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina or Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota." "I'd think about a woman. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been mentioned. I know there's resistance to her, but from Texas. I think Mel Martinez, if he can find his baptismal certificate that he was born in Miami instead of Havana," "Could be Governor Crist, who's at about 70 percent in Florida, and delivered Florida to him" I have no idea who most of those people are.