Friday, October 31, 2008

Peruvian Shamans for Obama

Couple of weeks ago, I thought The Onion managed to mention really every single target group:

Latest Poll Reveals 430 New Demographics That Will Decide Election

But now I wonder how on earth they failed to mention the Peruvian Shamans? Since it's so obvious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Asian-Americans On Election

Since my day job is keeping me extremely busy and since I don't like it at all to be addicted to something (or someone, for that matter), I have reduced my election campaign attention to a daily visit of "Today's Polls" over at FiveThirtyEight. But tonight, I stumbled upon a CNN video which drew its MUST SEE status from its title: Asian-Americans on election. As a pro-Asian racist and a Pro-American (have still to figure out what exactly I'm refering here to, though), watching Asian-Americans in action is always a pleasure for me. This time, the fun part started early on with learning that the CNN reporter's name was Veronica De La Cruz...

Going through the pieces Veronica De La Cruz mentioned (McCain losing his chance to win over the Asian American vote and Asian Americans Feeling the Power), I couldn't help myself but acknowleding the heavy pro-Obama spin going on here. Oh well, pro-Obama spin is so ubiquitous these days that I got used to (and over) it.

"Survey shows Asian-Americans support Obama over McCain", says... Xinhua! Here's more: "Obama, McCain camps eye Asian-Americans". For the record: Asian Americans For McCain-Palin and Asian Americans For Obama (as per usual, the latter seem to be far better organized). Finally, here's an online petition signed by (to date) 571 people: VIETNAMESE AMERICANS ENDORSE JOHN McCAIN FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Me, Now Uncle of Five!

Lest I forget to mention: Since the evening of October 22, 2008, I am now an uncle of five. Or, to put it less self-absorbed: My sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The gender ratio among my sister's children (boys/girls) has risen to a worrisome 4:1, much worse than the PR China! Then again, boys are much easier to play with - and to find gifts for...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Undecided? Dunno...

Color me an election '08 maniac. It'll probably end up with me living at Duesseldorf main station, mumbling curses at myself. Anyway, here we go again:

So here they are, three undecideds in one of the swingiest of swing states, just sittin' here, stewing in their undecidedness. What campaign canvasser wouldn't give her left arm to be here?

"Three Undecideds in a Diner" is a Cheever-ish, insightful little piece of literature. And then, there's the more prosaic take by Dane Stangler, who is torn between Obama and McCain, stating that the election has become "a referendum on Barack Obama" (obvy). A snippet:

As a matter of policy, I have great philosophical disagreements with Senator Obama. I and many other Americans do not think the tax code is or should be a vehicle for pursuing fairness. On health care, I tend to stand with Senator McCain in thinking that we may finally need to sever the link between health insurance and employment. McCain has consistently supported free trade, and while I can't believe that a man as intelligent as Obama would disbelieve the benefits of free trade, he has continuously made protectionist noise during the campaign.

But because of fiscal constraint and political reality, it is unlikely that either candidate will enjoy free rein to put his favored policies in place. So where should we look in evaluating what type of president Obama will be?

Finally, there are those who have already made up their minds (my emphasis):

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

In this economy, racism is officially a luxury. How is John McCain going to win if he can't win those voters?

Well, the jury is still out on that one, as Dan Drezner points out:

While people with these kind of attitudes might be telling canvassers, pollsters, and reporters that they’re thinking of voting for Obama, I do wonder if that inclination will dissipate when they have to punch the ticket.

The other day, I got an, and I quote, "Einladung zum Election Breakfast". Do I want the race to be over by then? I'm undecided. An Obama landslide would be boring to watch. Then again, you can't swallow for-free food while biting your nails.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On Krugman Nobel Unhappiness

So, Paul Krugman was awarded the Sveriges Riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne aka Nobel Prize in economics - and Jess is "not happy". And she is not the only one. Then again, Megan McArdle:

One of the most interesting things that I've read in multiple commenters is that his most important insights seemed obvious. I think perhaps the deepest economics insights do--after someone has pointed them out. Everything from comparative advantage to the Coase Theorem makes you slap your head with the inescapable logic of it, and wonder how it can have escaped the human race for so long. And still, it takes a genius to reveal these obvious truths to the rest of us poor slobs. Krugman's math is far too impenetrable for this English major, but the conclusions are as clear and lovely as a bell.

And yesterday, I came across this:

(I also liked the "lukewarm sorta kinda dammit I hate to say this" presidential endorsement at the end of the session. Which did not exactly came as a surprise. I'd endorse a Drezner/Cowen ticket any time, btw.)

"Arranged" Marriage? Oh, my.

Mad Minerva points to an article/book review about a new trend for westerners as the easy way out of the big fat post modern matching mess:

One group of women she spoke to, who had had arranged marriages, were alpha-type New Yorkers in their late thirties and she noticed too that they didn't look to their partners so much for their happiness. “In Western culture there's an obligation for your partner to provide all your social and emotional needs,” she says. “In the landscape of arranged marriage there is an extended group that takes the pressure off this one man being able to provide everything.”

First of all, there is no such thing as "Western culture". And second of all, this whole article made me cringe. What a  "Sex and the city" BS. But a good example for multicultural cherry picking.

A marriage arranged and supervised by an ethnic auntie brigade? Good idea, especially in terms of "be fertile and multiply".

A marriage arranged by a MoDo columns loving East Coast psychiatrist turned matchmaker supervised by a bunch of friends who know all seasons of "Friends" and "Seinfeld" by heart? C'mon on, now!

A marriage arranged by your Chinese boss? A mind-blowing, suicidal tendencies triggering experience. You betcha. (Fortunately, she didn't succeed. And I'm still alive.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Love in Lubbock

Now, that was brave. Good luck, Emily and Matt!


I love Emily's facial expression at the beginning...

And here's the story from a different angle:


A Decent Proposal

From the VP debate aftermath conversation with Kevin over at love in spades:

K: What I really wish could happen is for candidates to sign legally binding agreements whenever they say that they won't raise my taxes so that, if they end up in office, they are legally obligated not to raise my taxes. That'd be pretty cool.

M: And if they don't stick to those agreements - what punishment option would you root for? Something boring like "conviction of fraud or burglary, followed by a term in prison" - or the more medieval approach like, say, primetime townhall castigations, weekend market place stoning or superbowl tar-and-feathering?The medieval option would be more fun for the (tax-paying) audience, coming with a higher possiblity of deterrence (debatable).One should also consider preemptive OPM addiction treatment in facilities like the Betty Ford clinic for every politician who wants to run for office.

K: I was thinking defenestration at first, but your idea of tar and feathering on pay-per-view is too good to ignore. All proceeds from the event would go to pay down the national debt...

M: Okayyy...Feasel-Wirth Act 2030?

K: I shall write my Senators forthwith in order to get our bill introduced. Unfortunately, given that one of my Senators enjoys raising taxes and the other one spends too much time crying about John Bolton, I might have to move to South Carolina...

M: Hence, the timeline. But I thought of us becoming senators and {campaign trail mode} get the job done {/campaign trail mode}.

K: you might have to be the one running for office. The first time I talk about not imminentizing the eschaton and how the one person who's responsible for dealing with your problems looks suspiciously like that fellow on your driver's license, my campaign manager will commit ritual seppuku...
As for the bailout and OPM addiction, see US Congress in Rehab for OPM Addiction.


What goes for "uncommitted"

They asked a few questions regarding my choice in the Presidential election. They asked who I would vote for. I said most likely I would be voting for Barack Obama. They followed with, "is there any chance that you would change your mind"? I said "Of course anything is possible." They then asked me as an uncommitted voter would I like to participate in the Town hall debate. I said "Of course!"

(Yet another vetting process going awry, leading to the Town hall whiplash and causing the "Olivers Of The World, Unite" movement.)

Yeah, McCain Really Knows How To Connect At Those Townhalls:

(direct link)


Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Market Sentiment

Well, you have to remember two things about the market, one is they are made up of very sharp and sophisticated people who are some of the greatest brains in the world. And the second thing you have to remember is that financial markets–to use the common phrase, are driven by sentiment.

What does that mean?

What does that mean. Well the thing is, let’s say things are going along as normal in the market, and then suddenly, out of the blue, one of these very sharp and sophisticated people say, “My GOD! Something AWFUL is going to happen! [Grasps face in despair] We’ve lost EVERYTHING! My God, what are we going to do, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

Shall I jump out of the window?

Shall I jump out of the window. EXACTLY! Let’s all jump out of the window! SELL!






Sell. Yes. Precisely. And then a few days later, this same sophisticated person says, (calmly and pleasantly) “You know, I think things are going rather well.” And everybody says, “You know actually I think I agree with you.” “You know, I think we’re rich.” “We’re rich.” “Yes!”

Rich! Yes! BUY, BUY, BUY!

BUY, BUY, BUY! Yes. And that is what we call market sentiment.

(direct link)

Kudos to The Liberty Voice for the transcript.

Talking of Mobility...

Okay, time for a restart. But slowly.

(direct link, via)

Next up: Elephant on Water Skis, jumping the shark.