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A Quote for the Morning: A Republican criticizes the racism of his party…

Secretary of State under George W. Bush, Colin Powell, had retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson as a Chief of Staff. Wilkerson made this comment in response to  John Sununu‘s statement on Thursday that Powell’s endorsement of President Barack Obama’s re-election was motivated by race:

“My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.”

– Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

And there are people who want these guys elected… why? We worked so hard for decades to establish the civil rights of all Americans. It was a triumph to elect our first black president and Obama has made significant achievements in his first term, even though he faced Republicans in the Congress who publicly pledged to keep his agenda from being passed.

Voting for Republicans in this election endorses their racial views. Do you?

Afternoon swing state polls updated here…

Check these out, some of them have changed around since this morning:

Colorado: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (OnSight Public Affairs)

Colorado: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (Purple Strategies)

Florida: Romney 51%, Obama 46% (Sunshine State News)

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (Gravis)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (Gravis)

New Hampshire: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (New England College)

North Carolina: Romney 53%, Obama 45% (Gravis)

North Carolina: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Civitas)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (American Research Group)

Ohio: Obama 46%, Romney 44% (Purple Strategies)

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (CNN/ORC)

Virginia: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Purple Strategies)

Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

 

Just Returned From Early Voting…

After having done the Friday Morning radio show on WSHC with John Case, Elly and I set out to go to Charles Town, WV, for a visit to the Jefferson County Courthouse for early voting. Since John and his wife, Carol, were already planning to vote today, Elly and I arranged to meet them at the polling place and to have lunch afterward at our favorite Charles Town restaurant, Mezzaluna.

We spent over an hour from getting into the Court House line through voting at the booth. I never expected that it would take that much time, but the lines were very, very long. It seems like many of our fellow citizens were there to vote early… but remember, this was the third day of early voting and it was still mobbed this morning.

But we HAVE voted and I feel very good about it. The odds are very low that West Virginia will agree with me on most of the votes… particularly it is not considered likely that WV will go for Obama. But you have to vote your conscience anyway, and I did.

The Courthouse is a famous location in Jefferson County since it was here that John Brown was tried and convicted for the Harpers Ferry raid during the Civil War. Now it’s famous as the place where Elly and I do early voting.

I hope everyone out there remembers to vote, either early or on election day.

 

Are you ready for the morning swing state polls?

Here they are:

Colorado: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Veterans are becoming an observed community.

Colorado: Obama 46%, Romney 43% (Project New America)

Colorado: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist)

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (Gravis)

Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Project New America)

Iowa:: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Michigan: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Foster McCollum)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist)

North Carolina: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)

Pennsylvania: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Rasmussen)

Florida’s in question this morning… but it’s fairly close. Colorado is moving toward Obama.. first time all week.

We’ll look for updates later.

And a really funny quote to start the day…

… this is the kind of thing that makes me realize why Obama is so far ahead of his critics. On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Obama joked about Donald Trump’s latest challenge:

“This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya. We had constant run-ins on the soccer field. He wasn’t very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America I thought it would be over.”

— President Obama

Looks like a lie can be exploded by a funnier lie.

 

Morning report on swing state polls… With afternoon update

Here are the latest polls from the battleground. These will be updated when more numbers are available:

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 49% (Gravis)

Michigan: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Foster McCollum)

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Nevada: Obama 51%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

New Hampshire: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Lake Research)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 44% (Time)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 46%, Romney 44% (Lake Resaearch)

Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 43% (Old Dominion

University)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Virginia: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)

Wow. Four different pollsters give Ohio to Obama. The word on early voting is that it’s 2 to 1 in Obama’s favor.

Only 12 days left to the official election day.

Hey WV folks… it’s Early Voting time…

Today’s the day. Early voting starts today in West Virginia and I think Elly and I will be heading over to the Charles Town County Courthouse on Friday to cast our ballots for Obama. Speaking of Obama… he will be doing early voting in Chicago on his current speaking tour. That makes him the first President in office to vote early.

BTW… polls are open on Saturday.

 

The latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll finds President Obama had a lead of 53% to 42% among the 17% of the surveyed registered voters who said they had already cast their vote. Let’s keep it up!

 

So what does the world think of the USA?

Remember what Romney said during the foreign policy debate? Think about this:

“I look around the world, I don’t see our influence growing around the world. I see our influence receding. […] But unfortunately, in nowhere in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was four years ago.”

Well, I wonder what the influence of America is in the real world? Here’s a chart by Ezra Klein evaluating 16 countries we deal with:

Gee… looks like they like us. As a matter of fact, some countries like us very much… and they really like Obama:

 

Pakistan, however, seems to go more for Romney. Why? Because he criticizes Obama’s mid-east accomplishments?

Very Interesting.

 

Latest Swing State Polls (Updated for the Afternoon)

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states. There will likely be more later. I’ll keep an eye out:

Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

New Hampshire: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

New Hampshire: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Lake Research)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (SurveyUSA)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Obama 50%, Romney 43% (Old Dominion University)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Newsmax/Zogby)

I’m not sure I was expecting it, but it looks like Virginia has come around… and one poll (Lake Research) has brought New Hampshire back to Obama.

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

– Bill

 

This morning’s first swing state polls:

Here are the latest polls from the battleground:

How about Electoral Vote and Senate predictions…

Nevada: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (American Research Group)

New Hampshire: Romney 49%, Obama 47% (American Research Group)

Both of these show changes: Romney up in New Hampshire and Obama leading in Nevada. Also, remember: 270 Electoral votes to win.

When more of these polls come out today I will make them available either in a new post or updating this one.

 

A sample of Romney’s misunderstanding of foreign policy…

… like where the middle east countries are located. This statement on Iran and Syria seems to be typical of Romney’s lack of understanding:

I guess Romney doesn’t realize that Iran has it’s own coastlines and doesn’t need Syria to get to the sea. Fortunately, Obama pointed this out to him, making the debate a part of Romney’s education.

 

It looks like last night’s debate was Obama’s triumph…

Although I don’t think Mittens made any huge gaffes, he did tell a pile of obvious lies and Obama seemed to catch him on them.  I was reading Andrew Sullivan’s online live commentary as the debate went on, and his summations in the last few minutes pretty much made the event understood:

10.35 pm. After the first truly epic implosion in the first debate, Obama has clawed his way back in the following two, in my view. He has marshalled his arguments as potently as possible; he brought the themes of his candidacy together compellingly. His advantage on foreign policy will not, I think, diminish; it may well strengthen. And that is only just. After eight years of the most disastrous, misguided, immoral and a catastrophic foreign policy, Obama has brought the US back from the brink, presided over the decimation of al Qaeda, the liberation of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and restored America’s moral standing in the world.
For Romney, he made no massive mistakes. No Gerald Ford moments. And since the momentum of this race is now his, if now faltering a little, a defeat on points on foreign policy will be an acceptable result. But this was Obama’s debate; and he reminded me again of how extraordinarily lucky this country has been to have had him at the helm in this new millennium.
He’s flawed; he’s made mistakes; but who hasn’t? If this man, in these times, with this record, against this opposition, does not deserve re-election, then I am simply at a loss for words. I have to believe the American people will see that in time.
10.34 pm. Obama’s closing statement was his best few minutes in all three debates. Romney’s seems a little desperate and now he – the man whose running-mate is Paul Ryan – is saying he is more bipartisan than Obama.
10.30 pm. So Romney just blames the entire economy on Obama alone. This litany of “the economy sucks throw him out” is the crude but effective big lie.
10.27 pm. “Governor, the people in Detroit don’t forget.” The lies this man has said tonight have been more numerous than I can ever remember in any debate. The man does not have the moral character to be president, in my opinion.

I think Obama, aside from appearing presidential and in control of his information (and correct in presenting his record, as well.) Romney, as Obama said, tried to “Airbrush History.”  The best turnover Obama brought around was when Romney claimed Obama had made an “Apology Tour” of the middle east, and the president cleared up his trips and and made it clear that the charge Romney has made was his “biggest whopper.”

Romney has seemed to abandon neoconservatism by endorsing Obama’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and agreeing on many other of the president’s foreign policy actions.  Obama made sure to point this out. It seemed like Romney was congratulating the President of the United States.

Obama really came out as one who deserves a second term.He was clearly the Commander in Chief and Romney didn’t look like he would fill that role in the same way.

 

A Quote for the Day – On the success of Obama

This was released in the new issue of The New Yorker as its Editors announced their endorsement for Barack Obama:

“The President has achieved a run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign-policy successes that relieved a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration. Obama has renewed the honor of the office he holds.”

– Editors of The New Yorker

You can read the whole endorsement right HERE.

 

Foreign Policy is the debate subject tonight. What will be discussed?

Andrew Sullivan posted this earlier today – tonight’s moderator of the debate, Bob Schieffer‘s list of questions he wants to see covered:

* America’s role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World…

The one that will probably bring out a major Romney/Obama conflict is the Red Lines question since it deals with holding off nuclear weapons and brings the US into a war-support position with Israel. Since it works against Obama’s State Department‘s policy of negotiations over military imposition, I expect this will be Romney’s major moment. He has spent the last couple of months trying to describe Obama as being unfriendly with Benjamin Netanyahu and opposed to Israel’s rights – a major lie by the Republican, btw – and will most likely make this his position.

Since we haven’t really heard a foreign policy plan outlined by Romney, I expect Obama will keep bringing this lack of knowledge up to see if Romney crosses himself up.

Andrew Sullivan also listed the Foreign Policy subjects that most likely won’t be brought up:

1) The eurozone crisis

2) Latin America

3) Russia

4) Africa

5) Foreign economic policy

6) India

7) North Korea

From my point of you, the fact that Romney has publicly stated that Russia was our major enemy, I will be  surprised if Obama doesn’t use this to show Romney’s total lack of foreign policy knowledge.

Tonight’s Debate is a social/political event in Shepherdstown, WV…

There is a Presidential Debate Watch Party tonight at the Opera House on German Street beginning at 7:30 tonight. The first hour and a half is a “pay what you canfundraiser for Stephen Skinner, Democratic candidate for State Delegate.

You can get there early and meet Skinner and his associates and sit with your friends in the theater to watch the debate on the big screen.

Hope to see you there.

Some new swing state polls for the morning:

Got a few of these here:

Colorado: Romney 50%, Obama 46% (Rasmussen)

Iowa: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 43% (Angus Reid)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 48% (Angus Reid)

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (CBS News/Quinnipiac)

Pennsylvania: Obama 50%, Romney 45% (Morning Call/Muhlenberg)

Pennsylvania: Obama 48%, Romney 44% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Virginia: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Wisconsin: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (Angus Reid)

Wisconsin: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:

Politico/George Washington University: Romney 49%, Obama 47%

Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 48%

Looks like there’s a question about Ohio, depending on which poll you read. Strong leads in both Michigan and Pennsylvania. As for the two National Polls, it looks like Romney comes off stronger. Will tonight’s debate have an effect on these?

A quote for the day… from 68 Nobel Prize Winners

68 former Nobel Prize winning scientists have endorsed Barack Obama for the Presidency. Their feelings were published in “An Open Letter to the American People.” Here is a quote from that letter:

“America’s economic future, the quality of our health, and the quality of our environment depend on our ability to continue America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention. As winners of the Nobel Prizes in science, we are proud of our contribution to the extraordinary advances American science has made in recent years. But we’re deeply concerned that without leadership and continued commitment to scientific research the next generation of Americans will not make and benefit from future discoveries.

“President Obama understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America, has delivered on his promise to renew our faith in science-based decision making and has championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy. He has built strong programs to educate young Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and programs to provide Americans the training they need to keep pace with a technology-driven economy.

If you believe, as we do, that America’s future is bound in essential ways to science and innovation, we urge you to join us in working to ensure the reelection of President Obama.”

You can find the entire letter here. I would urge you to read it… and pass it around.

 

A few swing state poll updates for this afternoon…

Here are the latest polls from the battleground since our morning check:

Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA)

Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Grove Insight)

Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Gravis)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Gee, Florida and Virginia are both looking better for Obama.

Average of Swing State Polls w/electoral votes for this morning:

RCP Poll Average Electoral Votes
States Obama Romney Obama Romney
Colo.

47.7%

47.9%

0

9

Fla.

46.6%

49.1%

0

29

Iowa

49.0%

46.6%

6

0

Nev.

49.0%

46.0%

6

0

N.H.

47.8%

48.8%

0

4

N.C.

44.7%

50.3%

0

15

Ohio

48.1%

45.6%

18

0

Va.

48.0%

48.0%

0

13

Wis.

49.8%

47.0%

10

0

Swing-State Votes

40

70

Leaning/Likely State Votes

237

191

Total Overall Electoral Votes

277

261

Well, here we go again. TV pundits are saying it all depends on Obama winning Ohio… that’s the state that will make all the difference. I’m not sure I see it as a completely required Ohio win and nothing else.
Let’s see how things change after the Monday Night debate.

 

Wow! The Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Obama over Romney!

Here’s a surprise… the biggest Mormon area newspaper is endorsing Obama… here’s part of their editorial:

Obama has earned another term

Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state.

But it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son.

In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

 

So what is Romney and his bunch thinking after this editorial? Certainly he must feel betrayed… or maybe he will start seeing himself the way the rest of us see him as he switches from character to character.

Obama and Romney become humorists at the Al Smith Dinner…

Becoming comedians in the support of Catholic Charities at last night’s Al Smith Dinner in NYC, the candidates made fun of each other and of themselves. Here are their respective speeches in their entirety:

 

So what is the chance of Obama winning right now?

Bob Cesca published Nate Silver‘s graphic projecting the election winner which appeared in the NY Times. I’d like to reproduce it as well since it seems to show the start of a legitimate bounce for Obama after the last debate.

Here is Nate Silver’s most recent projection:

Monday’s debate (the last one) may give another push to Obama if he pulls of a victory as he did in the second round. And remember, the election is only 18 days away. Focus on both campaigns will become very tight in the next few days.

Some National Poll results for this morning:

Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:

Hartford Courant/UConn: Obama 48%, Romney 45%

Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 47%

Rasmussen: Obama 48%, Romney 48%

OK… very close on the National front. First time I’ve seen a polling result from my long lost home state, Connecticut (I say “long lost”, but I mean “very much missed.”)

 

Update on Battleground State Polls…

Here’s the afternoon update. Hey, Obama comes in ahead in Florida. Didn’t I say that would happen the other Day? And what do you think votes by women will do? Nothing, apparently, in North Carolina.

Colorado: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)

Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby)

Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 46% (EPIC-MRA)

Michigan: Obama 44%, Romney 41% (Denno Research)

North Carolina: Romney 52%, Obama 46% (Rasmussen)

Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)