I may have mentioned this before but I am a gamer, was born that way I think, since one of my earliest memories involves me getting up at 4am to play this RPG on a 486 (A really old computer). Anyway I heard about the release of a new game by Stardock Games called the Political Machine 2008 and decided to give it a try. This game puts in you in the role as your candidates campaign manager where you get to decide where your candidate goes and how much he or she spends. I initially wanted to see an Obama/McCain match-up but you are not allowed to do that in campaign mode so I think I need to finish the whole game before I can play against a computer-controlled McCain. Here was my first matchup:
I was initially caught off guard by the complexity of this game as you are required to generate money, give speeches, and manage your opponent’s success. The hardest part of the game was figuring out what strategy to take; in this instance I decided to go for the big states and even tried to turn Texas blue but former President Grant refused to relinquish his hold on the state. With one week to go until the general election, this is what the polling data looked like:
The blue states show my likely wins while the red show former President Grant’s likely wins. Of course Senator Obama won. Here is the victory shot:
I defeated former President Grant decisively however it must be noted that it is going to get even more difficult as the game progresses. I also outspent him by $2 million dollars which begs the question in reality, does Senator Obama’s money edge give him a better chance of winning?
This game is by no means a comprehensive simulation but it gives me an idea of how important a role money can play in a campaign. Getting your message out there is critical and can really help change the minds of voters regarding a candidate. One year ago, I would have said that Senator Obama needed all the money he could get to help spread awareness about who he is and what he stands for howoever awareness is not the issue at the moment. The current issue is the far-left feeling that Senator Obama has betrayed them when he has done what every other political candidate has done before him, move towards the center in order to ensure the greatest appeal to the largest number of voters. The key at the end of the day for us liberals is that we get a Democrat in office, is it not?
Today is a sad day in Africa, Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a 6th term in a country that is falling apart. Some people even argue this fact which is beyond understanding since the numbers tell the story; 3 million Zimbabwean refugees live in South Africa. That is 25% of the countries population as Zimbabwe is rumored to contain just over 12 million people according to a July 2008 estimate. Can you imagine a quarter of a population being forced to leave their own country? Shouldn’t that give an indication to the President that things are not good?
Not in the fantasy land of Robert Mugabe where he might term these 3 million people “malcontents.” The situation is even tougher because of the politics involved. Robert Mugabe is well regarded in Africa for fighting for independence for his country therefore the leaders of the African Union give him a wide bearing. This is understandable but antiquated, how can the leaders of the AU abide by the level of violence and intimidation that preceded the election?
We can rule out an intervention from the U.K because they have their military committed to Afghanistan and Iraq with insufficient capacity for an effective operation in Zimbabwe. Can you imagine the headlines if they did act?
Ex-colonial power reasserts control in Zimbabwe…
The U.S could probably go in with some sort of military force but the PR fallout from such an action would be slightly less than the U.K. The only solution is for the AU leaders to combine their military might and send in a peacekeeping force to ensure free and fair election. Action is not likely to occur soon therefore I urge everyone to write to their designated South African ambassador in their respective countries and urge a greater effort to remove Robert Mugabe since “quiet diplomacy” is currently showing no progress. The address of the South African Ambassador in Washington:
Ambassador Welile Nhlapo
4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Van Ness Building, Suite 2200
I first decided to purchase this book when I heard about its imminent release on crooksandliars.com however there is a distinct shortage of books focusing on the political situation in America in Ireland. That is not too hard to explain given that there are only 4.4 million people in Ireland and it is simply logic to only sell the books that people want. Needless to say I was forced to order this from amazon.co.uk for about 15 pounds which is close to $30. I know that sounds a bit pricey to pay for a hardcover but I believe that books are slightly more expensive in Europe.
The title of the book is “Right Is Wrong” written by Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, I don’t think many people have not heard about her but she runs the biggest online newspaper in America. The Huffington Post is the bane of many Republicans but the best place to read liberal news if you are a liberal like myself. The book has received mixed reviews on amazon.com with 9 people giving it a 5 star rating, 1 person giving it a 4 star rating and the other 6 people giving it below 3 stars.
The book is 331 pages in length divided into 15 chapters and took me just over a month to read. It is well researched with the occasional generalization that is blatantly obvious but helps drive the point home. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any liberal or independent who is debating about which party to support in the general election. The author touches on some valuable points with regards to immigration and healthcare with the last chapter focusing on Senator McCain.
Some of you may immediately think that this is another Republican/GOP bashing book but a startling fact that I found out while reading this book is that Mrs. Huffington is a former Republican and has actually travelled on the straight talk express. She knows John McCain and would actually have supported him if he had not “lost his soul” as she claims while courting the radical right. If you support John McCain, I would encourage you to purchase this book just for the last chapter where she compares the old John McCain to the new one and I have to say I would have supported the old Senator McCain after reading that chapter.
That being said, the new Senator McCain is not what America needs but I believe I have hammered this point home in earlier posts. The book is filled with valuable content so it is hard to choose one favorite passage but here is the best of the best:
The Right is wrong on immigration because they favor continued tough talk over policy reform. One suspects that a hidden reason the Right is wrong on immigration is their need for a scapegoat to divert attention from their massive failures in domestic and foreign policy. There’s a simple way to transform all these jobs American’s don’t want to do into jobs Americans would love to do: raise the wages for them. At a certain price, anyone would clean a toilet.
Out of all the politically inclined books I have reviewed on this site so far, this is by far the longest and the best. It is not everyone’s cup of tea but I would still give it an 8 out of 10 for excellent content but not 100% factually correct on some issues.
I seem to be in a conspiratorial mood these last few days so here is my latest theory… What if after Senator Obama clinched the democratic nomination, a deal was struck where Senator Clinton was promised the Vice Presidential slot on the Democratic ticket in the general election. I know that sounds highly improbable but let’s reason it out, Senator Clinton received a lot of votes during the primary process and given the beating both Senator’s gave each other, the easiest way to ensure unity would be to have them both on the same ticket. Senator Clinton has expressed interest in this as have some of her supporters and political pundits have used the term “dream ticket” since both Senator’s were in a dead heat during the primary process and combined, they would be a force to be reckoned with.
This might just be the media talking for me at the moment since when I think back to the election coverage, I am remember hearing the term “dream ticket” at least once a week. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Senator Clinton is going to be the on the same ticket with Senator Obama in the general election. Here are my reasons:
Both Senator’s would appeal to the entire democratic base which has surpassed the republican base in terms of turnout during the primary process. It is this turnout that many claim will be the nail on the coffin in the general election for the Republicans
Both Senator’s appeal to different segments of the American population and could potentially steal voters from the Republicans in the general election.
Senator Obama is essentially the leader of the Democratic party but the Clinton’s and their supporters form a sizable part of that party.
The fallout from a Clinton Vice Presidency would be minimal with the most likely outcome still being a win for the Democrats
Listen to how Senator Obama talked up Senator Clinton in his nomination victory speech and in New Hampshire, that is going to set the tone for future campaigning together.
Many of you may remember The McCain Memo where senior adviser Steve Schmidt admitted testing new lines of attack through independent pro-Clinton communities. I was using the wonderful tools available at domaintools.com when I discovered that the three things that link johnmccain.com, hillaryis44.org and dems4mccain.info is that their registrations are private and all registered with the company DomainsByProxy.com which I find curious except that they are also based in Senator McCain’s home state of Arizona. Some of you may be able to write that off as co-incidence but when you think about the fact that every domain registrar on the planet offers private registrations, why did all 3 of these domains go with that one specific company?
DomainsByProxy is affiliated with Godaddy.com, who is the No.1 shared hosting provider in North America and also the host of my domain and website. That affiliation does mean that they sell for GoDaddy but are not owned by GoDaddy. DomainsByProxy essentially allows the owner of a domain to keep his/her registration information private unless requested to be released by a subpoena or police authority. My theory is that Senator McCain and his campaign have orchestrated a co-ordinated attack against Senator Obama using dems4mccain.info and hillaryis44.org. These sites are to incite the minor ‘crazy’ segment of the Hillary base while drawing in those who are already shifting to Senator Obama. These sites have no rhyme or reason and do not provide an alternative to Senator Obama but simply encourage people to support Senator McCain even though he has “flip-flopped” so many times on so many issues that I am not sure whether he is a liberal or conservative.
My point here is that Senator McCain should make available the public registrant information for his website unless he has something to hide? Senator Obama certainly has done so: