Open Thread

Obama in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel

In a matter of days Obama will be heading off to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, a meeting with Palestinian leaders and a stopover in Europe including Germany, France and Britain. According to Rachel Maddow this trip is risky but brilliant.

Obama’s mission is to broadcast a message back home. At the same time there are a million and one local interest groups keen to leverage a moment in the sunshine, and therein lies part of the risk. For Europeans – Obama represent a historic moment in American history, and, the end of George W. Bush. It’s a feel good moment and Americans will enjoy feeling the love. Perhaps also, this is the moment where anti-American sentiment could turn in favor of the cousins.

18-JUL-08 Kuwait.
19-JUL-08 Kabul, Afghanistan.
21-JUL-08 Iraq.
22-JUL-08 Jordan.
23-JUL-08 Israel.
24-JUL-08 Berlin, Germany.
25-JUL-08 Paris, France.
26-JUL-08 London, England.

541 replies on “Obama in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel”

Swing Lowe at 398

It looks out of sync. to me. I heard there was Ohio PPP poll yesterday showing Obama up by 8. That sort of a difference just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Obama vows to work for Mideast breakthrough

AMMAN, Jordan – Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama stepped into the thicket of Mideast politics Tuesday, declaring in Jordan that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are strong enough internally to make the bold concessions necessary for peace.

Obama said that an ultimate resolution in the region is going to involve “two states standing side-by-side in peace and security and that the Israelis and the Palestinians are going to both have to make compromises in order to arrive at that two-state solution.”

Yet, he added, “One of the difficulties that we have right now is that in order to make those compromises you have to have strong support from your people. And the Israeli government right now is unsettled. …

“The Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas. And so it’s difficult for either side to make the bold move that would bring about peace the way, for example, the peace between Israel and Egypt was brought about. Those leaders were in a much stronger position to initiate that kind of peace.”

In particular, he said the United States should create “a greater sense of security among the Israelis, a greater sense that economic progress and increased freedom of movement is something that can be accomplished in the Palestinian territories and, with those confidence-building measures, that we get discussions back on track.”

Just a follow-up on the Ohio polling results – there is an interesting comment on a Huff Post article from someone with the nick ‘markkraft’:

Take a comparative look at the two polls…

PPP’s methodology says “PPP surveyed 1,058 likely voters from July 17th to 20th. The survey”s margin of error is +/-3.0%.”

Rasmussen’s site says “500 Likely Voters” with a sampling error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.

So, why the big discrepencies?

The Rasmussen poll was taken on a Monday, while the PPP poll was taken on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday. It’s been previously pointed out that Barack Obama does better on weekend polls. This is because calling on weekdays reaches more retired voters, while calling on weekends reaches the working class too. Also, many younger / poorer voters do not have landline phones, and rely on mobiles as their sole phone, which are often ignored by phone polls.

Lastly, Rasmussen’s model for what constitutes a “likely voter” is different than PPP’s. This isn’t just about raw responses, but about how the results are weighted, and which model is more accurate. In the case of Ohio, it should be pointed out that PPP was off by only 1.1% in the Obama/Clinton matchup, while Rasmussen was off by 4.1%. (RealClearPolitics)

Both polls can be outliers, but any statistician would favor the PPP poll, which has a larger sample taken over several days, and a better track record.

At least it gives some context from which we can rationalize the two polls (at least to some extent).

I find it hard to believe McCain is ahead by 10 points in Ohio! Obama though probably has to do a lot of campaigning in that state before November: a VP pick who appeals to white, working class voters would help his cause.
Edwards perhaps?

409 Progressive It has been statistically proven that, tactically the VP makes no difference in any marginal seat. The only difference VP makes is in already safe seats. Dick Cheney got added swing in his seat. Unfortunately I didn’t keep that article with the information that I read in the last couple of days.

re chris b at 394 it was funny to see the Iraq government scrambling to retract the remarks, saying that there was an error in the translation. It was pointed out on Lateline that Das Speigal had released the entire transcripts and that there were no errors in the translation: the Iraq pres backs Obama’s policy

415 Chris B

I heard a similar story on NPR and the number was…wait for it:

10,500 ex cons in Florida.

One guy got talking to fellow inside, and they went into business together. The state gave him a licence and he proceeded to defraud old and infirm clients to the tune of $3m.


Oh, yeah, his previous form: cocaine dealer.

But they didn’t discriminate, they even gave licences to bank robbers!

This wasn’t confined to Florida either.

416 Andrew

Why the Bush administration continues with these propaganda stunts when everyone knows they are doing it is beyond me.

Just who do they think believes a word they distort?

Good Afternoon, Bludgers. In transit so of necessity this dispatch is short.

1) Not in the least worried by the Rassmussen in Ohio, for reasons articulated by Catrina, but generally find them to be a bit “statistically incorrect” if not downright dodgy.

2) Awaiting with much anticiprtion Kirri’s debut thread:)

3) Toonies tomorrow night when I’ll probably be able to access a decent cyber station.

4) Best of all, been in BrisVegas today and have got the venue for Nov. 5 “nailed down”. The hunt has been a story in itself. Will spin the yarn “in due season”. Location is in Bowen Hills just a stone’s throw from the Valley. Got onto it after a friendly chat with a subby at the Courier Mail who took the phone call cold and picked up on my enthusiasm from the getgo.
“We have all our birthday bashes and chrissy parties there, it’s a great joint” she said.

She was right. Oodles of ambience. Oh yeah, we’ll have it from from 9AM onwards, so book your plane tickets!

More soon. Jusqua demain.

Just caught on News Radio on the way back home. McCain is winging about his treatment by the press. They are running film clips on there website of Obamas trip and people have to nominate a love song to go with the clip.

McCain has problems with a donor because:

For two years, Berkman had been battling his investment partners after admitting that he had lent himself $5 million of their money without telling them. A civil fraud case against him was about to go to trial.

Berkman continued to raise money for McCain. He and his wife have donated $50,000 to Republican candidates and party committees this election cycle, including a $28,500 check to the Republican National Committee’s Victory Fund on May 29 to support McCain’s bid. Berkman’s political generosity has angered his former investors, who prevailed in court but have not seen a penny of the $28 million in civil damages that a jury awarded them.

Further to the story at $420.

After months of frustration about what they see as fawning media coverage of Barack Obama, John McCain’s campaign went on the offensive Tuesday with a Web video called “The media is in LOVE with Barack.”

The montage features news anchors and correspondents discussing “Obamamania” to Frankie Valli tunes, including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” It was sent to supporters to raise campaign donations in a week when McCain has been largely overshadowed by coverage of Obama’s overseas trip.

Charging the media with “a bizarre fascination with Barack Obama,” the e-mail to supporters reads: “If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny.” Among the clips is MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews reacting to Obama’s speeches: “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I don’t have that too often.” Another clip showed Lee Cowan of NBC News telling the network’s anchor, Brian Williams, about the enthusiasm of Obama’s crowds: “It’s almost hard to remain objective, because it’s infectious.”,0,4463372.story

The whole ‘Rasmussen is dodgy’ thing you have to be consistent with. Not too many people here were saying ‘Rasmussen is dodgy’ when they reported big leads to O. has Obama down to a 58% win percentage for the election. It was already down to (at best) 64% before the Ohio poll, from a high of 70%. So forget the idea that it’s one safely-ignored rogue– the race was already tightening up. The Obama landslide states are disappearing: Georgia is down to a Texas-like 9%, little states like ND, SD and Alaska that should be providing McCain with headaches he doesn’t need are all on the wrong side of 20%. It would be dull to see the whole thing descend into a HRC-like Ohio, rust belt and Virginia pitched battle.

The best hope of avoiding that is Iowa plus Colorado plus New Mexico. Which would provide such a narrow margin of victory that he would have to save New Hampshire too. All of those states currently have him at 60%+ to win, so it’s realistic.

On the plus side for O, polls tend to be quite some period behind the news cycle (unless the news is cataclysmic), so there will be an uptime coming for O in the wake of the Middle East tour. Followed by another downtime for some presently obscure reason. And so it goes.

Still, until further notice: Obama’s kicking with a 2 goal breeze, but anyone’s game.

I should also note that Intrade still has Obama on 68% to win it. Fundamentally unchanged for the last 3 weeks.

So the next little bit will provide a great case study in whether the $ will gravitate to the polls, or keep finding their own level. I’ll welch it a bit and say that, if the polls stay static at their current level (a big if) the $ will move, but slowly– i.e. I’d expect an Obama win to hit 63% within the next 3 weeks.

423 SimonH When polls are trending one way and all of a sudden one goes off in the other direction, usually (but not always) others turn up trending the way the others are going.

427 gaffhook

That’s a stunner GH, but what he didn’t say was just how much Greenspan and Washington kept on spiking the punch!

Notice how the dumbarse audience kept laughing at it?

Here’s a country in financial ruin (with a lot more to come…but I probably do not have to tell you that! LOL), and these morons think it’s some kind of joke.



I have watched it about twenty times and ROTFFLOL every time he says “thats why i told you to turn off the cameras and there is still some Fkr filming him and the dumb C does not realize.
What a goose to be in charge of the Empire.

McBrainless will want the cameras turned off next time he gives a geography lesson.

It’s getting more comical than Jon Stewart FFS.

Hey folks 🙂

Looks like we have a new site, so perhaps its time to break my self imposed exile.

Frankly politics got a lot less exciting once the Democrat primaries were over.

I also look forward to how Catrina runs this site, as she at least seems to share my distaste with nonsensical posters such as EsJ.

All up it seems my predictions for the Democratic Primary tracked closely to the end result. Nothing much seems to have changed with my Obama prediction either, despite all the doomsayers.

So did I actually miss anything in the last few months?

Looking through this site, it appears that there is a distinct lack of abusive moronic posters such as the Green Grinch and EsJ.

That’s a nice refreshing change.

I warned William previously that those posters contributed nothing to his site, and would drive many intelligent posters away (which they did).

It looks like their self destructive behaviour led to their own demise!

Good riddance and I look forward to posting on this board.

Catrina, you have post, er mail, er I mean post! LOL

Anyway, I’ve sent it over, as I had some problem getting myself up on the right hand menu.

I’m sure you can handle it for me.


430 gaffhook

I’ve got to say it again…he is truly a very dull boy! LOL

Anyway, it got me thinking how these guys always give the game away by feigning ignorance. He knows, as do all of Washington, that they let this happen.

Tomorrow, Wall Street may wake up sober, but he unfortunately, will still be an idiot.

The Democrats have gained 700,000 people and the Republicans have lost 1 million in the 29 states that register voters by party. Obama can thank his lucky stars for this development, or better yet, thank Sen. Hillary Clinton for her spirited run and refusal to give up until the last dog died. By running the primary calendar to the very end, the Democrats kept registering voters across the whole country for months after the Republican nomination was over and Republicans stopped registered voters on a large scale. All those (Obama) Democrats who were moaning that Clinton’s refusal to give in was going to hurt the party need to eat a second helping of crow tonight. Her persistence led to huge registration gains which may serve the party well in November.

New polls, some gone pink. (But not for long).

432 asanque

G’day asanque, you’ve only missed the wonderful bonhomie and joviality of this delightful blog!

I’m not sure if its raunchy enough for you here! LOL

But maybe if the Presidential campaign hots up it will get more racy?

Anyway, welcome and good to see you here.

The Drudge Report ran a juicy item about the fact that only one reporter showed up to cover Republican John McCain at a campaign stop in New Hampshire the other day.

Just one.

The lonely print reporter from the Manchester Union Leader stood on the tarmac, waiting for McCain’s plane to land. McCain, obviously upset at being dissed by yet another meager media throng, didn’t stop to chat.

“Did you ever notice that when John McCain is on TV he’s always grumpy?” asked a colleague in the cafeteria who whispered, lest others denounce him for Barackian Thought Crimes.,0,1832802.column

Good to see you,Asanque,

Nice to see another familiar name.

Yep, this site has the best of PB without the bitchiness.

I still browse there for Oz topics and a few favourite

bloggers such as Bushfire Bill,et al, but so glad Catrina set

this site up .

Oh, and EC is organising a PB Election night get-to-gether

in Brisbane to cheer Obama past the winning post in

November-hope you can come. The more the merrier 🙂

Vanity Fair spoofs New Yorker cover.

In a little intramural joshing in the magazine world, Vanity Fair today posted a send-up of the by-now infamous New Yorker cover meant to be a satire of attacks on Barack Obama’s patriotism.

The New Yorker’s version showed Democrat Obama in Muslim garb fist-bumping his wife Michelle while the American flag burned in the fireplace under a portrait of Osama bin Laden.

I’m still perplexed by that Ohio poll! Something about it doesn’t seem right to me. Has McCain been campaigning/advertising a lot in that state recently?
How reliable are Rasmussen polls normally?
And Catrina: the supposed John Edwards story is a piece of shit, don’t believe it!

Progressive @ 442
“I’m still perplexed by that Ohio poll! Something about it doesn’t seem right to me. …”
It is probably a diebold dry-run, Progressive. We’ve had Tammany Hall, Gerrymanders, rotten boroughs, the property franchise, multiple voting, the Mugabe with pike, the Stalin list, the Country Party, the US Supreme Court and now the Diebold – a new synonym for rorting elections

Btw, I’m eagerly awaiting KR’s header.

I’ve been out of action on the whole, but still get to have a quick browse occasionally.

Just love surprises…

‘Mr Fitzgibbon told The Age that while Labor opposed the invasion of Iraq, Australia now had an obligation to help get the country on its feet.

He said that on his recent visit to the United States he assured senior members of the Bush Administration that Australia remained committed to the Iraq “project”.

That completes a comprehensive adjustment of the ALP’s policy on Iraq and a significant shift from the impression created by Labor in opposition that Australia’s role in Iraq was all but over.’

The oily doily rolls on, 25 dogs, the 3 wheeled wagon & Diogenes doing a ‘GG’ on ShamIam’s blog on the same day…exciting times…


Yep and for a three hour good old fashioned belly laugh you can see the video of the village idiot on the link at 427.

Like KR says above Wall street will wake up sober but he will remain forever a village idiot.

Morning all,

Codge, it may just be a sweetener/pacifier until Nov. – let’s hope the term ‘Iraq project’ has enough wriggle room to mean various things….
(says she,desperately staring at the half-full part of the glass)

When Obama (Diebold failing ) gets his footsies into the Oval office, just hope he can hold his nerve and stick to his current stated agenda.

Meanwhile, McSexist roams the country trying to appeal to women voters.

443 blindoptimist

Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting it too!

Catrina sent me a link to join as contributor but the damned wordpress form kept telling me I could not have upper case letters in my name!

The cheek!

So I’ve sent it to Catrina to post, but she’s obviously gone to the land of nod bigtime.

I expect she’ll emerge today sometime.

That’s Jindal out:

Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Jindal said, “Let me be clear: I have said in every private and public conversation, I’ve got the job that I want. And I’ll say again on air: I’m not going to be the vice presidential nominee or vice president. I’m going to help Senator McCain get elected, as governor of Louisiana.”

…I mean, why team up with a loser in bad Republican year?

This was no doubt an interesting meeting:

One anonymous source quoted in the daily Haaretz said Mr Olmert intended to give Obama a “full picture of Israeli intelligence vis-a-vis Iran, stressing the need to take rapid action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability”.

…and I wonder if Obama’s comments about Israel having the ‘right to defend itself’ was intended to stretch to pre-emptive strikes against a future, possible threat.

Oh, that’s right, the US has already tried that.

OK, Ive just read the info Catrina put up on Contributor accounts, and it seems I can change the name after setting up the account.

I’ve got to drop kids now, but will do it upon return, and with any luck we’ll be on a new thread.

Back soon.

This morning on the ABC AM program, in the Middle East their is a call center operating calling voters asking them to vote for Barack Obama. I assume they are calling Middle Eastern voters. It didn’t say.

US elections: Congressional Democrats aim to ride Obama wave to red-state victories.

New York senator Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Obama would boost Democratic Senate candidates in several targeted states, including Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina. Those states have large African-American populations expected to turn out in force for Obama.

Among the 16 heavily targeted Republican Senate seats, Schumer listed five in which the Democrat is ahead: Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia.

In six, Schumer put the Democratic candidate “even or close”: Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon. Another five historically Republican states are “not close yet but getting there”: Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Yes! Texas. The only state I could never see in play is the Mormon state of Utah. Mind you I had previously written off Texas and Alaska i any form.

Is McCain’s Age Showing? Tongues Wag Over Flubs.

We interrupt the nonstop coverage of Barack Obama’s overseas trip to bring you some breaking whispers about John McCain.

He has been making a series of verbal slips — invariably described as “gaffes” — that are starting to ricochet from liberal blogs to the mainstream media. And fairly or not, some critics are suggesting the 71-year-old Republican candidate is showing his age.

McCain referred to the “Iraq-Pakistan border” in a “Good Morning America” interview; since there is no such border, he must have meant Afghanistan-Pakistan. He has twice referred to Czechoslovakia, a country that ceased to exist in 1993; mixed up Sunnis and Shiites; and identified Vladimir Putin as president of Germany.

You must register for The Washington Post

The findings by the Associated Press-Ipsos poll provide the latest confirmation of how economic woes _ including job losses, rising inflation and the ailing financial and housing markets _ are dominating voters’ worries as this fall’s presidential election approaches.

Forty-four percent said the economy was the country’s most important problem, a small increase from the 39 percent who said so in April.,4670,TopProblemsAPPoll,00.html

What is a very noticeable difference between the Obama camps and the McCain camps is most people a smiling naturally around Obama. In the McCain camp, John actually looks miserable, and when he does smile it looks fake.

461 Jen

If I were Obi I wouldn’t let either Clinton get too close behind me.

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.”

Obama Bets $5 Million on Olympic Viewers.

Senator Barack Obama’s campaign will spend $5 million on advertisements during NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympic Games next month, an NBC spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

“Both the scale and the scope makes Obama’s buy unprecedented,” said Evan Tracey, the chief operating officer of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks advertising spending. “This is going beyond the battleground states; this is coverage that the entire country sees. It sort of validates his 50-state posture.”

You must register for NY Times.

There is noway McCain can compete with that, if he tries Obama just runs another one, McCain then won’t have any money for that one.

True enough dogb! The irony is I reckon they need him more than he needs them these days. – they are already irrelevant.
They are part of the Old Order and globally people want it to end.
This is going to be an effing wipeout!!

even the dumbest of people can evntually learn. Look at all those liberal voters who finally got what a prick JWH actually was- took them 11 years!!

Not necessarily a wipeout. Ohio us swinging to McCain, Virginia is even stevens and Penn is within range for McCain. And the polls seem to be tightening a tiny bit. Have a look at the super tracker on

It is still a big ask for McCain, but he is in a better position today than he was a month ago (not that that would be too hard.)

My feeling has always been that if McCain can win Ohio, Virginia and Michigan he wins the election. I had always discounted Penn as a realistic chance. But those polls are close – too close for my liking.

On a brighter note, Florida looks like a realistic possibility.

471 Jen – Did they wake up? Or did enough of Howard’s rusted ons just up and die?

Logic tells me Obi’s a dead cert but today I’m just in a pessimistic mood I guess. Sometimes I think it’s just not possible to underestimate the collective intelligence of the human race.

polls,schmolls. It’s my psephologically -intuitive bladder you need to be listening to.
And no one in ther right mind is going to vote for a cadavre over a vibrant , intelligent and WINNING opponent (we’re talking the US remember – winning matters).

I know dogb.
just watch commercial television for 5 minutes and the idiocy of humanity comes home with a resounding thump.
However I’m feeling optimistic today so bear with me. It will no doubt change if I happen to accidentally glance at 2 minutes of Today Tonight.


Do you have evidence that the majority of voters are in their right minds? 😉

These polls confirm to me that this election will be damn close, and we Obama supporters shouldn’t be getting carried away with thoughts of electoral landslide victories.
McCain might be a doddering old fool, but the Republican Party’s capacity to swiftboat an opponent and the collective stupidity of Americans can never be discounted.


Off topic,

notice you have mastered the wink – how do you do that?

Is there a link for all these emoticony things?

semi-colon and bracket is the winking smilie. I do not know why it comes up as an emoticon – I’ve done nothing special, as far as I know.

By the way, to the optimist/pessimist thing: I have never been one who felt that this was going to be easy for Obama. Back on pollbludger, I predicted that it would all come down to Ohio, which Obama would win.

All those who talked about rewriting the electoral map were always dreaming. If you look at the polls, the only two southern states that Obama really has a shot in are Virginia and Florida. Sure, he is going to win Iowa, and Colorado and Nevada. But they are not map changing states.

Having said that, Obama is going to win. But it is going to be close.

No Catrina in sight today (or should that read: in site today? LOL)

Anyway, I’ve got to buzz off, so I guess we won’t get our new thread until this evening.

I’ve ‘enrolled’ successfully now, so it’s only requiring our good and kindly mistress to unlock the Contributor’s door for me.

See you then.

I concede that I missed Missouri. However, do you concede that there will be no massive change in the electoral map with this election? There will be change, but it will be around the edges.

I think that states that are going to change for sure are Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Apart from that Ohio is the one that I am banking on, although it would be great if Virginia, Missouri and Montana came with them. 🙂

472 David Gould The trend is in the other direction. The polls are just starting to trickle out, for the tour. Nothing has kicked in for Obama yet.

Hey doggy – thanks for thesmiley page… always felt jealous of those people who could wink and nod on line.
As for the closeness of theresults – it’s fun to dream, but I do think there is a cutural shift happening that is more than the usual politicking. Not beacuse of polls, but becuase ofthe kind of conversationspeole are having, the kind of siiues taht evne the MSM are addressing and the response that a US politcal figure is generating around the world – all anecdotal, but life isn’t actually about numbers and polls( which must just about Adam Carr):D

Chris B,

With the 2006 election, people were not voting for president. People vote differently for the Senate and the HOR than they do for President – just look at the numbers for Bill Clinton, and even Reagan. He won every state. Did the Republicans sweep the board in Congress? No.

And on that boston thing, do you seriously think that Obama is going to win Arizona, Alaska and Arkansas plus even more states? Nonsense.

492 DG

No argument, I’ve never claimed otherwise.

I do think the polls are currently underestimating Obi’s vote due to inaccurate compensation for the increased mobile phone usage. And given that, if he should win all the states mentioned I think the win would be ‘comfortable’ right?

497 Jen

Welcome for the smiles.

As for the results, I dream about a slaughter but I’ll take win, any win.

Comments are closed.