Barack Obama is...

Dear LOLiticians,

Today, I spotted "Hillary Clinton Should..." on Reddit. Some mighty fine suggestions, Google. But, what about Barack Obama? What should he do? Google said nothing in response, so I asked "Barack Obama Is..." and here is what I got:

A nice little mash-up of complete ignorance, internet meme-dom, and mack-daddiness. Nice showing, Google.


WSJ Weighs In

The Democrats Have a Nominee, so says Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, based on two key endorsements Obama picked up after the Pennsylvania primary. Henninger's notes are far too abbreviated to make a good article but he makes a few interesting points in it.

Near the end he concludes that Democrats, dreading more Clinton administration fundraisers, will nominate the candidate who can raise his or her own money.

Pundit Kitchen

This LOLitics website called Pundit Kitchen looks like it's worth a visit...

Yet Another Reason the Media Coverage Annoys Me

The article link I saw on Yahoo regarding the primary this morning? "Clinton win tightens delegate race". She's behind by about 160 delegates. She won around 10 more than he did last night. She cut less than 10 percent of his lead in her last, best shot to make inroads. But the race "tightened"? Sheesh. The Sox have a 10 run lead, but it gets cut to 9 going into the eight innning. Oooooh. The game got tighter all of a sudden. Puh-leeze.

Closing the deal

Wasn't Hillary the front-runner for basically a year? Why can't she close the deal?



I laughed, I cried, etc.

By using clips from Rocky I the creator can add an appropriate epilogue no matter who wins the Democratic nomination.

Clinton in the red?

Apparently Hillary Clinton's campaign has more debt than money. Is anybody else nauseated by the amount of money spent by these campaigns? It's like a fifteen-month feeding frenzy of resources.

I guess other people are disgusted by it, or we wouldn't have calls for campaign finance reform. What a freakin' waste.

It's Pennsylvania Eve...

...and I'm tired of hearing about Clinton's "consistent 5% lead" in that state. They keep reporting it as though it's statistically significant in the grand scheme of things.

Are all members of the media still completely ignorant of how Democratic delegates are awarded? Or are they too math-impaired to understand that a 5% lead in votes will give her only a 5% lead in delegates within that state, which will still keep her at a large disadvantage nationwide?

It's as if you're reporting on some really terrible baseball team that has a slim chance of winning its next game. Go ahead and hype them if you want to, but don't report the story as though it means they have a shot at the World Series. (No matter how much they and their manager want it to mean that.)

"The Boss" Certainly Sounds Elitist

Funny fake ad created by Slate:

In other news, Obama picks up more conservative Democrat support from Bloomberg-supporters and armed services/foreign relations heavyweights Sam Nunn and David Boren. (Carpetbagger Report)

This continues to be one of the most striking features of this campaign - the tendency of politicians who do or did make their careers on the votes of people from small towns and rural areas to come out for Obama. - (Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo)

I've always been highly skeptical of Hillary Clinton's argument that she's a stronger candidate in rural areas and red states. But the pols who know these areas best seem to be even more confident she's wrong than I do.

Hillary is just as boring as the Pope

One of two interesting things that happened to me today when I was down in DC on business. Getting ready to leave the hotel and check out, I step into the elevator for the long trip down to the lobby. The only other person there is a young cameraman with a media pass, carrying his equipment and minding his own business.

"Off to the stadium to set up for the Pope?" I ask, assuming he's like every other media weenie crawling through the place.

"Naaah, spending the day chasing Hillary," he replies nonchalantly.

"That sounds more interesting," I comment, and mean it.

"'s just as boring."

***Ding*** Door opens, cameraman smiles and walks out.

Media Party

David Brooks gave his assessment of last night's debate in the NYT today with his article "No Whining About the Media."

His assessment is that the media did a great job, because it is their job to make the candidates uncomfortable. And if they can make Obama uncomfortable, it's a big win.

After watching the first half hour of the debate, I don't agree. And he would probably tell you I am a whiny Obama supporter, because whiny Obama supporters didn't like the questions which were asked of the candidates. But, I'm going to whine anyway.

I disagree that it's the media's job to make a candidate uncomfortable. If that were so, then they could just make them debate in wet clothes, or under a heat lamp, or with sand in their shoes. No, it's the media's job to help us understand the issues and force the candidates to face those issues. And in that process, the media should not be averse to make politicians uncomfortable. But the discomfort of candidates is a probable result of the media doing their job, not an end unto itself as David Brooks describes it.

But what about the argument that there is value in seeing the candidate's reactions when faced with opposition-party talking points because placing them under pressure is revealing?

I agree that any time you see a candidate react, you are learning something about that candidate. But am I to understand that the candidates' positions on relevant issues are unassailable? Should I accept that the only way to knock them off kilter is to elevate the issue of wearing a flag lapel pin to the same forum in which you discuss our men and women dying in another country or families that are in financial jeopardy as a result of the current administration's failed policies?

The only excuse here is laziness or sensationalism. And what we end up with is the acceptance of opposition party talking points as "news" and the all-too-familiar race to the bottom that we call national political news coverage.

If Obama supporters are not to be trusted in their assessment of the debate, and Clinton supporters are also seeing this with a partisan eye, I have to say that Brooks is suffering from his own bias which is pro-sensationalism. By all means hold their feet to the fire, but why not make it about the issues?

Protest is Patriotism

Dear Regimites,

I'm less active here than I want to be - but thesis time is almost over, so I'll be making fun of politicians and political (in)action again soon enough.

In the meantime, I would like to recommend everyone try to catch the John Adams miniseries on HBO. If you don't have HBO, find someone who does. To watch a better retelling of the revolution than I had ever seen in classes or on my own before, is inspiring. However, it is also completely depressing.

How can it be both inspiring and depressing? "John Adams" follows some of the most important patriots in our nations birth, from the eyes of the Adams family. It's very depressing because I cannot believe just how twisted the words of the forefathers has gotten. Especially in recent times and regimes.

After watching the series, it feels like we need a new revolution. It feels like the forefathers expected nothing less than another revolution or two.


Last Minute Quiz

Here's a quiz for people having trouble deciding between Obama and Clinton.

It came up Obama for me, and that was no surprise. I found this quiz on Verbatim, and I have to agree with Karen's comment that she would have liked to have seen the answers broken out by candidate. That said, if you've watched the debates you likely know where the two candidates stand on these different issues.

For most of us, it's a little late to be deciding anyhow. but I love a good quiz.

If anyone ends up with Clinton, let me know. So far, nobody I know has scored "Clinton" leading me to believe that either the test is rigged or Democrats really favor Obama's positions in a blind test. Of course, none of the questions were "Do you prefer a president who will be corrupt on day one, or do you prefer it to take a few years for your president to become cynical?"

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The candidates on Iraq

This is an interesting Op-Ed in the NYT. I think most Americans probably have no clue what's going on in Iraq, and the opinions probably fall either on the side of "we need a victory, we won't retreat!" to "we started it, we need to take responsibility and finish it," to "we made a huge mistake, it's costing us a huge amount of money, and we need to get out," very simplistic and general. What's going on? "The surge is working," or "the surge didn't work," or "people are dying, there's still civil war." Probably not much more. My level of understanding isn't much deeper because that is not a strong point for me, and I don't see a lot of point in trying to learn every detail of what's going on in Iraq -- I don't even know if it's possible for us to really know what's going on, because I don't know how much is reported and how much of what's reported is true.

But this op-ed piece basically says that Democrats have to stop saying that McCain wants to be in Iraq for another 100 years because it's avoiding the real issues, and the real issues are really bad. That's my summary. But the piece is replete with details about recent events that are pretty horrifying, as usual.

To err is screw things up takes a talk show host! nationally syndicated talking head that is...

Ed Schultz, host of a nationally syndicated radio program that is based in Fargo, N.D., was warming up the crowd Friday at a $100-a-person fundraiser for the North Dakota Democratic party in Grand Forks when he tagged the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting as a "warmonger," Schultz acknowledged in a telephone interview Saturday.

Senator Obama, being the decent and intelligent individual he is, was quick to condemn the remarks.


The roles were reversed in February, when McCain quickly condemned the anti-Obama remarks of conservative talk radio host Bill Cunningham when he spoke at a McCain campaign rally. Cunningham referred repeatedly to Obama using his full name — Barack Hussein Obama — and called him a "hack, Chicago-style" politician.

Story here

So good on both of them for doing the right thing, but really - what the Hell were they thinking allowing these idiots to speak in the first place?

Lots to Be Excited About

Screenshot from Google News:

Someone's thrilled to be on his way out!

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Reason #93485794263413240 Why I'm Not Voting For John McCain (and Neither Should You ...)

At age 47, you have to learn about "the issue" that is Martin Luther King, Jr.? WTF?!?

New 3am Spot

John McCain just said the government shouldn't take any real action on the housing crisis. He'd let the phone keep ringing," the narrator says. "Hillary Clinton has a plan to protect our homes, create jobs. It's 3 a.m., time for a president who's ready."

Now here's Clinton with an ad I can appreciate. And I think she's right. I'd much prefer her approach than McCain's which seems to be "let the recession come and the chips fall where they may."

We know how those chips tend to fall, don't we? They fall hardest on the people least able to handle hard times.

Bush Bears Brunt of Boos at Ballpark Beginner

Bush threw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game, and received more than a few boos for his trouble.

I saw this in a number of places online, including The Board at the NYT site.

Watching the video made me sad. Not because Bush has to face his lack of popularity. After hiding away for so long and only speaking to vetted, friendly crowds or people who are under orders to hold their tongues, Bush ought to know what people think when he ventures outside the bubble. No, it made me sad that this guy chose such a divisive course that you can't even get away from his bad decisions at a baseball game.

If they'd wanted people to cheer, they ought to have announced him this way:

"Throwing out the first pitch is President George W. Bush, soon on his way out of the country's highest office. Let's have a round of applause."

Here's a question. Why didn't he pitch that first pitch to Lo Duca, who was opening catcher for the game? Duca was, reportedly, looking forward to catching a pitch from the president.

"It'll be cool," he said. "It's something you'll always remember."

Is it because steroids taints everything?

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Calming Effect of Maureen Dowd

Dowd has a column in today's NYT entitled "The Hillary Waltz" in which she exhorts us to accept Hillary's tough campaign as a kind of crucible for Obama. After seeing Obama give an amazing speech in the wake of the Reverend Wright flap, I have to say I continue to be surprised at hoe events in a camopaign unfold.

My concern about the length of this Democratic nomination process has started to be about giving the party time to organize before the convention. But when I look at the ride Obama's had, it looks to me like he's improving as a candidate. And that can only mean good things when he eventually faces McCain, as I expect will eventually happen.

True, McCain has had some political cover during this time, because of the attention on the Democrats. But polls now and gaffs now don't matter much. McCain is already the nominee for the Republicans, so he's not going to disappear after a couple of gaffes. Mistakes are more critical during the endgame of the campaign, which is another reason why airing "dirty laundry" is best done now than later.

Of course, there is the important question of whether Democrats will be united behind their eventual nominee. I think that depends a lot on the runner up.

Democrats getting jittery about the alienating effects of the endless soap opera they call their campaign should buck up. These "hand-wringers," as the Hillary strategist Harold Ickes calls them, are not seeing the larger picture. [...]

One of the most valuable lessons the gritty Hillary can teach the languid Obama - and the timid Democrats - is that the whole point of a presidential race is to win.

It's not to share power, or force the squabbling couple into an arranged marriage. The winner wins, even if it's only by a fraction of a percentage point or one Supreme Court justice. Winning has no margin of error, as the Democrats should have learned by now. And the winner gets to decide his or her running mate.

Perhaps the problem is just that. For those of us on the sidelines, many of us would just like to see an end to the Bush legacy. Despite McCain's attempts to distance himself from the president on things that are barely on this year's issue radar screen, McCain will be a third term of Bushhit when it comes to things that are most important. And we're worried about all of the Republican chops-licking over a Hillary nomination. And some of us are just plain worried that the Democratic party may not be what we hope it could be with Hillary in the lead.

All this makes some of us pretty damn nervous. Winning has no margin of error, so forgive us a little hand wringing over here. We're looking down the barrel of another four years of ulcers. Isn't that worth a little emotion? But I do appreciate the reassurances. And I hope she is correct.

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She's ****ing Obama

Warning: the videos in this post may be NSFW for reasons of "language." Technically, they could be broadcast on television because the language is bleeped out. I'm warning you anyhow.

Have you seen the "prank" that Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon pulled on Jimmy Kimmel? If you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And then you've probably also seen Jimmy Kimmel's response.

If you enjoyed those, you might love this new song:

I know I laughed. I'm still laughing.

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Today's Conspiracy Theory

Aren't Americans tired of this nonsense yet?

Clinton: Obama wants to stop votes

In a series of television interviews in states holding upcoming contests, Clinton vowed to press on with her campaign and suggested Obama and his supporters wanted to keep those states from playing a role in selecting the party's presidential nominee.

"My take on it is a lot of Senator Obama's supporters want to end this race because they don't want people to keep voting," she told CBS affiliate KTVQ in Billings, Mont. "That's just the opposite of what I believe. We want people to vote. I want the people of Montana to vote, don't you?"
I'd like to think we're drawing closer to Hillary Clinton's own Welch/McCarthy moment:
"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
But I can't imagine anyone in the press interviewing Clinton and calling her out about her classless antics and straw men.