Stupid is as Stupid Does ...


John McCain plans on spending the next couple of weeks making the pitch that his family history makes him the most obvious choice when it comes to picking the next COMMANDER IN CHIEF!!!1!11!eleventy!!11!

Republican presidential candidate John McCain took a stroll down memory lane on Monday, opening a tour to show Americans the places where he grew from rebellious youth to war hero and politician.

Granted -- his father, and grandfather DID serve the country honorably.
A weeklong "Service to America" tour for McCain began on Monday in Mississippi, where generations of McCains were born and raised on land that had been in the family since 1848.

But while we're looking into John McCain's storied past -- should we not ALSO consider the fact that John McCain's family was down with slavery?
... like, big time?

The family's storied military history stretches back to Carroll County, Miss., where McCain's great-great grandfather William Alexander McCain owned a plantation, and later died during the Civil War as a soldier for the Mississippi cavalry.

But what McCain didn't know about his family until Tuesday was that William Alexander McCain had owned 52 slaves. The senator seemed surprised after Salon reporters showed him documents gathered from Carroll County Courthouse, the Carrollton Merrill Museum, the Mississippi State Archives and the Greenwood, Miss., Public Library.

Of course it wouldn't be fair to judge John McCain because his ancestors owned slaves. That being said, it's also not fair to judge McCain based upon the fact that his ancestors were admirals. If you want to run for president, present YOUR OWN credentials, and we'll give them the once-over. Save the "my grand-daddy was a so-and-so" for your grandkids.

That is -- unless you want a FULL evaluation of the family history.

$330.00?

I'm not sure how long this eBay listing for Obama Miracle Toast will last now that the auction has ended.



Apparently it costs $4.00 to ship a flat-rate piece of toast to anywhere in the continental breakfast United States.

Now I'm all hungry.

Obamaball

CNN - Obama will play 3-on-3 basketball to register Indiana voters

Obama's staff is hoping the chance to play a game of 3-on-3 pick-up with the presidential candidate will entice Indiana high school students to register their friends to vote in the state's May 6 contest. Every student that signs up at least 20 new voters before Indiana's April 7 registration deadline will be eligible to be picked to play against Obama in a game the campaign is calling "The 3-on-3 Challenge for Change."
It's hard to top George W. Bush's "drink me under the table" contest from 2000 but I'll give Obama points for creativity.

But that's EXACTLY what a robot would say

I'd be much happier writing about some cool thing that Obama has done lately, but as Mr. Spock once said, it's always been easier to destroy than to create. In the time it takes Obama to do one exceptional thing, like give the kind of speech you are lucky to hear once in a lifetime, Hillary Clinton is able to commit multiple estupideces, which she then addresses even more stupidly.

Here's a recent example - she tells a story that later turns out to be at significant odds with what actually happened. When footage shows up that proves her wrong, she says she "misspoke."

(About gunfire? How do you "misspeak" about getting shot at? You tend to remember these things when they happen, and you tend to not-remember them when they don't. That makes it easy to not-describe them by mistake later on. At least I assume so. That has been my experience.)

After people continue to poke at her for this, she says:

"So I made a mistake... That happens. It proves I'm human, which you know, for some people, is a revelation."
Heh. Anyone can say they're human.

The article goes on to say that she tried to change the subject to other things, like tax cuts for retirement plan contributions. Yeah. But she had time to talk about Obama's church the other day, though, didn't she? And didn't she accuse him of trying to change the subject?

...after a few minutes of ranting about this, I am filled with self-loathing. I struggle not to use traditional woman-bashing words like "weak" and "hysterical" in reference to the tone and quality of her remarks. I ask myself, why am I picking on this unfortunate woman when I should be picking on McCain - the real threat?

But the loathing wears off quickly, because I know there will be time to pick on McCain later - time for me, and time for Clinton if she is so inclined, unless she'd prefer to be his campaign manager instead. Until then, I'll give McCain credit for knowing when to STFU.

I've finally found my candidate...



...finally! No more searching, thinking, and researching. If I'm going to go nucking futs anyway, I'll go with this guy!

Wright Support from Clinton's Pastor

When this pastor Wright flap hit, some on this blog gave Senator Clinton props for having the class not to jump on that ridiculous bandwagon. This was judging by her surrogates' statements on the weekend shows. I gave her the benefit of the doubt that her restraint was because of her character, not strategy.

Yesterday, Julie noted some new statements from Senator Clinton which show me the folly of giving Senator Clinton the benefit of the doubt. Clinton now feels it's a worthy issue in the campaign, and finds it important to note that she would have left the church, had that been her church.

Well, now her pastor is defending Wright against the distortion of his character. From a published comment on the matter --

To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence.

Hat tip to David on this story. What an opportunity for Senator Clinton to step up and show us what she really thinks instead of just telling us. Her pastor is defending Wright on strong terms. Will Hillary stand for this?

Senator Clinton hopes to keep the story in the news, perhaps preferring it to the suggestion that she's been lying about specific experiences in her experience -- a subject nobody has, before now, even mentioned on this ostensibly Hillary-hating blog. I think it's clear by now this isn't about Hillary hate. It's a kind of political karma. She's throwing mud and it keeps splashing back on her.

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WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT!!!

Kudos to Keri this morning who, on the radio, maneuvered Barry into defending pedophiles. If Catholics shouldn't be faulted for donating money to the Church which went to defending pedophile priests in the courts, then a presidential candidate can't be held accountable for some comments his pastor made.

"WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT! WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT!!!" said Barry, who would rather defend pedophiles than admit Obama should be cut some slack. Why is Obama's issue different? As Barry described it, hate speech is apparently worse than pedophilia.

"WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT!"

Apparently, Keri, you hit a nerve.

[My own position is that individual congregants do not bear the responsibility for minority behavior among their pastors or preisthood. The caricature floated in the media is not all Senator Obama knew of his church, and likewise the pedophiles are not all Catholics know of their church.]

Obama/Clinton '08?

Today's Maureen Dowd column raises the possibility of an Obama/Clinton ticket again, claiming that some Clinton supporters were suggesting it would be something Hillary might accept the vice presidency rather than have to face a Senate full of supporters who jumped ship.

Considering the Clinton camp's focus on experience over everything else, including judgment, this should be a big win. Her experience fits the vice presidency.

Do you think she'd actually want to be vice president? Would you want to see an Obama/Clinton ticket?

David Brooks on Clinton's 5% chance

David Brooks writes an opinion piece in the Times this morning:

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.
The "five percent" figure is Brooks' own, based on a 10% figure quoted by one of Clinton's aides before the week went so badly for her in terms of superdelegate support.

Listen Clinton, I don't like what I see...

James Carville says Richardson is Judas for supporting Obama. And he stands by that.

I think that's ironic, considering that in my favorite song from Jesus Christ Superstar, sung by the character of Judas, has Judas warning his longtime friend that he's letting ambition get in the way of their original message and putting them all in jeopardy as a result.



I'm not particularly bothered by Carville's colorful comment. It's politics. It must be frustrating to lose supporters, but they should be thanking him that he didn't announce this before Texas.

It does give me a chance to enjoy this song again.

Fox Anchor Feels My Frustration

This is the most amazing thing. On the Huffington Post. You actually now have individual Fox anchors who have become fed up with the Obama-bashing on their own network.

How fed up? So fed up that, during a discussion when Steve "D-bag" Doocy and Gretchen "Yoo-hoo! Floods!" Carlson are trying to twist Obama's comment about his grandmother into a racist statement, Brian Kilmead tries to inject a sane viewpoint and "worlds collide" as they say on Seinfeld.

The video is simply unbelievable.

It's like what I wish would happen every day I watch Fox by mistake! Except, in this case, it really happened!

Kudos to Kilmead for at least trying to talk sense; you've surprised me Brian! I am going to make some popcorn and watch this again!

Fog of War Hawks

WTF? This is supposed to be our "strong on foreign policy" Republican candidate?

[McCain] said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq.

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back." [...]

A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."

Oh, we have to elect this guy, if only for the humor value of having Lieberman stand next to him for all of his speeches and whisper corrections in his ear.

Crooks and Liars has the lowdown on Obama's reaction, and points out that this might be a good time for Hillary to publicly modify her opinion about McCain's "experience."

UPDATE: Lest you excuse this as McCain just misspeaking, his campaign is lying about it, which is clear from the transcript, and he's repeating the mistake. Maybe he just likes the scare-value of saying "al Qaeda" in a crowded theater.

Hey, enough about religion, typical white people, etc.

...have any of our illustrious candidates spoken of how they'll improve on our non-existant energy policy?

Because this shit is scary.

Really.

I mean it.

Shut the f**k up about the petty stuff. We're completely hosed if we don't get this right.

(edited once to correct word usage)

Clinton's secret wingnut prayer club?

I don't know what to make of this article from Mother Jones (partly because it's in Mother Jones). Is Clinton a wingnut? Is her longtime membership in "the Fellowship" merely a political strategy?

Or is this organization not as mysterious and secretive as the article suggests?

(Those aren't rhetorical questions.)

The Republican Free Ride

While Senator Obama has been lambasted in the media over the last week it seems people are overlooking the spiritual (and more) advisors taken up by President Bush and John McCain. Prior to the Iraq invasion President Bush decided he needed some consultation. So who better to ask than crazy 'ol Pat Robertson? You may be asking, "Hey, isn't that the guy who said the gays caused 9/11?" and the answer is, of course, YES!!! Our president didn't just take spiritual advice from a religious crackpot (though Rev. Wright wasn't totally crazy...ok, maybe a little) he asked for opinions on the future of our country's military affairs.

John McCain is not excluded from this list either having paraded out pastor John Hagee last week as a large ally in his campaign to the White House. Hagee's claim to fame? Well, in addition to 9/11 he apparently believes the gays are directly responsible for Hurricane Katrina.

Thank God this country has a fair and balanced media...oh, crap.

Not That Polls Matter

But I hope Hillary looks at the latest Zogby poll. It shows that she and Barack now trail McCain in then general election. Of course, she'll probably focus on the fact that she is gaining on Obama and McCain and use that to say that he should step aside for her coronation.

Local clergy say pastor's devotion, deeds overlooked

Article in the Boston Globe today about :

Local clergy, many of whom say they know Wright or have seen him preach, praised him for his charismatic preaching and his devotion to Christianity, as well as for his outreach to the poor, to people infected with HIV, and to his fellow African-Americans. Like Obama, they criticized some of his language, but offered support for his work overall.

"His remarks are unsettling in isolation, but, let's be honest, some of the things he said are true," said the Rev. Martin D. McLee, the pastor of Union United Methodist Church in Boston's South End. "The US has been pretty ugly internationally under George Bush, and I don't translate and say we deserved 9/11, but he didn't say that either. Even his comments about Hillary Clinton not having felt the suffering of not getting a cab - that's not antiwhite, that's true, and anybody who is black and knows the pain of not being able to get a cab knows that's true."

Michigan Re-vote Evaporating

Senate Democrats emerged from a closed-door caucus this morning and proclaimed that a fledging idea floated by top Michigan Democrats to create a special June 3 primary election is all but dead.

"The votes aren't there to do it," said Sen. Buzz THOMAS (D-Detroit), the co-chair of the Barack OBAMA campaign in Michigan.

With a revote fading and the idea of seating the delegates as pledged out of the question, all that remains now is a possible compromise seating some of the Michigan delegates.

Any compromise is likely going to seat the delegates but not allow either candidate to profit.

Spitzer and Mortgage junk bonds

Another "let's not forget how creepy our current administration is" post:

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

This week, Bernanke's Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks' mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers' bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

Who are they kidding? Spitzer's lynching and the bankers' enriching are intimately tied.

"A More Perfect Union"

Here is a link to the full text of Obama's speech "A More Perfect Union."

We'll post a link to the video once we find a link to that as well.

I'll say this: it's a great speech but it will further agitate the agents of our society who are extremely frightened of change -- the people vehemently opposed to progress -- the people who won't give up their anger.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.


Mike dug up the video link. Thanks, Mike:


On MSNBC.

Moving On...???

A great speech by Senator Obama, exactly what the country needed to hear to put this whole situation to bed.

Now we wait...

Obama Speech

Waiting for it to be covered live on CNN.com/video. You need a plugin to view it, though.

This is the 2008 version of the Howard Dean scream, if you listen to any conservative radio. And most radio talk is conservative. They've got out the big guns.

The ridiculous line of argument is that Obama was too slow in rejecting and repudiating and denouncing the pastor's statements. And he should have left the church.

Seriously - does this mean that no Catholics will ever be able to run for president because they all stayed members of their Church, which is a strong social support system for them, at the time that it came to light that the Church itself had policies that not only failed to protect children from child molesters, but almost assuredly maximized the number of children that would be exposed to serial abusers who were moved from parish to parish.

Can we fault Obama for staying apart of his church's support system because of some outrageous comments in a few of the sermons, many of which Obama himself did not even hear?

Here's experience for you. We're going to get a look at how this candidate deals with a media feeding frenzy. I find it ridiculous, but apparently, ridiculous situations are part of presidential campaigns. Especially if you're a Democratic candidate.

Finally, Florida Steps It Up

Dear folks,

Florida is not going to do a second primary. Good call, Florida. I think this was a fantastic decision.

Lots of people were discussing alienating or disenfranchisement amongst the Florida voters - but no one thought about everyone else (who followed the rules). If Florida had gotten to go again - why can't I? I would love to change my vote* since it's a different point in time and the primaries are looking very very different than they did on Super Tuesday.

We just need some Michigan decision making. Finally, Michael Moore can prove himself useful - step it up Mikey.

hugsnpolitics,
-Derek

*I voted for Ron Paul. At the time I had made myself a scoring spreadsheet with issues I found most important. Ron Paul was in best alignment for me - however, 2 weeks later his position on some things had changed - like Roe v Wade. I don't regret my vote but I'd sure love to vote 5 or 6 more times just to make sure Obama trumps Billary.

Obama Addresses Pastor Controversy

On "Fair and Balanced" Fox News, no less...

Week of Bad News

So, tough week for the Republicans, wasn't it?

Oh, you didn't realize the Republicans were having trouble last week, what with stories about Democrats dominating the news? Neither did I.

This article should fill you in. Here's a summary.

  • Dennis Hastert's senate seat went over the the Democrats in a special election on the 8th.
  • Republican disarray caused them to lose opportunities in South Dakota, New Jersey and Arkansas
  • The former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee is alleged to have helped himself to the NRCC's cash -- some $1 million worth. Can you think of another political fraud this big in recent history? How comfortable would you feel donating your money to Republicans after that?
  • General Petraeus was quoted as saying that the political goals of the surge in Iraq had failed. Specifically, he said that no one in the Iraqi or American governments feels that there has been sufficient progress toward national reconciliation, or even the provision of basic services. Ouch.
  • Chances are looking better and better that Al Franken might become a congressman for Minnesota. No kidding.
  • Strategists are now listing Ted Stevens and John E. Sununu's seats ass tossups. Hey, Ted, now you'll have time to come visit the Brightman Street Bridge. I've got my fingers crossed.

If the Democrats can prevent self-inflicted mortal wounds, it'll be a Republican nightmare in November. But nothing is writtern in stone at this point.

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This Week Roundtable

In the "This Week" roundtable, they brought up Obama's pastor as being a problem he's going to have to address even more strongly. They saw it as more of a problem than I do, frankly, and I think this may be one of those cases when you're seeing beltway bias on This Week. The people who are most upset about Obama's minister wouldn't vote for Obama anyhow, and many of them are probably still convinced that he's a radical muslim.

The Clinton campaign is showing some class by not discussing this pastor business (although there was a small swipe later on Meet the Press). It's probably good to have this play out now rather than in the general election.

The Florida mail-in vote was mentioned, and it looks like that idea is dead in Florida. It's more likely that some deal will be brokered where the delegates from the existing vote are seated in part, but not in whole. In other words, enough to mollify the voters there, but acknowledge that they screwed themselves. Although a Rep Nita Lowey (a Clinton supporter on Meet The Press) seems to be hanging on to the idea of a complete revote.

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McCain Disclosure Petition

We the people respectfully request that you please release your full medical records so that you can provide full disclosure to the American people before the November election.

Find the online the petition here.

Romney as veep?

A fun article (isn't it fun to think of Mitt Romney as being a (shaky, old) heartbeat away from the presidency?) about why McCain shouldn't choose Romney.

Karl Rove offers advice

Karl Rover offers some advice for the Obama campaign.

I Know How To Fund FL and MI Re-Vote!

It looks like many Republicans may have broken the law in Ohio by following Rush Limbaugh's Texas advice and crossing party lines to vote for Senator Clinton in the Ohio Primary. From Wired magazine:

Ohio's revised election code includes an election falsification clause (Revised Code 3513.20), which says that if a voter who changes parties is challenged by poll workers as to the sincerity of his change of heart and also signs an affidavit stating that he supports the principles of the party to which he's changing -- when in fact he doesn't support them -- then he would be committing election falsification. Election falsification is a felony that is punishable by six to twelve months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
(Emphasis mine. ) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that anyone would be prosecuted for such a crime.
But even those who did sign a statement and did so disingenuously would likely not face prosecution, Tokaji says, unless they were blatant about what they did, such as bragging online about it, and could be identified.
"If after doing this the person gets online and says 'Ha, ha ha. I tricked them and signed this statement,' maybe then we could imagine someone being prosecuted," he says.
There are such online gloaters, but I won't hold my breath waiting for them to be identified. Still, if even half of the at least 16,000 crossover Republicans were disingenuous, and had to pay the $2,500 fine, that's $20 million. Ten for Florida, and ten for Michigan and you're all done.

(Before someone tells me you can't spend the money that way, pssssst: I'm joking.)

Olbermann On Ferraro



To call it extremely critical of Clinton's advisers would be an understatement.

Dumb blog, cute post



Found on Yes We Can Has.

My new choice for president

Y'know what? Screw Clinton and Obama. I have a new choice for president, a man with all the answers. And he's funny, athletic, does a great American accent, and plays at least three instruments. Plus he was on Friends.

S.I.U.

Roland Martin says, "Florida and Michigan, suck it up."

Mississippi: Obama's Lead Widens

Obama overwhelmingly wins Mississippi, following on his win in Wyoming and eventual delegate win in Texas. This erases Clinton's gains from Ohio, and then some.

Obama leads Clinton in the overall delegate count 1,597-1,470, but neither candidate is close to the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.
The press forgot the campaign for a couple of days in the face of an irresistible sex scandal. This offered a much needed break to pundits and public alike who took the opportunity to muse aloud "just how do you go about paying a high-priced prostitute?" In the case of many male pundits, it sounded creepily like they were considering it themselves and just hadn't worked out the logistics.

Fallon Resigns

Adm. William Fallon, the commander in chief of Central Command has resigned.

Putting it into the perspective of this soon-to-be-ending regime, TPM provides this:

In the long-term, Fallon's resignation -- in some ways forced, perhaps in other ways dictated by circumstance -- does much of the same damage to the Pentagon as has already been done to the Justice Department and the supposedly independent regulatory agencies. Defense Secretary Gates was supposed to be a bulwark against the White House's ongoing efforts to erode the Pentagon. But Fallon was apparently too independent. The White House wanted someone, as Esquire said, more pliable. Another Tommy Franks. And we all remember where that led.
In the Bush administration there is one thing valued over intelligence, competence, and honor. That thing is the ability to say "yes, sir!" and push a button.

Ideally, the Bush Administration would like to have no branches of government and no agencies. Just one, big, happy BUSH ADMINISTRATION EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF [fill in the blank].

Polimon!

Saw this on Digg today:

O'Bama

To lighten the mood here a little, here's something completely different.

Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own

MONEYGALL, Ireland -- Here they call him O'Bama.

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, Democratic candidate for president, is the talk of this village because recently unearthed records indicate that he is a son of Moneygall.

Stephen Neill, a local Anglican rector, said church documents he has found, along with census, immigration and other records tracked down by U.S. genealogists, appear to show that Obama's great-great-great-grandfather, Fulmuth Kearney, was reared in Moneygall, then left for America in 1850, when he was 19.
It looks like the official Obama website has joined the fun. (via)

LOLitics: "Speshul" Edishin!

Dear Regiticians,

Strap your LOLitically Incorrect hats, for we have a very "speshul" LOLitics to play. The current LOLitics is still quite active! But I pose a challenge: to fill in 1 word. Let's begin with the LOLphrase and it's English translation:


English: Good day Sir/Ma'am. I have a [personality trait]/[tangible object] I would like for you to see. Bear with me a moment... Oh yes, here is my [personality trait]/[tangible object]. I hope you enjoyed it.

LOLspeak: Mai [blank], Let me showz u it...


And the challenge is for you LOLiticians to supply 1 word to fill in the blank. With respect to the image below, here is an example:

Mai irresponzibilities, Let me showz u it...

I think know you'll enjoy:



Bon apetit,
-Derek

Election bigotry

More about Clinton's answer to the question of whether Obama is a Muslim, by Nicholas Kristof of the Times.

C'mon humanists, is this acceptable? Take a look at Obama's position on religion in the government, and then consider a candidate who would encourage religious bigotry if it helped her chances in the polls.

We are a nation of many faiths and of those with no faith at all. The religions practices of all must be respected.

I get it!

I get it, I get it, I finally just got it! It was Chuck's contribution to the LOLitics contest.

Now I get it.

Clinton supporters don't actually like Clinton (as evidenced by the overwhelming lack of evidence of any actual like), they're just suspicious of Obama because he is likeable!

You're not supposed to like a Democrat! Nobody ever likes the Democrat! We've never liked a Democrat!

It's a sort of Democratic self-loathing. No... we can't have a charismatic candidate, only Republicans are charismatic, therefore we must be suspicious of anyone with charisma. Democrats are short and ugly (Dukakis, Kucinich, Mondale), or they must drone on boringly ad infinitum about Very Important Facts That Nobody Else Understands (Gore v1.0, Kerry, HRC), or they must be able to stand on a stage and blend in with the background (????), but they must never, ever be able to speak enthusiastically and with vision. If anybody does that, he must be deceiving us in some way. And anybody who supports him is just sadly deluded. Gawd, it's just what she said, when she gave that speech in the ugly yellow pantsuit. She is perpetuating this horrible idea that Democrats must be boring, blah, and bland.

We want the dull, the ugly, the unlovable, the uncharismatic, the droner-on-of-highbrow-knowledge... the DEMOCRAT!

More laughter, please

I really feel like laughing today. I turned to despair.com, purveyor of demotivational posters. This one reminded me of somebody. I'll leave it to the reader to supply the proof.

Walks Into A bar

Maggie wanted to see people come up with "goes into a bar" jokes involving the election, and I told her it was difficult to come up with such jokes. But in the spirit of challenge, I told her I could do it.

Here, then, is the joke I just wrote. I'm hoping you read it and think it's funny. But most of all I hope you come up with a better one and post it.

McCain, Clinton and Obama walk into a bar and sit down together at a table.

Obama waves the waitress over and says "We should order something."

Clinton says "Only Senator McCain and I have the experience to know what to order."

While Clinton and Obama are arguing, McCain says something to the waitress. She brings him a drink as the bouncer grabs Obama and Clinton and starts hauling them off.

A patron sitting at the bar asks the waitress "What did McCain order?"

She replies, "The usual."

That's my best effort. Please try it yourself. It was harder for me than I thought it would be to make up a joke from scratch.

(P.S. No ending your joke with "The Aristocrats!")


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LOLitics: Turmover

Dear Regimists,

Regimites? Whatever. LOLitics can haz a new home! And iz here. KTHX!
DearSomething is having some behavioral issues and until it grows up it's on timeout (get it? It's a website...).

But I'm glad LOLitics haz new home. So what are LOLitics? It's easy: I give you a picture of a presidential candidate (mostly from the primaries we've been thoroughly enjoying) and you express what that candidate feels through the art of LOLspeak. Fact: All politicians speak like cats from the intertubes when they are not in public.

You cap it, I decide the winner. How is a winner decided, you ask? However I feel like deciding a winner whenever I feel like deciding it.



Enjoy,
-Derek

This Week Summary

Some points from this week's "This Week W/ George Stephanopoulos."

  • Howard Dean Interview about Florida (all info from Dean unless otherwise specified)
    • The losing side needs to feel like they've been treated fairly so that Democrats are not left divided in the face of Republican opposition
    • Waiting for proposals from the states
    • Two proposals being discussed
      • Mail-in ballot
        • $5 million
        • Pretty much everyone agrees taxpayers will not pay for this
        • Nelson specifically working on this plan
      • Split delegates 50/50
      • George reports Clinton favors contest, Obama favors split, but Dean will not confirm.
      • State laws do not apply to Democratic caucuses and primaries, only the rules that the state parties agreed to a year and a half ago
      • Must be completed by June 10, according to Democratic rules
    • Democrats won back Hastert's seat in Illinois yesterday, which Dean takes as a big sign that the nation is ready for change
    • Doesn't want to talk about possibility of brokered convention until the voters have finished having their say; claims the voters will decide this and there won't be a tie.
    • Negotiated settlement will not be necessary.
    • Dean says he would prefer that the MI and FL delegates will be reseated, but no preference on how they do it as long as it is within the rules.
    • After July 1st, control of the convention shifts from teh DNC to the person who has the most delegates (the nominee). Dean is anxious to avoid a fight happening at that time.
  • Senator Levin on Michigan (all info from Levin unless otherwise specified)
    • Seems to say there is no practical and fair way to hold a new election
    • Discussing possibility of a mail-in caucus, but it is problematic for security and other reasons
      • Looking for practical, secure, fair and affordable solution
      • No indication they have any plan at this point, seems reluctant to commit to saying anything decisive
      • He says Obama campaign has said it will abide by the DNC's decision if a contest method is found
    • Says Michigan didn't follow the rules because New Hampshire jumped ahead
    • Governor has rejected paying for new contest, Levin thinks they could raise the money if it cost a couple of million.
    • Levin calls the potential of not seating the delegates "unthinkable." But he leaves open the possibility of a bloody convention battle, including bringing the previous vote to the floor. He does not offer a plan that satisfies his criteria above and makes me wonder if they're even converging on a plan to deal with the problem.
  • Governor Crist (Republican) on Florida
    • Would administer a mail in vote BUT
    • "The preference" is to seat the delegates that have already been selected
      • George says Clinton would prefer that, but it looks unlikely
      • Crist is pushing hard to use the existing vote
    • Crist has put forward a proposal in which the state administers new election, funded privately
      • It will probably take an act of the state legislature, because of FL constitution
      • He thinks that the state is in charge of elections, not parties
      • Even with this proposal, his heart isn't in it, he wants to shove the existing vote back at the DNC.
    • Crist for McCain's VP?
      • Replies with a campaign commercial for McCain.

I won't summarize the roundtable, but I'll throw out some points I heard. George Will (Will), Sam Donaldson (Sam), Cokie Roberts (Roberts), George Stephanopoulos (GS)
  • Will: Clinton has chosen to make Obama implausible and unwinnable as president, to McCain's advantage
  • Sam: Obama needs to effectively answer the 3AM ad.
  • Will: "Negative campaigning" is a redundancy. Why the squeamishness?
  • Sam: He should counter the ad, not have people whine about it
  • GS: Obama in a bind. If he counterattacks he's not the new politics. If he doesn't answer it he seems weak.
  • Will: WTF is "new politics?" -- doesn't exist.
  • Roberts: Can Obama work with people like Ted Stevens? How far will new politics take you?
(GS Plays Wolfson's "Ken Star" quote, Quotes Samantha Power's "oops")
  • Roberts: No choice but for Powers to resign. But the voters don't care.
  • Sam: This has not been a very negative campaign at all compared to the past
  • Sam: Obama is right to call for tax returns -- Ken Starr reference is ridiculous
  • GS: Is it smart for Clinton to bring up Ken Starr?
  • Roberts: We saw a resurgence of women saying "hold on" this week, explaining Clinton's bump
  • Will: Obama can't close the deal
  • Roberts: Clinton's big win resulted in minor increase in delegates therefore the system is nuts.
  • Will: Delegates vs. Popular vote? The superdelegates will go with Clinton based on all her large state wins -- this is the argument she will make
  • GS: Clinton has shifted from seating the existing FL and MI vote results to new contests because she thinks she can build on big state wins
  • Sam: Soft money can pay for new contests
Dream Ticket? (Obama Clinton or Clinton Obama)
  • Roberts: "Dream Ticket" talk is cynical maneuvering from Clintons
  • Sam: Disagrees, "Dream ticket" really works
  • GS: Loser will look like a sore loser if they don't run together
  • GS: Isn't it a super energizer for turnout?
  • Roberts: You can't ignore the minuses of the "Dream ticket" -- McCain is not that weak
  • GS: Net gains for first black and first female president. Much larger negative for first 70 year old president.
  • Roberts: McCain's VP becomes very important
Feel free to add any points you saw if you watched/listened to it.

You can watch/listen here.

Educational Change

Senator Barama-mama has given me two more reasons for hope this weekend. Senator Obama has vowed to review all executive orders passed by (soon to be ex-)President Bush, warrantless wiretaps among them. Over the past few years I've resigned myself to the fact that some of the things the changes the current regime has initiated will stay forever. This new pledge of Obama's at least gives the hope that somethings may be changed for the better.

On to reason #2...my favorite. I have been working in education for the better part of the last decade. I have been involved in teaching and researching middle school, high school and university level students. Here in Massachusetts Bush's "No Child Left Behind" has lived up to it's word...and ruined our focus on education. Many teachers and most districts are worried about whether or not their students can pass the MCAS. Of course, this has led to the inevitable procedure of teaching students how to pass the test. Therefore, everyone passes the test, no child is left behind and the world is happy!!!

Oh, and our children are dumber.

Obama, however, has consistently pledged to increase education spending (even to the lengths of taking it from an underachieving NASA) and doesn't "want them to just learn to a test". While we'll have to wait out this current three-way, no-holds barred cage match, O'Bama (the Irish candidate!) still keeps throwing out ideas which, to this blue-stater, just seem to make a whole lot of sense.

P.S. Hope...I'm pretty sure every story about Senator Obama has to say "hope" a lot, so...hope!

The Kitchen Sink

A lot of interesting stuff out there this morning. I'm tired of respectable publications still referring to Clinton's win in Texas. WTF?

Smaller states are supposed to go first in the primaries, or else money would decide the winner. I think if Florida and Michigan were explained more in those terms, rather than "they broke party rules," people would be less sympathetic.

Here is a general overview of the Clinton sleaze to date by Bob Herbert. For those of you Clinton supporters with your hands over your ears crying "la la la la I can't HEAR you" you'd better pick up the cadence. As I said before, buried deep in a comment down below, will somebody PLEASE come onto this blog and defend this woman? I have no idea why anyone would want to vote for her, or how anyone can square these low-life attacks with their conscience.

From the column:

Mr. Kroft asked Senator Clinton if she believed that Senator Obama is a Muslim. In one of the sleaziest moments of the campaign to date, Senator Clinton replied: “No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know.
Yeah, it's a good thing Samantha Power resigned. Clearly Hillary doesn't hold herself to the standards she demands of her opponent.

Obama Wins Wyoming Caucus

He'll probably get 7 delegates out of the state and Clinton will get 5. Obama won over 60% of the vote.

For a "sad but true" laugh, here's Why Wyoming Doesn't Matter.

Tax Returns Petition

The Clintons have said they'd release their tax returns sometime in April. Why not now?

If this is an issue you're concerned about, someone has started a petition.


A similar petition for McCain would be good, too.

Obama Strategy

What should Obama do now?

Does he have to stoop to Clinton tactics to win?

According to David Bromwich on the Huffington Post, since Hillary==McCain (according to Hillary) and McCain==Bush (according to McCain), Obama needs to start campaigning against the three-for-one of Hillary/McCain/Bush.

Treat McCain as the opponent, and Clinton, with all politeness, as the ghost on McCain's threshold. If she dares to follow Obama into opposition again, let her try; but here Obama is the one with the "lifetime of experience."
...

Hillary Clinton's evident pleasure in the company of John McCain goes naturally with her reluctance to attack President Bush in any but the most general terms. This fact would be fairly brought to light if Obama now turned to make his case in detail against the Bush administration, with an informed judgment of the cost in destruction it has brought to America and to the world.

Experience in Northern Ireland

"I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland,"

That was one of the claims Senator Clinton made when pressed on what sort of lifelong experience she was talking about in her case to differentiate herself from her opponent. However, Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is of the opinion she has overstated her involvement:

"I don't know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around," he said. Her recent statements about being deeply involved were merely "the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets" during elections. "She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don't want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player."

On the other hand,

[...] former Democratic Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who was a U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland, told CNN that while Clinton was not directly involved in negotiations, she did play a helpful role in bringing in women's groups that made a difference.

So, make your own conclusions there. The CNN article goes on to say that the Macedonian border was open to refugees prior to the First Lady's visit when she claims she negotiated that event.

Senator Clinton, any candidate should be able to point to his or her experiences and count them as an asset for their ability to use sound judgment in the future. However, you dug yourself a hole when you decided to go so heavily negative against Senator Obama's own "lifelong experience." And potential supporters are reacting badly. You've maneuvered yourself into the position now of having to overstate your involvement, which invites even more criticism. This is a campaign blunder of the type McCain is not going to miss, as he is less willing to take the high road.

Senator Clinton: stick to the facts, lay off the attacks and show us why people should vote for you not why they should not vote for Obama. You've shown you can play hardball. Great. Now, how about showing the people that they should make their decision based on facts, not fear?

[UPDATE: I would like to offer a clarification. I actually don't think Hillary should completely avoid negative campaigning. I will explain my point of view more completely in a later post. However, I think she has chosen not to pay heed to limits to certain kinds of negative campaigning which hurt the party, and that's what is irking more Democrats.]

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Pelosi Calls for Cooler Heads

Pelosi has waded into the contentious fight for the Democratic nomination, calling for a cool-down on the rhetoric, citing her belief that negative campaigning could dampen voter enthusiasm.

"I would encourage both of them, as I have, to remember we have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is the general election in November," Pelosi said Friday at a luncheon in New York sponsored by Lifetime Networks and the Hearst Corp., parent company of The Chronicle.

This comes on the heels of an Obama adviser being asked to resign from his campaign after being quoted as calling Hillary a "monster" in The Scotsman. There is no call for language like that in either campaign, so I agree she needed to go. I suppose Pelosi was politically smart to wait until something happened on the Obama side before finding her voice, but I understand with the frustration Obama's campaign must be feeling, trying to run a high ground campaign in the face of divisive attacks to little official comment.

No word yet on whether anyone is resigning over the swipe comparing Obama to Ken Starr. And I wouldn't hold my breath. Obama staffers, you're supposed to smear the other campaign in secret! (Just kidding, Obama campaign!)


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OK I'm out

but before I go I just wanted to ask people to read Ellen Goodman's column today. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/03/07/a_primary_fight_worth_having/

It pretty much says how I feel (except for the likling my choices part. i still don't like either one of them). That being said. I'm outta here. I vow to avoid all talk , news and discussion of politics as much as possible until at least the democratic convention and preferably until the election itself. There is nothing left to say. I don't know anyone in states that haven't voted and discussing things I have no influence over has no interest for me. I end up gtting mad about stuff that is totally out of my control. It affected my job yesterday. So I just thought I'd leave a note and say see you in the fall.

Bringing Michigan and Florida to the Convention

So, this is where it looks like it stands now. Correct me if I'm wrong:


  • Obama's campaign wants to see Michigan and Florida delegates seated at the convention.
  • Clinton's campaign wants to see Michigan and Florida delegates seated at the convention.
  • Howard Dean wants the states to figure out how this can be done according to the rules
  • Suggestions have been made on how to seat those delegates
    • They could be seated as pledged at the previous contests
      • Clinton prefers this, as it gives her an advantage, since they voting wasn't fair
      • Howard Dean has ruled it out completely, so it is off the negotiation table
    • There could be revoting
      • It's not clear how much either campaign supports this, but it's likely Clinton would take this as a second choice
      • Dean has said the DNC will not pay for expensive revoting
      • Who would pay has not been determined
    • The delegates could simply be split 50/50
      • CON: The state's contribution to the process would be largely meaningless
      • PRO: The delegates would still get to participate in the convention, which is a big deal for the individuals involved.
      • Clinton would gain no real benefit from this, my guess is her surrogates will argue against it.
      • I do not know how Obama feels about it
    • There could be caucuses
      • Cheaper than revoting (although I don't know who would pay for them. Probably the states)
      • Replacing a primary with a caucus in a case like this has precident - it happened with Washington D.C. when they bucked the primary timing rules and lost their delegates. They were able to reseat.
      • Clinton may not favor this option, because she's not done well in the caucuses
      • Obama may favor this, as he has done well in caucuses

Did I miss anything?

It looks to me like Clinton is going to have trouble squeezing an advantage out of this. There are too many suggestions that sound like better compromises than straight re-voting, which nobode appears prepared to pay for.

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Ah, the liberal press

This about McCain and religious bigot Hagee on the "Under God" blog on the Washington Post website.

Note the first few commenters (probably more) take her to task for this nonsense:

Where things get uncomfortable is when Hagee is grinning on stage next to McCain, who could lead this diverse country and directly affect the lives of said Catholics, gays and Muslims. Obama faced this same question of a divisive friendship last week when he said he would reject the endorsement of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
From the comments:
Now, why is it appropriate to constantly demand Obama renounce, denounce and otherwise disassociate himself from someone to whom there is no relationship, yet the press seem incredibly uninterested in McCain's apparently warm, friendly relationship with a religious bigot of the worst order?
I'm also amused that this woman named her blog after a line that was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, with Eisenhower's rationale apparently being: These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded.

Hmmm. And here I thought the words were to remind "our enemies" and the "turr'sts" that God is on OUR side. I'm so confused.

Reich on Obamania and Clinton's Persistence

I suggest reading the whole post, it's not long. But here's how it ends:

The sad news is that whether the Clinton scorched-earth strategy ultimately succeeds or fails, it will have caused great harm. In the unlikely event it succeeds, the result will be a shame and not a little ironic. Barack Obama has breathed life into the Democratic Party, and into American politics, for the first time in forty years. Not since Robert Kennedy ran for president has America been so starkly summoned to its ideals; not since then has America -- including, especially, the nation's youth -- been so inspired. The Clintons would prefer to write off Obamania as a passing fad, but the reality is that idealism and inspiration are necessary preconditions for positive social change. Nothing happens in Washington unless Americans are energized and mobilized to make it happen. HRC's tactics are the old politics the nation is recoiling from -- internal division and national fear. This only serves to deepen Americans' cynicism about politics, and makes social change all the harder to achieve.

Robert Reich is the guy I wished had become governor instead of Mitt Romney, but he didn't make it past the primaries. He was Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor and a really smart cookie on economics.


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NAFTA SNAFU

Just before the March 4 Primary, Clinton was hammering Obama by seizing on an CTV (Canadian TV network) story that made Obama look like a bit of a phony. They called it NAFTA-Gate. The story claimed that an Obama staffer had called the Canadian embassy, telling them to ignore all campaign talk about NAFTA. Clinton made quick use of the story and Obama's denials that the call ever took place. On the eve of the Ohio primary, the perception that Obama was being a phony on an economic issue quite possibly resonated with voters who decided in the last few days (as a large number of Clinton voters said they did.)

Fact Check.org researched the story and found there was no evidence of such a phone call, and denials on both the Obama side and the Canadian side. Obama was flummoxed when confronted with the accusations, which I'm sure looked great to Ohio voters.

FactCheck did find that there was a memo circulating within the Canadian government, nearly a month earlier (Feb 8). The memo contained notes taken on a meeting between Canadians and Obama's financial advisor, Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee has called the memo's notes on his comments: "a pretty ham-handed description of what I answered" and "completely crazy." The comments were, in essence, reassuring Canadian officials that Obama's stance was the same as they had previously discussed in private. Whoever took the notes included the phrase "political posturing."

So, why was there talk of a phone call taking place in late February after NAFTA had come up in the debate? MSNBC is reporting:

"[PM Harper's chief of staff] Mr. Brodie, apparently seeking to play down the potential impact on Canada, told the reporters the threat was not serious, and that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign had even contacted Canadian diplomats to tell them not to worry because the NAFTA threats were mostly political posturing. The Canadian Press cited an unnamed source last night as saying that several people overheard the remark.

Both Clinton and Obama have denied contacting the government and telling them they are talking out of both sides of their mouths. I'm less than impressed with Clinton's campaign tactic of seizing on this story when she surely knows that the candidates have exactly the same stance on NAFTA (according to what I saw in the debates), and neither is about to get rid of it. Yet Clinton will continue to try to hammer Obama with this story, which is based on hearsay and includes accusations toward the Clinton campaign.

UPDATE: It may be of interest that Robert Reich says Hillary is being essentially honest when she claims she opposed NAFTA early on, except that his recollection was that she disagreed with the timing. She thought that NAFTA would cost Clinton dearly in political capital and interfere with attempts at universal health care. It appears that she was correct about that.


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Texas Delegate Results

Guess What? Obama Is Winning Texas

When the media proclaimed Clinton the victor in Texas, the caucus results were simply not part of the equation. But now that more than 24 hours have passed, something fascinating is happening.

Obama appears to be winning Texas.
Edit: You can follow the current Texas caucus results on this NYTimes Texas Primary Results page.

Capital G

Speaking of Regime Turnover, I am currently listening to Nine Inch Nails. Warning: Language:



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Everybody Just Calm Down

OK, I give in. I actually wrote this a while ago (8am to be specific) but this whole work thing has gotten in the way of posting it. I sent it to James so that’s how he knew what it was going to say ahead of time. He’s not ACTUALLY prescient just pretending to be. I’m not going to rewrite this to address all that’s been said since I originally wrote it because if I do I’ll never get around to actually posting it so here goes...

The danger here is that the sides get so polarized that the election goes to McCain. That can only happen if people get pissed off about what’s going on. If you just sit back and enjoy the ride, whatever the outcome, that won’t happen. I heard Ted Koppel on NPR last night say pretty much that. The ongoing primary is a GOOD thing. It keeps the issues democrats care about in the spotlight. McCain is going to drop into the background until the conventions. As long as Obama and Clinton don’t savage one another (and so far I’d say they haven’t contrary to what many Obama supporters would like you to believe) we’ll be fine.

Obama supporters are acting like they are entitled to the nomination but the facts are that neither side has made a strong enough case to make that conclusion. Yes, Barack has the delegate lead (by something like 3%) but did you know Hillary actually leads in the popular vote (by something like 2%, at least if I can trust the morning news). Gee, I seem to remember a lot of you being quite upset about a similar occurrence a few years back. Would that be an acceptable reason for a superdelegate to pick Hillary over Obama? Why should Hillary give up (aside from “party unity” whatever that means)? Should the Red Sox have given up when they were down 0-3 to the Yankees a few years back? The games weren’t over then and the primaries aren’t over now. Neither side is going to get enough pledged delegates to win this outright (those of you who are pointing to the 94% number for Hillary should do the same math for Barack it will come to something around 80%) so it's going to come down to superdelegates no matter what.

People deride Clinton’s suggestion that the big states are more important but the fact remains that if Ohio or Florida went the other way 4 or 8 years ago we wouldn’t be talking about this today. There are some states where it doesn’t matter who is running. MA, CA and NY are all going to go to whoever the democrat is GA, TX, etc. are going to go to the republican. States like Ohio and Florida and a few others are going to be the difference. So if Hillary’s argument is that I’m the better candidate in those states then that argument is somewhat compelling to me. Will it be to the superdelegates? I don’t know and I don’t really care. I’ll vote for whoever is picked to run in the end. People need to sit back and relax a bit. The same people who couldn’t decide which candidate to support a few weeks back are now pissing and moaning about very little perceived slight. That’s not helpful. This isn’t personal. Its how political campaigns are run (and to be fair how they’ve always been run. I recently heard something on NPR, I think, about some of the negative campaigning that happened in the past, it puts some of today’s to shame). If the situation was reversed I believe Obama would be doing the same thing. The internal bitching is the problem; it’s the republican’s only hope of winning this year so they are going to feed those fires as much as they can. Don’t fall for it. Ignore it. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the ride. If you do, a year from now we’ll be talking about how the democratic president and democratic congress can go about fixing what’s gone wrong in the past 8 years. Maybe replace some aging Supreme Court justices while they’re at it. I personally don’t care at this point which of them it is. I would prefer Clinton but if it’s Obama in November then I’ll be happy to vote for him. You all need to get to that point as well because if you don’t then you’re opening the door to the republicans to screw everything up.

Holy F*-ing Crap

An Obama aide said "Clinton hasn't had to answer the phone at three o'clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They're both not ready to have that 3 am phone call."

So the Clinton camp pounced on that and posted the clip on YouTube with the title, "Top Obama Foreign Policy Advisor Says He's Not Ready To Answer The Phone At 3AM."

Well, of course, McCain jumped on that. As James has said, it would be great if Hillary wouldn't campaign for McCain. (That's not really what he said, which involved a sexual act and which I won't repeat.)

Here's the story.

But I'm Different!

Don't you just love hippo critical politicians? Apparently, last year The Rod lambasted her senate opponent, Rick Lazio, for not releasing his tax return information (he did, just not for 3 months). She called it "frankly disturbing" that he would refuse to release his tax information and basically hounded him like my cats on a can of tuna. Good for you Hilary! Stand up to those hifalutin, political, fat cats who hide their earnings from votes. Too bad this year she refuses to give up her returns even though Obama has no qualms.

Mrs. Senator, can I take a look at your tax returns for this year?

Blank, evil stare from The Rod

Really? Wouldn't you consider that rather disturbing?

Guards approaching...

I see. Well, I guess as an American voter I'd like to sa...

Taserized!!!

A scientist watches the election

Brian says Senator Clinton is annoying him. She annoys me too, but why?

1. She drones on endlessly without a point. This is just personal... she's boring. She probably won't be quoting last week's SNL skit in which Amy Poehler, in character as HRC, says that she is the candidate who will be able to annoy her enemies into compliance. Perhaps there's something to that... she certainly makes me want to flee.

2. The negative ads. (a) I don't care what is standard in politics, or if somebody else's negative ad is worse than yours. As soon as you run a negative ad, then you've defined yourself for me in, frankly, a negative way. Everybody else is doing it is not an excuse. (b) Her ads are worse than negative, they're fear-mongering. Have we all been here the last seven years? We've seen what fear-mongering can do, leading this country into a trillion-dollar war that has taken thousands of lives. How, in conscience, can we tolerate a candidate who relies on this tactic? I strongly reject a person who attempts to use fear-mongering to her advantage.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

3. But finally, as a person who looks for solutions with a scientific basis, I don't like the misrepresentation of fact. HRC is bending the facts to suit her hypothesis that she's winning, something a scientist must never do, and something that double-blind tests, for example, are designed to prevent. (If we all saw the numbers without the names, which set would we say was winning?) After Tuesday, Senator Clinton turned me off by listing Florida and Michigan as wins, suggesting that she should be at the top of the Democratic "dream team" ticket of both candidates, and generally ignoring the fact, in all of the excitement of winning three states on Tuesday, that she still trails Senator Obama in the delegate count and it is highly unlikely that she will catch up, never mind overtake him or reach the magic number needed for the nomination.

We have a president who lives in his own little dream world. I don't like the way that's working for us. I realize that politics are not science, and Senator Clinton is attempting to appear optimistic and like a winner (while at the same time telling us if we don't vote for her, our children will be consumed by an atomic fireball).

Once again, for all of her accusing Senator Obama of having no depth, she is the one who has no actions that support her words.

"Dean Urges Do-Over"

That's what the headline says, anyway. Like it or not, Dean is encouraging Florida and Michigan to conduct revotes at their own expense... sort of.

From the article, it sounds more to me as if he's challenging them to come up with a way to do it without breaking the laws of physics, but we'll see what happens. Evidently, the possibility of doing caucuses instead of a regular vote could also be on the table for both states this time around.

In any case, his rhetoric in the past few days has gone from "hellz no" to "I'm open to the idea" to "yeah, go for it, sort of"... it's just not clear that his position has changed.

Clinton "won" both states the first time, but the article points out that Obama's name didn't appear on the Michigan ballot. Nice! Well, that was some win, huh? Why would they even use that word? Never mind.

Schroedinger's Equation is no problem...

...but this math confuses the shit out of me.

good thing I understand the last sentence.

Bush Endorses Bush

Bush endorsed Bush for president today... oh, damn -- did I say Bush endorsed Bush? I meant he endorsed McCain.

I keep doing that.

Anyhow, big day for McCain to get this endorsement which must be a real thrill and a great vindication for him, after he decided to morph into a clone of Bush and embrace Jerry Falwell, smile on Bush's tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, campaign at Bob Jones University... etc.


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Barack vs. Clinton

I notice that many people refer to the male candidate by his last name, and the female candidate by her first name.

Why? Is there concern that she'll be mistaken for her husband?

Is it because it's her first name on the sign?

I'm genuinely curious.

Do I Dislike You Because You're Annoying

...or are you annoying because I dislike you? With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, as I listened to Hillary's speech at her Ohio victory party, I was reminded of a song from their version of Cinderella; "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?". Of course, love was not the emotion I was feeling. She said a bunch of things that I considered stupid and I found myself getting annoyed at her.

One of the major differences between Hillary and Barack, in my mind, is that Barack inspires hope and Hillary does not. But, is that really true, or have my perceptions been colored by my decisions? I decided I liked Obama and now I find myself rolling my eyes at Hillary almost every time she speaks. Last night, she was talking about how nobody has won the Presidency without winning their party primary in Ohio. She also remarked on Ohio's fine tradition of electing Presidents. Really? Ohio? Does she feel that their choice in the last election was good? This morning, her campaign director was on NPR and was asked about the 3am phone call ad. He said it was fair and that they would continue the theme of "ready on day 1". According to him, based on last night's results, the people overwhelmingly agreed with Hillary. It looked pretty close to a 50/50 delegate split to me.

I'm left wondering, though. Would I be annoyed if Barack's campaign came out with similarly illogical or misleading statements? I think I would, but I can't be sure.

Re-voting in Florida and Michigan

Should there be re-voting in Florida and Michigan? And who does it benefit?

The feeling out there now appears to be that any involvement of these two states would help Senator Clinton. She's got the deficit of delegates and more states are if she feels she's found a new voice with more negative campaigning then this means more voter on which to try out her new message.

But what sort of arguments will compel people to agree that Florida and Michigan should re-vote?

Clearly, the idea of counting every vote resonates with Democrats. On the surface it seems like the only fair approach, and that's how it will be argued (I expect).

There is a "rules are rules" counterargument, but also the argument that any re-voting is giving those state parties another chance that other people don't get. It could be argued that they had their chance to stop their party from moving the primary, and they made their choice. Now that the consequences have come due, some people feel it was a bad choice. Why should we be sympathetic now when they didn't make more of an effort back then? If they get to re-vote, why not let other early states re-vote, too? You can always argue that we know more now than we did then.

Who will be arguing for and against re-voting, and what will the most compelling argument be? And what will the Democratic Party decide?


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Unity Begins at Home

There are outliers. I have heard a few people say that they'll throw a fit if Obama loses the nomination. Some have calmly just said they'd withdraw support for Democrats. But the people supporting Democrats today largely agree that we don't want McCain to be president.

Why wait until we have a nominee to beat on John McCain? I, for one, don't want to spend the next few months worried about who is going to be the nominee. I will be bitterly disappointed if Obama doesn't win, but I'm confident he will get the pledged delegates and that the superdelegates will support that.

I'll start thinking more about why I don't want McCain to be president. It's negative, but it beats focusing on some of the stomach-turning turns of the last few weeks.

I'm not going to forget supporting Obama. I'm clicking that "donate" link on the website again. I'm going to, as Maggie did this time around, try to get over my telephone aversion and make some phone calls as the next round of primaries approach.

Even though I believe this primary fight can hurt Democratic chances in November, we'll be better off if we think about how it could help us. It's not all bad.

Really, people. Do we want to lose this one, or what?

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Does Not Compute?

I know most of the people on this blog are braniacs -- with an understanding of mathematics far greater than mine -- but even a dope like me can understand in improbability of this:

Clinton would need to win 94% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024. (ABC News currently has her at 1449.)

Excuse me, but WTF? Are we really going to fight each other to the death in the hopes that Hillary Clinton will be able to secure 94% of all the pledged delegates left?

Losing candidate magnanimously offers vice-prez spot to winner

Clinton discussed a Clinton/Obama ticket.

Highlights:
* Ohio says she should be on the top of the ticket... screw the rest of the country.
* People are starting to take this "seriously" now.
* Voters who made up their minds in the last three days (negative ads) voted for Clinton.

Does this strike anybody else as deluded?

Interesting Results

Watching CNN this morning, you'd think Hillary Clinton wiped the floor with Barack Obama last night.

Now, that being said -- she DID win Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.

Which nets her: ONE DELEGATE.

That's right folks. For all the hype -- Hillary Clinton has only decreased Barack Obama's delegate lead by ONE DELEGATE.

From DailyKos.com:


Vermont (15 delegates)

Obama 9
Clinton 6


Rhode Island (21 delegates)

Clinton 12
Obama 8


Texas

Primary (126 delegates, Link)

Clinton 64
Obama 62

Caucuses (67 delegates; tentative results based on a straight percentage from 34% reporting)

Obama ~37
Clinton ~30

Total (Nowhere near final)

Obama ~99
Clinton ~94


Ohio (141 delegates, punching in results with 97% reporting here)

Clinton 73
Obama 68


So total for the night, thus far, is Clinton 185 and Obama 184.

So hooray for the media -- buying into the whole "poor me, the press isn't fair!" crap from the Clinton campaign -- now we will go on, probably for another 7 bloody weeks -- while John McCain beats the crap out of the Democrats.

It's said at this point, Hillary Clinton has no chance of winning the pledged delegate lead in the race. So you can bet, she'll scratch and claw her way through the next several weeks, continuing the highly negative campagn -- making the case that if SHE isn't going to get the White House -- no Democrat will.

Lucky us.

The Republicans are holding their breath

For the past couple of weeks, Obama has endured onslaught from both John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Clinton's campaign has launched both negative ads and the whining (usually reserved for Republicans) that the press prefers Obama. SNL did a repeat of the same absurd skit on Saturday. In the mean time, what's the Democratic party going to do? Obama's still ahead in the delegate count. Neither candidate is going to get the number of pledged delegates needed for a decisive win. And the Republicans are holding their breath and rubbing their hands together with glee, hoping for a Clinton nomination. Can she out-Republican the Republicans? She can't out-experience McCain. I don't believe she can out-fear him. What's she going to run on in the fall? Is she going to drone on about health care, while McCain stirs up fear or talks about his actual experience?

I'm brought back to Obama's remark that Hillary thinks she has "simply to fight," and she tears apart her own party in the process. She won Ohio and Texas, but to do it she had to stir up fear that the man who still might be the Democratic nominee won't keep the country safe (when are we going to be done with that, when are we going to stop believing people when they say they are single-handedly standing between our children and 9/11?), and draw a line between herself and Obama that, when drawn between herself and McCain, makes her the weaker candidate.

Polls Closed in Ohio

Except for one county. Counting is underway, NPR projects McCain was GOP winner, the democratic race is too close to call there.

NPR calls Vermont for McCain and Obama.

Voting continues in Texas, and there is a caucus there later tonight--some Texas delegates are awarded by the vote, but about a third of them are awarded via the caucus--but I read that the delegates from the caucus aren't awarded until June 6.

Results not in from Rhode Island yet.

Super Tuesday Lite

So four states go to the polls today, will we have a clear democratic nominee at the end? I am hoping we will.

As much as I love Hillary Clinton, I would be displeased if the democratic nominee was ushered in by superdelegates voting against the residents of their locations. I'll guess we'll need to wait and see, but I will be watching very closely tonight... not much longer now until polls close.

Unless Hillary wins decisively tonight, I hope she folds her tent and throws her support behind Obama. I voted for her on my conscience, but I think her chances of winning are less than his. There's a lot of knee-jerk Hillary-hate in this country.

Quick Prediction

My prediction: If Clinton looks at today's primary results and doesn't slow down, I predict Obama will produce some sort of high-profile endorsement.

I figure he has to do something and that there are Democrats interested in party unity who want to see an end to the primary season without a lot of bloodletting.

We'll see!


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Not Curious at All

Speaking of blowhards...

Limbaugh Apologizes to Obama

Insincere apologies, fraudulent confessions, credulous disciples bellowing impotent outrage into car radios and the eardrums of their unfortunate spouses.

Why bother thinking when getting angry is so much easier?

(BTW James, the website's clock seems to be on West Coast Time)
(Edit: Silly me, assuming we're all on the East Coast!)