The Watering Hole: August 30th – Failing to prepare…

… is preparing to fail.

Noone knows yet for sure who is going to run against President Obama in the next elections, but the field of contenders seems to be solidifying. Maybe Sarah Palin will try and have a go for it after all, I highly doubt it but with her you never know, but I seriously cannot see any viable contender coming in besides the ones that are already campaigning. Any Republican politician (especially a young one) worth his salt will be discouraged by the general drift to the right fringe the Republican Party is experiencing now, due to tea party activism. Anybody electable by moderates or even right leaning democrats would face defeat in the primaries and just add this defeat to his or her credentials. Why not wait it out for another four years? At least that’s what I would consider doing. Nevermind anyway, because the Tea Party has produced a couple of fringe pushover candidates that should be easily beat by Obama, even if he is right now at a dismally low approval rate.

But is it highly dangerous to underestimate the probability that one of the Republican fringe candidates could be winning the presidency. Frank Rich from the New York Times could tell you this. In February 2000 he wrote:

Why would Mr. Bush’s campaign move so far to the right? It’s the same thinking — that you can pander to a right-wing base and hope centrist voters suffer amnesia on Election Day — that led the G.O.P. to defeats not only in ’96 but in ’98. (…)But Democrats who are worrying about the prospect of a race against Mr. McCain shouldn’t lose sleep yet. The same G.O.P. minds that blew it in ’96 and ’98 are doing everything possible to shore up Mr. Bush.

In the end Democrats didn’t need to worry about John McCain as a candidate, but got Boy George instead. A pushover, if there ever was one, for someone of Al Gore’s political clout.

Now, after 9/11 and two devastating wars, after the incredible destruction of New Orleans by Katrina, after the economic crisis of 2008, the meltdown of American society, still, we are not taking what is going on seriously. The Washington Post reports, still talking about the primaries, of course:

A Perry victory would cement the Republican Party’s shift away from Bush’s approach to a more libertarian, anti-government GOP. This is cause for worry among some in the party, particularly those with ties to Bush.

While not addressing Perry specifically, Mark McKinnon, who was a top aide in both of Bush’s presidential campaigns, cautioned that his party would have trouble winning if it moved too far right.

Really?

The Free Republic says it out loud. Obama is the “Accidental President”

The famous Occam’s razor principle states that the simplest explanation is the most plausible one. Applying it to dispel the fog of propaganda, it becomes glaringly obvious that Obama is an accidental president, a lazy and indecisive incompetent devoid of any ability or desire to perform the job to which he was elected by a gullible majority, who loves the perks but hates the duties of his office; who loves to play but hates to work. Have a good look at the man occupying the White House: what you see is what you get. The Emperor has no clothes.

And, about people like you and me..

The smart set living in an echo-chamber that reinforces their conventional wisdom have eagerly embraced this article of faith because in their world to question Obama’s ability is to commit the deadly sin of racism.

..see, racism argument nicely defused. Hey, here’s an argument even that Americans are definitely NOT racist:

Ironically, proving America is completely the opposite of the evil racist country they relentlessly accuse her of being, progressives used America’s goodness, guilt and sense of fair play against her. In their quest to destroy America as we know it, progressives borrowed a brilliant scheme from Greek mythology. They offered America a modern day Trojan Horse, a beautifully crafted golden shiny new black man as a presidential candidate. Democrat Joe Biden lorded Obama as the first clean and articulate African American candidate. Democrat Harry Reid said Obama only uses a black dialect when he wants.

I spare you more of this blatant passive aggressive racism.

The point I am trying to make is: There are a great many Americans out there, who were convinced a black man in the White House would never happen. They relied on a silent majority and wouldn’t go out to vote last time. On the other hand progressive and moderate voters were fired up and very enthusiastic of getting rid of the dismal Bush years and were in fact voting in higher numbers than usual, count in the Latino and the African American vote, as well. Now the pendulum is about to swing back. The historical mistake of electing Obama needs to be corrected and, count on it, the right wing voters will be out in droves. Meanwhile on our side the disenchantment works its destructive ways. People will stay at home, there is no enthusiasm. And it is, of course, all Obama’s fault. Had he only!..Why hasn’t he?..Didn’t he promise?..

Good thing we can rely on the silent majority and need not go out to vote, because Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry in the White House won’t ever happen.

Well, if progressive and moderate voters are planning on relying on others and indulge in self-pity, pouting and sulking, your next President may well be Rick Perry or, Republicans can make history, too, Michelle Bachman.

This is our open thread, don’t hesitate to correct me or tell me “What do you know?” or just chat about anything else, that’s on your mind. 

The Watering Hole – September 15 – Selection and De-Selection in Ancient Greece

Ostraca (pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens) bearing the names of Pericles, Cimon, and Aristides (top to bottom). Ancient Agora Museum in Athens.


In ancient Greece, politics was far different from the current election system in the United States. It would be really nice if we could ostracize the likes of Limbaugh, Boehner and Palin.

Who would you pick for Ostracism? This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

Where’s the party?

It wasn’t very long ago that one of the primary targets in the Tea Party’s plan to cleanse the GOP was the sitting Senator from Arizona, John McCain. Both the Wingnut blogosphere and the “liberal media” confidently predicted that the old buzzard was gone completely, to be replaced by the Tea Party sweetheart, J D Hayworth. In a turnaround becoming a consistent pattern with the Tea Party, someone forgot to vet the candidate very thoroughly. In late June, it turned out that Hayworth had cut a commercial in 2007 for the National Grants Conference, a firm which charges for seminars in–how to get your mitts on government grants. Oops! Predictably, Hayworth said the ad was a mistake (after all, he never expected to get caught) and that he hoped his constituents would look the other way in 2010.

“I should not have made the ad,” Hayworth, who is challenging Sen. John McCain for Arizona’s GOP Senate nomination, said in a statement. “I hope voters will look past a video presentation made three years ago and instead look at the issues confronting us in 2010.”

Yeah, well, how is that working out for Hayworth and the Tea Baggers?

A Behavior Research Center survey released Thursday indicates that 64 percent of likely Arizona Republican primary voters support McCain, with19 percent backing former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, five percent supporting Jim Deakin, a Tea Party activist, and 12 percent undecided. The primary is scheduled for August 24.

Ouch. Nineteen percent? Maybe this has something to do with the deathly quiet lately fallen on the Tea Party in regard to Arizona.

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Why I Don’t Believe The Presidential Race Is Tied

OPINION

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While visiting another blog (hey, we do that sometimes; how do you think we find such great stories?), I came across a comment from another poster who made a logically false claim about political polling. He said that “If you get good representation among the respondents (regarding, age, gender, race, education, home etc) you can get accurate results with less than 2000 respondents regardless of how large the real population is.” Continue reading

Unbelievable..

Tim Russert interviewed Harold Ickes on this morning’s “Meet The Press”.

Ickes isn’t doing Clinton any favor here… Is he operating on some alternative realty?? Did he NOT get the memo? And what the heck is up with that math..? I guess the fact that he is running her campaign explains a lot.

Russert:

“If on Wednesday morning, if Barack Obama has enough elected delegates, and committed superdelegates to put him over the 2118, will Senator Clinton congratulate him as the nominee?”

Ickes:

“We expect to get the nomination.” “We don’t accept the premise of your question.”

I watched this interview. Ickes went on to say that Clinton WILL be the nominee..

The Reverend Michael Louis Pfleger

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This is the video that’s being featured on Fox News to slam Obama. Unfortunately we don’t know what he said at the beginning of his speech because, shockingly, it’s been cut.

This was originally posted on April 21, 2008.

That is the full name of the Roman Catholic priest being interviewed for this piece. He is an icon in the Chicago area for his tireless work on anti-drug campaigns, outreach to prostitutes, and controlling the sales of guns near schools.

But now, largely because of his relationship to Barack Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright and his support of the candidate, he is in the crosshairs. Comments that detractors are using against him involve a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a gun shop that reportedly sold over 2,000 weapons that were traced to crimes committed between 1996 and 2004.

Addressing the owner of the shop, Pfleger announced, “We’re going to find you and snuff you out. Like a rat you’re going to hide. But like a rat, we’re going to catch you and pull you out.” Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.” Pfleger responded that he did not intend to use the word “snuff” as a slang term for “kill”, but rather as a substitute for “pull”, as he used later in his statement.

Wikipedia has a list of the good works of Father Pfleger that are too extensive to list here.

This weekend, in less than 72 hours, there were 31 shootings in Chicago leaving 8 dead. And while there are many reasons people should be allowed to keep their guns in this country, keep in mind this is the community Father Pfleger serves:

Beginning on Friday and ending Sunday evening there were 31 victims of gun violence in Chicago resulting in 8 deaths and 23 wounded. The Chicago Tribune has the details of many of these incidents here. The Tribune lists the final tally here.

The man has done a staggering amount of good work in the Chicagoland area for which he has frequently incurred the wrath of his boss, Cardinal George . So why is he being vilified now? Well, he is supporting Barack Obama and Reverend Wright. And if any of this negativity is coming from the Hillary Clinton campaign it is important to keep in mind that Hillary was raised in a Chicago suburb, her family still resides there, and she should know better.

Hillary Invokes Assassination

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I have already put up a couple of posts on the words Hillary uttered a few days ago from her interview in South Dakota. Since her non-apology apology, there has been a lot of spinning going on trying to explain away what she said, trying to paint it as people taking what she said out of context, getting hysterical over nothing, and distorting her meaning. I say hogwash. Her meaning was clear to anyone who watched and heard what she said. Speaking only for myself, I was stunned and did not need to read anyone else’s response to come to my own conclusion.

(Previous posts on TheZoo of Hillary’s interview and Olbermann’s Special Comment)

The media keeps referring to this as a ‘gaffe’. A gaffe to me implies misspeaking, a stumbling, or a mistake. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was not the first time she had said this. This was not misspeaking, nor was it a mistake. Perhaps a total ‘misjudgment’ or miscalculation, but certainly not misspeaking. (As her “Bosnia ‘sniper’ incident” was not ‘misspeaking). It was a total calculation.

She should not be let off the hook this time and allowed to have this incident be swept under the rug or merely brushed aside. This was serious, and it shows a tremendous flaw in her character that has to be taken seriously. So, even though I have already posted on this, I think it is important to keep talking about it. I will continue to post the thoughts of people whose opinions I respect.

So, onto the post by Marjorie Cohn.

Hillary Invokes Assassination

by Marjorie Cohn

For weeks, pundits have speculated about why Hillary Clinton insists on remaining in the primary race when Barack Obama has all but clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. On Friday, Clinton answered that question. It appears she’s waiting in the wings for something dreadful to befall Obama.

Continue reading

Say anything…

By Eugene Robinson, Truthout

This is the best explanation I’ve found for Hillary Clinton’s inexplicable behavior in this campaign — behavior that, if Barack Obama were doing something similar, would have Hillary howling with rage and indignation.

Commentators trying to discern Hillary Clinton’s endgame strategy have posited any number of wheels-within-wheels scenarios worthy of a spy novel. The simple truth has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with instinct: Keep moving forward until you drop.

It’s not that she’s making a calculated play for the vice presidency or trying to set herself up for another campaign in 2012 or 2016. To those who know her, it’s that she really wants to be president, and that she has come tantalizingly close, and that she’s going to keep moving toward that goal even if there’s no obvious way to reach it. At this point, her campaign is about getting to tomorrow, and then getting to the next day, and then getting to the day after that.

Long ago, the Clinton campaign took to heart the Talking Heads’ advice to “stop making sense.” Back in January, the campaign’s position was that amassing delegates was the only true measure of who was winning the nomination. But when Barack Obama surged ahead in the tally of pledged delegates, winning 11 primaries and caucuses in a row, the Clinton brain trust started making a case for “the popular vote” as the most reliable indicator of the party’s wishes.

Does an aggregate count of votes mean anything when some states held closed primaries in which only registered Democrats could participate, some states held open primaries where independents and/or Republicans could also vote, and some states held caucuses that basically involved a show of hands in gymnasiums and community centers?

It means nothing. But the Clinton campaign has found a way to claim that if for some reason you did this ridiculous exercise of lumping together apples, oranges and bowling balls, and finally came up with two numbers, hers would be greater than Obama’s. Since Obama now leads substantially in both pledged delegates and superdelegates – and since he has enormous leads in fundraising and the number of states won – the spurious “popular vote” metric is all that Clinton has. So she’s playing the hand she was dealt.

Keep reading →

What was she thinking?!

The Huffington Post:

Clinton Kennedy Assassination Reference: Raises Bobby’s Death To Explain Why She Stays In Race

Hillary Clinton’s argument for staying in the race took a disturbing turn today. While meeting with the editorial board of South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, she raised the specter of assassination while discussing why she would stay in the race:

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

What was she thinking?? I am not even going to type out the first thing that popped into my head when I heard this. Its too terrible to even suggest out loud.

I can’t believe she did this. Nothing is ever said in these campaigns by accident, especially given that this was a taped interview.

I know she has apologized, but she got it out there first.

Unbelievable.

For responses to her comments, go here.

UPDATE: Here is Hillary clarifying her comments:

Last Minute Fact-Checker- May 20, Oregon, Kentucky

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The end is near, but there is still voting to be done. It’s primary day again and for those of you who are still undecided, here is an update on our “Last-Minute-Fact-Checker”. The fight was a pretty nasty one and it looks like it seamlessly enters the the general election. So much for a break. I do not envy the Democratic candidate.

The fact checker is set up as a completely neutral and unbiased collection of links. We have the same information from the same sources for both candidates. This is purely for your information. If you are wondering about a voting record, about biographical data, campaign finances, you can have a quick look here, so you can make an informed choice today at the polls. Invest an hour on getting informed, it’s a good investment, you may have to live with your choice for four or more years.

All information is obtained at Project votesmart (Who is votesmart?Click here for more info.), I only did some of the browsing for you and arranged a couple of quick links. You find still more there, if you want to. Now, hit it!

Links update:

http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/
http://whitehouseforsale.org/

Links update II:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/

Barack Obama

Biographical

Voting Record

Campaign Finances as a Senator, as a Presidential Candidate

Interest Groups Ratings

Political Courage Test

Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Biographical

Voting Record: this is nicely categorized and you can choose individual topic, that your want the voting record for.

Campaign Finances as a Senator, as a Presidential Candidate: links to “opensecrets.org”

Interest Groups Ratings: sorted just the way the voting record is for easy comparability.

Political Courage Test

“Europeanview” wishes you all a happy day and successful voting!

Huge Obama rally in Portland

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I was driving over the Marquam (I-5) Bridge about 3:30 this afternoon and saw an enormous crowd at Waterfront Park. “What the hell is that?” I muttered to myself. Not Cinco de Mayo, too late. Not the Rose Festival, too early. It was packed. WTF?

75,000 people turned out to hear Barack Obama speak, in the last days before the Oregon primary votes are counted. 75,000?!

Charlie Burr, over at BlueOregon, has the story along with a video.

Obama has a huge Problem? Codswallop – McCain has!

What utter nonsense! CNN and other media are going on about how Barack Obama is having a huge problem with white working class voters. When will they start to report on the massive problem John McCain has with Republican voters?

If you look at the Republican primaries there is one striking fact: Even after being the presumptive nominee, John McCain has never once won a primary without his opponents getting a sizeable amount of votes. He never once topped 79% and his opponents (except Ron Paul) have long since stopped campaigning and dropped out of the race three months ago. As recently as Tuesday when largely uncommented by the media West Virginia held Republican Primaries, too, Mike Huckabee received as much as 10% of the vote. In pennsylvania Huckabee got 11% and Ron Paul 16%!

McCain is far from undisputed by his base obviously.

Hillary Clinton’s strength with white blue collar voters does not translate into a weakness of Senator Obama on a 1:1 basis, because his opponent will not be Hillary Clinton. The General election is a new race. And Hillary Clinton owes it to the Democratic Party and their nominee to exert her influence on ‘her’ base when she campaigns for Barack Obama for the Presidency.

To spin a loss against a valid, still running candidate in one state with adverse demographics into a huge problem with Obama’s voter base, however, is bosh, bunkum, piffle, poppycock – you name it.

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Appalachia for Clinton

On Monday, the Daily Kos published a fascinating piece by DHinMI on the distribution of precincts that voted heavily for Clinton, and their association with Appalachia. The maps provided can be enhanced now with the voting from West Virginia, which fits very neatly into the paradigm. Lots of comments there and at Washington Monthly.

It’s well worth reading, especially in conjunction with the maps provided.

First, let’s define how we’ll be using “Appalachia.” In the 1960’s, one out of three people in Appalachia lived poverty, per capita income was 23% lower than the national average, and the region was rapidly losing population. In 1963 the Appalachian Regional Commission was created by Congress and President Kennedy to address the problems in the area highlighted in the map. Since the 1960’s counties near Atlanta, Huntsville AL and Pittsburgh have become wealthier much more developed. But much of the region remains well below national standards in most measures of economic and social well-being.

The ethnic and cultural character of this part of the country has been more static since the 19th century than anyplace in America. Outside of some of the new growth areas north of Atlanta or Huntsville, or in some of the college towns, most of the people in Appalachia trace their heritage back to immigrants from the borderlands of Northern Britain who began settling the region over 200 years ago. Outside of the Northern part of Appalachia—Pennsylvania in particular—relatively few Eastern or Southern Europeans from the great waves of immigration that started in the 1880’s have moved in to the area. It’s the most homogeneous region in America. The region is home to few Catholics, and is heavily Baptist and Methodist.

In the 19th century, migrants from Appalachia moved west. People from Appalachia settled and put their stamp on the Ozark region of Missouri and Arkansas, on Okalahoma and the southern Plains, on North Texas, and eventually they were a big part of the initial growth of Southern California.

Big lead in Oregon for Obama?

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People have asked how the primary is shaping up in Oregon, but polling has been slim. Local pollster, Tim Hibbits, who is probably more reliable for Oregon polling than anyone else (esp. national organizations) is giving Obama a 17 point lead over Clinton.

“Every poll done in the last several months has shown Barack Obama ahead in Oregon, but this is the biggest lead so far,” Hibbitts said.

According to the new poll, Obama is winning with male and female voters. He’s also ahead in rural areas and is cutting into another part of the populace.”One of the messages Clinton has been driving is that Obama is having a hard time with white voters, but here in Oregon, he’s clearly doing very well,” Hibbitts said.

I would not be surprised, in fact, if the margin doesn’t turn out to be a lot bigger. The polling methods continue to rely on telephone calls, which in turn rely on directories, which do not include cell phones. Since a significant number of young people (and at least one old guy I know very well) do not have landlines, they’re not being reached during polling. The huge numbers of new Democratic voters who registered in Oregon before the April 29 deadline skewed very heavily to this same demographic and one thing that is clear is that the vast majority of them are planning to vote (or have voted) for Barack Obama.

I also find it very interesting that Hibbitts is seeing Obama leading in rural areas, which in Oregon means either Republican or, in this case, conservative Democratic voters and Bill Clinton has been visiting small towns all over Oregon, outside the traditionally liberal Willamette Valley. The strategy doesn’t appear to be working. That linked article references a Portland Tribune poll that shows Obama leading Clinton 55% to 35%.

Bush is “as dumb as a stump”

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By Al Meyerhoff, Huffington Post:

Did John McCain vote for George w. Bush in 2000 — after the horrendous Rovian smear tactics of the primary season?  I guess we’ll never really know.  The following story shows that McCain had all his marbles in one box — at least in 1999.  Now?  Not so much.

Over the Fourth of July weekend of 1999, I had the good fortune to accompany my then fiancée (and now happily my wife) to the McCain vacation home in Sedona where she was interviewing them for a Home and Garden Television show. The interview itself was entirely apolitical, focusing on fabrics and furnishing in their lovely Oak Creek abode, topics about which I do recall the senator was less than comfortable discussing.

Always the goods hosts, the McCains also invited us to spend the day with them, including for barbeque, a favorite of John’s. And as McCain flipped burgers, I could not help but ask his views about then candidate George W. Bush.

“He’s as dumb as a stump,” McCain offered. We then went on to discuss other matters (including Vietnam) but that quote remains seared in my memory.

So how the McCains actually voted that November is between them and their voting booth. But if John McCain did end up voting for Bush, then by his own admission he voted for a stump.

McCain has become the stump.

Daily Show: How can Obama get Clinton to stop ‘talking sh*t to whitey’

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Raw Replay

“Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans is weakening again,” Clinton said, apparently citing an Associated Press article, which also found “how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

The boos that followed that remark from the Daily Show’s audience were just the sound of “the country healing,” Jon Stewart said Thursday. He and correspondent Rob Riggle delved into their “analysis” of Clinton’s statement.

“Obviously, those words from Senator Clinton struck the Obama campaign as deeply, deeply true,” Riggle deadpanned.

“Right now he only has two choices: One he can quickly get lots of white people to finish college,” but there’s probably not enough time for that.

“This leaves him with choice number two: Convince white people to stop working so hard,” he joked, “become the kind of non-hardworking Americans that make up Obama’s base.”

Stewart asked what other options Obama might have to “dig himself out of his apparently hopeless first-place hole.”

“The thought is he can beg her to take his money,” Riggle said, referencing Clinton’s massive debt and personal loans to her campaign. Event that might not work, though. “He’d have to put something else on the table, a cabinet post, maybe the vice presidency.”

Would Clinton accept such a proposal?

“At this point she would be ready to accept Barack Obama as vice president, or secretary of state,” Riggle joked. “And in my opinion he should take the deal.

“Otherwise it’s three more months of her talking shit to whitey.”

The video isn’t showing up at the moment so go here to view it. I’ll try posting the video again later.

Hillary: White people support me

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By Kathy Kiely and Jill Lawrence, USA Today:

Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to continue her quest for the Democratic nomination, arguing she would be the stronger nominee because she appeals to a wider coalition of voters — including whites who have not supported Barack Obama in recent contests.

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”  (Emphasis mine)

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Wow, just imagine the feeding frenzy if Barack Obama had said something like that about black people.

The Night the Old Politics Died

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by Brent Budowsky

The old politics died on May 6, 2008, as the predictable and inevitable happened and the voters said no to business as usual.

The voters said no to the most phony and fraudulent proposal in memory for a gas tax cut that would never happen, that would profit the oil companies that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) falsely said she was fighting with it, that would do nothing for the people she falsely claimed she was helping with it.

The most reprehensible and shameful aspect of this gas tax fraud was in its cheap exploitation of people who are hurting, and fearful. There is nothing lower in politics that exploiting people who are hurting, trying to deceive them. The voters said no.

The voters said no to the politics embodied by the shameful ABC debate of Gibson and Stephanopoulos that was nothing more than an oppo-research festival. Voters said no to the Tim Russert “Meet the Press” that insulted them last Sunday, wasting time with more than a dozen questions about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright rather than a serious discussion of national issues

The voters said no to the insider pundits who pontificated about what a brilliant and clever tactic the gas tax fraud was, about how Hillary is on a huge roll and Barack looked broken and on his heels only hours before he won a crushing and devastating victory.

Soon, as I predicted some time ago, Hillary will withdraw and the superdelegate surge will reach a juggernaut pace that has already begun.

Soon, there will be new talk about 2 million Obama donors that will rise to 3 million. There will be talk of a historic voter registration program that has already been approved and will exponentially strengthen democracy and build even more voter turnout, voter excitement and voter enthusiasm.

Soon, there will be talk about a Democratic landslide throughout the Congress as Democrats come together and coordination begins between the presidential and the congressional Democrats.

Soon, there will be talk about the outpouring of enthusiasm around the world from good people everywhere ready to begin a new day of American world leadership based on the great role we have played in the past.

It was the night they drove old Dixie down, the night the old politics ended, the night a great new era in American politics truly began.

The battle now begins in earnest. On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, the Rubicon was crossed.

Wow.. Well said.

Daddy, what is Cheating?

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What is cheating?
Why are there rules?

If there is no penalty for breaking the rules, then the rules are useless. How do you explain to your children the stance that the Clinton camp is making to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations as currently constituted?

When attempting to answer these questions that your children inevitably bring up, the Michigan and Florida primaries and delegations make a great example.

Although both states have been pushing the DNC to change the timing of the primary cycle for years, they were unable to get the DNC to change the rules.
So they broke them.
There must be consequences for breaking rules, or they have no meaning.
Senator Obama removed his name from the Michigan ballot, and neither candidate campaigned in earnest in either state.
The rules were clear, and accepted by both candidates, although Senator Clinton failed to remove her name from the Michigan ballot as Obama did.

No one thought much of the fact that the DNC insisted, up front, that these delegates would NOT be seated.

So now, in a desperate ploy, the Clinton campaign is trying to move the goal posts to include those delegates in the count for the nomination.
This will be decided by the rules or credentials committees, whose job it is to determine the fate of those delegations.

To agree to a set of rules, then, when things don’t go your way, you attempt to change the rules is cheating.
Even a child understands this.

Clinton/Obama news roundup

Europeanview has given us the classy British and German newspaper roundup, so here’s my roundup-lite, American style. 🙂

Obama swept North Carolina with 56% of the vote, and Clinton squeaked out a win in Indiana by 1.8%, in Tuesday’s primaries in those states. Here’s a little roundup of related news stories:

According to CNN, Obama now has 1836 delegates, and Clinton has 1681– 2025 delegates are needed to win.

Apparently Hillary has loaned an additional $6.4 million to her campaign, now a total of $11.4 million of her own funds.

Gen Wesley Clark, a Hillary Clinton supporter, has apparently called her, urging her to bow out of the race.

George McGovern has also defected from the Clinton camp, and is calling for Hillary to drop out — he’s now endorsing Barack Obama.

A North Carolina superdelegate reports the Clinton campaign asked her “what it would take to get my vote.”

From Huffington Post How to Lose an Election 101, “You’ve heard the saying ‘the fish rots from the head.’ Well the head of the Democratic National Committee is Howard Dean.” Ouch.

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Primary coverage

I’m not a huge fan of CNN, by any means, but I’ve found their website to be useful (since I can’t stand watching election coverage on the tube) in following results from the primaries. As I toddle out the door for an evening of martial arts, Clinton is holding a narrowing lead over Obama in Indiana. When I first checked, it was a 14-point lead, but it is currently (5:30 pm PDT) a 10-point lead. In North Carolina, Obama is leading 63-34%. Judging from the county results here, this isn’t a product of an urban v rural split as is evident in Indiana. However, I know zippadeedoodah about population distribution in North Carolina; other, more conversant people (and a lot of dumbasses on the tv) will explain it to us.

Will it be a knock-out punch?

Raw Story:

Poll: Obama ties Clinton in Indiana; Leads N. Carolina by 14

Indiana is neck and neck in the final Zogby poll before the primaries. North Carolina appears solidly in Barack Obama’s camp.

“The pair of surveys of the Democratic presidential contests shows Obama with a significant 14-point lead in North Carolina, winning 51% support to Hillary Clinton’s 37%,” Zogby writes. “Another 12% said they were either favoring someone else or were as yet undecided. In Indiana, the race is clear as mud, as Obama holds a statistically insignificant lead of two points, winning 45% support to Clinton’s 43% support, with 12% either undecided or favoring someone else.”

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