31 January 2008

The Shitty Drivers (and Mothers) of Alameda

Driving to work yesterday morning, I spotted this: A woman in her 30s driving over a small bridge, applying her make-up in her rear view mirror, with a toddler in the backseat.

She came thisclose to rear-ending the SUV in front of her.

She drives a silver Honda Civic.

And her California license plate number is 4VMC050.

Obama and the Gays

Some tidbits for my brothers and sisters out there, specifically those who still can't seem to find their way to the light of an Obama candidacy:

The Power Gays:

Meet two of Obama's power fundraisers: Jeremy Bernard and Rufus Gifford, a gay couple from Los Angeles.

Gays and the African-American Community:

Obama telling parishoners at MLK, Jr's church in Atlanta that they need to be honest with themselves regarding gay issues:
And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them.
The video:

The Kennedy Endorsement (at about the 10 minute mark):

The Stump Speech:

The South Carolina Debate:

Fuck the Bridges

incompetence: (noun) lack of intellectual ability or qualifications; bungling, showing lack of skill or aptitude

It's amazing, really, how aloof the Bush Boy is to major problems (bin Laden's threats, Katrina). You would think that he would have learned his lesson seven years in. Alas, no.

[The Bush] Administration has allowed states to take advantage of a loophole in federal regulations, delaying bridge inspections to every four years instead of the two years normally required.
This following last August's tragedy in Minneapolis.

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.

The 90s, Redux

Two stories, via Josh Marshall:
[When Hillary Clinton] served on the board of Walmart in the late 80s and early 90s she did nothing to push back against the companies aggressively anti-union policies.

[A New York Times story] shows Bill Clinton mixing fundraising for his foundation with allowing international tycoons to trade on his friendship to secure international mining concessions in Kazakhstan.
Sigh. Despite my foaming at the mouth over the possibility of a Democratic ticket led by Hillary Clinton, I really do like the Clintons, thought Bill was a terrific president, and believe they were the target of some really scuzzy partisan attacks from the right.

Ok...now...that said, these two stories - especially the one involving Bill - are prime examples of why I've been foaming at the mouth over a Hillary candidacy. There is too much to do - a huge mess to clean up - to spend the next four to eight year fighting the meaningless partisan battles of the 1990s...a fight that could very well sour American voters on a Democratic Party that can't help themselves when it comes to the Clintons, and give the Republicans the keys to the government for yet another generation.

I am not saying that Barack Obama is a saint. No politician is. But the Republicans don't have the vitriol for him that they do for the Clintons, and that fact alone would help a "President Obama" tremendously when he takes office.

From 20 to 6

What was a 20-point lead for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama ten days ago is now a 6-point lead, according to Gallup's national daily tracking poll.

20 January:
Clinton 48%
Obama 28%
30 January:
Clinton 42%
Obama 36%
Of course, the usual caveats...primary polling this year is notoriously wrong, there are still 5 days until Super-duper Tuesday, yadda, yadda.

And then, of course, the major question: What will Edwards voters do?

30 January 2008


Hat tip: Jimmy G

Mid-Week Brain Break

You go, Girl!

Edwards Drops Out

From CNN:
Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, two sources inside his campaign said Wednesday.

Edwards has told top advisers about his decision. It is expected he will announce it in a speech at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday in New Orleans, Louisiana.

An Edwards aide said the candidate was not getting the media attention he needed to get his message out and win delegates, especially with races coming up in 22 states next Tuesday.
I didn't see this coming. I figured Edwards was going to take his nomination all the way to the convention just to keep Clinton and Obama on their toes.

He's run an admirable campaign, but I never really thought he'd win the nomination; and had he, I didn't think he'd be a strong general election candidate. His "two Americas" platform is admirable, but he'd be better off fighting that battle somewhere other than the presidency. He's a hell of a guy though, and Elizabeth Edwards has been stellar on the stump!

Memo to future Democratic presidents: Edwards would be an ideal nominee for Attorney General.

The former Senator's campaign staff states that he will not immediately endorse Clinton or Obama.

Little Fucker

Little Boy George has signed another bill with one of his "signing statements" attached. These are statements he adds when signing the bill into law that essentially say, "But I don't have to follow this law."

He's made 151 of them over his 7 years in the White House - and the way I see it, that would make 151 articles of impeachment.

Details here from Think Progress.

And do you really think the intentional law-breaking will end under a new Republican administration?

Say it with me, folks: Impeachment! Now!

Giuliani Ends His Presidential Bid

The idea of Rudy Giuliani in the White House scared me to no end. The man is trigger happy beyond belief; and despite his rather liberal attitudes on gay rights and the right to choose, the former NYC mayor is an uber-fascist who would turn the Constitution into nothing but dust, slamming America into a massive police state.

That his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has disintegrated so early is a huge relief, and word is the cross-dressing fascist will end his quest today and throw his support to Sen. John McCain (Bush-Bitch-AZ), who, unless something very unexpected happens, is a cinch to win the party's nod.

Despite my relief that Rudy is dropping out, his endorsement of McCain leaves a bit of queasiness in my gut. McCain/Giuliani, anyone? That ticket would put America in great peril, and after 8 years of the Bush kid, we can't afford another four of Constitution shredding and Big Brother spying.

More On Clinton and Florida

From Chris Matthews (yeah, yeah, I know) and Keith Olbermann (not exactly your pro-Republican commentator). The interview starts at the 5:15 mark:

29 January 2008


News Item, August, 2007:
The Democratic Party stripped Florida of all of its 2008 delegates as punishment for breaking party rules and scheduling its presidential primary on Jan. 29. 2008. All major candidates [including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards] signed pledges not to participate in the state's primary elections if they are held on that date.
However, Clinton has been campaigning in Florida for over a week, and today this poster has been seen around the state:

Sorry Clinton voters, but I will call this one as I see it...

This is the most hypocritical act of her campaign to date, as she is clearly sweeping in at the last minute to try and put Florida in her column after signing a pledge to stay out of the state's primary.

If Democrats are true to themselves, they'll hit Hillary hard over this. If it's wrong for Republicans to fuck around with the election rules in order to make the outcome more favorable to them, then it's just as wrong when a Democrat does it.

The Senator from New York had been a distant second in my primary preferences. This move has put her solidly in fourth - behind Obama, Edwards, and even Gravel. And should she be the eventual nominee, this Florida episode will really shade my judgement.

She's A Liar

Quote of the Day:
Courting voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.
-The Manchester Union-Leader, calling Hillary Clinton on her shit.

Blogger Down

Blogger.com has been all fucked up this morning. Down for an hour and now it's just really slow. No posts until later, if not tomorrow.

Sorry folks, but work beckons.

Happy Tuesday!

28 January 2008

Only In Texas

News item:
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) rescued more than 200 animals from a home in Marshall, Texas. Among the rescued critters were 26 hissing cockroaches, 16 rabbits, 15 guinea pigs, 13 gerbils, seven doves, two dwarf hamsters, two hedgehogs, two bearded dragons, an opossum, and a pink toed tarantula.
The kicker:
While some were found scattered around the property, most were living in filth inside the owner's doublewide trailer.

Oh Yes They Call It "The Shriek..."

Did Hillary Clinton have a desperate Howard Dean moment last week in New Jersey? It looks that way:
Speaking to workers at a nursing home, Hillary Clinton got overly excited upon ending her speech tonight when she repeatedly asked the crowd to turn out to vote for her in New Jersey's primary on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

"Will you help me?! Will you help me?! Will you help me?! Will you help me?! Will you help me?! Will you help me?!" Clinton yelled six times as she tried to rally the crowd's support. However, her yelling came out more like shrieking.
I haven't been able to find video of the speech, but the Ed Schultz Show played a clip this afternoon, and at first I thought they were playing her question ("Will you help me?!") in a continuous loop.

They weren't.

Are desperation and fatigue setting in?

San Francisco Chronicle Endorses Obama

Yes, we can!
He radiated the sense of possibility that has attracted the votes of independents and tapped into the idealism of young people during this campaign. He exuded the aura of a 46-year-old leader who could once again persuade the best and the brightest to forestall or pause their grand professional goals to serve in his administration.

Ted Kennedy Endorses Obama

When the lion of the Senate endorses your candidacy - over the former First Lady's - for the Democratic presidential nomination...well...it's a major coup.

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Obama

JFK's daughter says the Senator from Illinois is very much like her father:
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

27 January 2008

Obama's Rout

Odds and ends from yesterday...

The Raw Numbers:

Obama's vote total is more than McCain's and Huckabee's combined :

Democratic Primary:
Obama 295,091
Clinton 141,128
Edwards 93,552
Kucinich 551
Total Democratic vote: 530,322

Republican Primary (last week):
McCain 147,283
Huckabee 132,440
Thompson 69,467
Romney 67,132
Paul 16,054
Giuliani 9,494
Hunter 1,048
Total Republican vote: 442,918

That's a nine-point spread - 54.5% Democratic to 45.5% Republican - in a state that's about as red as it gets in presidential general elections. I'm under no illusions that most southern states will be in the Democratic column in November, but, in a state where voters can vote in either party's primary, Saturday's numbers must have Democrats in a giddy mood; and I would bet they're giving the Clinton team heartburn. These results - in South Carolina - more than prove Obama's electability over Clinton's.

The Race Card:

I'm sorry...WHO'S playing it?

Shame on Bill Clinton! And good for the voters of South Carolina for rejecting him and his wife for playing it.

Around the Edges:

Exit polls show Obama received 53% of the female vote in South Carolina, Clinton got 30%. I'd say Bill's attack dog strategy on the campaign trail hurt Hillary tremendously. Will he back off? I doubt it. It seems to me our former first family has forgot that this election is really about the failures of the current Republican government, and instead made it about them.

Obama's Speech:

26 January 2008

Obama Wins South Carolina

And MSNBC is reporting that the final numbers will show him beating Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in an overwhelming landslide.

You can see the continually updated numbers here.

For the Democrats: Obama

It's Primary Day for the Democrats in South Carolina, so I thought I would re-post this essay from two-weeks ago:. Click here to read my endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama.

"Juno" - Hip, Hilarious, and Sharp

I saw "Juno" with friends who were visiting from Santa Barbara over the New Years holiday, but am only now getting around to commenting...
There are two things that stick in my mind most about Jason Reitman's new film, "Juno"...Ellen Page and Jason Bateman. Their performances in this smart, touching comedy are two of the very best of this past year. That Bateman didn't get an Oscar nomination is pure injustice.

The film involves a 16-year-old high school student (Juno) who, after experimenting sexually with her best friend Paulie, becomes pregnant - and how Juno deals with family, friends, and life as she carries the baby to term.

She has to tell her parents (played wonderfully by Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons); she decides to terminate the pregnancy, but once at the clinic opts to have the baby; thus giving it up for adoption and choosing the uber-suburban white couple (Bateman and Jennifer Garner) as the lucky parents.

Diablo Cody's script is a masterpiece, crackling with brilliant humor and sharp conversation.

The film is hilarious and hip, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if it wins the Academy Award for Best Picture (or if Page wins for Best Actress).

25 January 2008

Picture of the Week

Who In the World Is Novak Djokovic?

I have no idea, but I would most certainly like to find out.

NY Times Endorses Clinton

From her home state paper of record. Some snippets:
Hearing her talk about the presidency, her policies and answers for America’s big problems, we are hugely impressed by the depth of her knowledge, by the force of her intellect and by the breadth of, yes, her experience.

...Mrs. Clinton has more than cleared [the commander in chief] bar, using her years in the Senate well to immerse herself in national security issues, and has won the respect of world leaders and many in the American military. She would be a strong commander in chief.

...As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration.

...We know that she is capable of both uniting and leading. We saw her going town by town through New York in 2000, including places where Clinton-bashing was a popular sport. She won over skeptical voters and then delivered on her promises and handily won re-election in 2006.
Oh...and they endorsed McCain on the Republican side. Click here to read it, if you're interested.

The Debate Whisperer

Either Mitt Romney has a very loud earpiece or he has a very loud debate coach behind the backdrop. Either way, the Ken Doll of the Republican Party looks like a complete and utter idiot...

Get Well Wishes to Roger Ebert

The Chicago Sun-Times film critic is about to undergo surgery to solve some problems related to last year's longtime hospital stay.

The balcony will be waiting for your return, Sir.

And Then There Were Three

...I mean four. (Mike Gravel is still a candidate, from what I understand.)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Democrat-OH) will end his second run the Democratic presidential nomination.

24 January 2008

Dodd's Filibuster

Sen. Chris Dodd (Patriot-CT), until recently a nominee for the Democratic presidential nomination, will filibuster the FISA bill that is currently on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The bill would grant telecom companies retroactive immunity for their illegal eavesdropping on American citizens, thus letting corporate law-breakers off the hook and hamstringing efforts to get to the bottom of Bush's illegal spying program.

If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to prove their Democratic credentials, then I would highly suggest they get off the campaign trail and join Sen. Dodd on the Senate floor. This issue is too important.

On another note: How 'bout it gang? Chris Dodd for majority leader?? After letting the Republicans filibuster everything under the sun this past year, it's about time the current majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, let the Democrats do what voters put them there to do. But it's too little, too late, and he should step aside and let a true leader lead.

Early Polling Vs McCain

State by state polling shows Clinton losing longtime Democratic states like Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. If an election were held today, McCain would win with 287 electoral votes to Clinton's 251. And my gut tells me McCain's numbers would be stronger on Election Day. I see him picking up Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The map below shows Clinton winning those states:

Obama doesn't do much better, losing Minnesota (a state that hasn't gone Republican since 1972 (and the only state to go Democratic in 1984), but his margins in most of the blue states are wider that Clinton's margins. He loses to McCain none the less: 289 to 249.

As I've said before, polls done this early really aren't worth much. In early 1992, Bill Clinton was polling in third place behind the first President Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot. Clinton would go on to win the election comfortably (Electoral College: 370-168-0, Popular Vote: 43% to 37% to 19%).

In 2004, polls done in January predicted a 40 to 45 state landslide for George W. Bush. That November, he won only 30 states and a measly 286 electoral votes to John Kerry's 251. (The popular vote was close as well: 50.7% for Bush to 48.3% for Kerry.)

So take the maps above with those caveats. They're bound to look much different on Election Day.

23 January 2008


I know a way to put this Clinton-Obama vitriol to rest:

Al Gore for President (Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?)...

Celebrating Heath

Without a doubt it will be Heath Ledger's performance in "Brokeback Mountain" for which he is remembered most. He never made a wrong move in his portrayal of Ennis del Mar, taking the character into the dark closet of the mid-20th century, and turning in a performance that remains one of the best of the 21st. Acting students will study his work in that film for decades to come.

Another Fred

From Andy Towle:
Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church and his band of haters plan to picket the funeral of actor Heath Ledger, because of his involvement in Brokeback Mountain.

In a news release, the church wrote:
Yes. WBC will picket this pervert's funeral, in religious protest and warning: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." Gal. 6:7. Heath Ledger thought it was great fun defying God Almighty and his plain word; to wit: God Hates Fags! & Fag Enablers! Ergo, God hates the sordid tacky, bucket of slime seasoned with vomit known as 'Brokeback Mountain' - and He hates all persons having anything whatsoever to do with it. Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and has begun serving his eternal sentence there - beside which, nothing else about Heath Ledger is relevant or consequential.

Bu-Bye, Fred

The Law and Order star has dropped his half-assed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

22 January 2008

Heath Ledger, 1979 - 2008

Holy shit.


Quote of the Day:
Hillary Clinton: ...you talked about Ronald Reagan being a transformative political leader. I did not mention his name.

Barack Obama: You're husband did.

Hillary Clinton: Well, I'm here. He's not.

Barack Obama: Well...ok...I can't tell who I'm running against.
I was at the office quite late last night and didn't see the debate. I'm actually sort of happy I missed it because apparently it was quite the heated exchange (and thus, because we're both supporting different candidates, watching the debate with my partner may have itself turned into a heated exchange). But, on the Barack-Hillary back-and-forth quoted above...

It has become increasingly obvious for the last several weeks that former President Bill Clinton's role in his wife's campaign has become that of attack dog against Sen. Obama. As someone who has admired him, defended him, and voted for him (twice), I must say that this behavior is indefensible. He is a former president, the current de-facto leader of his party, and as such he should not be jumping into the gutter in order to defend his wife. I am not saying he shouldn't defend Sen. Clinton, but doing it in such a public way, with such vile attacks against her opponent, is extremely unbecoming of a former president. Not even George Herbert Walker Bush (who invented the modern day negative campaign) stumped for his son this publicly and this dirty against fellow Republicans in 2000.


Over the last year, I have tended to dismiss the chatter on the blogosphere that, since they have always billed themselves as "two for the price of one," the Clintons were essentially running for an unconstitutional third term with Hillary's candidacy. While that may not be true technically , you wouldn't be able to tell from the way Bill Clinton has been campaigning on her behalf. I have seen more of him on the news this month than of the actual candidate.

So, if I were Bill, I would make a hasty retreat into the background. Because mark my words: This. Will. Backfire. Voters will reject this sort of constitutional hat trick because, believe me, there have been way too many games played with the Constitution under the current regime; not to mention no American wants a replay of the psycho-drama of the 1990s (nor, for that matter, do they want to continue the imperialist dynasties of the 90s and the 2000s - ie: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton).

Look...Bill Clinton was an excellent president. His term was marked by the largest and longest economic and peace expansion since the end of WWII. There is no doubting his excellent work as President of the United States. Even today, despite all of this bullshit, I am proud to have voted for him, and proud to have defended him when the Republican-Fascists couldn't help themselves and impeached the man over a personal indiscretion.

But he is demeaning the role of former presidents by becoming Hillary's pit bull; and neither of them are fooling anyone when they say she's the one running, not him. If that's true, then he needs to get off the stage and save whatever slim chance she may have of winning next November (if she is the nominee). If not, then they need to admit they are running for a third Clinton term...and be soundly defeated because of it.

Running in 2008 on a platform of returning to the 1990s, while it may sound good to the Clinton team on the face of it, is not what the country is looking for right now. And is most definitely not what it needs.

A seven-and-a-half minute clip from the debate below. (Damn...how did things get this nasty? One reason: How dare this upstart out of Chicago derail She-Who-Is-Inevitable.)

21 January 2008

Telling It Like It Is

Quote of the Day:
And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for president, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.

So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others -- all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face -- war and poverty; injustice and inequality.

We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late.

Because if Dr. King could love his jailor; if he could call on the faithful who once sat where you do to forgive those who set dogs and fire hoses upon them, then surely we can look past what divides us in our time, and bind up our wounds, and erase the empathy deficit that exists in our hearts.
-Sen. Barack Obama, yesterday, to parishioners at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Despite being an overwhelming Democratic constituency, there is a huge anti-gay, anti-Jew, anti-Mexican contingent witin the African-American community. And just as he was able to stand in front of auto makers in Detroit and tell them to stop whining about their plight and do something about it, the Senator from Illinois has the cajones to stand in front of his own community and call them on their shit. And that solidifies his already huge lead in my mind over who would best lead the Democratic Party to a Reagan-style landslide victory in November.

The entire 34-minute speech is here:

Suzanne Pleshette, 1937 - 2008

Suzanne Pleshette, the actress best known for her roles as schoolteacher Annie in Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds, as Bob Newhart's wife, Emily, on The Bob Newhart Show , and as Karen Walker's grifter mother on Will & Grace , died Saturday from respiratory failure. She was 70.

20 January 2008

The Democrats' Dilemma

Quote of the Day:
...if you're looking forward to a Democratic White House in 2009, I don't think this was a good night. Far better had Huck taken it.
-Josh Marshall, on John McCain's victory in South Carolina's Republican primary on Saturday.

Lincoln vs. Cheney

Because it's worth the read, Nicholas Kristof's column from Sunday's New York Times, in full:
With all the sniping from the Clinton camp about whether Barack Obama has enough experience to make a strong president, consider another presidential candidate who was far more of a novice. He had the gall to run for president even though he had served a single undistinguished term in the House of Representatives, before being hounded back to his district. That was Abraham Lincoln.

Another successful president scorned any need for years of apprenticeship in Washington, declaring, “The same old experience is not relevant.” He suggested that the most useful training comes not from hanging around the White House and Congress but rather from experience “rooted in the real lives of real people” so that “it will bring real results if we have the courage to change.”

That was Bill Clinton running in 1992 against George H. W. Bush, who was then trumpeting his own experience over the callow youth of Mr. Clinton. That year Mr. Bush aired a television commercial urging voters to keep America “in the hands of experience.”

It might seem obvious that long service in Washington is the best preparation for the White House, but on the contrary, one lesson of American history is that length of experience in national politics is an extremely poor predictor of presidential success.

Looking at the 19 presidents since 1900, three of the greatest were among those with the fewest years in electoral politics. Teddy Roosevelt had been a governor for two years and vice president for six months; Woodrow Wilson, a governor for just two years; and Franklin Roosevelt, a governor for four years. None ever served in Congress.

They all did have executive experience (as did Mr. Clinton), actually running something larger than a Senate office. Maybe that’s something voters should think about more: governors have often made better presidents than senators. But that’s not a good Democratic talking point, because the candidates with the greatest administrative experience by far are Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee.

Alternatively, look at the five presidents since 1900 with perhaps the most political experience when taking office: William McKinley, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush. They had great technical skills — but not one was among our very greatest presidents.

The point is not that experience is pointless but that it needn’t be in politics to be useful. John McCain’s years as a P.O.W. gave him an understanding of torture and a moral authority to discuss it that no amount of Senate hearings ever could have conferred.

In the same way, Mr. Obama’s years as an antipoverty organizer give him insights into one of our greatest challenges: how to end cycles of poverty. That front-line experience is one reason Mr. Obama not only favors government spending programs, like early-childhood education, but also cultural initiatives like promoting responsible fatherhood.

Then there’s Mr. Obama’s grade-school years in Indonesia. Our most serious mistakes in foreign policy, from Vietnam to Iraq, have been a blindness to other people’s nationalism and an inability to see ourselves as others see us. Mr. Obama seems to have absorbed an intuitive sensitivity to that problem. For starters, he understood back in 2002 that American troops would not be greeted in Iraq with flowers.

In politics, Mr. Obama’s preparation is indeed thin, though it’s more than Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledges. His seven years in the Illinois State Senate aren’t heavily scrutinized, but he scored significant achievements there: a law to videotape police interrogations in capital cases; an earned income tax credit to fight poverty; an expansion of early-childhood education.

Mrs. Clinton’s strength is her mastery of the details of domestic and foreign policy, unrivaled among the candidates; she speaks fluently about what to do in Pakistan, Iraq, Darfur. Mr. Obama’s strength is his vision and charisma and the possibility that his election would heal divisions at home and around the world. John Edwards’s strength is his common touch and his leadership among the candidates in establishing detailed positions on health care, poverty and foreign aid.

Those are the meaningful distinctions in the Democratic field, not Mrs. Clinton’s spurious claim to “35 years of experience.” The Democrats with the greatest Washington expertise — Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson — have already been driven from the race. And the presidential candidate left standing with the greatest experience by far is Mr. McCain; if Mrs. Clinton believes that’s the criterion for selecting the next president, she might consider backing him.

To put it another way, think which politician is most experienced today in the classic sense, and thus — according to the “experience” camp — best qualified to become the next president.

That’s Dick Cheney. And I rest my case.

525,600 Minutes

From the very moment I post this (12 Noon, ET), we're in serious countdown mode:

Exactly one year - to the minute - until the end of the Bush presidency.

19 January 2008

It's McCain In South Carolina

Sen. John McCain (BushBitch-AZ) is the victor in South Carolina's Republican primary. I'm about to head out for the evening, but suffice it to say I think this clinches the Republican nomination for McCain. This primary is vital to that party's process and it's "his turn."

I'll speak more on this week, but the Democrats better sit up and take notice. With his appeal to independent voters, McCain would win a general election match up against Hillary Clinton - and it wouldn't even be close.

At least that's how I see it at this moment.

Clinton Wins Nevada

Hillary Clinton wins her second straight nominating contest:
Clinton 51%
Obama 45%
Edwards 4%
That Edwards number is anemic. If he doesn't do even a little better in his birth state of South Carolina next week, then his campaign will be in dire straits.

As for Sen. Clinton...another hearty congrats! And now, on to South Carolina and next week's Democratic primary there.

Side note: The GOP has their South Carolina primary today, and it will be interesting to see whether Huckabee or McCain come out on top. No Republican has been nominated for the presidency without winning South Carolina's primary.

Update: It looks like Latinos have some discomfort with a black president, thus Clinton's 6-point win over Obama in Nevada.

Romney Wins Nevada GOP Caucus

Networks are projecting Mitt Romney the winner of the Republican caucuses in Nevada.

This isn't all that surprising since Nevada has a pretty decent Mormon population. But one has to look at the Republican race so far and wonder how Romney can't be considered the front runner. Huckabee and McCain have placed first in one contest each, with Romney placing second in both. But in three other contests (Wyoming, Michigan, and Nevada) Romney has actually won.

One would have to argue that, as of today - and unless McCain wins South Carolina - Romney should be considered his party's leading candidate.

In Vegas, Baby!

Quote of the Day:
At the end of the event, a man yelled out to Obama that he will be a better president than George Bush. Obama responded, “So would you!”
-Maria Gavrilovic's "From the Road" blog at CBS News.

18 January 2008

"That's Me"

HOT new single from that humpy hunk of man, Colton Ford (featuring Cazwell).

A Musical Version of "Tales of the City?"

According to Andy Towle, it's in the works...with Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears writing the music.

I can hear the re-work of "Laura" now:
Can't you give me some time?
I got to give myself one more chance.
To be the wo-man that I know I am.
To be the wo-man that I know I am.
Won't you just tell Cleveland,
I'm gonna need your love.

Go, Nads!

Ladies and Gentlemen...the mascot of the Rhode Island School of Design hockey team. (And yes...they really do call themselves the Nads.)

Hil-Force One

I do have to admit, this is a cute clip...

"...all enemies, foreign and domestic" (Part 2)

Well, it's good to see someone with the cajones to go there...

Click here to sign a petition sponsored by Rep. Robert Wexler (Patriot-CA) to begin impeachment hearings against Vice-President Dick Cheney.

17 January 2008

Update on Nevada

From Reuters: A federal judge on Thursday allowed Nevada's Democratic Party...to set up nine locations for Saturday's vote so casino shift workers on the Las Vegas strip can participate in the party's presidential caucuses this Saturday.

If they know what's good for them, the Clinton campaign - and any organization supporting her - should let the ruling stand.

"...all enemies, foreign and domestic"

The first line of the Congressional Oath of Office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...
From Pete Yost, of the Associated Press: All White House emails before October, 2003 have been erased, the disks written over, and the backups lost.

Those emails would include, among numerous things, correspondence regarding the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame (a crime even the President's father once called a high crime or misdemeanor) and warnings during the summer of 2001 that chatter was high of a pending, potentially devastating, terrorist attack on the United States.

Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid: It's really very simple. Bypass committee hearings, hold an immediate vote in the House for impeachment, within 24 hours hold criminal hearings in the Senate, and within another 24 hours remove the President and Vice-President from office, then charge them for their many crimes in Federal criminal courts, and once those charges are filed, ship them to the Hague where they will most surely be charged with war crimes.

Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid...uphold your oath...protect us from these two domestic enemies.

Save America. Protect the Constitution.

Impeachment now!

Huckabee's Crusade

Fascist Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, to supporters in suburban Detroit this past Monday:
I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need...to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than trying to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.
Yes...because by all means we don't want to practice that "family values" drivel his party rants on and on about, do we? Love your son or daughter? Guarantee them equal protection under the law? Absolutely not! Graffiti the Constitution: All pipe smokers and carpet munchers be damned!

Huckabee, Tuesday night on the Fox News love fest known as "Hannity and Colmes":
I'm not suggesting that we re-write the constitution to reflect [mandatory church donations] or Sunday school attendance. I want to make that very clear.
Well...now that he's explained himself...I'm so relieved.

16 January 2008

Mid-Week Levity


The '08 Presidential Quiz

My results:
88% Barack Obama
84% Joe Biden
83% Hillary Clinton
82% Chris Dodd
82% John Edwards
81% Bill Richardson
75% Dennis Kucinich
74% Mike Gravel
41% Rudy Giuliani
39% John McCain
35% Ron Paul
19% Mike Huckabee
16% Fred Thompson
15% Mitt Romney
8% Tom Tancredo
Take it yourself and see how your views compare to candidates of both parties.

Bill O'Reilly Is a Prick

I can remember a day when a comment like the one he makes here would have got a news guy fired. Then again, we're talking about Faux News. Upstanding news standards aren't exactly their shtick.

On Celebutards

The absolutely wonderful Village Voice columnist Michael Musto has joined the blogosphere. Give his La Daily Musto page a look!


Pic of the day, courtesy of Duane, by way of Gil...

The Republican Terrorist

A former Republican congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted today as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly funneled more than $130,000 to al-Qaida and Taliban supporters.

The Republican's name is Mark Deli Siljander. He is a Republican from Michigan.

Have I mentioned he's a Republican?

This is where the Democrats play the Republican game. They would do well to turn this around and, in TV and print ads, ask voters why the Republican Party supports terrorists.

The YouTube Campaign

The Obama Girl...

...and the Clinton Boy...

On Nevada

Last March (last March ), the Nevada Democratic Party issued the rules for this Saturday's presidential caucuses. So that casino workers in Las Vegas could participate and vote in those caucuses while at work, the Democrats of Nevada decided to have special caucus sites in certain select areas on the Vegas strip.

Again, this has been in place SINCE MARCH.

Well, after the Culinary Union endorsed Barack Obama last week, the Clinton campaign in Nevada decided to go to court to change the rules. You see, members of the Culinary Union are a majority of those who would use those special sites to caucus. With the endorsement of their union, a large number of these workers could very well cast their vote for Barack Obama (although they can vote for whoever they want).

The courts have yet to decide, but come. the. fuck. on.!!!! This reeks of Republican-type dirty tricks and voter suppression. And if the Clinton camp succeeds in changing the rules at game time in order to get a more desireable result IN HER OWN PRIMARY, I would have to SERIOUSLY re-consider my vote for her in a general election if she is the Democratic nominee. It would be a tough call, but I wouldn't rule out casting a protest third-party vote

The last thing the Democrats need is their own George W!!

One More Thing About Michigan

After going Republican for several election cycles from 1968 to 1988, Michigan moved to the Democratic column in presidential elections from 1992 to 2004. While Bill Clinton carried the state quite comfortably in his two elections, Al Gore and John Kerry carried them by much smaller margins: Gore by 217,279 votes, Kerry by 165,437.

That said, with 100,000 DEMOCRATS making the special trip out to vote for NO ONE over Hillary Clinton, it's hard to see how she wins this "must have" state in a general election. To those 100,000 voters, add independent and Democratic voters who didn't cast a ballot in yesterday's primary but who will vote in November, and the math just doesn't look good for Sen. Clinton.

And if you can figure out how she wins the Electoral College without Michigan's 18 votes, I'd love to hear it.

The Michigan Primary

Like ol' Mitt Romney, Michigan is my birth state (at 3:07 on an early July morning, a long, long time ago). So let's take a look at yesterday's presidential primary in the Great Lakes state.

The Republicans:
Mitt Romney 39%
John McCain 30%
Mike Huckabee 16%
Ron Paul 6%
Fred Thompson 4%
Rudy Giuliani 3%
Uncommitted 2%
Duncan Hunter 0%
This was a state where John McCain was able to beat George W. Bush back in 2000, with many independent and Democratic voters crossing over to cast ballots in the GOP primary that year. Democrats tended to vote in their own primary this year, but McCain won those few who did cross over.

What do the overall results mean for the Republican race? Who knows. One scenario I see though is that this may go all the way to the convention. We could very well see these candidates show up there without a majority of the delegates, and then an old-fashioned down-and-out nomination fight will take place. And while I'm not a Republican, that would still be fun to watch. Will the party put aside their anger and rally around the old-horse who holds Barry Goldwater's old Senate seat (McCain)? Will they go for another sub-par movie actor (Thompson)? Will the Fascist wing go with Giuliani (despite his views on social issues) in order to keep the Constitutional shredding machine going? Or will the christian nut-jobs remain a force within the party and put Huckabee on top?

Stay tuned!

The Democrats:
Hillary Clinton 55%
Uncommitted 40%
Kucinich 4%
Dodd 1%
It's important to note that this is not a victory for Hillary Clinton. Because of the Michigan Democratic Party's desire to move the state's primary to mid-January, the National party stripped the state of its delegates to this summer's convention, so the election is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. In fact, John Edwards and Barack Obama removed their names from the ballot.

That said...600,000 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary yesterday and, even though the numbers do not have any standing in so far as the nomination is concerned, the results should give Hillary Clinton chills. The fact that 40% of voters trudged out in the cold, snowy weather so that could essentially mark their ballots for no one ("uncommitted") says an awful lot about the former First Lady's electability. Voters from her own party in a state that has gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1992 have essentially said she's a risk.

And now, on to Nevada and South Carolina.

Brad Renfro, 1982 - 2008

Brad Renfro, who made a name for himself in "The Client," and then went on to prove himself an excellent actor in such films as "Apt Pupil," "Telling Lies In America," and "Bully," was found dead in his Los Angeles home yesterday. He was 25.

15 January 2008

The Disappearing Antarctic

It's melting in spots thought to be protected from global warming.

Carter in 08?

He gives the Onion his thoughts on the matter.

(Tounge-in-cheek, and not for the faint of heart.)


What was I saying about tennis the other day? Courtesy of Kenneth in the (212), an absolutely gratuitous photo of Andy Roddick...

Hey Andy...I got a couple of balls I can send flying your way...

Bush as Carter

Energy prices push wholesale inflation up 6.3% in 2007, biggest gain in 26 years.
You all know my thoughts on Hillary Clinton's electability. However, all signs point to a major economic downturn in the coming months; and that could very well provide a strong argument in the eyes of many Americans for her election over any of the Republicans in the field.

Race Bait

Hillary Clinton, last week in New Hampshire:
Martin Luther King's dream became a reality when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
America's whacked mainstream media, on Clinton's comment:
She's a racist!
Bill Clinton, at rally for his wife last week:
First, it is factually not true that everybody that supported that resolution supported Bush attacking Iraq before the U.N. inspectors withdrew. Chuck Hagel was one of the co-authors of that resolution, the only Republican Senator that always opposed the war, every day, from the get-go.
He authored the resolution to say that Bush could go to war only if they didn't cooperate with the inspectors and he was assured personally by Condi Rice, as many of the other Senators were. So, first, the case is wrong that way.

Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years and never got asked one time, not once, "Well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004 and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since."

Give me a break.

This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.
America's whacked mainstream media, on the former President's comments:
He's a racist!
Ok...in the words of my niece (mimicking her teacher)...everybody just calm down.

Neither one of those comments is racist, and the mainstream media needs to stop fanning those flames. (Oh wait...bad use of words...flames....shit...they'll paint me as some raging homo....oh, wait...I am a raging homo...ok...I digress...). I mean, look at the entire comment from President Clinton. He was obviously talking about Sen. Obama's views on the war (and making a mountain out of a moll-hill if you ask me - but that's another story), however CNN, Fox News, ABC News et. al. only played this snippet:
Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.
Without the context of the remarks leading up it, the fairy tale comment can be taken about five different ways and the media used it to paint the Clintons as racist.

Hillary's comment was not racist either. She was simply stating the fact that Lyndon Johnson was the president who signed a bill that got to his desk due to the hard work of MLK, Jr.

Class act that he is, Obama comes to the Clintons' defense, while at the same time calling the media on their shit:
I don't think it was in any way a racial comment. That's something that has played out in the press. That's not my view. [We shouldn't] degenerate into so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this."
That said, Robert Johnson, the former head of BET and a Clinton campaign adviser, made a comment that reeks of an underlying racism:
And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood – and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book – when they have been involved.
Johnson is so obviously referring to Obama's admitted drug use as a young man, that any denials fall on deaf ears.

Hillary Clinton told Tim Russert this past Sunday that she would fire anyone who makes such comments. The sooner her campaign dumps Johnson, the better.

13 January 2008

For the Democrats: Obama

With my first choice - Sen. Joe Biden - having bowed out of the Democratic nominating contests, I have decided to throw my support whole-heartedly to Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. I have tried to look at the remaining viable candidates with an open mind, but on each evaluation Obama comes out on top...each time far and above Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards.

After seven years of fascist-Republican rule under George Bush and Dick Cheney, the United States (indeed the WORLD) is in need of a tremendous reset moment; a sort of knocking down of the old evil empire, and a new, younger, progressive model put in place. And a simple change of party will not do the trick.

Thus, Hillary Clinton is the wrong person for this cycle. She is extremely qualified and would make a superb president in a different era. But in 2008 her candidacy is not the new blood so desperately needed around the globe. The fact that between 48% and 51% of the country will not vote for her is not the proverbial step forward that America needs. The partisan wars of the 1990s do not need to be replayed as we try to head off the coming domestic fiscal crisis and regain our international stature at the same time.

With a heavy heart I say, I am sorry Sen. Clinton...this is not your moment.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has the potential to provide the Democratic Party with the 21st Century version of Ronald Reagan: An intelligent, natural leader with the ability to bring independent voters - and some moderate Republicans - to his side and form a coalition government that will move America forward, on a progressive agenda, after several years of taking too many steps in reverse.

Many on my side of the political spectrum say that the unity argument is bullshit; that, if we are lucky enough to win the White House this year, we should govern as the Republicans have...no holds barred...screw the other side...don't give in to the Republican agenda one iota. And after 16 years of Republican games, that argument makes sense to me...on the surface. Deeper down, it's not that black and white.

What Obama offers is a progressive agenda combined with a courtesy and conviction that would numb the sting disenchanted Republicans might feel if they decided to cast ballots for the Democratic ticket - just as Ronald Reagan was able to bring a slew of angry Democrats to vote Republican in 1980 and 1984. Reagan didn't alter his conservative agenda, but rather took the fangs out of it, thus making many Democratic voters comfortable enough to vote Republican.

Obama is this cycle's Reagan, only on the other end of the political spectrum.

After the debacles of Iraq and Abu Ghraib and Katrina, Obama is the candidate who can make us proud to be Americans again.

In order for anything to happen in Washington over the next few years (namely, reversing much of the damage the Bush team will leave behind), the next president will need a large coalition in the Congress working in lock-step with the White House. The junior senator from Illinois is our nation's best bet to win a large majority of the popular vote and provide coattails down ballot in congressional races.

Hillary Clinton would be a nightmare. Not her, specifically...not her politics...not her governing style...but rather, the result of the election. On the slim chance that she were able to eke out a presidential victory, I bet American voters will move down the ballot and put Congress back in the hands of the Fascist-leaning Republicans. Gridlock once more. Nothing gets done. America's stature diminishes further.

Before you start piling on...It's unfair to Hillary by any measure. HUGELY unfair . But it's time for Democratic primary voters to look at the political realities. Too many Americans think negatively of Sen. Clinton, and those opinions are deeply rooted in 16 years of some of the worst partisan politics and Republican attacks in recent memory - and those opinions are not going to change. If the Clinton team really sat back and thought about it - if they really loved their country - they would realize that her candidacy at the top of the presidential ticket this year could very well keep America in the hands of an oppressive Fascist-Republican government until, at most, 2019.

A third (and possibly fourth) straight presidential loss could be devastating to the Democratic Party; and over all, America can't afford that.

As for John Edwards...well...his "two Americas" candidacy is grounded in a tremendously passionate platform. But it will not win him the presidency.

Moreover, this little 2004 tid-bit from Kerry campaign manager Bob Schrum says alot about the motivation of Edwards:
Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling...
Yeah...but...really, no. Edwards is not the candidate we need for '08.

And so, for the sake of the Democratic Party...for the sake of the United States of America...for the sake of the globe...I will cast my California primary ballot for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

The Establishment Candidate

Quote of the Day:
There were several moments when she could have said, even in a small way, that she misjudged the Iraq war. She could have conceded that, in fact, Obama's judgment was actually better than hers at the outset. Heck, many of us have been able to say such a thing, and in the end, we take our lumps but move on. But she simply cannot.

If you want yet another president who cannot say he or she made a mistake, who can never cop to errors, and who uses everything as a political tool against his or her opponents, you have your candidate.
-An American conservative who is ready to back a Democrat...if OBAMA is the nominee.

The magic of Ronald Reagan was that he knew he had the ability to bring Democratic voters to cast Republican ballots for president. Hillary Clinton, with her superb ability to read the political tea leaves, should know that she is NOT the Democratic Party's Ronald Reagan.

11 January 2008

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Elder drag queens for McCain? I report. You decide.

(Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty)


...your monitor is filthy. Click here for a quick cleansing!

Bonjour, Ola, Buen Dia

A hearty shout out (and heartfelt 'thank you') to new readers in:
Boisset Bas, France
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
This is a small little blog in the scheme of things, and I appreciate your readership.

The Arrogance of Hillary

Quote of the Day:
[Obama] was a part-time state senator for a few years, and then he came to the Senate and immediately started running for president. And that's his prerogative. That's his right. But I think it is important to compare and contrast our records.
-Hillary Clinton, on the campaign trail in Nevada.

"And I was the wife of a president for a few years, and then came to the Senate where I started positioning myself for a presidential run. And that's my prerogative," she failed to add.

Maybe if he paid them $9.11 an hour...

...Rudy could afford to pay his staff, rather than force them to forgo paychecks.


I never watch the sport, but I must say...that may change very soon!

Perfect Timing

On the same day that Gov. Bill Richardson (Democrat-NM) ends his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Bay Area Reporter endorses him.

1 Last Thing On NH

We will never know for sure if there was some sort of racial disparity between what New Hampshire voters told pre-election pollsters and how they actually voted in the Democratic presidential primary. That said, a look back at the polls show Sen. Obama's numbers actually held up. Those who said they were going to vote for him did. What the polls didn't catch were the undecided voters...namely women undecideds who went almost completely for Sen. Clinton on primary day.

Additionally, exit polls out of New Hampshire show most of the voters who were set to cast ballots for Sen. Biden or Sen. Dodd, who both dropped out of the race following the Iowa caucuses, instead voted for Clinton, thus adding a few more votes to her overall total.

So, my gut tells me the result wasn't related to race. Rather it was about gender: women who had been on the fence between Iowa and New Hampshire came home to Clinton in those final hours.

10 January 2008

Hillary Narcissus

Quote of the Day:
There was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her.
-NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd, on Hillary's little episode the day before the New Hampshire primary.

Sully points out:
This is always about the Clintons. [They believe that] If the Democrats have to lose to McCain in November so Hillary Clinton can become the first female nominee for any major party, that's a price the country will just have to pay.
I wouldn't have thought that of the Clintons a couple of years ago, but they really are conducting this campaign as if its all about them; as if they are trying to do what George W. Bush did for his family - redeem themselves.

I have news for them: They ain't the Bushes. Both Geogres will go down in history as failed presidents. By contrast, Bill Clinton's presidency was a decent success DESPITE the Republican effort to derail him. But Hillary is not Bill. If he were able to run again there is no doubt he'd win a comfortable victory, if not a landslide. Hillary, I think, will not be so lucky. Too many people are ready to vote against her and if she wins despite that, they'll be ready to stifle her presidency on day one.

And America does not need four more years of that crap.

And yes, before you start piling on, I think it's hugely unfair to Hillary. I think she'd be a great president. But the political realities are what they are. As such, the Clintons should start thinking about the future of America rather than the future of the Clintons. And once they've really thought about it, they would realize that we can't take a chance on four more years of Republican-Fascist rule.

Richardson Bows Out

Gov. Bill Richardson (Democrat-NM) will bow out of his party's nominating contests, according to the Associated Press. It seems the impressive resume of the former congressman-turned-United Nations Ambassador-turned Energy Secretary-turned-freelance global negotiator was no match to the star power of Hillary, Obama, and Edwards.

His failure to gain traction was due, I think, to his personality. Despite his international stature, Richardson never really figured out how to pump his own credentials and came off looking like a buffoon.

He's not a buffoon and would make a superb vice-presidential nominee or cabinet member.

South Carolina Poll

A new Insider Advantage poll of South Carolina Democrats shows Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton 40% to 33%, with "native son" John Edwards pulling 15%.

We all know how bad the polling was in New Hampshire, so take these numbers with a grain of salt. However, remember that half of the state's Democratic voters are African American. After Obama's win in Iowa last week, the conventional wisdom was that black voters saw him as a guy who is viable. The question now is, after his loss in New Hampshire, will they be comfortable enough to give him their vote.

We'll see.

09 January 2008

10 Points

If you combine the Democratic vote with the Republican vote in yesterday's New Hampshire primary, you get the following result:
Democrats 55%
Republicans 45%
When you consider the fact that independent voters can cast a ballot in either party's primary, numbers like this make November look pretty darn good for the Democratic ticket.

The Players

Last night's New Hampshire speeches from...



and, Edwards:

It's Not Over

Just as Iowa wasn't a coronation for Barack Obama, New Hampshire is not an automatic path to the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. Yes, her campaign is reinvigorated, and deservedly so. But the campaign continues and the remaining candidates must now present to voters in Nevada, South Carolina, the February 5th states - and beyond - the best case for their nomination.

That said, I stand by my arguments that Barack Obama is this country's best hope; and that while Hillary Clinton could very well be a superb president, she will bring out the worst in our country. Don't get me wrong...it is not her fault and I don't blame her. I blame the Republicans. Their vitriol for the Clintons is maniacal. That is just the sad state of affairs.

And so, if we have to chose between a Democratic candidate who can rally independent and Republican voters and bring a huge number of congressional seats with his coattails, and a candidate who might win with at best 48% to 50% of the vote - with the possibility of turning congress Republican to keep her hands tied...well...it's a no-brainer to me.

"Feedback" - The Video

The new video from Ms. Jackson...

The Coming Contests

For your reference, a guide map outlining the coming presidential nominating contests...

The Polls vs the Final Result

It seems the pollsters were spot on with Obama's final result. Where things went haywire was with the undecideds. Namely, female undecideds. They broke almost completely for Clinton.

More on the Women's Vote

Thinking on it, the results in Iowa and the pre-primary polls in New Hampshire were a prime example of an older more experienced woman being passed over for an important job by a younger, less experienced man. And the women of New Hampshire decided they were going to do what they could to prevent that from happening here.

That said, she hasn't won the job yet. She simply passed an early interview and is hoping to move on to a final interview this summer. And if she gets to that phase, especially if John McCain is the Republican nominee, then come November the Democrats could very well find themselves locked out of the White House for another four years.

I hope I'm wrong, but think about it..."Change" seems to be the key word in this election. So that begs the question: How could voters see change in the possibility of a "Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton" run on the presidency?

The answer: They won't.

08 January 2008

It's Hillary!

Ladies and gentlemen...your "comeback kid."

She pulled it out and, while we can take a deeper look at the numbers later (namely the discrepancies in pre-election polling), Hillary Clinton deserves a hearty congratulations. Well done, Senator!

Thinking Further On It

I may have jumped the gun on the race issue. At least I hope I did. The closeness of the race (2 points, maybe 3) would not indicate an underlying bigotry. This was, after all, a Democratic primary. I'd expect it from the Republicans, but not from the Democrats.

Hopefully we'll know more in the days to come, but my best guesses...

Although most of them voted on the Democratic side, enough independents (who can vote in either primary) asked for Republican ballots to vote for John McCain, and that kept Obama's overall vote total down.

The under-30 voters didn't turn out as strongly as they did in Iowa.

New Hampshire voters were fed up with the "coming coronation" of Obama, and decided to let America know that they can make up their owns minds, thank you!

And, as exit polls show, NH women went for Clinton by at least 12 points over Obama.

More on the Race Argument

From Andrew Sullivan:
Tonight is the first primary - not a caucus. People get to vote in a secret ballot - not in front of their largely liberal peers, as in Iowa. [Voters] may have told the pollsters one thing about voting for a black man, but in the privacy of the voting booth, something else happens. I don't have any hard evidence for this, but the discrepancy in the polls is remarkable...The vast discrepancy between the last polls and the [actual] result puts [race] on the table. I hope it's not true. But it could be.
My partner has been arguing since last week that America is not ready to vote for a black president. I've been arguing just as passionately that we are.

For the sake of the Democratic Party - and America as a whole - I hope race isn't what caused tonight's result.

What Happened?

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:
If Hillary wins this, first, it's a huge victory for her. But - and the but is important - the debate will be as to how Obama had a double-digit lead coming into today and suddenly lost [it] in a matter of hours? We suspect there will be two schools of thought - either Hillary won because New Hampshire is racist, or she won because she cried. Either way, not a great message.
I wondered if that little tearful episode from yesterday was going to help her with women. Apparently it did, as exit polls show her carrying them by a 47% to 34% margin (Obama carried them by 5 points in Iowa). That could very well be all she needs to win New Hampshire tonight.

As of 7:25pm MSNBC can't project a winner and some of the college towns are still outstanding.

The Insurgent vs. the Establishment

Quote of the Day:
Since George McGovern won his party's [1972 presidential] nomination - never once has an insurgent candidate defeated an establishment candidate to acquire the nomination. That goes for both parties. In the 220 year history of presidential nominations, insurgents have defeated establishment darlings only a handful of times. A big reason is that the establishment sets the rules. An insurgent candidate riding a wave of grassroots support still has to contend with them. This does not mean that an insurgent cannot beat an insider. It just means that it is hard. Obama will probably win New Hampshire tonight. And he is in a very good position to win his party's nomination. But don't count Clinton out. She's the insider, the candidate of the establishment - and they have a habit of winning.
-Jay Cost at Real Clear Politics, reminding us in a nicely written piece that the Democratic race is far from over.

Click on the link and read his post. He outlines the process by which Hillary Clinton might still win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination at the convention in Denver this summer...even if Obama wins New Hampshire (and many subsequent contests) by a comfortable margin.

Doolittle, Too Late

Rep. John Doolittle (Fascist-CA), one of the few Abramoff-Republicans who survived the 2006 elections, seems to see the writing on the wall. Word is he won't run for reelection in November.

07 January 2008

Know Hope

Quote of the Day:
I find the manner in which they've been running their campaign sort of depressing, lately. It was interesting in the debate, Sen. Clinton saying 'Don't feed the American people false hopes. Get a reality check, you know?' I mean, you can picture JFK saying, 'We can't go to the moon, it's a false hope. Let's get a reality check.' It's not, sort of, I think, what our tradition has been.
-Sen. Barack Obama, on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Two More NH Polls

It's not looking good for the Clinton camp.

Gallup/USA Today:
Obama 41%
Clinton 28%
Edwards 19%
Richardson 6%
Obama 39%
Clinton 29%
Edwards 16%
Richardson 7%

06 January 2008

Pissy and Shrill

This clip from last night's Democratic debate is the perfect example of why I think it would be absolutely fatal for the party to nominate Hillary Clinton for the general election in November. She's pissy, she's shrill, and I don't think American voters want an ice princess mother-figure scolding them from the Oval Office!

I talked with my mother this weekend. She hasn't made up her mind who to support in the Illinois Democratic primary, but during our discussion she said that she really thinks the country needs a woman president. I agree. But I don't think Hillary is that woman. When 51% of the country say flat out that they will not cast a vote for her, you are forced to wonder how she wins a general election. It comes down to a choice: Do we risk losing the White House for another four years? Or do we go another route, thank Sen. Clinton for what she has brought to the debate, and ask her to step aside?

For me, the answer, especially after seeing last night's exchange, is quite clear.

05 January 2008

Little Miss Chloe

A series of pretty hefty winter storms are blowing their way across California this weekend. So what better time to post a summertime picture of our little girl! Taken by her Aunt Noel at Golden Gate Park this past August.

Another NH Poll: Obama Leads by 12 !

Another poll (this one from ARG), taken in the two days after the Iowa caucuses, shows Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton by 12 points!
Obama 38%
Clinton 26%
Edwards 20%
Richardson 3%
If Obama beats Hillary by a double-digit margin on Tuesday, then the Clinton candidacy will be on life support. The wave of enthusiasm that would result from a one-two punch by Obama would be too much for the Clinton campaign to overcome going into the Nevada and South Carolina primaries.