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August 28th, 2008
Bill Is Still The Godfather
I’ll admit I was a little worried that Bill’s baton-passing might be as empty of discernible passion as Hillary’s, or that he just might express his personal pique at Democrats’ rejection of his wife’s bid for power. So I was greatly relieved to once again experience Bill Clinton’s utter mastery of the art of political rhetoric – his legendary ease with the forum, his self-assured ability to speak his heart effectively, and his sometimes magical talent for drawing trust and confidence from his listeners. Best speech of the convention so far, though John Kerry hit some righteous points as well.
Here are some particularly good quotes from the speeches thus far that definitely should be replayed regularly in You Tube viral clips, in television and radio ads, and in print campaign literature through November…
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“For over a quarter of a century, the Republicans have sold their magic beans with a promise of a giant beanstalk and gold over the horizon. Look what they’ve done to our country. Look what they’ve done to our planet.”Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Campaigns, Conventions, Democrats, DNC, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Presidential Candidates | Comments (3)
August 27th, 2008
Hard-Hearted Hillary Made Me Cry
It has continually struck me quite odd ever since the DNC started that the also-ran got so very much nervous attention. Why so many big-wigs worried about whether she’d actually help the party’s nominee in this very important election, or whether she’d stab him in the back in a fit of leftover pique over losing what she (and the entire Republican Establishment) believed was her “rightful due.” As if OUR country, OUR leadership somehow became during the 1990s a monarchy instead of the Democratic Republic the founding fathers established.
Sure, the Bush “dynasty” did make it seem just like that monarchy, and God knows George Junior certainly has treated the position as if he has some sort of divine right to rule in flagrant disregard for what the country wants or needs. Yet that’s precisely what Democrats are running AGAINST in this election, not something Dems need to affirm when their turn comes around again. Maybe it’s a creeping mental illness, a delusional state easy to fall prey to in an era of Bush family totalitarianism. But the Clintons were better than that.
Oh, she gave a strong, spirited speech. She repeated her support for Obama and Biden several times, and came down hard on why the country absolutely doesn’t need another Bush (disguised as John McCain). But I saw no warmth, no genuine enthusiasm, and too much playing with the power she supposedly wields over a bunch of Republican plants whose jobs were to get her the nomination because that’s who the Republicans were determined to run against – because that’s who they could beat.Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Campaigns, Conventions, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
August 26th, 2008
Assassination plot busted, Teddy’s speech…
…and Michelle Obama’s home run to the nosebleed seats. Wow. What a way to start a convention!
In a bizarre twist, the DailyKos blogging team – DKos is the official host of the “Big Tent” blogger-space attached to the Denver Convention Center – somehow got bumped from their posh hotel suites at the last moment and ended up having to spend the night before the convention at a hotel in Glendale (where the Newsweek convention crew was also ensconced) before arranging better accommodations for the rest of the convention. But during that first night there was some big excitement when the entire Denver SWAT team staged a big meth bust of a room across the hall, rousting the crew and leaving them witness to some very exciting police action.
…only to find out that they had been bumped right smack dab into the very midst of serious political intrigue when it was announced that the bust was part of a possible Obama assassination plot! The SS, ATF and FBI are all involved in investigations of the busted conspirators, apparently a small group of wackos from the White Supremecist corner of the hard-right wingnut end of the spectrum. Updates state that “at least” four people are under arrest in connection with the plotBarack Obama, Blogosphere, Campaigns, Conventions, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Party Platforms, Presidential Candidates | Comments (2)
August 20th, 2008
We should know by Friday (or, Thursday when the Obama camp promises to ‘leak’ the choice to selected bloggers who will immediately ‘leak’ it to the rest of us). Who will it be? Will we be surprised? Disgusted? Outraged? Glad?
Don’t know if I have a favorite in this beauty contest. I’ve heard a lot of things, and thought about others. I’ve heard Hillary is out of the running, but she sure seems to still feel it’s her ‘right’ to be on the ticket. And given that she got half the votes cast, she may have a point. But how effective could Obama’s leadership be if he had a 2-fer on the Veep end that worked constantly against his policies and hogging the spotlight? So no, I wouldn’t be happy to see Hillary’s name drawn.Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Campaigns, Conventions, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
June 2nd, 2008
After a long, hard-fought and predictably ugly campaign for the Democratic nomination for POTUS, the Rules Committee of the RNC on Saturday did not hand Hillary Clinton what she demanded – ALL of the delegates for both Florida and Michigan. These two states had broken the rules by rescheduling their primaries to occur before “Super Tuesday,” knowing they would incur penalty and lose their seats at the convention. They did it anyway, Hillary claimed wins in both, even though Obama (and Edwards, and Richardson, etc.) weren’t even on the ballot in Michigan.
Thus as of today, June 2 on the eve of the last primary contest tomorrow, the count stands at Obama 2,071, Clinton 1,914.5. Obama needs 46 of the remaining 234 delegates, Clinton needs 202.5 of them. Which she isn’t at all likely to get, so for all intents and purposes (and barring some not-so clever coup d’etat at the convention by Bill and Hill), It’s Over.
There has been increasing buzz over the last couple of weeks that the Clintons are positioning for Vice-President on Obama’s ticket, but I predict this will quickly slide into the rain-gutter. Why would a President Obama want to have not one but TWO vice-presidents with egos so big they’d undermine his policies just to get the attention they crave? This is a bad idea, and I don’t think Obama or anyone moving and shaking in his campaign are going to fall for it.
So… what do we do with the Clintons? It’s quite obvious that their ambition, sense of entitlement and passion for divisive politics wasn’t quenched after 8 years’ worth of Vast Right Wing Conspiracy or Bimbo Eruptions. They still feel they’ve something to contribute, and we might all be better off if we go ahead and let them contribute. Here’s my ideas…
Hillary should go back to representing the State of New York in the Senate, and the moment one of the current cadre of Supreme Court justices dies or retires, she should be the first and foremost Obama nominee to that bench. With a Dem congress it should be a breeze to get her confirmed, and a lot of the folks there are themselves floating this idea of what to do with Hillary.
Continue reading »
May 20th, 2008
Today is yet another primary day, as Oregon and Kentucky hit the polls and Democrats will choose between Hillary Clinton – who is expected to win Kentucky handily – and Barack Obama – who is expected to take Oregon by a goodly margin. Thereby not changing a thing in the current delegate situation and not resolving the issue of who will be the Democratic nominee against John McCain.
As it stands right now while voters in those two states vote, Obama is 110 delegates away from victory, while Clinton needs another 306 delegates. Today’s vote will diminish those “still-to-go” figures, but the ratio will remain essentially the same. And since Clinton still hasn’t figured out that America doesn’t believe it “owes” her the top job, she shows no signs of giving up on her desperate clinging to irrational hope that she can blackmail her way to the nomination via superdelegate coup d’etat. By now, of course, most Democrats are sick of the whole mess, as is just about everybody else in this wacky primary season that has lasted way, way too long.
So… what’s going on in the real world these days?
First, here’s a great photo of Myrtle Strong Enemy, a 101-year old Crow Indian (and oldest living Crow), waiting for Obama to speak in Crow Agency, Montana on Monday. When Obama was officially adopted into the Crow Nation. He was given the Crow name “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land,” which seems quite fitting. He is also the first presidential candidate ever who has visited the Crow reservation.
Another subject of interest is the 8 million Americans targeted for round-up in case of a declared National Emergency. You may ask, how can I make sure I get on that list? It’s really very easy. There’s this computer software algorithm that does all the hard work, making thinking human beings completely unnecessary to the project of designating enemies of the state. It makes judgments about targets’ behavior by tracking their associations via “social network analysis” and uses artificial intelligence tools.
The data collected includes information from banks, credit card companies and credit agencies, private data like ISPs, landline and cell phone records, your travel record, things you purchase, how much cash you withdraw from the ATM, etc. All that “domestic spying” data they say they don’t need a warrant to collect, which is collected anyway and fed into the “Main Core” database for analysis. Bragging rights all around!
Last but not least (for today), there’s the OOOH, SCARY statistic that 16% of high school science teachers neglect evolution or teach unapproved notions such as Creationism or Intelligent Design. Now, that might not be all that scary to people who recognize that public schools are such failures generally that more than 16% of American students don’t even attend at all (home schoolers plus the ~60% dropout rate in entire regions of the country), but there’s a strong scientific lobby that likes to play Chicken Little on the very idea that people are still allowed to believe things the lobby disapproves of in the US of A in the 21st century. Go figure.
At any rate, those are three items of interest and possible discussion value over dinner tonight as we all await the results of the primaries we already know the results of. Do try to avoid the temptation to throw up hands and start living in the real world. It’s an election year – we’ll have none of that! [/snark]Filed under Barack Obama, Campaigns, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
May 15th, 2008
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton soundly won Tuesday’s (May 13) West Virginia primary 2-1, surprising no one. On Wednesday evening (May 14) ex-presidential candidate John Edwards formally endorsed Barack Obama.
“There is one man who knows in his heart that it is time to create one America – not two – and that man is Barack Obama,” Edwards said at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Things did look a little iffy recently, when some of Edwards’ campaign staff worked on behalf of Clinton prior to the North Carolina primary on May 6. Edwards is a North Carolina resident and ex-Senator for the state. Obama in turn embraced Edwards’ Half In Ten initiative to reduce poverty in the U.S. by 50% within the next ten years.
Additionally, on Thursday, May 15 Obama received the endorsement of the United Steelworkers union. This fight may soon be over, the better to take on Republican candidate John McCain in the real race to the White House. The full endorsement speech is available in the videos below, parts 1 and 2:
Barack Obama, Campaigns, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates, Unions | Comment (0)
May 7th, 2008
The three registered Democrats in my household (minus Independent but not yet registered grandson who just turned 18) all voted yesterday in the basement of the First Baptist Church. Where the precinct polling place was moved 6 years ago when the train station was being refurbished (for passenger service that never materialized), and has not moved back. We took to absentee and early voting after only one trip to the Baptist basement, given that I resented the Noah’s Ark mural looking over my shoulder, the many (obviously new and for the purpose) posters reminding us of what Jesus would think and do, and absolutely hated those awful, notorious Diebold Etch-a-Sketches that threw 2004′s state races into such turmoil that Diebold was shown the border and told NEVER to return. Criminals.
They did paint over the Noah mural, and we went back to paper ballots. In a town with just two precincts and a total population of 738, it’s just not that hard to count votes. Filling in a little circle like we did in school, with a nice black Sharpee ensures me that nobody’s going to misinterpret my intent. No chads to hang, no programming to hack, just a nice black mark right there next to the name of the person I’m voting for. Cool.Barack Obama, Campaigns, Hillary Clinton, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates, Voting Rights | Comment (0)
April 23rd, 2008
Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Primary Tuesday (April 22) by ~9.5 percentage points. This was more than ten percent less than the lead Clinton held according to pollsters just a few weeks ago, which is both a result of Obama’s impressive ground game and an indication of voter backlash against Hillary’s increasingly negative campaign tactics.
This slim margin doesn’t significantly change the overall pledged delegate margin and doesn’t put Clinton in the lead. Unless she bows out on May 6 after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, her only hope is still to stage a superdelegate coup by convincing them to vote against Democratic voters at the August convention. Which isn’t likely, given the number of superdelegates endorsing Obama.
On Tuesday 29 North Carolina state legislators endorsed Obama, who is expected to win the state by a considerable margin on May 6th. Early voting in North Carolina began last week. Indiana polling is all over the map, indicating that it’s entirely unreliable at this point. It is expected that the small gains from Pennsylvania for Clinton will be erased after the next primaries. Neither candidate will have enough pledged delegates to take the nomination on the first ballot.
The polls haven’t proven to be very accurate so far in the primary season, and there are some widely divergent results from Indiana – some have Obama ahead by 5, some have Clinton ahead by 10. Either way, she will still get through the process behind Obama. And unless her dirty tricks department can somehow find a way to crush Obama on a triviality (or she can stage the SD coup), she won’t get the nomination.
So the only remaining question in my mind for this ugly race is… How low will she go?Filed under Barack Obama, Campaigns, Hillary Clinton, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates, Slime Machine | Comment (0)
April 17th, 2008
The ABC Democratic Debate in Philly on Wednesday night (April 16) was by all accounts a travesty of petty distractions and blatant pandering. Who’s not so bright idea was it to have George Stephanopolis as a moderator for a Clinton? Gag me…
Luckily, the event was blocked out here in North Carolina, where early voting opened today and the crowds are already considerable. I checked my sites today on the state BoE website, where the banner now displays a running total of registrations. Democrats are running nearly 2 to 1 over Republicans, with a million and a quarter Independents.
Now, North Carolina likes to split its tickets. We consistently go for Democratic state government and my locality is solidly Dem. But for as long as I’ve lived here – yes, I’m ashamed to say I lived through the last throes of the Jesse Helms empire – NC has gong solidly Republican for President and Senate. Except when John Edwards finally took the pig farmer down, but he didn’t stay long and we ended up with Liz Dole. But from what I’ve seen, this year our millions of bitter small town and rural people just might go Dem well beyond the margin of error that allows elections to be stolen. And the Dem who will make that happen is Barack Obama. He’s going to sweep our primary, then he’s going to take the state.
Anyway, here’s a video of what Barack Obama said today in Raleigh, where he proved that Pennsylvania isn’t the only state that counts right now. Hillary and ABC have given him a significant talking point he can hammer from now ’til November – what’s wrong with American Political Discourse (and the mainstream media) in this country. Just more reasons for change!Filed under Analysis, Barack Obama, Campaigns, Debates, Hillary Clinton, Media, Party Primaries, Propaganda, Slime Machine | Comment (0)