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11 December 2008 @ 11:37 pm
$14B Auto Bailout Dies in Senate

Ideology and greed has once again triumphed over fairness and national interest. For a little background on the insane decision to let blue-collar American workers lose their jobs while simultaneously enabling Wall Street fat cats to continue recklessly fattening, here's a segment from Rachel Maddow from before the deal fell through.

The fact that Republican US Senators representing states that are home to the foreign competitors of the big three American automakers have been allowed to dictate their fate is appalling. This is like the fate of Coca-Cola being decided by Pepsi stockholders.

Let's hope they wake up and pass something. If not, January 20th is just around the corner, and we'll have a better Senate.
 
 
19 June 2008 @ 11:09 pm
Cindy McCain says candidates' families should be off-limits.

What a lovely sentiment. Except for the fact that this was during the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon, and it followed an interview on Good Morning America earlier the very same day in which she again attacked Michelle Obama for her "proud of America" misstatement.

From MSNBC:

"I don't know why she said that — everyone has their own experience. I don't know why she said what she said. All I know is that I've always been proud of my country."
 
 
13 June 2008 @ 09:42 pm
Tim Russert dead at 58.

This is a huge shock and a great loss. Tim Russert was a man I expected to be hearing from for many, many more years, as the longevity of his father "Big Russ" would have suggested.

We'll miss you, Tim.
 
 
02 June 2008 @ 11:50 pm
Early reports are suggesting my faith in Hillary Clinton's ultimate decision to do the right thing may not be misguided.

Clinton Message: She'll Do What It Takes In November

The big question of the dream ticket continues to linger. While I personally am capable of forgiving Clinton herself for holding back the party for so long, my patience for those who have been drinking her Kool-Aid is waning.

There have been several of her supporters who have actively threatened to vote for McCain, both online as well as with cries of "Let's Go McCain" in the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting over the weekend, even though it is obvious that anyone who would switch from Clinton to McCain is tragically confused and ignorant about the issues at stake.

I'm not sure rewarding these fools by awarding their candidate the vice president slot is the best choice. It would serve as a validation of the ignorant mindset they've been flaunting and they wouldn't learn anything. Clinton herself has only been doing what Clintons do best in playing dirty politics, but the mindless zombie loyalists she has created over the past 15 months are a dangerous testament to the gullibility of the average person.
 
 
14 May 2008 @ 10:50 pm
It was a movement that began with Barack's easy win in North Carolina, was bolstered by John Edwards' decision to back him, and will continue through the rest of the primary season. The superdelegates finally realize it's safe to come outside and throw their support behind Obama. Some former Clinton backers have even seen the light and reversed their decisions, doubtlessly both because it was the right thing to do and as a face-saving initiative.

Hillary Clinton will not exit the race until after the last primary votes are cast, but you can expect the contest to get a lot more civil in its waning hours. The attack dogs are being called off in the Clinton/Obama fight and a sense of party unity is bubbling to the surface. Hillary Clinton herself had some of her strongest words of support for Barack today, telling her supporters that not voting for Obama in November would be a "grave mistake." I'm willing to take her at her word that she will work hard for the nominee of the party, and I hope that she follows through so that she can salvage both her and her husband's reputations.

Part of the reason it's good for Hillary to stay in is that it would have been doubly embarrassing to get beaten by her in Kentucky and West Virginia if she had already exited the race. 7% of West Virginian voters still thought Edwards was in, after all.

Meanwhile, you will see Barack campaigning in many more general election states. The Obama path to victory will not be the Bill Clinton path, or even the Gore path. West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas and Louisiana will likely be a write off. Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida will still be in play. But Barack will put states like Missouri, Kansas, Virginia and North Carolina into contention like never in recent memory. And he may even make bolder inroads in the South - he won Georgia by huge numbers in the primary, and the state went to Bill Clinton in 1992, proving it is winnable. He stands a great chance of recapturing Iowa and Colorado, states ceded to Bush since 2000, and with Bill Richardson's help New Mexico. It will be an entirely new electoral map, and it will be refreshing to see.
 
 
 
It was late in coming, but it filled a much-needed attention grabber role.

I was of the opinion that Edwards should have come out for Obama much earlier, even pre-Super Tuesday, which might have taken the wind out of Clinton's ethnic white sails. But John was being very cautious about things, and waited until the writing on the wall was undeniable before putting his own political ambitions on the line by choosing one over the other.

Still, for an endgame move, the timing couldn't have been any better. The Edwards endorsement will overshadow the news reports of Clinton's 41-point win in West Virginia, which has been admitted as unimportant even by most of the conflict-hungry media. The addition of Edwards to the campaign will also give Obama exactly the kind of help he needs with working-class whites.

What's next for Edwards? I tend to believe him when he says he doesn't want the VP slot, at least this year. No one wants a walking reminder of Kerry's loss in 2004. I still think he would make a wonderful Attorney General.

Depending on how much of an impact this has, it may also deflect some calls for a joint Obama-Clinton ticket. Initially, that sounds like a great idea, as it would pick up the majority of the bumpkinesque diehard Clinton voters. But Clinton as VP would be as much of a liability for Obama as it would be an asset, especially after the GOP-like cheap shots that have been lobbed from that side of the fence during the primary campaign. I think we need a fresh face, and I'd still prefer Janet Napolitano.
 
 
07 May 2008 @ 11:47 am
Today is a good day for supporters of Barack Obama, with a huge victory in North Carolina and only a two-point loss in Indiana.  The pressure on Senator Clinton at this point is easy to feel, but no one is really expecting her to drop out.  If she stays the course, she can expect a pretty easy win next week in West Virginia.  The question then is whether the media will make a big deal out of that as they did in Clinton's other entirely unsurprising recent victory in Pennsylvania.

Here's my election forecast, assuming Hillary doesn't drop out and there are no other significant shakeups.

May 13 - West Virginia - 28 Delegates

West Virginia is Senator Clinton's to lose.  While it's still bizarre to see Hillary Rodham Clinton being perceived as the conservative alternative to anyone, she dominates that side of the primary vote.  West Virginia is a rust belt state full of low-income "ethnic white" voters, and while it went for Bush in both 2000 and 2004, it supported President Clinton in both of his terms.  Barack will likely take a few counties in the southern part of the state near Charleston, but I think the odds will come out in Clinton's favor by at least 55/45.

May 20 - Kentucky and Oregon - 51 and 52 Delegates, Respectively

This day looks like a solid win for each candidate.  Barack won every county in the Washington caucuses and stands to do well here, and Kentucky is surrounded by similar Clinton-leaning states.

June 1 - Puerto Rico - 55 Delegates

The biggest delegate prize still in play by a narrow margin, which is ironic since they won't be able to vote in the general election.  Clinton has an advantage with Hispanic voters, and that should carry her through here.

June 3 - Montana and South Dakota - 16 and 15 Delegates, Respectively

The primary season will end with two victories for the Senator from Illinois.

Analysis

These are all pretty much foregone conclusions.  Clinton doesn't seem incredibly hurt by the fact that a wide margin of voters do not consider her trustworthy, and Obama has survived the Reverend Wright fiasco.  Unless some new scandal turns up, the only question is one of that elusive quality of media-supported "momentum."

Obama has it now.  After next Tuesday we can expect Clinton's WV win to be considered a "much-needed rebound," then KY and OR on May 20 will be deemed a "split decision."  PR will prompt pundits to again ask why Obama "can't close the deal," and MT and SD will at long last establish Obama as the "clear winner," once the media has finally bled all the story they can out of this primary season.  After that we will see a flood of superdelegates siding with him, and then it will be clearly time for Clinton to step aside.

Some people say that Clinton will hang on until the convention no matter what. I think she's smarter than that, and I'm sure someone in her camp has to have come to the same conclusions about the race as I have. Nothing she can do will overturn Obama's delegate lead, and the remaining states in play don't make a good case for swaying the supes. But it will ultimately be her decision whether she will stubbornly stay in the limelight until June 3 or after, or wisely stop loaning millions of her own money to a losing campaign.
 
 
12 April 2008 @ 07:20 pm
I went out to the monthly meeting of the Cobb Democrats this morning, primarily because the keynote speaker was one of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for US Senator.

Rand Knight is a great candidate.  Not only does he have a cool name, but he has a Ph.D. in Ecosystems Analysis, his stances on the issues are excellent, he's enthusiastic, and the guy looks like frickin' Ben Affleck.  He's dedicated to working toward renewable energy and ending our dependence on foreign oil by any and all means possible, and he actually has experience working on that kind of project firsthand.  He even brought up a potential power source I hadn't heard of, and I stay pretty informed on this stuff.  An Ecosystems Analyst would be a major help to a state that has horribly mismanaged its water supply and continues to destroy its air with smog.

Unfortunately, he won't win.

Although he brings a lot to the table, including the experience of starting his own business, this would be his first elected office.  Unless you have a particularly high profile (see Al Franken,) it's usually not a good idea to run for US Senate out of the blue.  Inexperience is his biggest detractor, but he's also a fast-talking liberal scientist running for office in a red state.  Even if he managed to win over the Democrats, his logical, reasonable message coupled with the technical talk to back it up wouldn't resonate with the general election voters here. 

Instead, we'll likely see Jim Martin win the nomination.  With major campaigns under his belt and gobs of experience in the state legislature, he stands a somewhat better chance in November.  But unless we see that major Democratic sweep I'm hoping for, even Martin will get mowed over by Saxby "arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line" Chambliss.

I do hope Rand Knight sticks around, because we need guys like him.  He's only 36, so he would probably do well going the Obama route and running for Georgia State Senate or House as a first step on his way to the top.  It may have been a bit of youthful arrogance and/or naivety that caused him to seek national office now, but at least this will allow him to get experience campaigning and make connections, and maybe that was his plan all along.
 
 
Current Location: Smyrna, GA
Current Music: Interpol - The Heimrich Maneuver
 
 
11 April 2008 @ 04:48 am
Pretty, blonde, pregnant Marine is killed stateside - Non-stop media coverage. Nancy Grace's head explodes.

Over 4,000 servicemen and women killed in Iraq - a shrug and a "what can you do."
Tags: ,
 
 
The lead story on the CNN Political Ticker at the moment concerns a poll that was released that projected a win for a John McCain / Condoleezza Rice ticket over either Clinton / Obama or Obama / Clinton in the "bluest of the blue" state of New York in November.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/04/09/poll-suggests-mccain-rice-ticket-could-win-big/

First of all, the details on the poll are sketchy. There is no link to the poll itself, no record of the number of people polled or where the poll was taken, and no margin of error listed. And secondly, I'm not sure if anyone should take a poll seriously when it's put out by Bill O'Reilly's alma mater.

Discounting the fact that the poll is unreliable and that Rice has stated repeatedly that she does not feel comfortable running for office and would not accept the VP nomination, any advantages a McCain/Rice ticket would potentially hold would certainly be negated once the clueless independents realize that this would truly be a third Bush/Cheney term. The direct successor of a President with 30% approval ratings along with his Secretary of State does not strike me as a recipe for success.