Friday, February 29, 2008

"petty shameless narcissist"

Every once-in-a-while, you read a blog post that just makes you smile at the intensity. Andrew Sullivan has written one about Hillary Clinton's pity parade - it's a classic.

"Puke-worthy self-pity:

"Every so often I just wish that it were a little more of an even playing field but, you know, I play on whatever field is out there."

Is she fucking kidding me? You think it was a level playing field for Nita Lowey as she was bigfooted out of a New York Senate seat for the carpet-bagging former president's wife? You think it was a level playing field when Clinton bullied and cajoled and intimidated every Democrat to back her a year ago? You think it's a level playing field when you deploy a former president to tear down your opponent?

Clinton has more privilege, more clout, more intrinsic unearned advantages in this race than any non-incumbent Democrat in living memory. And still she failed. And still she whines. There are moments when you almost feel pity; and then you realize what a petty shameless narcissist she is."

Sullivan is refering to Jake Tapper's post on his blog, Political Punch. Jake rightly raises the issue of an African-American running for President.

"Of course, it might be observed that it likely hasn't exactly been a complete walk in the park for an African-American to run for president, either.

But apparently Clinton thinks -- based on this comment -- that the "playing field" is easier for a black man than a white woman.

I also wonder if former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C. -- and all the other men vanquished by Clinton (and Obama) so handily -- think that they had an easy go of it."


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Obama And Gays

I've said it many times before, posted examples of why Obama is, possibly, a changing figure in politics when it comes to gays. Obama is much better of gay rights than Clinton. Obama wants to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, repeal The Defense of Marriage Act. Obama, again, showed his strength and commitment to gay rights. While he is not going to transform the gay rights movement to full equality, that is going to take some time, he is the only candidate that talks to groups normally hostile to gays.

"Obama's rally in Beaumont today was the highest-energy of this Texas swing, with a crowd that was about three-quarters black cheering at almost every turn.

An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes — race, gender, etc. — that shouldn't trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent.

So he took a different tack:

"Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday," he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers.

"I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian," he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.

The moment reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a senior figure in the national gay rights movement, who noted that Obama's deference to some black Christian discomfort with homosexuality — his refusal to dump the "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from a tour — angered some gays and lesbians; but conversely, that his ability to sell gay rights in the black church is unique and appealing."

via Politico

Again, you never, never hear Clinton talk like this to a crowd that is not made up of gay rights activists. Obama is the only one. This is why I am a bit bewildered by the fact that so many gays and lesbian back Clinton. Simply bewildered.

Is this Clinton-love some sort of pre 9-11 nostalgia? Nostalgia for the halcyon days of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Defense of Marriage Act?

And before I get emails telling me I've drank some mystical Kool-Aid, I don't think, again, Obama will be our savior when it comes to full equality for gays and lesbians, but to have a national figure, a national figure running for President, speak about our rights, is remarkable.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Obama And Clinton - Cliff Notes Version: Education

Dana Goldstein has a quick run down on some of the differences in the education policy of Clinton and Obama.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ohio Debate

update below

It seems a lot of people like to talk about who won and who lost. Well, I think the clear loser, by a landslide, is NBC for allowing a blowhard like Tim Russert a platform for his jackassery.
When he went into his questions about Iraq and if, after the U.S. withdrawels, it goes to hell, would we go back in and invade to set things right? Gawd, you could tell both Clinton and Obama just wanted to smack the guy. Clinton was right telling him she can't answer a hypothetical, but Russert just kept pounding on this stupid questions. I almost exptected him to ask what they would do if the Earth spun off its axis, would they invade Iraq to set it right. Gawd, Russert is a jackass.

One of the things that stuck in my mind was the Farrahkan (sp?) question. Obama's answer was clear. He rejected Farrahkan's words and his beleifs. Clinton was just being opportnustic and pandering by saying Obama's denoucment wasn't enough. Please. He denounced and rejected Farrahkan's beleifs. Pretty clear to me.

But this debate clearly showed that Clinton and Obama are both smart and capable. Their answers were similiar, as has been evidence throughout the campaign. Obama still suffers a bit from the sense that he is aloof, but that only comes out during the debates. I've seen him in interviews and when he is on the campaign trail - he doesn't come accross as aloof in those circumstances. Clinton is a better performer in debates, but I feel she forces authenticity when she is on the campaign trail. Funny how the two split the difference so cleanly!

This debate showed the strengths of both candidates well, but I still want Obama to be the nominee.

I know, not the best recap of a debate, but there you go... Call it campaign fatigue.

After sleeping on this thing (no bad debate dreams, thank goodness), I am even more impressed with Obama. He was calm, steady...Presidential.
Many blogs I've read this morning talk about how Clinton seemed desperate, on edge of losing it. I didn't think so. I think she was how she always is when debating...I think she felt constrained from her instinctual attack mode because of the tone that Obama had set. I do think Clinton's default mode is to attack, which is a function of the politics she has been dealing with (and the reality of such a close race), really. Obama has a different attitude that Clinton has difficulty dealing with. Clinton's years in the White House as First Lady were full of constant strife and political attack. In many ways, that's simply is what she is used to. Because Obama has successfully changed the tone, she finds if difficult to follow. The question is, can Obama carry this into a general election, and, maybe, into the White House. The test is just beginning...

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That Photo

Couldn't have said it better myself.

"The Clinton campaign sent out a statement yesterday about the now well-circulated photo of rival Barack Obama dressed in a Somali robe. The Clinton campaign says they didn't release the photo to Drudge, and I really have no way of knowing who did put the photo out there. But the response from the Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams yesterday was remarkably tone deaf:

Enough. If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely. This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry. We will not be distracted.

It's one thing to refute claims that your campaign sent out the photo – that's understandable. But it's another thing altogether to dispute the idea that the photo is "divisive." Whomever released that photo at this point in the campaign clearly intended for it to be just that. And to imply that a photo of Clinton in the same manner of garb would be no different is either totally naïve or willfully misleading. The Clinton campaign can't seriously think that there's no difference between a photo of a white woman in African clothing and a photo of an African American candidate who has already been the subject of a number of smear tactics, and whom many Americans have already been lead to believe is a secret Muslim/foreigner/terrorist lover. The Clinton campaign might be wise to recognize that the photo – not the reaction from their rival – is divisive. But this statement just makes them look even worse. "
via The American Prospect, Tapped

I was wondering when the Clintonian verbal jujitsu was going to surface. We can only expect more of this kind of backroom shenanigans from Clinton in the future.


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Ralph Nader

Well, he is going to run. He gave his usual reasons in his interview with empty-suited Tim Russert (do people actually take Russert seriously?)

The question is, why now? It's not like all the reasons Nader listed were not problems last year. Things (in his mind) did not go south just two weeks ago.

He must be bored.

Look, I don't have any problem with a third-party candidate, if he or she were actually serious about their reasons to run. Nader is not serious, otherwise he would've of thrown his hat in long ago.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Signing Statements Dems vs. Repubs

McCain says he would not use signing statements as President, Obama and Clinton says they would, but only rarely.

"Responding to a questionnaire late last year by the Boston Globe, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) made clear their view that Bush has gone too far in issuing signing statements -- but that there are circumstances in which such statements are necessary.

"The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation," Obama answered. But, he added: "No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president's constitutional prerogatives."

In her own Globe questionnaire, Clinton made a similar point about legal issues. "I would only use signing statements in very rare instances to note and clarify confusing or contradictory provisions, including provisions that contradict the Constitution," she wrote. "My approach would be to work with Congress to eliminate or correct unconstitutional provisions before legislation is sent to my desk."

via Washington Post

While I understand the impetus to use signing statements - to preserve Presidential power, but only when it is clear the legislature is overstepping it bounds, signing statements, it seems to me, are simply a line-item veto in disguise.

In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled the line item veto was unconstitutional.

"The 6-3 ruling said that the Constitution gives a president only two choices: either sign legislation or send it back to Congress. The 1996 line-item veto law allowed the president to pencil out specific spending items approved by the Congress."
via CNN

If the President feels his or her authority is being usurped by the Congress, the President can always send the legislation back or, if his veto can be overridden, take his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. But to use a signing statement, just strikes me as unconstitutional.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Funny, funny blog

"#60 Toyata Prius
It’s a pretty sweet deal for white people. You can buy a car, continue to drive to work and Barak Obama rallies and feel like you are helping the environment!

Some white people decide to pull the ultimate move. Prius, Apple Sticker on the back, iPod rocking, and Democratic Candidate bumper sticker. Unstoppable!"

Comment of the day.
"I feel quite strongly that the next item should be, "This Blog". White people love this blog. It gives them a chance to be all reflexive, but also laugh at other white people. White people, after all, like being unlike other white people."
left by shakha

With big thanks to SLOG


I Made That Pledge Before I Thought I Could Lose

Clinton. Trust. Heh.

"They wanted their voices heard. More than 2 million people came out. I mean, it was record turnout for a primary."

Clinton didn't care about the delagates until she did.



Debate - The Tone...It Has Been Set

I missed the first few minutes because the feed pretty much blows, but I was able to catch the stop motion talk, eventually.

Obama started off slow, as he usually does, it seems, but picked up after a bit. He had more policy specifics than he does in his stump speeches, which is good. This thing is getting closer to wrapping up and the timing is right to do that, I think. Obama's made the pitch, now he is bringing the product - which seems to resonate with many.

Clinton didn't bring the fight I though she was going to bring. She tried when she had her "xerox" comment. That floated like a lead balloon. Clinton quickly recovered and returned to the more civil tone after she realized her instinct to go negative was/is wrong and will not fly in this election.

I thinks Obama's attitude and demeanor set the tone for the evening (and the whole campaign, honestly). It was with the xerox comment from Clinton when it hit me, Obama has control over this race. Clinton tried to inject some negativity into the debate, but it didn't fly. I think we can thank Obama and his demeanor throughout the campaign for that. He has set the tone that Clinton now has to follow, and she realizes that, I think. I can't help but feel Clinton would love to go negative on Obama, but Obama, having set the tone, will not allow it. It is to Obama's credit and skill that he, a new arrival to the national scene, has been able to make this race a civil as it has been. I really feel that if Clinton had not been so arrogant as to feel she was the anointed one at the beginning of this campaign, and realized she was, in fact, vulnerable, we would have seen Clinton go negative at the outset and she would have set the tone. Will this change in the general election? I don't know, but my feeling is, it will not - but only if the race is between McCain and Obama. If the race goes to Clinton, the negative may start simply because Clinton engenders so much hatred on the Republican side. Obama does not have that history around his neck.

I think Obama did a good job during the debate, better than he has previously. And his ability to set the tone at the outset is telling of his character and strength. A President is most effective if he or she can set the tone for the country. Obama showed that he can do just that. The question is, will his strength carry over into the White House, an, admittedly different cicumstance? I think he can.
Which, naturally, follows into questioning whether Clinton can set the tone in the White House.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Since I don't have cable, I will have to watch the grudge match debate online. I imagine watching the debate online will not be unlike watching a badly dubbed Japanese film from the '60s.

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You Can Bank On John McCain

I'm a little late with this, but I think it is more interesting than the NYT story - it's too inuendoeee.

McCain's loan to help his campaign is something that, I feel, is much more telling of McCain.
As you may, or not, know, McCain took a $4 Million loan out to help out with his struggling campaign. The collateral he used for the loan? A guarantee to use the Federal Matching Funds every Presidential candidate can use - which explains McCain's insistence that Obama use the Federal Matching Funds - Obama for his part is not falling for the gambit. McCain had put himself in a bind and wants to make sure Obama is similarly bound. Tricky.

Well, fast forward and McCain is now trying to opt out of the Federal Matching Funds. Problem is, the FEC says McCain may not be able to, which would really hurt McCain's chances in the general election (he would be vastly out-spent by his opponent).

as hilzoy explains,
"I am not a lawyer, and thus have no opinion about whether McCain's loan violates the, um, McCain Feingold Act, or any other provision of federal law. But I did think that this was a pretty transparent attempt to violate its spirit. Campaign finance laws ask candidates to make a choice: either you take federal money, in which case you are subject to a number of restrictions, or else you don't take it, in which case you are not. Getting a loan by using the matching funds you have not yet received as collateral is a way of trying to have it both ways: essentially, you get to spend your matching funds now, but because the money did not literally come from the government, you can delay a decision about whether or not to accept the restrictions that go with them until later. If you can leverage the money into enough wins to generate contributions, you can pay back the loan and duck the restrictions; if not, you've lost anyways, so you might as well abide by them. That's exactly what campaign finance laws do not want candidates to be able to do.

McCain tried to be tricky about this: he didn't use the matching funds he had qualified for as collateral, but he did use the fact that he could qualify for them at any time. That's why he had to give away his legal right to withdraw from the campaign if he lost: to satisfy his lenders, he had to promise to stay in long enough to actually get the matching funds he qualified for, and to give them first dibs on those funds. Whether or not this violates the law -- a law McCain authored -- I have no idea, but it is certainly an attempt to wriggle out of its requirements, and it ought to put paid, once and for all, to the idea of McCain as a straight-talking man of principle."

Ah, but it doesn't end there. There are not enough commissioners to make any ruling. The FEC needs four commissioners to act; it currently only has two. This will benefit McCain since there are not enough comminsioners, a ruling can't be made, giving McCain the wiggle room to break(?) the campaign finance rules. McCain is probably breating a sigh of relief!

I want to comment on the NYT article about the alledge affair, but I just want to see what comes out, first.


Still Broken...just like your office...?

Ezra Klein talks this book:

"This is not, at the end of the day, a book about why we were wrong to enter Iraq. It is not a book about Bush's failures, or Rumsfeld's mistakes, or the Democrats' cowardice. It is not about how the insurgents outflanked us, or the pre-Petraeus strategies failed us, or Sadr outplayed us. It's a book about what it's like to go to work in a war zone. What you'll take away is that, in may ways, it's a helluva lot like going to work anywhere else. And that's a fact with huge implications for the way we think about war in this country. Bureaucracies are, by nature, blunt instruments. If you're attempting a delicate surgery in which you cut out the heart of an old political order and carefully reconstruct a new organ in its place, you need a tool up to the task. And if you don't think your corporate headquarters would fit the bill, you shouldn't so quick to assume the Department of Defense will do any better."

The Department of Defense is to The Office as...


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

OMG! Obama Plagarized From...Bill Clinton!


Democratic Races

57% reporting

1st Place Obama 57%

2nd Place Clinton 42%


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Dyson Dreams

Sigh...If Only (


"But Somehow It's My Fault"

I had to post this comment I read from Joe.My.God

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, " You must be a Republican."
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we
met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."

comment left by someone named "poof"

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hilzoy Writes About Obama

hilzoy has a long post with lots of links telling us why he likes Obama. His post also asks why people think Obama has no substance, hence the abundent links.

Because of all the links, I still haven't finished reading the whole thing, but I wanted to post this.

via Obsidian Wings

In other news, it's the cheese heads and the pot heads primaries' today.

cheese head = Wisconsin
pot head = Hawaii


Monday, February 18, 2008

Seeing Red

You, no doubt, have heard about Lawrence King, the boy killed for being himself? How about the British boy that hanged himself after he told his mother he wanted to be a girl?

Well, Terence, over at Pam's House Blend has had enough with the people that revel in hatred.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sometimes It Takes Snuggly, The Security Bear To Explain

We must break our laws, to protect our...laws...?

Snuggly Knows Best

and Glenn Greewald breaks it down. Worth the 'click' to read his column!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sammy Davis Jr. - The Candy Man

Let's get away from politics for a bit...


No Injustic, No Peace

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bush Prevented States From Stopping Sub-Prime Loan Disaster

"Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers. In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative."

via Crooks and Liars

Predatory Lending? Try Predatory President.

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Obama Does Have A Plan

Since so many people don't think Obama has an economic plan, I give you his plan

And Obama's Wisconsin speech

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Is Clinton's Mortgage Plan A Bad, Bad idea?

second person I've read say this about Clinton's mortgage plan.

"This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea. Yes, multiple foreclosures can be bad for urban neighborhoods, and it would be nice if there were some way to prevent this. But the way to prevent it is not to have the government unilaterally rewrite the terms of mortgage contracts massively in the favor of the borrowers. The teaser rates these people got can be lower than the rate on a prime fixed mortgage. This is, of course, very nice for the people who bought more house than they can afford. It will not be so nice for anyone who wants to get a subprime mortgage in the future, since this move will probably destroy that market for at least a decade or so to come. It will, of course, be very bad for anyone who happens to be a mortgage lender--aka the people the rest of us want to borrow money from in order to buy houses. This move will leave them with a lot less money to loan out to anyone else, so hello, higher mortgage rates. Higher mortgage rates, for those following along at home, generally mean lower house prices, which means that the problem of negative equity will get worse.

In other words, Senator Clinton would like to destroy the mortgage market in order to save it."

via Megan Mcardle

I'm no expert, but Megan Mcardle's reasoning passes the smell test, for me.


Dems Didn't Blink

"White House officials and their allies were angry that the Democrats did not "blink," as one outside adviser said. The decision to defy the White House came in the form of a weeklong adjournment of the House yesterday afternoon."

The question is, why now? What has changed?

via Kos


Star Trek

Oh, hell!

"The release of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," with a new cast taking on the roles of Capt. James Kirk, Spock and other original characters, has been moved from Christmas Day to May 8, 2009, distributor Paramount said Thursday."

Maybe this will give the producers more time to make Star Trek even AWSOMER! More awsome? Rad? Coolio? What is it that the kids say now? Bitchen? Gawd, am I that old?

via CNN

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Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Switches Super-Delegate Vote From Hillary To Obama (Maybe)

This is pretty big. I remember watching John Lewis in an iterview a few months ago where he was pretty clearly dismissive of Obama. Now this. Lewis didn't say he would endorse Obama; he would make his decision in a few days. While he has not endorsed Obama, the fact that he has clearly decided to reconsider is kinda big. This primary is pretty exciting. And exhausting.

via TPM

And Hillary won New Mexico.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

That "Negative" Ad.

I finally saw the "negative" add that I wrote about, prematurely, as it turns out. I didn't see anything negative about the ad, myself.

It all is true, Obama doesn't want to debate (not a good thing, IMHO).


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Let's Move The Goal Post...Over...There...No...There

Clinton is as Clinton does.

"With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, who held their primaries in January in defiance of Democratic Party rules."

via NYTimes

"This demonstrates not only a gross ruthlessness on the part of Clinton's campaign, but an astonishingly cavalier attitude towards the preservation of the progressive coalition. To be willing to blithely rip it to shreds in order to wrest a nomination that's not been fairly earned is not only low, but a demonstration of deeply pernicious priorities -- namely, it's an explicit statement that the campaign puts its own political success above the health of the party and the pursuit of progressive goals, and one can't but help assume that's exactly the attitude they would take towards governance, too."

via Ezra Klein

Hillary Clinton. It's not about you and me, it's about her.

Do we really want someone in the White House that so easily breaks the rules? Breaks a pledge?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Torture(d) Logic

John McCain, he of the tortured past, has decided torture ain't such a bad that he needs the far-right vote, that is. He voted against the anti-torture bill.

The anti-torture bill passed, barely.
51 yes
45 No

Bush? He says he will veto. He's a stand-up born again christion, isn't he?

via TPM

from 2005:

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After months of opposition, the White House agreed Thursday to Republican Sen. John McCain's call to ban torture by U.S. personnel."

Color me confused.

via CNN


Japan And Kyoto

Japan introduced the Hybrid-electric car

America scoffed and said America doesn't want hybrids
GM just posted a $39 Billion dollar loss
American car manufactures have to buy a license from Japanese auto makers for their hybrid technology

Japan signed the Kyoto Protocal

America said it would be bad for our economy and we couldn't do it, anyway.

Japan says they will meet the Kyoto Protocal goals

(Peter Griffin's voice):
America, um...yay!*cough*...go america...we're number 1...yeah


Hillary Tough On Terrorists?

I did not know this. Not surprising, however.


Obama Takes Tuesday

Update below

Obama won big in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. Really big.

"According to an Associated Press estimate of the overall delegate count, Obama had 1,212 and Clinton 1,191. It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination."
via Sfgate

These wins don't mean he has it in the bag, Clinton may still pull ahead when the primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Ohio, Wisconsin and Vermont hold primaries (although, Clinton thinks they will lose Wisconsin). We shouldn't count her out. The question is, will Clinton go negative? Looks like she already has. Not surprising, really. When push comes to shove, you can always count on the Clinton camp to go negative. As Bill Clinton once said, "you gotta do what you gotta do." You can bet, Hillary Clinton will do what she's gotta do - even if that means dredging up old lies about Obama being a Muslim or saying he would take the oath on the Quran (I actually just got an email forwarded to me saying just that lie). I fear it is going to get ugly, really soon.

Let's hope Obama doesn't get caught up in the 'go negative' mindset. I don't think he will, but with politics, you never know.

Before I go, I wanted to highlight a part of Obama's speech he gave in Madison, Wisconsin that I particulary liked. Obama spoke about issues close to my heart, education, infratstructure, debt.

"If we had chosen a different path, the right path, we could have finished the job in Afghanistan, and put more resources into the fight against bin Laden; and instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Baghdad, we could have put that money into our schools and hospitals, our road and bridges – and that’s what the American people need us to do right now.

And I admired Senator McCain when he stood up and said that it offended his “conscience” to support the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in a time of war; that he couldn’t support a tax cut where “so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate.” But somewhere along the road to the Republican nomination, the Straight Talk Express lost its wheels, because now he’s all for them.

Well I’m not. We can’t keep spending money that we don’t have in a war that we shouldn’t have fought. We can’t keep mortgaging our children’s future on a mountain of debt. We can’t keep driving a wider and wider gap between the few who are rich and the rest who struggle to keep pace. It’s time to turn the page.

These are critical for America, dept reduction (elimination), infrastructure, education. Those are my top three concerns. Health care is in that top three, but without fixing those, health care reform cannot happen.


Aaaand, Hillary goes negative in Wisconsin. That didn't take long.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Madame Tussaud's in Washington DC Projects Obama Win For President of United States


"the exhibit's placement of the figures - with Obama directly behind the desk and Hillary off to the side - is only meant to serve as a way to put the spotlight on Obama for the day. On Tuesday, the wax version of both Obama and Hillary Clinton will be moved out of the Oval Office exhibit and over to the Washington Links & Current Affairs hall, while those of Bill Clinton and the Kennedys will return to the Presidential Room. 'Given that this is an election season we said, 'Hmm, why don't we just take a little peek at what could possibly be the outcome of this election season?' Not that we're saying we want it to go one way or another, but Barack Obama is our newest figure and so the spotlight is on him today,'

via Towleroad


Ezra Klein Talks Taxes

And he makes some good points

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The Telecoms Win

update below

The rule of men has won today. Billion dollar companies, again, trounce what is right.

The precedence that this sets for future Administrations to ignore the law is chilling. By giving the telecom companies immunity from breaking the law, the Senate has said the President of the United States can tell companies to break the law because the law does not mean a thing. This is a sad day for The United States and the rule of law.


via TPM

Now this bill goes to the House. There is a petition you can sign from FDL demanding the House, as Glenn Greenwald says, "reject this lawless, authoritarian Senate bill and defend their own, previously passed bill (the RESTORE Act)."
You can also just send an email or call you representative directly

The Senate even voted down proper oversite of Americans being spyed on! christ.

This is not over yet. Send a message that the rule of law cannot be usurped.


Chris Dodd and FISA

Chris Dodd has become one of my heroes. His pursuit of justice in the face of lawlessness should be celebrated by anyone that feels the rule of law is not something to be toyed with. Here he is speaking yesterday about FISA and the Bush Administration"s attempt to bypass the FISA law.

Congress votes today on the Telecom Bill

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Seasons of War

I'm sure you have seen this parody of the Obama "Yes We Can" video, staring John McCain. If you haven't seen the video, here you go:

Well, as I was listening to this, a reimagined "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent popped into my head. I give you, "Seaons of War"

5,256,000,000 minutes, 5,256,000,000 moments so seared. 5,256,000,000 minutes - how do you measure,
measure 10,000 years? In bombings, in violence, in midnight raids, in I.E.Ds.
In inches, in miles, in screaming, in strife. In 5,256,000,000 minutes - how do you measure 10,000 years in a war?
How about war? How about war? How about war? Measure in war.
Seasons of war.

5,256,000,000 minutes! 5,256,000,000 journeys to nowhere?. 5,256,000,000 minutes - how can you measure
the life of a soldier - don't you care?

In truths that we learned, or in times that we cried. In bridges we burned, or the way that soldiers die.

It’s time now to sing out, tho the war never ends(?) let's celebrate remember 10,000 years in the life of friends.
Rememberthe war! Remember the war! Remember the war!
Measure of war. Seasons of war! Seasons of war.

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Drive By Review: 3:10 To Yuma

As American myths go, this is one of the greats.
3:10 to Yuma


Trust And Her Word...?

Is it any surprise that Clinton, especially after being trounced this weekend by Obama, is demanding the Florida and Michigan primaries count?

"The back story is simple: The Florida and Michigan legislatures moved their primaries forward in the calendar to exert greater influence on the nominating process. But, by scheduling their primaries before February 5, they broke rules set by both the Democratic and the Republican parties. The GOP punished these scofflaw states by stripping them of half their delegates to the Republican National Convention. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) took them all away--and, so, the Democratic candidates did not campaign in these states."

"Without ads and stump speeches--Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan--the actual primary votes in these states were meaningless beauty contests, and perhaps not even that. Knowing that their ballots meant nothing, many voters stayed home. And, as everyone expected, Hillary romped to victory on the basis of her brand name and voters' lack of familiarity with the alternatives."

"But neutral observers can't stand idly by as one campaign openly discusses stealing the nomination at the convention. Democrats need to recognize this potential gambit for what it is: a cynical, selfish hijacking of the democratic process. Clinton would not be laying the groundwork for this ploy unless it was potentially decisive. And the damage to Democrats (and democrats) would be profound. If Clinton is truly willing to trample so many institutions she professes to care about in pursuit of victory, she will have proven her enemies correct."

via TNR

It is a question of trust. Obama and Clinton agreed to remove Michigan and Florida from the primary and not count the votes. Obama has kept his word. Clinton has not. How can we trust Clinton in the White House when she so openly defies a signed pledge.

pledge /plɛdʒ/ [plej] noun, verb, pledged, pledg•ing.
–noun 1. a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something: a pledge of aid; a pledge not to wage war.

Haven't we had enough of this? We have had to endure eight years of this kind of duplicity from Bush, let's not approve more of the same.


Friday, February 08, 2008

The Economist's Election Overview

Interesting article on the election and what it means for Dems and Repubs (also, it's written in British - colour!)

I tend to dissagree that there is a "Democratic civil war", and that this "civil war" will give the Republicans a chance to reunite under one candidate. The Republicans don't need the Democratic Party's continuting primary race to unite the Republicans. They would have done that anyway.

As to the Civil War analogy, I think having two strong condidates is nothing but good for Democracy and the country. Having said that, I do see stronger fractures possibly materialising during the convention in Denver if the Democrats can't come together behind one candidate. We'll see. It's not over...


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Seriously, is it a good idea to stimulate the economy with borrowed money?

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Republicans Don't Have Ideas, They Only Have Fear

Mitt is out. But not before he hits on the only Republican talking point they have: FEAR!

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Senator Barack Obama would win," Romney said. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," he said.

The Republicans really are shameless.


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The Case For CFLs

Yes, CFLs contain mercury, but a very small amount - about the size of a pinhead.

"The irony of CFLs is that they actually reduce overall mercury emissions in the long run. Despite recent improvements in the industry's technology, the burning of coal to produce electricity emits roughly 0.023 milligrams of mercury per kilowatt-hour. Over a year, then, using a 26-watt CFL in the average American home (where half of the electricity comes from coal) will result in the emission of 0.66 milligrams of mercury. For 100-watt incandescent bulbs, which produce the identical amount of light, the figure is 2.52 milligrams."



Maybe If Polar Bears Peed Oil...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's About Character And Integrity

I only wish I had seen this two days ago.

via Sullivan


Quote Of The Day

"It's four times Obama's net worth. But she's the alleged tribune of the poor. Like her husband was black."

Andrew Sullivan commenting on the $5 Million loan Hillary Clinton gave to her campaign.

In case you didn't know already, Sullivan really, really does not like Clinton.


In Case You Missed It...

We do waterboard.

Makes me feel proud to use the same tactics as the terrorists.

the Dark Side, indeed

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Obama Wins More Delegates...So Far.

"In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.

The Obama camp projects topping Clinton by nine delegates, 845 to 836."

The 600 pound gorilla? California's delegates. Hillary won California's popular vote, but what about the delegate split?

This is CLOSE!


Can you say, "brokered convention"?

Politics. Bad for the blood pressure.

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Decline And Fall Of...?

For those that have studied history, *cough*Rome, does any of this sound familiar?

In prepared testimony today, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “says U.S. forces are ’significantly stressed’ by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.” “The pace of ongoing operations,” says Mullen, “impacts our ability to be ready to counter future threats.”

ABC News

$9.2 Trillion debt

Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

Unfunded promises made for Medicare, Social Security and federal retirement programs account for 85% of taxpayer liabilities. State and local government retirement plans account for much of the rest.

USA Today

"The top 1% of households owns nearly 40% of total household wealth -- more than the bottom 90% of households combined"

Businees Week

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rainbow Connection

I think it's time for some Kermit love.


FISA, Again...I KNOW!

received this email this morning.

"Dear Michael,

Beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST today, the Senate will resume debate on the pending FISA bill, by proceeding to vote on a series of amendments, most proposed by Democrats, to improve the bill. Key amendemnts include one jointly sponsored by Sens. Dodd and Feingold to strip the bill of telecom immunity; an amendment from Sen. Feinstein to transfer the telecom cases to the FISA court; an amendment jointly sponsored by Sens. Specter and Whitehouse to substitute the government for the telecoms as defendants; and an amendment from Sen. Feinstein emphasizing that FISA is the "exclusive means" by which the Government can conduct eavesdropping activites.

On Thursday, Democratic and Republican leaders reached agreement whereby certain amendments would require only 50 votes to pass, while others would require 60. It appears that these vote thresholds were set so as to ensure that none of the amendments opposed by the White House could actually pass. It seems clear that the Senate is well on its way to passing a bill that will provide both telecom immunity and vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers for the President. Nonetheless, it is still vital to secure as many favorable votes as possible, since that will provide added leverage in trying to pressure the House, which passed a much better bill back in November, to stand firm as it proceeds to negotiate with the Senate over the final bill to be sent to the White House.

Marcy Wheeler will be liveblogging the Senate proceedings at

Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher "

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Looks Like A Nice Morning For A Super Tuesday

Two Super Tuesday views from my window

Here we go...


Monday, February 04, 2008

FISA: Retroactive Immunity Vote Likely Tuesday

It looks like the FISA vote may happen tomorrow.

"The Senate has just renewed debate on the surveillance bill, but it appears that the most anticipated votes will occur at the very earliest tomorrow morning, or as late as Wednesday.

The two sides have yet to hash out the timing, but we hear that the two amendments dealing with retroactive immunity -- that's both the Feingold/Dodd amendment to strip retroactive immunity for the telecoms that cooperated with the administration's warrantless wiretapping program and the Specter/Whitehouse amendment that would substitute the government in lawsuits related to the program -- will be offered at the earliest tomorrow morning. But votes on the measures could come as late as Wednesday."

-Paul Kiel

via TPM


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Big Brother Really Wants To Watch You, Track You, Scan You

Welcome to Orwell's America.

"Kimberly Del Greco, the FBI's Biometric Services section chief, said adding to the database is "important to protect the borders to keep the terrorists out, [cue fear-based buzzwords...] protect our citizens, our neighbors, our children so they can have good jobs, and have a safe country to live in."

Big Brother sees you

via CNN

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Michael Chabon In The Washington Post On Why Obama Matters

Money qoute:

"To support Obama, we must permit ourselves to feel hope, to acknowledge the possibility that we can aspire as a nation to be more than merely secure or predominant. We must allow ourselves to believe in Obama, not blindly or unquestioningly as we might believe in some demagogue or figurehead but as we believe in the comfort we take in our families, in the pleasure of good company, in the blessings of peace and liberty, in any thing that requires us to put our trust in the best part of ourselves and others. That kind of belief is a revolutionary act. It holds the power, in time, to overturn and repair all the damage that our fear has driven us to inflict on ourselves and the world.

And when we all wake up on Nov. 5, 2008, to find that we have made Barack Obama the president of the United States, the world is already going to feel, to all of us, a little different, a little truer to its, and our, better nature. It is part of the world's nature and of our own to break, ruin and destroy; but it is also our nature and the world's to find ways to mend what has been broken. We can do that. Come on. Don't be afraid."

Read the whole thing

via SLOG


Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recycling

Ever wonder where to recycle your CFLs? Earth 911 has a search engine at the top of the home page. Just type in Compact Flourescent Bulb in the "what?" box and your zip code in the "where?" box.

You can learn more at

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Ultimate Close Encounter

Just received this in the mail at work.

Can I go home now and watch?


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Obama Superbowl Ad.

Obama has an ad running is some cities during the Superbowl. Will it change the way people vote on Super Dupercalifragilous Tuesday? Who knows, but it is catchy.


Push Polling From Clinton Camp?

update below

Josh Marshall:

"The LA Times Top of the Ticket blog finds evidence of what appears to be Clinton push-polling against Obama in California. The Clinton camp is yet to respond."

You never know who does these push polls, but the fact that the Clinton camp has yet to respond, it troubling.

update from Josh Marshall...

"Late Update: A closer review suggests some skepticism about this story. The 'push-poll' reportedly was 20 minutes long, which is much longer than is ever cost-effective for a push-poll. And the Times seemed to go with this with a single person who claimed to have gotten the call. I should have scrutinized the LAT post more closel"


Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Obama Rally San Francisco With John Kerry

Waiting outside the school

Selling buttons, shirts and caps.

12 Galaxies!

Unite or Devide. Let's unite

Three highschool students that run a club to get students to become politically active

John Kerry

John Kerry up close

Up closer

For my first political rally, it was...loud and inspirational.

I'm nearly 40 years old, I thought when Bill Clinton ran for President, he inspired me. It was not until Barack Obama came along that I finally felt what true inspiration is. A president not only leads, but must inspire. Great leaders have always been able to inspire. Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, King. And now, Barrack Obama.

A country's greatness is not only measured by its economic power, but by the strength of all its people too work for a better, more hopeful future. For too long we have lacked the very leadership that inspires a country's greatness; inspires the people to be great.

Let's choose to look forward. Let's choose the one candidate that has shown he can bring different people together. Let's choose Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination for President!


Friday, February 01, 2008

FISA And Telecom Immunity...It's Not Over

Glenn Greenwald has a post about FISA and Telecom Immunity. Looks like there will be a vote on Monday and it's not as good as it sounds.

"In the Senate, Democratic and Republican leaders have, according to Congressional Quarterly and others sources, reached an agreement as to how to proceed on the FISA vote this Monday. There are currently numerous amendments pending to the Cheney/Rockefeller Senate Intelligence Committee bill, almost all of them introduced by Democrats (with one co-sponsored by Arlen Specter) and most of them (if not all) unacceptable to the White House and the GOP."

"Senate Democratic leadership sources are trying to claim that this is some sort of victory for Senate Democrats, and echoing that sentiment, even some of the most insightful and knowledgeable around -- such as McJoan at Daily Kos -- are hailing the agreement as evidence that "Dems didn't cave" and that "they held tough." Unless there is something I'm overlooking, I don't understand that perspective at all.
It seems rather clear what happened here. There are certain amendments that are not going to get even 50 votes -- including the Dodd/Feingold amendment to strip telecom immunity out of the bill -- and, for that reason, Republicans were more than willing to agree to a 50-vote threshold, since they know those amendments won't pass even in a simple up-or-down vote."


"The amendments the GOP likes (i.e., the Bond/Rockefeller amendment to change the Intelligence bill to match Dick Cheney's demands by increasing eavesdropping powers further still), as well as those that can't get 50 votes, are subject to the requirement of simple majority. The ones that can get 50 votes but which the GOP dislikes must get 60 votes. If you're Mitch McConnell, what's not to like about any of this?"

Of course the usual Republican talking points are being dusted off...

"Two other related points: Marcy Wheeler noted that Dick Cheney appeared on the Rush Limbaugh Show yesterday and claimed that Democrats were opposed to telecom immunity because they're beholden to "trial lawyers." This has become one of the most common -- and one of the most transparently dishonest -- talking points of amnesty proponents."

And trial lawyers, the GOP keeps talking about? Their the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"He's welcome [John Boehner] to come and visit our offices and if he still thinks that we're rich plaintiffs' attorneys after he's visited our little tiny Mission Street offices, then I have a bridge to sell him. We're a small, struggling non-profit with a very tiny budget - and we're doing this because we're committed to protecting people's privacy in the digital age."

I've walked by the EFF office, and I can tell you, this is not a bunch of rich trial lawyers.


Chris Dodd

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