Archive for the 'Election crap' Category

SHOCKING NEWS: Cheap outrage from Clinton, McCain, Norquist!

Apr 12, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap, The senility of John McCain

You decide: Politicians displaying genuine outrage on behalf of the people (who are so kind to remain silent), or willing to say anything for political advantage?

This is about the sickness of our modern political culture and its inability to be intellectually honest. Neither Clinton, McCain, nor-Quist believe what they’re saying. Three intelligent Washington veterans? Please. They simply recognize Obama’s words as something that can be easily misconstrued, so they leap to be the loudest one to do so. Via said action, they reveal their own contempt for the intelligence of the electorate, trying to punish Obama for, once again, talking to the public like they’re adults. And, in another indefensible move that should surprise nobody at this point, Hillary Clinton is actually sending out e-mails with soundbites from Republicans attacking Obama.

Obama’s strength, however, is that he doesn’t easily play this game, and keeps sticking to the truth:

So I made this statement– so, here’s what rich. Senator Clinton says ‘No, I don’t think that people are bitter in Pennsylvania. You know, I think Barack’s being condescending.’ John McCain says, ‘Oh, how could he say that? How could he say people are bitter? You know, he’s obviously out of touch with people.’

“Out of touch? Out of touch? I mean, John McCain–it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt after taking money from the financial services companies, and she says I’m out of touch? No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania. I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois. People are fed-up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.”

Jack Cafferty, displaying his usual common sense, notes a hint of self-defensiveness in the motives of Clinton and McCain:

And what Barack Obama was suggesting is not that the people of Pennsylvania are to blame for any of it. It’s that the jerks in Washington, D.C., as represented by the ten years of the Bushes and the Clintons and the McCains who have lied to and misled these people for all of this time while they shipped the jobs over seas and signed phony trade deals like NAFTA are to blame for the deteriorating economic conditions among America’s middle class. I mean, I’m a college dropout and I can read the damn thing and figure it out.

This is the kind of rotten bullshit that does turn people bitter about D.C. And when threatened, it coordinates its own defense with stunning rapidity and collaboration. Trust Clinton, McCain, and co. on this and you’ll deserve the knife you find jutting out of your back.

-jb

UPDATE: This sounds to me like a more authentic reaction:

I’m a white guy. I live in upstate NY. I make like 18k a year right now. I can you right now that Obama has a lot of heads nodding along with him on this, and most of don’t belong to his elitist supporters, or the elitist bloggers who make up the A-list of the blogosphere.

What Obama said is unvarnished truth. Its a truth many of us have waited our lives to hear a real politician say. THAT is what has the media so rabid to try and cast these comments as some devil’s screed. They know damn well that people are more likely to agree with them than disagree, and they’re woring over time to make people dismiss them automatically without ever thinking on them. That isn’t going to happen. 20 years of this shit is too long already.

The untimely departure of Mark Penn.

Apr 08, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap

Virtually anybody who considers themselves at least a mild political junkie has noted the shenanigans of the vile chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Mark Penn. A man covered in sores and pustules filled with the pus of Beltway poison, he is a walking epitaph on the tomb of humanity in America’s public sphere. He was even hated within the Clinton camp of grade-A phonies like Harold Ickes, despite being entirely akin to them in authenticity, if kicked up a notch. Nevertheless, being chief strategist his tenure outlasted any sensible measure of accountability:

He should have been fired after Super Tuesday, and fired after the 11 contests that followed. He should have been fired before Texas and Ohio, and fired twice after. Instead, he wasn’t fired until April 6th, two weeks before the Pennsylvania primary, when no change in strategy could possibly change the outcome.

Incompetence and cronyism leading to catastrophic failure…wow, after eight years of George W., Hillary is offering a breath of fresh air, isn’t she? I’m relieved to note that the Obama campaign is pointing out the logical conclusion here:

In the days and weeks ahead, the Barack Obama campaign is going to pose a simple question to the undecided voters and undeclared superdelegates who will decide the Democratic nomination for president: If Hillary Clinton can’t run a good primary campaign, how is she ever going to run a good campaign against the Republicans?

And while she says she is ready from Day One to be president, she is at something like Day 430 into being a presidential candidate and her campaign seems to be going from bad to worse to train wreck.

Is this a coincidence that Hillary is displaying some of Bush’s worst qualities, blundering forward at the urging of a tight circle of yes-men despite all sense or consequence? Of course, not. A clumsy triangulator, she has too long admired and envied the election victories of Bush and the GOP over the years, and has internalized the forces that Democrats should be opposing. It is no surprise that we see her here after grabbing onto flag-burning amendments, voting for the Iraq War, voting to rattle sabers against Iran and possibly enable further misguided adventures, applauding the surge, adopting W.’s policy on negotiating with enemies, sucking up lobbyist money, etc. Mangling Bill’s (former) political deftness, she has simply surrendered so often to Republicans that she has lost perspective of where the line is drawn. She has come to believe that Karl Rove style campaigning mixed with DLC corporatism is what can save the Democrats against the Republicans in November, but it is what threatens to destroy the party for another generation.

It is tempting to dream that Hillary might have been able to offer us something nobler had Penn been squeezed out months ago, but this is precisely what she has proven herself capable of here. No one else is to blame. And no free pass should be given for hiring such an individual up front. We should be able to expect better from such an experienced, battle-tested and vetted candidate, shouldn’t we? Or should we realize we’ve been getting snake oil poured down our throats the entire time?

-jb

UPDATE: A demotion rather than a departure. Just too much accountability to expect from the Clinton campaign, it seems.

The mind of a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Apr 01, 2008 in Clintonitis, Election crap

From a letter to the editor in The Washington Post:

James Carville can be obnoxious on some issues, but with regard to Bill Richardson, he was right on the mark. If there really was a Judas 2,000 years ago, he could not have outdone Mr. Richardson. I previously had the highest regard for him, but he has become a world-class traitor. I would be furious if he were my state’s governor.

Bill Richardson, in supporting Barack Obama, outdid Judas, who turned in Jesus to be executed. Makes sense.

Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy [front page, March 29] should refrain from calls to anoint Sen. Barack Obama as the party’s savior and let those at the Democratic convention decide, if necessary, who will be the nominee.

Barack Obama wins by the number of states, delegates, and the popular vote. Hillary could only win by superdelegates going against that and choosing her. Naturally, Barack could only claim the nomination by anointment.

a·noint (-noint)
tr.v. a·noint·ed, a·noint·ing, a·noints
1. To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.
2. To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.
3. To choose by or as if by divine intervention.

Oh, and Senator Leahy shouldn’t express his opinion, because this prevents those at the Democratic convention from deciding things. Well, maybe not directly, but just think, if he speaks, he may risk influencing the opinions of others! I can only wonder if the reader agrees that Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t be expressing her opinions either, as free speech can also influence other people to develop similar opinions.

My faith in Democratic voters dies a little bit every day this madness persists. One could call this letter the work of one lone freak, but please tell me, how is this substantially different from anything coming from the Clinton camp these days? Complete gibberish with one thematic consistency: Hillary rulez, shut up!!! Is it any stupider than Carville’s comments, or anything Harold Ickes says?

-jb

A needle in the brain.

Apr 01, 2008 in Election crap

Kevin Drum drops from the ceiling ninja-style and lances the cloud of puffery around McCain. Who’s the smoke and mirrors candidate running on platitudes again?

-jb

Clinton campaign robo-calls Iowa delegates.

Mar 16, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap, Iowa

Got this email from an Obama delegate in Cedar Rapids:

I just wanted to let you know that I talked to over 7 pledged Obama delegates at yesterday’s Democratic County Caucus who received robocalls from the Hillary campaign to help support her at the county caucus. This is clearly a flip-flop on the statement given by the Hillary campaign as linked above. I talked to people within the Obama campaign and it didn’t really gain any ground. Maybe you can bring this up on iowaliberal?

She recently remarked that pledged delegates can switch. Unfortunately, Iowans haven’t bought into her sales pitches over the last 3 months because Obama gained 7 yesterday. There are a number of counties that once carried Hillary that changed to Obama yesterday as well. I guess the robocalls didn’t work. Too bad.

The article that was mentioned in the email can be found here.

-mg

Things we learned this week.

Mar 11, 2008 in Election crap

That besides Wyoming, Mississippi is also another state that doesn’t really matter.

-jb

p.s. Kos notes that Texas didn’t really count either.

Sweet justice, come hither.

Mar 11, 2008 in Election crap

Seems quite a few Ohio Republicans became Democrats for one day to do the bidding of Oxycontin-addled Rush Limbaugh and vote for Hillary, or whatever Democrat they thought Mephistopheles McCain would have an easier time beating.

A staggering 16,000-plus Republicans in Cuyahoga County switched parties when they voted in last week’s primary.

That includes 931 in Rocky River, 1,027 in Westlake and 1,142 in Strongsville. More than a third of the Republicans in Solon and Bay Village switched. Pepper Pike had the most dramatic change: just under half its Republicans became Democrats. And some of those who changed – it’s difficult to say how many – could be in trouble with the law.

At least one member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections wants to investigate some Republicans who may have crossed party lines only to influence which Democrat would face presumed Republican nominee John McCain in November.

Those who crossed lines were supposed to sign a pledge card vowing allegiance to their new party.

In Cuyahoga County, dozens and dozens of Republicans scribbled addendums onto their pledges as new Democrats:

“For one day only.”

Furthermore:

Lying on the pledge is a felony, punishable by six to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

I don’t want to scare away independents or Republicans from switching their registration to Democrat, as long as that’s what their intention really is. But where there is evidence of deliberate voter fraud, it would at least have been nice if the pollworkers had bothered enforcing the law.

Anderson, 76, and her husband, Donald, 78, served as poll workers on Tuesday and both helped fellow Republicans change parties all day; when it was time for them to vote, they crossed over, too.

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be concerned about voter fraud?

North Ridgeville Republican Hazel Sferry said she was kicking herself all day Tuesday after voting for McCain.

Don’t get her wrong. Sferry supports McCain.

But after she voted, she ran into her niece who told her about “the plot.”

Her niece…crossed over Tuesday after hearing Limbaugh. Newell said she voted for Obama because she thought McCain had a better chance against him.

Regardless, Sferry said she thought it was a great idea to mess with the other party if it helped McCain win.

“I don’t mind being deceptive to politicians,” she said. “They are deceptive to us.”

Oh, okay.

I guess I’d have something to say about “Say anything, do anything” Republicans, but Hillary Clinton is (or was) considered a major contender for the Presidential nomination, and millions of Democrats keep cheering her on, either fooled by or condoning her shenanigans, and Jeebus knows I’d better not suggest Barack Obama is any better because that means I think he’s the Messiah, so I’ll just leave it there…

-jb

Whole buncha talkin’.

Mar 05, 2008 in Election crap

Somedays it’s good to just listen to people talk and feel out a situation. Last night Hillary Clinton was declared the winner in 3 states, including the closely watched Ohio and Texas primaries. What that means is being hotly debated, somewhat. Some things I’ve grabbed and chewed on:

1. The Clinton campaign has had no choice but to try to paint this as the greatest victory ever. The news cycle today is undoubtedly going to lean in the Clintons’ favor for a bit, but the fact that Hillary didn’t hardly scratch Obama’s delegate lead is casting a shadow over the celebration. Seven weeks until Pennsylvania? She may win PA as well, but by then the fact that last night didn’t provide any gains for her will have sunk in. The question remains, how does this person believe she can still catch up, much less win?

2. The Obama campaign is aware that the Clintons are pursuing a Bush-style campaign and is gearing up to provide the jiu-jitsu. It seemed to me that Obama made a decent pushback against the “3am” horseshit, namely that there’s nothing to suggest she’d be any better equipped to handle an emergency than Obama, and plenty to suggest she’d be worse. The ad seemed designed to rely on Hillary’s name recognition and boldness in declaring herself the fear candidate to sway voters. Obama fought back with a reasoned argument. While I will always believe this is the correct response, it hasn’t proven the most effective in general elections. Sadly, it didn’t prove to be enough in a Democratic primary. Some people like my good friend Thomas Tallis point to our politicians as scumbags, but at some point one must observe that we vote these people into office, and we get what we deserve. The Democratic electorate is letting me down here. Hillary has been all too willing to blur the line between the Democrats and Bush, but for the voters to reward her…sad. Really, painfully disappointing.

That said, it does seem to me that it is time for Barack Obama to expand, deepen, and truly circumvent Hillary Clinton. I wouldn’t say that he needs to “go negative” as the horse-race lingo of today frames it. I’d say he needs to go assertive, with a dash of relentlessness. Some of it will be called negative regardless, but he can rise above that oversimplification. If Obama can stay cool, and simply go after every single argument or smear Clinton makes with rebuttals that are factual and logical, it’s fine to draw the necessary conclusions about her campaign: opportunistic, bankrupt of ideas, and divisive.

Obama’s camp needs to be firm on the fact that Hillary is still firmly behind, but that needs to be supplementary information, rather than primary. I got an email in my inbox titled simply, “The math.” I didn’t bother reading it. I know what the goddamn math is. Obama still needs to keep winning. Call Texas a virtual tie, talk about Vermont, and talk about what states you’re going to tackle next. Tell me what the ground game in Pennsylvania is. Something. If the races from now on keep vacillitating between Clinton and Obama, Obama maintains the lead and still gets to celebrate some more victories. If Clinton can come out of the night with virtually no gains in delegates screaming like she bloody won, Obama can throw a party for every victory too.

3. Strategically, this is bad news for the general election. Turn on some rightwing radio today or read some of their blogs. How do they sound? Like they just got their biscuit buttered, right? Some have speculated that Rush Limbaugh imploring his listeners in Ohio and Texas to go vote for Hillary worked. Obama’s camp has circulated the idea that Hillary Clinton hasn’t really been vetted, as she so frequently claims. And it’s true. If Hillary thinks she’s dishing out everything on Obama that the GOP can, she hasn’t been given an ounce of the guff the GOP will give her. The fact that she’s struggling so hard to win without Obama really going after her weaknesses is telling.

Make no mistake, the Republicans want to run against Hillary more than they do Obama. Right now, anyway. But if Obama cannot effectively demonstrate that he can outwit Hillary’s Rovian shtick for once and all, the GOP might start warming up to the idea of running against him. I heard on Michael Medved’s show that the GOP can essentially throw everything at Obama and say, “What, Hillary did it first!”

Can Obama do it? Sure he can. He’s been good on the rapid fire responses, but he needs to beef it up.

As for the general election, one can only hope that if Hillary manages, somehow, to slash and burn a path to the nomination, that she’ll go nuclear on McCain. But how would she? “3am” ads against McCain? Ludicrous.

Vote your conscience. I just ask how the destructive and likely futile Clinton slimefest against Obama appeals to your conscience. What reason is there to prefer Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama besides wanting to see a female president? Experience? Please, if she can claim she has 35 years experience, Obama has 20. Democrats need to stand up and differentiate themselves from those that gave George W. Bush four more years in office and vote with their principles for the best candidate for President. A quasi-victory based on following Bill Kristol’s advice to “run on fear” tells me that Hillary Clinton is indeed the emperor with no clothes in this race.

-jb

Hillary Clinton cannot catch up to Barack Obama.

Mar 02, 2008 in Election crap

Disagree? You do the math.

-jb

How does anybody get suckered by George W. Bush?

Feb 28, 2008 in Clintonitis, Clueless Conservatives, Election crap

Personally, I’m not sure how anybody could have avoided pegging Bush II for an idiot the first moment they laid eyes on him…but surely if they didn’t, he’s provided endless fodder for them ever since. I can only imagine that one could fight off a sense of burning shame that this stooge was put in charge of the United States of America for eight years via great effort and excessive willingness to say things like, “You’re just afflicted with Bush hatred!”

From Republicans I’ve been taught to expect such things, but can anyone believe that a person could nearly nab the Democratic nomination for the Presidency falling for this kind of reasoning?

Warming to the subject, Bush continued: “Sitting down at the table, having your picture taken with a tyrant such as Raul Castro, for example, lends the status of the office and the status of our country to him. He gains a lot from it by saying, ‘Look at me. I’m now recognized by the president of the United States.’”

I’m stunned. This is our leader? The great man that Republicans look at and get misty-eyed over? The tragically misunderstood genius that only 30% of the nation can recognize?

Here’s a tip: There is not a single dictator on the planet who has had his grip on power loosened because he didn’t have the ability to strut around like a rooster crowing, “Look at me and despair, people! I’m recognized by the POTUS!” Coming at the end of Fidel Castro’s forty-nine year term, this is beyond ludicrous. It’s dangerously delusional.

Now we can expect this from the authoritarian logic-deprived rightwingers who worship Ronald Reagan but no longer remember that he sat down with the Soviets. But from one of our own?

Hillary Clinton has been given a considerable amount of slack from Democrats for somebody who has done little to differentiate her record from not just Bush’s foreign policy, but the most ill-conceived portions of it. Her vote to support the Iraq war should have been a disqualification, especially after the horrendous time John Kerry had in 2004. She was another Democrat politician fearful that the war would be over in a few months and she’d be on the wrong side come future elections. Democrats have gone too far letting her have it both ways. She ended up on the wrong side. And she still is, coming at Barack Obama for daring to follow the sound pragmatic brand of foreign policy that says keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

When people see George W. Bush trying to take a shot at Barack for the same reasons, it should remind them that his (stupid) words sound awfully familiar. We’ve been hearing this stupidity from Hillary.

The only reasonable response from Democrats is to applaud Obama. He has distinguished himself from Hillary Clinton in the most crucial areas where she has failed us, and Bush’s bellering has served to remind us where the line is drawn. Bravo, Obama.

And bravo to Bush, for coming out and saddling both Hillary and McCain with the burden of being on his side. After dispensing with Bush/Clinton policies, he merely needs to convince the public to take a pass on Bush/McCain policies.

I suspect they’ll find the choice relatively stark, and easy to make.

-jb

If we were only allowed to cheat, Hillary would have a chance!

Feb 25, 2008 in Clintonitis, Election crap

Michigan and Florida move up their primaries when they’re not supposed to. Democrats vote not to count their primaries. Democratic candidates agree not to campaign there. Barack Obama doesn’t even put his name on the Michigan ballot. Surprise, Hillary wins, as she tends to start out ahead in most states due to name recognition and familiarity. Oh, and yeah, Barack Obama didn’t even put his friggin’ name on the Michigan ballot, did I mention that? Hillary falls behind. Hillary’s campaign suddenly believes it needs those delegates to stay competitive. Problem? They have no argument and are blatantly asking to cheat.

Ickes also called upon DNC Chairman Howard Dean to broker a compromise to seat some or all of the delegates from Florida and Michigan, states which were stripped of their delegates.

He dismissed criticism he had voted to deprive the states of their representation at a DNC meeting in 2007, saying, “As we all know in this city I have a very short memory.”

Hillary’s campaign cannot disguise its shamelessness, nor its incompetence. Did I miss something?

-jb

The lowest form of wit.

Feb 25, 2008 in Clintonitis, Election crap

The Huffington Post has a video of Hillary Clinton getting a bit salty over the Obama campaign rhetoric.  What demographic this type of behavior is supposed to appeal to is a mystery to me. 

-mg

Weirdest political moment evah!

Feb 24, 2008 in Election crap

Well, probably not, but what the heck is going on with Mike Huckabee?

[youtube hac-UHi56Xc]

This is hilarious, but it sure is a unique way of announcing to the public you’ve essentially thrown in the towel…but I guess in today’s era if political campaigns can begin on late night talk shows, they can end on Saturday Night Live. Man, Huckabee is without a doubt a charismatic and likable fellow. I kind of wish he’d beaten the rest of the GOP crowd because he was so obviously unqualified to be president, we could have just relaxed and enjoyed his presence on the campaign trail without ever fearing him. Unfortunately that dynamic manifested itself too early, and now we’ve got to deal with obviously unqualified sourpuss McCain.

-jb

Your librul media. Volume XIV.

Feb 22, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Election crap, ethics, Uncategorized

It’s been fun watching the media tip-toe around words like “affair” and “infidelity” when it comes to the latest revelations regarding St. McCain and his past associate Vicki Iseman.  The only two angles I’ve been seeing are that his aides were “greatly concerned” about his closeness to Ms. Iseman (as if what his aides think of the situation is the meat and potatoes of the story) and that, even though nothing (may or may not have) happened, whatever is/was/being/may have been implied, it is a smear.

Our local FOX affiliate, FOX 28 out of Cedar Rapids, even felt compelled to air their piece with a snippet from Brent Bozell (?!?!?) castigating the NYT for printing such a vile rumor.

Truth be told, had the NYT published what they had before hot, hunky Romney decided to call it quits it would have undoubtedly caused McCain a lot more problems.  It would have likely cost him the nomination.  If the NYT waited until later on this year it would have done even more damage.

McCain should be thanking his lucky stars that the NYT released this story when it did. 

-mg

This should give Blitzer a woody…

Feb 22, 2008 in Election crap

…but the reality is that if Clinton doesn’t take Texas and Ohio in landslides, Obama is still the front-runner. Pollster has the digits.

-mg

PS – Is it just me or does Hillary’s “we’re just going to concentrate on the states that matter” line of rhetoric remind one of a certain Republican candidate that has since gone down in flames?

Free Elections in Pakistan

Feb 19, 2008 in Election crap, Pakistan, Politics

After 8 years of rigged and stolen elections in the USA, I thought the readers may like to hear about one happy ending.

A happy ending to the tragic death (assassination or accidental) of the charismatic Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.

The elections, in which she was supposed to have run, took place yesterday, and her party won an overwhelming majority of the National Assembly seats.  But not without incident and trepidation in some areas.  The party that came in second (Nawaz Sharif’s), had its own casualties.  Although they didn’t lose their leader like Benazir, some of their candidates were murdered right before election.  Because of that voter turnout was very low and cautious.  It was especially low and quiet in the capital Islamabad, although slowly but surely people did end up coming out and voting.  In the larger urban areas, there was a much more of a turnout with women taking risks to come and out vote, showing solidarity with the murdered, Benazir.  The biggest shock or upset, was people coming out in the tribal areas (where the Taliban supposedly have control), near the border with Afghanistan where heavy fighting is supposedly taking place.  There were some bomb blasts with quite a few casualties up until election day.  Yet the people still voted out the Islamic fundamentalists and gave all their votes to the secular liberal parties.

Despite these odds, at least there is now some balance of power, with the democratic liberals being now in the majority and with the power to impeach the dictator.

John Kerry (himself a victim of stolen elections) was there to ensure that free and fair elections did actually take place.  Since I trust his word over at least, the current US administration, I’ll take him on his word.

There was a huge turnout by women, this time around.

What is interesting that the 2 parties that got the majority of the votes were 2 of the current dictator’s nemeses.

1) the party of Benazir Bhutto (an obvious adversary)

2) the party of Nawaz Sharif (the guy who was ousted by the current dictator in a bloodless coup and forced into exile).

Another great victory was the province that borders Afghanistan, where supposedly the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are running wild in orgiastic abandon.  All the Fundamentalist parties lost their seats there.  This is very important, because this is the region of the world where the media portrays as illiterate; and that they accept the Taliban and fundamental Islam into their doors, and that their 5 and 6 year olds willingly learn to blow off the white devils’ heads with an AK or Kalashnikov.  It’s these people who in an overwhelming majority chose a democratic moderate party to represent them in the National Assembly.

 So my dear readers, democracy won the night last night, at least on paper.

Here’s a piece by a British journalist who’s been living in Pakistan for many years:

–aa

A completely unnecessary post.

Feb 17, 2008 in Barack Obama, Election crap, Politics

This really shouldn’t be necessary to write, but there is a slowly building concentration of defensive spin targeting Barack Obama coming from Clinton supporters, Beltway MSM hacktaculars, and people willing to vote for McCain (because watching one president decline into old age and senility wasn’t enough). So it is with profound regret that I have to say this.

Yes, you bleeding nitwits, I do understand that Barack Obama is not Jesus Christ.

Maybe taking into account that I don’t even think Jesus was Christ would have helped those who know me better avoid such accusations, but as one surveys the news scene it can be readily witnessed that the anti-Obama crowd thinks they’ve found a line of attack against him that will finally stick. Yes, Clinton fans, you’ve aligned with the likes of Charles Krauthammer and Jake “Ass” Tapper around this cynical joke: upon witnessing the American people daring to be halfway inspired and moved by a presidential candidate, even after they’ve suffered through two terms of President Clusterfuck, the only logical conclusion is that 22 states and the majority of Democratic voters now belong to a cult, and they think Obama is the messiah.

It would be worth it to consider these charges, and to make sure they aren’t valid. But what do we have? On one side, you have people who have decided Obama would bring a fresh approach to the White House and speak in non-divisive language that would bring independents and weaken rightwingers enough to get a practical progressive agenda carried out. They aren’t signing loyalty oaths, a Bush II practice that went virtually ignored. They find him, much like those who oppose Obama politically, to be charming and likable. If one can reasonably determine Dick Cheney to be the bastard lovechild of Darth Vader and Dr. Strangelove, deciding Obama’s a good fellow isn’t much of a stretch. Indeed, trying to find anybody in Obama’s past dealings that hates him is a fool’s quest. You have a readily available stack of policy positions that is almost universally described as being the same as Hillary Clinton’s (or, rather, former candidate John Edwards’…or even more accurately, a rough consensus of modern progressive liberal views). You have praise coming from centrist pragmatic folks like Michael Bloomberg (who really must get this idea of running for president out of his mind):

In his answer, he praised Democrat Barack Obama for the plan the Illinois senator outlined on Wednesday that would create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects. Obama projects it could generate nearly 2 million jobs.

In response to another growing meme that if one has impressive style, it must be at the cost of substance, Obama has been reminding voters that he has more than enough wonkiness to do the job. No doubt, this is an urgent concern after two terms of having a president literally unable to understand or explain his own policies, but Obama has put it to rest.

One would think this picture would be a rather positive foreshadowing of a presidency this nation could really benefit from. Yet the flak flies. Of course, this raises the question, could any candidate really get away with all this and not get flak?

Yeah, I know, rhetorical question. The flak is a given. The question is, who’s giving it and what’s their motive?

And, of course, it all flies apart instantly. The Clintons believe Hillary is due the presidency and will say anything towards that end, party or country bedamned, and their supporters aren’t far behind. The contortions required to paint her as the better candidate for office aren’t pretty. Beltway twats like Jake Tapper sit in their ivory towers completely divorced from the rest of the country, so entrenched in Washington cynicism that they must reflexively shit on anything which threatens that. And the eight Republicans supporting John McCain are basically stuck, resigned to making noise until November in a candidacy which will go down in history as Dole II.

Years of GOP attack politics wore me down to the point where I finally said, “Hey, wait…who are YOU fuckers to talk shit about anybody?” The country ducked and jumped to every cry of the rightwing noise machine, believing every word impugning others, yet we never looked at who we were listening to and wondered why we were doing it. The roster of characters was composed of some of the most pathetic men and women who have ever entered the public sphere. How can you really care what George W. Bush says about anybody? Karl Rove? Dick Cheney? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Ann Coulter? These people have their motives and incredible faults splashed all over their faces. Hypocrisy seemed to be a requirement to talk, not a disqualification.

And here we are again. Yep, there are some monkeys flinging their feces…but that’s what monkeys do. What else is there to say?

-jb

Taking it to Republican-lite Democrats in the primaries.

Feb 14, 2008 in Election crap, Iowa

When I find that Democrat politicians are letting me down, I remember that it’s not all Democrats, it’s just certain Democrats. And while they may get liberals to vote for them to avoid a Republican, there is a window when progressive grassroots democratic types can make their choices heard: primary time, baby. And if you haven’t heard, liberals just scored a victory thanks to blogger love with Donna Edwards over Al Wynn.

I got an e-mail today from Jim Dean supporting Ed Fallon against Leonard Boswell in Iowa. He has this interesting theory that Democrats can keep primaries competitive so that having a Democratic majority on Congress actually means something. At least that’s what my crack-addled mind gathers. The differences between Ed Fallon and Leonard Boswell? From the email:

Is there mitigating evidence for Boswell? Or should we merely be happy he has a (D) next to his name? Iowans who lean liberal should have somebody in office who represents them, I think, not somebody who gets into office and then represents Republicans and fatcats.

-jb

It’s okay, Iowa has condescending bitches too.

Feb 14, 2008 in Election crap, WTF?

NYT columnist Collins, with a groaner worthy of the op-ed page of the Des Moines Register:

There is an impression abroad that these caucuses are grass-roots democracy, like those cute town meetings in “The Gilmore Girls.” Even if that were true, which it’s not, consider whether you would really want a presidential nominee selected by about 20 colorful characters in a barn.

Well, I sat in on an Iowa caucus and it was 36 ordinary working people in a middle school classroom, but I definitely see the trade-off Ms. Collins made: authenticity for a KILLER joke. If she’s saving that column for a book, she might want to rewrite the joke to suggest people here let cows vote too. That would rock.

-jb

p.s. Hillary supporters who whine about caucuses only after she loses 9 out of 10…are you just trying to make it easier for her to shoot for the White House again in 2016? Did you have a point regarding this election? And if you’re also trying to argue Michigan and Florida should be counted, go look in the mirror and ask why your parents decided to inflict you upon the world. Surely they had higher hopes…

Maine too?

Feb 11, 2008 in Barack Obama, Election crap

What’s with this sudden string of overwhelming victories for Obama? Is this really the shape of Obama’s momentum? Has the public done some hard thinking and seen the disadvantages of Hillary as both a candidate and as a president? Louisiana people expected to go for Obama, but to have landslides in Nebraska, Washington, and Maine too? That’s not a fringe outlier. Something’s going on here, but I find myself wanting to just shut up and cross my fingers. Dare I note the snowball effect possible due to Obama’s financial advantages? If you’ve got the momentum and the advertising bucks to back it up…

I’m just sayin’…

I still expect some state soon to get cranky and give Hillary another victory, but when your campaign plan starts to resemble Rudy Giuliani’s…

I’m just sayin’…

And crossin’ my fingers.

-jb

The flagrant cowardice of our weasly Democrat politicians.

Feb 09, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap, Politics

Matt Taibbi names the demon, so we can fight it: The Chicken Doves. They are the Democrats who got elected promising to end the war and have instead surrendered in each and every battle.

Democrats insist that the reason they can’t cut off the money for the war, despite their majority in both houses, is purely political. “George Bush would be on TV every five minutes saying that the Democrats betrayed the troops,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Then he glumly adds another reason. “Also, it just wasn’t going to happen.”

Cowardly defeatism at its finest. Democrats couldn’t do it because George Bush would say mean things about them? Because they aren’t allowed to respond by saying that George Bush is holding the troops hostage?

While the Democrats have shamed themselves with this complete failure to do what they promised, it remains a 100% certainty that Republican power will always push for extending the war indefinitely. John McCain may joke about 100 years, but rightwingers are actually fine with that logic. We’re still in Germany, they’ll say. We will always be in Iraq.

As for the election angle, it’s certain that Barack trumps Hillary easily on Iraq and the Middle East. She sounds like George Bush when she talks about foreign policy. Barack sounds like somebody who’s been doing serious thinking about Al Queda and a new direction in the Middle East. While he’s signed off on money for the Iraq War, he took some ownership of what goes on over there, and I believe he knows his responsibility for those votes. I don’t gain any sense from Hillary Clinton that she believes she should be responsible for the fiasco that is the Iraq War. She proved with Iran that she’s still ready to preemptively surrender to Republicans so they won’t say mean things about her.

-jb

Obama vs. Clinton is the REAL presidential race.

Feb 09, 2008 in Election crap

I think the analysis at The Carpetbagger Report is essentially correct. No candidate will want to give up in a close race. More importantly, there’s nothing really wrong with having the Democratic race go into early summer. So what? This is the real presidential race. McCain? Thank you for re-entering the race, Bob Dole. The country is far more interested in seeing who can fix the damages inflicted upon them over the past 7 years and chart a new path forward. A civilized campaign can be made against McCain easily: he will keep us in Iraq as long as he is in office. Merely being a Republican who isn’t insane, as Thomas Tallis says, isn’t enough of a reason to think you should be president. McCain signed off on plenty during the Bush Administration, ever wilting before he ventured too far into the realm of accountability.

No, the Clinton vs. Obama contest is by far the more interesting debate, which is why it has achieved the gale-force news-power we’ve seen in the past few months. It’s the Democratic Party really having a go, shaking off cobwebs and flexing the muscle. Hillary, who should have been a juggernaut, got sucker-punched by the entrance from nowhere of Barack Obama, who has risen by his own strengths as someone truly presidential in a more honest and intellectual way. Or not, as maintained by others who I believe have a ways to go in making their case. It’s a big conflict, but it’s an important one that will dictate the future of this country. So it’s worth mulling over, and that will take some time. The candidates will adapt, and as Barack Obama is proving, John McCain is a sitting duck for Democrats, ready to be plucked. Let the race go on!

-jb

Is voting for Hillary the only choice for a feminist?

Feb 09, 2008 in Election crap, Politics, Women

Nah, they’re pro-choice.

I haven’t abandoned my commitment to the women’s movement — and anyone who knows me understands I never will. My endorsement of Barack Obama is actually a celebration of that commitment, and an honest reflection of what I have been fighting for for over 40 years.

The women’s movement is about free choice, self-determination and challenging a status quo that fails a lot of Americans, not just women. And it is not about going along. It’s about transcending, about having the freedom to follow one’s heart, about creating and pursuing new opportunities, and about the American dream being for all Americans.

Chris’ gotcha-type question to me (“Kate Michelman, how does it feel to have abandoned the cause of your life?”) and the semi-criticism implicit in it — that as a woman I have some biological obligation to unreservedly support whatever woman is running — are exactly the sentiments I faced when I first started working for a woman’s right to choose. If women who vote for men are traitors, then are men who vote for women also traitors? What about African-Americans who vote for whites? Or whites who vote for African-Americans?

Laying this guilt trip, this hypocrisy, on women — saying that those women who don’t vote for other women are turncoats — is tantamount to saying that women who exercise independent thought haven’t the right to do that either. Could there be a more anti-feminist contention?

There could. But the point is made. Here as well, from reader Jldemeyer:

[youtube OVuMYKs8iJs]

-jb

A penny for the gal -or- Stalwart Clinton Staffers Soldier On!!!!*

Feb 08, 2008 in Clintonitis, Election crap, Politics

Clinton staffers to go without pay.

-mg

*I had to change the title to make cbmc happy.

Pretty decent Tuesday.

Feb 06, 2008 in Election crap

Or as it was previously known, SUPAHTOOOSDAY!

I only have a few thoughts about yesterday. Namely that the voting reflected the momentum trend that had been spotted in previous weeks: Obama moving upwards, shredding Hillary’s semi-incumbent name recognition based lead, limited only by time. Tuesday came a little too soon for Obama to leap ahead of Hillary, but he managed to nearly tie the results after being behind for a long, long time.

If there was a disappointment, it was California, where I live. Yep, California frickin’ blew it. A progressive, diverse, innovative state used to charting new paths for America…chose the rusty old Clinton machine. Obama seemed to be unable to crack the Latino vote despite a late push. The operating dynamic seems, so far, to be that Latinos went for the “old reliable” Clinton, Obama’s unity message apparently falling on deaf ears. Surely there is more to Latino opinion on Obama than I’ve heard so far, but I ain’t heard much. Ultimately, it might have been too little, too late for Obama, as highly touted Spanish language ads only hit the airwaves last week as far as I remember.

Unfortunately for the general election, Hillary is basing her gains so far on states that are already sure thing winners for the Democrats come November. California and New York give Hillary tons of delegates, but is there any doubt they’d be voting for Obama in November? None whatsoever.

So, ideally, I would like to see trends continue, where Obama gets more of an advantage the more time he gets to talk to voters and leverage his fundraising superiority, and people see Hillary’s more limited general election appeal. Super Tuesday came when it did and provided a snapshot, but like any picture one must naturally distinguish between those standing still and those on the move. It looked like a draw yesterday, but Obama has the clearer path ahead to victory.

-jb

Good Sports

Feb 06, 2008 in Election crap

Hello, Iowa Liberal readers. It’s Thomas Tallis here with a reminder about sportsmanship. The primaries yesterday have set up an interesting possibility, and it’s that possibility I’d like to address.

Barack Obama rode to victories in several states; in more states, in fact, than his only opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton, however, in the Clinton tradition of thinking politically first last & always, took the states with the greater number of delegates, and as we know, it’s delegates that matter, not states, nor the popular vote, nor the depths of conviction which a candidate inspires in his or her supporters.

Every four years, in states red and blue, there’s some whining – sometimes more, sometimes less – from whoever got screwed by the delegates. There’s a bloggy outcry about how “the system’s broken,” and how “the need for reform is urgent,” and all that. Let me gently propose something here.

Did the urge for electoral reform elicit any comment from you in 2007? or in 2006, or 2005? Have you devoted much time or energy toward working for a one-man-one-vote system (which, trust me, if you’ve studied history, you don’t actually want)? If you haven’t, then you might consider putting a lid on it in 2008. It’s a little embarrassing to suddenly take interest in an electoral process only when an election didn’t tilt your way. It’s even tawdrier when you know damned well that you’d be rah-rah’ing the system loudly had it given you what you wanted.

The watchword is consistency. The system is not broken just because we didn’t get our way.

-TT

Obama and reason.

Feb 05, 2008 in Barack Obama, Election crap

Barack Obama strikes me as a unique candidate because of what I see as his attentiveness and respect for reason as the basis of thinking. He has always been gifted with a flair for oratory, echoing a younger Bill Clinton or JFK. It is often the hallmark of a brilliant mind using prudent but optimistic logic. Obama’s message resonates with people because a rational Enlightenment-thinker is the perfect antidote to the poison of the Bush administration, not a dynastic liberal who’s a hawk because she thinks she needs to look tough to Republicans. Hillary Clinton is still afraid of what Republicans will say, and that’s what gives them power. For a widespread reversal of everything Bush screwed up, you need someone able to defy known paradigms and make explicitly rational cases to the American people. And yes, the case made to the people should sound like fuckin’ poetry because everybody likes icing on their cake. It’s emotional at times, but it is also reasonable. Michael Chabon points to the logic of Obama right now:

In a better world, if there were such a thing (and so far there never has been), we would not need a president like Obama as badly as we do. If there were less at stake, if our democracy had not been permitted, indeed encouraged, to sink to its present degraded and embattled condition not only by the present administration but by a fair number of those people now seeking to head up the next one, perhaps then we could afford to waste our votes on the candidate who knows best how to jigger, to manipulate and to conform to the vapid specifications of the debased electoral process it has been our unhappy fate to construct for ourselves.

Because ultimately, that is the point of Obama’s candidacy — of the hope, enthusiasm and sense of purpose it inspires, yes, but more crucially, of the very doubts and reservations expressed by those who pronounce, whether in tones of regret, certainty or skepticism, that America is not ready for Obama, or that Obama is not ready for the job, or that nobody of any worth or decency — supposing there even to be such a person left on the American political scene — can be expected to survive for a moment with his idealism and principle intact.

The mantle of the presidency has its stresses that push presidents into directions they didn’t anticipate before. There will doubtless be a day where Obama makes me shake my head and wonder what the fuck he’s thinking. But many a president has completed his service with honor, and America, intact. In Barack Obama, I see somebody who could do justice to the office in a way this country has not seen in many decades. And I think that will be accomplished because the man will be able to rally the country not just through pretty language, but through structured arguments that leave voters nodding their heads.

Republicans will run against Obama because they’re under the impression they have to run every single time. But I think they’ll be unable to escape the fact that Obama gives new energy to liberal ideas, he gives rationales that relate to the realistic outlook of the post-baby-boomers. Most people today don’t remember the arguments of Roosevelt, JFK, and Johnson, which creates a vacuum for a pendulum effect. The civic generation is back, and Obama can help pave the way for a new era of social works. America needs to spend some money on tending its own garden right now while keeping the economy afloat, and public works projects need to be handing out good wages with healthcare until America looks like it got a new coat of paint. This isn’t just about what Obama himself can do, it’s about what he can enable.

His positives are stark, intelligible, and logical. From the seed within, the flower shall grow, as we witnessed in the Bush administration.

-jb

The honesty in politics problem.

Feb 02, 2008 in Barack Obama, Election crap, Politics

Whoops, we actually heard somebody say what people think!

The advisor, retired Gen. Merrill A. “Tony” McPeak, said in a telephone interview that Obama has “real gravitas, not artificially created, focus-grouped, poll-directed, rehearsed gravitas.”

He also said Obama “doesn’t go on television and have crying fits; he isn’t discovering his voice at the age of 60” — references to Clinton’s much-publicized show of emotion during the New Hampshire primary campaign and her speech after winning the contest in which she declared that she had “found my voice.”

McPeak later retracted his remarks, and the Obama camp disassociated itself from them. […]

An Obama campaign aide was on the line during the interview. Minutes later, McPeak called back to say he regretted his remarks and that he has “high regard” for Hillary Clinton.

He also expressed concern that “some of those loose-lips-will-sink-ships quotes will be the big story.”

In an email, the Obama campaign said McPeak’s words “crossed the line” and that Obama “strongly disagrees with these comments and apologizes on behalf of the campaign.”

Well, loose lips can sink ships if they reveal something about the nature of the candidate. Hillary’s people recently, by pure coincidence, threw racial barbs at Obama within the same few weeks.

Obama’s man spoke about Obama’s character vs. Hillary’s.

Doesn’t seem like much of a contest, does it? I guess Obama’s just the kind of guy who insists on being super-polite. He can apologize. But forcing General McPeak to apologize for having an opinion? Fuck that.

I’ve been wondering why the rest of the nation is acting like they’ve just learned of Obama for the first time? His poll numbers keep rising, but some suspect he’d need another week of momentum to get ahead of Hillary.

Here’s hoping that the people in these other states open up a newspaper or turn on a computer and bother paying attention to the rest of the world. I’m in California and perfectly able to follow the election on a daily basis with a modest bookmark folder. On the other hand, late deciders will be forced to decide on Tuesday. Big breaks in late deciders for Barack because that’s where the direction is going can propel him ahead of Hillary.

-jb

To crow or eat crow.

Jan 31, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap

My gosh, people are wondering where the snark is now that John Edwards has dropped out of the race for president.

As regular readers know, I looked into the future back around December before the Iowa caucuses, and saw that Edwards was toast. My opinion was that Edwards supporters had far more in common with Obama than Hillary Clinton, but my prediction was not an opinion. People fussed and fought and called me a defeatist Democrat, but they were missing a key fact: I had seen the writing on the wall and was merely reading it aloud. I said I’d eat the crow if I were wrong, but I did so with complete confidence. I would eat no ravens.

The fact that Edwards has acknowledged the inevitable changes little else. The argument remains, and now the people in 22 states on Feb. 5 who supported Edwards must decide who will best fulfill the spirit of his campaign and his character.

That answer, to me and seemingly Edwards based on his own remarks, is clearly Barack Obama.

All that is left is to thank John Edwards for, despite carrying on longer than warranted, realizing that February 5th was simply an exercise in futility and that this was, indeed, a two-person race after all. And for running a pretty positive populist campaign which was full of good ideas, despite the fact that he never had the ability to carry them out. But many say that Obama and Clinton scrambled to co-opt his policies, which was a very good thing since they were mostly nice solid bread-and-butter grassroots liberal positions. Of course, I see Obama as recognizing the intrinsic good of Edwards policies, whereas it takes little to imagine Hillary glomming onto whatever the hell anybody tells her is the popular position. Come a real challenge, Hillary will crumble quicker than Obama. Count that as another one of my factual predictions.

John Edwards was a great candidate in the beginning of 2004 who ultimately failed to beat John Kerry, stand up effectively to Dick Cheney in debate, or bring in his home state. 2008 saw him going for the Democratic red meat full steam in order to distinguish himself from the other candidates, a move which called into question how sincerely he held these positions himself. An utterly undistinguished and quite cowardly single term in the Senate was the man’s only time in office, and it provided no foundation for his platform whatsoever. If John Edwards had a fatal flaw, it was this. The idea that Barack Obama was the inexperienced one was laughable. It was John Edwards whose record in politics was a complete waste of time, who wanted us to merely trust that he’d be effective if we’d only give him the highest office in the land.

Yes, Hillary and Barack had the dazzling advantages of being a woman and a black man, but they were also stronger candidates than Edwards. Were Edwards truly the powerhouse his supporters envisioned him being, he could have easily lulled voters away from the “risky” choices. In the end, Edwards was just as much a risk if not more.

So now here we are, with the race officially down to two choices, literally rather than figuratively. Edwards has avoided making any official endorsement, a choice that troubles me. Is he thinking of his career and the prospect of becoming AG under either candidate? He was rather unequivocal after Iowa that he saw himself and Obama as the candidates of change and Hillary as the status quo.

If Edwards is turning into a self-interested waffler the second he drops out, it doesn’t attest to his character. But it may be the one thing he does that benefits most his ambition.

-jb

And the unicorns mated.

Jan 28, 2008 in Election crap

Edwards as attorney general…apparently the idea is taking hold among lots of legal folks, regardless of who becomes president.

We’ll have to wait until November to find out.

Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman, spent two days at the trial lawyers’ conference, delicately searching for donors among the — mostly — Edwards faithful. He said he was asked several times about the potential for Edwards to have a role within a potential Clinton administration, and the topic of attorney general did come up. But McAuliffe noted it would be a felony to promise someone a cabinet post in exchange for political support.

Whoops. Well, nothing wrong with either candidate giving a little wink-nudge towards Edwards. It would be a smart choice for either Hillary or Barack to make. If for no other reason, we have to find something for John Edwards to do or else he’s going to run for president in 2012, 2016…

-jb

Time for some perspective, Bill Clinton.

Jan 27, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap

From November 29th:

A new poll suggests the presidential nomination races in South Carolina are getting as tight as those in Iowa. The Clemson University Palmetto Poll finds many people are still undecided — including about a quarter of Republicans and half of Democrats. Among voters who have a favorite:

The top three Democrats are Hillary Clinton (19%), Barack Obama (17%) and John Edwards (12%). In the same poll in September, Clinton led Obama 26%-16%.

I’d wager most South Carolinians knew in September that Obama was black.

One day Bill Clinton is going to explode in front of his aides screaming, “I can’t believe this fucking Sambo is beating us!”

-jb

We don’t mean to stir up the racial question about that jungle bunny.

Jan 26, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Disappointing Dems, Election crap, Politics

Am I the only one who senses a bit of a contradiction here?

Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as “the black candidate,” a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

If Barack Obama’s response to the Clinton’s racial skullduggery was “too black” for these Clinton campaign strategists, then no black person can ever be president by their math. Obama has been about as restrained and dignified during the Clintons’ brazen provocations as a human being is capable of being. What the Clintons have seen is a backlash based more on the grassroots. They tried stirring up racial shit with Obama, and people saw it for what it was: ugly. It was from a wide range of voices that the Clintons felt the heat. Honestly, to the degree that Democrats who support Hillary condone it or fail to recognize it, I am ashamed of the Democratic Party. The Clintons heard from the people in the Democratic Party who truly are different from Karl Rove. If these campaign strategists want to run around playing innocent while trumpeting their perception of their own success in calling Obama an angry black man, they’re going to make America ill. If the Clintons want this to be about race, then they load the dice in both directions: if Hillary defeats Obama using these tactics, then it’s a victory for whites over blacks. And while blacks have been used to this coming from Republicans, for them to see this happen within the Democratic party could be flat-out disastrous. Rightwinger crackpots love to try to tell blacks that the Democrat party just uses them. They’ll start to sound right.

Of course, to echo a recurring theme, people could alleviate a lot of these problems by voting for Barack Obama, who did take the high road. South Carolina backed up Iowa’s verdict (and Nevada’s, considering Obama won more delegates there) that there is simply a better, healthier way forward for America.

-jb

We’re still discussing voting machines in 2008.

Jan 16, 2008 in Election crap

History will write that in the year 2000, we had trouble counting ballots, and decided that not having any to count was better. Yes, we chose to put it in the hands of a questionable private corporation. Accountability turned into assurances.

Having electronic machines that leave a paper trail was technology readily available in 2000, yet in 2008 we still have to reach for the Rolaids when a story like this comes up:

To my complete (and continuing) amazement, the “diebold effect” on Hillary’s votes remains after controlling for any and all of those demographic variables, with a p-value of <.001: that is, there are less than 1:1000 odds for this difference occurring through chance alone, and that's after adjusting for variability in Hillary's votes due to education, income, total population, and population density. While this "diebold effect" varies in magnitude depending on the exact covariates used, it seems to center around an additional 5.2% of votes going for Clinton from Diebold machines. The same analysis shows a Diebold disadvantage for Obama of about -4.2%, significant with a p<.001, using the same covariates.

That’s Chris Chatham at his science blog crunching the numbers and asking the public to think of any extra variables that might account for the disparity besides Diebold machines. Four updates later, the Diebold effect is remaining persistent.

Now, I will repeat myself, this is a fucking headache, first and foremost. Yes, I am an Obama supporter and would obviously enjoy a reversal of the NH victory for Clinton if it fell into my hands. But in 8 years, every instance of voting machine shenanigans has been met with an equal and opposite reaction of “Ah, you cry baby losers whining about stolen elections!” Facts are met with indifference.

Yet I can’t give up my subservience to the facts. If somebody can come up with a statistical model that can point to something besides Diebold machines clearly skewering Hillary’s way and leaving Obama cold, I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear it. You hear me, you bastards? If this is wrong, BRING IT ON. Destroy the case. Tell me how it’s just pure chance that calculation after calculation keeps pointing at one variable, Diebold. Make me believe it. Let’s all pray to the gods that our democratic process isn’t being hijacked. Let it be so, so that we can quietly attend to preventing the need for such arguments in the first place. This should not be a topic for discussion!

It’s 2008, America! The fact that we do not have transparent voting methods at this point is indirect evidence that we have been massively gamed already. This is your by-the-hour repairman taking two hours to solve a 5 minute problem. Somebody has an incentive to keep dragging their asses, and we’re getting conned.

-jb

Gee, Hillary won New Hampshire. Who could have seen this coming?

Jan 09, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap, Politics

So exciting, Hillary winning. She behaves like a human being for the first time in over a decade, something that should not really be material for positive headlines, and suddenly all is hunky dory? That sounds fairly weak, if you ask me. There are a number of factors related to Hillary’s win, including the turnout of older women. One can certainly sympathize, and having a female president would be just as much a step forward for America as Barack Obama being the first black president would be. Logically, the two novelties should cancel each out, however. Elsewise, you’re stuck trying to explain why one is necessarily important than the other, and all you’re going to do is end up pissing off another constituency. If anything, Hillary suffers because electing a woman for being a President’s wife isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the system. However, the leap forward has essentially been made, so the question really needs to boil down to who these candidates are and what will their term in office really mean for the US, both pragmatically and in terms of heart and soul.

These are, of course, terms in which Barack Obama simply decimates Hillary. Would America honestly choose to listen to Hillary spam talking points for 8 years or listen to Obama engage the country in a dialogue about where we really are headed?

Mike’s previous link referred to the Republican disarmament in the face of Obama:

Scarborough dismisses the notion that some conservatives are talking up Obama in the belief that he would be a weak general-election opponent. “I get e-mails from Republicans, who’ve never voted for a Democrat before, saying they were tearing up during his Iowa speech,” he says from New Hampshire. “I don’t think they’re being calculated and cynical. This is so damn great for America.”

Oh, but yay, go Hillary, or something. C’mon, folks, she’s likely to win by at least a full percentage point!

New Hampshire, Iowans tried to tell you something. And honestly, 39 to 37 shows you listened somewhat. But you could have chosen smarter. A whole hell of a lot smarter. Like another group of people.

How’s that 17 feeling, Edwards supporters?

Gonna win South Carolina or something? And then cinch it up Feb. 5th?

You sure?

The numbers prove that those ready to truly change the rulebook in Washington can beat the pants off Hillary Clinton. But some of them insist on persisting in support for Edwards, even when he himself is hinting that he’d rather see the election go to Obama than Clinton. Were it not for these people, this race would not even be close.

Keep it up, John Edwards fans. I’ll have to keep remembering that I might have to be stuck arguing for a Hillary Clinton presidency in November, because of you bunch of geniuses. Good intentions need to be tempered with pragmatism, folks. So quit pulling a Nader.

-jb

Is Clinton shifting into desperation mode?

Jan 08, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Election crap

If this is true it’d be suicide for the Clinton campaign:

A panicked and cash-short Clinton campaign is seriously considering giving up on the Nevada caucuses and on the South Carolina primary in order to regroup and to save resources for the massive 19-state mega-primary on February 5.

At the same time, some top independent expenditure groups supporting Clinton have been exploring the creation of an anti-Obama “527 committee” that would take unlimited contributions from a few of Clinton’s super-rich backers and from a handful of unions to finance television ads and direct mail designed to tarnish the Illinois Senator’s image.

If Hillary starts wielding a fire hose it would spell the end of her campaign.  Not only would it reinforce what voters already suspected about her (that she’s cold, ambitious and calculating), it would hand her opponents ample ammunition to castigate her as an agent of Establishment Politics who will do or say anything to get elected.

-mg   

“Even Conservative Media Chorus Sings Obama’s Praises”

Jan 08, 2008 in Election crap

It’s time to commence the Dana Pico Suicide Watch.

-mg

Grown-Ups

Jan 04, 2008 in Election crap

Interesting graf in Salon’s coverage of the GOP caucuses:

(One pundit who got it right: former President Bill Clinton, a fellow native of Hope, Arkansas, who for weeks was telling anyone who would listen that Huckabee was the real deal, and who showed up Thursday at Huckabee’s Des Moines headquarters for a visit.)

If you make the mistake of taking blogs seriously, you’ll get the impression that the relationship between right and left in America is one of frothing hatred – that the differences between American Democrats and American Republicans are deep ideological chasms across which few if any bridges can be built. Both parties like this a lot, because it’s convenient to have people in your constituency who are so stupid that they have confused politics with the imperative to support the home team. Politics are, in fact, complex; party affiliations are for morons incapable of grasping complexities. Anybody who thinks “voting Republican” or “voting Democrat” is an expression of political ideology deserves the mistreatment he’ll get from the candidates he supports.

Right-wing bloggers are especially hilarious with respect to the Clinton family – they’re like the divorced guy in your workplace: all you have to do if you’re bored is mention “marriage” in his presence, then sit back and watch the fireworks. Should any of the assembled Clinton-allergic blog massive note this parenthetical caucus-night event, it’ll be a treat to watch them spin. Should any of them be reading this, they are invited to briefly contemplate the political reality that Governor Clinton’s visit to Governor Huckabee’s HQ represents. It differs rather dramatically from the political fantasy that you guys seem to think is good for the country.

Dodd’s out.

Jan 03, 2008 in Election crap

For real.

Proving their devotion to Bush by blowing an election.

Oct 02, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy, Election crap, Politics

Republican welfare recipient Dick Morris was on Hannity and Colmes yesterday claiming that a stock market crash is imminent if Hillary Clinton is elected POTUS. Personally, I think that the current stock market, is over-valued and is long overdue for a reality check, Hillary or no Hillary. The only thing that is currently keeping the DJIA in continued delirium is the promise of another gilded truffle from the Federal Reserve. And if things do go a tumblin’ down it isn’t going to be because somebody raised capital gains taxes, let gays enjoy the same Constitutional privileges heterosexuals do or expand child health care.

And if it’s true that Wall Street is terrified of tax-and-spend Democrats then they certainly aren’t demonstrating it by way of political contributions. Here’s another article, this one by the raving, librul, moonbats at the Wall Street Journal, charting the growing trend of real conservatives abandoning the spend-and-spend Republican party:

The Republican Party, known since the late 19th century as the party of business, is losing its lock on that title.

New evidence suggests a potentially historic shift in the Republican Party’s identity — what strategists call its “brand.” The votes of many disgruntled fiscal conservatives and other lapsed Republicans are now up for grabs, which could alter U.S. politics in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Some business leaders are drifting away from the party because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don’t share. In manufacturing sectors such as the auto industry, some Republicans want direct government help with soaring health-care costs, which Republicans in Washington have been reluctant to provide. And some business people want more government action on global warming, arguing that a bolder plan is not only inevitable, but could spur new industries.

If there’s one good thing you can say about Bush it’s that he’s doing a terrific job taking a good portion of the Republican Party, his sycophants in the media and the online devoted straight over a cliff.

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Grasping at straws.

Sep 17, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Election crap

The saintly John McCain comes out against free speech.  He says that MoveOn.org (a website) should be “thrown out of the country”.

I see the minority party is back to doing what they do best; hiding behind the flag and braying treason at the slightest whiff of dissent.

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If chins could kill.

Sep 16, 2007 in Election crap

Bottle of Blog, back from extended holiday with two guns a-blazing, documents with disgust the type of rhetorical skills that make hot, hunky Mitt Romney the right man for the GOP nomination.

While deriding Dems for utilizing sinister “527” groups, Romney has retained the services of Bob Perry of Houston, Texas, a man who, according to the the Washington Post, “has earned a reputation for his willingness to finance ‘527’ groups.”

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Polls. We got polls.

Aug 24, 2007 in Election crap, Uncategorized

Well, Century of the Common Iowan has the poll up, not us, and even though we appeal to much the same demographic the larger sample set they have will yield more representative results. Then again if there are no further polls the validation of the data collected will be questionable because of an insufficient time series, lack of descriptive estimates of numerical characteristics, and/or descriptions of correlations and so on and so forth, etc, etc. Jesus, I just remembered how much I despised my Stat classes in Snedecor Hall.

I’m not surprised at the number of Edwardians but check out all those Dodd supporters!

Go vote here.

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Biden and Edwards at the Hamburg.

Aug 21, 2007 in Election crap, Iowa City

John Deeth has got a jukebox full of great music*. He’s also got the skinny on recent Dem visits to Iowa City’s Hamburg Inn.

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*Attempts to play Sham 69 will take you zinging off to some error page so be forewarned!

Obama runs the gauntlet.

Aug 20, 2007 in Barack Obama, Election crap, Iowa

Jesus, I never thought I’d post a vid from FOX:

[youtube ucMXvMXQ7aw]

Doug Burns of Iowa Independent has a thorough blow-by-blow.

Dem contenders will be a little less eager to take Obama to task in the future now that he’s shown that he can turn the cross hairs into the spotlight.

-mg