Thursday, March 27, 2008
"The Los Angeles Times has acknowledged that it unwittingly relied on fabricated FBI documents, created by a con man, for a report that implicated associates of rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs in the 1994 shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur.
"The story's author, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chuck Philips, said in a statement late yesterday: "In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job. I'm sorry." Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin also apologized, saying in a separate statement: "We should not have let ourselves be fooled. That we were is as much my fault as Chuck's. I deeply regret that we let our readers down."
Hat Tip: McArdle
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
"WASHINGTON - Sales of new homes fell in February for the fourth straight month, pushing activity down to a 13-year low as the steep slump in housing continued."
Really? You don't say?
Slow news day I guess.
"BAGHDAD - At least 55 people have died in two days of fighting between Shiite
militias and U.S.-Iraqi forces in Baghdad and the southern oil hub of Basra,
officials said Wednesday. Some 300 people were reported wounded in the
clashes, which present the gravest challenge to the Iraqi government in months."
Here's a bit that I don't think the Daily Show could have written up any better:
"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken charge of the effort to rid Basra of
militias, including some which have ties to nearby Iran. Al-Maliki, who is in
Basra to oversee the military operation, said fighters would be spared if they
surrendered within 72 hours."
Right, that'll work. That's sorta like Hillary offering Obama the VP slot when he's ahead...and crazy.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
To help them out I decided to put together a little crypt sheet denoting some of the people you can compare Wright to and some you can't.
You can compare Wright to:
Malcolm X (Pre-visit to Mecca)
Sandford (but not the Son dummy)
Cyrus (From the Warriors--can you dig it?)
You cannot compare him with:
A neo-nazi (or Hitler for that matter)
and finally George W. Bush
"So far, the only points of interest are the income the family received from Treehouse, the Wal-Mart supplier on whose board Michelle Obama sat, and. in 2005, the capital gains reporting from their investements in Skyterra and Avi Biopharma. See here for background. Oh, by the way: Obama did not regularly tithe to Trinity United Church of Christ."
Proof Obama is a bad Christian. How long before Clinton brings that up? Oh wait, that would mean that he is a Christian...
"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."...
"The Clinton campaign has refrained from getting involved in the controversy, but Clinton herself, responding to a question, denounced what she said was "hate speech."
"You know, I spoke out against Don Imus (who was fired from his radio and television shows after making racially insensitive remarks), saying that hate speech was unacceptable in any setting, and I believe that," Clinton said. "I just think you have to speak out against that. You certainly have to do that, if not explicitly, then implicitly by getting up and moving."
I guess now you'd have to ask, did she know about Wright before or after he was invited to the White House.
She's really starting to make me sick.
"We knew that the House's lawsuit against White House officials would take awhile. And it turns out that it'll be June, at the earliest, before a judge makes his first decision in the House's suit against Harriet Miers and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten.
"That relatively rapid pace (for the courts, at least) is the result of the House pushing for quicker resolution of some of the White House's more expansive claims of executive privilege. The court will decide first whether administration lawyers are right when they say that Miers didn't even need to show up in response to the House Judiciary Committee's subpoena and that both Bolten and Miers didn't even need to indicate what sort of documents the White House were claiming privilege for. Thornier issues (e.g. whether certain conversations that do not involve the president are covered by executive privilege, etc.) would be dealt with later. The House has sought this speedier resolution with the hope that it would mean they'd actually get to hear from Miers and see some documents from Bolten before the close of the Bush
"Last Friday, the judge set a schedule for both sides to submit motions and
set a hearing for June 23rd when the House's general counsel and Justice
Department lawyers will argue before the judge. But whichever way the judge
eventually rules, the decision would likely be appealed all the way up to the
Supreme Court, meaning that regardless of the House's desire for a speedy
resolution, the case is bound to spend a long time in the courts before
Congressional investigators see any of its fruits."
Hat Tip: TPM
"The desire for permanent bases in Iraq dishonors the American dead, and ensures
that many more will die. This is the real horror of John McCain's hyperbolic
statements about another 100 or 10,000 years in Iraq: he thinks the occupation
of Iraq can be like the U.S. occupations of Korea, Japan or Germany--all three
ethnically homogenous, non-Islamic countries. He should both read a little
history. So should Kagan. But then, if they'd been familiar with the history of
Mesopotamia, we probably wouldn't have invaded in the first place."
Listen up Obama--this is almost exactly the argument you'll have to make come fall.
From Obama's Team this morning:
"Obama Posts Tax Returns on the Internet, Calls on Clinton to Follow Suit
Clintons’ investment in Cayman Islands firm shows need for full
and prompt disclosure
CHICAGO, IL—Senator Barack Obama today posted his tax
returns from 2000-2006 on his campaign website, demonstrating his continued
commitment to transparency in government and changing business as usual in
Washington. The returns are complete, including all schedules, and are now
available to anyone to view. The Obama campaign urged Senator Clinton to join
Senator Obama in making her returns public."
PS: Now that Obama's pretty much got this in the bag, don't hold your breath waiting for Hil's returns. And one that note I wonder--maybe she didn't release them earlier when she thought she had the nomination in the bag, and when she started to lose it then she figured, "why should I?" If that's the case she probably never intended to let them out. Ah well, I'm sure they're not important...NOT!
"As you know, I was in Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and England on my last
visit. And a couple of days ago, as you probably know, an audiotape -- actually
it was last week -- an audiotape was released where bin Laden said, and I have
to quote bin Laden, ... 'the nearest field to support our people in Palestine is
the Iraqi field.' He urged Palestinians and people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and
Saudi Arabia to quote 'help in support of their mujahedeen brothers in Iraq,
which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task.' Now my friends, for the
first time I have seen Osama bin Laden and General Petraeus in agreement, and
that is, the central battleground in the battle against al Qaeda is in Iraq
today. And that's what bin Laden is saying and that's what General Petraeus is
saying and that's what I'm saying, my friends, and my Democrat opponents who
want to pull out of Iraq refuse to understand what's being said and what's
happening, and that is, the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle
against radical Islamic extremism."
Ok, that's above snark and heading into dicky territory, but the fact remains that McCain is pushing an agenda that Bin Laden advocates. I'm not sure if he thinks Laden is doing some reverse psychology thing, "well he wants me to go here, so he probably doesn't want me to go here, so I guess I'll go there" but if that's it McCain's not showing that card. Anyway, I think that kind of nuance is beyond McCain. Instead I think he's rattling his saber in an irresponsible manner, getting so carried away in the machismo of the situation that he's incapable of thinking with his brain. If he did he'd realize that the strategy above is only a trap to keep the public on Laden side, and the more aggressive the US becomes, the more sentiment in the area will fall to radical Islam. MY has more on this here.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
"WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday she has
apologized to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for an incident in
which State Department contractors unnecessarily reviewed his passport
"The episode raises questions as to whether the actions of three
contractors, two of whom have been fired, were politically motivated."
If this story has teeth, and if it is discovered that this fiasco was politically motivated by either of the Clinton or McCain camp then Obama might shore up the election right here and now. This would be the greatest scandal since watergate and just the implication is bound to garner Obama public sympathy. Between Richardson's endorsement and this, Obama is about to get a nice jump in his sagging poll numbers.
UPDATE: To note, right now it doesn't seem that the passport breach was politically motivated but could have been done just out of harmless curiosity (which doesn't excuse the behavior--they still need to be fired), but a full investigation seems proper. On the other hand, it seems that GHWB (Bush's dad) might have done the same thing to Bill Clinton in 92. An honest mistake, or genetics?
UPDATE II: Looks like McCain, and Clinton's passport records were also breached. Looks like this might have been curiosity--or an attack by the Nader campaign? Nahhhh.
"SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the nation's only
Hispanic governor, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a
"once-in-a- lifetime leader" who can unite the nation and restore America's
Richardson backed Obama despite his ties to Clinton and her husband, the
former president. He served as ambassador to the U.N. and as secretary of the
Energy Department during the Clinton administration. Last month, Richardson and
former President Clinton watched the Super Bowl together at the governor's
residence in Santa Fe."
This is bigger that you might think. As a close ally of the Clintons, Richardson was the one Bill Clinton had tagged when the former president needed some help in getting Lewinsky a job for silence and Richardson who'd been the ambassador to the UN had tried to help him out. Richardson's endorsement might be the first sign that Obama's speech is working, and really motivating and inspiring Clinton defection. Not only that but, now that I think of it, a Richardson VP would do alot to shore up Obama's weakness in the Latino demographic. All and all this is a very good thing for Barack.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"Bolten said Bush wants enough continuity in his Iraq policy that “even a
Democratic president would be in a position to sustain a legitimate presence
“Especially if it’s a Democrat,” the chief of staff told The Examiner in
his West Wing office. “He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat not
only will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out.”
So far in reading over the article I don't see that Bolten says that Bush and Hil actually talk directly, but communicate more through the Washington grapevine, and surrogates. Still, this is pretty big, especially since Clinton's view leans more towards hawkishness (and thus Bush's agenda) than Obama, and Bolten has his own problems with the Democratic House, meaning that he's got a reason to spill the beans. I'm grading papers right now, but when I have some more time I'll give this a closer look.
As I suggested yesterday in detailing my own qualms about the speech, they're palpably fueled by the fact that Obama is a liberal. The conservative idea of a candidate who's "transformational" on race is someone who sounds like Bill Cosby and works with Ward Connerly, and that just isn't what Obama's doing; hence the Right's disappointment, which in many cases is curdling into dismissiveness and outright dislike.
That seems about right. Of course Sully's assessment that right wing criticism is, "palpably fueled by fear and racism." is true about 90% of the time, as any quick review of the Corner yesterday will show. The sort of knee jerk "this speech was dumb" is about as ignorant as when Bush gets on television and says, "the economy is doing great!" You can disagree with Obama's views but his speech was so powerful that you can't just dismiss it as humdrum. When that happens your you seem so out of touch with reality that anything you say seems delusional. Ross on the other hand seems to be able to appreciate Obama's speech while disagreeing with his thesis, a thesis he, as a conservative, would never agree with anyway.
I do find issue though with Ross' view of what he thinks is Obama's gambit:
"...he's trying to free African-American politics from the vice grip of grievance and resentment, breaking away not only from the Sharptons and Jacksons but from the NAACP line of Julian Bond and Kweise Mfume as well, and bringing black Americans out of racialism and radicalism and into the liberal mainstream; at the same time, he's trying to bring the country, which has heretofore tilted right, into the center-left mainstream as well. [Boldface mine]
Ross I think makes a wrong assumption that just because Bush won the last two elections [one in a narrow margin and the other...] that the country tilts right. No one really knows how the country tilts, and really looking at America through that ideological framework is a fallacy. In that way the public is probably a bit smarter than pundits because they don't have the loyalties to a particular ideology that we do. That's not to say that they're sheerly pragmatic (one could wish) or have some other particular metric to base their decisions on. They look at both the intangible and tangible, experience and party and some other crazy shiz to decide--and yet out of all those things there is something there that makes them more open to politicians than ideologues. What Ross doesn't get is that it's within that junction that Obama makes a stand. Look, maybe I'm giving Barack too much credit. Maybe I'm drinking the kool-aid, but there's something about him and his campaign that's honest and sincere, and if you see that then Ross' argument, that Obama's message is some ideological tactic, is flawed. Sure, you can classify his message as left, and sure, you can disagree with it because it falls into that category, but I don't think the public is thinking that way. I think that the public is looking for solutions--real solutions that work, and they don't care where the hell it comes from. Maybe this is the "New Politics" that Obama keeps talking about--this openness to escape the confines of party and idealism to perfect America, and it's not something he created. The people have been ready for this for a while--but like an archaeologist, he's just unearthed what was already there.
"On family values:
You know what it takes? It takes a barbecue. I think that what the country needs now is a good, smoky barbecue—family style, at least once a week, winter months included. Every Sunday."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
But beyond mere praise, Obama's campaign has really changed my life. It's easy just to say that I'm 'a little gay' for Obama, but that trivializes something much greater. I supported Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, but never in my support for them or, well anyone, have I ever felt the need to actually contribute. And I don't mean contribute to their campaigns, but contribute to America, donating my time to soup kitchens, or being a big brother, or serving my country. Obama not only inspires me to do those things but he makes me believe that doing those things can and will make a difference. I suppose that's the greatest reason to support Obama, and the greatest reason why people are supporting Obama. By believing in him you actually start to believe in your country and yourself. Suddenly, all that jingoistic BS that conservative talking heads spout begins to seem honest, and the dreams of MLK or JFK become gospel. Suddenly, you realize what you should have known before: that America is great, because you are great and even in our weakness, our desire and our attempts to be more perfect makes us inspiring.
Feeling that, I sometimes wonder and worry--what if Obama gets assassinated? I worry not out of caring for the man, but for what the man has inspired and continues to inspire within me. I worry because I don't want this train to stop but I want us to continue to come together and believe. I worry that if his fire goes out we'll return to our status quo and go back to the politics of polarization and division that have maimed and paralyzed our population in my lifetime.
So I've decided to make a pledge, a pledge that I hope you'll make with me. I swear, by all that's holy and I consider sacred, that if Obama is assassinated I will run for public office, not out of ambition or pursuit of power, but of a love of country and a desire to make the world just a little bit better. Way I figure, if we all do that, if we all just run maybe a few of us might get elected, and if that happens maybe the dream that Obama inspired within me might come to pass.
Yeah, I know I'm being sentimental, and this isn't too impartial, but it's honest, and considering that it's so rare to actually be inspired by anything these days outside of Eli Manning I like to grab hold and keep that feeling. Hope, real hope, is priceless.
Monday, March 17, 2008
But when it comes to sheer parody, nothing beats The Sinatra Group:
Why did I do it? Why the hell not? Anyway, it helps me to free up space so I can discuss more serious stories, like this.
"Now, newly discovered information, including interviews with people who
were at the studio that night, lends credence to Shakur's insistence that
associates of rap impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs were behind the assault. Their alleged motives: to punish Shakur for disrespecting them and rejecting their business overtures and, not incidentally, to curry favor with Combs.
"The information focuses on two New York hip-hop figures -- talent manager James
"Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond and promoter James Sabatino, who is now in prison for unrelated crimes.
"FBI records obtained recently by The Times say that a confidential informant told authorities in 2002 that Rosemond and Sabatino "set up the rapper Tupac Shakur to get shot at Quad Studios." The informant said Sabatino had told him that Shakur "had to be dealt with."
Hat Tip: '5'
I'm going to be very interested to see what McCain and Cheney will say on their returns to America.
PS: By the way, you'll notice that my 'Surge Update' sections seem to only include 'bad news'. Well if someone can give me stories that show signifigant gains in Iraq other than Marines handing out candy to kids, please let me know. I'm more than willing to post them up.
"Bill Kristol's New York Times column about Barack Obama this morning contains a major, prejudicial error.
The error is in trusting the source without checking.
But Ronald Kessler, a journalist who has written about
Wright’s ministry, claims that Obama was in fact in the pews at Trinity last
July 22. That’s when Wright blamed the “arrogance” of the “United States of
White America” for much of the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of
blacks. In any case, given the apparent frequency of such statements in Wright’s
preaching and their centrality to his worldview, the pretense that over all
these years Obama had no idea that Wright was saying such things is hard to
The truth is that Obama did not attend church on July 22.
He was on his way to campaign in Miami.
(Here is some video evidence.) This was before he signed an agreement forbidding himself from campaigning in Florida.
Here is the original, false, Newsmax story:Obama Attended Hate America Sermon."
You know, I thought it was cute when the NY Times put Kristol on its payroll. It's reminded me of this liquor store by Columbia Uni, that had a guard cat; an interesting gimmick but ultimately ineffective. Now though I think I need to revise my opinion. Considering that Kristol has a record of incompetence, isn't it sorta like criminal negligence to allow him to poison the media like this? Or does the Times care about their reputation?
UPDATE: My rationality just informed me that it isn't "sorta like criminal negligence" it is criminal negligence. And no, the Times doesn't care about their reputation. Mah bad.
Friday, March 14, 2008
So Silda Spitzer, wife of disgraced Eliot Spitzer, says that the thing that hurt her the most about his scandal was that the girl he slept with was so young. Reality check--if he wanted to sleep with an old lady, he probably would have slept with you.
Damn, that was overly harsh. I'm sorry I'm probably still pissed at Jonah Goldberg. I apologize. Still, though...that's the thing that hurt you the most? I'd have figured that marrying a philandering politician who wasn't Bill Clinton would have been the worst, but what do I know? All I know is, Ashley Dupre is hot.
Of course Obama is where he is in part because he's black. I find it
predictable but absurd that anyone could disagree, never mind call such an
observation racist. Colin Powell was where he was in 1996 in part because he's
black. That doesn't mean Colin Powell didn't "deserve" his stature. But it's one
of the simple facts of politics that who you are and what you've done are
inextricably bound together.
I like the 'of course' at the beginning, implicitly telling us that it's just so plainly obvious that Obama's success is due to his race. You'd have to be a fool to disagree. And while he's at it, he tosses Colin Powell underneath the bus to just to show that any black person whose prominent in America has to have gotten to where they are because of their race. He might as well have tossed Condi Rice, and Clarence Thomas in the mix there. He goes on to further confuse his argument by saying "...it's one of the simple facts of politics that who you are and what you've done are inextricably bound together." What's the implication here? That black people are nothing but the product of their skin tone. If that's not the case then why can't the focus be on Obama's gender? Or his educational background, or (Saints Preserve Us!) his white heritage? You know, it doesn't take a genius to realize that people are more than the sum of their parts--basic psychology tells us that--so why does Goldberg choose to hawk on that concept? Could it be that he's trying to convince us that everything that Obama's accomplished, everything that he stands for is meaningless and lacks substance? Sure he is, because if he wasn't--if he really wanted to do his job and analyze him as a candidate--he would actually have to look at those things. But I suppose that would be too much hard work, and (Great Caesars Ghost!) heaven help if some of those points make sense and disagree with Goldberg's conservative ideology. Best to just ignore that entirely.
Oh, but wait--Jonah's not done sliming us yet. Later he goes on to say this:
I don't see any problem with Barack Obama admitting that part of his appeal
is the hope that he might help mend the racial divide and turn a new page. But
he could also say that he's not running for the President of Black America but
of all America and that his qualifications involve more than his skin color.
He's more than eloquent enough to make that case.
Wha, wha, what! Hold on while I puke--let me pass the mic to Sully for a moment:
Hello? Anyone home? Has Jonah read Obama's books? Or even a basic profile of
the guy? He tries to rescue himself (and fails) in a p.s.:The point I was getting at is that it would be fine to make that point while
also making the point that having a black president would amount to progress for
America. It doesn't need to be either or.
But this is exactly what Obama has been saying in public and out loud for months and months and months. It must be nice knowing what side you're on without ever even bothering to find out the most basic facts about your opponent's message.
Indeed. But see, that's exactly Jonah's bread and butter. Why bother to do the research when you can act like you did the research? Why read the book when you can read the back cover copy--or even better, pull an opinion out of thin air based on whatever particular biases your bloated-bile-filled-sac can produce. What comes out of Jonah's mouth, or Sean Hannity, or Ann Coulter, or Bill O'Reilly for that matter, is more self-psychoanalysis than actual political commentary. Goldberg's not writing about Obama or his campaign, he's writing about his thoughts on race, and what he believes is his audience's thoughts on race. In his mind, being black and successful is nothing but affirmative action at its anti-white worse and the only reason Barack (or Powell, or Rice, or you know, any black person) gets to where they are is merely a function of their dark skin tone and the liberalism that empowers it.
Barack never said he running for Black America Jonah, you just thought that because of your racist attitude and your lazy scholarship, and frankly I can't tell which one is more dangerous to America. I am SO GLAD Jon Stewart destroyed you.
You know, rarely do I give a damn about professional sports. There's too much money and too little heart involved in them for me to really care or become inspired. Yet every once and a while something comes up that garners my attention. Billy Crystal's one day contract to play an exhibition game wasn't that something, but what did attract my interest was the massive amounts of criticism that he received. Look folks, cut the dude some slack and get a sense of proportion. Here you have a guy who's 60 years old, a life long Yankee fan, a personal friend to Yankee legends Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, who has promoted the Yankee franchise in half of his movies and even produced the HBO film 61 that chronicled Maris and Mantle's home run record chase of, appropriately, 1961. If anyone deserves to be shown a bit of love by this franchise it's Crystal. Oh yeah, sure he got the opportunity because he's famous but then, so what? Of all the frivolous vain booby-prizes given to boobs this one seems honest, well-earned, and less obnoxious than most. He got a chance to wear the pinstripes and get one at bat, and in that time probably did more for the Yankees than Jason Giambi, A-Rod, and Mike Mussina put together, and it didn't cost the Yanks a billion dollars.
God people, get some perspective.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
"Ferraro's remark is a sly way of referring to affirmative action, presumably because she thinks it will help Hillary with angry white ethnics in Pennsylvania's depressed coal and industrial regions. It would be repulsive coming from anyone, but its particularly rich from someone whose main qualification for the vice presidency was possessing ovaries."
This is one of the problems that I have in dealing with the whole prostitution debate (or our drug laws for that matter), either the argument made is overly simple, or too metaphysical, and I think the solution to both is pragmatic. Would we, as a country, spend more money (and time, and lives) making prostitution legal and channelling the resources we have into stopping the sex crimes associated with the causes of prostitution, and creating a world where women have the opportunities for other employment, or should we continue banging our heads against the wall doing the same thing and expecting a different result? And yes, on a surface level you can pretty much use the same arguments against our drug laws for non-violent offenders. Seems to me you'd have a much fairer world if we funded these guys than these guys. Seems to me that the only thing you get out of busting Johns are news stories that make you feel morally superior while you're downloading Internet porn.
You know, I don't consider myself a moralist, but there's something really wrong with this whole situation. Here we live in a country that outlaws prostitution, and will call for the resignation of a politician that enlists the services of a prostitute, but in the aftermath we turn the prostitute into a star. So far Ms. Dupre's Myspace page has gotten like 3 million hits and we're sure that the obligatory Playboy pictorial, sex tape, and music album is sure to follow. People say that prostitution is wrong because it's obscene, but what's really obscene is America's wacked out, hypocritical sexual appetite.
"Earlier in the day, Hillary Clinton supporter and fundraiser Geraldine Ferraro gave up her honorary position with Clinton's campaign after she said in an interview last week that Obama would not have made it this far if he were white. Obama said Ferraro's remarks were "ridiculous" and "wrong-headed."
"Of Ferraro's comment, Hillary Clinton told her audience: "I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn't speak for the campaign, she doesn't speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee."
That's a start, but really what Clinton needs to reject and cease is her constant injection of race into this campaign. Then again, without preying on people's biases does she really have a chance? Probably not, especially with the numbers working against her.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
"The most irritating but revealing trope from the Clintonites in the face of Obama's success these past two months has been "Get real." By "get real," they mean, I think, that it is unimaginable that a young black freshman should beat a Clinton. That's how she can offer the veep slot to a man who has beaten her. That's how she can treat white ethnic voters in Pennsylvania as if they mean more than black voters in South Carolina. I'm not even sure that Ferraro or Clinton realize how unconsciously racist these assumptions are."
Now you're starting to get a hint of what we have to deal with. But in all fairness, we'd rather deal with that type than the other.
"In another interview with the paper that got this whole thing started, Geraldine Ferraro echoes the emerging Hillary line that it's the Obama camp that's played the race card in this dust-up:
Um...are you kidding me?!?!? She can say that Obama's leading in the polls because he's black, and that's ok, but when he denounces it (which, regardless of veracity he's bound to do, because, well, that sh_t is F'ed up), he's being racist. This from a politician who's only claim to fame is being the first female VP candidate.
I'll say this much, with Hillary and her surrogates being so good at casting themselves as victims they must have graduated with honors from the Karl Rove school of politics. What nonsense. The only good news is that Ferraro probably won't get away with it, and Hillary will get another mark against her.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Paterson happened to have been the state Senator of my district back back in the day, and while I can't say that he did much, he seemed to have been a man of integrity who never seemed to get entangled in any scandals. This probably means he's the right man for the job right now.
So Paterson, Obama, and Woods...how much longer will it be before the black man is just 'the man'?
Monday, March 10, 2008
"ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.
Mr. Spitzer, a first term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform an end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children.
Just last week, federal prosecutors arrested four people in connection with an expensive prostitution operation. Administration officials would not say that this was the ring with which the governor had become involved.
But a person with knowledge of the governor’s role said that the person believes the governor is one of the men identified as clients in court papers."
Great. He's like Bill Clinton without the looks, charm, idealism and power mad wife. Why did we elect him anyway? Oh yeah... Paging Mayor Bloomberg.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Note in his defense of his veto he didn't mention waterboarding by name but called it by the Nazi term "enhanced interrogation". Isn't that like calling "jerking off", "auto-pleasuring"?
Piece of advice to the Obama campaign: Make sure everyone knows that you didn't ask her to leave. What she said was a little out of line, but her worth as a consultant and her competency is more than enough reason to keep her around.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
"If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens."
To tell you the truth, I have yet to see one episode of the critically acclaimed show even though I own the second season on DVD, and I had no idea that Dennis Lehane and Richard Price were on their writing team. I've been a huge fan of Price since Clockers, and Lehane's Patrick Kenzie novels (of which Gone Baby Gone was one) has redefined the hard-boiled detective genre. Looks like I have some couch-potato time due.
Hat Tip: Sully
"Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean urged Florida and Michigan party officials to come up with plans to repeat their presidential nominating contests so that their delegates can be counted."
As an Obama supporter (and someone who thinks that this battle is only going to make McCain stronger), I don't particularly want FL and MI to re-do their primaries since they'll undoubtedly help Clinton. FL will help her because of its large conservative Latino, Anti-Castro base, and MI will aid her cause because the Ohio NAFTA scandal will roll over there, unless this new revelation that Clinton was the first to be duplicitous about NAFTA gets teeth, and I doubt it.
But as an American and Democrat I believe that everyone in the party should have the right to their vote. It seems, well...democratic. True their respective parties originally screwed them over, but does that mean that the people shouldn't get another chance if one is presented?
I will say one thing though, a re-do in MI and FL is going to be a great opportunity to see how versatile team Obama really is, and discover what adjustments they'll make in their strategy. Looking at their wins I am blown away by their Jordanesque campaign performance, TX and OH excluded (and hey, even the Bulls lost every once and a while to the Knicks).
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
"Chuck Schumer and Even Bayh explain that people vote for Hillary when they realize things are "serious." Because, after all, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, George Miller, SEIU, and Samantha Power are all unserious. I guess kind of like how entire states don't count. Maybe it's just inherently unserious to be troubled by the idea of continuing hawk hegemony inside the Democratic Party. We need some more "serious" "national security Democrats" to run things. An administration staffed by vapid careerists. Sounds great."
"Matt Yglesias cites the media's utter lack of interest in John McCain's courtship of, and endorsement by, anti-Catholic, anti-semitic John Hagee as a concrete example of how the ongoing Democratic race benefits John McCain:
"I've been Hagee-bashing since before it was cool, so pisses me off, too. But realistically it's not the press and the cable networks that gave McCain a pass, it was Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They gave him a pass because, of course, they were arguing with each other. For a little while during the Wisconsin-Texas interregnum, Obama did pivot in the direction of McCain and it gave Clinton the opportunity to smack him over the head with a frying pan. I assume neither campaign is going to make that mistake again until this thing is actually wrapped up. But that means that there'll be nobody effectively pressing the media with anti-McCain talking points. It also means that Clinton will continue re-enforcing whatever good lines of attack McCain comes up with against Obama, and if McCain starts delivering good anti-Clinton lines, Obama will probably start re-enforcing those, too.
This kind of dynamic hardly guarantees defeat in November, but it's hard to see how it helps.
"It's not just the Hagee episode. This is also a big part of the reason that McCain's attack on Obama for contemplating breaking his public-financing "pledge" got so much more attention than McCain's own, possibly illegal (and clearly far outside the spirit of the law) decision to opt out of public financing for the primary after having opted in last year. Had there been a Democratic nominee to forcefully make the case that McCain was being disingenuous, the media would have given this far more attention. But there wasn't, so it didn't."
There goes that tingle in my gut. All of a sudden that 8.5 million spent on anti-Bush ads doesn't seem like a bad idea.
Still though, I've got a ominous buzzing in my gut about this race. Not because I'm worried that Obama will lose (although obviously I have those concerns) but because the longer this race continues the stronger McCain can become. Yes, the man continues to shoot himself in the foot, and his victory speech last night was a profile in being unpolitical. He repeated his message of you can't stop the global economy (you know people love that, especially in Ohio), as well as his dedication to remain in Iraq, but Hillary still polls badly against him, and has her high negative issue (which ain't going down unless she changes her name to Hillary Rodam). But my real concern is that should this thing go on till the end, Obama is going to be the only one whose armor is going to get tarnished. Like it or not, people have the image of Obama being this Jesus figure, immune to the particular malaise of politics like, well, being political. When issues like the NAFTA thing come up they really hurt Obama, and Hillary, who is a fighter, will dig up whatever she can to bring him down. While that probably won't be enough to get her the nomination, it will make Obama unsavory to what will be his bread and butter in the general election--moderate Independents and Republicans. Of course I could delude myself and buy into that "Obama is above reproach" junk, but he's a Senator--from Illinois. You don't get to that point without skinning a few hands, and even if it's not as bad as McCain and the Keating 5, people, for better or worse, hold Obama to a higher standard, and he's had less time to have his feet pulled through the coals.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Note: My Internet's been down all day, and I'm still working on getting some type of photo presentation together from my trip, but I'll be blogging when I can.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Update: Politico reports that the article was supposed to be "tongue-in-cheek" but after two pages of dredging up the worse stereotypes about women it's more like brain-on-floor.
First off, I’d like to apologize to all of you for missing the last week; but, alas, The Wolf needed to take his vacation to the
Probably the best place I can begin is at the last Democratic debate in
“Well, Tim, I can't say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks I'm a good guy. You know, I have been very clear in my denunciations of him and his past statements, and I think that indicates to the American people what my stance is it on those comments.”
This of course led to tons of inane Internet traffic regarding the semantics of the words ‘denounce’ and ‘reject’ and which is the harsher condemnation. On its own this probably wouldn’t have been that bad, but Obama’s support of Jews came further into the spotlight as it was reported by the Jerusalem Post that in a discussion with various members of
But the most important problem for Obama that emerged from the
That being said, Obama’s first errors of the campaign, and a well timed appearance on Saturday Night Live gave this last couple of weeks to Clinton, who amid shrinking margins in Ohio and Texas, still maintains a slim lead in those must win states. However it's looking more and more like Mission Impossible for the Senator from New York. If we look at the delegate count, Obama is still ahead in elected delegates and has closed the gap in Super Delegates, but looking down the road, Clinton has to know that even if she holds Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania she must then win the rest of the primaries by margins of roughly 3 to 1 in order to draw even to Obama, since the Democrats have delegates given by proportion of votes. The
On the Republican side, McCain stands alone, and even though Huckabee’s still in the race his candidacy has taken on full vanity status as he’s barely mentioned in the press anymore. McCain, a man whose rise can be mostly attributed to luck, still seems to be on fortune’s good side as he has also benefited from an Obama error. Two weeks ago McCain’s candidacy had hit a major impasse coming in the form of a NY Times article that exposed McCain’s love-hate relationship with lobbyists—possibly an all too literal relationship, as the Times insinuated that McCain had been having an affair with a female lobbyist who had traveled with him during his presidential run eight years ago. I’d criticized the article on my blog, arguing that the writers of the Times piece sullied their own work by focusing on the allusion to a possible affair rather than on the tenable and documented links between McCain and big business. I didn’t think that the article would end his run but I figured it would have gotten bigger teeth than it did. However McCain was able to stumble back thanks to another misstep from Obama, who, during the Ohio debate, said that, though he would withdraw troops from Iraq, he would reserve the right to send them back in should Al-Qaeda establish a base there. This gave McCain the ammo for his strongest barrage yet, saying:
“I have some news…Al Qaeda is in
Even President Bush got in on it, stating during a press conference:
“It's an interesting comment…If al-Qaeda is securing a[n] al-Qaeda base? Yeah, well, that's exactly what they've been trying to do for the past four years."
Obama then retorted:
“I have some news for John McCain, There was no such thing as Al Qaeda in
This is a nice sound byte, but it masks a huge problem for Obama should he be the nominee come the fall. McCain’s only shot at winning the presidency is to, against the prevailing sentiment in
Things to look forward to this week: The three coast primary this week for the Democrats that include the must win states of