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      I, and others, have noted a number of times that the only nation which handled the financial crisis correctly was Iceland: they bailed out ordinary people, let the banks go bankrupt, and jailed bankers who had broken the law. The only one. Iceland’s population is tiny, but it isn’t size, exactly, that matters, what matters [...]
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Thursday: Analysis comes trickling in

According to Dan Balz at WaPo, Ohio may be key to Obama’s reelection.  He won’t necessarily lose the presidency if he loses Ohio.  It’s just that no one since Jack Kennedy has been able to pull it off.  Obama apparently has a problem with white working class and older voters.  I don’t suppose it has anything to do with telling Appalachia to go F%^ itself in 2008 or that Pennsylvania voters were bitter, narrow minded racists.  Still, a lot of them probably ended up voting for him in 2008 because he ran as a Democrat and the 2008 financial crash scared the bejeesus out of them.  So, I’m betting that a lot of them are none too thrilled that he turned out not to be a Democrat after all.

It’s one thing to subvert the dominant paradigm locally.  There were some thought provoking referendum items on ballots yesterday and since the debt ceiling debacle in August, voters are starting to get a more complete picture of what the Republican party is all about.  Well, except for Virginia.  But if the presidential contest comes down to Romney vs Obama, it may be much tougher to call it a victory in advance for the Democrats.  If voters want a “change election” and they’re not happy with Obama’s performance so far and they see moderate Mitt as a the guy to send a message to Democrats to clean up their act, well, it would be a shame.  Because the legislative races could sweep Democrats into power again and to be saddled with Mitt would just be another missed opportunity.

There are a couple of  things I would like to point out to the Obama contingent: 1.) You may have perfectly good reasons for opposing Hillary Clinton.  You haven’t persuaded me that they’re really *good* reasons, but I will accept that you have them.  But you are just a tiny but vocal contingent and unfortunately, according to pollsters, Hillary is still wildly popular among the dirty, unwashed, insufficiently educated voters you look down on- to your detriment.  Just because YOU don’t like her, doesn’t mean the rest of the country cares a flying f%^& what you think.  You can take your chances with Obama or reassess your candidates.  Sherrod Brown also looks promising. 2.) The idea that the African-American community will have a riot and abandon the party if Obama isn’t renominated is speculative at best, bordering on racist at worst.  That attitude presumes that economically stressed people will put their racial preferences before their economic preferences even though the performance of the person up for reelection, and who has blown them off for 4 years, has been poor and made their lives miserable.  One thing I think Obama Democrats are overlooking is that half the African-American community is female.  With Clinton running, African-American females can’t lose.  Identity politics could work here as well.  I would vote for her because she’s the better candidate but we can’t overlook the fact that the double X thing is even more historic than the absence of some silly mutation that causes less melanin to be produced in the skin.  3.) You could always go with a primary.  True, primaries are expensive but maybe *this* time, you could allow full participation of your base.  And while in normal election years primaries haven’t worked in the incumbent’s favor, the last three years have been anything but ordinary.  This is a different economic environment than anything we’ve seen since the Great Depression and as we know, organisms that fail to adapt to their environment, don’t make it to pass on their political philosophy to the next generation.  But even more importantly, having a primary could reenergize the country and suck the air right out of the Republicans’ offensive.  That is, if you have the right people primarying.  You would have to get candidates who could make a strong case for an FDR style New Deal set of programs.  It could be a way of arguing against the same old bipartisan shtick that Democrats like Obama have been peddling for the past decade.

Just some ideas since the poll numbers don’t appear to bode well for Obama next year and the signs that the party is starting to realize that are all over the place.

***************************

Oh, look, Washingtonian Magazine says that the State Department is one of the top 50 best workplaces.  Fancy that.  I wonder why that is?  Back in the Bush years, career diplomats were quitting all over the place and emailing some very critical “good-bye cruel world” resignation letters.  Remember?  What could have possibly changed…?  No, no, don’t tell me.  From the CNN report:

The State Department made the list based on a survey of Federal News Radio listeners and in consultation with the non-partisan, non-profit Partnership for Public Service.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department has 44,362 employees and they can take advantage of perks including a student-loan repayment program, a transit subsidy, and a wide array of courses through the Foreign Service Institute, Washingtonian Magazine says.

“We’re making history every day when we come to work. That’s pretty amazing,” Gilberto TorresVela, an economic officer in the Office of Cuban Affairs, tells the magazine. “State’s employees feel that their work makes a difference in foreign affairs, helping to make the world more secure,” the article says.

What did Jon Favreau say about working for Hillary once upon a time?  I can’t remember.  But I do remember Tina Fey saying “bitches get stuff done”.

***************************

Coming to a workplace near you:  Your company lays you off.  A new company comes to town and hires you as a contractor working for less pay and fewer benefits and sends you to work – at the company that just laid you off.  This is how we treat our STEM graduates who worked for Lilly.  And the contracting company is going to skim some profits off of this arrangement with Lilly, at workers’ expense.  I’m amazed at how many people in the comment thread are talking about unionizing.  You never would have heard that kind of talk from chemists a few years ago.  But the American Chemical Society has been conspicuously absent while its professional members have been getting the axe and watching their compensation packages get decimated.  Something has to be done.

The funny thing is that this attempt at “in-sourcing” may not be as money saving for Lilly as the outsourcing they were doing to China and India.  We knew the outsourcing wasn’t cost effective because it’s hard to keep track of the work and proprietary information half a world away. In-sourcing will have its own set of problems because they’ve taken the scientists who used to be invested in their projects as problem solvers and reduced their participation to hands on workers who perform a series of tasks for a specified amount of money.  The problem with producing new drugs isn’t that American STEM workers don’t produce.  The problem is that the management hasn’t got a clue about how to do research to make conditions conducive to the discovery of new drugs.  Here’s a hint: you can’t do good research with a “flexible” staff.  You need to hire people who are willing to go above and beyond what you ask of them, who will stay late to watch a reaction, who will come in on their days off to count cells and start new passages, who are willing to read more papers on new methods.  If you take their expertise and try to break it down into little “just in time” bits, not only will you start running into IP issues, necessitating information roadblocks to keep the contract workers from looking at the sciency stuff that makes their work interesting, what you will get is someone who doesn’t feel invested in the project or the company.  They’re too busy trying to make ends meet for their families and feeling resentment that they’ve spent so much time slaving away at hard subjects in college just so they could be treated as no better than some high school dropout assembly line worker for about the same pay.  At 5:00pm, they’re out of there.

Businesses in Indiana where this is going on are going to take a hit when those same workers have their salaries drastically reduced.  They will be buying less in the way of goods and services.  And let’s not forget that if the work is only contract, there’s no way these workers can safely plan for the future.  That means fewer homeowners, more renters, fewer people invested in their communities, more of the “paradox of thrift”.  It could also mean fewer people with health insurance if contract workers have to pay for it themselves with reduced salaries.  And that’s going to come back to bite taxpayers in the butt when those same workers suck up precious public health dollars when they get sick.  Those are the same STEM workers who were paying a lot of state taxes and helping other people.  Now, they become a burden on the state.  Everybody loses in this arrangement except the new middleman overseers.

We’re not talking about high school dropouts here.  This is the way we treat STEM workers.  And if there are readers out there who are entertaining the idea that STEM workers shouldn’t feel entitled to a healthy salary, I suggest they try it themselves.  Go check out the requirements for a BS degree in Chemistry or Biology or engineering.  We are laying these people off in droves.  The ones that aren’t forced into early retirement are cooling their jets while the industry tries to cut corners every way it can, reducing the output of research as a result and creating a vicious circle of more layoffs.  The industry MBAs did this to themselves.  Let’s stop blaming STEM graduates for being at the mercy of some cost saving management fad.  If I hear one more politician parroting the business community’s lies about how they don’t have enough STEM graduates so they can use it as an excuse to import more cheap H1B visa holders instead of treating their current crop of labrats with respect and dignity, I’m going to get a posse of laid off  chemists together to occupy their Manhattan offices.  Do you hear me, Bill Clinton??

Meanwhile, contracting continues apace with nurses aides and home healthcare assistants taking a blow to their salaries.  Here’s a typical story.  Substitute “chemist” for “nurse’s aide” and “Lilly” for “hospital” and the result is converging for both sets of workers:

In June, one of the state workers at the Grand Rapids home, Emilie Perttu, 24, reluctantly left her job and took a nurse’s aide position at a hospital for a quarter less than she was making. Ms. Perttu, a single mother of two, started at the veterans’ home as a contract worker for J2S before becoming a state worker last year. She said that after Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, cited the outsourcing plans in his budget for 2012 and 2013, she feared losing her job or having her wages sharply reduced.

The lower wage, she says, has left her strained to cover $675 a month in rent, along with basics like food and child care. So Ms. Perttu collects $400 monthly in food stamps and child care assistance, programs administered by the state but largely financed by the federal government. She has not been able to buy winter coats for her children, she said, and often avoids calls from credit card bill collectors.

For those of you who think your virtue has kept you employed through this recession, don’t get comfy.  Once you, the worker, are mandated by law to carry your own health insurance with no competition from a public option or low cost health plan, the companies you work for will feel no obligation to keep you on the payroll.  They can lay you off and hire you back as a contractor.  Your health insurance becomes *your* problem.  This is what you get when you hire a president and Congress that are scared to address cost control, business run amok and hyperbolic TV bloviators who call them socialists.

**************************************

And THIS, was the one thing that ended Rick Perry’s presidential aspirations last night:

It wasn’t all of the stupid s%^& he has been saying up until this point.  No, it was Perry having a “senior moment”.  In fact, if he had just said, “Sean, I was thinking so fast I lost my train of thought. Did that ever happen to you?  Can you come back to me on that one?”  The crowd would have totally understood his.  Republican voters aren’t all concerned with whether the dude is perfect.  On the contrary, if he’s just a regular average guy like themselves who occasionally makes mistakes, they are cool with that.  He’s human.  There were many good reasons to reject Perry up to this point.  Mostly it’s all the stupid s%^& that comes out of his mouth when his brain is working optimally.  Making a big deal out of a brain freeze *might* just be overkill.  It could revive his standing slightly.  Republicans might begin to “feel his pain”.  You don’t want that.  On the other hand, if Fox News starts proclaiming the Perry era over, that’s a different problem.

*******************************

I think we can see the Republicans strategy for defeating the 99%.  It starts with Karl Rove’s sudden interest in the Massachusett’s Senator’s race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown.  Rove has seen the mojo emanating from Warren.  The attempts to paint her as a Harvard elite liberal have failed and she seems to have tapped into a deep vein of discontent among the peasants.  They are getting all righteously indignant and look like they might start revolting.  We can’t have that.  So, we will bombard her from now until election day.  It will be unrelenting.  It will be like 3 weeks before the election from now until November 2012.  We’ll keep her so busy defending herself that she will run out of money and will have to keep tapping the proles for more.  And more.  Because no matter how much money she has, we always make her spend more.  Her supporters will get sick of the constant begging.  And that’s why the Citizens United ruling was so outrageous:

This video is a little irritating in its “I’m going to talk really sloooowly for you because you don’t seem to be getting it” approach to its target audience (hint: it’s not us).  They could have been snappier and put in a little more humor.  But after you’ve seen it, it’s hard to say you don’t understand what the problem is:

*******************************

And I am introducing The Plum Line metric today.  The Plum Line is described as “a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant — what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.”  I’d say that is a pretty accurate description.  A couple of times per day, Greg Sargent posts a compilation of blog posts from around the web.  It is probably safe to assume that these are the writers that Sargent feels are the more authoritative and “serious” voices from online journals and the blogosphere.  But how many are women?  And what will the numbers tell us?  I don’t know yet but a blogger like Sargent who writes for the Washington Post is going to refer to people who have access to information or powerbrokers.  So, The Plum Line Metric may give us an indication of how much access and potential influence women have to shape political opinions “with a liberal slant”.

Today’s Plum Line Metric:

Happy Hour Round Up:

Number of citations: 12

Number of male writers cited: 12

Number of female writers cited: 0

In a perfect world, women should represent half of the writers cited since 1.)they represent half of the population as a whole, 2.)there is no shortage of female bloggers and writers on the internet and, 3.)presumably, they have opinions about how the world should be run that is not identical, but may be complementary  to the conventional wisdom of liberal male opinionmakers. So, ideally, the ratio of females cited to males cited should be close to or equal to 1.  Does anyone want to argue that allowing one half of the population to assume the responsibility for speaking for the other half of the population will actually express the full range of issues and priorities that that other half feels are important?  Right.  Moving on.  Since the goal is to eventually reach 1 and we are at less than 1 now, let’s put the number of females cited in the numerator and the number of males cited in the denominator. We could use male citations/ female citations, which would be an indication of how many male voices we listen to per female voices, but we run up against the possibility of division by zero and mathematics hasn’t been able to get around that problem yet.

Today’s Plum Line Metric is 0/12 = 0.

This metric is not meant to be a slap down of Greg Sargent.  He just happens to have an easy to count compilation at the end of the day. We could also include the Morning Post from The Plum Line.  But let’s just stick to the Happy Hour compilation for now and I’ll update it with a cumulative ratio as well.  Maybe we can plot it on a graph.  We could even go back through the archives for a couple of years to see if there have been any trends or changes.  Suggestions are welcome.

**********************************

Two things about Joe Paterno.  1.) He’s 84 years old.  Even if he hadn’t been fired, he should have been made an emeritus years ago.  My god, the man was prematurely decomposing.  It would have been better if he hadn’t gotten fired but 2.) He knew that a member of his staff was a relapsed child molester and covered it up.  No number of national championships can make that acceptable.  None whatsoever:

Yet it was Mr. Paterno who remained the public face of the university. He met with his team Wednesday in a gathering that players described as emotional. Stephon Morris, a junior cornerback, said Paterno was near tears when he told the team he was leaving. “I’ve never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life,” Mr. Morris said. Still, Mr. Paterno’s talk was not all about the turmoil. Mr. Morris said Mr. Paterno’s main message was “Beat Nebraska,” referring to Penn State’s next opponent. When he left, his players gave him a standing ovation.

Yeah, cry me a river.  As one of the signs in the accompanying slide show says, “Joe Paterno is NOT a victim”.  Well, that’s the last time that student will get season tickets.

There are causes that are worth rioting and smashing car windows.  Firing Joe Paterno for abetting a creep who was seen having anal sex with a 10 year old in the Nittany Lions locker room showers is not one of them.

BTW, I lived in “Happy Valley” when I got my first job after graduation.  For a former University of Pittsburgh student, football season up there was almost unbearable.  Well, there’s nothing much else to do in State College but still, they took it to ridiculous extremes even by obsessed fan standards.  Fall weekends were a perfect excuse to get the f%^& out of town and hang out in more sophisticated and cultured venues- like Harrisburg.  Yeah, that’s how bad it was.

Friday News: Things I don’t have time to read (but you should)

protein art. See foldit below

Running late again, sports fans.  I’ve been quizzing Brooke on lipids vs fatty acids vs trigycerides this morning.  Gahhh!  Make it stop!

So, anyway, I have a small compilation of news but I haven’t had much time to read them all the way through.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

1.) Myiq has already touched on this.  The New York Times has a big headline that reads:

Bill Clinton Urged Democrat to Quit Senate Bid

!!!

Jeez, the White House must really hate the guy(s).  Who do they hate more?  The beloved ex-president who is busting his ass campaigning for Democratic candidates or the Democratic senate candidate who supported the Big Dawg’s wife for president?  Damn, does this make sense?  Why would the White House cripple two important candidates 5 days before the election?  And why does the rest of Congress put up with it?

2)  Obama is a piss poor socialist.  According to Politico (always take with a grain of salt), under Obama Corporate profits have climbed magnificently.  Note to the socialists: this guy is giving you a bad name.

3.) Ted Strickland is toughing it out in Ohio.  Seems like a pragmatic guy.  The Big Dawg campaigned for him.  But it looks like Obama has the most to lose if Strickland loses:

Even as party leaders in Washington leave some vulnerable Democrats to fend for themselves in the final days of the campaign and scramble to shore up incumbents who might be more viable, one candidate is being given particular assistance: Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, who is in a difficult battle for re-election.

The reason is not simply that he still has a chance of winning. For Mr. Obama, the fate of Mr. Strickland could be very much tied to his own, since a Republican in the Ohio governor’s seat could make his re-election to the presidency in 2012 that much more complicated.

Ohio is one of nine states where Mr. Obama expanded the Democratic map in the last presidential election, and his advisers believe the electoral votes here are likely to be among the most critical to assure his return to the White House. Republicans do not disagree and have used that argument in the final stages of the midterm election campaign as a motivating factor.

Wow, that’s a tough one.  Vote for the guy Bill Clinton endorses or vote for the Republican to exact revenge on the president you were pressured to vote for instead of the candidate you actually voted for in the primary of 2008.  I’d be asking myself, can I survive four years of a Republican governor?  Well, we in NJ are suffering through it.  It’s not pleasant and for sure the guy’s no long term thinker…

Ehhh, go with Strickland.  Obama’s not savvy enough to save his own ass in 2012.  And anything can happen.  He might even be challenged by a better presidential candidate from his own party.  (Hint to party: you only have *one* viable alternative)

4.) Charles Krauthammer is not really in David Brooks league as the Saruman of the right.  He doesn’t know how to finesse his words as finely as Brooks in such a way to make you think you have absolutely no hope of prevailing against the masters of the universe so why don’t you just bow down or slit your throat now, you helpless underlings?  Still, Chuck gives it the old college try and attempts to wrangle the obvious- that voters are pissed as hell at Democrats for a variety of reasons- into some kind of reason to celebrate the Reagan revolution?  Ehhh, I don’t get it.  Nevertheless, Chuck is taking the anger part seriously in a way the Democratic party is not:

The beauty of this year’s campaign, and the coming one in 2012, is that they actually have a point. Despite the noise, the nonsense, the distractions, the amusements – who will not miss New York’s seven-person gubernatorial circus act? – this is a deeply serious campaign about a profoundly serious political question.

Obama, to his credit, did not get elected to do midnight basketball or school uniforms. No Bill Clinton he. Obama thinks large. He wants to be a consequential president on the order of Ronald Reagan. His forthright attempt to undo the Reagan revolution with a burst of expansive liberal governance is the theme animating this entire election.

Democratic apologists would prefer to pretend otherwise – that it’s all about the economy and the electorate’s anger over its parlous condition. Nice try. The most recent CBS/New York Times poll shows that only one in 12 Americans blames the economy on Obama, and seven in 10 think the downturn is temporary. And yet, the Democratic Party is falling apart. Democrats are four points behind among women, a constituency Democrats had owned for decades; a staggering 20 points behind among independents (a 28-point swing since 2008); and 20 points behind among college graduates, giving lie to the ubiquitous liberal conceit that the Republican surge is the revenge of lumpen know-nothings.

Yeah, he’s not in Brooks’ league.  It must be maddening.

5.) Anglachel has a trio of new posts.  I haven’t had time to dig in but don’t let that stop you.

Marketing and Sales

Clouds and Clarity

Plebian Acts

Hypergraphia:  It’s not a bug- it’s a feature!

And now for something completely different.  Have you ever had a secret desire to fold a protein but didn’t know where to start?  What would your friends think?  Does that mean you have to start wearing pocket protectors and a calculator on your belt?

Well, worry no more, secret protein folders.  You can get in on the game with no experience necessary.  In fact, you might even have an advantage if you know absolutely nothing about science and if you’re a female who works well with others in cooperative teams  (there’s a study that says so.  I’ll add the link later).  The game is called Foldit: Solve puzzles for science.  Check it out.  I expect The Confluence to have the winning team.  Let’s kick some tertiary structure ass!!!

Saturday Morning News and Views: Populist Uprising Edition

Good Morning Conflucians!!!

President Obama was in Ohio yesterday trying to impersonate a populist.

“I won’t stop fighting for you,” he thundered in a campaign-style speech in economically sagging northeastern Ohio, remarks that provided a likely preview of the themes in his first State of the Union speech next Wednesday.

Trying to shore up public support, Obama urged people to “stand by me, even during these tough times.”

Like you stood by us Mr. President? When did you fight for us anyway?

Obama acknowledged that the healthcare overhaul — suddenly in limbo on Capitol Hill — had run into a political “buzz saw.” He dismissed concerns that his lengthy focus on healthcare meant he had taken his eye off the economy, the country’s No. 1 problem.

“Let me dispel this notion that we were somehow focused on that (healthcare) and so as a consequence not focused on the economy. First of all, all I think about is how are we going to create jobs in this area,” Obama said in Elyria, Ohio.

The president’s switch to a more populist tone followed his own admission in an ABC News interview earlier this week that he had lost a direct connection with everyday Americans.

I’m not so sure he ever had a connection with “everyday Americans”–those gun-toting bitter knitters? And those uppity women who don’t know their place? No, I don’t think so.

If Mr. Obama wants to make a “direct connection” with “everyday Americans,” he is going to have to give them more than “just words.” He is going to have to pretty much do a complete about face and become as “transformational” as he pretended to be when he was campaigning. He is going to have to stop impersonating Herbert Hoover and start impersonating Franklin Roosevelt. I’m really not sure if he is capable of that, but if he manages to do it, I’ll be the first to cheer him on.

From the Toledo Blade:

A defiant President Obama assured Ohioans yesterday that he will continue to fight for health care, banking, and energy reform despite recent political setbacks that some argue have endangered his agenda.

He made the promises at Lorain County Community College even as Ohio announced its unemployment rate had hit 10.9 percent in December, up from 10.6 percent the month before. The national jobless rate is 10 percent.

“I did not run for President to turn away from these challenges,” he told a town-hall meeting of about 1,300 people.

“I didn’t run for President to kick them down the road. I ran for President to confront them once and for all. I ran for this office to rebuild our economy so it works not just for the fortunate few, but for everybody who’s willing to work hard in this country,” he said.

Uh huh. Talk is cheap, Mr. President. Now lets see some action. Continue reading

So, did anything happen last night?

Oh, yeah. Neener-Neener-Neeeeeeeennnnerrr!

I would personally like to thank all of the Republicans who overcame partisanship and voted FOR Hillary because of who she is and what she stands for.

Now, the delegate math might not have shifted much but the mental math certainly has. I’m going to work my ass off for Hillary in PA and so are my mother, my aunts and my sister. We are going to make history because we have the best candidate.

All the Big Blog Stores and the pundits can spew whatever crap they want. They are not seeing what the rest of the country is seeing. The media has lost credibility and people are paying attention to what the candidates say and their resiliency in the face of adversity. And what can we expect at the convention? Here are some possibilities:

  • The superdelegates will have the final word and they’re going to be looking at who won the most Democratic votes, who won the popular vote and most importantly, who won the most crucial states. The electoral college map will become very important. And that leads to…
  • Florida and Michigan. Now, the DNC and the Obama campaign want do-overs (hmmm, a common interest?). I’m all for a do-over in Michigan. Hillary’s name was the only one on the ballot and voters felt a little cheated so, fine, have a mail-in primary. She’s got her footing back, she can win MI or at least come close. But Florida? I see no reason to redo Florida. Neither candidate was *supposed* to campaign there, but in fact Obama spent $1.4 M on cable TV ads and who knows what else. Clinton had a couple of fundraisers. In any case, she won a solid victory and that isn’t going to change. The Obamaphiles can scream do-over all they want but the reality is this: making Florida do a primary again is very expensive for a state this size. The money wasted on one would impact other races in congressional districts and would take away funds for the general. The voters have spoken, decisively. They want their votes counted as they stand without having to go through the motions. For the Obamaphiles to insist on a do-over in Florida is something they have not asked of any other state that has run a contested primary. The only reason to ask for it is if there is some expectation that the vote will change, assuming the voters didn’t know what they were doing because they didn’t have the benefit of obnoxious campaigning. I think that will backfire badly on Obama. It would be like saying, “I’m going to make you spend money to vote again. Did you REALLY want Hillary to win?” And insisting upon a pointless primary because “they violated the RULZ!”, looks petty and spiteful, considering that NH, IA and SC broke them too and didn’t suffer. It smacks of voter suppression and when it comes to Florida, you don’t want to go there. Florida adds a critical mass to Clinton’s column and leaving it out diminishes the voters of NY, CA, NJ, MA, AZ, TX, OH. That’s one set of constituents that no one can afford to diss going into the fall campaign. The Florida dilemma is a no win for Obama but it could be worse if Floridians vote to blame him for it. The only outcome I can see from a do-over is that Obama will have proven conclusively that he alone of all primary candidates is capable of losing in Florida- twice. Bite the bullet, Barry. Urge the DNC to seat Florida without any pre-conditions. It’s the only way to keep Floridians from turning their backs on the Democratic party in disgust this fall.

Now, I am not going to make any predictions about who will win the convention in August but Hillary has a much better case for taking it than Obama at this point, delegate math or not. And I think as her campaign further adjusts to its new environment, freeing itself from the past election strategies to take advantage of new technologies and outwitting the opponent in clever ways, she will do better in the remaining states.

It is not inevitable. It never was. But by August, no one will be able to say she didn’t earn it.

One more thing: I found this disturbing yesterday but merely amusing this morning. (Ok, it’s *still* disturbing) I find this line particularly funny:

But if she leaves after winning a couple states, she leaves on a high note, magnanimously ceding the race to the better candidate running the far better campaign.

So.lemme get this straight, if she *wins*, she should concede defeat and gracefully exit because she would have been beaten by the “far better campaign”. My, my, I guess Kos and I have different definitions of the characteristics of a “far better campaign”. Like winning big primary states, for example. Well, that was a good morning chuckle.

I think Kos even predicted that Clinton would lose Ohio or Texas by 15 points. It must have been my imagination though or one of those newfangled editors. They’re so tricksy and everything. Things just disappear from the posts. It’s like magic!

Saltybitch Spends a Weekend in Cleveland

I’m sure it is sexier than it sounds. But let’s hear it from the bitch:

Hi all! An update from the ground in Ohio: Just got home to NYC late last night after unexpectedly spending the weekend getting out the vote for Hillary in Cleveland!!!

It was a tremendous experience (never done anything like that before). The crowds volunteering at both Cleveland offices were diverse along all cultural ranges – age, sex, race, class, etc – completely defying the way Hillary’s demographic is portrayed in the media.

Among various other tasks, I was able to do a lot of canvassing, and going door-to-door was my favorite part of the weekend. Lots of strong positive support for Hillary in District 10 (6 delegates, I think)! There were many people still undecided and making up their minds, but not, from what I could tell, a huge number of people strongly and obstinately supporting Obama. In fact, through clear discussions and expressing our own passion for Hillary’s candidacy, I think we were really able to swing some people into her corner.

Sunday night I got to attend Hillray’s event at the Ohio State campus in Cleveland. I’d never seen her speak in person. It was unbelievable. So much strength and yet backed with an overwhelming compassion and a winning charisma. And her ability to control the energy of the room was uncanny, masterfully bringing us from enthusiastic thunderous cheers of support to absolute breathless silence, hanging on her every word. As she related intimate tales of interactions with people on the campaign trail, it really felt like she was speaking one-on-one to each of us there. The crowd was again widely diverse along all lines, and seemed to really love her. At the end of her speech, she stayed shaking hands and signing autographs for an eternity, making focussed connections with each supporter. I was so proud to be there working on her behalf.

I really think she’s going to take Ohio, though of course it’s all up to them now. And like all of you, I will be on pins and needles all day. I’m planning to go in to the New York hq to make a last-ditch effort at phone calls today after work, and so will likely watch at least some of the returns from there.

If anyone has too much time on their hands today for their own mental good, take to the phones! There’s still a chance to reach someone out there in Texas and Ohio who hasn’t voted yet and is not sure who they’re supporting. We can communicate our passion to them and help Hillary take the nomination! You can do it from the comfort of your own homw – just go to http://www.hillaryclinton.com and click on the link to make phone calls. It’s really easy to do and will help quell your nerves.

Bitch is the new Black! Hillary for President!

Saltybitch says Cleveland *is* sexier than it sounds so can we assume that someone got lucky last weekend?  Saltybitch says no but it does bring up some possibilities. ;-)

Like, maybe it can be a new slogan: “Campaigning for Hillary is the best way to get laid” or something like that. We gotta work on it.

Saturday Bibimbab

800px-koreanfood-bibimbap-02.jpgMmm, I am so looking forward to lunch. I stayed too long at work last night and ended up eating letftover chicken parmesean. (not recommended). But today I am planning to have some bibimbab in a hot stone bowl for lunch. For those of you who haven’t yet discovered the bibimbab addiction, it is a Korean dish consisting of rice, meat, vegetables , poached egg and chili sauce poured over all. (easily made vegan by substituting tofu for meat and omitting the egg) The trick of it is to have it served in a stone bowl that has been heated to piping hot. The rice is the first layer on the bottom so while you are eating your way down through the bowl, the rice is still cooking. When you finally get there, the rice is all crunchy and stuck together. It makes you *want* to finish your vegetables. Maybe Texas and Ohio will be like eating our way to the bottom and we’ll find a nice surprise.

What is your latest food obsession? And while you’re thinking about that, here is a story recommended to us from ghost2 that is actually fair to Hillary. (Will wonders never cease) For the Record: Hillary Clinton at CBS News, goes over her record of accomplishments. It’s quite impressive. She was never “just a first lady” as someone told me at lunch time yesterday.

Other things to look forward to:

Tucsonlynn is in Texas and she has her laptop with her. She’s going to be helping out with the campaign over the next couple of days and with any luck, she’ll have a few minutes here and there to tell us what’s happening on the ground.

I was unable to go to Ohio because of some outstanding work related tasks that I will need to address this weekend but the women of my family in Pennsylvania are fired up for Hillary and were ready to caravan to Ohio. They still might. If Hillary makes it to PA, for *sure* there will be a posse from my kin who will be canvassing, phone banking and partying on her behalf. But there is still an opportunity to make phone calls for Hillary. If you’re interested, use the phone banking tools at Hillary’s website.

Tonight, the BFF will be doing the cocktail hour. He’s got a great ear for music. Should be fun.  (Did I mention that the BFF is an independent from NY who thinks Hillary Clinton is a fine senator for his state?)

A little more: I was directed to this article in the NYTimes about how Clinton has been treated unfairly by the news media. Now. I don’t think there is any question that this is true. But it was by no means unexpected. I must admit to being surprised by the ferocity of the hatred directed against her, the personal nature of it and the lack of a reprimanding response so far by cooler heads and the public at large. But back in my Kossack days, I had written a diary called “New Mental Illness: Electability Anxiety”, where I outline The Givens going into this election season:

  • No matter who the nominee is, Karl has a dossier on him/her.
  • No matter who the nominee is, the GOP is going to pound them relentlessly.
  • No matter how good our candidate is, the media Beltway insiders are going to make fun of him/her and act like the 10th grade popular clique.
  • No matter how much the public is disgusted by Republicans, the Republicans will find some wedge issue that panders to self-interest.
  • No matter how much the public wants to vote for our nominee, the game has been carefully rigged to prevent those votes from counting.

I wrote that back in August. Now, nobody pays attention to some blogger on a SuperSized Behemoth Blog if the said contributor is only an “extra” instead of a frontpager. And it’s not like the campaign consultants couldn’t figure this out. But *some* campaign people took steps to tap into the grassroots as a sort of firebreak and some did not. That is not to excuse the horrible behavior of the press this season. But the successful organism is the one that adapts to its environment. Fortunately, even a late adaptation is favorable if it helps the organism in the end. And we can not discount the value of altruism. The public is clued into the anti-Clinton media bias now, thanks in part to SNL’s brilliant script. But the Clinton campaign needs to be careful. SNL’s whole raison d’etre is to make the absurd entertaining, to castigate the arrogant and to expose truth in a humorous way. So, be careful not to give them material to work with. But also, don’t be afraid to point out absurdity on your own. It’s not too late to hire a comedienne to help figure out the absurdity and weaknesses of the Obama campaign and make sure that attendees at Clinton campaign rallies and appearances get the point.

One more, more thing (and this one is a twofer ;-) ): A lot of charities and foundations have found that contributors make donations easily if they are told what their contributions are worth, what they can buy. The Save the Children style campaigns are famous fo this. “You’re $, less than a cup of coffee a day, can provide safe drinking water, a place to go to school etc” The Make It Right Foundation, one of my favorite causes, tells you how many shower heads, programmable thermostats, refrigerators you can buy with your contributions. So, if a certain Campaign is trying to raise money *hint, hint*, why not say how many lawn signs, nimutes of phone banking, bumper stickers, etc, can be bought with a $50 contribution? Just a thought. Make it so, Number One!

Clinton Cocktail Party- I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison

woman-with-cocktail-glass-and-rose-is611-019.jpg A funny thing happened to my iPod over the last couple of years. I was browsing through my music one day and realized that almost all of the stuff I had downloaded from iTunes was country music. I had Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban and Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline. I’m telling you it was weird. I always prided myself on being one of those snobby, erudite, post-pop-rock people whose tastes varied from The Hilliard Ensemble to Miles Davis to Cecilia Evora to Tellu. But country? How did that get in there?

I guess it all started with my favorite bluegrass CD from Ricky Skaggs and then I heard Heather Myles honky-tonk and the rest of them just started jumping on for good company. Hmmm, good company. Maybe that’s what country music is all about. The themes are all the same and universal. Heartbreak, lonesomeness, joyful fiddles at a country dance, flirting, partying a bit too much. No wonder it’s so much fun. People who like country are just straightforward, tell it like it is folks.

But country music is also about hard work, poverty, faith and pride in country. It captures the heart of rural America, Scots-Irish immigrants, our roots. This is the part of the country where Hillary should have no problem reaching out to people and yet we tend to see it as solidly Republican. But the valleys of Tennessee remembered the committment of FDR to the dam projects that brought power to the heart of Appalachia. Those voters remember Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty and Robert F. Kennedy’s commitment to feeding the poor and lifting the minds.

So, as we turn to Ohio, let’s remember that rural Ohio could use a little attention from the next president as well. As Hillary ushers in her economic stimulus plan with an emphasis on employment in the greening of America, there will be plenty to sing about in the years to come.

Welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party. This is the time when we sing each others praises instead of drowning each other out. Please say a friendly hello to the Obamaphile standing next to you. Everyone is a friend here.

To the right of the door is Rico, our bartender with flair! Take a minute to say hi and try his featured drink of the day, *Ohio Cocktail*. It’s got a little bit of everything in it. sort of like Ohio where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame meets country music roots. I’m going with what’s on tap, but, you can order anything you like.

Tonight’s singer *sounds* like he’s from Texas but he’s really from Ohio. Whoddathunkit? David Allen Coe knows all about “The Perfect Country and Western Song”. Actually, this is the cleanest one of his tracks that I can find on Youtube. For those of you who like your country a little bit on the raw side, well, David Allen Coe his your singer. But in any case, you don’t have to call him darlin’:

Ladies and gents, I know I can count on you to not start any barroom fights, so if you find your trigger words getting a little antzy, consider leaving them with Florence, our lovely check room attendent. Our waiters will be circulating soon with sausage stuffed peppadews. hummus and pita and some salty peanuts. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

And sing along if you want. Here are the words.

Won’t you please go to Ohio for the help that we can bring?

We can Change the world, Rearrange the world!

Ladies, I think I’ve got myself a posse. Yep, just talked to my mom the disillusioned Bush lover. She lives in Pennsylvania and *this* year, she’s voting for Hillary (because she thinks Obama is a Muslim. Don’t worry, I”ll talk to her about it.)

So, I told her I was planning to go out to Ohio the weekend before the primary to campaign for Hillary and I asked her to come along and she seems VERY persuadable. And as we head west, we can pick up my aunt in Pittsburgh. Heck, I have aunts and cousins galore in Pittsburgh. We’ll probably stay at a Super 8 and drink cheap tequila afterwards. It’ll be a blast!

Can you get a posse together to go to Ohio? Or Texas?

Let’s roll.

This one’s for the girls!:

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