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    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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The Keystone State

I got a call from my sister today. She rarely calls me. I’m not a phone person and she’s Miss Popularity. We’re different. Anyway, the first thing she said when I answered the phone was “Go Hillary!”. I found this a little strange for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not certain what party she belongs to but it wouldn’t surprise me if she had voted for Bush at least once. Second, she works for a big, nasty health insurance company who I will not mention by name but let’s put it this way, her company is so despised that she works in a building with no signs on it that say what it is. It’s just a big blocky, unidentifiable building deliberately kept as inconspicuous as possible to keep people from going postal. But *she’s* a really decent person and the company she works for isn’t very nice to its employees either, from what I hear. So, I hope she never had to deny any claims for you guys out there. Third, she lives in that section of Pennsylvania that is closer to Alabama culturally. Lots and lots of wingers. My mom was one, my brother still is one. My sister loved the ones she was with.

AAAAANNNNYWAY, she calls and tells me that all of her friends are voting for Hillary. And she seems pretty stoked too. She’s planning to attend a Hillary event. The only thing I can’t convince her of is to change her party affiliation for the primary or she won’t be able to push Hillary over the edge. My mom is voting for Hillary and so is my aunt. In fact many of my Pittsburgh family members are Hillary fans. But I’m amazed at how many people in central PA are ready to vote for her. This would have been unheard of a year ago. I think the only thing I can attribute it to is Hillary’s perserverence in the midst of really bad press and relentless attacks. She’s held up well and she’s done very well in debate. And now my sister says she is a politico this year, sucking up information from any place she can and really paying attention. (Guess where I’ll be every spare weekend in April? Maybe I can set up a liveblog Clinton Cocktail Party)

So, let’s hear it for the newly energized Hillary base in PA! Cheer them on and tell my sister why she should run, don’t walk, to her county board of elections to change her party affiliation to Democrat this year. She didn’t know this blog existed until today but I’m hoping she’ll post and tell us what’s going on.

Do I hear any, “Hell Yeah!?

One more thing: Kindly Freep this poll if you feel so inclined. http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/larry.king.live/ Barry is currently ahead.

The Power Hour

As many of you have no doubt heard, Samantha Power, Obama’s foreign policy advisor, resigned her position after an interview with the Scotsman quoted her as calling Hillary Clinton “a Monster”. Maybe she was talking about the Grendel’s mother kind of monster in the new version of Beowulf. It might have been a compliment, in her own unique way.

Unfortunately, very few other people saw the possible literary allusion in Power’s statement. But Samantha Power is no low level Billy Shaheen, carelessly speculating on how the media will eventually make mincemeat of Obama over his past drug use. No, this is much bigger than that. Greg Sargent at TPM tells us just how big a deal this is:

As David Kurtz says, it’s worth noting that Power is a very significant player in the Obama universe — his leading foreign policy guru and someone who’s been close to him for some time. So this isn’t like the resignation of that Hillary county volunteer who spread the Obama Muslim smear email or the stepping-down of that Obama precinct captain who spread the anti-Hillary lit.

Rather, Obama is losing a key adviser and very visible advocate on foreign policy at a time when national security is front and center in the Dem primary — an outcome that helps explain why the Hillary camp pushed so hard for her ouster.

So, it looks like Obama’s campaign has more egg on its face. It’s gone from a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day on Tuesday to a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Week in General. Life is like that. You’re cruisin’ to the nomination for the most powerful person in the world one minute and cleaning up from the mess your campaign dumps on you the next. Que sera, sera.

I wonder how the Clinton campaign refers to Obama. May I suggest “Twinkle” because he’s no Beowulf.

One more thing:  I’m with Big Tent Democrat on Josh Marshall’s hypocrisy.  It seems that if Hillary’s camp makes a mistake, it’s desperation or incompetence or some other damn thing.  But if Obama’s camp steps in it, it’s because Hillary is getting inside his head and hammering him.  Sooo, according to Marshall, she’s the worst politician strategically *and* she’s a brilliant psy-ops mentat.  It’s hard to believe she can be both simultaneously.  But that’s Josh for you- not making a whole lot of sense these days.  He may have to adjust his rhetoric if he wants the ad revenue to come in at a steady stream from here on out.

Personally, I think that Obama’s camp is becoming unglued all by itself.  It can’t score the big ones, it’s running out of time and people are just now starting to notice that he gets more delegates by suppressing Clinton voters than by actually, you know, *winning*.  Not pretty.

Friday- Finally!

It’s a snark lover’s dream today in the left blogosphere. It’s hard to believe at times that some bloggers make a living spouting off nonsense and yet. Here are some of the prize winning idiocies from both bloggers and campaign surrogates from around the web:

  • Take Chris Bowers, Please! The man gets a tingle in his leg whenever there is the prospect of a caucus. Yes, we’re just so into the jostling, misinformation, deceptive practices and locking Clinton people out of the caucus sites by the Obama supporters, we can’t get enough of that special brand of democracy. Ooo, Ooo, why don’t we calculate when the Clinton shiftworkers will be most inconvenienced and hold one *then*? Chris doesn’t even bother to feign ignorance about the obvious advantage that Obama has in the low-hanging fruit of the caucus state. From his post yesterday, Michigan Needs to Hold a Caucus, he writes:

    For Clinton to narrowly eek out a victory by means of the current 80-1 Michigan delegation would be horrendous… I think seating Florida’s delegation as is (105 Clinton, 67 Obama, 13 Edwards) and holding a new Michigan caucus (with 128 pledged delegates at stake) would be an acceptable compromise (more on my Florida position here). Clinton’s advantages from the lack of campaigning in Florida would be cancelled out by Obama’s advantage in caucuses.

    Oh, yes, we must make everything Even Steven. We can’t let Clinton have any delegates that would push her over Obama. What really strikes me as absurd in the Bowers’ post was the notion that “Clinton advantages from a lack of campaigning in Florida” and somehow this must be “cancelled out”. Forget the cancelled out bit for a second and tell me how it is that Clinton benefitted in Florida by not campaigning? Does he mean that she saved herself the $1.4 M that she might have spent if she’d followed Obama’s example and bought lots of cable TV ads in Florida? She did no campaigning the first time and beat him by 17 points. Hmmm, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around that, as well as the acknowledgement by Chris that caucuses are undemocratic ways of choosing a candidate but it’s ok in this case because it levels Clinton’s advantage with Florida. Settling Florida and Michigan should not be seen as an opportunity to tweak the numbers so that it is beneficial to Obama, Chris. We’re interested in making sure the voters are not disenfranchised so they don’t take it out on the Democrats in November. If reinstating them ends up as a loss for Obama, get used to the concept. Surely, Barry can make up for it by running to the fainting couch over illusory “race-baiting” comments by the Clinton campaign just before the NC primary.

  • Apparently the Kossacks and Keith Olbermann (KO) are all in a tizzy about Hillary’s latest remarks about readiness to be commander in chief:

    “I think that since we now know Sen. (John) McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold,” the New York senator told reporters crowded into an infant’s bedroom-sized hotel conference room in Washington.

    “I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” she said.

    I don’t watch KO anymore so I can’t comment on the breathless, simmering outrage of his polemic on Clinton’s assertion. No doubt it was as orgasmic as the Kossacks report it to be. I hope it wasn’t over too soon. Maybe they can get Keith to do one nice and slow so they can roll with it. And no, I don’t think she’s said anything that will permanently damage Obama in the fall because there isn’t going to *be* an Obama leading the ticket in the fall. She is merely continuing to frame him as the junior partner in her upcoming joint ticket, just as she signalled on Wednesday that she was open to the idea of making him her VP. That along with the commander in chief remark is intended to condition the remaining voters to accept the battle in the fall as being between Hillary and McCain. It makes Obama look childlike and unready. It’s very clever as they start to campaign in PA and who knows, it might even make a difference in Wyoming. And she’s absolutely right about McCain going gung-ho on National Security issues. That’s his strong point and he and the media are going to milk his POW experience for all it’s worth. Obama is going to look like a soft, spoiled yuppy next to McCain. And if the lefty blogosphere is going nuts over the comment, hey, the truth hurts. Obama is NEVER going to win the national security argument against McCain. He’s going to have to win it on a different set of strengths like, oh, I don’t know. Think of something.

  • Oh my, oh my, oh my! Following up on the last point, one of Obama’s campaign surrogates really sticks her foot in her mouth. At least she is honest about her own boss: She and Samantha Power must be good friends or something. By the way, have we any idea what the Clinton campaign calls Obama?
  • Normally, I wouldn’t go near the Rezko thing. It just reminds me too much of Whitewater. But I do find it interesting that Obama might have been involved in getting patronage jobs for his staffers through Tony Rezko. It reminded me of something our commenter Lori found in Newsweek a few weeks ago about Michelle Obama interviewing for a job. The whole report of the job interview process was so atypical of any HR procedure I’m familiar with:

    One landed on the desk of Valerie Jarrett, deputy chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. “I interviewed Michelle, and an introductory session turned into an hour and a half,” Jarrett tells NEWSWEEK. “I offered her a job at the end of the interview—which was totally inappropriate since it was the mayor’s decision. She was so confident and committed and extremely open.” Michelle was flattered by the quick offer. But though she came across as supremely confident to Jarrett, she had doubts about whether it was the right decision. She asked Barack to meet with Jarrett to discuss the job before she accepted.

    Jarrett, who is now a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, became Michelle’s mentor. She set Michelle to work with businesses caught in red tape between city departments. It wasn’t exciting work, and it paid far less than her law-firm salary, but Michelle saw it as a first step in her new career in public service.

    What the heck is going on here with Barack’s involvement?

  • So, Barry made $55M in February. Good for him! Of course, he’s lost every major state so far except Illinois and Georgia. I guess Money *Can’t* Buy You Love.
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