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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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      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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So, Hillary would do anything to win. Oh Really?

A comment from MABlue inspires a new Confluence parlor game, Oh, Really? Based on the Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update segment with the same name, the rules are simple:When someone tells a flat-out lie about Hillary Clinton, we reply, “Oh, Really” and debunk it. Like this . . . .

From MSNBC’s FirstRead

Politico’s Roger Simon gets Obama strategist David Axelrod to say some tough things about the Clinton campaign. “Is it possible to win the Democratic nomination in such a way as to make winning not worth it? The Barack Obama campaign thinks so. It thinks Hillary Clinton’s campaign is willing to take any road to the White House, including the low road. ‘They would do anything to win, and that means anything,’ David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, told me Monday. ‘There is a frenetic energy around them to commandeer this election in any way they can.’”

“Axelrod went on: ‘She is the ultimate Washington inside player. She is always asking, “How do we wire the vote? How do we wire the system to get the results we want?”’” More: “Another Obama senior aide told me he believed Clinton was willing to ‘destroy the party’ just as long as she ends up with the nomination.”

Oh, Really?

(shaking my head)

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this story, and it’s rather nicely debunked this time right within the same tale. But, I’m still hearing it and it’s flat out wrong.

Because if Hillary really would “do anything” to win, why is the story of Obama and his Preacher making the big-time now?

Hillary’s campaign has been on a death watch 3 times since the start of the campaign. It’s an old story by now. Everyone knew she was broke and was going to withdraw after New Hampshire. Then it was Super Tuesday and Oprah & the Kennedy’s were blowing the Clinton campaign out of the water in California & Massachusetts. Then it was Mini-Super-Tuesday and she just had to win Texas and Ohio.

Supposedly this story has been floating around Fox News for months. Assuming Clinton knew about this bombshell (the worst kept bombshell ever) then isn’t too much of a stretch. And if she’s such a Monster™, why didn’t she use that powerful information?

The MSNBC story from above continues:

“I asked Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson for a response. ‘I think these apocalyptic quotes are unhelpful,’ Wolfson said. ‘I don’t envision that either side would destroy the party. There is a democratic process here to play out. This process is not over. There are still 10 [contests] left to vote. What is the fear here? Let’s let democracy run its course.’”

Hillary Clinton has shown no signs of an unseemly quest for power. Her grace throughout this last uncomfortable week proves this.

Oh, Really? Really.

Back off, Boyz!

If I read another Conflucian giving up in despair over the seemingly insurmountable delegate count, I am going to reach right through the ether and dope slap you. Don’t make me come through your monitor. 😐

The Boyz at the Big Blog Stores are doing a haka and trying make themselves and Obama seem so fierce that you will just surrender. But there is absolutely no reason for Hillary to concede and she won’t. She is going to win this thing and here’s why:

  • Neither candidate has enough delegates to win without the SDs. Sorry Math Whiz’s. Creative math doesn’t help you here. The SD’s were created for just this eventuality.
  • If The Gang of Four (Dean, Brazile, Pelosi and Kennedy) think that they can write off FL and MI and by extension, NY, NJ, CA, MA, AZ, OH and coming down the pike, PA, WV and KY, they are out of their fricking minds. No SD in their right mind is going to give the racial south and the mountain west precedence over millions and millions of base Democratic voters in high electoral college states and swing states. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional. At some point, Obama is going to have to take a hit on the FL and MI delegations if the party has any prayer of winning them back by November. You know it, I know it, Donna f%^&ing Brazile knows it. He can only hold out for so long before the Bennies and Shoobies descend on Denver in August to make his life a living hell.
  • Hillary is going to cream Obama in PA. It ain’t even going to be close. Wright is going to be a factor, fair or not. The ending is more important than the beginning, in this case. She will end very well.
  • Hillary is picking up some nice endorsements. John Murtha endorsed her today. That’s going to be good for her anti-war creds. Congressman Maroney in WV also endorsed her. There have been hints and allegations that Edwards would endorse Hillary before NC. We’ll see. The timing would be right and would score Edwards big points.
  • She’s the best qualified candidate on either side to handle what’s coming down the pike on the economy, the war, energy policy and a whole host of other issues. Instead of caving to the big boyz, why aren’t we asking them why they are so insistent about shoving a complete neophyte down our throats and into the Oval Office when they *know* he’s going to be in over his head? Who is behind Obama’s meteoric rise and why are they willing to let the game be rigged on his behalf? Kos and the others haven’t explained themselves to my satisfaction. How about you?

As long as she is not getting out of the race, and there is no reason why she should, there is no reason why we should throw in the towel either. I see this as very winnable for her. I’m not giving up yet and neither should any of you. So, stop the hand wringing. The big boyz are full of sound and fury but will ultimately signify nothing.

How is Wright playing in PA?

So, we’re being told to go home, eh? Hillary can’t get her delegates and Obama has redeemed himself, eh?

Not so fast, boyz. I have kin folk in PA and they’ve been talking to their neighbors and man-o-man-o-man, they do *NOT* like Jeremiah Wright’s injudicious remarks. Nosireebob. And if Obama thinks he can get away with condemning the language while keeping Rev. Wright as his friend (for 20 years) and not suffer the consequences, he’s got another thing comin’. Mom says she and all her neighbors think Wright’s comments were very unpatriotic and offensive and there’s not a prayer that anyone *she* knows is going to vote for Obama due to guilt by association. You can’t erase 20 years of church attendance. The religious voters of Central PA know what church is all about. If he didn’t believe all that stuff, he should have picked a different church. Therefore, he must believe it. I’m not saying it’s fair or even true. But Jeremiah Wright’s tirades have scared the bejeezus out of Mom and her friends. Don’t expect a speech to change this. Mom says that she thinks PA is going to go hard for Hillary.

(BTW, I spent quite a bit of time convincing her that I don’t think that Obama is a scary person and that I think his affiliation with his church was just as much about his networking as a community organizer and later, as a politician, as his personal religious beliefs. But she was still pretty unconvinced and thought it was a real statement of his character that he would associate with the unfortunate Reverend Wright. I pointed out to her that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell said equally stupid things after 9/11 but she thought that some of Wright’s other statements were inexcusable as well. So, Obama fans, I tried.)

Now, of course, this is all very anecdotal evidence and it is only one data point so far but my Mom was a two time Bush supporter who seriously thought about voting for Obama. She thought he was kinda cool at one point. But it’s not just Wright’s statements that have her concerned. She is very alarmed at his meteoric rise to national prominence and electoral successes so far as well. She doesn’t know what or who is behind it and that bothers her. She made up her mind to vote for Clinton probably due to the Tweety Effect but Obama is completely out of the question now.

I’ll be going to PA this weekend and intend to help out and do some of my own unofficial polling.

One other thing: I think it’s great that Hillary has been so even tempered and focussed about this whole thing. She didn’t join the anti-Wright bandwagon and like myself, truly believes that the country is ready to move past race and gender to elect the most qualified *person* to the job.

Kosmic Justice: Markos screws Obama in Michigan

This is too funny and will fill you with delicious schadenfreude for Obama. The Michigan revote primary proposal is in part being held up by a protest by the Obama campaign because it would disallow people who registered to vote as Republicans in the January primary from voting in the do-over Democratic one. And the reason why Obama wants the primary to be open to Republicans is because Markos urged a lot of Michigan Kossacks to register as Republicans so they would vote for Romney. Now, those voters will have already had their say and wouldn’t be allowed to cross back over:

According to exit polls, 7 percent of GOP primary voters said they were Democrats and 25 percent said they were independents or something else. That means nearly 61,000 people who voted in the GOP primary were Democrats, while more than 217,000 were independents…

(Michigan Democratic Party Chair) Brewer said he regrets that some Democrats won’t be able to vote in the second Democratic primary if one’s held, but says there’s nothing he can do about it.

“I regret that that might be the case, but it’s a national party rule and we have no choice but to follow it,” he said.*

Even if more than 278,000 Democrats and independents would be barred from voting in a do-over primary, Brewer estimated that a June 3 election could still pull in at least 1 million and possibly 1.5 million people.

*(note the application of a new and different set of RULZ by Brewer)

Oh what a tangled web we weave…

Yeah! What *(s)he* said!

Sometimes, a Conflucian can summarize the state of the nation in a few succinct, pithy sentences. Here is a candidate for “comment of the day”:

WS says:

I can’t believe we’re going to have a primary where the 4th and 8th largest states in the Union don’t have a say as to who the nominee will be. On the other hand, Wyoming with its 8000 voters (ok 8500 voters) has more of a say than Florida or Michigan (combined total 2.5 million – likely more had there been revotes or the DNC been competent).

As for Obama’s speech, he threw Ferraro (again) and his own grandmother under the bus. I’ve always been taught to never air out dirty laundry, and Obama did just that.

Yep.

“Just forget what I said before. I’m saying something different now.”

The text of Barack Obama’s speech on race, Wright and the election is up on Politico right now. I just had to highlight a specific passage though because it makes reference to the crux of what has been a bitterly divisive primary season- the accusations of racism:

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

Continue reading

feminsts and geeks

Linda Hirshman, of the infamous TPM Cafe “pink” slip, wrote an interesting piece on Taylor Marsh’s site about the impact of the 2008 election season on feminism. Apparently, Michelle Goldberg is trying to defend her choice of candidate by condemning the rest of us females for Clinton as hysterical feminists. I’m not sure where Linda is going with this but there is one notion I would like to dispel. There is a wide spread misperception that college educated females are flocking to Obama like bobby soxers to Elvis. This would be incorrect.

Continue reading

Triggering the Stampede: Winning (or Losing) the Super Delegates

or a boat, a scream and … a preacher

For months we’ve read complicated scenarios analyzing the delegate and popular vote counts. Some people say the SuperDs should support the candidate with the lead in “pledged” delegates, others that they should support the winner of the popular vote. But I’m having a terrible time picturing the average Super Delegate calculating who deserves the nomination based on criteria that specific.

If Super Delegates are like us (and why wouldn’t they be) they are leaning towards either Hillary or Obama — even if they haven’t already made a public commitment. Those that haven’t endorsed a candidate are waiting for something. And I’m guessing that they’re not waiting for some magic number of delegates to tell them that the time is right.

I think it’s likely that some of them were hoping that Hillary would make the decision for them by dropping out of the race. Remember that rumor before Mini-Super-Tuesday (the day of Ohio, Texas, Vermont & Rhode Island) that 50 Super Delegates were ready to endorse Obama? It’s obvious why we never heard back from them. Well, after Hillary’s 3-state win that day, they’re waiting to know “The Winner.”

So now I’m wondering about the Super Delegates as they watch those exerpts from the Reverend Wright’s sermons. As the SuperDs watch (remembering that the Obama’s are major contributors to that man’s church) are they more likely to support Obama, or less likely to support him?

And Jerome Armstrong has a clue:

HCD Research has some innovative technology that they’ve used for the Wright rant. I’ve long wanted to put it to use myself, it ought to do away with the costly focus groups that most campaigns use (or at least supplement half of them). They were able to spot the SwiftBoaters early on in ’04, and were pretty much spot on with seeing its influence. This is a completed graph of users watching the rants by Jerimiah Wright:

You can go to MyDD to see the completed graph (and read his take on the results) or to the MediaCurve site to watch the graph develop while you listen to one of Wright’s clips. It’s a revelation. MyFoxKC has some of the facts:

Among the study findings:

After viewing the video, are you more likely or less likely to support Senator Barack Obama?

Democrats Republicans Independents
More likely 19% 7% 18%
Less likely 52% 71% 54%
Don’t know 28% 22% 29%

Do you think Barack Obama’s religious ties will to Jeremiah Wright will help or hurt his campaign efforts?

Prior to viewing the video segments:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Help 6% 2% 5%
Hurt 64% 71% 65%
Don’t know 30% 27% 30%

After viewing the video segments:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Help 7% 6% 9%
Hurt 77% 84% 78%
Don’t know 16% 10% 14%

Obama’s trying to contain the issue with stout denial and a speech.  For his sake, I hope the denial stays credible.  But, I think it would have to be some speech to overcome the numbers listed above.

This isn’t the issue most of us would choose for the defining blow.  We want to win with issues and delegates.  And I think would would have.  But this sort of thing has contributed to primaries in the past.  Just ask Gary Hart (who threw-out his own challenge to the press) and Howard Dean.

We’re still waiting for the speech.  But, I’m thinking there’s going to be a stampede.