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    • What Would Chinese Democracy Look Like?
      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Saturday: Vacation Recovery Mode

I just got back from Denver last night. Or was that this morning. Ahhh, yes, standing at the baggage claim at Philly airport at 1:00am waiting 45 minutes for my luggage. It’s all coming back to me. And let’s not forget the anterior cruciate ligament that is sore this morning from falling down *one* too many times at Breckenridge. I’m sure it will be fine. I hope. Today, spring break continues in New York City as we attend a live broadcast of Prairie Home Companion. It was a birthday present to Brook this year. Can’t wait. In the meantime, here’s what’s going on.

  • Living comfortably on $13.6 Million per year. So, the Clintons are rich. BFD. As soon as my local liquor store sells me the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket, instead of having to go through decades and decades of hard work and government income, I *too* will be rich. I’ll be able to pay a third of my income in taxes and give away 16% of my book’s profits to charity, just the way Bill with Giving. When are we Democrats going to get over our neurosis about money? So former presidents make a lot of money in speaking engagements. So what? The issue is not so much how much you make but *how* you make it and what you do with it afterwards. It sounds like Bill made most of his riches by tapping on other rich people to hear him speak. I have no problem with this. Enjoy it, Bill!
  • I think Barack Obama and Donna Brazile must be BFFs. She likes to do a kill -9 on hapless MI and Fl voters (I got the unix fans’ attention 😉 ), and he continues to win delegates by suppressing Clinton voters instead of by actually, er, winning. TalkLeft uncovers a memo from the Obama camp where they complain about Democrats who followed Kos’ advice and voted for Romney as Republicans not being able to have *two* votes and “soft money” funding the Michigan new Michigan primary. It strikes me that this would be a problem if Clinton’s backers *only* were funding the entire primary. If Obama had chipped in some of his legendary millions, it wouldn’t smack of impropriety. Nooo, that would have been fair to the voters of Michigan who might turn around and vote for Hillary. Can’t have that. Obama has a *better* solution. Why not split the delegates 50/50? Yeah, that’s the ticket! Gravel, Kucinich and Richardson don’t need their delegates and Edwards, Dodd and Biden dropped out. But, wait, you say, wouldn’t that mean taking unearned delegates from Clinton? “Yes”, the Obamaphiles wail,”because it’s fair. Otherwise, Hillary might get ahead and change the perception of The Math and that wouldn’t be fair to Obama”. Where did these people learn about elections anyway? Are they just so young that they can’t remember anything but Republicans rigging the game and now think it is SOP? NO. The answer is NO. You can’t have delegates you didn’t earn and coast to the nomination that way. That’s called giving you a handicap and the Republicans will beat you over the head with it, that is, if *we* don’t do it first. *Jeez* It’s like trying to raise children to play nicely and stop grabbing the toys from someone else’s hands.
  • Kristen Breitweiser watches Hardball (so we don’t have to). Our Jersey Girl spotted Obama reciting a Rice-ism that “No one could have predicted” 9/11. Bull{cough}t. Does anyone remember the crash of EgyptAir 990 about a year before 9/11? How about the fact that most nuclear reactors built back in the 70’s can withstand a crash of a plane going 200mph? How is it that Obama can’t put the blame for 9/11 squarely where it belongs with the Bushies who were completely nonchalant and paid no attention to their counter-terrorism experts running around with flaming hair? AND Lee Hamilton, the co-chair of the 9/11 commission endorsed Obama, which suggests that if Obama is elected, we may never get to the bottom of the 9/11 mystery. How come Obama is reaching around to Republicans on this one? Meanwhile, Kristen praises Hillary for her committment to the families of 9/11 victims in getting to the bottom of this, putting the concerns of her constituents above self interest. Hey, Kristen! Why don’t you run for Lautenberg’s senate seat? Yeah! Go, Go, Go
  • The Army is exhausted. They’re overcommitted. It’s a danger to our national security. The first order of business for the next president should be to fix this urgent problem before planning or extending any more missions.

Well, sportsfans, I’m off to take a shower. I woke up at the crack of noon this morning and I slept in some of my ski clothes because I was just that tired and sore. Gross. Later…

44 Responses

  1. You do good with very little sleep. Thanks.

    You should check this new post out – it’s really good.


  2. To all those us who care about a progressive agenda:

    We have to be very thankful to people like Kristen Breitweiser who actualyy listen to what Obama is saying and who take the time to read between the lines. The job done by the press in that regard has been an abomination.

    Obama has been saying very disturbing things throughout this campaign but nobody seems to bother. The press has decided to fool us with empty slogans such as “change”, “transformational figure”, “transcendental change”. And the Big Blogz are just helping them in this bamboozle palooza.

    Anytime you actually look beyond that vacuousness, Obama becomes a little scary, especially for us Democrats who actually care about progressive policies.

    One of the most recent example was this sad saga:

    Obama aligns foreign policy with GOP

    It just went by as the a newsflash “a bike just stolen in Shanghai”. Nobody even cared about that alarming signal Obama was sending.

    Chris Floyd did the job journalist used to do and he is very worried about what he found. He wrote a terrific post everyone should read:

    Hope Abandoned: Obama Stands Up for Murder and Plunder

    Obama is doing two things here, reaching out to two very different audiences, on different wavelengths. First, for the hoi polloi, he is simply pandering in the most shameless way imaginable, throwing out talismans for his TV-addled audience to comfort themselves with: “You like JFK? I’ll be like him! You like Reagan? I’ll be like him too! You like the first George Bush? Hey, I’ll be just like him as well!” This is a PR tactic that goes all the way back to St. Paul the spinmeister, who boasted of his ability to massage his message and “become all things to all men.” Obama has long proven himself a master of this particular kind of political whoredom — much like Bill Clinton, in fact, another champion of “bipartisan foreign policy” who for some strange reason got left off Obama’s list of role models.

    But beyond all the rubes out there, Obama is also signaling to the real masters of the United States, the military-corporate complex, that he is a “safe pair of hands” — a competent technocrat who won’t upset the imperial applecart but will faithfully follow the 60-year post-war paradigm of leaving “all options on the table” and doing “whatever it takes” to keep the great game of geopolitical dominance going strong.

    Don’t take a close look to what his top advisors are saying because that will just make us shrill. You want a taste?

    Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010

    A key adviser to Senator Obama’s campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

    The paper, obtained by The New York Sun, was written by Colin Kahl for the center-left Center for a New American Security. In “Stay on Success: A Policy of Conditional Engagement,” Mr. Kahl writes that through negotiations with the Iraqi government “the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000–80,000 forces) by the end of 2010 (although the specific timelines should be the byproduct of negotiations and conditions on the ground).”

    Who’s this Mr Kahl anyway, you ask?

    Mr. Kahl is the day-to-day coordinator of the Obama campaign’s working group on Iraq.

    But why care about what Obama and his advisors are saying? The press and the Big Boiz Blog have anointed him “The Great Liberal Hope”, so deal with it.

    The press of us just have to shake our fists to The Heavens and scream: “Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corp?”

    PS: Did you know that in the 11,000 pages of HRC schedule, the press found that she was in 5 (!) NAFTA meetings, instead of going on a tour giving competing press conferences to sabotage her husband’s agenda? What kind a spouse is this?

  3. riverdaughter– welcome back! I was so mad about Obama saying 9/11 wasn’t predictable that I sent a news tip to CNN and and another tip to Hillary’s fact hub. I hope they follow up.

  4. Before everyone gets in a tizzy about the Clintons making money, remember that when Bill was elected their net worth was quite small. They were not doing nearly as well as the Obamas who live in a mansion. Not to say that there is anything wrong with the fact that the Obama’s income was over a million ( except for Michelle’s tendency to whine about how hard they have it, what with the $10,000 on ballet classes, music lessons, etc. for the kids).
    Also keep in mind that we never hear complaints about Republican former presidents who spend the bulk of their time making big bucks talking to businesses and doing very little to help charities (St. Reagan) or taking big fees speaking to and for Reverend Moon (George Bush I). Both Clinton and Carter have spent their post-presidency years working for the greater good. Nothing like a double standard.

  5. Arghhhh@#*!&^!!!

    Here is the link:


  6. Welcome back, riverdaughter! We’ve missed you dreadfully.

    And speaking of sportsfans, did I ever mention I’m a Jayhawk? Not that I actually PLAY sports, mind you.

  7. Sha: my goddess, anglachel is brilliant. Guys, I think what we got here is a Meme: if FL and MI don’t count, half the voters in the other states are disenfranchised too.
    MABlue: buddy, you’re doing way too much work to not have your own post. Just say the word.
    BB, Kbird and ronk, you guys are the best. Intelligent and snarky. We’re closing in on 200k. {{group hug}}

  8. riverdaughter, I think that because of proportional delegations the 100% solution punishes ALL states. Even here in Kansas, Hillary won delegates. And those delegates are a lot less important because there are (so far) no delegates from Florida and Michigan.

  9. Since I don’t read TPM anymore, I didn’t realize that Greg Sargent has been muzzled–sent on a long “break”? Is that true?


  10. Katiebird,

    I lived in Lawrence, KS when I was a kid. My dad got his Ph.D. at the U. of Kansas. We all still root for the Jayhawks in basketball.

  11. And guess who was on the team there when I was a kid? Wilt “the stilt” Chamberlain.

  12. Here’s a great post by Joseph Cannon on Obama’s lies and distortions about his positions on the Iraq war.


    Cannon actually voted for Obama in the primary, but now regrets his choice.

  13. OO, bostonboomer! That’s cool! Mister & his mother were both born in Lawrence. And my sister taught Art at an elementary school and the high school (she still lives there)

    I lived there for 12 years myself & worked for KU for 9 years.

    It’s a lovely town and a wonderful school. I think. Did you ever see Wilt Play?

  14. I don’t think I ever saw him play. I lived there when I was ages 3-8, so I wasn’t yet a basketball fan. I do recall my dad talking about him though. Of course Wilt also went to the pros before finishing college. We lived in student housing, which was pretty crummy–old WWII barracks. But it was a fun place to be a kid.
    I was homesick for Kansas for a long time after we moved away.

  15. Katiebird– That’s so cool that Anglachel linked to your post. This morning I was reading the Hillary’s voice list and I noticed someone linked to my post on Kid Oakland’s diary. We are starting to make a little noise. Maybe we will hit the 200K mark this weekend.

  16. Egypt Air 990 was a year befor 9/11, but most people have also forgotten that in 1994 a pilot crashed a small plane into the White House!

    See: http://www-tech.mit.edu/V114/N40/crash.40w.html for a reminder.

    Also, a lot of folks who read Tom Clancy’s “Debt of Honor” in the 1990s might have imagined the possibility, too.

    See: http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a500clancyparallels&scale=0#a500clancyparallels

  17. Sounds like you made it back in one piece. You know, part one and part 4 in that post I can totally relate to. RD. What in the …. is wrong with these times? They have profited some and devastated others.

    All I know is that none of it makes a lot of sense and not this war, either. All right. Going to go clean up something around here.

    ps—-congrats on your spam and numbers! hahaha!
    how cool is that to be read!–bigly!

  18. rd, welcome back.

  19. I grew up around people who were poor. My best friend from 6-8th grade (he moved) lived in a trailer that is smaller than my current room–with 7 other people! I don’t think he’d mind making a lot of money. In have yet to find people with no money who wouldn’t mind having some. This is one thing that the David Sirotas of the world will never understand.

    People who are struggling just want a chance to succeed, or make it so their children can succeed. They don’t want to bring others down. Spare me your righteous indignation.

  20. Obama’s “unfortunate” 9/11 comment adds to my opinion that he’s just another Bush.

    Do we want another ditz in the White House? I won’t vote for that.

  21. Teresa, he’s not a ditz. He’s just singleminded: he wants to be President, and nothing else matters. Say what you want about GWB, he wasn’t singlemindedly obsessed with power…he was a tool of others’ lust for power. Obama is his own tool. This gets back to what’s most annoying to me about Obama: he’s just alien to our political traditions, and not in a good way. This is a third-rail thing to say, because people instantly associate it with his Kenyan roots or Indonesian childhood or whatever, but that’s purely coincidental. Obamismo is alien because it’s personalist, messianic, populist, and unconcerned with tomorrow except insofar as the leader’s quest for power continues to advance.

  22. Helen Thomas has a pretty good op-ed piece today.

    It’s pathetic that again, Helen Thomas is one of the very few media personalities who try to report objectively on the Dem primary.

    Clinton should hang in there and run a good race to the end

    Clinton has been under unprecedented pressure to bow out of the divisive Democratic primary and to clear the field for her opponent — Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

    Among those who want her to throw in the towel are, of course, Obama’s supporters. But many other Democrats are trying to push her out of the contest on the ground that a contentious race can hurt the party and could help their Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

    Clinton also has been deserted by some fair-weather friends such as New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson, who held two Cabinet appointments during her husband’s presidency.

    Thank Heaven someone else is curious about the the “greatness” of Obama:

    I am still trying to find the key that has made Obama a prime candidate for the presidency, and to understand what he has done for the country beyond his middle-of-the-road political moves to make his name known and to steer clear of hot-button issues.

  23. Obama denounced Shultz’s “warmonger” comment today via Taylor Marsh commentors:


    “Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday McCain should not have been described that way.

    “John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He’s a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged,” she said.”

    Has he rejected (and denounced) Randi Rhodes’ comments about Clinton and Ferraro?

  24. Commence Excommunication Sequence for the blasphemer Helen Thomas! Seriously, that was one rocking article, and not surprising it comes from someone who’s made a career putting bullshit in its place.

    I just watched the new Obama PA ad. He’s walking in an abandoned steel mill, talking about how entrenched DC interests prevented us from addressing the problem of lost jobs. I’m pretty sure that we lost those jobs because there was no societal consensus (as opposed to a K Street consensus) that we should protect industries that priced themselves out of the market through a combination of bad management and life-cycle obsolescence. (An old steel mill is a bad steel mill, pretty much by definition…and that applies to almost everything in manufacturing.) Most galling was the idea that tax breaks to US firms to go offshore had anything to do with the scene Obama was traipsing through–one thing you can say about the US steel industry, as opposed to some others, is that it paid the price at the corporate level. Those companies didn’t switch production to offshore sites, they went bankrupt. But sometimes (a lot of times) Hope doesn’t want to hear Truth.

  25. Come to think of it, did Obama reject and denounce McPeak’s “McCarthy” comments about Bill Clinton? There was the Samantha Power resignation over her “monster” comments.

  26. Taylor Marsh also reminded me of why Obama has been so pushy with Hillary’s tax returns but not McCain’s. Why is he nicer to McCain than Clinton?


    “After Friday’s fulminating on Clinton’s tax returns, I’ve got one question: Where are McCain’s? Hmmmmm? Maybe Senator Obama can spend a moment on that little item.”

  27. mydd diary up by Pacific John on this topic:


    “Anyone else notice a little imbalance here? Can anyone say why Obama will distance himself from a mild yet true insult aimed at a Republican, but not distance himself with an extreme insult aimed at our own side. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he doesn’t know who the real enemy is.”

  28. WS,

    That is the real mystery. It makes me start to think in conspiracy theory terms. Like are the elites in both parties just setting us up with tweedle dee and tweedle dum? What’s the difference between McCain and Obama really? I’m sorry, but it seems he wants to keep lots of troops in Iraq, he wants to privatize social security, he wants to cut social programs, he doesn’t want universal health care, and he doesn’t want to give the Bush administration any blame for not preventing 9/11. So tell me what’s the difference between what Mr. Hopey is offering and what Mr. “straight talk” is offering? Not a whole lot of difference that I can see, except the age difference.

  29. This is fantastic from The Lady Who Tells the Truth.

    Helen Thomas:

    I am still trying to find the key that has made Obama a prime candidate for the presidency, and to understand what he has done for the country beyond his middle-of-the-road political moves to make his name known and to steer clear of hot-button issues.


    The Rev. Martin Luther King had a dream, too. But he acted on it. He went to jail, he marched, he led.

    Did Helen ever read my comment on Taylor Marsh or the Confluence? Exactly what I have been saying.

    Link courtesy of linc at mydd:
    Linc’s Diary

  30. Clinton Cocktail Hour

    Do we get one when the blog meter hits 200,000?


  31. ghost2, I’ve got the party trays ready to go, but I thought I’d wait until the counter rolls over before I post the treats.

    Maybe tomorrow?

  32. That’s great, Katie. Thanks.

  33. By the way, before I forget (and RonK this might be useful for your timeline) another outbreak of the crazy on MSNBC, David Gregory’s new show, I never saw this story continued but perhaps something to be on the lookout for. It was so random. I have no idea who is “unidentified female” on the call to the show, though that would be interesting to know, and Ford is Harold Ford Jr.


    GREGORY: We are back, and it‘s your turn to play with the panel. Still with us, Rachel Maddow, John Harwood, Harold Ford Jr., and Joe Scarborough. First up tonight, Brandon in New York thinks the Clintons might be at it again on the issue of race. Listen.


    UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Hillary is playing the race card again by saying Obama cannot win in November?


    GREGORY: Rachel, I‘ve been wondering the same thing. If this was the way the conversation went with Bill Richardson, essentially, he can‘t win; you know it; I know it. Is she talking about race?

    MADDOW: No, not explicitly. It may be that that‘s the implication. She ought to be questioned about that. But it can‘t be that every time you degrade the idea of your opponent‘s electability that you are attacking them on the basis of their race, the same way that if Obama said, Hillary can‘t win, it wouldn‘t necessarily be sexist. I don‘t think that you can read that into any generic criticism of the opponent. You just can‘t.

    GREGORY: Harold, what‘s your take?

    FORD: I agree with Rachel. I don‘t expect her to say, go ahead and vote for him, because I think he can beat me and beat John McCain. This is a competitive race. These things happen. Hillary Clinton believes she is the strongest nominee for the party, and she may end up being that.

    GREGORY: Let‘s not be naive either. She is not saying he can‘t win because he is wrong on health care. There is other attributes here that she‘s talking about.

    FORD: You raised an issue earlier about patriotism. I happen to think that‘s one area where the Republicans will go after Barack. And there is some evidence there. I‘m not saying he believes that, but they will go—when I say there‘s evidence, there‘s a body of work out there, a work product out there that they can use. So I think there are a number of things. I wouldn‘t accuse or believe that Hillary Clinton is playing the race card here.

  34. I volunteered in Ford’s campaign and he was a class act. He totally ignored any attempts to get him to play the race card, and he was probably entitled to. His voting record in the two years after he decided to run for the Senate became much more moderate but for Tennessee, he was a decent choice. A little too much of the Unity talk, like Obama, but he is an extremely gracious person. Much more so than Obama seems to me.

    Good for him for speaking up for Hillary. I guess this will merit another front page bashing of Ford on Daily Kos.

  35. And thanks for that post, daria. I’ve wondered if Gregory’s show would be the same old MSNBC Clinton bashing and now I don’t have to watch it to find out.

  36. Well, it was a brief exchange on an early evening show nobody watches, so I don’t think the blogs picked up on it.. but I happened to be watching and about fell off my chair – anything Hillary says they complain she’s playing the race card. her comment (hearsay, mind you) had zero connection to race, but I don’t need to tell you all that. the whole thing was completely bonkers.

  37. It makes me wonder if the media will still give Obama a pass in the fall because they are so afraid of being called racist. But then, they are the ones calling the Clintons racist, so maybe not. I can’t see them criticizing McCain every time he opens his mouth so we may be in for a mess. Anyone who thinks some of Obama’s connections won’t be used against him in the general election is flat out kidding themselves. It is not racist to point that out.

    We have four adult voters in my family and three will not (at this point) vote for him because of the Wright statements. I know they aren’t the only ones. It may be dying down now because Hillary can’t use it against him publicly but we can count on it happening if he gets the nomination. I’m the one possible hold out but it’s getting harder all the time to vote for him. Between the media and the blogs, I wish I’d never heard of him and I actually thought he was terrific until this year.

  38. Charleton Heston has gone. I suppose we should try and see if we can pry his firearm from his cold, dead hands.

  39. daria g and tabbycat–

    Unbelieveable about Gregory bringing up race again like that. There are so many reasons why Obama cannot win in November, and race probably is one of them. It would have been less of an issue if Obama himself hadn’t repeatedly played the race card when it advanced his own goals.

    I heard that it was Bill Richardson who actually said to Bill and Hillary that Obama can’t win the general election. It would not surprise me at all after what I saw from Richardson during his pathetic campaign.

    The media will not hesitate to turn on a dime and start saying whatever they need to say to support McCain. And Obama whining that he’s being victimized is not going to work against the Republicans and the McCain-loving media.

  40. DCDemocrat: lol ” try and see if we can pry his firearm from his cold, dead hands.” I said nearly the same thing to my friend, ” maybe we’ll finally get his gun back now.” We are evil. 😉

  41. Here’s my own “vacation” post…

    How to Ignore Politics Without Leaving Home
    (the tile cleaning saga, dogs, etc)


  42. Gloria ~
    I loved your description of your “vacation”. I must be absolutely dense as I cannot figure out how to post a comment…..
    Help… lwalsh1201 at comcast dot net

  43. […] Saturday: Vacation Recovery Mode […]

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