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Short Takes for 2008-04-29

  • Remember DNC Rules Committee member David McDonald, black hat of the Florida sanction hearing? NPR has a recent clip of McDonald re his role as an undecided superdelegate. In brief he’s up for grabs, will not be rushed to judgment, will not let the pledged delegate tally control his vote, and will commit to the candidate who in his opinion stands the best chance of winning in November.
  • Polls and panics: Hillary looks strong in Indiana (SUSA), coming from behind in NC (SUSA), edging Obama with independents vs McCain (AP-Ipsos), and Josh Marshall’s gut read of his in-box says the natives are restless in Camp Obama. Meanwhile, Obama and his spiritual mentor are duking it out the roof of a moving bus (a la Raiders of the Lost Ark) to see who ends up under the wheels.
  • NC Gov. Mike Easley endorses Hillary. A Pennsylvania primary morning-after conference call featured very upbeat assessments from current governors of PA, NY, NJ, MI, OH, plus (fmr IN gov) Sen. Bayh and FL Sen. Nelson. There’s a distinct difference in perspective between officials elected to express opinions and propagate ideas, and those elected to make programs (including other people’s programs) work.
  • Rev. Wright: Obama is in a bind, having used up his one alloted one great inspirational speech on the topic, and having to walk back some of that rhetoric. He can’t deliver a second “greatest speech since ‘I Have A Dream'”, he can’t Sister Souljah his mentor, he can’t escape the unsavory inferences people less familiar with the tradition may extrapolate from Wright’s inflated rhetoric, and he can’t retrieve his “authenticity” — or maybe even his “identity”. Obama is justifiably angry … but isn’t his response to Wright’s campaign convoy IED also just a tad bit petulant? (Stay tuned — will Wright get the furtive finger too?)
  • Beyond that, Marc Ambinder endorses a reader’s read between-the-lines to the effect that President Obama would threaten the rhetorical framework on which Rev. Wright built his career:

It would be difficult for [Wright] to preach that the government systematically destroys the lives of black people if a black man is sitting in the White House.

  • Gas tax holiday: everybody is wrong: Clinton and McCain because consumers need to be led to reality (where gas is expensive and will get more expensive until we stop driving); Obama with a phony objection (pretending Clinton’s version would destroy highway construction jobs – in reality it makes up highway fund revenues via windfall taxes on Big Oil) . If our political system won’t come to grips with real problems, the fault is not in our stars (or in our lobbyists) but in our selves.
  • SCOTUS OK’s picture ID requirements at the polls. The playing field just tilted uphill against Democrats and against economic justice.

45 Responses

  1. He didn’t know Rev. Wright as well as he thought he did.

    Or Rezko. Or Ayers.

  2. I wish I could have been the fly in the room when Kennedy and Obama discuss Wright’s take on JFK’ s Irish accent. Kennedy must have been so happy that he passed the mantle of his brother’s legacy to Obama.

  3. I disagree with you take on the gas tax holiday. It is true that we need to adjust to higher prices in the long term, but the sudden sharp spike we are experiencing is too destructive to our already damaged economy. Some temporary relief during our peak demand time is not unreasonable. Besides it is really good politics, which is not always a mistake.
    McCain looked proactive, but Hillary’s response highlights his irresponsibility. The public is all for maintaining our roads and that is what the gas tax pays for. By her advocating paying for a temporary cut by a windfall profits tax on the oil companies while also releasing oil from our strategic reserves and temporarily suspending added to those reserves looks proactive while making McCain’s fiscal irresponsibility clear. Obama looks passive.

    I hope the Dems introduce this in Congress so the Republicans can filibuster it.

  4. myiq, how can Obama really know Wright or Rezko after only a mere two decades? You’re crazy, man (or woman)!

    My limited interaction with die-hard Obamaphiles is similar to the impression from Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall’s gut read (or at least what is suggested by the post since I refuse to help increase WKJM’s revenue). They want this thing to end and get a deer in headlight look when you tell them that Hillary has the popular vote lead. They know that Hillary is going to score some HUGE wins in the next couple months (KY, WV, and PR). Some younger supporters are just plain ol’ losing interest as finals are coming up.

  5. Giving what I can to the matching program.


    Date: April 29, 2008 8:54 PM EDT
    Contact: ******
    Amount: $50.00

    Fab GF is going to kick in $50, too.

    I got an interesting email from some guy name Dean asking for money. Funny, I don’t think monkeys have flown out of Donna Brazile’s butt yet, and I can’t give the DNC a dime until that happens.

    I’ll just sit here and wait. Don’t mind me.

  6. myiq2xu — Yeah, the whole Wright business has to be a kick in the J-spot. Not so much the Rezko/Ayers angle, but more the Power/Goolsbee angle.

  7. Re: David McDonald

    I would be willing to trade McDonald’s vote as an SD for the seating of the full FLA delegation.

    When did Lawrence O’Donnell become such a complete Obama tool? He just tried to accuse some woman who is a member of the National Press Club, who happens to support HRC– of inviting Wright to the NPC so he could trash Obama.

  8. Caught tail end of KO’s program, with him discussing with a “comedian ‘ computer aged photos of the three remaining candidiates. Obama, not much said, just noted gray hair and more wrinkles.

    Hillary? The comedian said something which meant she looked like Cruella de Ville.


    Now, on Abrams’ show, Lawrence O’Donnell trying to say Hillary backer got Wright in front of the National Press Club.

    Lynne Sweet tried so hard to get him to understand the facts–but O’Donnell was having none of it: he was hammering that this appearance was Hillary’s doing bcz a woman had suggested Wright two years ago.

    Sweet kept saying this is a committee decision, nothing to do with one person, whom she knew well. Earlier, when the Hillary supporter had suggested Wright, the Press Club was not interested–now he’s hot.

    Lawrence O’Donnell slipped downward in my estimate further yet.

    He does know how the TV game is played. Lynn Sweet was great, she just stuck to, like, reality and the facts. It was so refreshing! But Abrams went right back to O’Donnell so he could make his point again!! Arrrggh.

    Obama’s denunciations of Wright getting lots and lots of air time.

  9. ronk:

    They all go to the “judgment” issue.

    That’s what Obama has instead of experience, right?

  10. ronkseatlle – wonderful post! So much to go through…really great.

    thank you!

  11. Hillary on the general election:

    The longer the Democratic presidential contest has progressed, the more committed supporters of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appear to be –to the point that a significant number tell pollsters they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate if they became the nominee.

    During an appearance before the editorial board of the Indianapolis Star today, Clinton was asked if she was risking a split within the Democratic Party, particularly a disaffected African-American constituency, if she were to win the nomination against Obama. Her answer appeared to more broadly encompass the question of those Democrats who decide not to vote or back presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

    “I will make the case that we have to stand for our underlying values as Democrats–that no matter what the differences are between Sen. Obama and myself, they pale in comparison in the differences we have with Sen. McCain and the Republicans,” Clinton said.

    “Anyone, anyone, who voted for either of us should be absolutely committed to voting for the other because it would be the height of political foolishness to have voted for one of us and what we stand for and then either to stay home or not vote for a Democrat and instead vote for Sen. McCain.”

    Clinton said disaffected Democrats sitting out the fall election or backing a Republican “would be absolutely counter to everything that both and Barack and I stand for.”


  12. And Olbermann just glossed over the Obama disavowal like Obama had just discovered a cure for a disease. They are right back in the trashing mold and holding The One up as triumph of unity. They make me ill with their slobbering. Obama lacks backbone and Hillary has enough for both.

  13. My posts are disappearing. Have I been a bad girl?

  14. Thanks for the reminder, Ohio! I just sent in my donation. It was fun to compose a little note for the new donor.

  15. Okay, now I apologize for the double post. Perhaps this is my cue to continue my Re-Read The Complete Works of Jane Austen Project.

    Buenas noches, amigos y amigas!

  16. litigatormom — should I delete one? Don’t go — I just got back.

  17. litigatormom, I double-posted a day or two ago and felt really stupid about it. Don’t worry about it.

    On the other hand, I have a new copy of Sense and Sensibility upstairs, if you’d like to borrow it…

  18. Actually, I think I triple posted! Sorry, folks.

    I clearly need a sugar break, at the very least.

  19. BO has been described in wimpy terms lately (MoDo) – he probably thinks he killed two birds with one tantrum today by being angry at Wright and “standing up and taking a stand”.


  20. I bought a new Complete Works, because I couldn’t find my old copies of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. Plus, it has Northanger Abbey, which I’ve never read, and some unfinished novels. I just finished Emma. About to start Sense. I’ve read P&P within the last 12 months, but I think I will re-read it again.

    Oh, to be able to spend a year back in college re- reading Austen and Shakespeare and Eliot and Dickens!

  21. litigatormom, I LOVE Jane Austen. I’m thinking about joining a Jane Austen Society when I retire.

  22. I got a call from the DNC yesterday, asking for a donation. I told the woman, politely, that I would not be sending in any money until Florida and Michigan were counted. She then tried to talk me down, “What about $35? …before you leave, how about $25 donation?”

    I’m sure she was just hired to work in a call center, so I was nice, but just made it clear it wasn’t gonna happen.

    …though I did donate to the DCCC so I could get a chance to get ticket and full paid trip to DNC convention.

  23. Lmom, I deleted your duplicates. I love Jane Austen too. I always wanted a complete set. I love Dickens too. Did you ever read Our Mutual Friend? It’s my favorite. Emma is my favorite Austen. But I love Pride and Prejudice too.

  24. BB, I Emma and Persuasion are my favorites. But I love them all. Well not Sense and Sensibility — I sort of hate that one.

  25. litagatormom, Katiebird: Our Book Club is reading Mansfield Park. Trying to cover one of the classics every three months. Austen has been a particular favorite. Next time I want us to branch out a read My Antonia to give American authors due diligence.

  26. “Harry T. and the Chamber of Secrets” co-starring Oil and Republicans-Screenplay by Bill Richardson

    Posted on April 29, 2008 by GRL

    I got a campaign flyer from folksy-looking Harry Teague few days ago, the first to come as primary day on June 3 approaches. Teague, the subject of one of my earlier posts, is Bill Richardson’s pick for the CD-2 House seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Steve Pearce.
    Howard Dean’s Democracy for America which is billed as “our nation’s largest progressive political action community” proudly proclaims Teague’s “DFA Values”:

    Harry supports progressive issues like a woman’s right to choose and bringing the troops home from Iraq. As a business owner, who has to make payroll for 250 employees he understands how to make a budget, stick with it, and not waste money.

    Of course, DFA omits some interesting facts…read on.

    (This is an exhaustive report on Richardson, CD-02 candidate Harry Teague, and Republican ties….


  27. Hi Pat, I hope you’re having a Happy Birthday.

    My Antonia is by Willa Cather, right? I think I was too young when I read it. I thought it was depressing.

  28. “Actually, I think I triple posted! Sorry, folks. “

    Ah, the rare “triple klutz”

  29. katiebird: I am having a great day!. Last weekend and the one coming up are also in the works. Willa Cather wrote My Antonia. This month we did The Senator’s Wife. Excellent and a great topic for discussion.

  30. Two things to say: one, I remember when Lawrence O’Donnell insinuated that Edwards supporters were racists. It was definitely one of those things I will not “get over”. Two, Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a lot of fun. I under-appreciated it for some time, but it really is hysterical! 🙂

  31. Hey folks, I think one of mine disappeared too. No big, but I was reporting in to say that the National Org for Women and a whole slew of Florida groups are picketing the DNC tomorrow…Just now in the inbox:

    Who: National Organization for Women Political Action Committee and allies, in solidarity with LULAC, Florida Voters League, University of Central Florida, Florida Demands Representation, Southern Leadership Coalition and local Florida civil rights leaders.

    What: Demonstration in front of the Democratic National Committee, urging DNC leaders and the DNC Credentials Committee to count the Florida votes.

    Looks like the fun will take place around noon. Here’s hoping a local Conflucan can show up with the camera….

  32. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/07/080407fa_fact_sanneh

    Kelefa Sanneh wrote article for April New Yorker about Wright, Obama, and Trinity.

    He was on Charlie Rose tonight–doesn’t know for sure why Wright did what he did this weekend.

    Over at TL, several are of the opinion it was a well-orchestrated Kabuki (with words) to permit Obama to do exactly what he did today–finally and completely to denounce Wright and free himself to campaign more effectively. To appear strong and firm in his denunciation.

    Now, he can say what Hillary urged him to be able to say a couple debates ago. When she was castigated for urging him to more strongly separate himself from Wright’s words.

    I remember saying she was taking the long view, trying to make sure Obama could be viable if he got the nom.

    Can we know why Wright gave the “performances” he did this past weekend plus Monday? No, but I did find it very interesting that Obama kept calling it a “performance.” Very unusual choice of words….

    And Wright did seem increase the outrage with each appearance….

  33. I didn’t like “My Antonia” when I read it in high school, but enjoyed it much later. But my favorite Willa Cather is the less-well-known “Lucy Gayheart”. Check it out.

  34. So, Ron…is the OUR David McDonald who, in concert with others, did such a great job on the lawsuit over Gregoire’s close election? Good guy.

    Books! Yes, of course….although I’ve taken to watching the PBS versions of Pride and Prejudice…both just terrific as are the other Austens. Reminds me too, my favorite books sometimes become my favorite films as well…..how in heck is that even possible? But true…ie “East of Eden”…both versions but especially the original with James Dean…and “Ragtime.”

    Been meaning to reread “Middlemarch”…put that on the list…

  35. My Antonia, not my favorite book. I can’t explain why except that the narrator seems detached somehow, like he doesn’t belong in the story.
    How about The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers?
    And for something completely different, I recommend either Kristen Lavransdatter or The Axe by Sigrid Undset.

  36. jawbone: No, but I did find it very interesting that Obama kept calling it a “performance.” Very unusual choice of words….

    quit reading my mind. now i gotta go put on my tinfoil hat.

  37. Thanks for the tips! I have a handful of gift certificates to B and N and will look for The Ax and Kristen Lavransdatter although I admit these are new to me. I have the McCullers book already. Love getting tips to branch out and stretch ourselves. Just finished Soul Catcher by Michael White who spoke to us two weeks ago in person.

  38. the problem with saying gas tax holiday is wrong is that it fails to recognize the link between transportation & poverty.
    Many people are already having trouble with their essential transportation costs.

    And that is more problematic now than ever, because now we no longer have a situation where jobs are stable. Employment statistics hide the fact that turnover is very high – lots of people are losing their jobs then finding a new job, and not getting counted as unemployed because they are employed. But it’s an overlooked feature of poverty that it isn’t static, a large percentage of people fall down into it and then come back up.

    But you have to be able to drive to job interviews and job sites – wherever they are. There’s a big and important poverty cutoff between being mobile vs. being unable to get wherever you need to get on short notice.

    The correct way to handle the transportation issue is not by throwing large numbers of barely-making-it Americans into the poverty category. Rather we should seek new answers. A number of top technical schools are pursuing various types of vehicles. In some places, new community types are being planned around the needs of the people actually living in those communities. This sort of thinking will solve the problem. Simply letting the free markets take care of it – and shrugging when free markets mean that lots of people are thrown overboard – I don’t like that solution.

  39. “Gas tax holiday: everybody is wrong: Clinton and McCain because consumers need to be led to reality (where gas is expensive and will get more expensive until we stop driving)”

    I don’t want to give off the impression that people who are suffering from energy prices concerns’ are trivial but this situation is going to get so much worse. We need to get our asses in gear so bad it is not even funny. Our future literally depends on it. What we are doing now (gas tax holiday) is the equivalent of firing a BB gun at a freight train and the response is, “well I wonder how much that helped? Every bit counts you know.”

  40. oldpro – “Middlemarch” is brilliant, I’ve been rereading lately.. highly recommend. very funny and wise and almost tragic, although I suppose part of that is that there’s no suitable place for real tragedy when the subject in question is a young woman in a provincial town in Victorian england. wonderful book.

  41. I happened upon an interesting opinion concerning Rev Wright and Obama. I don’t know much about the website itself but I found this particular piece provides an interesting perspective:

  42. Ryan wrote: I don’t want to give off the impression that people who are suffering from energy prices concerns’ are trivial

    But that is exactly what you are saying. You are saying that the need to lead people away from gasoline is a real problem, and poverty isn’t.

  43. What I am trying to say is that the financial burden imposed by today’s current energy prices is going to seem trivial when we have $8 gallon gasoline. We’re going to look back and wish we had some of the problems we have right now. Poverty and energy are both problems.

    I believe that though we address them separately, the two problems are related. I also think we can address both at the same time, though our expenditures in Iraq have limited our ability to do this. However, addressing one and not the other is going to be much less effective than taking on both. I am not trying to suggest that one or the other is the underlying issue. Both are monumental challenges.

  44. do you know any information about this subject in other languages?

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