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Get some rest

Only four days and it will most likely all be over and we will have won. This weekend is going to be a zoo for the hardworking Clinton campaign staff and volunteers in Indiana and North Carolina. I know you guys are exhausted by now. I don’t know where you find the energy to push through another day. But I know that you are like our troops and you are the best there is.

Good night, staff and volunteers. Here’s a lullaby from our friends to the north aboard the Bluenose II. Sail into the mystic.

Political Poetry Challenge

plum smugglersI was listening to a podcast of This American Life on the way home from work today and Act II featured a poem by William Carlos Williams that described the perfect non-apology apology. Here’s the poem:

This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

This is just to say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This poem has been the template for spoofs. Its framework is malleable and is easily customized to suit a wide variety of themes. So, I thought we could give it a try tonight while we sip our cocktails. Here’s my first attempt:

This is just to say
That I swiped
all your voters
in North Carolina

you were probably
hoping to use them
to pad your
delegate count

Forgive me
they were clingy
So bitter
and ballistic

Now you try.

Dr. Adolph Reed Explains It All

This article that vastleft at corrente pointed me to is a must read. It’s by Dr. Adolph Reed, a PoliSci professor at the University of Pennsylvania and is featured in the May 2008 issue of The Progressive. It’s called, Obama, No and that’s no understatement. Dr. Reed says he knew Obama at the beginning of his political career. I have a few issues with what he’s written in that his overall opinion of all candidates this cycle is negative though he has become a reluctant Clinton supporter. But his most withering criticism is saved for Obama himself. Here’s some of the best stuff:

Obama’s style of being all things to all people threatens to melt under the inescapable spotlight of a national campaign against a Republican. It’s like what brings on the downfall of really successful con artists: They get themselves onto a stage that’s so big that they can’t hide their contradictions anymore, and everyone finds out about the different stories they’ve told different people. And Obama’s belonging to Wright’s church in the first place was quite likely part of establishing a South Side bourgeois nationalist street cred because his political base was with Hyde Park/University of Chicago liberals and the foundation world.

For now, the Jeremiah Wright connection probably won’t hurt him too much, partly because the Republicans at this point mainly may want to keep him and Clinton bleeding each other as long as possible. And his Philadelphia compromise speech—a string of well-crafted and coordinated platitudes and hollow images worthy of an SUV commercial, grounded with the reassuring “acknowledgment” of blacks’ behavioral inadequacies—has gained him breathing room by holding out a vague promise of racial “reconciliation” that has appealed to centrist liberals ever since Booker T. Washington’s comparably eloquent 1895 accommodation to Southern white supremacy. Obama gets credit for “opening a conversation” on race, for “taking the matter on squarely.” But he doesn’t really speak to what we ought to be doing to address the injustices, past and present, that he mentions. Despite all the babble about Obama’s transcendence, Obama persists in portraying black Americans as a stereotypical monolith: blacks feel x; whites feel y. And the trope of black “anger” is a tired chestnut that neither explains nor characterizes political grievances or aspirations. (By the way, Obama’s casting Wright’s alleged “anger” as generational is entirely consistent with his earlier praise of Ronald Reagan for sensing Americans’ desire to undo the “excesses” of the 1960s and 1970s.)

The only thing I can’t figure out is why he waited so long to say it. Oh, yeah, that’s right, the Obamaphiles would have just stuck their fingers in their ears anyway singing “lalalalala! We can’t HEAR you.” Well, better late than never.

Update: This comment from Corrente is priceless. Reprinted without permission:

Submitted by dws on Fri, 2008-05-02 08:25.
It’s almost as if he has something against vacuous opportunists.

Taking a Gambol with Monte Carlo

ronkseattle left this lttle easter egg in the comments:

Speaking of the pull-tabs, we have fresh Monte Carlo estimates from Hominid Views.

Hillary, 78.8% probability of beating McCain, with 278 mean EV.

Obama? 40.6%, 263.

The narrowness of the margins would suggest this is a “swing” contest, not a “map changer” cycle.

As we’re all shouting “Yeah!” many of us are scratching our heads thinking, “WTF is he talking about?” Well, as a geek who has a working knowledge of this stuff, let me sketch out the basics of the Monte Carlo agortihm, er, without the nasty math.

Ok, I lied, there is a little bit of math involved. Some problems have many answers. It’s not just that there are many ways to solve the problem, it’s that there are many solutions using the same problem solving techniques. The branch of math that deals with these kinds of problems is called heuristics. An example of these kinds of problems is called the Travelling Salesman problem. Continue reading

Friday: Foibles

It hasn’t been a good week for Barack Obama. He really needed momentum coming off of his humiliating defeat in Pennsylvania and it looked like he was starting to pick up a little speed again, testing the waters, ready to roll out another race baiting scheme with the help of James Clyburn, who was shocked, SHOCKED by what he’d heard about Bill Clinton. Er, actually, even that one was starting to backfire a bit. It was becoming an obvious pattern and Clyburn was hamming it up. Then Wright the Sequel, hit with blockbuster appeal. Every “journalist” was suddenly transfixed by his appearance at the National Press Club where he reduced our transcendent agent of change to just another cynical, narcissistic politician.

There’s probably a lesson in all of this but I doubt that Obama has time to learn it. The latest polls are showing him struggling, like this post from CNN Political Ticker suggests, . CNN poll: Obama losing Support.

Didn’t Wright know there were more primaries coming up? Well, it’s not like the Big Boyz of the Obama Fan Base aren’t trying to make any more primaries irrelevant but Obama still has to go through the pro forma motions before he is officially handed the crown in Denver. Anyway, the whole kerfuffle was distracting and messed with his timing, That’s probably why his appearance on Letterman last night to deliver, Obama’s Top Ten Surprises went over like a lead balloon.

This morning, it looks like the bad luck just keeps on rolling our Change Agent’s way because in Party of Denial, Paul Krugman critiques his disastrous appearance on Fox that started this bad week off last Sunday. That’s where Obama said that Republicans have some good ideas about deregulation. HAHAHAHAHA!!! Tell that to anyone who has had to rely on the FDA in the past eight years. Or how about the people who are losing their homes to predatory lenders because the Feds didn’t regulate the mortgage market that devised “instruments” to gamble away billions of dollars in speculation. Or the people who live downwind of the coal power plants who only need to volunteer to reduce emissions with scrubbers. Or… what?…I’m getting off topic? Sorry.

But Barack doesn’t have to worry too much because the math is still on his side and his Big Boyz are still doing a Haka, laughing and jeering that it is a mathematical impossibility for Hillary to catch up. They sound a little unhinged these days though since they are running out of time and their hero just can’t close the deal. And now, here comes Anglachel, who does some New Math and shows her work. She’s putting the pieces together and concludes that the ugly business of MI and FL is a no-go. Howard has to settle it for Barry to win and at this point in time, it’s not looking good.

Thank God it’s almost over and Barry can put this week behind him. I mean, what more can possibly go wrong? After this, it’ll be a piece of cake, smooooth sailing right on through the weekend – right after his campaign straightens out the literature that went out to all the mail-in voters in Oregan that reminds them of how Obama intends to work for the veterans of Pennsylvania and protect the sparkling waters of the Great Lakes. Bobbanks at MyDD tells us all about it in Change Oregan Can Believe In? but I’m sure it’s just an oversight (*giggle, snort*)

There, there, Barry, don’t cry.

Update: The Indianapolis Star, the state’s largest newspaper, endorses Hillary Clinton. The weekend seems to be getting off to a rocky start for Barry. Maybe he should consider packing it in.