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      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: Welcome New Conflucians

Yesterday, we broke a new site record.  In the past four months we have had over 500,000 hits and we are really starting to pick up steam.  It just goes to show that Hillary has a lot of online support.

No matter how you found us, we would like you to feel welcome here.  We try to keep the atmosphere at The Confluence friendly and funny.  We’re not into character assassination so you won’t find rumor and innuendo here.  Of course, if a candidate does something that’s caught on tape, we will review it with our team of some of the best snarkmeisters around. But we believe that Hillary Clinton’s qualities shine without throwing mud at her opponent.  We also like to analyze how the campaign is going and we try to get inside the heads of the players.  We now have a lot of company on the web.  Please check out our blogroll for some of our favorites.

There was a real, unmet need out here in the blogosphere, but up until a few months ago, we were just lonely asteroids in a universeful of space junk.  We’re now coalescing and have a real presence.  Yesterday, we had our first blogger teleconference with Hillary.  The Big Boyz at the big orange cheeto are perplexed.  There was a diary accusing us of being paid shills who have been spouting Hillary talking points all along.  (No, I’m not providing a link.  We’re on strike from that place, remember?)  The truth is, we do it because we really believe Hillary would make the best president and we do this for free.  Many of us have had access to the Clinton Campaign Conference calls that the other members of the press attend as well. In any case, no one tells us what to write and we sure as heck don’t coordinate our messages.  In fact, I think that one of the reasons that Hillary didn’t have more of an online presence prior to NH was because her old campaign strategist may have seen us as loose cannons, which we are.  If you’re trying to keep the press on your side, you don’t need some half-assed blog jockey shooting off her mouth and causing an international incident.  So, for the most part, the Clinton campaign has been very hands off.  We don’t receive emailed talking points, we don’t have daily meetings and we don’t get paid (but if there is a ticket to an inaugural ball in our future, that would be a nice perk).

In other news:

  • In the NYTimes op/ed piece Skirting Appalachia, the aptly named Charles Blow proves why ideologues should never be campaign strategists.  Instead of adding states to a winning electoral map strategy, the Dean Democrats are more than happy to blow off the one area of the country where the only successful Democratic two-term president in the past 40 years previously won and where they had the best chances of picking up swing voters.  It’s not that they *can’t* win the Appalachian states.  It’s that they don’t *want* to.  They’d much rather chase a theory of picking up harder to win Republican states so they can once and for all write off the working class.  Incredibly, Blow puts Florida in Obama’s column.  Ok, now he really is in the realm of the angels dancing on pin heads.  There is no way Obama is going to win Florida unless the DNC waives the rules and seats all of its delegates.  That state was won by Clinton by 17 points.  Even if it revoted, she would win.  One of the reasons why Obama didn’t agree to a revote, I suspect, is that he didn’t want to lose the same state twice in a primary season.  That wouldn’t have looked too good.  So, if he wants to win it, he now has to agree to seat all delegates without condition to keep them from bolting to McCain.  In any case, if “eschewing Appalachia” is the Obama strategy in November, I hope the superdelegates keep this in mind when they consider their options.  They still have a choice. 
  • Remember it’s the MAP not the Math?  Ronkseattle pointed us to a site you might like to bookmark for future reference.  It’s called Hominid Views.  They run monte carlo simulations to predict the probability of a win for each candidate based on current polling results.  The latest probability maps for Clinton and Obama vs. McCain are up.  Obama beats McCain 44.2% to 54.3% over 10000 simulations while Clinton beats McCain 86.7% to 12.9%.   Sometimes a map tells the story better:  
  • This is your country on Obama 
  • This is your country on Clinton.

Any questions? 

One more thing: MABlue suggested that we put up the map of the primary wins thus far from the NYTimes politics page.  It’s a flash image, however, and I can’t figure out how to embed it.  So, I’m providing a link instead.  Compare it to the Hominid maps and you’ll see right away that Obama is in trouble.  Think of it this way:  Many of the primary states he did win in the Republican south are heavily African-American.  But the total AA pop in the US is about 13%.  So, with just one party voting, Obama is just barely leading in pledged delegates based on ginormous wins in these states.  In the GE, that AA vote will be further diluted by Republicans and Independents.  It’s not that he *can’t* win.  It’s just that his chances are much, much smaller than Clinton’s.  Ironically, the future of the next four years does depend on the AA vote.  With either Democrat, they would have been better off than under McCain, but unless they wake up to the reality of the map, we are much more likely to lose in the fall.


60 Responses

  1. wa kok boso londo.. ak ora mudeng je… isone mung i love u…. 🙂

  2. Mas Nur; yeah, me too!. Whatever it means!!!

  3. nope, no questions rd… seems clear to me.

  4. The opening of Blow’s column, um, blew me away:

    “As Hillary Clinton’s rout in West Virginia underscores, Appalachia is not Obama country. Of 410 counties in the region, which stretches from New York to Mississippi, Barack Obama has won only 48 (12 percent) so far. Of the counties he has lost, nearly 80 percent have been by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The region is whiter, poorer, older, more rural and less educated than the rest of the country, and seems to be voting like a bloc.”

    Voting like a bloc – can I mention Obama’s “bloc” or will Blow accuse me of racism….

  5. RD: “There was a diary accusing us of being paid shills who have been spouting Hillary talking points all along.”

    Now you tell me…You mean I have been postin at the wrong blog all along?

  6. Riverdaughter-

    Well, I’m not really new here… But I still really appreciate the warm welcome here! You deserve all those 500,000+ hits withball your great content… And here’s to 500,000+ more! Cheers! 🙂

  7. riverdaughter,

    Can you post the map from the NY Times on the front page?

    The op-ed itself is repulsive, but the map alone clearly tells the story of Hillary’s dominance.

    You take so many states combined and Obama only won 12% of the counties? This is a humiliation of unprecedented proportions.

  8. anniethena-

    Yep, when did stating facts become “racist”? Blow reminds me of Bob Scheer & Arianna Huffington whining about Hillary being “racist” when she simply stated her ability to win working class votes, including white working class votes. Jeez, when did facts become “racist”?

  9. MABlue: I agree. It sure seems like humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat. I’ll see what I can do about the NYT map but I think the ones from Hominid Views are a little more informative in that Tufte kind of way because they combine size of the electoral college contribution with the color of their propensity to go D or R.

  10. Is myiq, or frenchdoc, or Lambert, or any Correntian around?

    What is wrong with your web page today?

    Don’t you know you guys are ruining my morning routine, which consists of absorbing an insane amount of coffee, while checking on all my favorite blogs before jumping into my papers?

    Ferchrissake what did I do to you?

  11. I just said this in the previous thread, but thought about saying it here too. Why compare Hillary to the two candidates who LOST the presidency. Doesn’t that indicate the real importance of the region to winning? Al Gore did not even win his home state of TN, which in turn cost him the presidency, which brings us to the sad state of affairs we are in right now. I can’t think of a better argument for why Appalachia is crucial for a dem victory in november. And Hillary has proven she can win or be competitive in many of these states, Obama wants to write the region off…what do they call people that keep doing the same thing and expect different results?

  12. Now, do not get mad at me, you know I love you all. But let me “repost” part of my comments in the previous thread:

    “Fellow Conflucians: I may get some cr*p for saying this, but counting counties for the sake of it is in my opinon as invalid an argument as the one presented by Obamaphiles when it comes to states. People vote, not counties/states.

    While I think it is undeniable that some states are more “relevant” to our chances in the GE than others (e.g. New York vs Idaho or Wahsington vs Texas), the rural vs urban counties argument is less valid come November.”

    I may be wrong thouhg. What do you think?

  13. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  14. Oh, and I wanted to repeat my suggestion to change WWTSBQ to WWTSBLULA (let us lose again). As RD pointed out yesterday Obama seems to be putting together quite the losing team….

  15. Upstate: That’s why I think the Hominid maps are better representations of the actual electoral college because the colors are based on polling data of *people* over a period of time. Therefore, the Hominid maps are more dynamic and don’t have that cast in stone feeling of Charles Blow’s map of appalachia. What the maps tell me is that Hillary really *is* very popular in the states she needs to win.

  16. Don’t forget Obama’s erosion among Independents and Republicans (compare recent primary results exit polls to ones in February). He can suck up to Republicans and Independents with his “Dems don’t have a monopoly on good ideas” schtick, but they’ll stick by their man. After Rev. Wright, he lost them.

  17. Great find, riverdaughter. Thanks.

  18. EDIT: stick by their man, McCain, if Obama is the nominee.

  19. gary,

    How is Obama going to win the GE with this strategy?

    “Write off the Appalachia, write off the entire South including FL. Put CO, NM, NV in play.”

    Give him those 3 States and he gets 17 electoral votes. OH by itself is 20 EV.
    How in the world is this guy going to get to 270 EV?

    Somebody in that camp muss have a severe case of dyscalculy.

  20. MABlue: You left out those 7 extra states that we knew nothing about. Remember the 57 he was quoted as having visited? When you put those extra 7 into play (wherever the hell they are) you have a better chance of winning.

  21. Pat: And don’t forget Guam!

  22. RD; agreed.

    Hey; this does have nothing to do with the thread, but guess what. Wife’s biopsies show the calcifications in her breast are benign. There is going to be some more follow ups and she may probably be on preventive medication for the next five years, but what the h*ll, we are going out to celebrate later!!!.

  23. {{UpstateNY}} Wow. Congratulations. I couldn’t be happier. Or more relieved. Give your wife a hug for me!

  24. UpstateNY: You both must be so relieved! How wonderful!

  25. Pat: “When you put those extra 7 into play (wherever the hell they are) you have a better chance of winning.”

    One of them is American Columbia (Pacific Northwest) so he has a good chance there. I hear New Vancouver is beautiful this time of the year. Also hear that North Montana (it used to be Alberta before it joined the Union), had caucuses, so he did very well.

  26. Upstate: That is very good news. Hope you get lucky tonight.

  27. On Charles Blow’s column,

    “So, when she stops casting the nomination as a standoff between the Dukes of Hazzard and the Huxtables and accepts the outcome as a fait accompli, the party can unite, and there will be a better sense as to which states are in play.”

    The Huxtables did not have a crazy pastor and a terrorist neighbor. Any bets on how much the GOP will harp on Rev. Wright (and his influence on Michelle) and Ayers if Obama is the nominee.

  28. UnpstateNY,

    enjoy the great news.

  29. WS: He’s f@#$ing dreaming. She leads in the popular vote and she’s won most of the big D and swing states. If I were him, I’d be very afraid.

  30. @WS: Not just that, but hit on basic points: abysmal lack of qualifications, no accomplishments, poor judgment, hostility towards the working class, refusal to take responsibility, lack of work ethic, exceptional naivety, and a man taken with the glamor of power rather than public service.

    Basically, they’ll show Obama to be the self-absorbed, entitled empty suit for the corrupt Chicago machine who’s only interested in advancing his celebrity and has no true understanding of how government works let alone be able to (or interested in) getting it done.

  31. John McLaughlin pointed out that in less populated states each delegate represents far fewer people than do delegates from more populated states so Obama’s total delegate count is misleading, making him look like he is stronger in overall votes than he actually is.

  32. When calling folks in Oregon, keep this helpful information handy:
    LGN or the Bush-Cheney Energy bill of 2005 that Obama voted for and Hillary opposed. The bill cut the states out of the decision-making process re: what energy arrangements would be made within their boundaries. Repeat: Obama voted for it, Hillary voted against it.

    LGN or Bush Cheney Energy Bill LGN is Liquid Natural Gas pipeline that will run along our coastline and private farmlands (eminent domain). They will condemn the land for the pipeline right of way and pay what they consider is a fair price which is always really cheap. There is not one thing the property owners can do if they do not stop it early on. The state has no say because its a federal bill. Hillary will give back the state the right to make its own decisions.

    As outlined on this site, one of the many issues is that like with any type of pipeline, engineers want it sitting on at least 75 feet of dead land, which cuts off habitat. Also, the specific problem in Oregon is that the pipeline is running out of Wyoming across southern Oregon onto the coast to get LNG to Calif. This is being protested by Oregonians, who do not want more habitat wrecked, trees cut down so heavy equipment can access, risk of disaster, and expropriation of land — all without Oregon being able to legally intervene or negotiate on behalf of its residents.


    Several people I talked to knew nothing about this, and it really caught their attention. So it is good to have some details, because not everyone knows about it there.

  33. That was just a nonsensical article. There was a lot of ifs in his article and as I recall, Kerry had a lot of ifs that didn’t pan out. If Kerry only won Ohio or Florida and if only there was a switch of 51,000 voters in Ohio. And no, Obama is not winning Colorado and Virginia because it has a big military population. McCain is a much stronger Republican compared to the weaker (and weakened Republicans) who have recently lost in those states.

    I hoper her popular vote argument gets stronger after KY and Puerto Rico.

  34. Thank you for the welcome. It’s great to be among like minded people. It’s also nice to find people that are just as angry as I am. I thought maybe I was loosing my marbles in my old age. If I am I sure have a lot of company.

    (Watch your step people, loose marbles everywhere.)

  35. WS, RD:

    That’s exactly why I said we should stick just with the map. The piece itself is aggravating in many parts.

    The map is great and Charles Blow blows.

  36. BernieO, In all fairness, that is true of most sparsely populated counties, wether they went for Obama or Hillary.

    Also, remember that some urban districts get deferential treatment, like in TX, when it comes to number of delegates.

    Where Hillary really got scr*wed was in the caucus states, many of them in the West. so the delegate count “problem” got compounded (notice how different the results were in Washington: cacus/primary).

    Having said that, Hillary’s victories in the B states and some very important swing states should speak volumes to the SDs about her strenght as a candidate in the GE.

  37. Ted Kennedy has had stroke like symptoms rushed to hospital

  38. Bernie O: “less populated states ”

    Oh, I see. My bad. Still, I think most of what I said about rural/urban areas holds true. But I see what you mean.

  39. kenoshaM: Oh? Are you a woman over 40? Because that seems to be the new current definition of elderly and senility. Also, once you hit that magical age, you lose your college degree and become a working class sino-peruvian lesbian. I didn’t know they had any of those in Wisconsin. Learn something new every day.

  40. marie3548: not good. I hope he recovers quickly.

  41. marie: I’m sorry to hear that. I hope he recovers but if he retires, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  42. RD: I am a 42 year old man. I am sooooo glad that my extra pound of flesh (I wish…heh…) makes me young and vital unlike all of you old things.

  43. In my previous post, I meant to write “exceptional naïveté .” Damn auto spellcheck.

    marie3548: That’s one of several reasons why I don’t understand how the good people of the Pacific Northwest could vote for Obama (Does Clinton have any OR ads running on that issue?). Not to mention he’s openly pandered to the coal mining industry for NV votes, even going so far as to supporting that horrible19th century law that allows the industry to destroy the land–with abandon. The Seattle P-I had a great article about how terrible that legislation was back in 2001–and yet they, too, supported Obama.

  44. riverdaughter,

    If you have a PC, you can easily copy the Appalachian map from Charles Blow’s op-ed.
    I have tried with the Mac and I couldn’t, but with a PC you just have to click on image and the right click gives you the option to save the image as…

  45. Upstate,

    I’m so happy that your wife is going to be OK!! This has been a wonderful week. I’m taking this as another positive sign.

  46. RD–

    This is a fabulous post. I’m bookmarking it for future reference.

    Yesterday I was so excited all day. I have such a good feeling about Hillary’s chances. I’m always the optimist, but I see so many signs that she will be able to tough it out and win–most of all because of who she is. She is so strong and confident.

    This race is like the Tortoise and the Hare. Obama took off like a jackrabbit and racked up a bunch of wins in February. Then he slacked off and relied on bragging rights while Hillary, the slow steady, reliable one just went about her business talking honestly to voters, really asking them for their votes (not assuming, demanding, taking for granted like the One) and proceeding to win one important Democratic state after another. In the end, she will cross the finish line first and Obama will still be puffing up his chest and bragging to his coterie of men who have formerly run for president and lost.

  47. BB: “…and Obama will still be puffing up his chest and bragging to his coterie of men who have formerly run for president and lost.”


    Now seriously. What is it with us Democrats? Why do our party elders do this to our chances in Novermber? No wonder we cannot win without the help of Perot/third parties as of late.

  48. Upstate, I don’t know what it is with Dems, but we sure do have a lot of also-rans, don’t we? And except for Mondale, they are all on Barack’s bandwagon.

  49. Davidson I think this is it .. the only ad I mean .

    “On the campaign trail, in a new ad and in her meetings with donors and superdelegates, she blasts the D.C. punditocracy for counting her out and urges anyone who’ll listen to ignore the hardening storyline that places Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee.

    The goal is twofold. Clinton, a New York senator, wants to stanch the flow of uncommitted superdelegates to Obama, an Illinois senator, by convincing them she can still win the nomination. She also wants to generate a protest vote in the four states that have yet to hold primaries, as well as in Puerto Rico. ”

  50. Why is it that nobody in the Progressive 1.0 liberal blogosphere asks themselves why Obama is being shoved down our throats by media. All one has to do is go to Media Matters and see the distortions presented by media on other subjects and realize that Obama is also being distorted. But why is that? Why do they “love” him so?

    I was going to post this at TalkLeft, but I can no longer figure out what they think is deletable and what isn’t, so I’m glad I have you. You, Riverdaughter, are a calm from many storms.

  51. Sweetee: Check out Anglachel’s page. (it’s in the blogroll) Go back about a month and read the posts and you will get an idea why Obama is being shoved down our throats. In short, part of the party has decided that the “south” must be cut loose so that it can evolve into a new party. Lighter, smarter, more technocratic and less tied to the whims of the swing voting working class. That’s what’s going on within the party. In the media, they’re just trying to get the weakest Dem against John McCain, just like they always do.

  52. The popular vote thing is cover for the electability argument, which is clearly valid.

    Upstate, “most states” is the most meaningless matrix I’ve ever heard. .

  53. But, they think Obama will win states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. It’s not going to happen versus McCain. Not at all.

  54. Why did the media turn Edwards’ endorsement of Obama into this earth shattering event? It was live on all the major networks? They actually stop the regular news to bring us the event.

    Let’s step back for a min, shall we?

    Edwards ran as a candidate for the nomination twice. He failed miserably. He was the VP nominee on a macabre ticket and still managed to be absolutely useless. He has NO constituency per se.

    Why is his endorsement a big deal, especially when it’s not happening right before the NC primary?

    Did you know that Edwards is not even a SD?

    He’s suddenly canonized because he endorsed Obama.

  55. Riverdaughter: I know why DNC is doing it, but why is media doing it? Me, I have some idea of why, but what I was really asking is WHY doesn’t Prog 1.0 stop and think that hey the media distorts everything (usually in Republicans favor). Why do they like Obama so? They aren’t even asking this question.

    (Probable answer: Because he’s the least electable)

  56. Riverdaughter, I guess I should have read the second half of your paragraph. I guess I jumped the gun, being a bitter, clingy typical white woman.

  57. Me, I have some idea of why, but what I was really asking is WHY doesn’t Prog 1.0 stop and think that hey the media distorts everything (usually in Republicans favor). Why do they like Obama so? They aren’t even asking this question.

    (Probable answer: Because he’s the least electable)

    I think it’s because Bill Clinton really did govern differently, and Hillary really will follow a similar philosophy, and that’s a threat to those with power.

    Look at the stats on incomes rising and falling from Reagan through Clinton through W. Poorer people really did enjoy more prosperity during the Clinton years.

    Not that I believe they (media etc) will let Obama win – because I don’t believe that – but I think the important thing is taking Clinton out.

  58. “kenoshaM: Oh? Are you a woman over 40? Because that seems to be the new current definition of elderly and senility. Also, once you hit that magical age, you lose your college degree and become a working class sino-peruvian lesbian. I didn’t know they had any of those in Wisconsin. Learn something new every day.”

    riverdaughter, I’m so far past forty it looks young to me in my rear view mirror. Senile? I don’t think so. I’ve always been this way so maybe I’m just nuts. I don’t have a college degree, but an insatiable “want to know” gene kept me learning long after formal education stopped. Call me dumb, I like to know stuff. And if I am a sino-peruvuan lesbian it’s news to me but not something I couldn’t live with. To me that’s a whole lot better than being an Obamacrat or a Fauxgressive.

    Wisconsin has a pretty good mixure of the good, the bad, and the ugly. That’s why we’re purple instead of a nice pretty blue. I fear that it is also about to turn an nasty shade of red.

    Thanks for the blog riverdaughter. You are a much needed and much appreciated voice to this, “old sino-peruvian lesbian.”

    (Actually I do love women but not that way. A good share of the time I’m not all that fond of men either!)

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