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      by Tony Wikrent North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Economist Mariana Mazzucato has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation isn’t lone geniuses but state investment. [Wired, via The Big Picture 10-19-19] ….Mazzucato, an Italian-American economist who had spent decades researching the economics of innovation […]
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Clinton Cocktail Party- Break up song

Barack Obama tried to dial it back today. The Obamasphere took things a bit too far, methinks. Wasn’t it just last week that he told his supporters to be nice to us? And how did that work out? Honestly, I couldn’t see how Hillary’s words could be so misconstrued. And yet, Obamaphile after Obamaphile swore they heard something in her statement that simply wasn’t there. I blame No Child Left Behind. Our educational standards are definitely slipping. I hope she can do something about that when she takes office in 2009.

But anyway, Obama’s tepid attempt to quell the two minutes hate cames about 24 hours too late after he foolishly told the Clintons that that kind of talk “has no place in this campaign”. He’s right. She can’t get away with words that aren’t separated by sufficient distance. I recommend she switch to obscene gestures. Yeah, just brush that dirt of your shoulder.

BTW: We have an answer to the Argus’ question about why they are trying to get her to drop out. It’s because the nomination is soooo much easier to win if the competition just quits. So, Hillary, hang in there. Don’t just make him work for it, win it.

Welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party, this is the time of the day when we make new friends but keep the old (all former Girl Scouts, singalong!). It seems that some Obamaphiles have been checking us out for evidence of the mirror image of their derangement but so far, we’ve been deemed tame by comparison. I’d like to congratulate each and every one of you for showing such class and responding with snark instead of anger. Well done!

To the left of the door is Rico, our bartender with flair! He wasn’t named for the island but I’m sure we’ll figure out some variation on a theme when the time comes. His special for tonight is a Heartbreaker’s Special, but you can order anything you like.

Our entertainment for tonight are oldies but goodies. Johnny Mathis has been around ever since my parents bought their first Hi-Fi stereo system. I love his version of Misty. Deniese Williams had a brilliant but too short career before she turned to faith and gospel music. Beautiful soprano, though. The song was suggested by Edwardian and is dedicated to the Democratic party and to Obama himself.

We love new visitors and everyone is welcome but trigger words really kill a party so please leave them with Florence, our lovely check room attendant. The waiters will be circulating with ice-cream, mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese. (Well, what are you supposed to eat after a break up but comfort food?) Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.

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Memorial Moment: The ONE June Primary WE Remember

Ask me about key states in cycles past? I’ll remember a few, and get some of those right. Press me for dates, though, and with ONE exception I’ll go look them up. That ONE exception is California, 1968, because of what happened next.

That ONE memory is indelible, visceral. It’s an anchor in memory … the same way MLK’s end date stays tethered to memories like an approaching birthday, a cast on my leg, and the walking we did in his memory, in the drizzling rain, in spite of the cast.

When Hillary mentioned Bobby Kennedy’s assassination this week people who should know better, like people who wouldn’t, eagerly stepped up to discount the obvious innocent interpretation in favor of more poisonous parsings. They pride themselves on citing closer historic analogs to this year’s extended contest — 1980 and 1984, for example.

But the context is June, and Primaries, and when WE remember June primaries that mattered, just ONE eclipses all others. And by “WE“, we don’t mean Hillary and friends. All season, WE — press, pundits, politicos, even Obama endorsers — have all relied on Bobby’s assassination as that commonly accessible icon, that temporal landmark nobody has to step out to look up.

Monitoring the billion-word torrent of routine campaign verbiage, BO08’s Echo Machine Drama Queens scan and filter, relentlessly, looking for hooks to hang outrages on, and they will find them … then parse, twist, magnify and repeat until the spectre of Keith Obamamann rises from his anchor desk, foaming at the mouth with “Special Comment”.

In the New Media world, you can run a campaign that way. Maybe you can even win a campaign that way. But what happens if you run a government that way? History is full of ugly examples — many of which are temporal icons in their own right, looming much larger than the assassinations of the 1960’s.

Stop. Just stop. If there’s a leader somewhere among you, for heaven’s sake, stop it now.

Wishing doesn’t make it so.

I still stand by my hypothesis that the DNC, Dean and Pelosi are actively promoting Clinton behind the scenes and are only pretending to be dense. But we must consider whether an alternative explanation holds water. Enter Sean Wilentz in his recent article for HuffingtonPost entitled, Barack Obama and the Unmaking of the Democratic Party.

Wilentz’s tiresome recitation of indisputable facts lead us to the conclusion that if Obama is the nominee, the Democrats are going to lose because he and his DNC fan base are actively dissing working class voters in places like Ohio and the border states. Sigh. He argues with conviction that the party is denying reality by thinking it can just win with college educated, young and African-Americans and he uses history and past election results to back him up. Like we haven’t heard it all before.

Look, Sean, you are just harshing their mellow. They have the Audacity of Wishing Intensely. You are deliberately undermining their faith with all this annoying historical data and examples. They are not interested in hearing it. Everyone knows that their ideas were not properly executed in those past elections. But THIS year, they have the opportunity to do it correctly with everyone onboard, which they fully expect from the rest of us, even if they have no intention of respecting us in the morning or calling us ever again.

Just because it didn’t work in any other election since Grover Cleveland’s doesn’t mean their movement will meet the same fate as whole language, integrated math or cold fusion. We know that you are just one of those people who can’t wait for Obama to fail, you negative, racist, uneducated Princeton Professor of History from one of those “old coalition” Mid-Atlantic states. But wishing doesn’t make it so, Sean.

Saturday: Are Obama and the DNC working for Hillary?

As we get farther along in this primary season, I am becoming more and more convinced that the DNC is using Barack Obama’s campaign to make Hillary look like a more credible candidate. I figure that sometime during the latter half of 2007 they realized they had a problem with the perception of Hillary as a former first lady and the “inevitable”candidate. So, they schemed to put Obama, a lightweight with no real experience forward as a perfect foil for her. It’s sort of like good cop/bad cop. He behaves like an arrogant neophyte, can’t debate his way out of a paper bag, behaves disrespectfully towards his opponent, insults each voting block one by one and has hordes of supporters who make the screaming hooligans at a Manchester United football match look like dainty debutantes.

Then, add to this mix the media narrative and the supposedly too-scared-of-their-own-shadows superdelegates. She skillfully loses primaries in western states where the DNC cleverly over allocated more delegates than is sensible. Donna Brazile, who is secretly in love with Hillary, maneuvers to disenfranchise two of her states and hundreds of her delegates. And it is all designed to make it look like the odds are stacked against her because Pelosi and Dean know that there is nothing Americans like so much as an underdog.

It is working brilliantly. Hillary went from looking like an overachieving former first lady and US senator to a strong, scary smart, tenacious, poised, confident tough-as-nails future first executive and the voters are loving her. The DNC knew they had accomplished the impossible when, in spite of the “Mission Accomplished” meme of the past several weeks, Hillary subjected Obama to not one but *two* humiliating defeats in West Virginia and then Kentucky. Women, working class, gays, hispanics and admiring men all over the country are saying, no, demanding Hillary as their Commander in Chief or they will vote for McCain. They are turning their backs on Obama in droves.

The DNC has succeeded beyond its wildest expectations. But it wasn’t enough. Last night, they had the fine young cannibals who support Obama pile on for another political cheap shot by exploiting the assassaination of Robert F Kennedy, followed by a self-righteously indignant proclamation from Obama himself that that kind of talk “has no place in a campaign”. Surely, he knew how ridiculous looking it was for him to be lecturing the Clintons about campaigning, but it is a pattern that we can now all clearly see. It makes sense once you put it together with his operatives calling the Clintons racists and “brushing their dirt off his shoulders”. It is all designed to make us loathe him. Well done, Senator Obama. Bravo!

And now we have evidence that the whole conspiracy is paying off. The latest Newsweek poll shows that nationally Obama (our presumptuous nominee) is tied with McCain while Clinton is beating McCain by four points. But that’s not all. The latest Hominid Views Monte Carlo simulation maps (nice job, Darryl) show that Clinton is unbeatable! (Obama, sadly, is not)

Here is Obama’s probabilty map. He has only 32.7% probability of beating McCain:

Obama_McCain_May23_08

And here is Hillary’s probabilty map against McCain. She beats him 99.9% of the time.

Clinton_McCain_May23_08

And here are the trend lines showing how successful the DNC campaign for Clinton has been:

Obama_McCain_trendClinton_McCain_trend

It looks like Obama peaked in early March while Clinton is on a slow and steady upswing. And it is all building up to a breathtaking finish in Denver where, like the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team, Hillary will miraculously win the nomination, the balloons will drop from the ceiling, there will be ticker tape parades and much rejoicing. The country will rally together to beat McCain in a landslide election, banishing the Republicans from power for a generation. I’m telling you, it was a master stroke of genius. Dr. Dean, take a bow!

Support for Hillary from Robert Kennedy Jr.

A simple statement in support of Hillary from Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:

“It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June. I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband’s 1992 race, both of which were hard fought through June. I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”

You many have already seen it. And it was posted several times in our comment threads last night. But in the aftermath of yesterday’s emotion it makes me feel good to read it again.

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