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Ponderables from the mail box

I’ve been getting some interesting mail in the last couple of days that I thought are worth sharing with the rest of the class. There’s a bit of tea leaf reading involved. Let’s have a crack at it.

The first bit of news comes from a PUMA in PA.  We’ll make her anonymous for right now. She has the following news flash about what took place at last weekend’s meeting of the PA State Committee.  As it turns out, the meeting had to be adjourned for lack of a quorum:

The lack of a quorum prevented any business from being discussed at this past weekend’s meeting of the PA State Committee.  No yard signs because all the money is going to something like 63 offices being opened across the state http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/PAFieldOffices/ for the big O.  Those headquarters are over-run with college kids but the political pros who get Democrats elected avoided the meeting where they’d be urged by paid DNC operatives to get out and support the ticket.  (They won’t.  The delegation is still getting over the scene at Denver, and the directive to not sign the petition of 300.)  With a democratic registration edge of 1.1 million in the state, they think they can win the General when Obama lost to Clinton by nearly 10% in the primary!  Don’t they realize that a lot of those registrants and switchers from R were supporting HRC?

Ruh-Roh, doesn’t prime canvassing time happen right around midterms?  If I am reading this correctly, there is a bit of a sticky wicket in PA.  There isn’t enough money for yard signs and the delegates are in no mood to lift a finger to help Obama.  Any predictions on what will happen next in PA?

This next one is from Michele Thomas of 300 Delegates.  She found a blurb in Commentary about who is backing Obama and why:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac survived scrutiny by manipulating, cajoling, and lobbying politicians and hiring board members who were politicos (e.g. Jamie Gorelick) rather than mortgage gurus. They hired lobbyists, gave massive donations, obtained nice tax breaks, and sailed below the regulatory radar screen.

Of the 354 lawmakers who received money from Freddie and Fannie between 1989 and 2008, Sen. Chris Dodd received the most. But next was . . . drumroll . . . Barack Obama. Yup. And he was only there for three years. Not too much went to John McCain, about a sixth of what Obama received (h/t Glenn Reynolds.)

But, you say, maybe all the Fannie and Freddie employees who gave money just “liked” Obama. That might make sense with ordinary institutions. But these two had a game plan to influence and sway lawmakers for the purpose of keeping them on the government gravy train and out of the regulatory line of fire. It’s no coincidence that they “liked” Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd best of all.

So it would appear that this is precisely what Obama has been railing against: Washington insiders lining the pockets of other Washington insiders while the taxpayers ultimately have to foot the bill. The Agent of Change, it seems, didn’t exactly walk the walk on this one.

Actually, Hillary herself received slightly more than Obama but then, she’s been in the Senate twice as long and in her case, there is very little evidence that she trades her support for money.  Can we same about Barack “I was against FISA before I was for it for my Invesco Field speech” Obama?  It’s interesting that John McCain isn’t getting much money from them.

Obama’s got a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to blaming the Republicans for the crappy economy, seeing as he admires Ronald Reagan and wants to work with Republicans in a post-partisan world.  If you want to hold them accountable, you may have to say and do things in committee that will cause them not to like you very much.  But confrontation is sooooo unpleasant and partisan and stuff.  We musn’t have that.  Well, it’s not like I trust him anyway so I will not be shocked when he caves to Republican obstinancy the first time he tries to work something out with them.  In the Senate, that is.  No way is he making it to the White House with the way New Jersey and New York are shaping up.

One more thing:  Tune your cat channels to Conflucians Say on PUMA United Radio (PURrrr).  We’ll be talking about the 30 Percent Solution, Barbra Streisand, Penis Years and a whole lot more.  That’s tonight at 10PM EST on Conflucians Say.

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TPM: Obama has a problem with “aging white women in battleground states.”

Sexist pig?

Sexist pig?

Hahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! OMG! Whew! {{ wiping away tears }} Wow, I needed a good laugh today, too. That’s hysterically funny.

Via Joseph Cannon, Greg Sargent writes:

In a sign of just how nervous senior Democrats are about Barack Obama’s situation, top Democratic Party operatives are privately urging the party’s major donors to get serious about putting big money into outside groups looking to attack John McCain in key battleground states.

Several senior Democratic strategists unaffiliated with Obama’s campaign convened a private conference call late last week with at least four dozen of the party’s most prolific donors to progressive causes and outside groups — a call designed to instill a sense among donors that things are “pretty damn urgent” right now, one of the organizers of the call tells me.

The call is yet another sign that donors and outside operatives — who had earlier gotten the message from Obama that he doesn’t want such activity — now recognize that Team Obama is privately hoping for such efforts to gear up in earnest.

On the call, Stan Greenberg, who did polling for Bill Clinton in 1992 and now partners with James Carville to run the Dem polling firm Democracy Corps, gave a presentation to the donors that painted a somewhat bleak picture of the struggles Obama is having with aging white women in battleground states.

Oh, man, that is the funniest thing I’ve read in days! Gee, I wonder why a sweet guy like Barack Obama would be having trouble with “aging white women?” Oh, those wacky old women! What on earth is their problem? Continue reading

The 30 Percent Solution: Why Democratic Women Are Voting for McCain/Palin

You Said It, Sister!
You Said It, Sister!

When I read Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s book, “Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated,” I felt as if I had been sleep-walking through the past twenty years of my life. (I hope that soon I will have the long-promised interview with the Congresswoman for your reading pleasure, but she is obviously quite busy on her book tour!) Through a devastating, methodical collection of facts and figures, the Congresswoman builds an airtight case for her premise: American women have NOT come a long way, baby.

Sexual harrassment suits are still routinely filed at places that are designated by female-led organizations as woman-friendly. Women still make 77% less money than men for doing the same job. Although many other countries, including the not-so-forward-thinking Pakistan and India, have had female heads of state, we Americans are still not quite able to bring ourselves to elect a female president, although many qualified women have tried and failed. Our business community has little to no support for women who want to participate in the workforce; no places for breastfeeding, no help for those who need daycare, and maternity leave for most is a thing of the past, having been replaced by “disability pay” – as if having a child were a disability! And as for a woman’s right to control her own body, although 6 years of Republican control over Congress, the Executive Branch and the Supreme Court has not led to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, certain factions within the Republican Party never seem to stop trying to chip away at reproductive choice. Just recently, HHS Secretary Leavitt put forth a proposal erroneously declaring some forms of birth control as abortifacients, thus opening the door to more “conscientious refusals” by anti-choice health professionals to prescribe them. Finally, the ERA has been dead in the water since it failed to pass in the 1970’s, the last time that a demonstrated, concentrated push for womens’ rights occurred.

Maloney’s excellent book offers practical, real-world solutions for many of these problems; among them, lobbying for specific legislation and networking with women in business to get more females into the top slots in Fortune 500 companies. But when all is said and done, the overwhelming thing we all must do is to elect more women to local, state and federal government. Why? Because of the 30% Solution.

Continue reading

Tuesday: Number Sense

There is an article in the NYTimes this morning about the human ability to approximate numbers of items and how this is correlated to the ability to do more abstract math.  There’s a little test you can take that will show you how good you are at this.  (I scored a 88%.  Nyah-Nyah!)

Can we apply these same skills to electoral vote maps?

Here’s the link to the latest 270 to Win map.  These are current numbers.  Do you see more blue or red?

How about the latest Hominid Views simulation map?

Well, more red than last week anyway.

Whoo-WEE! Check out how pale NY is these days.

What about Real Clear Politics electoral vote map?

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seeing more red.  My sense is that Obama is going to lose.  Not only that but the lightening up of PA, NJ and NY is not a good sign.

But what do I know?  I’m just a girl and everyone knows that girls are not good at math.

BTW:  Today is primary day in Massachusetts! If you live in MA, go out and vote for Ed O’Reilly for the US Senate and send a message to John Kerry and the DNC.