Archive for April, 2008

The Campaign Continues. Tediously.

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Maybe I can start a sort of daily tab pegging the atrocities of the Hillary Clinton campaign.   The latest is watching her assert that she has surpassed Barack Obama in the popular vote total… if you include, as she does, the phantom primary in Florida and the phantomer primary in Michigan.  The latter she excludes the non-committed, those wacky 45 percent of non-named Obama delegate voters floating around after Obama followed the rules of taking his name off the ballot and Clinton did not.

While at one time I had thought that the halving of the Florida primary result would result in the result an actual contest would provide, and thus was a good idea, I never quite knew what a theoretically just solution in Michigan might be.  I would have thought Obama would have won Michigan, but then you are confronted by the worst economy in the United States with a good rural population of bitter people who cling to their guns and religion.  Obama proposes to call it even.  Charming, he.

After a spell, I come to the idea of calling Hillary Clinton’s bluff — not even going to any new revoting total, and ratifying the results.  Whatever Florida gives her, and the — I think it’s that 55 – 45 split in Michigan.  Providing Hillary Clinton with another cut in a dozen or two delegates.  To be swamped out by the Super-delegates as they trend toward Barack Obama.  With the result being, scratching the head regarding what she was trying to do with that one.


Thursday, April 24th, 2008

“TVs are made out of human blood.”

“What does that mean?”

“Plasma tvs.”

“Hm. Okay. The future, Today.”

“I’ll look it up on wikipedia.”

“There’s no way it can be the same plasma.”

tap tap tap.  “This isn’t as sensational as I thought it might be.”

“Well, you can just believe it.”


Obama, Like it or Not

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

When Hillary Clinton wins the North Carolina and the Oregon primaries, I will take seriously the possibility she might be able to convince the 7 or 8 out of 10 out-standing “Super-delegates” necessary to grant her the nomination.  In the meantime, I figure yesterday’s Pennsylvania result as somewhat tedious, and seemingly tapped in stone six weeks ago.  Note that the margin of victory (and after “Bitter” and after Wright) was the same as the margin of victory for demographically similar Ohio, which I suppose combined with her phantom victory in lieu of what would probably be a (slimmer) real victory in Florida I guess would be the pointer to the Super-delegates of the trio of Swing-states for the question “Why can’t he close the deal?”

Actually, we largely just sort of have an interesting sociological painting of the Democratic Party, statewide, regional, and nation-wide, worthy of study and squinting.  Here is another wearisome lesson in Democracy, in regards to how the electorate is sliced and diced and coralled.  Anyone who believes that Obama’s San Francisco duo words of “bitter” and “clinging” had no effect and don’t portend to a problem in the General election is fooling him/herself.  But recognize that Hillary Clinton in the 1990s used the word “idiots” instead, which I gather would have shifted the electoral calculus around if uttered in the year 2008 and made the salt-of-the-earth fictional bits about her dear hunting grandpa a bit harder to toss out.

The general election match up polling has seen McCain draw even or slightly ahead of Obama, and clearly ahead of Clinton, which has garnered the commentary about the dangers of this prolonged primary struggle (to end in this inevitable, though oft delayed, Obama nomination).  I tend to see the glass half full in this equation, which is that Obama will go into the General Election with a clearer idea of his electoral fault lines.  They are rather predictable and run to the “out of touch (cultural) Liberal Elitist”, with the “Flag” problem returning out of the 1988 election, and with a smattering of Race politics added.  Reagan Democrats, previously Nixon Democrats, to a good extent previously Eisenhower Democrats, and God I wish I could but I can’t use the antecedent of Hoover Democrats.  (The problem there is that in his landslide defeat, Smith lined up and corralled the ethnic Catholic vote, and all those next three elected Republican presidents tapped that voting block.  However, I did see an echo into the shenanigans Hoover pulled in breaking the “Solid South” with this story.)

I suggest that the Reverend Wright controversy blew up at the optimum time for Obama, inasmuch as it gave some recovery time to end the Pennsylvania primary at its pre-ordained margin of defeat, and inasmuch as it did not lead to any additional Hillary Clinton victories which might have flipped their position, and inasmuch as it will be old news for the General Election, albeit old news the McCain campaign will mine and old news which has seeped into the conciousness of the parts of the public apt to regard it as terribly problematic.

The polling fade and the clear electoral fault-lines should have everyone rooting or working for an Obama vicctory on pins and needles.  But the lead through 2007 and the beginning of 2008 came prior to Obama’s cultural-political fault-lines being exposed.  The current rough tie is at a stage where McCain’s liabilities are not being exposed.  The current president sits at the lowest approval rating in recorded history, a feat he has been at or nearly at for over a year now.  He has shown a dissonance far greater than Obama’s “Bitter” comment regarding the economy (or should be — I recognize the cultural debris surrounding this), insisting we are not in a Recession — and more to the point these sentiments are being echoed by John McCain.  I suggest the problem with the new DNC ad is that does not intersperse Bush into the McCain flutters.  McCain has pointedly insisted that there “are going to be more wars”, has sang the first chords of “Bomb Iran”, and referenced “1,000 Years” in terms of our stay in Iraq.  His quick temper and hot-headedness are legendary and noted among his Republican colleagues, and his age surfaces as his gaffes run the line of “Senior Moments”.

Whatever Obama’s faultlines to be exploited, McCain has more.  Also the fundamentals favor the Democratic Party — dynamics which favored Bush in 2004 and only slightly favored Gore in 2000.  Go down ticket, and you find that Mary Landrieu leades her opponent in poll numbers by roughly the same margin Elizabeth Dole leads her opponent.  The difference between these two races is that Landrieu’s is the most likely Democratic seat to be picked off by the Republicans, Dole’s is about the tenth most likely Republican seat to be picked off by the Democrats.  A similar dynamic is working its way in the House of Representatives.

It is entirely possible that we will look back in November and shrug off an easy or landslide victory by Obama as rather inevitable, such that you look back at reports from old land-slide elections and laugh at the “close election” fretterings.  But, then again, one look at those 45 minute delay in the debate to an actual policy question shows that Obama’s electoral pit-falls can land him on the other side of that coin.  For Obama, it is better that it be laid bare in front of him so he can proceed and be less apt to be blind-sided by such debris.

These People… They’re Out There

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Pastor Roger Byrd said that he just wanted to get people thinking. So last Thursday, he put a new message on the sign at the Jonesville Church of God.

It reads: “Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?”

Byrd said that the message wasn’t meant to be racial or political.

“It’s simply to cause people to realize and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in Jesus Christ,” he said.

When asked if he believes that Barack Obama is Muslim, Byrd said, “I don’t know. See it asks a question: Are they brothers? In other words, is he Muslim ? I don’t know. He says he’s not. I hope he’s not. But I don’t know. And it’s just something to try to stir people’s minds. It was never intended to hurt feelings or to offend anybody.”


Well.  Stick quotation marks around “pastor”.  Consider the controvery stirred, I guess.

In other news of the Apocalypse:  Obama, McCain, and Clinton made a speak into the World Wrestliing Federation.  That settles it: our politics are dead and ridiculous.  I’m voting for Nader.

Lincoln — Douglas that ain’t

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

That debate was many things.  Chief amongst them is a waste of time, except that it had some effect on the political spheroid.

It was the death and dearth of the American news media and political discourse, surely.  Blatant craven to the lowest common denominator.  It showed the power of the right-wing echo chamber.  And the continued fight over Flag politics over any matter of actual substance.  All you really need to know about the situation in American political media is that when the League of Women Voters had an actual debate with actual issues and actual discussion, Chris Matthews cried that it was boring.

But it also seemed to bring to mind Tom Franks and the What’s the Matter with Kansas premise… We shall see how Obama works against Hillary’s charge that he’s whining by Obama’s charge that that debate was a bunch of bs.  We shall see.

“Monkey – Gate”, 2

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

There is a “rock skipping in a pond” feeling to this.  It skims across a few major blogs, is mentioned by a few minor blogs, and then disappears into the ether.  It bears repeating, the sheer irrelevance of this man to do anything except skim a handful of college aged to line up behind him, to berate his original members, and to — at a lesser clip than able to do before– scam money out of the elderly and such.  Note, for instance, the “Finally!  He Speaks!”  — which, he has been speaking all this time, it is just that there has been no reason for anyone to notice.

Anyway, Wonkette  second or third tier Daily Kos  The Defeatists  

Comments worth pegging: 



Until you do, you have no right to speak authoritatively on the views of the eminent political scholar Lyndon LaRouche.

Or, for that matter, to utilize the phrase “staggeringly batshit insane, yet verbally functional, after a fashion.”

Or to think you know the answer to the question, “What would have happened if George W. Bush had quit after his first term as governor, moved onto Neverland Ranch with a horde of sycophantic Gonzales-esque minions who considered him the greatest genius of our age, and stayed there for thirty years?”

Oh, he doesn’t know the half of it.  Actually my thought of what else is in that particular item, in particular his fairly accurate representation of the “Baby-boomers” in his org largely being in the organization out of habit as much as anything else, and his wistful look back to when the org did some things as opposed to now,  goes along the lines of “This is how a crypto-fascist personality cult dies.  Not with a bang, but with a whimper.”  But this thought that some people just may have taken one closer look to the link and read the rest of this item beyond the immediate Obama quote, and into the internal dynamics of the cult, gives me an inner smile.  But, for my purposes of due diligence in this anti-Larouche Activist role I have fallen into, and in suggesting that this is a far more useful item for both the handful of the niave who see some surface issues Larouche spouts and rationalize away the seemingly incoherent rest with “At least he’s doing something”, and for the purpose of the occasional treker over the card table shrine for a spell of asking the person behind the card table shrine “What in the world do you think you are doing?”, it needs to be connected to the other part of the item which “Eaglebreak” made public, perhaps even footnoted to a ridiculously nth degree (the whole purpose of this is a sort of layered item where the item is placed in its context, then if for the sake of any further argument even further into its context, and further still in context), the central part about Obama highlighted, the most central and most direct couple of sentences  highlighted and underlined, and then dashed out into the public domain, for presentation by anyone who cares to present it to a “Youth Movement”arian manning a card table on a college university in the coming months.

Anyone reading this with a hankering to wander over, perhaps with this small package in hand but if not with the words about Barack Obama and every monkey on Earth in mind, the question to ask:  When you joined, thinking you were going to battle Imperialistic Wars or thinking you were fighting to advance Science (ha!), or for Investment into Infrastructure, and for other idealistic causes, did you also think you were going to be promoting the crudest form of KKK-esque nineteenth century racism?

Trying to formulate what, precisely, to do with this item, that is about all I could come up with, and so I float it out there, and let it be caught as it is caught.

Because the scariest part of that item, particularly with the Obama quote but also with the rest of this item, is that it is Lyndon Larouche being chummy with his “Larouche Youth Movement” members, the prized figures who he is attempting to groom to replace the boomers he knows won’t linger around.  They are being prepped for this mission with the most basest of hatreds, because the ideological framework has to have them battle this “all out”.  And I do not believe they quite know what they are agreeing with here.  Which is why you should show it to them, even though in the main they should immediagely be able to rationalize it away — if nothing else simply by calling you a Fascist.

As for the “Internal item”, it does echo the items supposedly for public consumption.  Worth looking at, or skimming, because it shows Larouche — again basically with his “Youth Members”, hitting on the same points as the Internal item.  The internal is always external; the external is always internal, and nothing is terribly subtle.

Go to a college campus anywhere in the country and the LaRouchians are recruiting young progressives to their cause.  They make a seemingly good pitch to idealistic people (rebuild the industrial economy, end the war, yadda, yadda, yadda) but behind the curtain is a decidedly unprogressive agenda.  And yes they are harmless in the sense that they have zero electoral strength.  In other sense LaRouchians are very dangerous.  They encourage/force recruits to drop out of school and devote themselves full-time to the cause of LaRouche.  This cult destroys lives and in the case of Jeremiah Duggan, they occasionally end them.

Sunlight is the best disinfectent.  I hope this diary catches the eyes of a few young people who might not overwise have known what a dangerous and anti-progressive POS Lyndon LaRouche is.

The other parts of the item is important in making the card-table shriners aware that they have joined a dying cult, and in suggesting to the Kentrina Fentons of the world that this is a dying cult.

From Wayne State University’s student newspaper:

And the answer as to which students are targeted lies with Katrina Fenton. Despite being harassed for over six months, she’s not ready to say, ‘down with LaRouche’ because she feels at least they are trying. She said she is tired of the general disinterest and apathy of young people today and feels that reform is necessary with our society. Yet, she is still unsure as to what LaRouche’s group is about. She wonders what LaRouche would put in place of the current political and economic systems.

Why I haven’t thought much about the prospects of a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Answer: Because she lost the Primary fight.

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

A list of the most powerful First Ladies in American history, in order.

#1:  Edith Wilson

#2:  Eleanor Roosevelt

#3:  Nancy Reagan

#4:  Hillary Clinton

I would not know how to figure #5 onward.  I stick this up because I think this configuration is entirely defendable, and because it battles against Hillary Clinton supporters’ stated belief that she somehow revolutionized and was exemplier in her role as first lady.  Understand, I do think her tenure as Fourth Most Powerful First Lady in American History is worth something by way of arguing experience.  While it is more than some cynics I see as noting that she “slept in the Oval Office for eight years”, it still just only goes so far.

My basic problem with Hillary Clinton’s campaign at this point is that it is over.  She lost.  There is no getting around the simple facts that Obama is going to end the primary process with more votes and with more delegates than Hillary Clinton, and that the super-delegates at large are less inclined to go against that flow than the super-delegates not at large.

I do find it interesting how Hillary Clinton supporters argure against this.  The Caucuses are undemocratic and favor white collar professionals and students at the expense of the working class blue collar supporters.  Maybe, but there is nothing intrinsically organic in this formulation — it also should favor older, more reliable voters at the expense of younger, less reliable voters.

The matter of Florida and Michigan are the more amusing subjects.  These states serve as the great tragedy of the 2008 primary campaign.  The problem is that the parties were trying to make sense out of an unordered process, and these states’ leaders tried to wreck that ordering attempt.  This results in two faulty elections, which Hillary Clinton first wanted to make her own.  The governor of Michigan was particularly annoyingly arrogant with a sense of entitelement at the time of the Michigan primary, insisting that something was intrinsically was special about her state such that it deserved the special attention in wrecking the primary schedule attempt — it was a sense of entitlement for her state, full of “Salt of the Earth” citizens, and a sense of entitlement on behalf of her favored candidate — the only front-running candidate who did not bother to get her name off the ballot.  As for Florida, I liked the idea of keeping the vote total of the faulty election, and halving the delegates, basically because my sense of the state is that a legitimate election would have resulted in roughly half the margin of victory for Hillary Clinton.

As for that list, I think I’ll leave that up in the air so that I can come back to it and kick out another blog post one of these days in explaining why Edith, Eleanor, and Nancy were more powerful First Ladies than Hillary.

Who Obama should pick as his running mate? My answer is…

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Attention has gingerly turned to the matter of who Barack Obama should pick for vice president.  It is weird to see Joseph Biden be considered vice-presidential timber, but there he is.  Bill Richardson, always thought to have been running for vice-president, is largely regarded as having lost that bid.  Other names floated through — Kathleen Sebelius — probably really don’t add to Obama’s electora chances.  Ed Rendell was plucked into an American Prospect article, and while he reminds me that Kerry probably would have been better off picking Gephardt over Edwards, obvious political problematics are obvious for a reason — “Mr. Clean” cannot pick a prototypical machine politician who has been serving as Clinton’s life-line.

Jim Webb I would just as soon see in the Senate.  Ken Salazar is named just because of the desire to win Colorado or states out west, but suffers the basic problem of being elected in the same year as Obama to the Senate, thus not solving his major political liability.

I liked one idea.  Gary Hart.  This was suggested as being a “Dick Cheney like vice president” with the bonus of not being Dick Cheney.  But you kind of doubt it.

A bit puzzling is the surfacing of Michael Bloomberg, who even if you figure makes sense as some sorce of influence in Obama’s administration — good or bad good and bad, makes no sense as in terms of bettering electoral chances — the proof of which is he is not running for President himself.

I heard this somewhat bizarre suggestion about Obama, which is that his candidacy will force him to have to select a white male as his running mate.  Here I think I have Obama’s vice presidential pick.  And I offer this name up just to screw with everyone as much as anything else.

Colin Powell.


The scary thing is that I think I can convince myself that this makes complete and utter sense in electoral terms.  And as soon as I concoct that rationalization, I’ll post it to this blog.