Quit Picking on My Harriet!!!

Workout notes Nothing yet; I’ll probably walk and easy 3 miles on the treadmill. Right now my head is pounding like a jackhammer due to all the goop that is in it. Otherwise I feel stronger, though I get, yes, “hot flashes” from time to time during the day.

Oh yes, we got dumped on again last night; another couple of inches. Runners have been joking that they have cursed the recent weather forecasts, though the weather is supposed to be decent this weekend.


Those meanies in Congress! Will they ever quit picking on my Harriet?

February 28, 2008

The Honorable Michael B. Mukasey
The Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

In accordance with 2 U.S.C. § 194 and the attached House Resolution 979 (adopted on February 14, 2008), I have today sent a certification to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jeffrey Taylor, advising him of the failure of former White House Counsel, Harriet Miers, to appear, testify and produce documents in compliance with a duly issued subpoena of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee and of the failure of Joshua Bolten, White House Chief of Staff and custodian of White House documents, to produce documents in his custody as required by a duly issued subpoena of the House Judiciary Committee.

Under section 194, Mr. Taylor is now required “to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.” The appropriate grand jury action is a criminal charge for violation of 2 U.S.C. § 192, which provides: “Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers . . . willfully makes default . . . shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor” and shall be subject to a fine and “imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.”

According to the testimony of your predecessor, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and your recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department intends to prevent Mr. Taylor from complying with the statute and enforcing the contempt citations against Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten. You claimed that “enforcement by way of contempt of a congressional subpoena is not permitted when the President directs a direct adviser of his… not to appear or when he directs any member of the executive not to produce documents.” Hearing on Oversight of the Dep’t of Justice Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110th Cong. 87-88 (Feb. 7, 2008). You purported to base your view on a “long line of authority,” but cited no court decision that supports this proposition.

There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a President unilaterally instructs them to do so. Even if a subpoenaed witness intends to assert a privilege in response to questions, the witness is not at liberty to disregard the subpoena and fail to appear at the required time and place. Surely, your Department would not tolerate that type of action if the witness were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury. Short of a formal assertion of executive privilege, which cannot be made in this case, there is no authority that permits a President to advise anyone to ignore a duly issued congressional subpoena for documents.

Your press spokesman has stated that you will “act promptly” to review this matter and reach a final decision. We will appreciate your acting with appropriate dispatch on this important matter. […]

This isn’t fair; why are they picking on her like this? 🙂

So, I’ve decided to do a good deed. You can donate to the Harriet Miers Defense Fund here.


February 29, 2008 Posted by | injury, Peoria/local, politics/social | 1 Comment

Friction between Obama and Clinton supporters: not one sided.

I’ve heard a few complaints that some of Obama’s supporters have been rude. I believe that has happened.

But the rudeness and petty barbs have flowed both ways; the difference, as I see it, is that the venom directed at Obama supporters have often come from those higher up in the campaign.

Here, Obama supporters are ridiculed as being naive:

Bill Clinton dismisses caucus goers:

Of his wife’s recent travails, he said, “the caucuses aren’t good for her. They disproportionately favor upper-income voters who, who, don’t really need a president but feel like they need a change.”

And then there is this president of the Machinist Union:

Note: being on the Harvard Law Review is something to be held in contempt?

This is the longer version. Note: Galesburg: Obama brought it up as what is wrong with trade agreements that don’t have adequate protection. Oh yes, Galesburg happened in 2004, and Obama didn’t take the oath until 2005. 🙂

Note the venom directed at people like me. But I don’t mind; he isn’t really talking to me; he is rather talking to low information voters who won’t fact check what he says.

But I wonder if this guy gets a heart attack; will he still have the contempt for all of that knowledge that was developed at those college and universities that he has so much contempt for? 😉

But remember this: Obama and his campaign have never ONCE ridiculed Clinton supporters.

February 29, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, obama, politics/social | 2 Comments

Obama and Public Financing, Feminist Clinton Supporters, Bollywood and more

Ok, now for some fun political stuff

Bollywood Obama (fluff, but fun fluff)

I am the only one in America that likes this photo?

Ok, I like this one too:

To me, this means that we have candidates that want to experience the world, and maybe, just maybe, see how others see things?

Yes, I know; there are those (especially on the other side of the political fence) that don’t see “being a citizen of the world” as a good thing.

[…]There is another opinion about this, however. It is held by some traditional conservatives who oppose Bush’s Iraq and Iran policies, those most open to supporting a Democrat if the Republicans, as seems likely, promise a foreign policy of more of the same. In a nutshell, this view is that Hillary would face a difficult race, but would probably prevail, as could have Edwards or Joe Biden or a fairly generic Democrat in a year when the Dems have a major tailwind. Obama would be their weakest candidate, who could lead his party into an electoral disaster.

This is not because of Obama’s race, which—other factors held equal—probably attracts more voters than it puts off. The weakness is the other major quality that progressive intellectuals find appealing in him: his cosmopolitanism, his relative unrootedness, the sense that he is harbinger not only of a new America where race doesn’t matter but of a globalized world where national sentiment is on the way out. He would not only be the United States’ first black president, but, to borrow immigration activist Mark Krikorian’s useful term, its first post-American one as well.

In his foreign-policy address before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last April, Obama asserted that America’s security is “inextricably linked to the security of all people,” a recipe for global interventionism so promiscuous as to make neoconservatives almost prudent by comparison. He is a proponent of global free trade and high levels of immigration. Much of his memoir is devoted to his quest to connect with an extended family in Africa. This world-man aura is not without appeal, especially after eight years of a president deaf to what foreigners think and feel. But taken as far as Obama does, it would be an electoral liability. […]

Good, good; I hope that the Republicans continue to underestimate him. That is a real good idea, isn’t it, Clinton backers??? 🙂

Obama: gets in touch with his “nerd side” in Austin, Texas:

I was lucky enough to find out about the economic town hall here in Austin with Senator Obama and get tickets for it. Even though the event began at 9:30 this morning my boss was more than happy to let me attend as long as I brought her a button or a sticker or something. […]

The diary author goes on to describe the questions and some of the answers (in detail) and then concludes:

All-in-all, the session was informative and substantive. Before he entered the building the chants of “Yes we can” “Si se puede” “Fired up/Ready to go” etc. fell flat after a few repetitions. This group seemed to support Barack but was really interested in what he had to say. I found it amusing and touching when the older black lady in a seat near mine would raise her hand when he mentioned how difficult it is to get ahead when you’re dealing with predatory credit card debt, medical expenses, wages that have not caught up to inflation and tuition, gas prices and health care that have never cost more. I found myself quite touched that someone is echoing things I’ve heard from Bonddad, Jerome a Paris, and even myself say. It was like a long long DKOS diary with good commentors and a lot of replies.

Truly, in this campaign, I get a feeling of “What hath the netroots wrought?” This isn’t a campaign so far that we can pick apart and criticize every aspect of since many of the things we’ve wished a candidate would do or would talk about are being done by this guy. I think he’s unstoppable and it’s not at all because of the force of his personality but because he is running a tight ship, keeping a tight and positive message, and focusing on all 50 states. I feel so honored to be seeing such a great election follow the two horribly flawed elections of this millenium.

Obama, Clinton Supporters and Feminism There seems to be a nasty undercurrent going between many Obama and Clinton supporters. Many of the older women who support Clinton almost feel betrayed that many of their younger sisters, daughters, nieces and friends support Obama. A Kossack commented on this and I’ll feature some comments that one of my comments drew out:

Because I have a Y chromosome in my genes I’ll keep my opinions to myself.

But I think that the following interview from PBS (about 15 minutes) is well worth it; one of the cofounders of Ms. Magazine and her daughter discuss their choices. The daughter backs O whereas the mom backs HRC and feels betrayed by her daughter.

Also on the show, NOW Senior Correspondent Maria Hinojosa talks to a prominent feminist and her daughter who agree on lots of womens’ rights issues, but are totally opposed in their choices for president.

Writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin, one of the founding editors of Ms. magazine and a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus, supports Hillary Clinton. Her daughter Abigail, who supports Barack Obama, is an author and former producer for Mike Wallace at “60 Minutes.”

scroll down; the video is on the right hand side (15 minutes).

Drew the following couple of comments:

This one:

This whole controversy has been very instructive for me. I read the reactions of Clinton’s supporters, and I see echoes of myself in the way I’ve behaved during arguments with Mr. Elmo over the course of nearly 25 years of marriage. I’ve accused him of sexism, of not listening and/or not hearing me. Now I’m starting to understand that at least some of the time in those arguments all he was doing was just not agreeing with me, just seeing things differently from the way I saw them.

And this one:

I notice in the video (thanks for the link) that Letty Cottin Pogrebin says several times that Clinton “deserves” the presidency, and (toward the end) that she doesn’t understand why Obama can’t wait to run next time. She may have even said it’s Clinton’s “turn”.

This country is at a critical juncture and people are clamoring for leadership, not entitlement. Anyone who’s judging a candidate’s leadership abilities has only to look at how the respective candidates have lead/managed the campaign. Is it any surprise then that the last 11 contests have gone to Obama?

Both of these women point out some good things. First, “hey, vote for her because she “deserves it” or “is entitled to it” ” is not a strong case for most of us. Frankly, this is the first election that Clinton has ever had to work for in her life (Obama has had three rough primaries in his life prior to this one, and he lost the one in 2000).

The second issue is that I am seeing two very different kinds of feminists. The first kind of feminist are the ones that assume that a male is sexist until he proves otherwise. These are the ones I usually think of when I hear feminist, and feminists of Barbara’s generation tend to be this way. These sort of feminists usually back Clinton.

The second kind of feminist are those who assume that you aren’t sexist until you prove otherwise; these are the kinds that will give you suggestions and corrections, and I have better luck learning from this kind. These tend to be the younger ones, and many of these back Obama.

Speaking of a younger female Obama backer:

Also at the Elton party: We asked Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, “Hillary or Obama?” and she told us, “Obama!”. .

And she is backing that up with her checkbook too.

Obama: backtracking on his “pledge to use public financing?”

Uh, no. The issue is far more nuanced than the debate moderators and the Republicans would want you to believe.
First, what did Obama sign to anyway?

I described this a few weeks ago as a “pledge” to participate, but I should not have. Obama’s precise statement was, and has always been, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” That’s an artful statement, and it’s not artful in a “meaning of ‘is'” sense — it’s exactly the right answer. A commitment to “preserve a publicly financed election” would have to mean much more than whether both participate in the system. It would require some significant agreement about how to handle outside money, 527s, “Swift Boat”-type attack groups, party money, etc., and other factors that have undermined the last two publicly financed elections, from both sides. It is hardly an evasion to describe this as an agreement to be negotiated, rather than a simple pledge.

There you have it. Obama is saying NOW what he said THEN.
True, he was probably surprised that his small donors (such as myself) would come through as well as we have. But still, he is sticking by his word.

So, what about McCain and his situation? Evidently, to quote Obama, “the wheels have come off of the straight talk express”:

[…]regarding McCain’s ability to drop out of the public matching funds system for the primaries, it seems to be the consensus of experts that a candidate can drop out of the system, even after being certified to receive funds, as long as he or she hasn’t used the certification as collateral for a loan. And McCain specifically excluded the prospect of public funds from the section on collateral for a loan he took out in November. While I think such an in-again/out-again dodge violates the spirit of the law, which calls for a firm choice between public funds and unlimited spending, it appears McCain hewed closely to the letter of the law. But on Saturday, the Washington Post reported that there was a second loan for $1 million on December 17 that pledged “incoming contributions” as collateral but did not exclude public money.

The story quotes McCain’s lawyer as saying that the bank asked, ” ‘You’ve explained how you can pay us back if things go well. What happens if things go badly?’,” and that the campaign explained, that “McCain could reapply in the future for federal matching funds,” but that the existing certification was not used as collateral. […]

Do you follow that? Because McCain didn’t say “this is collateral” but instead “gave his word”, he didn’t break the law. 🙂

So, should Obama, at this stage when he is still in a tough primary, make a firm pledge with someone who does stuff like this? 🙂

What is the other side saying?
Recall that Dick Morris used to work for Bill Clinton. He is enjoying this primary; let’s just say that his parting with the Clintons was not friendly. So you have to take what he says with a grain of salt, but still it is funnier than all get-out.

Clinton repeats the same mistakes:

Whether one likes, dislikes, loves, hates, admires, fears, despises, or envies them, all Clinton watchers have this in common: They are dumbfounded both by the incompetence with which Hillary has run for president and her intransigence at sticking to a failed message.

Incredibly, both Clintons are harping, once more, on the theme of experience to carry the day. No matter that it hasn’t worked since before Iowa; they repeat the same mantra endlessly that Hillary can hit the ground running on Day One. It seems they will never realize that voters grasp two essential facts:

# One, Hillary’s experience is derivative of Bill’s and her claims to his achievements are largely invented and spurious; and

# Two, the real edge she has in experience is her ability to repeat the strategies, tactics, message, fundraising models and campaign style of the 1990s, something modern voters reject emphatically.

Why, after losing 24 states, do Hillary and Bill fail to get these messages? Are they saving up these insights for their memoirs? And why do the Clintons persist in running a negative campaign even when they can’t find anything to be negative about?

Alienating voters with their abrasive attacks without attracting them with their content, they throw pitty-pat punches accusing Obama one day of plagiarism for borrowing speech lines from his close and consenting friend and the next day for accurately describing Hillary’s healthcare plan as requiring sanctions to make those who do not wish to sign up do so against their will (albeit for policies Mrs. Clinton deems to be affordable).

If you are going to pay the price of going negative, throw real punches.

Hit Obama with big negatives. You take the backlash for going negative in order to pass the lethal message on to the voters. But if you don’t have any negatives to throw and your detectives have, indeed, come up empty, then stop trying to go negative. Stop alienating people for no purpose.

What many don’t get is that Obama has already been run though the Chicago press again and again; there is no “there” there. People don’t seem to get that.

Note that in another article, Morris claims that Obama is showing his “experience” by running a good campaign.

Rush Limbaugh In this weird election, Clinton has already gotten support from Ann Coulter. Now Rush Limbaugh is telling his Texas listeners to vote in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton! (the idea being to make the Democrats have a longer primary).

February 29, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, mccain, obama, politics/social | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton: wins dead person’s endorsement

Workout notes 3 miles on the treadmill (38 minute walk), some light yoga on my own. Last night I was up from 12:30-2:00 with a coughing jag; it went away.

Politics I’ll let others do my talking today.

You may have heard the joke that a few “dead people” ended up “voting” for LBJ. That is Texas politics! 🙂 (no, Illinois politics isn’t any better…)

But now, the dead even endorse people, if you believe the Clinton campaign:

Ok, O might do a bit of pandering, especially to religious types:

But the person I got this video from explains:

It’s a nice video, but the Barack Obama clips don’t belong there. Is he pandering? Yes. Is he abusing religion? Not at all. He’s using rhetoric to play to a crowd.

Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, is completely serious when he talks about changing the Constitution to “meet God’s standards.”

Ok, fair enough. I am not holding my breath and waiting for an openly agnostic candidate. 🙂

Why are Obama’s speeches more effective than Hillary Clinton’s? (on the average; I admit that there are those that like Clinton’s speeches more). A writer (Bob Harris) takes a shot at this question.

As far as this nonsense that Obama’s speeches lack substance:

If the Obama campaign is a cult, it includes a remarkable number of notably ungullible, notably non-follower-type people. His advisors and supporters include many of the nation’s most distinguished economists, legal scholars, and political scientists. It includes a striking number of policy experts and elected politicians who worked closely with both Clintons.

Senator Obama’s personal qualifications do not call to mind the towel-snapping frat boy who now occupies the nation’s highest office. Senator Obama has taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, and was president of the Harvard Law Review, two notable non-starstruck arenas of personal advancement. He has held elective office longer than Senator Clinton has. The two hold very similar policy positions and would employ many of the same experts in the next administration.

When you look past the position papers, I don’t see that Senator Clinton has the surpassing record of legislative mastery she claims to possess. I don’t see that she has greater substance as a manager, either. Hard-nosed journalist Joe Klein notes that Obama has run “a smarter, more rigorous campaign.” Based on the campaign, “Obama has proved himself the best executive by far.”

Today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal , the largest paper in Wisconsin, endorsed Senator Obama. Its editorial board concluded:

The Obama campaign has been derisively and incorrectly described as more rock tour than political campaign and his supporters as more starry-eyed groupies than thoughtful voters. If detractors in either party want to continue characterizing the Obama campaign this way, they will have seriously underestimated both the electorate’s hunger for meaningful change in how the nation is governed and the candidate himself. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board on Wednesday, the first-term senator proved himself adept at detail and vision. They are not mutually exclusive.

Speaking for myself, I have some very practical reasons to celebrate Barack Obama’s ability to inspire people behind progressive causes. You have a better chance of being a fine candidate and president if you have this talent than if you don’t. Charisma isn’t necessary in a candidate, any more than height is necessary to win an NBA championship, but it helps. Hillary Clinton has had four years as the dominant front-runner to make her case. Although she began with every advantage, she has not done this as well as Senator Obama has.

This is only partly due to his superior eloquence and electability. It also reflects the reality that he is offering something important that Senator Clinton cannot.

Keep in mind that Obama is very popular with intellectuals and academics; I’ve pointed out that he handily won the Cosmic Variance straw poll, which included Republican candidates as well (the last numbers I checked: Obama 39 %, Other 24%, Hillary Clinton 15%, John Edwards 12%, Giuliani 3%, Huckabee 2%, McCain 2%, Romney 1%, Gramps 1%.)

February 28, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, injury, obama, politics/social | 1 Comment

Will Hillary Clinton Denounce, oh wait Reject This Woman’s Support?

Check out this video It is about 3:45.

Or go here; this has some text as well.

Here is what this video is about:

From New York Daily News reporter Michael McAuliffe’s pool report. He was with Sen. Clinton today for a round of satellite interviews.

She was asked by KTVT in Dallas about a Latina backer who said that black politicians never do anything for Hispanics. Her name is Adelfa Callejo. Apparently she’s 84.
[The question: “She recently told us that African-Americans never help Hispanics when they gain power and influence and that she would never vote for Sen. Obama, and now quoting here she said ‘Obama’s problem is that he happens to be black.’ How do you react to those comments?”]

Will she reject, or denounce? Wait for it…

“People have every reason to express their opinions. I just don’t agree with that. I think that we should be looking at the individuals who are running.”

Q – Do you still want her support, though?

Clinton laughed and said, “You know This is a free country. People get to express their opinions. A lot of folks have said really unpleasant things about me over the course of this campaign. You can’ take any of that as anything other than an individual opinion.”

This Latina is Adelfa Callejo, evidently someone so wrapped up in her self importance she can tell me that I don’t know the history if I vote for someone else.

I’m sorry; this moron doesn’t represent me.

I wonder if Clinton will “reject” her. She sure didn’t in that quote, did she?

February 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some quickies: first shot in the general election

Workout notes 3 mile walk on the treadmill in 38 minutes. Nothing special; staying low key. Coughing is way down; usually this is the time I try to train too hard and relapse for two more weeks.

General Election 2008: First shot returned?


Obama and Jewish Support: Ari and The Edge of the American West has a great article.

Tim Russert spent a portion of tonight’s debate bringing to life the hateful spam I occasionally get that might as well be titled, “Muslim Obama Will Kill Jews.” And while I agree with all of the prominent (and, as it happens, Jewish) bloggers (here, here, here, and elsewhere for all I know) who are saying that Russert really plumbed the depths with this line of so-called inquiry, the bigger shame was that there were actual issues of interest to American Jews left undiscussed with Obama tonight.

In fact, on Sunday Obama talked about some of those issues with machers in the Cleveland Jewish community. Which, if you don’t know, is a surprisingly large and very active community (check the previous link for some details), notable for giving enormous amounts of money to various causes, both Jewish and not. It’s also an important part of the Democratic machine in Northeast Ohio. Which is the bedrock of the Democratic machine in Ohio more broadly. Which, if you look at recent elections — up to the 2006 midterms and governor’s race — is a machine that’s been in very bad repair. Regardless, Jews matter in Ohio Democratic politics. So Obama went to talk to them last Sunday. And he had some interesting things to say. […]

Follow the link; it is interesting. The main point here is that it appears that Russert (one of the debate moderators) completely underestimated Obama; he seemed to think he could rattle him with a shallow “gotcha” or two.

Many of Obama’s political opponents seem to think of him as an empty suit with soaring rhetoric and little else. Remember: this guy was on the Law Review at Harvard and taught law (part time) at the University of Chicago Law School.

Well, keep underestimating him! 🙂

Do you think that I am too hard on Hillary Clinton, at least in terms of her campaign? Well, read a critique of her debate performance:

[…] with her national poll numbers now slipping into a double digit lag behind Obama, with her last-ditch firewalls in Ohio and Texas rapidly crumbling, her political future quickly eroding, it was the Bad Hillary who dominated in what could very well be the final presidential debate of the season.

Thirty-five years of selfless public service, if we are to believe her campaign rhetoric, deserved more than this tin-pan finale. Clinton, in her best moments, is certainly capable of something more than a torrent of peevish, petty, picayune, and intellectually dishonest bickering and parsing.

Instead, Senator Clinton chose to remind us why she is losing the nomination that she was once so very sure would inevitably be hers. The smell of a loser permeated the entire low-energy event as Clinton tried to pick apart this or that phrase uttered one time or another by her rival. […]

I guess this comes with the territory, though I admit that I’ve received a scathing review or two from academic referees. 🙂

Ok, that was the debate. What about the campaign itself? From Texas:

there’s this blog post from TV reporter Elise Hu in Austin.

Since the arrival of the competing presidential campaigns, I have had a difficult time getting a hold of the Clinton campaign’s Texas press contact, Adrienne. It’s rather difficult to include the Clinton campaign in stories when we cannot connect. For example…

— A February 8th email to establish first contact went unreturned.
— A call and voicemail message on February 13th regarding office openings went unreturned.

This morning, I called for a response on the House Democratic Caucus leaders taking issue with Clinton’s comments about Texas not being in her “electoral calculation” in November. Adrienne responded with, “Oh, Lord,” and said she would call back once she found out more about the dust-up, and I never heard from her again.

You can follow that link to a report on what Obama’s campaign is doing on the ground. This is happens when you rush into a situation at the last minute.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, injury, mccain, obama | Leave a comment

Obama-Clinton Cleveland Debate

I followed this while blogging on the Daily Kos.

First of all, here is the Saturday Night Live skit that she referred to:

But her whining really didn’t do her any good. Obama took the high road and came across as unbothered and Presidential.

Clinton had her moments; getting on Tim Russert about his constant hypothetical questions and I agree that he is a jerk.

Those us on the Kos were completely overjoyed at the outcome; I was hoping for a draw and got considerably better than that.

Note: remember Obama’s line about driving a bus into a ditch? The idea was that those who got us into Iraq were similar to those who drove a bus into a ditch; there are only so many ways of pulling the bus out of the ditch (hence only so many courses of action for us since we are in Iraq right now); but you still fire the driver(s)?

He had used this back in 2004 when he was running against Alan Keyes for the Senate.

From a debate with Alan Keyes

And as I have stated unequivocally, I have always thought that we did the right thing in Afghanistan. My only concerns with respect to Afghanistan was that we diverted our attention from Afghanistan in terms of moving into Iraq, and I think would could have done a better job of stabilizing that country than we have in providing assistance to the Afghani people.

But I think that all of us, Republican and Democrat, should be rooting for the Afghani people and making sure that we are providing them the support to make things happen. With respect to Iraq, I think it’s going to be a tougher play. But, again, I don’t think any of us should be rooting for failure in Iraq at this point. This is no longer George Bush’s war, this is our war, and we all have a stake in it.

But, you know, the analogy that I use is that, you know, if a driver of a car, your car, drives it into a ditch, there are only so many ways to pull it out. And so, John Kerry is going to be doing many similar things to what George Bush is doing in terms of making sure that we do the best we can in Iraq.

That doesn’t mean we don’t fire the driver, and it doesn’t mean that we don’t examine carefully what lead us to be in this ditch in the first place. I think it was a bad strategic blunder–and as I said, that’s not simply my estimation. That’s the estimation of a number of Republicans.

Who won the debate according to the Daily Kos?

At the moment:

Who do you think won the debate?
Hillary Clinton 7% 246 votes
Barack Obama 92% 2868 votes

| 3114 votes

It will end up 86-87 Obama there.

This morning:


Who do you think won the debate?
Hillary Clinton 10% 1141 votes
Barack Obama 89% 10236 votes

| 11377 votes

What about MSNBC?

Who won the debate? * 15088 responses
Hillary Clinton won. 22%
Barack Obama won. 65%
Neither won. 13%

Some videos:

A fact check:

Here is one moment where Clinton fell very very flat by trying to jump in:

At time, I thought she was going to say, “this is dumb”; let’s move on but instead she came in trying to say “hey, I am better on this issue than him” and it blew back on her. She could have looked presidential, and instead looked like a weak student council president candidate!

Olberman: He more than held his own!!!! 🙂

Some of these snippets will be funny.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, obama, politics/social | 3 Comments

Obama vs. Clinton in Cleveland

Tonight’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is being eagerly looked forward to by those of us on the Daily Kos; the question seems to be: “which Hillary Clinton” will we see?

Some are saying that this is “do or die” for her.

In my opinion: all Obama has to do is to play it cool, not lose his temper and just do what he has done over the past 19 debates. That’s it; the only way he loses this debate is to jump on the desk and scream. 🙂

My guess is that you’ll see that shy little smile, that cool “raising his finger as if he wants to be called on” and a few “Well, look,..uhh, ahhh, this, this, is, is……. an example of the same old politics of division that the public is tired of, blah, blah, blah..”

In terms of winning the primary, what Hillary Clinton does in this debate is all but irrelevant; though a good healthy “give ’em hell Hillary” tirade might gladden the hearts of the “Hillary is 44” crowd and probably broaden the margins for Obama a bit, and perhaps get her a SNL skit part.

I suppose that if she gives a good explanation of her nuanced stance on NAFTA (that it has good and bad sides, and we need to tweak it to help the bad sides become better), that might win her points from the pundits, but to be brutally honest, the nuances will go right over the heads of 80% of the public.

Obama can talk about the Illinois created Patriot Employer Act that he is pushing in the Senate; that ought to be popular in Ohio.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, obama, politics/social | 1 Comment

Enforced Humility

It is still dumping snow on us; I’ve cleared a part of our driveway and the sidewalk.

Due to my flu, the snow shoveling was actually an effort; not a hard effort but, an effort for me.

There are times when I get too full of myself (“hey, I can walk 100 miles!” (at least on a good day)) but all it takes is a relatively benign flu to knock me down a peg or two.

I don’t even want to think about those who get real diseases, such as cancer.

Bottom line: if I ever do 100 miles again (or swim 5K, etc.), I’ll have to remember that a big part of it is just good old fashioned “good luck”.

Something different:
In some sense, atheists and Christians aren’t that different:

I may be rabidly(?) pro Obama, but Clinton has her supporters too:

In the video clip, about midway though it, you can see Sis beating on her drums (white).

I suppose this means I’ll do more phone banking tomorrow night. 🙂

I did have a couple of the Wyoming voters call me back; they seemed surprised that I was making these calls on my own cell phone.

Arianna Huffington has an interesting opinion on things:

[…]Now let’s look at Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric and what is says about the campaign she’s run. It started with her absurd claim that her vote for the war was really a vote to send inspectors back in. The name of the bill? “The Joint Resolution To Authorize The Use Of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.” Saying it was about sending inspectors back in doesn’t mean that it is true that it was about sending inspectors back in.

And then how about the endless spinning trying to diminish Obama victory after Obama victory? Here was Penn: “Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn’t won any of the significant states — outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama.” Mark Penn calling Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, and Colorado, among others, not “significant” does not make them insignificant.

Or Clinton’s “35 years of experience.” She has had a distinguished record of public service, but it’s not in any way 35 years of government experience, unless you want to include her time at Yale Law school, or going door to door for George McGovern in Texas, or working at the Rose law firm in Arkansas as government experience. But her campaign seemed convinced that by repeating “35 years of experience” at every stop she would magically acquire that 35 years of experience.

But as the Bush administration has shown, believing your own words and not being able to see things as they are is not a good thing — either for a country or a campaign. The New York Times described some Clinton aides as “baffled that a candidate who had been in the United States Senate for only three years and was a state lawmaker in Illinois before that was now outpacing a seasoned figure like Mrs. Clinton.”

As Matt Yglesias says:

“Whether or not you think the more ‘seasoned’ candidate ought to win presidential elections, it seems to me that any campaign staffer who could be genuinely ‘baffled’ by experience not proving to be a winning issue is demonstrating a scary ignorance of how things work. Is her staff baffled that Joe Biden didn’t win the nomination?”


But we’ll see; the last debate is tonight.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | hillary clinton, injury, obama, Peoria/local | 1 Comment

not much today

Workout notes slow 3 miles outside; sort of a stroll. Last of the dry road for a while; it is supposed to dump on us again (4-6 inches are forecast; we have a dusting as I write this). As far as my flu, I have a semi-productive cough and I have good and less good periods, though the fever and aches are gone. I still need the daytime cold/flu symptom tablets to function though.

I spent much of the day with one of our job candidates.

Ok, and I learned something about words. In my last post, I mentioned “Hillary’s mood swings” and someone thought I was taking a shot at women getting uncontrollably emotional during their periods; in fact I was trying to say that the recent shows of temper were the calculated outbursts of a political candidate.

So, I decided to see how Barbara would react to the title I had; sure enough she wrinkled her face in disapproval. She knows that I don’t think that women are moodier than anyone else; after all *I* am the moody one in our family, and in my family of origin, my father was the moody one.

Hence I’ve always associated moodiness with males!! 🙂

So, I am glad that I have changed the title; the “moody female” does act as sort of a “silent dog whistle” for some.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | injury | Leave a comment