Monday, March 31, 2008

Hillary Clinton Campaign is Not Paying It's Bills. Plus Other Campaign Highlights.

TPJ: There are reports that the Clinton campaign is strapped for cash and not able to pay some bills:

Hillary Rodham Clinton's cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles.

“A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her,” Vogel writes. “Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.”

TPJ: I thought that she was running as champion of the little guy and yet here we learn that she is screwing the little guy. According to the article many of the companies owed money are small vendors, small businesses who sorely need the money in these difficult economic times.

Today's Gallup poll has Obama leading Hillary Clinton nationally 52% to 42% which is a huge jump from a week ago when it was nearly tied, Obama with 47% to Clinton's 46%. In addition it shows that 59% of Democrats believe that Obama has a better chance at defeating McCain versus only 30% for Hillary. That is nearly a 30 point SPREAD!!! That is a HUGE signal to the super-delegates.

It suggests to me that his race and religion speech which he gave following the Reverend Wright flap has greatly helped him and put him back on track.

Meanwhile Barack appears to have won big in the second round of the Texas caucus selection of delegates:

With results available from about half of the district conventions held statewide, the Associated Press reported that Obama had won 59 percent of the delegates headed to the state party's June convention to Clinton’s 41 percent. That translates into 1,858 delegates for Obama and 1,270 for Clinton.

That result made it likely that when the delegate selection process is finally completed, Obama will have more Texas delegates to the national convention than Clinton, despite Clinton's having won the March 4 primary vote 51 to 47 percent. Under Texas' delegate selection process, 67 of its 206 delegates are selected by the June state party convention.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Violent Uprisings in Iraq Continue into the Weekend.

Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

So going into the sixth year of this war the Iraqi military and police STILL can't and won't fight on their own. In many cases defecting members are turning in their guns because they do not want to fight their Shia brothers.

Mr al-Maliki has gambled everything on the success of Operation Saulat al-Fursan, or Charge of the Knights, to sweep illegal militias out of Basra. In Baghdad, the Mahdi Army took over neighbourhood after neighbourhood, some amid heavy fighting, others without firing a shot.

In New Baghdad, militiamen simply ordered the police to leave their checkpoints: the officers complied en masse and the guerrillas stepped out of the shadows to take over their checkpoints.

In Baghdad, thousands of people marched in demonstrations in Shia areas demanding an end to the Basra operation, burning effigies of Mr al-Maliki, whom they branded a new dictator, and carrying coffins with his image on it.

Later Saturday, the military announced that two American soldiers had been killed by a roadside bomb in Shiite-controlled eastern Baghdad.

“Unfortunately we were expecting one thing but we saw something else,” said Ali Hussam, 48, a teacher, who said that after Saddam Hussein the people of Basra hoped for peace. “But unfortunately with the presence of this new government and this democracy that was brought to us by the invader it made us kill each other.”

“And the war is now between us,” he said.

TPJ: One resident of Basra who had worked as a translator with the British army had no hope for a stable Iraq after 5 years of war. "The police in Basra are useless and helping the Mahdi Army. The militia are hiding among the civilians. This country will never be safe, I want to leave for ever. I don’t know how to get out of this hell.”

A lot of experts that I have read are saying that the only reason Maliki is going after Sadr's army is because he fears losing power and control in the government to Sadr's party in the upcoming election. So-called, "Democracy" hasn't changed anything over-there, they still are using power to settle old rivalries and control the levers of government. Democracy is just seen as a new tool to gain an edge on long-time enemies.

This is an area of the world that has many different ethnic and religious groups that have fought for generations and will only stop when they are ready. We can artificially separate them with our "surge" troops and obtain a certain amount of stability but the rivalries still burn underneath and will outlast our resources to maintain that separation.

We think that we are the reason that violence has slowed but the real reason is because the various factions have established a fragile cease-fire and are now showing with this renewed violence of who is in charge. If they want to kill each other then they will and do find a way to battle and will always do so.

The BIG problem that many have refused to face is that most Iraqis are more loyal to their religious groups and clans than the government. It is fairly common in many parts of the world such as the Middle-East, Africa and parts of Asia. We naively think that citizens in every country get along and integrate into a greater society as easily as we do for the most part. In reality, the cohesive nature of modern Democracies are very rare in the vast scheme of things. In America we believe the world to be simple, black and white with a simple solution and answer to everything.

The American experiment has succeeded against the odds of historical patterns of shifting power blocks that constantly jockey for position from decade to decade and into the centuries. America is relatively young as countries go and so we haven't had enough history for major differences to form resulting in a series of wars. Whereas most of the old world has had centuries of history fighting wars over ancient and passionate differences.

The only time that we have had a real split amongst our countrymen was during the civil war and that was over a hundred and twenty some years now. Yet subtle grudges and rivalries still remain in the south. So imagine differences that have existed since the 600's and back to the Biblical era and you'll have a good idea why Iraqis have such a drive to fight for power and control of their land. This history of battles and fighting back and forth for power and control is even more passionate when you throw in the dedication of fighting for your religion which you see is your God's will. If you are fighting in the name of God then you are willing to go to any length to maintain the struggle and defeat your enemies.

In Iraqis haven't settled their ancient differences by now then how do we think that spending a decade or even a hundreds years as McCain wants will solve problems that have existed for century after century.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Uprisings in Southern Iraq Continue.

Iraqi security forces backed by the U.S. military is locked in a third day of Shia on Shia fighting in southern Iraq around the second most populated city of Basra. It has left 105 people dead and a key oil pipeline blown open.

The fighting is about control of the southern Shia area of Iraq between Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army and two other Shia factions--the powerful Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) of Abdel Aziz al-Hakim and the smaller Fadhila party. It is also about disagreements with how Prime Minister Maliki is running the government.

Sadr supporters in Baghdad staged large demonstrations calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Maliki. In the Sadr City section of Baghdad Mahdi army supporters took to the streets as well chanting, "Maliki you are a coward! Maliki is an American agent! Leave the government, Maliki! How can you strike Basra?"

Sadr himself has threatened to launch a full scale revolt if attacks against his militia do not cease and for his part, on Wednesday, Maliki has threatened serious consequences if the fighting does not stop in 72 hours. Sadr helped establish a cease fire in Iraq which combined with "the surge" of American forces has helped slow the violence. However, political infighting and deadlock has continued unabated within the government. To that end, Sadr's representatives walked out of parliament Tuesday to protest the crackdown in Basra.

Frustration and tension is high on all sides because of the unstable, corrupt, fiercely divided and dysfunctional government. This is the danger of a weak and ineffectual government. If the government can not work out differences and make progress then it is only natural that sides take up arms again because they see violence as the only way toward achieving their goals.

"The Surge" only works as long as people want to keep the peace but once the bottle is uncorked there isn't much that our military can do to stop another wave of civil unrest because the Iraqis outnumber our troops--that's easy to understand. If enough Iraqis want to go back into a full out battle in the streets it will be hard for the U.S. to keep a lid on things.

Meanwhile, President Peter Pan Bush living in Never-Never land (Washington D.C.) says the up-tick in violence shows that the U.S. military needs to stay in Iraq. Yet on the other hand he has said that we need to stay too because "the surge" has shown some signs of success in stemming the violence. So in other words, no matter what, we need to stay. Bush has never cared if his policies make sense to his employers, the American people.

As I've said before, If Bush wants to stay in Iraq so much I propose his Presidential library be built in the Sadr City of Baghdad.

As for John McBush, er McCain, he too wants to stay in Iraq so long that I'm just waiting for him to advocate making Iraq our 51st state.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary Clinton, Michigan Delegates, Electoral College, the Bosnia Lie and Reverend Wright.

First it was the discounted Michigan primary where Hillary said before the date that it didn't matter that her name was on the ballot because the delegates wouldn't count anyway.

However when it was clear that she needed those delegates she all of a sudden became concerned that Michigan was being disenfranchised even though they broke the party rules. She shamelessly is advocating the counting of those delegates and wants us to believe that being behind in all the measures of this primary campaign has nothing to do with it.

Now recently the Clinton's are talking up the electoral college as a metric in giving them the nomination even though they are behind in the popular vote, the number of states won and the number of delegates won. Clinton shill Senator Evan Bayh is really talking this creative math up:

“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

So far, Mrs. Clinton has won states with a total of 219 Electoral College votes, not counting Florida and Michigan, while Mr. Obama has won states with a total of 202 electoral votes.

“Presidential elections are decided on electoral votes,” a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Howard Wolfson, said in an e-mail message.

But Mr. Wolfson said superdelegates would also be looking at the popular vote when determining which candidate to support.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said that the idea of using the Electoral College as a metric was specious because the Democratic nominee, regardless of whom it was, would almost certainly win California and New York.

TPJ: Yet what has Hillary herself had to say about the value of the Electoral College?

(AP) Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton began a victory tour of upstate New York Friday by calling for elimination of the Electoral College.

At an airport news conference, the first lady said she would support legislation seeking a constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of the president.

"We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago," Clinton said. "I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it's time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president."

TPJ: This week we have seen the video of Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea walking calmly in Bosnia and greeted warmly by a welcoming ceremony. Yet she has stated several times in this election that she had to run to their cars, dodging sniper fire as well as saying that there was no welcoming ceremony there in Bosnia. Check out the video footage comparing her comments with the actual footage:
So given that she has been caught in a whopper of a lie regarding the visit she is now trying to shift the conversation back to the Reverend Wright issue after not commenting much on the matter for a week. She said that you can't chose your family but you can chose your pastor. Oh really? So you're saying that you had no choice but stay with Bill after the Lewinsky affair?

I forgive her for that Bosnia mistake but it is not a single instance, there has been a pattern of exaggeration from her and that is the bigger issue (see my previous post). So will the real Hillary please stand up? Yet how would we know who the real Hillary is even if she did stand up? Does she even know who the real Hillary is?

PHOTO CREDIT: Charles Dharapak, Associated Press.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Experience Exaggerations are Chronic it Seems. Plus, James Carville Calls Richardson, "Judas."

By now most of you have probably heard Hillary Clinton's harrowing account of going into Bosnia. However, this video tells a very different story:
Not only was it much, MUCH safer than she claimed, it was safe enough for her to take her child--Chelsea!!! Hillary's camp is now saying that she "misspoke" but the details were so vivid that it is hard to believe that this was simply some slip of the tongue. Especially when at the end she says, "Now that is what happened." Sounds pretty definitive to me that those were the exact words she wanted to use. But this isn't the first time, she said twisted the facts beyond the breaking point in regards to her ample, "experience."

In relation to her "Bosnia bravery" she claimed to have "negotiated open borders" while in Macedonia for Kosovar refugees. However, that border opened a day before Mrs. Clinton arrived.

Hillary Clinton has criticized Barack Obama saying that all he has are speeches and yet her supposed experience in regards to China amounted to nothing but, wait for it--a speech at a women's conference. Don't get me wrong, I think that woman's issues are important but hardly a foreign policy, " phone call" crisis.

She has claimed that she helped broker the peace deal in Northern Ireland called, "The Good Friday Accords" when she didn't have much of anything to do with it. She did not have any direct role in the talks in the least.

Then in regards to Rwanda, Bill and Hillary claim that she privately sought to bring U.S. troops to the country to help stem the violence. There is no public record of this, however, and U.S. policy was absolutely against troops going to the African country. In addition, top officials in the administration at the time say that the idea of putting U.S. troops into Rwanda was never even considered. So even if Hillary have that private opinion, it certainly didn't sway policy in any way.

I guess that this all is what she means by "passing the commander-in-chief" test? If so, it appears that she cheated.

Yet more and more details as to just how far Hillary "Pinocchio" Clinton is willing to go to get the nomination and presidency.

Meanwhile, James Carville Clinton loyalist called Bill Richardson "Judas" for backing Sen. Obama in the primary race. Judas of course being the guy who supposedly sold out Jesus to his enemies for a little money. So does that mean that Hillary is Jesus? I just saw Carville on CNN and he refused to apologize for comparing Richardson to one of the most infamous characters in history.

This just backs up the narrative that the Clinton's will trash anyone who dares not support them. In other words, how dare Richardson have an opinion of his own!! Everyone knows that Hillary is owed this election!!! What a load of diarrhea.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Four Thousand American Troops Killed in Iraq. Happy Easter John McCain. Ya Bastard!!!

BAGHDAD — The shelling started just before 6 a.m., mortar fire shaking buildings and sending early risers in the Green Zone here running for shelter. Sirens went off, and loudspeakers blared, “Duck and cover! Duck and cover!” A thick column of gray smoke rose above the embassies and government buildings in the area.

Sunday was one of the fiercest and most sustained attacks on the Green Zone in the past year, and it ushered in a day of violence that claimed the lives of at least 51 Iraqi civilians and soldiers, including two children.

TPJ: Put that big bloody mess in your east basket McCain.

This on top of an up tick in American soldier deaths. On March 10th five soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber and four days before that scores of Iraqis were killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad.

Four soldiers were killed between Friday and Saturday.

Back on March 12th a tal of to twelve soldiers were killed in three days.

But, but but!!! John "100 Years in Iraq" McCain said that violence was down!!! We simply CAN NOT let this man be elected if want to get out of Iraq and move away from the Bush domestic policies.

UPDATE: The death toll of American soldiers has officially hit the grim milestone of 4,000 with the demise of four soldiers killed in a roadside bomb. Just wait until Sadr decides to end his cease fire as will likely occur this summer as tensions are rising between Shia factions. The blood of every single one of these soldiers is on the hands of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and so many others. I guess the spin of this number that will come from Rush Limbaugh and others will be that it's supporting our economy by keeping KBR and other contractor vampires making money off the war. Just like Cheney's reply to a reporter when confronted about the number of Americans that oppose the war and want to bring our troops home I'm sure he will at some point say about this milestone, "So?"

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Barack Obama, Rev. Wright Story Over-Blown and the Bill Richardson Endorsement.

The Rev. Wright story has been so far blown out of proportion at this point that it's really becoming an annoying distraction especially to see the vulture like press play the few controversial comments from Wright that are known on a loop. I have seen them dozens of times today in my watching of various cable news outlets and only 2-3 snippets of Obama's wonderful response speech to the "guilt by association" accusations thrown at him due to those comments by the Reverend.

Not one agency has played that speech in it's entirety (after the day he gave it) but the amount of time that they have devoted to playing the Wright clips must be close to how long it would have taken to play the full Obama speech. Which was an excellent speech. It turns out that a big reason for Gov. Richardson's endorsement of Barack was because of this very speech showing that Obama can unify the country. More on the Richardson endorsement below. If you haven't seen it yet in its entirety then here it is:
As I've said before there is no reason to think that Obama agrees with any of the controversial things that his former Reverend has stupidly said. What are people afraid of in regards to this story? What damage does this do to Obama that would negatively affect an Obama administration? Is there really any logical or detrimental reason why this connection should preclude Barack as president. Or is this as I suspect an overblown story simply something to trigger irrational fear of the Senator? Do people think that Obama is secretly a Malcolm X character who would turn the White House into a radical center of violent "Black Power" with Black Panther types dominating his administration? That somehow this means that he is going to go abroad and sellout America? Come people, don't you think this kind of fear about his connections to Rev. Wright to be a little, just a tad irrational?

So the man showed some bad judgment in his relations with this guy but this is just one incident of such judgment. His judgment for the most part has been excellent, unassailable and sound. We place some unrealistic standards for the man that somehow he is supposed to be perfect and that if we find a blemish it means that he is totally unacceptable to be president. Folks he is just a man like all of us with imperfections and weaknesses--it's not like he is a prophet or something. Give the man a break!! Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Anyone who refuses to vote for Barack Obama because of his association with a man who has said some stupid and offensive things was most likely just looking for a reason to vote against the man in the first place. It is beyond absurd to think that Barack Obama hates America or whatever outlandish accusations are flying around the "internets (as Bush calls it)" about him.

When it comes down to the root of it, do we want the main issue in determining the outcome of this campaign to be whether or not Obama agreed with these controversial statements or not? That seems like a trivial reason not to vote for the guy. I for one would rather this campaign be about the more serious issues that are much more important than some stupid pastor. We are facing some scary times and need someone with a steady hand who can balance such heavy issues without becoming over-whelmed. I think that many on the right are beating this story like a drum because they are looking for a scapegoat and a distraction to try and get people to avoid looking at the disastrous policies of Bush and the Republicans.

This Rev. isn't going to swear Obama into office or anything. On a side note, of course he doesn't believe that America should be damned to hell!!! Why would be he running for President of the U.S.A if he didn't have pride in this country? And to think that he is running as a stealth candidate is beyond tin-foil hat conspiracy theory time. If you believe that he is a stealth candidate that will somehow tear down America to make it weak or something via a race revolution because of these random statements by his pastor then you are beyond my convincing.Today Obama picked up a strong endorsement from former presidential candidate Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. This is good for Obama on a couple of fronts. First it helps bolster confidence that Barack can handle foreign policy and international, diplomatic affairs. The Governor should know about who is ready for such issues as he has a long, successful resume on being an ambassador abroad and negotiating the release of political prisoners. He knows that we need someone with the ability to remain calm in the most complicated affairs. Richardson knows the importance and the effectiveness of talking with our enemies and so should the Republicans if they honestly respect the image of Ronald Reagan who held strong to the policy of diplomacy and containment with the USSR during the Cold War. A policy that helped build trust and help end the stand-off.

When have you seen Obama lose his temper and display abrasive, condescending behavior during this primary? I sure haven't but I have seen Hillary lose her temper and patience with people way too much for me to be comfortable with her as our Ambassador abroad and McCain is the worst, his temper is well known to border on rage. He has also often shown unacceptable behavior when relating to other leaders within our government by cussing them out and calling them childish, immature names. He seems to share the cowboy attitude of shoot first and ask questions later, or not at all which is the dangerous behavior that we have had to pay for during the Bush years. Like I said, McCain=third Bush term.

Richardson is saying this of Obama, "once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America's moral leadership in the world." Richardson went on saying, He said Obama possesses "the judgment and courage we need in a commander-in-chief when our nation's security is on the line." The endorsement also gives Barack another super delegate.

It is a blow to the Clinton campaign as Richardson has had long-time ties with them and served in the Bill Clinton administration in several roles. It is also a blow to the Clinton's because Richardson's endorsement sends a calming message to other somewhat restless super-delegates that indeed Sen. Obama is the most electable. To that end, Richardson could be instrumental in helping Barack win the swing state of New Mexico in the general election should he win the Democratic nomination. In addition it might help Barack win the Latino community in the fall.

Let us hope that John Edwards will follow the lead of Richardson.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

5 Years of Shock and No Awe.

After 5 years in Iraq we are less safe than we were before the Iraqi invasion and occupation. There are more terrorists than before and al-Qaeda is reforming in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In regards to Pakistan, it is of more concern than Iraq because it is a country that has nuclear weapons.Our soldiers are desperately needed in those areas to hunt down al-qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Iraq is an internal dispute more than anything. Yes, al-Qaeda has been a threat there but the Sunni leaders have turned on them and would never let them take control of their country. Iraq is a civil war and we can not solve that for them. As Chris Matthews says, we are in quicksand over there and when you're in quicksand it's hard to stabilize the quicksand to pull yourself up out of it. I don't always agree with Matthews but more often than not I do, like with this statement.

The surge has helped somewhat but violence is now on the rise again, some one hundred Iraqis and nearly a dozen U.S. soldiers killed in the last few weeks. Part of the reduction in violence is because of ethnic cleansing in mixed Sunni and Shia neighborhoods and in result Sunnis have moved to mostly Sunni neighborhoods and Shia moved to mostly Shia neighborhoods. So the violence might have slowed but Iraqis are still divided.On this grim anniversary we have lost 4,000 of our brave young and women with nothing much to show for it. Twenty-five thousand more troops have been wounded. Our veterans administration is still poorly equipped to help those wounded in both staff and funding. The sad irony is that these brave injured soldiers aren't getting the help that they need because the money needed is pouring back into the war zone that saw them injured in the first place!! And the more money, the longer the war goes on and the more numbers of killed and wounded increase. It's a vicious circle that needs to be stopped.It's 5 yeas later and the Iraqis still cannot build a stable and functioning government. It's five years later and corruption in the government is still endemic.
It's 5 years later and Iran has nearly as much influence in Iraq as American does. Iran is pumping tons of money into the country to help rebuild the Shia community. It's five years later and it appears that Iran is the only winner of the conflict.

5 years later and 500 BILLION dollars and counting lost from our economy which is hemorrhaging at an alarming rate. That is money that could have been used to create new jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure and building new schools. It is money that could have been used to shore up social security and Medicare.

It is money that could have been used to give tax cuts to the middle class and not the wealthy. It is money that we wouldn't have had to borrow from China and India which has ballooned our national deficit. It's money that could have helped keep people in their homes.

The war in Iraq and our poor economy cannot be separated, they are two sides of the same coin.

It's five years later and there is no end is sight unless we elected a Democrat, hopefully Barack Obama.

I send a heartfelt thank-you out to all our troops who are and have served in the Iraq war and the veterans of all previous wars.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Analysis of Obama's Speech on Rev. Wright's Comments.

I just finished watching Barack Obama's fabulous speech addressing not only Rev. Wright's outrageous comments but also race and poverty in America in general. Here is the video of the speech:
He raised the bar to address all races including whites who have faced hardships that are just as much about poverty as race because poverty is an equal opportunity oppressor--regardless of race. Obama could have walked away from this opportunity to heal these wounds and just take the safe road but Obama is not the typical politician. He has a way of broadening the conversation to include everyone so that as a community we can all recognize that no one is perfect and that we can come together despite our environmental conditionings.

Obama has time and time again walked fearlessly straight into the face of issues that most of America is squeamish to speak about. He didn't just simply condemn the Rev's comments but went one step further and eloquently said that he also disagrees with the context of said comments that hint that America can not change. Such a statement wonderfully underlined why his campaign is centered upon bringing change, not only to the government but to the overall consciousness of America. Here is one of the most poignant parts of the speech that I found:

He had earlier used a similar theme in acknowledging that some people would be disappointed with his rebuke of Wright. “Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough,’’ he said. Instead, Obama cast that path as politically expedient.

“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community,” Obama said. “I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

TPJ: For those of us who are religious, have you ever disagreed with something that your pastor, cleric, rabbi or monk has said? I know I have as a Buddhist. I don't agree with everything that I have heard said in the Buddhist community but I don't cast off Buddhism as a whole, nor my teacher. For the non-religious, have you ever disagreed with your family members over stupid statements before? Of course but most of us usually don't disown them unless of course they berate us on a daily basis and abuse us in other ways. However, most of the time offensive or insulting statements from our family members come from places of ignorance of just plain stupidity. And who amongst us hasn't said something dumb ourselves?

This is because we are all imperfect and say bone-headed things from time to time and if we all separated ourselves from those we sometimes disagree with, no one would have any relationship with anyone else!! We would live in a world where everyone would be isolated from others and I am willing to forgive Geraldine Ferraro's comments so that we can move forward back to the issues that matter most. Obama always finds a way to put aside the divisions of the past and bring us back to the issues at hand and you mean to tell me that he is not ready to be president which is a job that requires having the ability to unite others like no other job in America? He tipifies the phrase, "Cooler heads prevail."

Speaking of that issue I think it is important to speak more about how calm and collected Obama is no matter the situation. Even in the face of these comments from his paster he is able to lower the temperature and address the underlying issues at hand instead of snapping back in anger at his critics like so many politicians have done and do. He has the steady hand that is needed to deal with the tough issues that a president faces. I can not see him losing his temper with other leaders like John McCain and George Bush have done time and time again.

Barack understands the importance of keeping the dialog on a respectful and hopeful level. His ability to bring new people to the political process and reach out to independents tells me that he would be more than capable and talented in bringing political leaders of other countries together to change the conversation. I want a leader that the world can respect and admire as someone that they can work with and Barack is the best candidate between Clinton and McCain to do just that. After 8 long years of being embarrassed of my president I would be proud to see a President Obama as our representative to the world. I can think of no other politician on the political stage here in America that is better to be our number one ambassador than Barack Obama.

One more thing about the controversial Rev. Wright, I find it breath-takingly hypocritical of the right-wing slamming Obama for being connected to this pastor when their politicians have been proudly embracing outlandish and offensive pastors for decades. At least Obama clearly has over and over distanced himself from the comments of Rev. Wright that are offensive. It seems that many of the right stay silent when conservative pastor after pastor say equally as offensive things because they don't want to alienate a large voting block in their party.

Here are a few other great snippets from the speech:

-But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright's sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It's that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

TPJ: Meanwhile, Iraq is heating up again with a series of bombings over the last week that have left hundreds of Iraqis dead and a handful of our soldiers killed as well.

---End of Transmission---

Monday, March 17, 2008

Music Video Monday: Radiohead, "Idioteque."

I've started a new feature over at my other blog, "Letters from the Sanitarium" called, "Music Video Monday." Today's offering is from one of my top 3 favorite bands, Radiohead. It's a song titled, "Idioteque." Check it out if you have some time. :)

Oh yeah and it's St. Patrick's Day so FUCK OFF IRISH!!! LONG LIVE SCOTLAND!!! You bastards stole the bag pipes and the kilts from us. Just kidding, there is a friendly rivalry between the Scots and the Paddy's so that's why I'm given those Shamrock kissing leprechauns a hard time but the truth of the matter is that both sides are a bunch of angry, drunk reprobates.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Iraq War is Draining Our Treasury and Preventing the U.S. Economy from Growing.

TPJ: This editorial appeared this morning in our local paper and I thought it was excellent and I wanted to share it with you. It's a little lengthy but well worth the read:

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no such thing as a free war. The Iraq adventure has seriously weakened the U.S. economy, whose woes now go far beyond loose mortgage lending. You can't spend $3 trillion -- yes, $3 trillion -- on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home.

Some people will scoff at that number, but we've done the math. Senior Bush administration aides certainly pooh-poohed worrisome estimates in the run-up to the war. Former White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey reckoned that the conflict would cost $100 billion to $200 billion; Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld later called his estimate "baloney." Administration officials insisted that the costs would be more like $50 billion to $60 billion.

In April 2003, Andrew S. Natsios, the thoughtful head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said on "Nightline" that reconstructing Iraq would cost the American taxpayer just $1.7 billion. Ted Koppel, in disbelief, pressed Natsios on the question, but Natsios stuck to his guns. Others in the administration, such as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, hoped that U.S. partners would chip in, as they had in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, or that Iraq's oil would pay for the damages.

The end result of all this wishful thinking? As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion, Iraq is not only the second longest war in U.S. history (after Vietnam), it is also the second most costly -- surpassed only by World War II.

Why doesn't the public understand the staggering scale of our expenditures? In part because the administration talks only about the upfront costs, which are mostly handled by emergency appropriations. (Iraq funding is apparently still an emergency five years after the war began.) These costs, by our calculations, are now running at $12 billion a month -- $16 billion if you include Afghanistan. By the time you add in the costs hidden in the defense budget, the money we'll have to spend to help future veterans, and money to refurbish a military whose equipment and materiel have been greatly depleted, the total tab to the federal government will almost surely exceed $1.5 trillion.

But the costs to our society and economy are far greater. When a young soldier is killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, his or her family will receive a U.S. government check for just $500,000 (combining life insurance with a "death gratuity") -- far less than the typical amount paid by insurance companies for the death of a young person in a car accident. The stark "budgetary cost" of $500,000 is clearly only a fraction of the total cost society pays for the loss of life -- and no one can ever really compensate the families. Moreover, disability pay seldom provides adequate compensation for wounded troops or their families. Indeed, in one out of five cases of seriously injured soldiers, someone in their family has to give up a job to take care of them.

But beyond this is the cost to the already sputtering U.S. economy. All told, the bill for the Iraq war is likely to top $3 trillion. And that's a conservative estimate.

President Bush tried to sell the American people on the idea that we could have a war with little or no economic sacrifice. Even after the United States went to war, Bush and Congress cut taxes, especially on the rich -- even though the United States already had a massive deficit. So the war had to be funded by more borrowing. By the end of the Bush administration, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the cumulative interest on the increased borrowing used to fund them, will have added about $1 trillion to the national debt.

The long-term burden of paying for the conflicts will curtail the country's ability to tackle other urgent problems, no matter who wins the presidency in November. Our vast and growing indebtedness inevitably makes it harder to afford new health-care plans, make large-scale repairs to crumbling roads and bridges, or build better-equipped schools. Already, the escalating cost of the wars has crowded out spending on virtually all other discretionary federal programs, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and federal aid to states and cities, all of which have been scaled back significantly since the invasion of Iraq.

To make matters worse, the U.S. economy is facing a recession. But our ability to implement a truly effective economic-stimulus package is crimped by expenditures of close to $200 billion on the two wars this year alone and by a skyrocketing national debt.

The United States is a rich and strong country, but even rich and strong countries squander trillions of dollars at their peril. Think what a difference $3 trillion could make for so many of the United States' -- or the world's -- problems. We could have had a Marshall Plan to help desperately poor countries, winning the hearts and maybe the minds of Muslim nations now gripped by anti-Americanism. In a world with millions of illiterate children, we could have achieved literacy for all -- for less than the price of a month's combat in Iraq. We worry about China's growing influence in Africa, but the upfront cost of a month of fighting in Iraq would pay for more than doubling our annual current aid spending on Africa.

Closer to home, we could have funded countless schools to give children locked in the underclass a shot at decent lives. Or we could have tackled the massive problem of Social Security, which Bush began his second term hoping to address; for far, far less than the cost of the war, we could have ensured the solvency of Social Security for the next half a century or more.

Economists used to think that wars were good for the economy, a notion born out of memories of how the massive spending of World War II helped bring the United States and the world out of the Great Depression. But we now know far better ways to stimulate an economy -- ways that quickly improve citizens' well-being and lay the foundations for future growth. But money spent paying Nepalese workers in Iraq (or even Iraqi ones) doesn't stimulate the U.S. economy the way that money spent at home would -- and it certainly doesn't provide the basis for long-term growth the way investments in research, education or infrastructure would.

Another worry: This war has been particularly hard on the economy because it led to a spike in oil prices. Before the 2003 invasion, oil cost less than $25 a barrel, and futures markets expected it to remain around there. (Yes, China and India were growing by leaps and bounds, but cheap supplies from the Middle East were expected to meet their demands.) The war changed that equation, and oil prices recently topped $100 per barrel.

While Washington has been spending well beyond its means, others have been saving -- including the oil-rich countries that, like the oil companies, have been among the few winners of this war. No wonder, then, that China, Singapore and many Persian Gulf emirates have become lenders of last resort for troubled Wall Street banks, plowing in billions of dollars to shore up Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and other firms that burned their fingers on subprime mortgages. How long will it be before the huge sovereign wealth funds controlled by these countries begin buying up large shares of other U.S. assets?

The Bush team, then, is not merely handing over the war to the next administration; it is also bequeathing deep economic problems that have been seriously exacerbated by reckless war financing. We face an economic downturn that's likely to be the worst in more than a quarter-century.

Until recently, many marveled at the way the United States could spend hundreds of billions of dollars on oil and blow through hundreds of billions more in Iraq with what seemed to be strikingly little short-run impact on the economy. But there's no great mystery here. The economy's weaknesses were concealed by the Federal Reserve, which pumped in liquidity, and by regulators that looked away as loans were handed out well beyond borrowers' ability to repay them. Meanwhile, banks and credit-rating agencies pretended that financial alchemy could convert bad mortgages into AAA assets, and the Fed looked the other way as the U.S. household-savings rate plummeted to zero.

It's a bleak picture. The total loss from this economic downturn -- measured by the disparity between the economy's actual output and its potential output -- is likely to be the greatest since the Great Depression. That total, itself well in excess of $1 trillion, is not included in our estimated $3 trillion cost of the war.

Others will have to work out the geopolitics, but the economics here are clear. Ending the war, or at least moving rapidly to wind it down, would yield major economic dividends.

As we head toward November, opinion polls say that voters' main worry is now the economy, not the war. But there's no way to disentangle the two. The United States will be paying the price of Iraq for decades to come. The price tag will be all the greater because we tried to ignore the laws of economics -- and the cost will grow the longer we remain.

Linda J. Bilmes, a former chief financial officer at the Commerce Department, teaches at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Joseph E. Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton. They are co-authors of "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton: The Michigan and Florida Elections were Fair???

The turmoil over the Michigan and Florida delegates/elections continues and Hillary of course wants the delegates from the unofficial primaries already held in those two states to count AS IS!!!

She flat out is saying the results of those elections were "fair!!!!" How is it fair when in Michigan you only had Hillary on the ballot with "uncommitted." Voting for "uncommitted" isn't voting for Barack Obama, those votes don't count toward Obama, it simply means you're voting, "unsure."

Hillary calling her Michigan win "fair" is like the old Soviet Communist Party calling the elections of their leaders as "fair" when they were the only choice on the ballot!!! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not accusing her of being a communist, I'm just saying that it is irresponsible and unscrupulous to say that the Michigan election was fair.

The same goes for Florida but to a lesser degree, no one campaigned there and everyone knew that the results wouldn't count so how many people just stayed home rather than vote? How do we know for sure that Hillary would have won if it was a legitimate election and even if she still would have won, how do we know that her margin of victory wouldn't have been less thus giving Obama more delegates than he "gained" in the unofficial election? That is an important point and valid issue to raise as every vote/delegate counts in this tight race.

As you regular readers know, I am first and foremost advocating holding Michigan and Florida accountable for their own actions for breaking the rules. They knew the consequences by moving ahead with their unsanctioned elections. However, all that being said the only way that these two states should be able to seat delegates at the convention should be via a revote but how the particulars of that vote are ironed out remains to be seen.

One thing is sure, it must be fair across the board. I have heard some talk of Hillary surrogates Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania saying that they'd raise the necessary money. That seems a little questionable as the money would be coming from just one side, it seems to leave too much room for bias. Perhaps that's not a big issue but it seems to me that to avoid any hint of bias toward either campaign, it should be either paid by the states of Michigan and Florida or by the Democratic National Party.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hillary the Hypocrite and Obama Wins Mississippi as well as Texas Caucuses.

Geraldine Ferraro (left).

Barack Obama won big in Mississippi with 61% to 37% picking up 17 more delegates to increase his lead in delegates and in the popular vote. It turns out as well that Obama has officially won the Texas caucus giving him an additional 38 of the Lone Star state's delegates.

But the top story today is the disgusting comments of Geraldine Ferraro who is on the Clinton campaign's financial committee that Obama wouldn't be in the lead of this Democratic primary contest if he wasn't black (The following italicized sentences are sarcasm) This is so true, it is so easy for a black man to win higher office in this country. There have been so many black presidents and governors. There are so many black CEO's. Black men are so privileged in our white, protestant society, it's the poor white people who get screwed. These are the kind of politics that Obama is talking about changing.

Despite being on Clinton's financial committee these comments are especially disturbing as Ferraro was the first woman to be selected as a vice-presidential candidate in 1984. She has faced discrimination herself and so for her to make these vile, divisive, race bating comments particularly ugly. So far all that Hillary has said about these gutter ball comments is that she "disagrees" with them, which makes her a hypocrite. Why? Because during one of the last debates she jumped on controversial figure Louis Farrakhan's statement that he supported Barack Obama.

She said in that debate that it wasn't enough that Obama rejected those comments but that he needed to denounce them too, Obama rightly did so. Hillary made a big deal of this despite that fact that Farrakhan wasn't apart of his campaign and that all he said was that he supported Obama. Barack Obama doesn't have control over who supports him but he immediately distanced himself from Farrakhan anyway. Yet now you have these race baiting comments from a major player in Clinton's campaign and she not only doesn't fire her but doesn't reject AND denounce her comments as she pushed Obama to do.

Then there was the Obama campaign staffer who called Hillary a "monster" and Obama rightly fired her immediately. Hillary the hypocrite rides again!! And of course all the media is talking about is the Elliot Spitzer story. It is a story about the governor of New York and while that is a powerful position, the president of the country is a bigger story in my mind. We're talking about who will be the next PRESIDENT, not who is going to be the next governor of New York. Not to mention the news not covering the primary win that Obama scored yesterday.

But I want to switch her comments around, suppose someone in Obama's campaign said that the only reason Hillary got so far in the presidential race was because she was a woman--the Clinton campaign and supporters would go ballistic, and rightly so!! There is a double standard here it seems to me but that is par for the course by now with Hillary. Why people still support her campaign and continue to vote for her after all her shifty, disgusting tactics is beyond understanding for me. She has no shame and she doesn't give a shit what people think about that--remind you of a certain President with a "W" in his name? I hope that Hillary moves quickly to let Ferraro go from her campaign but I'm not holding my breath given the Clinton campaign's former actions.

If Hillary somehow wins this nomination I don't think I can vote for her in good conscious and I will most likely vote Green. Besides, I would rather sacrifice this election than elect her and have to listen to 4-8 years of ugliness between the Clinton's and Republicans. I had enough of that childish back and forth in the 90's thank-you very much. Besides that though, I don't want to watch her bully people around and force her agenda down everyone's throat. I just refuse to reward her kind of campaigning. I'm not a Democrat after all anyway, I'm an Independent liberal and I'm not one of these people who can hold their nose and vote for the "lesser of two evils." I'm tired of having to do that. The days of voting party line are over for me. I refuse to be enslaved to the Democratic party.

UPDATE: Ferraro just resigned from the Clinton financial committee. That was the right thing to do, she was becoming too much of a distraction for Hillary.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Bill Clinton: Obama Can't Win in Rural Areas, Not Ready On Day One but Ready On Day Two?

I'm sure you've heard about this story by now about Bill Clinton saying that Hillary would grant Obama the wonderful grace and honor of allowing Barack to serve as her vice president even though he's ahead in the race. Yep, more arrogance from the Clinton's, here's the full quote from Bill:

"She said yesterday and she said the day after her big wins in Texas and Ohio and Rhode Island that she was very open to that and I think she answered explicitly 'Yes' yesterday," said Clinton during a Mississippi campaign appearance.

"I know that she has always been open to it, because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he's brought in and the people in these vast swaths of small town and rural America that she's carried overwhelmingly, if you had those two things together she thinks it'd be hard to beat."

He added that, in his view, Obama would win the "urban areas and the upscale voters" while Clinton claims "the traditional rural areas that we lost when President Reagan was president. If you put those two things together, you'd have an almost unstoppable force."

First of all I find it insulting that the scheming Clinton's have been unfairly and unrelentlessly attacking Obama saying that he's naive and not ready to lead and make the tough decisions. YET. Yet, they want him to be her vice president, again even though she's behind by all markers. They think he is "adequate" to be her second in command and able to take over and make those difficult decisions should something happen to a "President Hillary."

So let me get this straight, they're saying that he's not capable to be president while on the campaign trail but are also contradicting themselves and saying that she would be "o.k." with him being a heartbeat away from that very position that they say he's not ready for?!! He's not ready on day one but he's ready for day two?? Typical Clintonian doube-talk.

Of course he dominates in the urban, big city areas (So he wins the large populated areas but isn't supposedly good in the big states??). And this talk of him not being able to get votes in rural areas is total and complete propaganda. He has won states like: Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Idaho, Colorado (my home state) Utah, North Dekota, Kentucky, Kansas and Wyoming for shit's sake!!! These states have very large rural areas and are mostly white so Bill's breakdown is full of the cow shit that you find in large amounts in these states. They're professional con-artists.

Then there is this irony. The girl featured in the now infamous "3A.M. ad" supports, wait for it--Barack Obama and she's not very happy that her image is being used by the Clinton campaign, "While I love Hillary, I would much rather hear Barack Obama's voice at the other end of the phone at 3am."

5th year of the Iraq war and occupation:

In nearly 9 days to the day, 5 soldiers were killed today in Iraq as the 5th anniversary of the Iraq war is marked. It was only a few days before that another suicide bomber blew himself up in a large crowd killing many. So the idea that Iraq is somehow stable is sprinkling pixie dust on a big, stinking pile of dog shit.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Obama Takes Wyoming, Has Mississippi in His Sights as Clinton Slams the Magnolia State.

Not surprisingly Barack Obama has handily won the Wyoming caucus 59% to 40% which now means that he's won half of the 50 states. When you look at the above map of the United States it is a sea of Obama purple. How does that not mean something to many of these talking heads that just bitch and harp on how Obama isn't negative enough!! Huh?? Does America really want to be told, "No don't bother hoping for a better tomorrow, life sucks and it always will. Elect me and I'll force people to do whatever I say and it will be for your own good?" Because that is exactly what Hillary's message is about--and that was Bush's message too!!"

Meanwhile the great state of Mississippi is coming up and Obama has a very big lead, 58% to 34% there. And some of Hillary's comments about that Magnolia State have been quite insulting which is her usual tactic. Check 'em out:

In October, Clinton told the Des Moines Register newspaper that "I was shocked when I learned Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress. There has got to be something at work here...when you look at the numbers, how can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That's not what I see. That's not the quality. That's not the communitarianism. That's not the openness I see in Iowa."

I am so tired of and her snide remarks. I hope that she will give up--and soon, then move away to some remote island where we will never hear from her again but that is very wishful thinking, I know. I sure love to fantasize about it though. She will never give up and will (and is) dragging Obama (our likely nominee) and just maybe the Democrats chance to win the White House down with her. It's immature, selfish and tells you a lot about how much she actually cares about the Democratic Party and the good of the country in general.

She just wants to win, that's all she cares about. She wants the power and when she isn't getting it she institutes the "bomb Dresden" game plane, scored Earth. She's like a little kid who whines when they're losing at a game and complain to the parents (the super delegates/party insiders/media) who then tell the other kids to, "just let her win."

Let me make this very clear: I. do. not. like. her. at .all--never have and certainly never will after this sad display that's she's put on during this primary process. I hope that she knows that in dragging down our likely nominee that she is ruining her already stained image/legacy but she's doesn't give a rat's ass about that as long as she gets the power. She's greedy and I don't trust her any further than I can throw her.

Obama needs his surrogates to punch her straight in the mouth and fight back against her below the belt punches.

Look, the bottom line people is that Obama is the most electable and has cross-over appeal.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Florida, Michigan Delegates Dilemma.

As we know, there has been a lot of back and forth about whether to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates who were "elected" in primaries that were deemed invalid by the Democratic Party. These two states where told that if they moved their election dates up in the primary calendar that they would be punished by the party for not following party rules and that their delegates would not be legitimate.

Here is my opinion. The reason behind a political party is to organize people who share similar ideologies, opinions, principles, visions and interests. A political party formulates a certain structure and coalition to maximize the collective shared individual views in order to gain political office to dictate policy.

These parties create rules and regulations to maintain that coalition and maximum power. It's rules and regulations are somewhat similar to laws of the states and federal governments to maintain order and organization. Without rules and regulations a political parties coalition would fall apart and therefore the party would be more likely to disintegrate into different factions and splinter groups.

So with all this being said, I do not support the view that the Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated at the Democratic convention in Denver. That is because they violated the rules with full knowledge of what the consequences would be. This is tragic for the voters for those states because they were abandoned and "thrown under the bus" by their the Florida and Michigan Democratic state parties. It is, however, not the fault of the overall party which represents all the states of the union that these two states decided to do their own thing. There must be enforcement of the rules or else chaos would ensue and each state would decide to follow their own rules. Thus, the above mentioned breakup of the party would be more likely to ensue. There must be order to maintain the power and order of the collective voters of a certain party.

It is not fair to the rest of the states who followed the rules to accommodate two states who broke the rules. It is a dangerous precedent to allow state parties to break the rules but then given another chance after complaining that they were disenfranchised. They knew full well that they would be disenfranchied when they made the original decision to break with the national party!!

Imagine that you have say five children and three of the five (the majority of states) obeyed the rules of the household (The DNC) as determined by the parents (The DNC officials). Then two of the kids (Florida and Michigan) break the rules but don't want to face the consequences of their actions. In keeping with the example, suppose after a bunch of whining and complaining that you allow the two kids who broke the rules to not have to pay for their actions. This would enrage the three kids who didn't disobey and they would feel upset and rightly so. They would feel that the two other kids received special treatment and would send the example that the rules don't have to be followed in the future.

At that point all five of the kids would want to make their own rules and when chastised say to the parents that if the two other kids could break the rules then so could they. The parents would lose their power to maintain structure and respect of their authority would be shattered. At that point the family would fall into severe dysfunction. See what I'm getting at?

Then there is the problem of seating the delegates without a redo because Hillary was the only one on the ballot in Michigan and no one was allowed to run in either state. Seating those delegates despite those problems would be undemocratic in the least. Now you might say that not allowing the two states to revote is undemocratic but I'd say that it is not because they didn't follow the rules. If you don't follow the rules of an election and say try to vote twice but get caught, you can't come back and scream that not counting your vote at all as punishment for you disobedience is undemocratic!!!

Speaking of rerunning those elections, I am quite disturbed about that view because again, it shows that rules don't apply. But perhaps more importantly, what would keep other states from wanting to have a "redo?" What would keep the Obama campaign from saying that they want to rerun elections that they barely lost such as California and Texas? How could the national party grant the two states who didn't follow the rules another chance but not the other states?

Yes, it is tragic that the state parties of Michigan and Florida screwed their own voters but that's not the fault of everyone else!!! The right thing to do is get in the face of those state party officials who used their voters as pawns.

This all makes me wonder if the Clinton campaign would want these delegates to be seated if they had lost those two states? If Barack had won those two states I would still be against seating those delegates or having a redo because the rule of law should be sacrosanct in a Democracy.

The only thing that is fair is to split those delegates 50/50.

I'm telling you and the Democratic Party right now that if this goes ahead, I will never forgive the party and most likely switch to a Greenie for good. I am already an Independent from other issues that I've had with some elected Democrats but I still mostly vote Democrat. However, mark my words, is this happens it will be the end of the Democratic Party. If you are as outraged as I am that the national party is even considering these two options then I suggest that you email/write to the DNC and tell them that how you feel.

UPDATE: Have you heard that the Clinton campaign is comparing Obama to Ken Starr because he criticized her for not releasing her tax returns?!!! The obvious is that this is an absurd, below the belt typically Clintonian attack. In addition though I wonder if the Clinton's really want to bring up the Ken Starr specter. Do they really want to crack that book open again?

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Despite Loses for Obama He Still Leads in Delegates. Plus, Bush Embraces McCain.

Hillary Clinton had a good night in Ohio and Rhode Island but Hillary was expected to win in R.I. And Texas was so close that it was basically a wash.

The main thing is that Obama is ahead in the delegate count. As long as he can keep that lead then he'll be the nominee. A lead is a lead.

The thing that I find amusing is that they are saying now that Hillary has the momentum. I'm sorry but winning 3 out of the last 15 races isn't exactly over-whelming momentum if momentum at all. We'll see what happens next, Barack should do well in Wyoming, (it's a caucus state and Obama does very well with caucuses) Mississippi, North Carolina and Oregon. I think that he'll give Hillary a run for her money in Pennsylvania too, at worst making it another wash.

It seems that the Clinton campaign of "throwing everything but the kitchen sink" at Obama unfortunately helped sway some voters. That being said, I think it put many other voters off and will come back to bite her in the ass in many of the following contests. If we want to play dirty then let's drag out the Clinton skeletons out of the closet: Rose Law firm, Vince Foster, the Lewinski affair, White Water, the Lincoln bedroom and on and on. The Clinton's should be the last ones to claiming that their shit doesn't stink. I think that Obama should still take the high road because this proves his point that we need to move past the politics of fear and division that the Clinton's represent. That being said, he needs to do some punching back a bit.

The "Kitchen Sink" strategy, however, came at a price for Hillary. The exist polls last night show that an overwhelming majority of voters in Ohio and Texas said Hillary unfairly attack Obama in the recent days: Hillary, 52% to Obama, 33& in Ohio and Hillary, 52s% in Texas to Obama, 36% in Texas.

The spin out of the Clinton camp is that she is better poised to do well in the general than Barack because she has won many of the big states that are important to win to gain the White House.

However, many of those big state loses were amazingly close, just look at Texas last night. Plus, it would seem logical that most of those Hillary supporters would back Obama in the general to help him win those big states. So with that base and his ability to bring in Independents as well as disaffected Republicans and at worst split them with McCain, he has a great chance to maintain his broad based appeal and ride that diverse coalition into the White House.

The other issue to raise here is that polls in Texas and Ohio had Hillary up in Texas and Ohio by double digits (20 points) before a couple weeks ago (last night about 10 points) and Obama closed that gap to nearly a tie in the Lone Star state (Texas). As for Ohio, Hillary was expected to win there so no real surprises came out of last night.

John McCain Embraces Bush at the White House:

Senator John McCain is going to the White House today to receive the endorsement of the most unpopular politician in the land, George W. Bush.

I hope McCain keeps up his man-crush on Bush because the more that he embraces Bush, the more that people associate McCain with the last disastrous 8 years.

John "Bush Boy" McCain has fully embraced Bush's Iraq debacle and the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy (basically anyone making over $200,000). So given how bad the economy is going that kind of position is going to play in the country like a lead balloon.

I don't think many in the country want to see a third Bush term because that is exactly what a McCain presidency would be.

UPDATE: I just saw Bush waiting for McCain to show up and he is awkwardly standing around outside the White House and he literally did a little tap dance!! He's so happy to have a puppet to keep his war mongering going and his disastrous economy policies.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hillary Clinton and James Buchanan. Plus, Obama Picks Up Key Endorsement from a Key Foreign Policy Expert.

This from George Will on the This Week t.v. program with George Stephanopolous on ABC:
[referring to Hillary's claim of 35 years of experience] That means she's 60 years old and got out of Yale at age 25, that means she's counting everything she's done since she got out of law school including her years with the Rose Law firm in Little Rock, the less said about perhaps the better. Now if experience matters this much I would just put this out, the most experienced president that we've ever had was the man who was 10 years in the House of Representatives, then Minister to Russia, then 10 years in the Senate, then Secretary of State for four years and then Minister to Great Britain. He then made the mistake of getting himself elected president and was the worst president that we've ever had, James Buchanan.
Although Buchanan doesn't have much on Bush. Clearly experience doesn't mean everything and besides her experience is quite over exaggerated to say the least.

Barack Obama Picks Up Key Endorsement from a Foreign Policy Expert: From NBC's Domenico Montanaro

Sen. Jay Rockefeller has thrown his support behind Obama. Rockefeller is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A senior Senator such as Rockefeller wouldn't put his years of foreign policy and intelligence experience behind Barack Obama if he felt that the Senator from Illinois didn't have the judgment to deal with foreign policy matters as the President of the United States. In addition, the Rockefeller endorsement helps inoculate Barack from the Super Delegates throwing the nomination to Clinton and thus ripping the party in two.

I saw on Meet the Press this A.M. that even if Hillary won Texas and Ohio on the 4th, she would have to win 70% of the elected delegates in all the remaining states to get the nomination which is highly unlikely. But don't pop the champagne corks yet folks, I wouldn't count the Clinton's out until the last nail is hammered into the coffin.

Before I wrap this post up I want to mention one more thing. The fear card that Hillary is playing via that "3 A.M. red phone call" ad is beyond the pale. She should have taken her husband's advice in 2004:

Thank-you Mr. President for the endorsement of my candidate, Senator Barack Obama!! We all know how smart Bill is so I would encourage everyone to follow this excellent advice and therefore vote for Obama. Because that is what he is implying in that video clip.

So Texas, Rhode Island, Ohio and Vermont help us push this movement over the top and vote for Barack Obama. It is time to turn the page and bring America back to greatness. Barack Obama is the leader for pushing bravely, without fear into this brave new world. We need a new kind of politician, one that inspires the next generations to take ownership in this country and the only candidate able to ignite that passion is Barack Obama. Dare to hope, dare to believe again and dare to lock arms together and push into the future. The best days for America lie ahead of us and we can all help make those better times a reality. This isn't about one person, the president but rather about we the people and that is what Obama is selling.

And finally, one piece of business. As you can see I've changed the name of the blog to, "The Political Junkie." You might want to change your links accordingly.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hillary Clinton Plays the Fear Card Yet Again.

We have tired of the politics of fear dumped on us on a nearly daily basis from the Republican party and especially the Bush administration. It seems that whenever an important election approached, the White House would raise the terror alert. We liberals, Democrats, moderates, Independents and yes some Republicans have grown tired of being told that if we don't fear our own shadows that we are then accused as unpatriotic and not real Americans.

The last thing that I expected from a Democratic candidate was the Bush fear tactics but that is exactly what Hillary has been selling. Especially with this ad:

It's the kind of ad that you'd expect for John McCain and the fear mongering Republicans. This ad is such an insult, as if Barack Obama would pick up the phone in the middle of the night and just stammer and hang-up or something before hiding under his bed.

Something else to think about is this, "When in the past has Hillary Clinton gotten a 'red phone call' in the middle of the night to give her the experience in such instances?" She wouldn't have been the one to do that very thing under the Clinton administration. She wasn't the one responsible for making those late night decisions, Bill was. So if she can claim that as her evidence of experience for handling a late night crisis then it is indeed fair to hit her on NAFTA. She can't have it both ways.

By Hillary insinuating that Obama can't handle a crisis phone call is to insult his brilliant mind and more importantly his superior judgment which is a major asset in deciding what to do. As well as his calm and cool demeanor, I would feel safer knowing that an unflappable, collected, calm president would be taking such a phone call than an impulsive president with poor judgment--which would be Hillary.

When her judgment was most important she chose to give Bush a blank check to war in Iraq. I was a lowly history student in college at the time when we were leading up to the Iraq invasion and even I knew that the vote she made would give Bush a blank check. I knew that Bush was impulsive and was looking to invade Iraq, he was looking for any excuse and her vote helped bring his war mongering to pass. That is terrible judgment and that doesn't give me any comfort that she would be able to have the right judgment to decide what to do with that 3 a.m. phone call.

And who wants to vote for a president who dismisses hope and inspiration while scaring the shit out of us by saying that if we don't vote for Hillary that we and our children will be killed. That is not the politics of the Democratic party that I know. I am tired of being told that the world and the future of America is dark, full of doom and gloom. I've grown weary of being told that America can't have change and an excellent national security at the same time. I think we can have them both and Obama is the balanced candidate to deliver those two things. All Hillary is telling us is that everything sucks and she is the only "realist" and therefore we must stick with the status quo. Well I have news for Hillary, the status quo over the last 8 years hasn't helped us very much.

It is ironic that Hillary is playing the fear card in this election when in 2006 she said the following,

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused Republicans of "playing the fear card" of terrorism to win elections and said Democrats cannot keep quiet if they want to win in November.

Hillary Clinton. The candidate who wants to exploit your fears and emotions to win. Yet another example of how the Clinton's will do anything to win. They have no shame in their tactics. Barack has been trying to take the high road and continually Hillary has been trying to drag him down into her world of gutter, scored Earth politics.

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