Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hillary Clinton Stayed Silent as Walmart Busted Unions

Hillary Clinton stayed silent during more than 20 Walmart board meetings where they discussed their union busting tactics, referred to them as parasites and reiterated their plan to stop them at all costs. This is one of those things you figured was probably the case, but you just assumed could never be proved. Thank you ABC news and the magic of video...
In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers.
Wal-Mart's anti-union efforts were headed by one of Clinton's fellow board members, John Tate, a Wal-Mart executive vice president who also served on the board with Clinton for four of her six years.

Tate was fond of repeating, as he did at a managers meeting in 2004 after his retirement, what he said was his favorite phrase, "Labor unions are nothing but blood-sucking parasites living off the productive labor of people who work for a living."
Wal-Mart says Tate's comments "were his own and do not reflect Wal-Mart's views."

But Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and other company officials often recounted how they relied on Tate to lead the company's successful anti-union efforts. An ABC News analysis of the videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions.
A former board member told that he had no recollection of Clinton defending unions during more than 20 board meetings held in private.

The tapes show Clinton in the role of a loyal company woman. "I'm always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else," she said at a June 1990 stockholders meeting.
I know what you're thinking, I mean... it was the 80s. Give her a break, everybody did a little union busting back then. It wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be. And besides, we need to give her credit for these 6 years of "fighting for change" busting unions on Walmart's board, because otherwise that screws up the whole 35 years of change thing. And well, if you pull a number out of your ass and then someone has the nerve to call you out on lying about it, what fun is that? Well the important thing was that this union busting was just a youthful indiscretion, and now is behind her. It's not like she surrounds herself with these people or has them in key positions in her inner circle.
Oh right, never mind. Well at least she's cut off these dealings with Walmart, right? RIGHT??? UUGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! How bad can this get?
According to the New York Times, Sen. Clinton "maintains close ties to Wal-Mart executives through the Democratic Party and the tightly knit Arkansas business community." The May 20, 2007 article also reported that her husband, former President Clinton, "speaks frequently to Wal-Mart's current chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr." and held a private dinner at the Clinton's New York home in July 2006 for him.
If after crap like this comes out and people still can't choose between Clinton and Obama... then it's a pretty bleak outlook for the future of the progressive movement.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Train of Thought Lounge

One topic that has been missing sorely missing on this blog is music. Considering the massive presense that it is in my life, and especially since it often acts as a valuable escape from some of the often depressing stuff I post about here, I figured I'd try to feature it a bit more. I figured I'd post start posting youtubes or mp3, and call it the Train of Thought Lounge, in honor of Rahul's glorious lounge tradition that he introduced us in college. It also helps as far as time goes, since this doesn't take long to post, so there can be new content here even when I don't have time for a full post . So here's the first of what will be many, and I figured it was only fitting to start off with one of the all time classics from the album that named this blog.

Talib Kweli and DJ Hi Tek: The Blast

Oh yeah... and how about that other familiar face in the video, Rawkus fans?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lies Lies LIES!!!

The Thompson Twins would be proud... and man is this a sweet video.

The center for Public Integrity just published a report that is definitely worth checking out. Even though the premise (Bush Administration lied us into war) isn't new information, it's important to remember how we got where we are today, especially since of much of the general election campaign will hinge on the Iraq war:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, "independent" validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq.
Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual "ground truth" regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who's Who of domestic agencies.
On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation's allies on their way to war.
The brain dead media may have decided in recent weeks that the economy has overtaken the Iraq war as far as election issues go, but I would hope that the American people are smarter than that. First off, the economy only became an issue in recent weeks because it started affecting the haves. Once it hits wall street, it's a crisis. The fact the have-nots have been getting screwed for last 20 years (and especially the last 7) will not, and has never been a "crisis" as far as they are concerned.

Similar things can be said about the Iraq war. American soldiers are still dying. Iraqi citizens are still dying at an unconscionable rate. The country is still in ruin, and the political process that the surge was supposed to allow is further from any progress than when it started. So while these story lines may not be as sexy as a tanking numbers on wall street, Iraq must remain THE major issue. If there were still a draft, and the toll of this war was actually being shared by all Americans, would any thing else be on people's minds? Of course not.

And although getting out is the issue now, remembering how we got into this mess is critically important, and must be pointed out throughout both the primary and general elections.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stay Classy, Mitt Romney

A moment that can only be described as a ready-made Chappelle's show sketch:

Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, “Who let the dogs out?” He added a tepid “woof woof.”

Later, Mr. Romney admired a child’s gold necklace and said, “Oh, you’ve got some bling-bling here.

The Video:

Ladies and Gentlemen... Mitt Romney! And with touching moments like this, who would have guessed he's polling at 0% with African American voters?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Joe Buck Disgusting Act of the Week: Daniel Snyder

The Joe Buck Disgusting Act of the Week is awarded to whatever event/person best deserves Joe Buck's unnecessary and over the top outrage after a 2004 Randy Moss' touchdown celebration.

What a day.

First it starts with news that Yes Man(Official Title) Vinny Cerrato has been promoted to Executive Vice President/Football Operations... officially killing my dream that the redskins would have a successful GM who came with a solid plan, which was independent of Dan Snyder's mood swings and spur of the moment decisions.

Not content with crushing one dream that I had hoped for but didn't expect, Snyder next defied all rational logic by apparently choosing a Team of Jim Fassel, Rex Ryan and Jim Zorn to take charge of the Redskins. See, Dan Snyder has this whole thing figured out. Most fans thought he going to do the rational thing and promote Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams. We thought he was just publicly interviewing the other candidates because he's an egotistical ass who wants to make a show out of everything he does. Yeah, he wasn't thinking about how this would humiliate Greg Williams and confuse the team who wanted him to be their coach, but all would be made right in the end, right? Right? RIGHT?

No, of course not! The joke was on us because Dan Snyder was ACTUALLY interviewing other candidates! In fact, he found a team of them that he liked so much that he decided that it was worth blowing up our current squad to put these guys into place.

Rebuilding... not even close to what I was expecting this off season.

Two... not Three

One of the more annoying trends recently has been this general agreement among the online left that even though the primary is getting rough, it's not the end of the world, because there are three good options for the nomination. Thereisnospoon on dailykos tackles that nonsense today in We Do NOT Have "Three Great Candidates":
Granting that Democrats start at a level 1,000 times better than Republicans, an honest observer must still admit that for a Democrat, the presidency and politics of Bill Clinton were just as unacceptable for a Democrat as the presidency and poltiics of George W. Bush were for a Republican. The last thing we need is another Republican President. But the next to last thing we need is another Democratic president in the mould of Bill Clinton.

Our principles as progressives should lead us to reject DLC politics, centrism, dirty tricks, cheating, scandalous royalistic behavior, swing-state strategies, baby-step incremental changes, and "whatever it takes to win" ideologies. Our desire to crash the gate and change such behavior should make us fight like crazy to keep our Party from becoming associated with such things ever again.


The politics of fear that lead us to take any viable candidate lest we get a Republican elected must end.

The short-sighted thinking that leads us to believe that any win is a win no matter the cost must be rejected.

The stupid acceptance of uninspiring Democrats, while counting on public and Democratic-base revulsion toward Republican policies to carry the day, must finally die.

The selling out of progressive principles in the sevice of a misguided view of what "victory" means must no longer be tolerated.

And the idea that we are trying to end the politics of the last 8 years, rather than those of the last 16 and beyond, must finally be put to bed.

This notion that we have "three great candidates" is false. We have two great candidates. The third is a candidate we may have to choke down our throats when push comes to shove--but any progressive worth their salt should be doing everything in their power to prevent that terrible choice from needing to be made.
I could not agree more. The whole diary is definitely worth a read for a general look at what the goals of the progressive movement SHOULD be, and how this primary cycle is making people miss the forest and focus on the trees.

If you watched the debate last night you might remember Edwards and Obama describing their work on behalf of their goals throughout their life (Obama as a community organizer, Edwards as a lawyer... etc) You may also remember Hillary Clinton's response that she worked for the Children's Defense Fund as proof that before she was a corporate chill on Walmart's board and and before she was a corporate chill masquerading as senator, that she once did something admirable. And fair play to her, that is important work. But as Sirota discovered, it should probably be pointed out that this was the response of the Children's Defense Fund after the Clinton administration passed the welfare reform bill in 1996:
"President Clinton's decision to sign a Republican welfare bill brought qualified praise from political opponents, muted criticism from some close political allies and expressions of deep dismay from an array of social welfare organizations, religious groups and advocates for the poor. The most scathing response came from Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund and a friend of Mr. Clinton and his wife, Hillary, who worked as chairwoman for the organization from 1986 to 1992. The legislation will 'hurt and impoverish millions of children and abolish the 61-year-old national safety net for children' and 'makes a mockery of his pledge not to hurt children,' Ms. Edelman said in a statement. 'It will leave a moral blot on his Presidency and on our nation that will never be forgotten,' she said."
Ouch. That doesn't sound like much of an endorsement. There are two acceptable options here, not three.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. King's Cause

Our society has a pretty annoying habit of dumbing down very complex ideas or people into buzz words and one liners. And while just about all politicians to the left of Trent Lott take today to praise Dr. King for his work in championing civil rights, TomP on Dailykos collects various writings on King's work that hasn't been discussed nearly as often.

What TV viewers see is a closed loop of familiar file footage: King battling desegregation in Birmingham (1963);reciting his dream of racial harmony at the rally in Washington (1963); marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama (1965); and finally, lying dead on the motel balcony in Memphis (1968). An alert viewer might notice that the chronology jumps from 1965 to 1968. Yet King didn't take a sabbatical near the end of his life. In fact, he was speaking and organizing as diligently as ever. Almost all of those speeches were filmed or taped.
But they're not shown today on TV. Why? It's because national news media have never come to terms with what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for during his final years.

As the freedom movement of the 1950s and early 1960s confronted poverty and economic reprisals, King championed trade union rights, equal job opportunities, metropolitan integration, and full employment. When the civil rights and antipoverty policies of the Johnson administration failed to deliver on the movement's goals of economic freedom for all, King demanded that the federal government guarantee jobs, income, and local power for poor people. When the Vietnam war stalled domestic liberalism, King called on the nation to abandon imperialism and become a global force for multiracial democracy and economic justice.

There are plenty of good articles linked from that post, but as usual, it's probably best to end with the words of Dr. King himself:
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood…

We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message -- of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Obama... Reagan... MAKE IT STOP!

Every other week or so, at the most random times, I get the same inner monologue running through my head:

Hey! You! Stop over-analyzing, put some of these worrisome issues aside, and just support Barack Obama already? He has a message and voice that engages a large section of people, especially young people, including a lot of my friends and family. You even found out about him pretty early on in his rise, told all our friends about him, even made a T-Shirt of him several years back! He was even against the war! You still think that that issue should probably trump everything! Look, you may disagree with him on quite a few other things and you may completely disagree with his campaign's ethos that partisanship is the problem. But come on, he's probably the last person that stands between our country and President Hillary Clinton... I mean jeez, what more do you need to know than that? Just give up this John Edwards charade. He may be better on the issues, but he's not going to win! Just give in and support Obama already!

(End of narcissistic self-debating part of the post)

Well, every couple of weeks I have that argument, and most times, it comes close to being successful. But every time, without fail, something happens within a day or so that reminds me why I've been hesitant to support him.

Well, this week, with the Nevada caucuses coming up, I had that debate once again. And as has been the trend, I was once again pissed off when Obama decided to touch on one of my biggest pet peeves when discussing politics, the Ronald Reagan revisionist love fest:
I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

That string of republican buzz words at the end is probably the gets my bullshit sense going.

"The excesses of the 1960s and 1970s". "Big Government", "dynamism and entrepreneurship".

Again, I'm not saying that Obama liked Reagan, or supports similar policies, or supports the policies that words like the ones above allowed to exist; it's just that I don't understand why he needs to discuss Reagan's presidency in a way that echoes nonsense mythology surrounding him. And it's also not like any of those words above are necessarily inherently good or bad, its just that Reagan used those words to shove lots of "bad" down the throats of the American people during his time in office.

"Responding to the excesses of the 1960s and 1970" in Reagan's view meant:
Race baiting in the 1980 election, "welfare queens", attacks on a womans rights, attempting to get rid the civil rights act to name a few.

While "dynamism and entrepreneurship" sound well and good, in the Reagan doctrine they meant trickle down economics, tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the poor, union busting an unprecedented assault on organized labor.

I understand that Obama doesn't mean that stuff when he talks about Reagan, he's probably just saying this stuff in order woo independent voters by showing that a democrat can talk nicely about Ronald Reagan. I get why he's doing it. It just pisses me off, thats all.

And in the end, if things keep going the way they do, the Obama arguing side of me will win out when I realize that the top priority must be keeping someone with Hillary Clinton's Bush-Lite policies from winning the democratic nomination. But all this lofty talk of Ronald Reagan just pushed that decision back another week. Will somebody please call Shawn Kemp before this gets out of hand?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Not Within the Democratic Party

February 2000: South Carolina's Republican Primary.

We all know what a shameful place that election holds in American political history. We CANNOT allow that to happen again. Not within the Democratic Party.

It's not the practice of push polling, but it is race baiting with dog whistle politics, and it has to stop. Since I believe some people writing about this subject have missed the point or included too different examples, lets review the three cases.

Case One:
New Hampshire Clinton Chair Bill Shaheen
The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight ... and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use," said Shaheen, the husband of former N.H. governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is planning to run for the Senate next year.
Shaheen said Obama's candor on the subject would "open the door" to further questions. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome."

Case Two: NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
"It's not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can't buy your way into it," Cuomo said, according to Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin. He then added, "You can't shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don't work when you're in someone's living room."
According to Joan Houston Hall's Dictionary of American Regional English, the phrase "shuck and jive" means, "To be deceptive or evasive; to tell tall tales or lies; to fool around. esp freq among Black speakers," and "stalling or obfuscating, especially to avoid having to admit that you did not know something or were trying to divert someone's attention."

Case Three: BET Founder Bob Johnson
As an African-American, I'm frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood that I won't say what he was doing, [but] he said it in his book.

One time, it's a loose cannon surrogate. Twice, it's a poor choice of words. Three times, in a carefully delivered speech with the candidate herself on stage when the remark is made... that should make you wonder. Josh Marshall explains the possibilities:
We seem to be at the point where there are now two credible possibilities. One is that the Clinton campaign is intentionally pursuing a strategy of using surrogates to hit Obama with racially-charged language or with charges that while not directly tied to race nonetheless play to stereotypes about black men. The other possibility is that the Clinton campaign is extraordinarily unlucky and continually finds its surrogates stumbling on to racially-charged or denigrating language when discussing Obama.
Marshall also notes a reader ML's comment that gives a different take comment:
I think that the Clintons' anti-Obama strategy is more subtle than commentators are realizing. It is in the nature of a "provokatsiia", as the Russians say. Cuomo didn't utter the phrase "shuck and jive"without forethought; nor did Clinton bring up LBJ and MLK on the spur of the moment. Both are experienced street-fighting politicians who don't say that kind of thing to the press without thinking it through. Such comments are a provocation, waving a red cloak in front of the Obama people. When they respond angrily with charges of racism, suddenly they look like Jessie Jackson redux...just the kind of angry, militant black folks who scare white people (btw I think black anger and militancy are completely understandable...this is just a point about how much of the white public reads such charges of racism). Then the Clintons deny responsibility.
The whole point was to get the Obama people to respond angrily, which they did. Clintons win.

Do I think Hillary or Bill Clinton are racists? No, I don't. Do I think they are extremely calculating politicians who would be willing to stoop to race baiting if they thought it would help her win? In short, yes.

I think the best response would be a press conference from Obama, and a much stronger statement decrying this pattern than the one today during the debate. He needs to send the message that even though these statements may have come from surrogates, but if they continue, the candidate themselves will be held responsible. This isn't just about a one day news story during a heated primary fight, these are the type of disgusting tactics we should expect from the Republican party in the general election. I just didn't think we'd see in the democratic primary.

It's critically important for the long term future of the democratic party that this tactic be addressed in the stark terms it deserves - and right now before it gets any worse. Because if it isn't put into the spotlight, it WILL get worse.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

13 Years - 124 Million

George McPhee just got off the phone with Garth Snow, and I couldn't be happier.

The Washington Capitals signed Alex Ovechkin to a 13-year, $124 million contract extension yesterday, ending months of speculation about his future with the organization and making him the first player in NHL history to sign a nine-figure contract.

And if you're wondering why he's worth it, there aren't many league leading goal scorers who can do this:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Joe Buck Discusting Acts of the Week: Just below the surface...

The Joe Buck Disgusting Act of the Week is awarded to whatever event/person best deserves Joe Buck's unnecessary and over the top outrage after a 2004 Randy Moss' touchdown celebration.

Since there is seriously racist subtext to much of Joe Buck's blowhard commentary (the Moss incident just being one example), I feel like this is appropriate. As sad as it is, racist tones are never too far from the mainstream culture in this country and two stories today act depressing reminders.

One comes from a golf analyst of TV:
The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman will serve a two-week suspension after saying during a recent broadcast that one way younger players could best Tiger Woods would be to "lynch him in a back alley."
The other from a surrogate for a leading presidential candidate:
It's not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can't buy your way into it," Cuomo said, according to Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin. He then added, "You can't shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don't work when you're in someone's living room."

According to Joan Houston Hall's Dictionary of American Regional English, the phrase "shuck and jive" means, "To be deceptive or evasive; to tell tall tales or lies; to fool around. esp freq among Black speakers," and "stalling or obfuscating, especially to avoid having to admit that you did not know something or were trying to divert someone's attention."
Our country has come a long way, and we still have a long way to go. We have advanced to the point that the cowards who wear sheets have been forced to the margins of society, but racism still resides in our culture today, even if it has been pushed just below the surface.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Hampshire Live Blog

For the record before the results come in, here were my predictions:
1) Obama 40
2) Clinton 23
3) Edwards 21
4) Richardson 12

1) McCain 35
2) Romney 33
3) Huckabee 12
4) Paul 12
5) Giuliani 5

I feel like those polls that show Obama way up have a chance of backfiring, just cause the expectations will allow her to stay in the game. But the high turnout numbers in the dem primary give me the idea that Obama will pull through, and that it would hurt McCain. Lets see how this goes, I'll be updating as the night goes on.

8:50PM: McCain wins, Romney concedes. Every time Romney gets fired up in a speech it looks like his hair might melt. And it's early, but it looks like Hillary is actually winning... I think I might be sick.

9:33PM: Hillary still ahead, and that's pissing me off too much for any rational thought. For those who are curious I'm watching the returns tonight with my parents (both Obama supporters), My aunt and uncle (by the way, by aunt being Helen from the previous post), and our friend Jon, who is a professor at University of Iowa, who is running the Electoral College Project, and writes for the blog The Data Stream.

11:10PM: So yeah, Here's to my predictions! Not only was this not expected, but this quite simply... well... sucked! Most annoying narrative of the night: "The voters of New Hampshire must have gone into the booth, and decided that they were fed up with the media, and they wanted to shock the world." Hey guess what? NO THEY DIDN'T!!! They didn't send a message, they voted, and they voted for Hillary Clinton. Fantastic, good for them, but they are no smarter than anyone else, they do not vote as an amorphous group and they have no altruistic goal here! They are fucking human beings, just like you and me, who have one vote, and go into the booth with their pants on just like every other US citizen. Anyone who says otherwise just furthering their illegitimate and undemocratic role in choosing who runs our country.

11:50PM: Oh by the way, it's gonna take some time to find words other than one repeated expletive to describe the anger I'm feeling over Hillary Clinton's political rebirth. But for now, I'll leave it to Bunk and McNulty to express my current sentiments. As you might expect, the video isn't work safe.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Post Caucus-Pre Hampshire thoughts

Wow, that was pretty wild. Obama's win was bigger than just about everyone thought, and Hillary's brutal fall was nice to watch from so many angles. And I gotta say Obama's victory speech was amazing on a lot of levels, and mainly because it had the feel of a convention acceptance speech, which would scare the crap out of me if I were running against him.

So, general thoughts going forward:
  • I can't see Hillary putting up much more of a fight if she finishes third in NH. I don't think she'll drop that far though, cause it looks like Edwards is gonna bank his chances on NV and SC, but we'll see how things turn out. When Hillary's campaign gets desperate, they seem to start doing incredibly stupid things.
  • The only way I can see Edwards giving Obama a run is if Hillary can get knocked out, and it can become a horse race between the two of them. As long as Hillary stays in the race, the media will continue ignore Edwards, and keep the narrative of a two person (Hillary vs Obama) race.
  • I think this is Obama's to lose, and I gotta say, I really see him winning it. I don't see Hillary finishing third in NH, and and as a result not dropping out until it becomes painfully obvious to everyone involved that she won't win. If your lead strategist has made his career from bullshiting polls and statistics based on what you want to hear, I don't see a reality based assessment of the race any time soon.
  • For the republicans, it looks like the Huckabee vs. McCain shitshow could be a real possibility. I think Romney is done, and after watching that debate, I'd say it's like 50/50 on whether Fred Thompson is actually alive.
  • I heard this funny joke the other day. What did Rudy Giuliani say after he finished 6th in Iowa? The Answer: 9/11! Wait... that wasn't a joke, thats what he said. Rudy Giuliani everyone! He plays here every Tuesday night!
  • This is just a personal favor to me, and this isn't the first time I've bitched about this... But will someone please ask Hillary Clinton just what the fuck she is talking about when she cites her 35 years of fighting for change? I feel like I'm losing my mind here. This would be like if a major presidential candidate started repeating something that is blatantly false in every campaign speech and debate for 9 months, and everyone just decided to agree that it was true and not ask them to back it up. On second thought, I think I'm gonna get some sleep.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pre- Iowa Caucus Predictions

First, if you didn't know how fucked up/undemocratic the caucus process is, Kos provides a reminder. ABC news has a less profane explanation if that's what you prefer.

For what it's worth, here are my predictions:


1) Edwards
2) Obama
3) Clinton

Note, even if the first two are switched around, I think that it won't be as close as people think, and it could be 5 or so percentage points between each of them. I think Edwards will probably win it, but for some reason I have a pretty strong feeling that Hillary will finish third regardless. I'm probably just picking what I'd hope to see, but what the hell, call it The Audacity of Hope...

1) Huckabee
2) Romney

I think the top two in this one could be really close, and I see Huckabee just edging it. I think Paul could also sneak into third just cause it isn't a secret ballot democratic process, and his supporters seem the most fanatical.

Also, I've told this to some people, but just in case, here is my best guess for the primaries as a whole. Obama beats out Edwards, but it lasts long enough so that my vote in Maryland might actually have some significance.(Yes! Rahul and I weren't lying to those kids in the registration drive after all! Their vote does matter!) And for the republicans I see it being Huckabee vs. McCain, with McCain winning in the end and movement conservatives being talked down from bridges across the country. Seriously, if that became the republican battle, few things would be funnier. I mean, as upset as I am that Hillary Clinton is a serious contender, that would be like having her and Joe Lieberman be the only two candidates running for democratic nomination. You wouldn't know whether to shove pencils in your ears or eyes first to stop the pain.

Anyway, if you're interested, leave your picks in the comments, and we can see how wrong we were Friday morning.


Happy New Year! First off, thanks for having been here for the first couple months of this blog's existence. I haven't been able to post as much as I would like (especially last week) but changing that is a resolution. I've realized that what stops me from posting most nights is a lack of time to write a more detailed post, and as result I end up writing nothing at all. Well, that kind of sucks, so I'm gonna try and improve that in some form or another. One option on those days where I don't have much time, I'll try and post a link to something worthwhile that I found during my daily pre/post work news reading that might interest people. And hopefully coming soon this year, there will be some contributing writers, which means more topics, more points of view, and more content.

Happy New Year, I hope to see you around in 2008!