Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Convenient Truth

The compromise has been reached.

Despite the ominous words of Clinton toady Harold Ickes, this race is over.

Half-votes for all delegates from Florida based on the actual results. This gives Clinton roughly 57.5 delegates to Obama's 33.5.

Michigan was much more contentious, since Barack's name was voluntarily removed from the ballot while Hillary resolutely stayed on against DNC request. Hillary's supporters wanted the results to stand, with Clinton getting 55% and "Uncommitted" receiving 40%. Many pundits believe the majority of the uncommitted votes were votes for Obama. Additionally, a substantial number of write-in votes for Obama weren't counted, since Michigan rules don't allow write-ins for a candidate that hasn't declared his intention to run in the state.

The committee voted overwhelmingly to approve a Michigan compromise with Clinton getting 69 half-votes and Obama 59 half-votes. This will net the candidates approximately 34.5 votes for Clinton and 29.5 votes for Obama.

Overall, the likely outcome is Clinton 92 more delegates against Obama's 63. (These numbers will probably change, but they're in the ballpark)

Even though Hillary gained nearly 30 more delegates today, many of her supporters present at the meeting voiced outrage at the results. These crybabies wouldn't hear of any compromise, and the only acceptable resolution would have been to give them everything they wanted and possibly ice cream cones with multi-colored sprinkles on top.

Listen up Hillary supporters: I hate to say it, but it's over. Deal with it.

Harold Ickes got his comb-over in a snit, sweating heavily while denouncing the majority decisions by the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee, and he threatened to take the battle to the Denver convention.

The reality is, after Tuesday's final primaries, we'll see a flood of undeclared super delegates throw their support to Obama. Public opinion will strongly pressure Clinton to fall in line, and we'll have a unified party going into the summer.

UPDATE: FireDogLake video by Jane Hamsher below from the aftermath.

Does anyone think that Harriet might be originally from Howard Beach?

MORE UPDATE: BTW, this isn't schadenfreude; I take absolutely no pleasure in the suffering of Hillary's supporters.

But I totally DO want all of us to unify and start working towards kicking John Sidney McCain's butt so badly that he'll go crawl under a rock and stay there until somewhere around April of next year.

UPPER UPDATE: Jane has been video blogging up a storm over on FDL. Here's a rather compelling video, showing a lady who came to support Hillary in the aftermath of some rough handling by security when she acted up in the committee room. I admire her passion for her candidate, but I also feel a little sorry for her. I'm sure she didn't sign on to get bruised up while being expelled from the meeting room.

DNC ruling on MI & FL due today

The huge cluster-f&ck known as the Florida and Michigan Democratic primary fiasco is about to be settled once and for all.

At least, that's what I'm hoping!

Today's ruling by the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee will be shaped by several factors:

* The number of Clinton supporters on the R&B committee, rumored to be a slight majority
* How many delegates will be considered a fair compromise
* The celestial alignment of the stars and planets

I think the last factor is the most important, and we're likely to see a ruling that will be largely attributed to astrology rather than any sense of fairness or objectivity. Emotions are running much too high both within the DNC R&B committee and the two campaigns for this ruling to be universally accepted.

So, if they're smart, the committee will ascribe their ruling to the vagaries of the planets.

That way, they can blame the inevitable hue and cry on something other than their own political leanings.

(My prediction: Hillary's camp won't get exactly what they want, and their heads will collectively explode; Barack's people will complain mildly about the ruling but will accept it in the spirit of compromise.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

David Sirota on Colbert tonight (Thursday)

(Photo from 2006 election, with Lamont supporters (L-R) Matt Stoller, Tim Tagaris, and David Sirota)

Be sure to tune in to "The Colbert Report" tonight to watch David Sirota's interview on his new book, "The Uprising"

UPDATE: David's appearance on Colbert is now available online. Check it out:

Last night David had a book signing that was well-attended by popular Nutmeggers, including Ned Lamont and quite a few of our more notorious bloggers.

I was hoping to attend, but got stuck down in Manhattan until late so I missed it. But Spazeboy was there to video tape the event, and I'm waiting to see his videos.

Here's David's account of last night's signing, from his daily blog:
Just a quick note to let you know I am going to be on The Colbert Report tonight (5/29) discussing my new book, THE UPRISING. I've been on the show once before for my first book - and I can't lie: I'm nervous about tonight. So if you have thoughts, tips or advice for me, post them to the comments here.

The Colbert Show is kicking off my national book tour this week - and am likely coming to a city near you. Check the full schedule here. I was in Madison, Connecticut last night with Ned Lamont at a standing-room-only event where we discussed the progress of the antiwar movement. I'm going to do a more expanded post on that event, including video from SpazeBoy.

Stay tuned - my nationally syndicated column coming out tomorrow goes into this in detail. The column is entitled "The Lamont Lesson." Oh, and if you hadn't seen, check out this Huffington Post article about THE UPRISING's controversial revelation from none other than Lou Dobbs.

I hope you tune in tonight - and let your friends know about it. Then I hope you'll go pick up a copy of the book at, Barnes & Noble, or through your local independent bookstore.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More fun with Joe

This is a scene from the film "Recount".

When I think of all the other VP choices we had available back in 2000, it makes me want to vomit.

The Sounds of Lieberman

NPR's All Things Considered ran a little contest where they asked listeners to submit characterizations of famous people's voices. Celebrities include Marlon Brando, Carol Channing, Dave Matthews, and a certain junior senator from Connecticut. You can listen to the show HERE.

I illustrated some of my favorite vocal impressions from the list:

"A soggy brown paper bag" — Tess Wilson

"An exhausted math teacher who needs to explain what a square is for the Nth time" — Nicholas Freidin

"The fine, boring, important print in your insurance policy" — Susan Kunkel

"The straining engine of a previously owned Yugo" — Dave Airozo

(h/t to DailyKos; follow the link to see many more suggestions in the comments section)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Obama and Spazeboy at Wesleyan

Spazeboy taped the commencement at Wesleyan yesterday, and some of his videos along with other students' observations and photos are online at "Wesleying", a university-themed blog. Check it out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Babar wins Libertarian nod for President

In a surprising development, the Libertarian National Convention in Denver named former Georgia Rep. Babar as their chosen candidate for president.

Babar, a longtime Republican congressman, is best known for playing a prominent role in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

On the sixth ballot at the convention, Babar won the nomination over research scientist Mary Ruwart. After going out on the fifth ballot, fellow candidate Wayne Allyn Root urged his supporters to back Babar and made his case to be Babar's vice presidential running mate.

"We're not in this race to make a point, though a very important point will be made," Babar said, "and the point is, I'll work for peanuts."

PETA has announced that they have no objection to Babar's candidacy, as long as he is treated well and given all the peanuts he wants.

CORRECTION: Apparently the candidate's name is Bob Barr, not Babar. The editors of this blog apologize any inconvenience that may have occurred, especially to pachyderms everywhere.

(and I'll do my very best in the future to not talk nonsense to noted attorney Bob Loblaw.)

Best of New Haven Reader's Poll winner?

I'm thrilled to find that "Connecticut Bob" has gained a mention in the New Haven Advocate's Best of 2008 Reader's Poll last week!

It was cool because someone came up to me after our sailboat race today and said he saw my blog mentioned in the Advocate.

In the section they call "The Best of the Rest", my blog was recognized as getting write-in votes for the category of Best Local Blogger that they don't officially have yet on their ballot.

I'm listed along with New Haven Independent and CT News Junkie journalist Paul Bass, and someone called Hernandez Silicone (for which my half-hearted Google search returned nothing).

It's a rare honor to be recognized among such categories as "Best Parking Spot", "Best Place to Take Off Your Shoes", and "Best Place to Have Sex in Public".

(Hint: one of them is "Beneath the Willow"!)

Thank you New Haven Advocate, for finally acknowledging what I knew all along...

...I'm at least as good as a parking spot!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Olbermann on Clinton's RFK remark

This is the one where I thought I was actually going to see Keith physically explode. I hope his blood pressure is under control.

And a few things to know about Hillary's claims. First, Bobby Kennedy did wrap up the nomination in June with his California win, but in 1968 the primaries started much later, so it was only three months in when he won it. Today that would be the equivalent of winning in April. And in 1992, Bill Clinton effectively gained the nomination after winning the New York primary in early April.

So Hillary should drop the "June" claim as if it's carved into stone like a Mayan calender, and face the reality that by staying in the race at this point will only harm Obama's chances.

The truth is, an assassin has already taken a lot of shots at Obama.

We all know her name.

(h/t to CT Blogger for the video)

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Honk For Peace" at CT Film Fest Danbury

Another screening for my movie.

Well, it's not really my movie, but I did contribute some footage of Ned Lamont's triumphant primary night victory celebration to the film. So I'm in the credits. Which technically makes it at least partially my movie.

But being the magnanimous guy I am, I'll happily share credit with the guy who did all the REAL work, Mr. Corey Boutelier.

HONK FOR PEACE follows the anti-war movement starting in New York City, and culminating with the historic 2006 Connecticut Senate race between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. Lamont, a political newcomer, ran an anti-war campaign beating 18-year incumbent and former Vice-Presidential nominee Lieberman in the primary, forcing him to run as an Independent and to defend his pro-war ideals. Featuring interviews with Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman, The Dixie Chicks, Sen. John Kerry, Ed Koch, WTNH Political Correspondent Mark Davis, Ralph Nader, Gen. Wesley Clark, and Sen. Chris Dodd.

The movie will appear on this blockbuster holiday weekend at the Connecticut Film Festival in Danbury.

Tickets and info are available HERE.
6:00 PM Sat, May 24
WCSU Student Theater
181 White St.
Danbury, CT

Interview by Erik Campano of Corey Boutilier (left) and two other directors (A.D. Calvo, Doug Tanaglia) at WSHU is listenable HERE

Honk For Peace website

When you're on the pot, you have two choices

Nancy DiNardo, as the final holdout of Connecticut's super delegates, it's time to make a simple decision. You've got to stop worrying about how this will affect your career, and start thinking about how your decision will help our nation win in November.

It's time to shit or get off the pot!

McCain's decade of mystery

(I was unable to find any X-rays of the candidate because he hasn't released them, so to illustrate this article I'm using this image of a patient that closely resembles him, identified only as a "Mr. H. Simpson")

For months, national Democrats and members of the media have been pressing for John Sidney McCain III to release his detailed medical records, as all presidential candidates regularly do.

In 1999, when running for President, McCain made 1,500 pages of his extensive medical history available for detailed perusal by the media. Since then, McCain was diagnosed with invasive melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, on his left temple. In his life, McCain has had four melanomas.

Not to mention that he's nearly a decade OLDER, and he has a family history of heart disease and other genetic ailments.

We need to keep in mind that this isn't some ghoulish or voyeuristic examination of McCain's personal information; it's a necessary investigation into the health and longevity potential of a presidential candidate. Based on the most commonly accepted actuarial data, if McCain is elected for two terms, the odds are very likely that his chosen Vice President will complete his term.

I'm sure many Republican contenders are aware of this fact, and are presently swarming to McCain's Arizona compound like overly ambitious locusts of doom to vie for the treasured nod.

So now it's 2008. McCain has balked for months at providing his medical information. Today, the day before the big holiday weekend (and we all know that when Republicans don't want to release bad news, they save it for the Friday news dump; when it's really AWFUL news, they wait until a holiday weekend), he finally makes this information available.

Sort of.

From CNN.Com:
The newer batch of records has strict security guidelines attached. Only certain news networks and newspapers will be permitted to enter the room, and they will have only three hours to examine the papers.

No cell phones or Internet access will be allowed in the room, located in a resort outside Phoenix, Arizona. Copying the records is also prohibited.

Anyone who leaves the room for any reason except the bathroom will not be allowed back.


Although the document-viewing window closes after three hours(!), the campaign plans to post some(?) details of McCain's medical history on the senator's Web site. (sarcastic emphasis mine)
And then McCain's people make a hilarious statement that I'm sure was written by a mole from "The Colbert Report's" writing staff:
McCain's campaign says the rules allow for a "thorough and substantive review" of McCain's medical history.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that McCain is in generally good health. They arrived at this carefully considered medical assessment after being given no more than three hours to read and absorb well over 1,100 pages of detailed medical records of McCain (under an assumed name) in an undisclosed location without the ability to copy them or even make notes.

They did report that McCain had four spots of skin cancer removed on three separate occasions, including a very dangerous invasive melanoma; a butt-load of colon polyps removed; he suffers from bouts of dizziness; he has degenerative arthritis from war injuries that might require a future joint replacement; and while he spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war, including long stretches of torture and solitary confinement, there were no records available detailing any mental health evaluations he may have had in the last eight years. Not a one.

Obviously, his lengthy treatment under brutal conditions had no effect whatsoever on his psyche.

Gee, I wonder if we've ever had another presidential candidate with possibly incomplete or vanished records?

{cough} George Bush's military records! {cough}

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Next up for Obama

Which high profile super delegate or venerable Democrat will endorse Barack Obama today or tomorrow? Last week it was John Edwards a day after Hillary's impressive win in West Virginia. Today is the day after another big win in Kentucky. Who will be the next one to declare for Obama?

Sen. Clinton is right about one thing. It will come down to the super delegates. But at this point, they're flocking to Obama compared to Clinton; and with Obama reaching the majority of 1627 in committed delegates, we'll probably see that trend increase.

As far as Clinton's recent wins in Kentucky and West Virginia go, it seems that she scores heavily with voters in Appalachia. This graphic from Daily Kos shows counties where Clinton has won more than 60% of the vote, and you can add Kentucky to that map now that the results are in. For the most part, these are red states; New York is an obvious exception. We're not likely to win them in November regardless of who the Democratic nominee ends up being.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see who steps forward today or tomorrow and throws their support and their vote to Obama. Even though the primaries will run to the finish on June 3rd, for all intents and purposes the nominee is Barack Obama.

UPDATE: Not the biggest fish in the super delegate sea, but Rep. Joe Courtney (D-02) has finally thrown in with Obama. That makes it a clean sweep for CT's Congressional Delegations. I think this leaves State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo as the single holdout from committing.

C'mon, Nance, there's a pot that you need to decide what you're going to do with!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just a few months ago...

...we gathered in Hartford.

17,000 of us, to support Barack Obama the day before Connecticut's primary.

Obama won the state by a close margin, helped in no small part by a personal endorsement from Senator Edward Kennedy, who appeared on the stage along with Caroline Kennedy to express their support for the candidate.

Ted Kennedy was given a warm welcome by the crowd, a good many of whom hadn't even been alive when Kennedy first won his senate seat. Yet everyone seemed to know and appreciate all he's accomplished in his long and illustrious political career.

Today we all heard the deeply upsetting news that Sen. Kennedy is now facing the battle of his life. As Sen. Dodd said tonight, Ted's a tough guy and a fighter, and there's nobody who can beat this if it isn't Ted Kennedy.

We all send our best wishes and prayers to him and his family.


Unbelievable. Simply amazing.

"Tailgunner Joe" protects us from videos

Serial draft-deferrer and Homeland Security Chair Joe Lieberman is bravely taking the War Against Terror to a new battleground, with a patently absurd letter addressed to Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Google, Inc.

Apparently, our self-appointed representative of the Thought Police doesn't like that people are free to post videos on Youtube that might contain images or ideas contrary to his apparent plans for total regional war in the Middle East!

At least, it seems that way to me.

To his credit, Dr. Schmidt removed several videos that contained violent or illegal content, then he responded with this:
"While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view," the company said. "We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate, we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds."
It's ironic that wimpy Joe Lieberman, who managed to avoid serving our nation in Vietnam by slithering out on multiple college deferments (thereby saving himself the pain of shooting off a toe or the shame of admitting to being a homosexual), is suddenly taking the war to Youtube.

Hmmm...I wonder if Joe harbors any OTHER reasons for hating the online video service...could it be THIS, or THIS, or THIS, or a million OTHER videos that feature Joe Lieberman looking like the political hack and dangerous wacko he is?

Oh, and if you're wondering where the "Tailgunner Joe" reference is from, watch this video:

(h/t to Sue from MLN and DailyKos)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tuesday's primaries

This week we'll see the Kentucky and Oregon primaries. This is the last big group of delegates to be selected, a total of 103 will be chosen by voters.

In Kentucky, Sen. Clinton is leading in the polls with West Virginia-style numbers, somewhere around 62% to 30%. With 51 committed delegates up for grabs, I'm guessing Hillary will garner about 32 delegates to Obama's 19.

In Oregon, Sen. Obama is holding around an 8 to 12 point lead. My prediction is Obama will get 29 to Hillary's 23 delegates.

So, based on my entirely un-scientific guesstimate, Hillary will gather 55 delegates to Barack's 48.

With only Puerto Rico (55 delegates, June 1st) and Montana and South Dakota (31 delegates total, June 3rd), we'll probably see a moderate Hillary advantage on the remaining delegates.

Which leaves us with the following numbers when the primaries are all over and done with Obama at 1986 and Clinton at 1824. Figure in a portion of super delegates who are tending towards Obama, and the numbers after the final primaries will be something like Obama 2050 and Clinton 1900.

This will push Obama over the top.

Of course, we need to see what the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee rules for Michigan and Florida, but even with a full Clinton ruling (where all the votes count as is) Hillary would still be behind Barack in the count.

It's going to be Obama. Let's just work on healing the party and unifying everyone who worked so hard for Hillary. Because we'll need everyone to turn out and work together to defeat another disastrous four years of Republican leadership.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The campaign in 7 minutes

I get a kick out of videos like these. You start watching them, and before you know it you're compelled the view the whole damned thing.

This campaign has been going on for so long that it's not too early to start reminiscing about it.

Democratic Race For President in Seven Minutes

(Sorry about the link, I can't embed this video)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Left Nutmeg is going to Denver!


Today the DNC announced the selections to represent each state at the Democratic National Convention in August, and My Left Nutmeg made the cut and will be the one blog from Connecticut.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me that the national media will have to deal with a blog called "My Left Nutmeg" being a part of the world-wide stage in Denver. I remember that the entire New York Times editorial staff clutched their collective pearls and were nearly overcome by a fatal case of "the vapors" at the prospect of having to actually repeat that name in print; and they ultimately referred to MLN as "a blog with the name of a person's naughty bits" (or something of that nature).

As we all learned during the incredible 2006 senate contest, bloggers sometimes became the focus of media curiosity. With the expected flood of media at the national convention, we'll almost definitely get to see our blogger rep be interviewed on a cable news network, with the title "from My Left Nutmeg" appearing at the bottom of the screen.

I can't wait!

Timing is everything


I'm totally in awe of John Edwards, and his deft use of precise timing to utilize his endorsement to maximum advantage.

Less than 24 hours after Hillary Clinton's impressive victory in West Virginia, Edwards dropped a metaphorical A-bomb on Hillary's parade by endorsing Barack Obama at a rally in Michigan tonight.

I was wondering when he was going to step up for one or the other candidate, since he publicly stated on several occasions that he wouldn't issue an endorsement until after the voters went to the polls in the North Carolina primary, which concluded a week ago with Obama winning big. I couldn't understand why he was waiting so long to make the announcement.

Now it makes perfect sense. He used the occasion to deflate Clinton's victory after a single news cycle, when it would have the maximum impact. Keep in mind that Edwards was a very popular candidate in the Presidential race, and he still holds 26 delegates. His endorsement may lead to Obama getting a large percentage of those delegates. Even last night, Edwards was still on the ballot in West Virginia, and he received about 7% of the vote. That's a substantial margin for somebody who dropped out months ago.

Edwards has proven he's an impressive political creature. His support of Barack Obama can only help the senator's chances in November.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Big win for Hillary

There's no mistaking it - West Virginia loves it some Hillary!

Every indicator had predicted this victory for Clinton; and judging from Howard Wolfson's studied practice on CNN tonight of repeatedly labeling West Virginia a "key swing state", it appears Hillary's crew was also quite aware of their imminent landslide.

I think he might also have mentioned in passing that "no Democrat since Woodrow Wilson has won the White House without winning West Virginia" a couple of times.

At least.

But hey, repetition is a proven strategy when struggling to make a mountain out of a delegate-poor molehill. With 28 committed delegates at play there, tonight's results might give Hillary a 20-8, or even a 21-7 edge. Which will do very little to change the substantial delegate lead that Barack Obama currently enjoys.

But it will help ensure that Hillary will stay in the race until at least the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee decides how to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates at the national convention. That meeting is going to occur at the end of the month, and there's probably no reason for her to pull out before the Puerto Rico caucus on June 1st (which she'll win equally as decisive as tonight), and the final primaries on June 3rd for South Dakota and Montana.

Which is fine, as long as both candidates keep the really negative attacks focused on John McCain rather than each other.

Because ONE of these two Democrats will eventually need to have enough support from the ENTIRE electorate if we're going to keep "Bush the Third" out of the White House.

Jim Himes is nominated at 4th CD Convention

(Photo by Sue from MLN)

Congrats to Jim Himes! A preliminary report with lots of photos is up at My Left Nutmeg.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Checking McCain's "bearings"

Thanks, Joe. You make blogging easy!

Expect a Hillary blowout Tuesday

The latest poll from West Virginia shows Hillary Clinton with a prohibitive lead, according to CNN.Com:
Clinton has a 43-point advantage over Obama, 66 percent to 23 percent, according to a new survey from the American Research Group.

The poll was conducted entirely after Tuesday's primary results, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
With 28 earned delegates up for grabs in WV, Clinton may pick up mabye 10 more delegates than Obama. But with his current 164-delegate lead, this will have little impact.

It will, however, give Hillary a chance to capitalize on the results and claim that she appeals more to "middle America's voters".

And more than likely, we'll see these grueling primaries continue for at least the rest of the month. I'm guessing we won't see much change in the margin of Obama's earned delegate lead, but by the final (June 3rd) primaries he'll have a majority of the super delegates.

The ruling of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting about the fate of the Michigan and Florida delegates, scheduled for May 31st, will likely influence Hillary's all but inevitable decision to end her quest for the nomination. I'll be very surprised if we see a concession any time before then.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why does everyone bug me to run for Amann's seat?

(With Stamford mayor Dan Malloy at last year's JJB Dinner)

I'm getting kind of tired of this silliness.

The worst thing that happened to me in the last couple of years (other than Joe Lieberman's stubborn daily insistence on breathing) is for Jimmy Amann to have announced his retirement from the General Assembly at the end of his term.

Which leaves a sizable void in the political landscape of the 118th district, which occupies about 1/3 of Milford, specifically the center-to-western area.

Which is where I live.

And people apparently know that. Which begs the question:

Why do people keep bothering me to run for this seat?

I mean, get real, friends!

I can think of dozens of good reasons to not run, and not a single one why I should!

Well, OK; maybe having a progressive voice in the GA might be a good thing. I think I qualify as a "progressive". Whatever that is. I like progress, and I have a loud voice. That's gotta be "progressive". Somebody define it for me. I'm kinda lazy. So I don't wanna look it up.

I'll admit it would be a fun campaign. How can't it be? I'd insist on being placed on the ballot as "Connecticut Bob". In fact, I might go as far as legally changing my name so it'll appear that way. Or at least "Bob".

Who wouldn't want to vote for some character listed on the ballot as "Connecticut Bob"?

But the reality is there are literally dozens of people in my district better suited at being a rep than me.

Yes, but there are also hundreds who would be much worse at it than me.

All sorts of people tend to run for all sorts of reasons.

But let's try to find just ONE of the good ones to run!

More on Bill's crimson face

Last night Jon Stewart discussed Bill's persimmon face during his Daily Show rundown (just after the 2:00 mark below). As I mentioned here first, Bill's facial coloring seemed to run the gamut of red tints from magenta to rose; and depending on what cable channel you watched, even alizarin and cerise.

So far there's been no definitive explanation for Bill's multi-chromatic mug, but trust that I'm working on the case.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo sums up the current situation with regard to Hillary dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination.
This statement from Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the kind of statement that signals that Sen. Clinton's colleagues are telling her to wind this up. That doesn't mean they are saying she needs to drop out of the race. I'm not even sure at this immediate juncture that it's in Obama's or the Democratic party's interest for her to drop out of the race.

One concrete reason is that among the three contests to come over the next two weeks -- West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon -- two are among the best for Hillary in the country. So having him become presumptive nominee just before losing the West Virginia primary doesn't necessarily allow him to hit the ground running. And as Obama's speech last night signaled, his campaign seems intent on giving Clinton the space to make the decision on her own. The eventual nomination he has in hand; what he's got to work on is deescalating the tension between himself and Clinton's supporters. That's the necessary prelude to building the party unity he needs to win in November.

Both the Obama campaign and the supporters who are now telling her privately that it's over are probably content with her staying in through this month. But it will have to be a different campaign, one focused on each of the Democratic contenders virtues and the crying folly of electing John McCain President of the United States. I don't think Sen. Clinton will be hearing from many people who won't be telling her that it's time to start working this epic toward an honorable and unifying exit.

--Josh Marshall

WTF is wrong with Bill Clinton's face?

Last night I watched Hillary's victory/concession speech (yeah, I know she didn't concede) and couldn't stop looking at Bill's reddish/orange face. What's doing with Bill's freakish mug?

I couldn't figure it out. I switched from CNN to MSNBC to FOX, and each network had him with varying shades of bright orange to deep red. He was even approaching plum! Only on C-SPAN did Bill look relatively normal, and even that was creepy and disconcerting.

Big Dog was either suffering from the massive preliminary blood pressure spike associated with an impending brain aneurysm or heart attack, or he was the victim of a make-up artist with a very twisted sense of humor.

Either way, I couldn't concentrate on what Hillary was saying. He just looked way too weird!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clinton comback in doubt

Tonight's primary results from North Carolina and Indiana leave Hillary Clinton without the huge wins she needed in order to continue the "comeback" she's experienced since Pennsylvania two weeks ago.

At 10:30PM, Barack Obama holds a 14-point lead in North Carolina, and Hillary Clinton has a slight lead in Indiana that may decrease even more from the current 4% (Update: it's closer to 2%) she has. Because NC has 115 delegates to the 72 in Indiana, Obama stands to expand his delegate advantage by anywhere from 10 to 25, depending on the breakdown of the voter districts. And this is after two very tough weeks for Obama, considering the Rev. Wright controversy. If he can do this well after that dust-up, I look forward to him doing even better against a weak Republican candidate in the November election.

It's still very early, but these trends are looking very favorable for Obama, and may help the super delegates who have been on the fence make the commitment to Barack. My guess is that by Friday we'll have a very good idea of how the super delegates are thinking.

Clinton will likely stay in the race for the next few primaries and see what the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee decides in regard to the Michigan and Florida situation on May 31st. But if she fails to get a 100% favorable ruling on those states, I can't imagine that she'd stay in the race in some desperate misguided hope for a miracle at the convention.

Listen, I think Hillary Clinton would make a good, decent president; but I think Barack Obama would make a better one.

And it seems like many Democrats are seeing the same thing.

PS - CNN has Lanny Davis on right now, crowing about Clinton's "astounding victory". I hate Lanny Davis. I just do. Davis backed Joe fucking Lieberman all the way up to the general election. He makes my skin crawl!

"It's a stunt."

(Can we PLEASE drop that stupid "9/10" thing? Everyone knows it's basically a penny; you're not fooling anyone with it!)

Yup. It's an election year stunt. Barack Obama used those three words ("It's a stunt!") to sum up Hillary Clinton's support for a summer-long "gas tax holiday", the AP reports:
"It's a stunt," the Illinois senator said in Evansville. "It's what Washington does."

Obama's stance was backed up by 230 economists who released a letter Monday opposing the temporary tax break, which would take 18.4 cents off the price of a gallon if consumers got the full savings at the pump. The signers included four Nobel Prize winners and economic advisers to presidents of both parties.
Yeah, but what do THEY know? Do we really need another president who won't listen to the advice of experts in their field?
Clinton shrugged off the blistering reviews from policy makers, industry experts and editorial writers.

"I believe we should start standing up for the majority of Americans who are paying the outrageous gas prices," Clinton said. "I'm ready to take on the oil companies."
Yeah, that makes sense. Let's "take on the oil companies" by looting the Government's tax income while sitting idly by and letting the corporations wallow in their ridiculously huge windfall profits.

That'll show 'em!

Jesus! Is everyone taking CRAZY PILLS?!?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Will Clinton "detonate" her nuclear option?

News stories discussing Clinton's supposed "nuclear option" are popping up all over the MSM and the blogosphere. Here, here, and here.

The Nuclear Option refers to the upcoming DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting scheduled for late May where they'll discuss how to deal with the Florida and Michigan primaries. Clinton supporters make up at least 50% of the committee, and they have the option of proposing a straight up or down vote on whether to seat the delegates from those contests that the DNC had previously ruled invalid because they moved the dates to before February 5th. Obama (along with most other Democratic hopefuls) removed his name voluntarily from the Michigan ballot; and while both Clinton and Obama agreed to not campaign in Florida, Clinton made appearances at several big dollar fund raisers.

The resulting delegates would give Clinton roughly a 55-delegate lead over Obama.

The use of the nuke option might have disastrous results for Clinton and the Democratic Party.

First, many Obama supporters would feel cheated by Clinton's strong-armed tactics, and fail to support her should she win the nomination. Also, there are probably quite a few Hillary supporters who would be disgusted by this obvious "gaming of the system" to get her the nod, and might similarly either defect to Obama or McCain. And it would send a strong signal to unaffiliated voters that Clinton doesn't go by the rules of fair play.

No doubt the results of a pure Clinton ruling would damage the Party, perhaps fatally, in regard to the November election.

There are some other options available. They can possibly use one of the many suggested solutions to the Florida/Michigan mess, which wouldn't be so blatantly unfair but still seat those states' delegates. Also, Hillary may lose badly in tomorrow's North Carolina primary and suffer from a very close margin in Indiana, which would further increase Obama's lead by perhaps 15-20 delegates from his current 137 delegate lead. Plus, John Edwards is probably going to support the popular winner in North Carolina, so his supporters may follow giving Obama a significant boost. Clinton may decide that nuking the party wouldn't be worth the bad publicity and negative effects on any future campaigns she might run.

There is the added consideration that a good many of Clinton's supporters on the rules committee might actually wish to continue to have a career in politics, so being a part of what would essentially be perceived by party faithful as a "beer hall putsch" might endanger their future exploits.

And it could be that even Clinton will realize that "winning at any cost" goes against the spirit of the Democratic Party, and she'll voluntarily work to find a solution that's fair and equitable to the reality of the situation.

By this time on Wednesday, we'll all probably have a better idea of where this situation is headed. A substantial Clinton win in Indiana along with a win or tie in North Carolina might signal an increase in her supporter's calls for a full capitulation on the DNC's part. We'll see.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Boat day

Screw political blogging; it's 70 degrees out today and the sun is shining. I'm finally working on getting my boat ready for the sailing season. Woohoo!

I'm hoping we're in the water in two weeks, because we have our first big race on Memorial Day Sunday. Go Team Full Tilt!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gas Tax holiday

Both Hillary Clinton and John Sidney McCain III have endorsed the proposed "Gas Tax Holiday" for the summer months.

Only Barack Obama has the courage to object to this transparent stunt aimed at getting votes while not helping the real issues that face us.

Let's look at what the gas tax holiday means:

The federal gas tax raises money which is disbursed to the states for highway and bridge construction. This much needed income will disappear for three months.

The tax itself is 18 cents per gallon. Over the course of the summer, an average American driver might save about $30.

BTW, this number isn't based on "voodoo math"; I ran the numbers myself, based on someone who drives 12,000 miles per year, with their car getting 18 miles per gallon. Multiply the number of gallons by 18 cents, and it comes out to EXACTLY $30.

And that's only if the oil companies, which have nearly zero regulation, don't raise the price of gas at all. For comparison, gas prices have risen more than 20 cents per gallon during the first three weeks of April!

Not much of a break there. I'd rather see Clinton and McCain support a windfall profits tax on the oil corporations, so they still get to make their billions, yet the nation that made them wealthy might also benefit.

We definitely need relief from the spiraling cost of fuel. But sacrificing our highway infrastructure or our safety isn't the best way to go about it.

7 vote margin

Guam's never-been-significant caucuses became world wide news today, with Barack Obama winning the caucus (which more closely resembles a primary) by seven votes out of over 4,500 cast on the remote island.

The small margin ensures an even split of the four delegate votes (eight "half-votes" actually) decided by the election, with five additional super delegates. The super delegates currently are expected to favor Obama by one or two, and possibly three. (Note: I just realized that you can't split five votes and have someone get TWO more than the other; it's either 3-2 or 4-1, which gives you a margine of ONE or THREE.)

Tuesday brings the big North Carolina and Indiana primaries.

Early reports from Guam

Voting just ended in Guam, CNN.Com reports. They are electing 4 delegates (actually eight delegates, each with a half-vote), and there are 5 super delegates, two of whom are committed one each to Clinton and Obama:
HAGATNA, Guam (CNN) – They can’t vote for president in November, but today, their votes to help choose the Democratic nominee for president will make a difference. So residents in the tiny U.S. territory of Guam, with its population of nearly 175,000, continue to line up in a steady stream to cast ballots for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.


At stake are Guam’s four delegate votes at the national convention in Denver in August. Island voters today are electing eight delegates, who will each have a half vote at the convention. Two of Guam’s five superdelegates have already pledged one vote each to Clinton and Obama. The other three superdelegates, including congressional delegate Madeleine Bordallo, remain undeclared.

Vying for Guam’s delegate and superdelegate votes in their tight race for the nomination, the two remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls have inundated the island with radio and TV advertisements, each promising long-awaited political gains: the ability for Guamanians to be able to vote for president, lifting the territory’s cap on Medicaid, and perhaps the most coveted prize of all, war reparations in the form of over $120 million. A war reparations bill, sponsored by Bordallo, would issue payments to the survivors of Japan’s control of the island during World War II and would create educational and research programs about the occupation. The legislation is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.

The polls closed on Guam at 8 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET). Hand tabulation of the ballots is expected to take approximately three hours. In the island’s 2006 gubernatorial election, 55,311 people were registered to vote. The Democratic candidate received nearly 19,000 votes, and although voter turnout today is steady, election officials say it is not expected to be unusually high.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Five Years Ago

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."

President Bush
May 1, 2003

America's failure of leadership