Sunday, June 29, 2008


Took my first pill today on the road to quitting smoking. I've been reading all kinds of material on the web the last few days on the dangers of Chantix and they just have to make me laugh. Everyone talks about the grave dangers of the drug yet ignore the dangers of continuing to smoke. Whatever dangers might be involved with Chantix they have to pale by comparison to smoking.

I'm a 54 year old guy, overweight with high blood pressure and high cholesterol (the last 2 controlled by medication). That means smoking is just about the most dangerous thing in the world for me. But let's look at what they say:

Nausea occurs commonly in people taking varenicline. Other less common side effects include headache, difficulty sleeping, and abnormal dreams. Rare side effects reported by people taking varenicline compared to placebo include change in taste, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, and constipation. In November 2007, the FDA announced it had received post-marketing reports that patients using Chantix for smoking cessation had experienced several serious symptoms, including suicidal ideation and occasional suicidal behavior, erratic behavior, and drowsiness. On February 1, 2008 the FDA issued an Alert to further clarify its findings, noting that "it appears increasingly likely that there is an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms."

I get ALL those symptoms and more when I quit cold turkey. They have no way of telling if these problems are reactions to Chantix or to quitting cigarettes. Should I just not stop? That's the MOST dangerous path. Frankly, I expect all my withdrawal syptoms will be less with Chantix than without it. The way it works seems ideal, it attaches to the nicotine receptors in the brain and releases a steady flow of dopamine. Each cigarette produces a burst of dopamine which is what is thought to make it so addictive. The burst does not last long and pretty soon we crave another cigarette. With Chantix attaching to the nicotene receptor and releasing a steady flow of dopamine it tricks the brain into thinking it already had a cigarette and the desire for one is gone. It's said that smoking a cigarette tastes like smoking a carrot. Sounds like just what I need!

Here is a blog By Suzanne Danforth:

I have mentioned here before that the pill has visited me with some strange effects. In detail, I can tell you that my Chantix odyssey has been a burst in creativity, sleeplessness and the kind of energy that is just shy of scary.

Sounds good to me! Hell, that's why I drink a lot of coffee! My main concern is nausea, I think that's what I'd be most susceptible to, but that kind of symptom usually goes away in a few days. From what I've read the real problem is getting off Chantix, that the withdrawal symptoms that you didn't feel before hit in spades when you go off the drug. But being forewarned I can gradually reduce my dosage. I'll blog occasionally on how it's going.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Carnival of the Liberals #67

I just discovered I'm on Carnival of the Liberals #67 at Situation Awareness. It's my post on why to vote for McCain or Obama, McBush. I'm thrilled and honored, especially since it's the first and only time I ever applied to a Carnival. Of course, I am way down at the very bottom, second to last, but that's just because "Politics" was the last category.

My only complaint is that no one told me, I found out by searching out the latest version and finding my name there. It's still pretty cool, though.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The FISA Bill-Really makes me mad.

The Senate voted to stop any filibuster against the bill but Harry Reid still postponed it until after the July 4th recess, they will be voting on it on July 8. They will first have an up or down vote on the Dodd-Feingold amendment to strip telecom immunity from the bill, but that doesn't seem likely to pass. Word is a lot of money changed hands from the corps to the congresscritters. That Steny Hoyer and the blue dogs really control the purse strings of congress.

Here is a list of how the cloture vote went:

Only 15 senators voted against it, all Democrats.

As I expected, Boxer voted nay while Feinstein voted Yay.

I really hate Feinstein. Now I hate Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi too.

The 2 presidential candidates were not there and neither was Hillary. Kennedy and Byrd weren't there either but at least they have good excuses.

Right after that I got an email from the Obama Campaign, I immediately clicked on the link to take me off their list which also had a box for saying why I want off (which is why I did it). I said Obama's stance on the FISA bill shows he either doesn't understand the Constitution or he doesn't have any concern about protecting it, this is too serious an issue to ignore. I also said I was just about to donate money but will not be doing so now.

It would only have $25 but they don't know that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama Lied Again

One of the key issues of this campaign has been the economic devastation that has happened to today's workers due to corporate friendly policies such as NAFTA that has sent jobs off to other countries. Obama was against it to get votes in the states hardest hit by this, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and others in the heartland, but now he's back-pedaling as this article on Alternet says:

In her interview with the candidate, Fortune's Nina Easton reminded Obama that earlier this year he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake" and suggested that he would use an opt-out clause in the trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico to demand changes that would be more favorable to workers and farmers in all three countries.

Obama replied, "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified" -- which would have been enough of an indication that he was backing off the stance that contributed significantly to his success in the Feb. 19 Wisconsin primary that proved to be a critical turning point for his campaign.

Now Obama is saying NAFTA is not such a bad thing after all. The sad part is that Hillary would not have done any better, her campaign had contacted the Canadians months ago to assure them that nothing she says about destroying NAFTA is true so don't worry. It was ironic that she later accused Obama of doing this very thing.

Referring to Obama's soft-pedaling of the fair-trade position he embraced in the primary campaign, Easton writes, "That tone stands in marked contrast to his primary campaign's anti-NAFTA fusillades. The pact creating a North American free-trade zone was President Bill Clinton's signature accomplishment, but NAFTA is also the bugaboo of union leaders, grassroots activists and Midwesterners who blame free trade for the factory closings they see in their hometowns.

NAFTA is one of the main low points of Bill Clinton's presidency. In many other ways he was damn good president but unfortunately someone put economic ideas in his head that made him follow right-wing economic policies, which meant deregulation and NAFTA and generally being corporate friendly instead of worker friendly. Now Obama seems to be following the same path.

As David Sirota, the author of a terrific new book on populist anger at Washington's trade and economic policies, The Uprising, correctly observes, "Here you have a policy -- NAFTA -- that is among the most unpopular policies of the last generation, according to polls. Here you have a candidate who campaigned against it in the primary. And within weeks of getting the general election, here you have that same candidate running to Corporate America's magazine of record to reassure Wall Street about that same policy. This is precisely what the populist uprising that I describe in my new book is all about -- a backlash to this kind of politics."

This is very disappointing but not unexpected. David Sirota has written before about the indicators that showed Obama was far more corporate friendly than I was comfortable with. Which is one of the big reasons I was for Edwards first, Kucinich second, and Obama was a distant third. I knew Edwards and Kucinich were against NAFTA and weanted to protect the American worker and American jobs. But once the race narrowed down to Hillary and Obama the choices were too limited to vote for a true progressive candidate and I had to settle for the least corporate of the two, though there isn't much difference between them.

If Obama does not change his tune, he's likely to get burned in Ohio, Wisconsin and other states where primary surveys showed that the vast majority of Democratic, Republican and independent voters felt that the radically pro-corporate free trade policies of the Clinton and Bush years had harmed rather than helped America.

Frankly, this doesn't make much sense since McCain would be even more for the corporation and against the workers than Obama could ever be. At the very least Obama will likely raise taxes on the wealthy which will bring our debt down and hopefully allow the dollar to gain back a little of the ground it's lost. McCain doesn't even want to do that.

The sad part is that rather than be an agent of change or someone who brings a new kind of politics to Washington he's quickly turning into just another politician.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Dies at 71

This morning I fed the cats, brewed a cup of coffee, sat down at my computer and turned the TV on. Typical morning. On the news they were doing a story on George Carlin so I started paying attention. I soon realized there seemed to be no point to the story, that this is the kind of story they did when someone just died.

SHIT! I thought and immediate did a Google search and found out that he had. And I started crying, just a little sniffling but I've never cried before when hearing of a celebrity death, but this one hit me hard. Maybe it's because George was the Atheist's Comedian.

"In any decently run universe this guy would have been out on his omnipotent ass long ago."

Who else would, or could, say a line like that. In recent years he was looking pretty old but his comedy was as sharp as ever, maybe even more so as his wit seemed to bite harder into the fabric of society as he got older. I remember the very first time I saw him, it was on the Tonight Show way back in the early 70's. He very first routine cracked me up and I've remembered it ever since. He was doing the hippie dippie weather man: "Tonight's forecast - dark. Turning to widely scattered light in the morning."

Then there was his brilliant playing with language: "Why do we have flammable and inflammable? Either it flamms or it doesn't flamm."

He will be missed. There isn't anything that could speak better for George than his own comedy, this one is entitled "Religion is Bullshit!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More On FISA

Here is a video of Keith Olbermann and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley discussing the new FISA bill land what is means. Turley says it has no redeeming value to the public whatsoever and eviscerates the 4th Amendment. And we have Democrats to thank for it as well as Obama.

Obama Is A Liar

Glenn Greenwald has been going crazy over this new FISA bill, and I'm glad he's out there writing about it because you won't see much coverage in the mainstream media. His web site goes back several days and includes efforts being made to keep those who forced this bill along, like Steny Hoyer, from getting re-elected. Glenn wants to see more progressive democrats replace these traitors. But the most disappointing thing is that Obama is now supporting it:

In the past 24 hours, specifically beginning with the moment Barack Obama announced that he now supports the Cheney/Rockefeller/Hoyer House bill, there have magically arisen -- in places where one would never have expected to find them -- all sorts of claims about why this FISA "compromise" isn't really so bad after all. . . .
Accompanying those claims are a whole array of factually false statements about the bill, deployed in service of defending Obama's indefensible -- and deeply unprincipled -- support for this "compromise."

Suddenly everyone is falling in line behind the Democratic presidential nominee. It has nothing to do with whether or not the bill should be supported, whether or not it shreds the constitution and makes us all subject to any kind of spying on our conversations, no, it's now about supporting our candidate no matter what.

The bill legalizes many of the warrantless eavesdropping activities George Bush secretly and illegally ordered in 2001. Those warrantless eavesdropping powers violate core Fourth Amendment protections. And Barack Obama now supports all of it, and will vote it into law. Those are just facts.

So much for Obama being this great constitutional scholar, apparently for him, the constitution can be brushed aside whenever he feels like it. I'm tremendously disappointed.

Making matters worse still, what Obama did yesterday is in clear tension with an emphatic promise that he made just months ago. As the extremely pro-Obama notes today, Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, back in in September, vowed that Obama would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." MoveOn believes Obama should be held to his word and is thus conducting a campaign urging Obama to do what he promised -- support a filibuster to stop the enactment of telecom amnesty. You can email Burton here to demand that Obama comply with his commitment not just to vote against, but to filibuster, telecom amnesty:

I sent an angry letter to Burton and suggest everyone do the same.

So Obama has lied about everything. He is not for civil rights and the constitution. He is not against the "old style of politics." He is simply lying to us about everything he stands for to the point were we can no longer know if he will even attempt any of the things he has said he would do. I had high hopes for him but they are gone now, I am no longer an Obama supporter and his banner has been taken off this blog over on the right. I've long fought against the idea that there is no difference between the 2 parties but right now there really doesn't seem like there is much a difference at all. The only difference is in rhetoric and promises, not in actions. If I vote it will still be for Obama because McCain is just too awful to contemplate, but I'm so down about it all right now I'm not sure I will even bother to vote because I'm not at all sure Obama will be any better.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama In The Lead

Real Clear Politics shows Obama in the lead in all the polls.

General Election: McCain vs. Obama

PollDateSampleObama (D)McCain (R)Spread
RCP Average06/12 - 06/19--47.542.0Obama +5.5
USA Today/Gallup06/15 - 06/191310 LV5044Obama +6.0
Newsweek06/18 - 06/19896 RV5136Obama +15.0
FOX News06/17 - 06/18900 RV4541Obama +4.0
Rasmussen Tracking06/17 - 06/193000 LV4844Obama +4.0
Gallup Tracking06/16 - 06/192648 RV4644Obama +2.0
Reuters/Zogby06/12 - 06/141113 LV4742Obama +5.0
ABC News/Wash Post06/12 - 06/15--4945Obama +4.0
Cook/RT Strategies06/12 - 06/15880 RV4440Obama +4.0

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pascal's Wager Destroyed

If there is anyone who doesn't know what the Wager is, it's simple. Pascal formulated that if you fail to believe in a god but one exists the consequences are incredibly bad, but if you believe and there is no god there is no price to pay. Therefore believing is the safe bet. This is one of the stupidest arguments for Christianity ever made and the guys at The Atheist Experience totally destroy it in a 2 minute video.

Mac vs PC

The funniest part of these commercials is that the PC guy is a lot more interesting - and a better a actor - than the Mac guy. And I'm really only doing this to test out the new Flock 2, built on the Firefox 3 platform. Very fast and nice.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

Today is the day that gay marriage becomes legal in this state, hard to say just how happy I am to hear it. I'm not gay and have been married for 17 years to the Amazing Darcy (who is the toughest person on earth at the moment). I don't even know any gays personally that want to marry. But it's a matter of fairness and being against discrimination and hate. It's an insult to what America is supposed to be to have certain types of people singled out as second class citizens with less rights than the rest of us.

The Guardian has an interesting article on all this:

But starting this afternoon, many of those same couples and thousands more are expected to take advantage of the court's latest ruling permitting same-sex marriage to become "spouses for life".

At 5.01pm today, barring further legal challenges, the court's ruling is due to come into force. Several counties and cities planned to keep their clerk's offices open late today to officiate the first ceremonies.

Justice has prevailed, even if just a little. What California is going to do that Massachusetts didn't is to marry anyone without the need of a residence requirement, which means they expect gays from all over America to come here to get hitched.

The numbers are impressive. In a report issued this month, the University of Southern California's Williams Institute estimated that extending marriage to gays and lesbians would boost state revenues by more than $63m.

The study anticipates that about half of the state's 102,000 registered same-sex couples will marry in California in the next three years; it also predicts that more than 60,000 same-sex couples will come from other states to marry.

They will spend some $683m, helping to create more than 2,000 jobs and generating $55m in state and local taxes. Marriage licence fees alone will bring in $8.8m.

Accordingly, hoteliers, wedding planners, florists and jewellers are preparing for what they hope will be a rush of couples, leading some to dub the coming months the "new summer of love".

California's state tourism commission lists hotels and estates from the vineyards of the Napa Valley in northern California to the scorched desert of Palm Springs offering gay marriage packages.

A Travel Industry Association survey found that four of the top 15 travel destinations in the US for gay couples are in California. The fabled pink dollar – gay men spend an average $800 per trip, compared to single straight men's $540 – means that businesses are looking forward to an influx of "dinks" (double income, no kids).

Hallelujah, Brothers and Sisters!! What good right winger wouldn't happily drop any inconvenient standards in order to make a few million, so resistence will fade quickly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Voting Republican

This doesn't really need any introduction, it speaks for itself.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Rational Christian

Obama actually includes non-believers in with the rest of America, and talks about bringing reason to religious faith, especially when choosing to bring faith into the public square. If this is how Christians were REALLY like I'd have a lot more respect for them. Frankly, I don't think we will ever get a Christian more rational than this.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This is the name of Bill Maher's new movie, it's a combination of religion and ridiculous, so that should give you a good idea of where he is going with this. The video is an interview with Bill on Larry King where he talks about the movie. Although he says he wants it to open on Easter obviously that isn't going to happen.

On the official website it says Oct. 3rd. You can see the trailer for it which looks hilarious. There is also a link on there to disbeliefnet which looks like a fun site.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Keith Olbermann has this little photo he puts on the screen whenever he talks about McCain. Yeah, that's it to the left. Some intrepid graphic artist fired up Photoshop and opened photos of both McCain and Bush then took Bush's features and placed them on McCain's head. He (or she) was probably laughing hysterically while doing it then called over the rest of the art department to look at it and they all laughed and did critiques. Like the fact that it's funny as hell and more than a little creepy. Since I happen to BE an intrepid graphic artist I know exactly how it goes. He might not even have meant it to be used for Countdown, he was just being funny (graphic artist are VERY funny people). Then it got passed around the office and made it's way to Keith who immediately said he had to use this and named it McBush. I don't know anyone over at MSNBC so I don't know how it really happened but this is the most likely scenario.

But however this came about it was brilliant. Let's be perfectly clear, McCain is just Bush in an older and less stable package (less stable via age and temper). I suspect he isn't even as smart as Bush is (I was never one of those who thought Bush a dummy). And he is pandering to the right wing base by flipping on every issue he ever believed in. He was once against those outrageous tax cuts for the rich, now he is all for them. He said long ago that Bush completely screwed up Iraq and now he wants to screw it up some more in exactly the same ways. He spoke out against torture now he is all for it.

One TV pundit had an interesting remark, that the McCain of 2000 would not vote for the McCain of 2008, just like the fact that McCain didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and admitted it when it thought he wasn't being listened to. In other words he doesn't care about anything except being president.

And let's also be clear that Bush is not an idiot or a screw up, all these bad things that have happened in the last 8 years are not a result of incompetence, this is the full result of the Republican agenda, the past 28 years of effort reaching full fruition. This is why Bush is very well loved by the hard core of the party - mainly the rich guys.

Iraq happened because they WANT the price of oil to be over $100 per barrel. Our military is staying there because the Iraqis are being really stubborn and won't pass the laws we want that will allow American oil companies to steal their oil. How many millions do you think Cheney has made from his Halliburton stock? He never sold it, it was just put into a blind trust so he couldn't do anything with it while VP, but when he leaves office it's all his again. And the answer is roughly $40 million.

Katrina happened because they don't really care. The poor are just abstract ideas to the rich elite, not real people. And most of them are black anyway, right? Look at Barbara Bush saying in a rescue shelter in Texas that this is working for them because they are poor anyway, her voice dripping with contempt and even humor over it all.

The economy is right on schedule too because the entire purpose of Bush's economic plans (remember Bush Sr. calling Reagan's economic ideas Voodoo economics?) was to funnel money from the poor and middle class up to the rich so they can get richer. Since 1960 the income of the top 1% of this country has increased by 1800% while the middle class has lost about 6%.

Does all this seem too incredible, too horrible even? You have to understand the very rigid ideology of the Neocons, and rest assured they are not conservatives or even Republicans, they are Neocons who have taken over the party. They believe that the majority of people are not even fit to vote, let alone rule, and who are the elite? The rich people. They don't even want the middle class to have too much power at all, that is why they have been destroying unions and causing vast economic woes among them so they will be too busy with too many problems to march in the streets like they did in the 60's.

And they think government is evil and should be made small enough to be drowned in a bath tub. Since government doesn't work what incentive do they have to make it work right? For them it is only a means to get more money to the rich, who deserve it because they are rich. Don't have health insurance? They think you don't deserve to live if you can't afford health insurance, or are at least indifferent to whether you live or not. This is why New Orleans has still not been rebuilt, because most of the money is disappearing in the coffers of companies like Halliburton and not actually being used for what it was meant for. We rebuilt all of Europe faster and cheaper than we are rebuilding The Big Easy.

So the choice is easy in November. If you want the rich to get richer, if you want continuous warfare so the rich get richer, if you want health insurance to stay the way it is so the rich can get richer, if you want the middle class to disappear so the rich can get richer, then vote for McBush.

If you have even an ounce of decency and fairness within you vote for Obama.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Clinton disavows VP pressure

Obama and Hillary were said to have met for a discussion tonight but no one knows exactly what was talked about, according to this article on MSNBC. Several of her supporters have been talking publicly about getting petitions signed to make her the VP candidate, in other words, force her down Obama's throat.

In what seems like a rare bit of political savvy from someone who has shown little of it in the last few months, Hillary has totally backed off and thrown full support behind Obama and told her supporters to lay off with the VP pressure, that the decision is Obama's alone.

In an e-mail to supporters, the New York senator said she "will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise."

Clinton expressed the same sentiment in a conference call with 40 members of her national finance committee, whom she urged to begin raising money for Obama and for the Democratic National Committee.

"She was in good spirits and totally supportive, without qualification, of Senator Obama and his campaign," finance co-chairman Alan Patricof said of the call.

In her speech last Tuesday she seemed like she was trying to force Obama to take her on as VP, which was the one thing she could do to make sure he couldn't take her on if he wanted to (which he probably doesn't). He can't look like she forced him to do it, he can't make her VP if it makes him look weak, which is part of the incredible lack of savvy she seems to have displayed lately.

But she appears to have gotten her groove back and is on track and doing the right things. Pretty amazing when she even talks about raising money for Obama. If she throws her full support behind him without reservations then I think most of those angry, middle-aged white-women will vote for him even though they have said they won't. They've been calling in to all the radio talk shows the past 2 days very angry and swearing they will never, NEVER voted for Obama, but when the host asks what, exactly, Obama has done that is so bad it throws them for a second. Then they go on to complain about how badly Hillary has been treated. Many of them talking about things they've read on the blogoshpere that were insulting to her. But not one even tried to come up with something Obama himself had actually done that was so bad, or even at all bad. But the answer is obvious, he had the nerve to beat Hillary.

Sorry, ladies, he did it fair and square. He's a young, skinny guy who came out of nowhere to take on the Clinton Political Machine, and did it with absolute brilliance and succeeded. If he can do that as president we are really going to see something.

As far as VP the best I can think of is John Edwards, but after him I can't think of anyone who has the political weight to be on the ticket except for Hillary. I wonder if Obama will reach that conclusion as well. Probably not since there is the massive baggage she carries named Bill. Ed Schultz said one of his Washington connections told him that ever since Bill left office they've had to keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't get into trouble, especially in hotel rooms. Then there is the fact that he doesn't want any info given out on who has contributed to his library and how much. Which would need to come out in the vetting process.

So my guess is Ted Strickland, Governor of Ohio will be the Veep. He brings in the one thing no one else can - OHIO!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hillary To Concede

Keith Olbermann's lead story was Breaking News where he didn't even ask which of these stories will we be talking about tomorrow, he just went right in to the fact that Hillary will be conceding on Friday and endorsing Obama. Whew, at last.

Apparently, all the people she thought were supporting her in Washington called her up (literally a conference call with about 2 dozen congressmen) and said What the hell are you doing??! They convinced her she needed to give it up if she hoped to have a career after this.

It's thought she really does want to be VP but then heard that Obama's people would insist on a full vetting of any candidate, even her. And they especially wanted to know who was making donations to Bill's library, that's when she decided she didn't REALLY want to be VP after all.

I saw this after just hearing Rachel Maddow and her political mentor David Bender talk about how Hillary had just blown any chance of being VP with her speech last night. She pretty much took the 18 million people who voted for her and tried to beat Obama over the head with them, thinking to force the VP position from him. But David said that was the one thing that would make sure Obama would not make her VP because it would look like she forced him into it.

She misread Obama, thought he was weak, and misread her top level supporters who were horrified by her speech last night. Turns out some of her top advisors were on the phones to the congress people begging them to talk her down. They all just wanted it to end. Everyone says she's a shrewd politician but it sure doesn't look that way to me, she pretty much misread everyone and made all the wrong moves and people had to come in and stop her, it had gotten so bad. I sure wish I could have been in on the conference call.

But Hillary is now out of the race and VERY unlikely to be the VP candidate. Obama made it sound like he wanted to take his time in this choice so we just have to be patient. My choice is John Edwards, but then he was my first choice for president too, and was in 2004 as well. I kind of like Jim Webb but he's a bit conservative and inexperienced and Obama can probably take Virginia by himself anyway. My guess would be the governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, because Ohio will be a very important swing state. Bill Richardson wouldn't be bad, I think that would bring all the Hispanics over to Obama but is it too non-white a ticket? Is America ready for that yet? I'd sure as hell vote for them.

But Richardson would also make a good Secretary of State, and Edwards a good Attorney General. All Gore as the Energy Secretary charged with developing viable alternatives to gas and oil, Hillary as the Heath Care Czar. Talk about a dream ticket.

After all these years of Bush and his evil cadre I'm starting to have wet dreams about liberal Democrats.

Barack Obama

It's time to pause a minute and reflect on what has just happened and to congratulate Barack Obama on a truly excellent campaign. To have set up an election campaign over night and then to actually defeat the Clintons is one hell of an accomplishment. I have full confidence he will be able to do the same thing to McCain, only more so because McCain isn't as good a candidate as Hillary. With Hillary he was holding back, she is far too respected in the party for him to take a chance on antagonizing any of her supporters. But he has no such constraints against McCain and the spectacle should be awesome.

Congratulations Mr. President.

This poster was done by Shepard Fairey for Obey. I don't know if they have any more for sale but you can try.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is It Over #3?

The simple answer is yes, it's over, Obama has the nomination. But Hillary did not concede and did not congratulate Obama on his win. At this point it doesn't matter what she does, Obama is the nominee and she is kind of irrelevant.

But let's take a moment and contemplate what has happened; a black man has won the nomination of the democratic party for President of the United States. This is truly historical, history unfolding before our very eyes. I would love to be able to go back in time and ask Lincoln and Jefferson for their opinions.

One pundit says his sources tell him that Hillary wants to be VP and that is the reason for all this. Another pundit says his sources tell him she doesn't want to be VP and Obama doesn't want to give it to her, and in fact will only offer it if he has assurances she will decline. They are supposed to be having a meeting tomorrow but I wonder how long until we know what happens.

My guess is she doesn't want to be VP and Obama doesn't want her to be. The question is what does she want? She's a power broker and she's come all this way because she wants something, a cabinet position? Secretary of State? Health Care czar? Does she just want the satisfaction of Obama asking for her help in giving him her votes in the general election? She still has lots of pull with women over 50 (who have become crazed maniacs over this), Hispanics and uneducated white workers. I think if she campaigns for Obama with the same determination that she campaigned for herself he's got the election sewn up. Best to leave Bill at home, though.

Is It Over #2?

Well, the Associated Press is calling it for Obama, saying he has enough delegates to win the nomination. I think that's a little premature but I'm sure that will be true later tonight or tomorrow, after all it's only 2:11 pm here in California.

Word from the Clinton campaign is that she will not concede or suspend her campaign tonight. Doesn't matter what her official pronouncement is because there are no states left to campaign in. Really, there is nothing she can do one way or another. She and Bill can try and strong arm the Super Delegates to change their votes but that wouldn't last long before the SD's get pissed off. If anything it might cause some of her delegates to switch to Obama.

And the second word from her campaign is that she would consider the VP position. Anyone but me see a contradiction here?

Is It Over?

All indicators say it is. My favorite is Bill saying yesterday in a speech that today (yesterday) might be the last day he ever campaigns like this. That can only mean that Hillary is giving up. The disturbing part is that sounds like he ISN'T going to be campaigning for Obama but considering the results of his campaign for Hillary it might be better if he sits it out for a while. It's sad that the only thing he has succeeded in doing is tarnish his own reputation.

The strongest indicator is the fact that she is dismissing her campaign staff. She is heading back to New York, has a speech scheduled for tonight and she has told all her top supporters (which means the ones with money) to be there. She has offered her staff a plane ticket that can either take them home or to New York to what looks to be a big party. If they do go to New York, however, they then have to pay their way home themselves. All are supposed to go home and await further, if any, instructions and to get all their expense reports in by Friday.

There is simply no other way to interpret that except that it's over. We will see tonight.

I have to say that now that it seems over a great deal of my animosity toward her is passing, hopefully all animosity on both sides will fade away as well and we will have a united Democratic party. Some of her supporters have proven to be downright scary. They all seem to be white women in their 50's and 60's and they are raging like it's the end of the world. They are accusing the media and the Democratic party of lying and cheating to push her out of the race when the truth is Hillary is the one who has lied extensively and is still lying today when she says she has the popular vote. The level of anger is just plain weird, and it seems that those who say they will not vote for Obama in November aren't mad at him or even think he's a bad candidate they are just too angry about Hillary not getting the nomination.

It seems to me that all these women see Hillary as themselves and are angry not at this election but at all the indignities they have suffered in their lives. Make no mistake about it, misogyny is alive and well and in my opinion is worse than racism in this country. And this generation of women have it especially hard because they grew up in a time where it looked like women would gain equal rights at last but didn't experience those rights themselves because these things take time. The generations that follow them are having an easier time of it. I think it's a lifetime of anger coming out right now and it's hard to find fault in that. Hell, they should be angry but they shouldn't displace that anger and put it all into this primary.

Barack has been nothing but respectful to Hillary. There were numerous opportunities he had to attack her the way she did him but he refrained. The last few weeks he has done nothing but praise her as a terrific campaigner and public servant. I've actually been a little pissed off that he didn't fight back harder against all the bullshit Hillary was throwing out but the most he would do is correct her when she was lying and not even say she was lying. One black guy called in to the Ed Schultz show and said Obama is doing that because a black man attacking a white woman is a HUGE taboo. I was kind of stunned to hear that but on reflection he might be right. Add to that the fact that the Clintons are highly respected in the democratic party and still wield a lot of power, so he didn't want to antagonize anyone too much. Fortunately, he seems to have no reluctance to attack McCain.

And hopefully we can all turn to the business of attacking McCain after tomorrow. I think a lot of the Super Delegates will come out for Obama after today's primaries tonight or tomorrow morning.