Friday, February 29, 2008

Wow - Hardly a day, and already an Obama response

This morning, Clinton put out her commercial with the phone ringing in the white house, asking who you would want to answer it.

Evidently, Obama knows:

Dang - the speed his campaign comes up with stuff is excellent.

Doomsday - might suck but -

Those who know me know that I have a massive geek crush on women who can kick ass. So, this might be interesting:

Roosters always come home

Since 1972, the Republicans have cozied up to the more extreme members of the religious community - promising them that they would outlaw abortion via a constitutional amendment (which didn't happen), or stopping gay marriage via a constitutional amendment (didn't happen either), or outlawing sodomy (struck down by the Supreme Court). But the idea was "Hey, we're like you - give us your vote, ignore what Jesus actually said about helping the sick and the poor, and we'll get along great.

"Just don't tell us what to do."

Well - looks like things have come home to roost. You've got Huckabee, a guy who doesn't believe in evolution and thinks the Constitution should be modified to fit "God's Laws" (great - so health care for everyone and help for the poor, right? No? Damn).

And - it's getting worse. See, McCain needs that right wing religious vote. So he's going for evangelicals. And he gets the support of John Hagee - hey, you can't get more religious right! I mean, this guy hates gay people with a passion!

One problem: Evidently, he's also pretty anti-Catholic. And the biggest religious jackass since Jerry Falwell, Bill Donahue of the Catholic League - which isn't sponsored by the Catholic Church, just a bunch of rich conservative guys who scream about everything they think offends them - now has entered the fray.

Seems that Donahue has his panties in a bunch over Hagee and McCain getting hooked up. See, Hagee has been telling people that the Catholic Church is the whore of the Earth talked about in Revelations. Somehow, Donahue is offended by this.

I'm going to get some popcorn - evidently, Donahue is going to be on CNN later today to complain about it. I have to admit - schadenfreude can be sweet!

Clinton on Clinton

There's this:

And then there's Clinton's response (found thanks to Politico):

Now, one of Clinton's laws of politics is this. If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other one is try get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.

Hm - one of these things are not like the other....

Where have we heard this before?

Bush's plan for dealing with the "surprise" that gas will likely hit $4 a gallon?

Why, cut taxes, of course!.

I mean, I guess you could increase public transportation. Or better roads. Or light rail in cities. Or a nationwide bullet train from New York to Seattle to San Diego to Miami, so that people could travel cheaply and not spend a lot of money on gas. But hey - that would make sense to a guy who didn't even know that gas was going to hit $4 a gallon.

Something to support - Credit Bill of Rights

The Credit Card Bill of Rights Bill for Congress - it doesn't fix *all* of the problems, but it certainly is a good start.

This strikes me as interesting in the list: "the right to pay off one's existing balance at the current interest rate if the rate increased". Does this mean that if the rates are going to raise, that you can tell the company to "close" your account, meaning you can't add new charges to it, but just pay it off at the old rate? I think that would be great, myself.

An explanation for why the Tennessee mailer was racist

Let's go back in time in earlier in the week. No, we're not going to buy the winning lottery tickets - that's against the Time Traveler's Ethical Code book.

Yes, I know - Time Travelers are idiots. Stay focused here, folks.

Earlier in the week, Karl Rove warned Republicans to stop referring to Senator Obama as "Hussein". Why? Well, it makes people think you're a racist asshole when you do, because emphasizing the Hussein in an effort to scare people with "Hey, he's really a super-secret Muslim" makes you look worse than it does him (well, except to the fellow Klan members, maybe).

About an hour or so afterwards, the Tennessee RNC puts out a mailer. In it, is a picture of, as they put it, Obama in "Muslim attire" - which, as near as I can figure, means anything "foreign". And it basically reads (as you can see in the picture) that because Obama got the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, that proves that Obama is likely to let Israel be destroyed by other Muslim nations.

Fast forward by two days. (Hey, we're not stopping to watch American Idol - the Time Machine is not for watching shows. Get a TIVO for that.) We then get the TN RNC issuing a statement pulling Hussein. Why? Well:

Tennessee Republican Party Remains Focused On Issue Not Race

The Tennessee Republican Party expresses thanks to the numerous people who have called to express support for the strong stance that we have taken in defense of the nation of Israel.

Our Monday, Feb 25, press release alerting voters that Sen. Barack Obama has foreign policy advisers and endorsements rooted in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views has been twisted by Democrats who would prefer to scream “racism!” rather than deal with Obama’s real and worrisome record.

Attempts to put the Tennessee Republican Party at odds with Sen. John McCain regarding our Monday press release and his Tuesday comments are ineffective and vacant given Sen. McCain’s consistently strong record as a defender of Israel.

OK, kids. Let's get this right. The Tennessee mailer said that because Obama got the endorsement of an anti-Semite, he himself has to be an anti-Semite, and the showed him in Muslim garb, to enforce the idea that he's really Muslim (because his Dad was, you know, and everybody knows if you're born Muslim, you're always one, wink, wink, nudge nudge).

But they pulled the ad because people claimed it was racist, and ignored the *very* important point that they were trying to make that Obama was really out to destroy Israel! People, why are you so focused on race? Oh, honey, fetch the smelling salts while I wave my hanky under my nose - I'm sooo offended they would call me a racist!


The main problem is that the mailer was not confused as racist while it was trying to point out that Obama is, according to the mailer, secretly an anti-Semite. The problem is that the mailer in and of itself was racist.

If David Duke announced he endorsed McCain, would that mean that McCain was a racist? How about that McCain got endorsed by Rev. John C. Hagee who says we should launch a strike against Iran because the Bible says so - does this mean that McCain really wants to launch a war in the Middle East to bring out the end of times?

Of course not. It's offensive enough for the TN RNC to claim "Well, the mailer wasn't really racist" - even worse is how much isn't true. Obama was defended by the Anti-Defamation League over false charges he was a Muslim - as if it would matter if he was. In Chicago, he has had great support by the Jewish community.

No - the mailer from the Tennessee RNC is pure, unadulterated racism - bigotry at its finest, fear mongering at its worst. "Watch out - that guy has dark skin, and that means he's not *really* one of us, you know. See - we have a picture of him in his 'native' garb!"

It's bad enough when Hillary supporter Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones says the picture of Obama was in the native clothing of his country.

Guess what? He wasn't. You know what the native clothing of his country is?

Looks like this.

How good people do evil

Over the years, I've shifted back and forth of my thinking that people are inherently "good" or "bad". I think I've come to the thinking that most people are basically "good" - but that the capacity for evil lives in all of us.

For me, I think the best description for good versus evil comes from Harry Potter: You must choose between what is right, and what is easy. We all generally know what the "right" thing to do is - but hey, it's easier just to take that $5 that nobody claims, or tell your kids to shut up instead of listening to them (something I must confess I've been guilty of sometimes), or just kill that guy rather than listen to him and actually think about what he says.

Yes, I think that people are basically good - but you have to keep the environment around them up so there's always a *reason* to remain good. Which is why I was fascinated when I heard Dr. Philip Zimbardo speak once on NPR, about his experiments into evil back in 1972 - an experiment that had to end after 5 days. How that same experiment was played out again in Abu Gharib in Iraq - with the same results, only worse, because there was no one to stop it.

There's an interview with him over at Wired as part of TED 2008. On the heels of the new discovery that 1 in 100 US citizens are imprisoned, makes me think how much of "bad" is situational. Mix in unemployment with hopelessness with poverty with poor health with a justice system more bent on punishment than reform - and perhaps its not surprising that those in the prisons go from bad to worse.

Anyway, read the interview. I'm intent on reading his book some day (and now that classes are finally over save for one final, I have some time to get caught up on my reading, so I might do it).

It's Jimmy McSnarky to the Rescue!

According to Politico, here's a somewhat response to the Clinton fear-and-loathing advertisement they are now running:

My colleague Carrie Budoff Brown e-mails from an Obama campaign conference call (big day for conference calls):

A reporter asked whether Clinton should drop out after Ohio and Texas. Obama adviser Richard Danzig responded:

"I would encourage you on March 5 to call Sen. Clinton at 3 a.m. and ask that question."

Oh, the snark! The snaaaarkiness of it all!

Playing the fear card

Evidently, the Clinton campaign thinks that her new ad featuring a ringing "red phone" in the White House going unanswered while you're children sleeping because, evidently, Barack Obama doesn't know how to answer a phone is probably going to be effective as the 2004 Bush Cheney ad about wolves.

Wait a second - who's playing from the Karl Rove playbook now?

Clinton Texas Lawsuit rumblings

This has got to be the most bone-headed thing I've seen from the Clinton Campaign.

From Kansas Star):

The Texas Democratic Party warned Thursday that election night caucuses scheduled for next Tuesday could be delayed or disrupted after aides to Hillary Clinton threatened to sue over the party's complicated delegate selection process.


I mean - really? What the hell kind of idea is this? "Look, we know there's only 4 days left, and we didn't understand how the Texas system works, but since we're possibly going to lose the popular vote as well, we'd like to change the rules - kind of like what was attempted in Nevada with the Culinary Union after they endorsed Obam.

Yeah. Smooth move, Clinton campaign. I've tried to be very nice about the whole Clinton Campaign, but - this really bothers me. Should her team lose on the 4th and she decide to withdraw, I think I will miss attitude of "do anything to win even if possibly dirty" the least.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

900,000 people are terrorists

In the United States, the US Homeland Security department thinks there are 900,000 terrorists. People who have names similar to that of 900,000 others aren't suppose to fly. Doesn't matter if you're a 5 year old child, or a 90 year old grandmother, you could be told "Sorry, you can't get on this plane". You could have someone go through your records, or start wiretapping you.

Perhaps your name is Yusuf Islam, and hey, that's *kind of like* Youssouf Islam - surely you shouldn't be allowed to fly, even if you are really well known back when you were Kat Stevens.

What really worries me is that in places like Florida, they denied people the right to vote if you name was "similar" to someone else's that had been convicted of a felony. So if your name was "LaShawn Brown", and you lived in Florida, well, that was *kind of like* Shawn Brown who was convicted in New Mexico - you must be the same person, so no voting for you!

Sorry, but this is bullshit. I'm at the point where I call the whole homeland security department a lot of nonsense, and that you don't get to use the terrorist list until you can prove that the person has a likely chance of being the person on the terrorist list. You know - apply some common sense or something. Crazy idea, I know.

Most of the time I think that Lou Dobbs is ful of himself-

And then there are times that I go "Good for you, buddy". I don't always agree with him, and think frankly he can be misinformed of things - but this made me happy. Basically, Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein has been telling people that the US economy isn't really getting worse (no, all of those home forclosures and gas prices rising and food prices rising and unemployment rising - not that bad, really). Evidently, according to Blankfein, it's people like Dobbs (and the media, and the Fed Chief, and the treasurer, and - everybody else) who are making the economy worse by *saying* that the economy is getting worse.

Dobbs reply (from Think Progress":

Perhaps Lloyd would like to come on here and show me the error of my ways and educate me perhaps from his lofty Wall Street perch on how millions of Americans are faring and what their prospects are. Lloyd, you certainly — I would love to have you do it. I would love to have you come on and talk to my face, not to my back, partner. I know it’s not the way you do it on Wall Street there, hot shot, but try it here. Come on down. Open invitation.

How can Exxon not pay for destroying the environment?

Exxon is trying to get out of paying $2.5 billion in punative damages for spilling oil all over Alaska. From Think Progress":

“So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?” [Chief Justice] Roberts asked in court.

The lawyer arguing for the Alaska fishermen affected by the spill, Jeffrey Fisher, had an idea. “Well,” he said, “it can hire fit and competent people.”

The rare sound of laughter rippled through the august chamber. The chief justice did not look amused.

But - hiring unfit people is a hallmark of the Bush administration! Why should corporations be any different?

I love this line

From Dave Winer at HuffPost:

There was a grand moment in last night's debate; they played a clip of Hillary Clinton's sarcastic speech about the light shining down, the heavens opening, angels singing, etc. The camera goes to Obama -- he's beaming. He says it sounds pretty good. And it does. America works when we work together. Being American is simple, but people like Bush and Rove and Cheney made it complicated. Americans get shit done, and Americans don't argue when their neighbor's house is on fire. We roll up our sleeves and we can do great things. For better or worse now we need to do some great things. We're lucky that now we have the leadership we need to get started.

I've had some interesting talks with people at church and work on this issue: why should I help people who were lead into predatory loans, or people who need health care, or - otherwise?

Because that's what we do as human beings. If I see someone getting mugged, I pull out my phone, call 9-1-1, and then go to help out. I might not give a dollar to every homeless guy I see - but I'll give some money to the Red Cross or other organizations so they can build a place for people to get back on their feet.

It really is that simple: we help other people because it's the right thing to do, and we'd expect them to do the same for us. We did it in the 30's. We did it in the 40's and won WWII against a great evil. We did it in the 60's and changed the face of what it was to be American from "white male" to "any human adult".

We just have to do the simple thing: decide to do it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why the Democratic Primaries are like Bleach

I've read about the first 15 volumes of Bleach. I actually like it - but there's certainly a pattern:

Ichigo: Man, you're strong!
Bad guy: That's right - I'm way stronger than you!
Ichigo: I can barely hold my own! Guess I'll have to get stronger!

(Insert training here.)

Bad guy: No way - you couldn't get strong this fast! Nooooooo!

Now, you've got this:

Barack Obama: My debating skills are weak!
Senator Clinton: Hahaha - my policy stating abilities are greater than yours!
Obama: I can barely hold my own - I need to get stronger.
Clinton: No - you couldn't have gotten better at debating this fast!

It seems that with every debate, Obama gets stronger, more confident, faster with the verbal judo to take his opponents argument and turn it right against him.

These folks made good salsa

I found Meadow Croft Farm in a fair not to long ago - and while the "XXX Hot Chunky Salsa" isn't as hot as I'd like, it had some *flavor* to it.

I just ordered a case, plus a jar of blackberry jam (for my lovely wife) and a jar of strawberry peach jam.

I already told my lovely wife that I'd was planning on jamming this summer. That should be an adventure.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Of all reasons, this is why Obama will win

Obama, as he began his speech, said he had "some business to take care of." "Each and every one of you can go down to the Hamilton County Board of Elections - that's 824 Broadway - and vote right now,'' Obama said.

The campaign had buses parked outside Fifth-Third Arena to take people to the board of elections to take advantage of Ohio's early voting system. (The Board is open until 8 p.m. each night this week.)

And that's it right there: organization. For a guy who claims his greatest weakness is that he looses pieces of paper, and needs someone to organize this time, he gets it. Feet on the ground every step of the way, take nothing for granted - and get them to vote *now*.

I saw that in Texas when he gave his speech in Houston. He got the crowd pumped up, told them why he was a good choice - and then told them right there "You've all got this piece of paper for early voting - go use it right now and vote."

Hopefully, this ability will translate when he gets to the general, and when he gets to the White House. Imagine a country when we're told "You want X? OK - this is what *you* are going to have to do. Here's why we should - now, go do it. Right now."

Hope isn't enough - and its clear that Senator Obama knows that it's hard work that will get him there. Which is probably why he's now winning.

Huffington on the Obama as Bush argument

I like Ms. Huffington's argument on why Obama is *nothing* like Bush - no matter how much Senator Clinton recently tries to make them so.

Well, other than the obvious, of course.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Words do matter

I think this article ties the issues with how politicians are talking to the people - and why one candidate's message works, and why the other falls flat.

'Raw Politics': Words matter for Clinton, Obama

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nailed it....

Will Huckabee destroy the Republicans to save them?

It's looking more and more like Mike Huckabee actually thinks he can win.

There's been talk by those on the far Religious Right about floating their own party - McCain wasn't anti-abortion enough, Guiliani wasn't anti-gay enough, Paul wasn't faith donating even if they do nothing enough, and Romney - well, he was a Mormon, and we all know that Mormons secretly want to marry all of your women and eat your babies - or so I hear from some "Christians".

Huckabee, who says he doesn't believe in evolution and considered homosexuality the same as bestiality? He's just the right kind of crazy.

Huckabee, with the McCain scandal, might win Texas. Then force the GOP convention floor to say "Screw it - let's give it to Huckabee!" But if he does that, will the GOP fracture as people go "But - but I voted for the Maverick!"

Hm. And I thought the Democratic party was in trouble with the Super delegates.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Turkey invading Iraq

Turkey starting ground assault on "rebel" locations in the Kurdish area of Iraq.

Yeah - this is going to end well.


FISA bill argument gets all 24 on us

Here's the ad from the Republicans:

Here's the part I love:

Democrats have refused to pass the bill. The same Democrats who said:

* If the bill passes without Telcom immunity, the President would veto it. No, wait, that was Republican President George W. Bush.
* If the extension for 21 days passes instead of the full renewal to make warrantless wiretapping legal for at least another year (with immunity!), the President would veto it.
* Or the amendment to the bill that would allow the secret FISA courts to review the secret information in a classified manner, and *they* could determine if the Telcoms broke the law in giving the government access to data without a warrant, and if they did, then the government would pay their bills. Nope - Republicans blocked that one too.

So, we're all going to die because of terrorists any second now with a big Jack Bauer "24" clock ticking down, but even though the Republicans announce they will veto the bill if it doesn't protect business interests, the Republicans will veto any extensions, and won't even allow the possibility that the Telcoms broke the law - it's the Democrats fault for - oh, I don't know, trying to protect civil liberties or some nonsense.

Come on, folks - we're at war, here! We need to destroy the Constitution if we're going to save it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lou Dobbs has lost it

The story: Barack Obama under charges of plagerism by "stealing" Devel Patrick's lines. If by "stealing" you mean "totally had the guys permission and consent before and after".

The words were basically "People accuse me of being about just words, that just words don't do anything. Like 'I have a dream', and 'We find these truths to be self evident'. A pretty good argument.

Then, comes Captain Dumb, where Lou Dobbs can't seem to figure out that Patrick and Obama are defending themselves and those who used "just words" - and accuses them of dishonoring the memory of the words who spoke them! Watch until the end to see Candy Crowley's look of utter shock.

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Proof I am a jerk - religious jerkitude

Minister:  Hi, we're going door to door giving out light bulbs, to remind people of the light of God!

Me:  I can not accept that light bulb.

Minster:  Why not?  It's free?

Me:  It's incandescent.  We believe in using compact flourescent light bulbs, because they use less energy.  That way, we don't contribute to the destruction of the Earth by burning more fossil fuels.  After all, if we truly loved God, wouldn't we try to reduce the harm we cause his creation, instead of encouraging people to burn more energy?

Minster:  Uh - it's just a light bulb.

Me:  Thanks, but by their fruits you shall know them.  Sorry - and have a nice day.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

I was wrong - the attacks on Obama are getting dumber

Not better - just dumber.

The latest one?  In 2006, then future Governor Deval Patrick gave a speech when people accused him of having "just words" and nothing else to offer.  His response?  "Just words - like I have a dream!  Just words, like 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'."

Now, in 2008, Obama is getting hit with the exact same accusation - he's "all hat and not cattle", he's "only got speeches and nothing else" (while they ignore his passed bills, his laid out plans on the website, his book where he explains his philosophy).  So Obama's response?  "Just words - like I have a dream!  Just words, like 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'."

OMG WTF Obama's a plagiarist!

Or, that's what the Clinton campaign would have people believe

Which has to be the dumbest attack yet.  Even if you ignore that Patrick endorsed Obama, that the two of them have a similar message of hope and change, that they discuss issues often, and they have borrowed from each other's words and ideas.  Even if you ignore that Senator Clinton has used Obama's words of "Yes we can" and "Fired up and ready to go", this is still a stupid attack.

Last time I checked, speeches on the campaign trail are all public good for use by the public.  Who hasn't said "I knew John F Kennedy.  You are no John F Kennedy" to someone? 

This has to be the most desperate, silly, and pointless attack since Clinton's Kindergartengate.

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Bad Beef Stopped - but I'm Not Happy

I should call this a success of the system at work. The US Dept of Agriculture ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef.

Why? Because the cows being slaughtered were so sick they couldn't even walk. These cows were in such bad shape, that they had to be lifted by fork lift at times into the food process. These cows that were so disease ridden or malnourished that they couldn't even stand up were cut up, ground up, and shipped out for people to eat - mainly to schools.

Oh, we're not suppose to worry about it - everybody's "pretty sure" it was safe. Hey, the system worked, right!

No. It didn't.

How did this information come out? Because animal rights group did their own undercover investigation and found the evidence.

Wait - a citizen's group? Hey, kudos to them. If they hadn't done this, nobody would have known.

But where the hell was the Dept of Agriculture? Where were their agents taking in information and saying "Hey, we need to check these people out?" Where's the arrests from serving tainted meat - and I don't mean just the employees, but at the top? Yes, I'm calling that the CEO of Hallmark Meat Packing Co be arrested - and don't give me this bullshit of "Oh, I didn't know what was going on!". It's your company - *you* are responsible for that goes on, especially when it's pretty evident that there was a systematic lack of control to the point that 143 million pounds had to be called back in.

The system failed us. Maybe it's because Bush put in people like Michael Brown or Nancy Nord of the Consumer Safety Commission (you know, the lady who told Congress that she didn't need any more staff, after her staff had been cut in half since 2000 and had so many toys to test for safety that the room for testing had no space for more items, all of this while toys with lead and unsafe parts were being sold around the country?).

Whatever it is, there's a division in government that isn't doing its job. How do we know that other meat or food places - pork, poultry, or otherwise - aren't also having problems?

Evidently, the Dept of Agriculture wouldn't know - unless somebody did their job for them.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The dumbest attack on Obama yet

Clinton campaign officials said Sunday that heading into the climactic primaries on March 4, they will try to make a major issue of Sen. Barack Obama’s refusal to commit to spending limits in a general election.

“That’s not change you can believe in,” Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said in a statement, playing off Obama’s campaign slogan.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has not committed to the spending limits, either.(Source:

If the last line doesn't spell out the hypocrisy, then I don't know what does.

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A talk with a church member on evolution

Me: I'm going to a school meeting to encourage them to support the
measure to state that evolution should be taught in schools.

Church member (CM): you don't believe in intelligent design?

Me: No. It's not science.

CM: you don't think Gid made the Earth?

Me: I didn't say that - I just don't think that ID does any
predicting or offers any explanation other than "Soneone did it" .

CM: Don't ID people say that God did it? I don't even know the theory.

Me: Nope. Just that "someone" did. And since that doesn't explain
*how* it was done, it is useless to our children.

That's what struck me as odd - he didn't know what ID was about - just
that it was "like evolution with religion" .

It's not even that- its a thought without any proof save for
complaints that the working theory isn't good enough for them.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How we value the worth of our soldiers

Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes.

The study, written by a civilian Marine Corps official and obtained by The Associated Press, accuses the service of "gross mismanagement" that delayed deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years.

Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded.

After Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared the MRAP (pronounced M-rap) the Pentagon's No. 1 acquisition priority in May 2007, the trucks began to be shipped to Iraq in large quantities. (Source: Huffington Post, emphasis mine.)

I'm trying to figure that out. Really I am. Basically, you have guys out in the army field, in 2005, who were saying "Hey, we're getting killed out there - we need better vehicles!"

And the response is "Well, sorry about you guys dying, but we need that money to pay for new vehicle programs for vehicles coming out in the future! So, just bleed slower or something!"

Wait - I forgot: this is all part of the "supporting the troops". Not enough of them, not enough body armor for them, not good enough vehicles for them, not enough mental health support for when they get back, not enough educational funding for them when they get back (or, bringing them back just before their benefits would kick in), not enough money for their families while they fight overseas.

We can only hope that the Bush Administration doesn't try to support the troops any more - because if this is how they do it, the troops are better off without them.

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Hubris to think we can effect the Earth - until we do

It turns out that the level of sea pollution is so high, that the creatures are incredibly toxic are thriving, sea life we depend on for food is vanishing, and the creatures, it would seem, are evolving to strike back.

Yeah, Tom Delay - it's hubris that we can effect the Earth. Only - we keep doing that, don't we? And the proof is all around us.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Obama math

Let's start with current pledged delegates (let's use CNN's numbers):

Obama: 1082
Clinton: 973

Now, put in the Florida numbers:

Clinton: 50% ~ 93 delegates
Obama: 33% ~ 61 delegates

Let's even throw out the delegates that Edwards won.

Now, Michigan:

Clinton: 55% ~ 70 delegates

We won't even give Obama 1 delegate from Michigan, just for grins, though I think we can both agree that wouldn't happen.

So, we get this:

Obama: 1082 + 61 = 1143
Clinton: 973 + 93 + 70 = 1136

Look at that - even by given Ms. Clinton every benefit of the doubt, not giving Obama a *single* delegate from MI, and - she's still behind on pledged delegates.

And these numbers, I believe, don't have all of the updates from VA, MD, and DC, either. Then there's WI and Hawaii.

So even with the FL and MI delegates, under the best circumstances possible, Ms. Clinton is still behind in pledged delegates. Still behind in states.

And, at this rate, will still be behind by the convention.  As long as we keep working hard, I think we're going to make it.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Doing some math on Hilary versus Barack

Obama has won more states.  He's won more pledged delegates.  The only advantages someone may be able to claim for Senator Clinton is popular vote - but since some states are caucus (meaning that only active people show up) opposed to primaries (just voting booth), you can't claim apples to oranges - caucus members represent more than their individual vote.

The only advantage she has left is in Super Delegates (giving her 1148 over Obama's 1121 according to CNN), and as of today even factoring in those numbers Obama will likely be ahead in total delegates.  Remove the Super Delegates from the equation (especially since there's about 450 unpledged super delegates who would go with the winner of the pledged delegates), and Obama is ahead 986 to Clinton's 924.  After today and next week, she will have to win Texas and Ohio with 70% of the vote - something that will be difficult as both states are open (allowing independents to vote in the primary).

So while I don't think she should pull out just yet (she still has a chance), I think the writing is on the wall.  As long as we keep pressing forward, calling every person, fighting for every vote, Obama will win.  We just have to do our part, not get lazy, and we can gear up for the next fight:

The general election.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

I am so offended right now

Oh, hey, CNN. Great start to a joke. "Who's Clinton and Obama and McCain pointing to in the audience? Hahaha - look, Hilary's pointing at Monica Lewinsky! And McCain's pointing at Ann Coulter! And Obama's pointing and waving at -

"Osama bin Laden."

Not fucking funny, CNN. Not funny at all.


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Not a good sign for the Clinton campaign

Getting outraised by a guy who a year ago was 20 points behind you in the polls? A little bothersome.

Being behind in delegates (not superdelegates) to a guy who was 20 points behind you in the polls as little as a couple of weeks ago in lots of states? More bothersome.

Finding out that the $175 million you had saved up for the campaign was pretty much gone, and nobody bothers to tell you until after Super Tuesday, and now people start to wonder if you're really qualified to run your campaign, let along a country?

That's a big, huge problem.

According to the Chicago Tribune, nobody had bothered to tell Senator Clinton that the campaign was broke. Evidently, she didn't keep an eye on the balance sheets either. Look, I know she's busy, but - isn't good judgement in who you hire important? Being the kind of person who says "OK, let's take an hour - give me the numbers. How are we doing?" every few days (like on the airplane or something while you're going to the next campaign stop) - isn't that kind of important?

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McCain gets his own Youtube music video!

It's kind of like the one by - just - different.

Yeah - that's the word.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

More proof - Bush is a moron

When President Bush was asked about Obama:

"I certainly don't know what he believes in," Bush said when asked if there had been a "rush to judgment" about Obama. "The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad." Source: Huffington Post

Has this guy been right about *anything*? Anything? Please. I'll take one thing.

Oh, yeah - his best day in office was catching a big fish. I forgot.

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OK - now the Obama wins are getting silly

Obama wins Georgia. And Louisiana. And Maine. And now - a Grammy?

Yup - for the audio versoin of "The Audacity of Hope". I might have to pick that up.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Stealing my own comment for here

There are people who say that "What's good for business is good for America".  That the "New Deal" really set out to destroy our country.  People like Mitt Romney and Ron Paul seem to have this belief that taxing the wealthy and giving it to the poor only leads to more poor people bleeding the system dry, leading to dependancy, and driving the rich away.  Instead, just let business do whatever it wants, and things will "work out".

After all, look at our current economy!  Hardly any regulation of the market (or the environment, or food and product safety, or civil rights), the very wealthy absolved of many taxes, education left without proper funding, and the money that could have been spent on roads and health care going instead to fund the War in Iraq - which has made some companies *very* wealthy indeed.

Oh, wait - that's right, our economy is going down the tubes partly because the regulations on the market to make sure things didn't go belly up weren't there, and we had rampant housing speculation leading to billions in bad debts - and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In 1930, the New Deal was not about "taking the money from the wealthy and giving it to the poor".  That's nothing more than stealing, or communism.

However - it is "taking some money from the wealthy *who have benefited from the systems that supported them, and returning it back to those systems so that they and others can continue to benefit*".

Those who have made their fortunes in America do so because of their own hard work and ingenuity.  And because there is a system of education to help provide them with smarter people.  Roads that for a long time were the backbone of our continental business needs.  Just courts and laws to ensure that people could compete without have to pay off authorities for graft.  Tending to the commons so that all could benefit from clean air and water and healthy food.

Now, we have people attacking the Dept of Education, leaving roads crumbling, telling people that "what's good for business is good for America", without realizing it should be the opposite:  what is good for America is good for business!  Fix the roads - get goods across faster.  Build public transportation systems - give citizens more money to spend on goods while helping them get to work faster, while reducing the price of gas to make goods cheaper to build.

There are those like Ron Paul who don't seem to get that, and while I admire his constitutional ideals, his economics seem to ignore reality.  If anything, the 80's and the last 8 years have proved this out.  "Voodoo economics" don't work - and we should abandon them just as the world abandoned feudalism and communism as bad ideas.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Plagerism is the sincerest form of flattery?

First, she was the experience candidate - then she became the change candidate after Obama.

Now, she's taking Yes We Can, and evidently is putting out ads putting herself as - the hope candidate.

OK, Ms. Clinton - really. Hire some staff to come up with your own stuff.

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Quick - name the candidate's generational appeal

OK - here's Obama supporters musical talents on display:

And - the one made for Ms. Clinton:

Quick - name the candidate getting support with people 45 and under, and the candidate getting support from voters 45 and over.

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This is hilarious

You've got this reporter talking to a young black man, and the reporter grills him about the issues.

And then he gets details. And details. And details.

It is pure pwnage, and anyone who says "Oh, Obama supporters are just in love with his speeches" needs to see this.

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Fighting the ignorant

Dude:  You know, Obama is just a empty suit.

Me:  What makes you say that?

Dude:  He gives good speeches, but where's the details?

Me:  You want Al Gore back.

Gore was smart.  He presented specifics on why his plan was going to work, and on everything he.  Was.  Right.

He lost.  Why?  Because people were bored.  He didn't know how to sell himself.

Now we have Obama, who says "If you want to details, go online, read my books.  While you're there, volunteer."  He combines the power of the net roots to get people to act, with the power of the spoken word to inspire people to move.

You tell people the simple truths:  I support a woman's right to choose.  I will start pulling us out of Iraq as soon as I took office and called in the generals.  I will issue this health care plan to do X.

So far, I'd say Obama's style is working very well.  He tells us we're going to have to work hard.  We're going to have to sacrifice to get energy independence.  He tells us that we're going to up against people who will tell us "You can't have health care and security and environmental protection!", and that they will fight us tooth, claw and nail because they want to hold on to the power of their dollar.

That's honesty, and specific enough to people who haven't had a reason to get involved before to start getting involved.  Once they are, they can learn the details through his writing (you know - books and things), or on his web site.  But if you're too lazy to go that far, and want to sit back and be spoon fed all of the information, then we can't help you.

We're too busy working.

Dude:  You talk a lot.

Me:  Yeah.  And get more done.

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I don't hate Tom Delay. He's just - closed minded.

I don't mind someone with a viewpoint - but what kills me is when they hold that viewpoint to the exclusion of all else.

Like - Tom Delay. I was catching some MSNBC, when I saw Tom Delay talking to Chris Matthews about conservative values. And the exchange basically went like this:

Delay: Global warming might be happening, but there's no science that proves its caused by man.

Matthews: What about the studies showing the Rocky Mountains snow cap is vanishing, and it's directly attributable to man's impact on the climate?

Delay: Why, that's just arrogance to suggest that man can affect climate change. There's no science that supports such a notion.

This reminds me of watching the recent Dover, PA Intelligent Design trials. First you had an ID scientist explain that there were no studies that explained how the immune systems evolved. So the prosecuter dropped some studies on his lap that did. Well, they didn't do it well enough. So the prosecutor brought out some books that showed how the immune system evolved - whole texts of research done based on DNA and everything else.

Nope, the ID scientists said - not proof.

Delay strikes me as the same way. In the past, people dumped whatever they wanted into the oceans. It was hubris to think that man could affect what God had made - we were so small compared to God's work!

And then the Hudson River caught on fire. And then lakes were so polluted by industries that children were born with birth defects.

It doesn't matter what you show, the very notion of "conservative" is basically "unchanging". Don't bother me with the evidence that shows I'm wrong, whether it be science or economics or health. Don't show me that people in England now have greater purchasing power than the US in spite of taxes that make gas $8 a gallon. Don't show me that people in Canada have better health and more access to health care than the average American.

And certainly, don't show me evidence of evolution, global warming, pollution, or any of that liberal mumbo-jumbo. It's not science, because I say so, and I'm going to sit here, shout over you and not listen while everything burns down around me.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mitt Romney: You are a bad Mormon

I just heard the Mitt Romney consession speech.  And as a Mormon, I am incredibly offended.

We are taught from youth to "do what Jesus would do".  That when you are in the service of your fellow man, you are only in the service of your God (as taught by the Book of Mormon).  The words of Jesus that even as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.

Instead, Romney's campaign ending speech was full of hate.  That those who are poor should suffer - it's they're own damn fault for being such lazy sots.  Ignoring again the words of King Benjamen:

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: the man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and I will not give unto him of my food, nor impoart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just-

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he had done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

(Mosiah 4:16-18, Book of Mormon)

Romney's last speech in his campaign was against the evils of Liberalism, and how it would expand Medicare, Medicaid, and the ways we try to help the needy, those who either can not provide for themselves (single mothers, those with ailments), or can not do so because of a lost job or other reasons.  He talked about how countries that do well do so because of their culture, while ignoring that in places like Canada, Britain, France, and the like have health care and systems to provide aid to all who need it - and enjoy a higher standard of living than in the United States, were we allow *millions* to go without health care.

He spoke about the need to continue the War on Terror, and peddled fear.  Ignoring that perhaps we have caused our own oil dependency, and blamed it on Chavez and Putin and others - and his solution?  Well, use coal!  After all, going from one dependency to the next doesn't fix the problem.  Changing the structure of our cities so more people can use public transportation (oh, noes, teh evil - public works!) actually does.  I saw it in Utah, the most conservative state, embrace public transportation - and the entire state benefited.

Romney spoke about protecting marriage and stopping the evils of pornography.  Ignoring the 11th Article of Faith, given by the Prophet Joseph Smith to explain our beliefs to the world:

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almight God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may

Instead, Romney would force his religious beliefs upon others in the name of "protecting marriage", once again scapegoating someone else (teh gays, oh noes!) instead of having people look and decide for themselves what they will believe and worship - or not.

It's ironic - in part of his talk me mentioned how we have never taken land as part of our wars.  Well, other than Texas, and the mid-west I guess, if you don't know your history.  But then to blatantly ignore Iraq, and how we *have* claimed land, and property, and oil, and businesses, and forced the new Iraqi government so sign contracts that gave away their resources to US companies.  Yeah, we didn't take land for ourselves during the 20th Century - instead, we waited until the 21st and used the War on Terror to justify taking what we wanted from a country that had never attacked us.

So I'm sorry - but if his speech is the center of Conservative ideals, then I'm proud to be a Liberal.  I'm proud not to demonizing people for their beliefs.  I'm proud to let people believe how they will.  I'm proud to be willing to give up some of my income - even with three children to support - to help those in need.

And if Mitt Romney is going to speak out against those ideals, then yes, I believe he speaks against the faith he and I profess to believe in.  And I am ashamed to have him count him as a fellow member.

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The Onion on the candidates on Iraq


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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This is the speech the guy gives when he ties

Imagine what he does when he wins!

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Clinton running low on cash?

This can't be good - evidently, Clinton advisors are now going without pay, she's having to loan her campaign $5 million from her personal funds, and she's trying to raise $3 million in 3 days - which would match the speed of Obama donations.

I don't know how she's doing - but evidently, Obama just raised $4 million in 24 hours. Heck, I'm giving him $25 tomorrow when I get paid tomorrow.

Now, while it can be fun to go "ahaha", this isn't good news for the Clinton campaign. Guiliani had to start getting people to work without pay - and he tanked. Romney had to start loaning his campaign money from his personal stash - and there's talk that he's about to tank next.

So far, Obama is the only one getting more cash fast - and from people making an average of $50 donations. What will it mean? Likely nothing - but I guess we'll have to see.

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Oh, now you're just talking nonsense

First, Obama wasn't black enough. Then, he only appealed to black people, and not to whites (no matter what the numbers said in places of all white people like Iowa and New Hampshire).

Then, he wasn't experience enough, didn't know enough about how the power game was played.

Now, the Clinton camp calls him the establishment candidate.

This has to be the biggest load of nonsense ever. This is like when Regean told Carter "There you go again", when Carter was right. This is like when Bush claimed that Kerry was "exaggerating" that Bush had said he wasn't interested in Osama - when Bush had said it in an interview a week before.

What next - they're going to claim that Obama is the true candidate with experience, but that's bad opposed to the Clinton's "message of change" that will restore Washington?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Super Tuesday predictions

Yesterday, I phone called for Obama.  It's kind of weird - I always said that "someday", I'd get politically involved.  "Someday" I'd donate, or campaign, or something.  And here I am, three kids, trying to take three classes at once to finish my degree, working full time, trying to decide where to move to -

And yesterday I was moved to act *now*, to make phone calls to Jersey and New York and California to remind people to vote tomorrow, to encourage them to vote for Obama.  Sure, I got people who just hung up.  And I got a very nice gentleman who said "Well, I'm a Republican", and I told him I liked him anyway, and he responded with "Well, thank you sir, and I hope your guy wins."

With all of that, though, I don't think that Obama will win today.  I think the early mail in votes in California will prove too big a hurdle to overcome (much like Florida).  I don't think he can beat that initial push.

But I think that overall, he will be damn close.  Perhaps 100, maybe 150 delegates behind Clinton by the time the dust settles.  And then there's the rest of the campaign, the people in Washington, DC and Virginia next week (or is it two weeks from now?) who can tie that up.

In the end, I still think Obama can win it.  And between studying and fathering and, maybe even getting further into Persona 3 (I think I have enough charm to make Yukari my girlfriend - sweet!), I'll try to help him out.

Tonight I'm taking my daughter to a local Tampa Obama party - she asked to, and I said "OK".  I wonder what she'll say years from now if Obama does wind up winning.  Wouldn't that be cool.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Ann Coulter endorses - Hilary over McCain?

<a href='">"If you are looking at substance rather than if there is an R or a D after his name, manifestly, if he's our candidate, than Hillary is going to be our girl, because she's more conservative than he is," Coulter said. "I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism."</blockquote>


Stop the world.  I want to get off.

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