Election Results – Good for Obama, McCain, Bad to worse day for Hillary. Huckabee still nuts.

February 13, 2008

Barack Obama and John McCain came out the big winners in the “Potomac Primaries” of Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. today. The Obama tide continues to turn as he took over 75% of the vote in D.C., and 65% in VA and MD. I suspect that insiders in the Democratic Party are noticing these large margins of victory. Obama has also started to eat into Hillary Clinton’s coalition of voters, as her support continues to erode.

McCain took all three primaries in slim wins over crazy pastor, and believer that the earth is only 9,000 years old, Mike Huckabee. Mr. McCain himself is a confirmed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferer, after being tortured in a Viet Cong Prison for several years during the Vietnam war. While that makes him a noble, loyal warrior to be thanked for his service to be sure, do we really want someone known to be that unstable to be in charge?

Rev. Huckabee on the other hand is just plain crazy. He has said “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ”, and he means it. He also thinks that wives should just “submit” to their husbands. On a lighter note, he has vowed to be the anti-obesity president, a self titled “foodaholic” himself, who has lost over 120 pounds.

The Clinton campaign continues to struggle, with even Yahoo getting snarky, “As the votes were counted in her latest setbacks, her deputy campaign manager stepped down. Mike Henry announced his departure one day after Patti Solis Doyle was replaced as campaign manager with Maggie Williams, a longtime confidante of the former first lady.” Hillary’s top two campaign staffers are out, they have suffered 10 losses in a row, and they are running out of money. No wonder she has been railing at MSNBC over Chelsea being slighted. She has focused her energies on winning Texas and Ohio.

Mike Huckabee still has the coolest endorsement ad ever though. Chuck Norris approved.

What the heck is a Superdelegate?

February 12, 2008

SupermanSuperdelegates! The word is everywhere. It seems that the Democratic nomination may come down to being decided by these superdelegates. I had some questions – What are they? Who are they? How does this all work? So let’s see…

From Wikipedia – At the 2008 Democratic National Convention superdelegates will include all Democratic members of the United States Congress, Democratic governors, various additional elected officials, members of the Democratic National Committee, as well as “all former Democratic Presidents, all former Democratic Vice Presidents, all former Democratic Leaders of the U.S. Senate, all former Democratic Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic Minority Leaders, as applicable, and all former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee.” Barack Obama and Hillary are both superdelegates.

There is an exception, however, for superdelegates who endorse another party’s candidate for President; they lose their superdelegate status. In 2008, Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman was disqualified as a superdelegate because he endorsed Republican John McCain. A detailed list of superdelegates and how they are projected to vote can be found here at the 2008 Democratic Convention Watch.

Donnie Fowler over at The Huffington Post, says that his dad is a superdelegate and that “we have nothing to fear” from the superdelegates. Some other folks are not so easily reassured. The Washington Post has a great article on superdelegates and how they are being courted. Bill and Chelsea Clinton have been calling superdelegates personally to ask for their support.

A new CBS Poll has Obama ahead, including the superdelegates. Other people are sure that Obama is Winning.

The real issue it seems is that the superdelegates are voting along similar lines as the general population, and that more importantly, the margins of victory or defeat in Ohio and Texas are even more important. This race will go down to the wire. Let’s just hope that There won’t be a Superdelegate Train Wreck come this summer.

It really just comes down to this doesn’t it – who can beat John McCain in the fall? I believe that the Democrats superdelegates will ultimately support whichever candidate gives them their best chance to beat John McCain. As we all know, A rising tide floats all boats, and the Democrats will all be better off with either candidate in office, wouldn’t they?

The Problem

February 12, 2008

The Road to EscondidoJ.J. Cale is best known for writing hit songs – for other people. Over the years he has penned many classic rock songs, including “After Midnight”, “Call Me the Breeze”, and “Cocaine”. He is a musician’s musician, having been an inspiration to Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead, CSNY, and many more.

His newest album, a joint effort with Eric Clapton, The Road to Escondido, finally produced a Grammy for J.J. Cale. The politically charged record is an outstanding representation of his work.

Another song of Cale’s was set to a video recently. It’s his song “The Problem”. I agree that the video is a bit amateurish, but the message is clear.

Pimps and pundits

February 12, 2008

The Clinton’s are STILL up in arms about last weeks comments from MSNBC anchor David Shuster. The reporter, David Shuster, had said Thursday that Ms. Clinton had been “pimped out” to make calls to superdelegates on behalf of her mother. OK, he said something unfortunate. What next?

Shuster apologized. MSNBC apologized in a very public statement by Keith Olberman, telling the Clintons, “We are, literally, dreadfully sorry.” So we all move on, right?

Not Hillary Clinton, who continued to lobby for further repercussions for Shuster, and threatening to pull out of a scheduled debate on MSNBC in a lettter to the network. The Clinton’s are clearly angry, and as they have always done, scurried to protect 27 year old Chelsea Clinton.

Barbara Walters was not on the View the afternoon that Chelsea Clinton called the view anchors. However, she has made the most sensible statement about this yet – GET OVER IT! Here was her statement at the time :

“It was as if she was advocating more than just his being suspended. Perhaps I feel this because of the years, and all of you, we are live, and sometimes you say something unfortunate. You apologize, he’s getting suspended, he apologized, MSNBC apologized. Drop it already! It’s OK. He made a mistake.”

I agree. Chelsea is 27, out of college, out of grad school, and campaigning for her mom. Let me repeat that, CAMPAIGNING for her mom. She is openly calling superdelegates to ask for their vote for her mom, appearing at campaign rallies, and generally putting herself in the spotlight. Commenting that she is out there is fair game too.

I certainly understood the protection and privacy for Chelsea back when Bill Clinton was president – she was only 10 or 11 years old when he took office. But if she is going to be a political wonk as an adult, then she has to be prepared to take her lumps.

Chelsea Clinton is NOT your average campaign staffer making calls. Hillary DID “pimp her out”. I agree that the term is regretful, but the reality of the situation is what it is. Chelsea has been activated as a campaign resource by her parents. Hillary did ask her to go out and sell the family name.

Enough already Mrs. Clinton, can we get back to the issues please?

McCain Response to the Obama “Yes we can” video

February 11, 2008

I just got this new link to John McCain’s response to the Barack Obama “Yes we can” video. It is entitled john.he.is. All I can say is, wow.

Wil Weaton voices interesting thoughts on Barack Obama

February 11, 2008

Obama Button

One of my favorite blogs to read is Wil Weaton dot Net 1.5. Wil grew up playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek, The Next Generation, and is still acting, writing, and blogging. He is humble, intelligent, and funny, and his blog often provides insight into the Star Trek groupie culture, and what it’s like to be, well, Wil Weaton.

A few days ago Wil gave his endorsement for Barack Obama, and listed some information as to why. There is a great quote from blogger Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

“I’m for Obama knowing perfectly well that, as Bill Clinton suggested, it’s a “roll of the dice”. A roll of the dice for Democrats, for progressives, for those of us who’ve fought so hard against the right-wing frames that Obama sometimes (sometimes craftily, sometimes naively) deploys. Because I think a Hillary Clinton candidacy will be another game of inches, yielding—at best—another four or eight years of knifework in the dark. Because I think an Obama candidacy might actually shake up the whole gameboard, energize good people, create room and space for real change.

Because he seems to know something extraordinarily important, something so frequently missing from progressive politics in this country, in this time: how to hearten people. Because when I watch him speak, I see fearful people becoming brave.”

This makes sense to me. I have written about our culture of fear, and how our leaders have used it to their advantage. We need to be a nation of the brave, choosing what is correct over what is politically expedient. No more fear.

Thanks for reminding me Wil.

Debunking the tin foil hat theorists…

February 11, 2008

There has been so much speculation for the past two weeks about the many fiber optic telecommunications cables being cut in the middle east, including here, that someone wrote a Wikipedia Article about the disruptions and the theories surrounding those breaks.

My own speculation led me to consider the soon to open Iranian Oil Bourse as a motive for these disruptions. In fairness though, I did also mention James Bond like spies, and The Incredible Mr. Limpet as possible suspects in the outage too. But if you must, go ahead and color me a tin foil hat weirdo. I am guilty, I guess.

As a techie, I still find it odd that so many cables in the area went down concurrently. Original reports had Iran 100% down, and that was incorrect. It certainly made me reconsider sources for future links.

I think that this has been an interesting experiment in media studies for me – seeing how much speculation and chaos could come from a bunch of nerds wondering why something broke. The bigger issue is that the speculation itself became a bigger story than the original outages. I am still getting several hundred hits a day on the postings from this story.

Because of all this, I learned a lot about the Iranian Oil Bourse, or commodities market. This is a very big story on it’s own, and is definitely worth learning something about. It of course has had very little mention in the U.S. media, despite how much it may change (or not) our economy, and the oil market globally.

Yours in the brotherhood of weirdness,

the (still) inquisitive techie

It's a Conspiracy!

British Olympic Athetes forced to sign gag order

February 11, 2008

British Footballers give the Nazi salute during the 1938 Olympics

During the 1938 Olympics, British Olympic Footballers were forced to give the Nazi salute by Adolf Hitler, of course with complete cooperation from the British Government.

This just in from the Daily Mail in the UK:

“British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China’s appalling human rights record – or face being banned from traveling to Beijing.

The move – which raises the spectre of the order given to the England football team to give a Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938 – immediately provoked a storm of protest. Competitors – likely to include the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips and world record holder Paula Radcliffe – will be effectively gagged from commenting on China’s politics, human rights abuses or illegal occupation of Tibet.”

China’s miserable record of human rights violations are well known, as you can Google “China human rights violations“, to see just some of the massive amount of written material on this. China’s power to force visiting athletes to adhere to their own censorship rules is astounding, but the precedent for the Brits is already there, unfortunately.

The British Olympic Association has vowed to revisit the wording of the agreement. It will be very interesting to see how the United States Olympic Committee handles this.

Is China afraid of protests during the Olympics?

1968 Olympics - Tommie Smith and John Carlos protest by showing black power salutes

This is change, Mrs. Clinton?

February 11, 2008

Hillary Clinton has replaced Patty Solis Doyle as her campaign manager with Maggie Williams, her top White House aide while Hillary was first lady. It seems that many democrats are not happy with this selection, as Maggie has a history of campaign finance corruption ,and her purported involvement in other past scandals, including Vince Foster’s Death. Solis Doyle’s reason for leaving? To “spend more time with her family”. All I can say to that is – Now? Really?

Over at The Huffington post, Arianna has brought back information from 1997 detailing Williams’ involvement with the Johnny Chung campaign finance scandal. ABC News Political Blogs also mention Maggie William’s connections to illegal fundraising. It seems odd to me that Hillary has hurriedly asked a prominent African American, to revive a suddenly struggling campaign, desperate to raise money, huh?

Barack Obama? He is raising far more money than Clinton, picked up key Hispanic endorsements, and, won a Grammy, over the weekend. Hillary’s campaign will of course go on however, until we have a mess at the Democratic Convention.

This race is going down to the wire, and this could be one of the most interesting, and historically important, presidential races in history. It will also be interesting to see how many stops the Clinton’s are willing to pull out to get back to the White House.

An American Health Care Story

February 10, 2008

From our new friends over at Gooznews

“A friend wrote this week with this unhappy news:

On Sunday night, my former foster child Josh was beaten up with a baseball bat (after being held up at gunpoint and telling the marauders he had no money) on his way home from a SuperBowl party, and refused admission to the first hospital his sister tried to take him to. He was finally taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital, which has a Level 1 Trauma Center.”

Thus starts the retelling of a disturbing story, unfortunately one that is becoming all too familiar for all of us. There is a lot more over here at gooznews. This is a great read.


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