Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm Baaaack!

Enjoyed a couple of weeks in Japan and am now back. It is interesting to read what foreigners write about the U.S. There is interest in Japan and in the Asian papers with respect to the U.S. election and the Democratic race. Unlike the U.S. press which has largely fed into the B.S. notion that Hillary actually still had a chance, the Asian papers all uniformly accepted Obama as the presumptive nominee based on his delegate lead which was insurmountable (and has been for months).

In the U.S. the press has pushed the nonsensical story line that Hillary still had a chance in an effort to sell papers and magazines and to get folks to watch TV news. It is over.

Today, the DNC Rules Committee voted to seat Michigan and Florida with half their votes. It was expected and it was fair if they were going to seat the delegations for the states that had moved primaries up in violation of the DNC's rules. Obama will lose Puerto Rico tomorrow, but will win in a landslide in Montana and will likely win South Dakota with a single-digit win on Tuesday. After Tuesday all the voting will be done, by the end of the week, the remaining uncommitted Supers will make their decisions and Obama will officially be the Democratic presidential nominee.

It has been over for months, but it will be officially over.

Friday, May 16, 2008

McCain on Hamas in 2006: Going to Have to Deal With Them

McCain has mocked Obama for saying that he would talk to America's enemies - turns out he feels the same way. What a dope.

Countdown: Special Comment

Keith rips into Bush for his nonsense about giving up golf so that he could show his empathy for the families of the dead troops.

Countdown: Special Comment

Part II of the above Special Comment.

Chris Matthews Tears Up Kevin James on Hardball

This is just hilarious. Right-wing idiot Kevin James doesn't have a clue and Matthews showed how stupid he really is.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dem Travis Childers Wins in Mississippi

Tim Russert just called the win by Childers tonight in the special election for Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, "Seismic."

This was the third straight special election win by the Dems in staunchly Republican districts this Spring. The Republicans poured more than a million dollars trying to protect what should have been a solid Republican seat.

Cheney himself spending the day yesterday campaigning in Mississippi and the Republicans ran ads trying to tie Childers to Obama with ads that had racial overtones. They still lost.

This is a harbinger of things to come. Disaster is looming for the Republicans this Fall.

I would not be surprised at all to see House Republicans start to panic and move to change their top leaders in the next couple of days.

Mississippi Special Election

The big political race is not in West Virginia - Clinton will win big, but it won't matter.

The big race is in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District where they are having a special election to fill a vacated House seat. The seat should be a safe Republican seat. It has been Republican for 13 years and Bush won the district in 2004 with more than 60 percent of the vote. But, the race is completely wide open. The Dems have already picked up 2 seats in special electoins from what should have been safe Republican districts. If this one falls into Dem hands, it will be a very, very bad sign for Republicans. I would not be surprised if there are rumblings of change for the Republican House Leadership.

There is also a Republican primary in Nebraska today - it will be interesting to see if more than 20 percent of Nebraska Republican voters go against McCain. But, obviously that won't matte much either.

West VA and Politics Thoughts

Hillary is going to win West VA by at least 30 points - no surprise and it won't make any difference. West VA went to Bush by 13% over Kerry in 2004 - it is not a swing state and is not going to be a Dem state in the Fall anyway.

So, Hillary's campaign is also AT LEAST $20 million and she has loan it AT LEAST $11.4 million to date. I am sure both of these numbers are even higher, but that is what we know. She has fewer pledged delegates, fewer superdelegates, and has lost more states than Obama. She also hasn't won the popular vote (even if you include Florida and Michigan). She clearly cannot raise money because she doesn't have enough support and has run a poor campaign. She changes her message every 2 weeks and has made significant changes in her top strategists for her campaign. Even if she could win the nomination (which she cannot), what makes people think that she could run the country?

Interesting piece in the Post today about the racism that Obama campaign staff has encountered. It isn't surprising. There will be a certain number of Americans who simply will not vote for a black candidate. That will always be the case, but the fact that Obama has literally come from nowhere to beat the Clinton machine and do so remarkably well with voters, bringing so many new folks to the Dem Party, and raising money indicates to me that the racism won't be enough to derail the Obama march to the presidency.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hillary is like a Guest Who Won't Leave

There is no question that Obama will be the Democratic nominee. I have been saying this for months because his lead in the pledged delegates has been virtually insurmountable for more than 2 months. But Hillary trudges on - it has become sad.

I liken Hillary Clinton to a house guest who has worn out her welcome. She was invited to a party where she was the guest of honor and everyone anticipated talking to her. At first the guests all surrounded her and heaped praise on her. But as the party started going a funny thing happened; there was a more interesting guest named Barack Obama. Most people did not know much about him, but as people got to know him they found him more engaging. They started moving away from Hillary toward Barack. Hillary got mad that she was no longer the center of attention and started getting more and more loud and started trying to make Barack look bad to get people to pay attention to her, but all it did was make her look worse. Now the party is breaking up, folks are more interested in Barack but Hillary is trying to keep the party going. But it is 2:00 in the morning, many folks have gone home and Barack is getting ready to leave. She is trying desperately to keep people at the party and even calling folks to join in (e.g., Michigan and Florida), but it just isn't working. She needs to pack it in, go home, and get over it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

More on Benson

Here is a link to three stories on the Chicago local NBC affiliate's news.

The witness that was on Benson's boat said they gave breathalyzer tests to his friends on the boat, but DID NOT GIVE IT TO BENSON. Instead they did their "field sobriety test."

The witness who was on shore - not one of Benson's friends on the boat - said that the police officers unnecessarily knocked him down by cutting down his knees from behind and pepper-sprayed him while he was hand-cuffed and lying on his back.

Here is a copy of the arrest warrant. It is odd because it cites Benson as using profanity, being combative, insulting, and cocky - but then also being cooperative and polite. Officer L. Snyder has some explaining to do.

More Evidence Benson was Harassed

There is a new witness - one who was not on Benson's boat - who has come forward and given an account that suggests that police not only harassed Benson for no reason, but assaulted him and used excessive, unnecessary force.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Clinton Thoughts

Clinton's campaign chair says the race will be over in early June and that there will be a nominee. We'll see how she feels when it is over and she has actually lost the campaign.

There is no doubt that Obama will have many more pledged delegates and that by that time he will have more committed superdelegates. She could actually fight and try to make it a mess at the Convention, but it serves no real purpose for her personal political ambitions. She will come across as a sore loser who is damaging the Democratic Party.

I think the Party will come together this summer, rally around Obama and be in great shape in the Fall. Having Bill and Hillary campaigning for Obama in some areas of rural America will be invaluable.

What the F?



I know JKD wishes he was the one looking over Chris Cooley's shoulder.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Obama is on Track to Win

Obama crushed Clinton in NC, and lost by a razor thin margin in Indiana. The end result is that he delivered the knockout blow to Hillary. It has been over for weeks, but Hillary has stuck with it trying to convince superdelegates that she is better for the Party. It is a ridiculous argument that has not worked as Obama has been gaining superdelegates at a healthy pace.

On top of her defeats, it turns out that she had to loan her campaign another $6.4 million to stay in the race. That means that she has spent $11.4 million of her own money to keep her failing bid going. It is over, but if she wants to throw away more money, I guess that is up to her.

Arch Cut Loose

The Bears ended the Adam Archuleta experiment. No big deal. It didn't work out and they drafted All-American safety Craig Steltz, which made hime even more expendable.

More Evidence that Benson was Roughed Up

Looks like one of his boat companions has come out to support him. I am sure it will help that she is a white woman.

It is sad that it probably makes a real difference, especially when we are looking at having the first African-American president in history.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Benson's Story

Quoting from Vaughn McClure's Trib story:

Benson said there was alcohol on his boat but that he was not intoxicated and the boat was stationary when police arrived. He said he fully cooperated with officers and that this was the sixth time he had been questioned by lake police in the year that he has owned the boat.

"They gave me a field sobriety test, told me to say my ABCs and told me to count from 1 to 4 up and down," Benson said of Saturday's incident. "I'm thinking, I passed all the tests, did everything right. Then the officer told me we needed to go to land to take more tests. I politely asked him why we needed to go to land to take more tests when I took every test. Then he sprayed me with mace, on his boat.

"I'm not handcuffed. I'm not under arrest. I'm not threatening him. I'm not pushing him. I'm not touching him. And he sprays me right in my eye."

Cedric Benson Notes

The more I hear/read about Cedric Benson's "arrest" the more I think it may have been police brutality. By all reports, Benson failed a "field sobriety test." There is no indication that he failed a blood-alcohol test. Failing a field sobriety test is a subjective assessment on the part of the police officer. We don't even know if he had to blow into a breath analyzer.

He may have been asked to touch his nose and missed. Keep in mind that the test was on the officer's boat.

David Haugh's story at the Trib talks about the number of callers into the Texas ESPN sports radio station in the area that say that the river cops are way too aggressive.

When I was in my mid-20s I was pulled over by aggressive cops in Georgetown and repeatedly asked to walk a straight line, touch my nose, etc. I was the designated driver that evening for three intoxicated friends. We had spent the day in downtown DC and had watched the 4th of July fireworks on the Mall, so we weren't exactly dressed for success. On top of that, I was driving my brother's black Ford Escort GT, so it didn't exactly exude professionalism. I have no doubt that had I missed my nose or stumbled while walking the line, the officer would have taken me in - even though I had not been drinking. It very easily could have been written up as having "failed a field sobriety test."

We'll have to see what all the details are, but based on what I know now, I think the charges are going to get dropped. If that happens and there is no evidence that he was drunk or resisted arrest, he should sue the officer(s) and the police department for harrassment.

We'll see what happens, but the whole case is "fishy."

McCain Didn't Vote for Bush

in the 2000 election. Look the guy is a nut. He doesn't know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims. He thinks our Iraq war policy is a good one. He admits he doesn't really understand economics as well as he should. The guy is not fit to the be the President at this time.

Hillary's embrace of his ludicrous "gas tax holiday" idea just show how foolish she can be.

NC and Indiana Today

I am excited that more delegates will be awarded with the two largest remaining states voting today.

In NC, I expect Obama to win by 6-10 points. The latest average of polls has him up 8 points. If he wins by 8 percent, it will be a solid win that will essentially show the superdelegates that he is the nominee. If Clinton somehow wins, it will force the superdelegates to wait longer.

Indiana is an important bellweather for Obama's level of support among working class white voters. He won in places like Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, Missouri, and his home state of Illinois, so I don't think it is a legitimate argument that he cannot win in working class states among white voters, but Indiana is the first such state after the whole Wright mess. The latest average of polls has down 5 points. It he loses by 5 percentage points, that is essentially a tie for him in the state.

In the end, what I expect (and really hope) is that he has a net gain in both pledged delegates and popular vote when you consider both states together. If that happens, I expect there will be a significant number of superdelegates who jump on the Obama bandwagon. The race will go until June, and as I have said, it is already over, but a net gain by Obama tonight will effectively close off any remote chance that Hillary may have had of convincing superdelegates that she is better.

Oil Price Hits New High

Oil is over $120/barrel. Four dollar gas is coming this summer.

It should be interesting to see how Hillary's ridiculous proposal (which she got from John McCain) to eliminate the 18.4 cent federal gas tax plays out in Indiana and North Carolina today. There isn't a single economist who thinks it is a good idea. Essentially, it takes money away from the federal roads and highways fund. She says she will pay for it with a higher tax on big oil companies. But, all they are going to do is pass along the extra cost to consumers. A multi-billion dollar shell game that won't pass through Congress, and certainly would not be signed by the President.

It is stupid and anyone who cannot understand that it is stupid is either not paying attention or is just plain ignorant. The sad part is that Hillary knows it is stupid but she is trying to fool people into believing it is a good idea so she can win over a few votes.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Politics Thoughts

Obama seems to be getting back on track. I think Rev. Wright is behind him and more important, I think the American people know that it won't solve any of their problems.

Obama has a solid 9 point lead in NC, and the latest Zogby poll has him up by 2 points in Indiana (too close to call, but much better than a few days ago). See the poll numbers at RealClearPolitics.com.

However, as another indicator of how bad things are going to be for Republicans in November, in a special election to fill a vacant House seat, a Dem won in what was supposed to be a solid Republican district. Dem. Don Cazayoux took the election 49%-46% in a district that voted 59% in favor of Bush in 2004 and which has had a Republican congressman for the last 33 years.

November is shaping up to be a blood bath for Republicans. President Barack Obama and the larger Dem majorities in the Senate and the House will truly bring much-needed change to the country.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Kiper's Take on the Bears

Mel seems to agree with me that the Bears really improved themselves with the draft this year. My sense is that the Bears can easily improve on last year's disappointment. Their D and O really sucked - especially up front - and they still finished 7-9. I am comfortable with the picks but will wait to hear how these guys do in training camp before making any predictions.

Iranian Energy Deal with India

While Bushie and his crew are saber-rattling and trying to scare the American people into thinking that Iran poses a major threat, they are making their deals elsewhere.

India will be receiving crude oil from Iran in a new multi-billion dollar pipeline deal.

Our foreign policy with respect to Iran is just plain dumb. The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) states that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program years ago and is, at best, years away from developing a nuclear weapon. So what does Bushie and the neocons do? Lie and say that they are developing nuclear weapons. Just like Iraq's WMD programs, there is no evidence to suggest that is true.

The end result is this - we are now paying nearly $4/gallon and prices are sure to go up. But India is now making a deal that will bring in a fresh source of oil to further build its economy.

Political News/Thoughts

It is truly remarkable, Bushie is now at 27% approval in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll - his lowest figure yet in that poll. I am quite certain that when he leaves office, his approval rating will be in the low 20s.

In the same poll, an all-time record of 73% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

There was also an interesting note today about former DNC Chairman Joe Andrew (a Clinton friend and superdelegate) switching his support from Clinton to Obama. I saw a couple of clips of Obama campaigning with his wife in Indiana and he looked more at ease than he has in recent days. I also think his new ad on gas prices is pretty effective. He'll win in North Carolina by at least 10 points and I think he has a very good shot at winning in Indiana. It's over already, but that will be one of the final nails in the coffin for Hillary.

A lot could happen between now and November, but it is unlikely that there will be significant improvement in the economy or in Iraq - the two central issues in this campaign. While national polls show McCain essentially tied with Obama, things will change once the stark differences between the two men come forward. Obama will win in a remarkable landslide that brings all kinds of new states over to the Democratic column.