Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MS-01 and the General

I agree that this is the big news from last night (via OpenLeft) ..

The most significant result of the night is in Mississippi's 1st district, not Pennsylvania (which Jonathan Singer live-blogged at MyDD). In MS-01, Democrats forced a run-off. Democrat Travis Childers took 49% of the vote against Republican Greg Davis, and if you combine the other Democrats in with Childers, Democrats took more than 50% of the vote. And this is an R+10 district.

Think about that a while the next time someone says to you that it doesn't matter that Obama is doing well in Red States because he isn't going to win them anyway. With a well funded campaign and everyone on board and pulling together (to mix a metaphor) I can see a 100+ electoral vote win here.

Of course .. i could just need stronger meds .. but a man can dream

Laptops and Privacy

from Daily Breeze
"I think it will surprise people that their laptops are subject to search without any level of suspicion when they get to a border checkpoint," added Jennifer Chacon, a law professor at the University of California, Davis.

"I think it may change the way people travel," she said.

Chacon warned that people carrying laptops with proprietary business information should know that a government agent has the right to search their computers at the border.

"As people become aware of this possibility, companies may be clearer with their employees about when they should carry their laptops across borders, and people may be more cautious," Chacon said.

As someone that routinely travels with a laptop (or 3) this concerns me but I think that the more important issue is that it seems to mean that any device with an electronic memory is fair game for search and/or seizure at an airport. It will be interesting to see if that begins to extend to other modes of transportation as well.

Popular Vote Talking Points

From dailykos
In the spirit of stating your opponents' best argument for them up front, then dismantling it, lay it out this way:

When the Clintons and their surrogates deceptively argue for the popular vote, they appear at first glance to be making a simple, moral, populist argument, that all votes are equal. Right? That's the implication, and why it rolls off their tongues so easily.

But where is the inherent morality in open versus closed primaries that arbitrarily limit turnout and whether Republicans and independents get to pick the Democratic nominee in some states but not others?

Are caucuses inherently immoral? Many states chose them as their form of selecting a nominee.

Is it moral to alter the game strategy only after the fact?

Make the opposing Clinton surrogate make a moral case that Minnesota = 1/4 of Missouri, because their argument insists that it should. Make them argue from a principle standpoint that Minnesota = 1/4 of Missouri. Make them argue that. Put them in that position. It'll expose this whole can of worms.

PocketNines has some nice points so I have strongly suggested to my cats that they should go read it. Even Dexter, the token republican in the house, has agreed to do so.

Engineer's Guide To Cats

Thanks to my friend Ms P for the heads up on this.

I have not yet calculated the aspect ratios for my cats but being maine coons I think that there has to be an adjustment factor for the large tails .... we will see

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tony Snow.. serious pundit

KING: How do you see November?

SNOW: I think [Sen. John] McCain's going to win, actually, because I think security and the economy both break his way.

But on the Democratic side ... you have got this charisma and emotion on the part of Obama. Can people stay in love with him from now until November? If so, it makes him a stronger candidate. If, on the other hand, the more you learn about him, the more you fall out of love, that's a campaign that could collapse.

Meanwhile, with Hillary Clinton, you have somebody who is battle tested. You have a political machine. You have a lot of experience. And you're going to have the ability to do whatever it takes to try to pull the party together. If you need that kind of machine operation, I think she does better.

Oh please. Security and the economy break his way?

Why wasn't the next question "what the fuck are you smoking and where can I get some"

I just dont get this at all ...

Sen Clinton and Sen McCain should get out the tape measure

From Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.

Isn't having one fucked up idiot warmonger running for president enough?.

What the fuck is she talking about here? Iran has .. say it after me boys and girls .. no nuclear weapons programme .. none .. not at all ..

Yes, Hillary we get it .. you have just as large a penis as John McCain or the CodPiece... and we really dont need to see it.

Traditional Democrats ...

From CNN
Obama leads in the delegate count -- 1,648 to 1,504, CNN estimates -- as well as the popular vote and the number of states won so far this primary season.

If Clinton is victorious, it would allow her to pick up a majority of the 158 delegates at stake in Pennsylvania make a small dent in Obama's lead, and more. Call races for yourself and see how delegates add up »

"If she wins Pennsylvania by a hefty margin, she can prove she can win the traditional Democratic constituencies needed to win the election, mostly white working-class voters," said Gloria Borger, a CNN senior political analyst.

So, in other words, if she wins the folks that will most likely vote for the Democratic Nominee in November as long as they weren't caught eating babies ...

And here I thought that the whole point was that having a nominee like Obama changes the electoral map for the Democratic Party. The last couple of elections should give the leadership (and I use that term loosely) of the Democratic Party a clue that the traditional Democratic constituencies just aren't enough anymore.

In order for the party to have any hope of breaking the cycle of allowing wedge issues to be used by the Republicans to get to 50%+1 electoral votes they have to start looking beyond "traditional Democratic constituencies" and look towards a candidate that can work to get new folks into party. We need to find those disenchanted Republicans and turn both they and a goodly number of independents into real honest to god members of the Democratic party. One election wont do it... but 8 years might. I just don't see Clinton doing that for the party.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On Torture ...

What Tristero said

Torture is always immoral. End of discussion.

Condi Rice on Gun Control (in Iraq)

from McClatchy via Yahoo
Rice used her visit to praise Maliki's choice to take on the militia. Fighting Sadr, who has declared that resistance against U.S. forces is legitimate, is an "internal Iraqi matter," she said.

"But clearly, the prime minister has laid down some ground rules which any functioning democratic state would insist upon, having to do with, you know, arms belonging to the state, not to -- not in private hands," she said. "The current circumstances come out of what I think is a very important and indeed appropriate action that the Iraqi government has taken."

so .. umm .. wonder how she feels about the 2nd amendment ...

[adding just before i hit "publish"] Noticed that this may look a shameless ripoff of a post by hubris sonic over at GroupNewsBlog but umm .. well .. great minds think alike?

at least i beat one of my heroes, Jane Hamsher, to the "john mccain as a gigolo" idea

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Door Number 2

From Steve Benen at Crooks And Liars
So, either Dems should be dejected that this conservative Republican running on a Bush-like agenda is tied with two great candidates, or Dems should be thrilled that this media darling who has it easy isn’t beating the Democratic candidates by double digits.

It’s a tough call. What say you?

I still think that as long as Hillary doesn't deliberately destroy the party .. which I do not think she will do... there is no way that McCain gets more than about 45% against Obama come November. This election should be a rout once people start to see what a McCain presidency would realy mean.

Fuck I hope I am right!

My Senator

Ed Kilgore says this at TPMCafe
I for one would respect Joe Lieberman as a Republican with enlightened views on a variety of issues more than Joe Lieberman as someone claiming to represent a fictional group of "loyal Democrats" supporting John McCain.

I find it very hard to disagree.

Military analysts as sock puppets

From the NY Times

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis.

“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’ ” Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.

Foisting propaganda on your own people should be classified as a war crime

Obama's Financials

Maybe I am just an incompetent boob with search tools but I found it very difficult to find a clean link to a precis of the Obama family's finances on his web site.

McCain has one.
Clinton has one.
Obama has this thing.

This is going to be an issue in the campaign. It should be easy to find it.

Cindy McCain's taxes-IOKIYAR again or is John McCain just a kept man?

OK, I am confused ...

Barack and Michelle Obama released their taxes.

Hillary and Bill Clinton released their taxes.

John McCain released his taxes ... but Cindy McCain didnt.

Why the fuck isnt this a big story on the bobblehead circuit?

Does anyone seriously think that if Hillary had released just her financials and said that what Bill made really didnt matter because her money was hers and his was his they would have bought it? Does anyone think that John McCain can donate 26% of his income to charity because they live frugally and he is just a damned fine fellow? And how does he pay the mortgages on those houses on such a small salary because surely he didn't have the money to put down to buy them outright.

So .. let me see .. who does McCain remind me of .... Oh .. yes ... This fellow

Now, am I implying that just maybe McCain isnt the principal breadwinner in his family and perhaps that is a bad thing? Yes and no. If I could find an heiress to keep me in the style to which I would like to become accustomed I would snap her up in a second too... but I wouldn't pretend that it didnt matter how much money she had...

When Unions Act With Conscience

From The Times Online with a h/t to the fine folks at dailykos
A Chinese ship carrying arms destined for Zimbabwe was last night forced to turn back after South African unions refused to unload it, claiming that to do so would be “grossly irresponsible”, South African media reported.

The reversal is a humiliation for President Mbeki, who had said that the Government was powerless to stop the shipment of three million rounds of AK47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 3,000 mortar rounds and mortar tubes to President Mugabe’s armed forces.

The next time that someone says that unions are only useful to protect the weak I think that I will show them this story and say "yes ... you are right".

Could the world's biggest debtor default?

From Naked Capitalism
The idea that the US would default on its debt seems inconceivable. Nevertheless, we are in the same position as Thailand and Indonesia, circa 1996, except we have the reserve currency and nukes. It will be interesting to see how those two assets influence the end game.

Yves Smith's place is one of my favorite places, along with Calculated Risk, for smart commentary of economic issues. Today there is an interesting bit on the idea that just maybe there is a chance that the historical practice of defaulting on sovereign debt by countries has not ended ... and the next major country that could be in trouble is this one. Quite sobering.


Obama has got to get this guy signed up !

h/t to crooks and liars