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Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 08:16 AM PDT

John McCain v. George Orwell

by incertus

I have little faith that John McCain's latest "joke" about killing Iranians with tobacco will get any more play than his "Bomb Iran" one did a few months ago. I think Orwell is instructive here.

When you walk through a town like this--two hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom at least twenty thousand own literally nothing except the rags they stand up in--when you see how the people live, and still more how easily they die, it is always difficult to believe that you are walking among human beings. All colonial empires are in reality founded upon that fact. The people have brown faces--besides, there are so many of them! Are they really the same flesh as yourself? Do they even have names? Or are they merely a kind of undifferentiated brown stuff, about as individual as bees or coral insects? They rise out of the earth, they sweat and starve for a few years, and then they sink back into the nameless mounds of the graveyard and nobody notices that they are gone. And even the graves themselves soon fade back into the soil.

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Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 07:01 AM PDT

The religion fight: Obama v. Dobson

by incertus

I wrote yesterday about what I called Dobson's big swerve, wherein he is working on finding a way to paint Barack Obama as so religiously radical that he will have no choice but to support, reluctantly, John McCain. (Yeah, there's some sarcasm in that sentence.) It started a little more quickly than I expected, probably fueled by Obama's recent 12 and 15 point leads nationally in the Newsweek and LA Times polls. Yes, it's early, but if Dobson can come out and McCain happens to narrow the gap (which is almost inevitable), then he can declare victory and get some of his strut back.

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Mon May 26, 2008 at 09:36 PM PDT

Mocking Lanny Davis

by incertus

Lanny Davis has an article in Politico (via Balloon Juice) in which he presents some suggestions for the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee in their upcoming decision about the Florida and Michigan delegations. It has a few problems, the first of which pops up in the opening sentence.

Here are two important neutral principles that should guide the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee when it meets May 31 to decide whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations — and, if so, how to allocate them between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The problem is, of course, the idea that anything Lanny Davis has to say on this matter is neutral. Davis shouldn't utter that word in this discussion--hell, he shouldn't even wear a gray suit when discussing this subject. He's a Clinton partisan, and that doesn't mean his ideas are without merit--it just means that they aren't neutral. He will interpret the situation with his candidate's best interest at heart. Let's not pretend otherwise.

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Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:49 AM PDT

A question about the Newsweek poll

by incertus

The headline reads "The White Stuff", with the subhead "A new NEWSWEEK Poll underscores Obama's racial challenge." This is their argument:


Even as he closes in on the Democratic nomination for the presidency, Sen. Barack Obama is facing lingering problems winning the support of white voters--including some in his own party. In a new NEWSWEEK Poll of registered voters, Obama trails presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain 40 percent to 52 percent among whites.

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So the big local news is that Barack Obama was in Florida tonight, working on improving his numbers against John McCain for the general election.

And in case there's any doubt, yes, I'm working under the assumption that he is the presumptive nominee.

So anyway, Senator Obama was in Florida tonight, talking to a group of high rollers in Westin after having talked to the B'nai Torah congregation in Boca Raton, and there were some protesters there. I'll let the Sun-Sentinel pick it up from here.


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Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:34 AM PDT

It's not that simple

by incertus

Today's NY Times Week In Review asks a question sure to anger Hillary Clinton's most stalwart supporters--who will be her successor as the next viable woman candidate for the Presidency? It will anger some because it assumes that Clinton's run this year is over, others because it assumes she won't have another shot at it, but the real problem with the article is that it works off the belief that a woman can't break the same trail to the presidency that Barack Obama seems to be blazing. In short, it's buying into the conventional wisdom, when the proof of this campaign cycle has been that conventional wisdom means little now.

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Don't blame me--I didn't come up with the word. But since political punditry means (apparently) bloviating on things over which 1) you have no control and 2) you have little, if any special knowledge, I'm going to chime in with some thoughts on the VP spot for Barack Obama.

First of all, via Bark Bark Woof Woof, here's a game from Salon where you get to answer some stupid questions and they'll tell you who you should favor for the VP slot. It follows a pretty basic process-of-elimination algorithm--what do I care which side the nominee parts his or her hair on, or even if there's hair to part? But it did get me thinking about ways to narrow the field, so I've come up with some basic--and fairly obvious, I think--ground rules for selecting a running mate.

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Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:47 AM PDT

Now whose fault might that be?

by incertus

Michael Hirsh, in Newsweek has a piece up about what he's calling the "Kerryization of Barack Obama." It's a terrific example of the myopia of the media toward the role they play in the public perception of candidates. That's not what he's talking about, mind you--he's acting as though this stuff just happens and the media is there to report on it.

The specter of John Kerry in 2004 is beginning to haunt the Democrats in 2008. It is the specter of wimpy campaigns past. It showed up, like Banquo's ghost, at the debate Wednesday night in Philadelphia, particularly when Hillary Clinton joined with ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson to nip away at the edges of Barack Obama's patriotism. Between the questions about Obama's meager association with William Ayers, a former Weatherman, and the suspicions raised by his lack of a flag lapel pin, the likely nominee is slowly being turned into John Kerry. He is becoming, in other words, a candidate who may be mostly right about national security but who will lack the Red State street cred to carry his point—and the election.

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Mon Apr 14, 2008 at 03:44 PM PDT

More racism from Larry Johnson

by incertus

Dear Senator Clinton,
You deserve better from your supporters. This image, currently gracing the top of No Quarter, should not be representative of your campaign. I know you're trying to make hay of Obama's comments, and while I disagree with your assessment of them, being a person who grew up in that environment and feeling plenty of bitterness at my government, I don't think it's wrong for you to try to get some momentum out of it. Politics is a bloodsport after all.

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Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 05:58 AM PDT

WaPo hit piece on Obama Fundraising

by incertus

At least, that's what I have to figure based on the way it's written.

There's a piece in the Washington Post this morning--I got it via MSNBC--about Barack Obama's fundraising prowess, and the basic claim is that he's not as grassroots as he seems, at least in terms of where he's getting his cash. Okay, I'm willing to listen--he's raised a lot of money, after all, and it certainly isn't all coming from people who can barely rub two nickels together.

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Hillary Clinton's continued candidacy got some support today from a most unlikely backer--DNC Chair Howard Dean. And if ever there were a person who had reason to be peeved at the Clintons, it's Howard Dean.

After all, they opposed his nomination to become DNC Chair, casting around time and again for someone else to take the job. They've sneered at his 50-state strategy a number of times, and Clinton donors have tried to pressure him to give Michigan and Florida a pass on the rules their parties violated. Why on earth would he try to quiet the calls for Hillary Clinton to get out of the race?

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The top story right now is about the big money Dems who are trying to intimidate Speaker Pelosi. Checkbook waving, it's called.

Well, we have checkbooks too.

One of the goals of this community is to crash the gates, right? To exert the power of the many over the interests of the few? Well, here's our chance. Let's find out how much those twenty people have given to the DCCC, and have a netroots push to match it. Who's got more stroke? I think we do. and we should prove it.

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