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Karl Rove and the Republican Revolution: Who is really going to win the Presidency (Part 6)

by Frank Schnittger Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:03:37 AM EST

True to my occasional tendency to be a contrarian, I am going to quote Karl Rove in Crackup? Not So Fast in support of my thesis that a Democratic Victory in November is anything but assured. This will probably get me into almost as much trouble as my piece on Israel/Palestine: One state or two? which lead to some troll rated comments to the effect that I was trying to complete Hitler's work and which effectively ended all further discussion of the topic.  

Judging by most of the comments on his Newsweek article, Karl Rove ranks as the anti-Christ for most Americans, with only died-in-the-wool Reagan/Bush supporters being prepared to read, never mind discuss his actual comments.  Must of the invective there would probably be troll rated here unless it is ok to be childishly vituperative towards a Republican strategist.

I write this as McCain looks set to win the GOP nomination as early as next Tuesday, having established huge leads over Romney and a flat-lining Huckabee.  The Democratic contest, on the other hand, is becoming a real dogfight, with Obama establishing very significant momentum on the ground and eating into Clinton's previously unassailable leads in major states like California.  It ain't over till the fat lady sings, and she hasn't even cleared her throat yet.

However even here on ET, confidence in a Democratic victory is beginning to wane.  Having received absolutely no votes in the first 4 polls conducted at the end of each article in this series, McCain suddenly jumped to being the favourite with 47% predicting a McCain victory in November in Poll 5 in the series.  Have we really so little confidence in our ideas and our ability to sell them to the American electorate?


Karl Rove

"We are at the end of the Reagan era." Or, at least, that is the claim of voices as diverse as Newt Gingrich and Ed Rollins on the right and Sen. Chuck Schumer and pollster Stanley Greenberg on the left. It is true the Republican Party is having difficulty retooling its message for the 21st century. But so is the Democratic Party.

Every presidential election is about change, and no more so than at the end of a two-term president's time in the White House. Parties have to constantly update themselves if they hope to remain relevant. The difficulty for both Republicans and Democrats is that our political system is at a point where more than the normal amount of party growth and development is needed. Both parties are suffering the consequences of seeing substantial parts of their 20th-century agendas adopted; both parties are struggling to fashion new answers to the new challenges of a young century.

But that's not to say that the Reagan legacy is exhausted. Ronald Reagan's legacy was not simply that he was "a campaigner and orator of uncommon skill," as Don Campbell argued last week in USA Today. President Reagan's gifts to the Republican Party were ideas: growing the economy through tax cuts, limiting government's size, forcefully confronting totalitarian threats, making human rights a centerpiece of America's foreign policy, respecting unborn human life, empowering the individual with more freedom. Those ideas endure. They give Republicans a philosophical foundation on which to build. The Reagan coalition has a natural desire to stick together. Fiscal, defense and values conservatives have more in common with each other than with any major element of the Democratic Party's leadership.

Democrats have a similar philosophical storehouse in the ideas of FDR and LBJ. Both expanded the size and scope of the federal government and saw it in almost an entirely positive light: as an agent of economic redistribution from the rich to the less affluent, as a provider to the poor and the disabled and as an enforcer of equal rights and equal justice. The Democratic Party has two challenges. One is that the modern economy has led voters to prefer markets, decentralization and consumer choice far more than centralized control by government and the substitution of "expert" decisions for those of the individual. The other challenge is that many in that party mistake the "Third Way" tactics of the Clinton years for a substantive approach to governing. Triangulation--making yourself look good at the expense of allies and adversaries in both parties--is lousy for providing coherent answers to modern issues.

Why then the media's recent fascination with the supposed demise of the Republican Party? What are the reasons given for why, at least when it comes to the Republicans, "the party's over," as NEWSWEEK recently pronounced? First, we are told the GOP nomination has not been won "fairly quickly," as in recent contests. This is a horrible misremembering of history. The senior Bush took 45 days after the first contest to secure the nomination in 1988. It took Bob Dole 35 days to become the presumptive nominee in 1996. The current president took 45 days to clear the field in 2000. The first contest this year was on Jan. 3. Let's at least give the process until the middle or end of February before pundits start predicting doom because of how long it's taking. And if the Republican nomination not being settled is evidence of disaster, what does the Democratic nomination being up for grabs say? It's normal for both parties' nominees to be undecided at this point. The season is not moving too slowly. If anything, it is moving too quickly this time, with 38 contests in the first 33 days.

Second, we are told recently by Susan Page, also in USA Today, that "never before in modern times has there been such a muddle," and then by Jon Meacham in this magazine that the "chaotic nature of the Republican primary race" means "the party of Reagan is now divided in ways it has not been in more than a generation." Many who witnessed the primary battles of 2000, 1996, 1992 or 1988 might disagree. By their nature, primary races are chaotic. Then a nominee emerges, and the chaos recedes (most of the time). If spirited competition on the Republican side is evidence of a crackup, then what about the Democratic battle? It is focused more and more on race and gender, and Hillary Clinton has the highest negatives of any candidate at this point in an open race for the presidency. The Democratic House and Senate have plummeted to the poorest congressional approval ratings in history.

Third, we are told Democrats have raised more money. You will search in vain for a similar declaration of last rites for the Democrats in 2000 when Republicans outraised them. And having more money doesn't decide the contest. Consider 2004, when Democratic presidential candidates, committees and 527s outspent their Republican counterparts by $124 million--and lost. Besides, the RNC has nearly eight times the cash on hand as the DNC. Just a month has passed since voting began, and nine months remain before November. Let's see what happens to Republican bank accounts as the year goes on.

Maybe we are not seeing the crackup of the GOP. Rather, America is more likely to be at the start of an intense and exciting election. The contest will be hard fought, the actions of the candidates each day hugely significant. It's far too early to draw sweeping conclusions about the health of either party; the presidential race, after all, has barely begun. Lots of surprises lie ahead.

One does not have to be a Republican sympathiser or agree with his analyses of FDR's or Reagan's legacies to accept that much of the above is at least arguable. McCain looks to have his party's nomination all but sown up, and is seen even by many independents as relatively untainted by the Bush legacy of unjust war, incompetent economic management, encroachment on civil liberties, and a further re-distribution of wealth from the poor to the rich.

The risks for McCain, in my view, are threefold:  

Firstly he is the oldest Presidential candidate in history, which presents clear risks to his ability to sustain what is bound to be a grueling campaign and still be seen as fresh and ready for office come November.

Secondly, for all his honourable track record as a war hero, Presidential Elections are about the future, not the past.  In what way does he satisfy the clear yearning for change in America - other than the fact that he is NOT Bush?

Thirdly, he represents a uniting of the Republican party against the Evangelicals, who at one point threatened, in the shape of Huckabee, to take over the GOP.  The Evangelicals are very welcome to provide their numbers, enthusiasm, and money to the party, but most Republicans have recoiled from having a Creationist run the country.  However this also means that McCain represents a very uneasy compromise who is not enthusiastically endorsed either by the moral, fiscal, security `conservatives in the party.  They could have a real problem mobilising their base, come November, and having independent support is all very well provided they actual come out and vote in real numbers.  Obama could draw from that same pool.

All of which brings me to the Democrats.  There is an argument for saying that their establishment candidate, "Billiary Clinton", and the Democratic congress have failed to arouse much broad based popular support not because they have failed to offer an alternative to Bushrepublicanism, but because they have not offered enough of a change.

Obama got into real trouble when he conceded Karl Rove's first point above, that the Republican party under Reagan was the party of ideas in the 1980's, and that it was time the Democrats articulated a real alternative.  He was touching on the real vacuity at the heart of the Clinton rhetoric - that it is an argument about competence and experience - i.e. doing more or less the same things, only doing them better, and that Clinton does not offer a real break with the past as Reagan had done.

The very emotionalism of the Clintonista reaction, much like the comments on Karl Rove's article which declared that they would refuse to even read what he had written, is a cover up of their lack of a coherent set of ideas and programmes which represent a revolutionary change from what has been happening for the past 28 years.

Clinton is the Carter 1980 candidate, with some decent liberal credentials but offering no real change from a model that is increasingly being seen to fail.  Obama is the Reagan 1980 candidate, offering a more radical break from the past.  But does his platform stand up to closer scrutiny and does it really represent a radical shift and a coherent set of new ideas?  Much of the commentary here and elsewhere has focused on the candidates personalities and political tactics.  It is time their actual policy programmes were subjected to closer scrutiny.  Time for the policy wonks to have their say.

Poll
My PREDICTION (not my preference) for the next POTUS is
. Clinton 33%
. Obama 33%
. Edwards 4%
. McCain 28%
. Huckabee 0%
. Romney 0%
. Giulliani 0%
. None of the above 0%

Votes: 21
Results | Other Polls
Display:
I should have added that I have changed my original prediction of last December that Clinton would beat Huckabee in November.  Clinton is now much less certain of the Dem nomination and even less certain of beating McCain.  It is beginning to look like only McCain or Obama can win in November unless Clinton can dramatically change her rhetoric and her prospects.   Bill is forever saying he his sorry for something and that he got it wrong.  It is time Hillary showed similar flexibility (and humility) or she is history.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:25:16 AM EST
Clinton won't do that.  The Clintons and the Bushes are very similar in their campaign style, in that both clans are of the "apologize for nothing or you'll lose" view.

I'd still bet on Clinton, but, I think like most, I'm wondering if this Obama surge is for real.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:24:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
November is such a long time away. If a major economic recession hits the U.S. before the elections, which is quite possible, I would venture that the Republican candidate, who is following eight miserable years of Bush, will be "toast." If no recession hits, I still think the public is sick of Republican government and will not install McCain.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:37:33 AM EST
So yes, it's either Clinton or Obama, and that seems too close to call today.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it depends on many, many factors.  If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, then it will depend on how she plays the war issue against McCain.  If she can establish herself as a competent war opponent, she should squeak by to victory.  But, if she pulls a Kerry and can't make up her mind in front of the cameras (as happened in the debate with Obama the other night), she'll forfeit our trump card.  Or, worse, if she tries to match McCain's hawkishness (my great fear), the left may well bail on her.

If Obama somehow defeats Clinton, which would probably be the greatest upset since Truman and Dewey, I think he'll have massive momentum going into the general election that will be incredibly difficult for McCain to counter.  McCain will look old, tired and stubborn next to him.  (In short, it'll be Kennedy v. Nixon 2.0.)  I was watching an Obama rally on CSPAN the other night and thinking about how he's improved out on the trail.  And I thought, "You know, he's almost there.  He didn't quite 'get' the whole idea of a presidential campaign throughout 2007, while Clinton has been polished the entire time, but he's almost there."  I know McCain's polling well against both for now, -- and it certainly will not be a cakewalk against him with either Obama or Clinton -- but I don't see McCain hanging on against Obama.

Either one can conceivably win or lose against McCain.  With Clinton, I think it'll be a fight over 5% of the voters.  With Obama, I think it'll be a fight over 20%.  Clinton will either lose by a narrow margin or win by one, while Obama could either coast to a narrow defeat or explode into a massive victory.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:22:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent point about the recession, which I meant to include as a fourth problem for McCain but forgot because I was in a rush to get to a meeting.  He really doesn't have any track record on economic issues - a fact that Romney is trying to exploit, and yet, so far, it doesn't seem to cut much ice with the primary voters. If the recession gets really bad, it may help Hillary by allowing her to bask in the reflected glory of relative economic prosperity in Bill's terms of Office, whereas neither Obama nor McCain have demonstrated any competence or experience in the area.  It may all come back down to "The Economy, Stupid!"

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting article in the Nation about where Obama gets his economic policy advice- Harvard Business School and U. of Chicago, Neoliberal "centrists".
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080211/fraser
As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well.

Obama's disappointing foreclosure plan stems from the centrist politics of his three chief economic advisers and his campaign's ties to Wall Street institutions opposed to increased financial regulation. David Cutler and Jeffrey Liebman are both Harvard economists who served in the Clinton Administration, and they work on market-oriented solutions to social welfare issues. Cutler advocates improving healthcare through financial incentives; Liebman, the partial privatization of Social Security.

Austan Goolsbee, an economist at the University of Chicago who calls himself a "centrist market economist," has been most directly involved with crafting Obama's subprime agenda. In a column last March in the New York Times, Goolsbee disputed whether "subprime lending was the leading cause of foreclosure problems," touted its benefits for credit-poor minority borrowers and warned that "regulators should be mindful of the potential downside in tightening [the mortgage market] too much." In October, no less a conservative luminary than George Will devoted a whole column in the Washington Post to saluting Goolsbee's "nuanced understanding" of traditional Democratic issues like globalization and income inequality and concluded that he "seems to be the sort of fellow--amiable, empirical, and reasonable--you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be."

Gulp.

Any friend of George Will's is-- not gonna change much.

 

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 11:56:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However even here on ET, confidence in a Democratic victory is beginning to wane. Having received absolutely no votes in the first 4 polls conducted at the end of each article in this series, McCain suddenly jumped to being the favourite with 47% predicting a McCain victory in November in Poll 5 in the series. Have we really so little confidence in our ideas and our ability to sell them to the American electorate?

Hold on there. That last sentence completely misrepresents the issue. Rove and Obama are correct that the Reagan administration were the party of ideas in the 80s. Sadly those ideas also infected the democratic party. Clinton based his whole platform on running Reaganism better, triangulate, triangulate. Forever dragging his party to the right, never meeting a republican initiative he couldn't make friends with.

And who became the biggest power brokers within the democratic party ? Rahm Emmanuel and the DLC, home of the DINO the red nosed Bush-Dog. Who else is it that rolls out the red carpet for all those Bush-supporting social conservative republicans in the mid-West who've been defecting in droves ? Conveniently filling up spaces that electorally should have gone to real Democrats.

And who supplies all the consultants class who have lost every election cycle they've been involved in ? Whose very creed is to avoid any issue that republicans wouldn't vote for ? the DLC.

Confidence in our ideas ? They've never been given a chance except by John Edwards and that worked well. A few talking points for the others to steal, but a substantive effect on their platforms ? Fat chance.

And now we have Clinton, whose top three consultants are all Republicans !!!. Yea, betcha she's really gone provide an alternative to republican rule. Given the choice between a republican and a republican-lite you might as well get a full fat war-monger. Drew is right, Hilary's equivocations are simply unconvincing;-

If she can establish herself as a competent war opponent, she should squeak by to victory. But, if she pulls a Kerry and can't make up her mind in front of the cameras (as happened in the debate with Obama the other night), she'll forfeit our trump card. Or, worse, if she tries to match McCain's hawkishness (my great fear), the left may well bail on her.
.

And Obama ? He talks the talk, but too often when it comes to the crunch he takes the electorally safe (ie republican) option. His foreign policy is a frightening mix of "back to the old skool American military hegemony" with a cheesey smile intended to reassure us that he regrets the necessity of bombing the third world back to the stone age but america has to stand tall.

I don't believe Clinton will beat McCain because McCain is more convincing in the role both of them want to play. And Obama won't get the nomination because he'll get stitched up at the convention by the delegates unless he has a commanding lead (and I don't think he will).

So I voted McCain. not because I don't have confidence in the ideas, I just don't have confidence in the candidates.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:16:13 PM EST
Helen:
However even here on ET, confidence in a Democratic victory is beginning to wane. Having received absolutely no votes in the first 4 polls conducted at the end of each article in this series, McCain suddenly jumped to being the favourite with 47% predicting a McCain victory in November in Poll 5 in the series. Have we really so little confidence in our ideas and our ability to sell them to the American electorate?

Hold on there. That last sentence completely misrepresents the issue.

I have to admit that last sentence was deliberately provocative to entice you below the fold.  As Bill would say "mea culpa".

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:44:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well said.

Hilary's equivocations are simply unconvincing;-

That really is what it's about for me, both in terms of my preference and in terms of my thinking, strategically.  She is a more divisive version of Kerry, relying on Republican negatives to push her to victory.  But McCain, the greatest media creation in a long time, is not Junior in the eyes of the public, because he has been propped up by the press as a independent-minded moderate.

I'll put it this way for my vote: Bill Clinton talked about a vote for Obama being a "roll of the dice".  Personally, with Edwards gone, I'd rather roll the dice on Obama than accept the already-rolled snake-eyes with Clinton.

The war is McCain's great weakness.  The public wants an end to the war.  But whenever she has sensed the opportunity to ignore Obama and Edwards and start turning towards the general election, she has returned to her role as the senator who voted for, and cheered on, the most disastrous foreign-policy decision since Vietnam.  Whether it's her vote on Kyl-Lieberman or her inability to take a clear stand on the war in Iraq, I find no reason to trust her.  Quite the contrary, I find her more an incompetent militarist with every sentence.  Her statements range from bizarre distortions -- Hussein was "competing" with bin Laden for power in the Arab World?! -- to absolute lies (her vote on the Levin Amendment).

If we forfeit the war, the election becomes one of a big loss for me vs a bigger loss for me.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama's equivocations are unconvincing too.

Obama has been endorsed by Volcker. How much more of a clue do the sheep need to understand what the wolves have planned for them?

The election is already over. The progressives lost. All that's left now is deciding whether we get Republicanism Lite, which will be polite about screwing over the little people, or the Full Fat Washington-Goes-Britney mental health disaster special edition.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:52:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama has been endorsed by Volcker. How much more of a clue do the sheep need to understand what the wolves have planned for them?

Setting Obama aside: The entire "Reagan ended inflation and brought a great boom" myth is based on the actual work by Volcker's Fed, although right-wing nuts never miss a chance to have a go at him.  He was a hell of a Fed chairman, and, when someone like him speaks up, those of us who're primarily interested in economics -- note that bonddad was the one who broke the story on Daily Kos -- take notice.  I'd argue that Volcker did more good for this country than any president from Carter on, and he certainly continues to outshine the rodeo clowns who've come after him at the Fed.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got yourself a debate.

European Tribune: A Trojan Horse brought to you by DailyKos by NBBooks on February 4th, 2008.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:14:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, Christ.  Not more magical Illuminatiesque horseshit about the Fed and the Rockefellers.

It's also more than a little condescending to bonddad, this view of him not knowing any better or kowtowing to the establishment, when he's been pretty spot-on for the past several years.

All I'll say to answer it is this:  Have a look at inflation, unemployment, and GDP.  If you're telling me Volcker had nothing to do with turning things around, I think you're kidding yourself.

I know that storyline jibes with the settled prejudices of many, but that doesn't make it true.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:37:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll raise you your inflation, unemployment and GDP against real income vs real expenses for 90% of the population.

Is a recession any better than inflation? I suppose you could argue that recessions are possibly likely to end, kinda sorta maybe, while inflation is harder to control once it starts running away.

But what ended the recession wasn't Fed-fiddling, but a mini-IT boom, which was a precursor to the dotcom bubble, and the start of outsourcing and the 'reform' rhetoric which pushed wage claims down - together with Reagan-style union busting.

GDP may have gone up more than it would otherwise, but less of it was being shared with the people who produced it.

The biggest, most tragic mistake Volcker made was to continue to promote the rhetoric of the centralised national economy, which justified aggressive wage cuts on the basis that they were some kind of patriotic duty, and not just piratical profiteering.

Inflation was much more influenced by energy prices in the 70s, and continued to be influenced by expensive energy in the 80s.

A sustainable economy would be far less prone to inflation, because if energy prices are stable there's no direct inflationary feed, and very little interest in playing market games that lead to hedging and speculation - both of which are far more inflationary than wage demands in real terms.

But Volcker has a straight down the line public school (in UK terms) mindset, so giving poor people a bit of a spanking with high interest rates is considered acceptable, while increasing wealth sharing through higher taxes isn't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're preaching to the choir on energy and the overall neoliberal agenda set out by Reagan and his minions.  I completely agree that energy prices were the initial cause of stagflation.  That's undeniable, and recall that it is my primary argument against the think-tanks' narrative on the rise and fall of Keynesianism.  But Volcker was also competing with inflation expectations, which matter a great deal.  

I don't agree on issues of redistribution, because I don't believe the Fed is the primary player (nor should it be the primary player) in redistribution, although it certainly plays a role in cases such as Alan Greenspan's (slashing rates to bail out Wall Street).  But I hardly think it's the case that Volcker is open to the same kind of criticism as Alan Greenspan on that front.  The failure on real incomes and expenses, in my view, was much more the fault of the Democrats being the Democrats, refusing to stand up to Reagan and at least fight outsourcing with redistribution.  Was Volcker ideologically inclined to the right?  I assume so, but failures of the political leadership shouldn't be excused by pointing to the Federal Reserve chairman.

Now, looking back, might it have been better for Volcker to simply raise rates to less-severe levels, gradually slowing inflation down rather than slamming on the brakes?  Sure, and many argue that, but I submit he had it more right than wrong.

That argument of inflation vs recession you proposed is the basic argument I'd make.  In an economy with mild inflation like we're accustomed to in America and Europe in recent years, I think it's clearly the case that we're alright with letting inflation be bumped up a bit in the interest of trying to avoid recession.  The problem comes when inflation gets out of control, and I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that this was the case in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 09:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
I don't agree on issues of redistribution, because I don't believe the Fed is the primary player (nor should it be the primary player) in redistribution, although it certainly plays a role in cases such as Alan Greenspan's (slashing rates to bail out Wall Street).

Why not? I see the differences as arbitrary. Supposedly tinkering with the money supply is apolitical and a fact of nature, while raising taxes very much isn't.

But this is nonsense. Monetarism, just like Keynesianism, is inherently a political position. As with Greenspan, it's clear that the money supply is controlled to benefit the people with most of it, rather than the people with hardly any. Greenspan was certainly politically motivated, and it's likely Volcker was too, albeit to a lesser extent.

The idea that the Fed somehow floats loftily above Washington like a monastery on a hill, consulting its fiscal oracles with detached disinterest before its high priest speaks out is one of the silliest and most damaging conceits in US politics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:55:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But what ended the recession wasn't Fed-fiddling, but a mini-IT boom

I don't think that ended the recession independent of the Fed, but certainly it was a contributing factor to the recovery.  Good point.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 09:42:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea verily, there comes truth from the Helen.
---in several places.
And Obama ? He talks the talk, but too often when it comes to the crunch he takes the electorally safe (ie republican) option. His foreign policy is a frightening mix of "back to the old skool American military hegemony" with a cheesey smile intended to reassure us that he regrets the necessity of bombing the third world back to the stone age but america has to stand tall.

Check out the link in my comment above for some insight as to the "depth" of Obama's plans for economic "change".

not because I don't have confidence in the ideas, I just don't have confidence in the candidates.

I, on the other hand, have no confidence in any group of voters educated in the US and informed by US(D) media.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, we all knew Rove isn't stupid. Most of that analysis (excepting only the gushing bullshit paragraph about Reagan growing the economy and making human rights the forefront of US foreign policy, etc., etc.) could've been written by anyone here at ET.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:41:50 PM EST
JakeS:
Most of that analysis (excepting only the gushing bullshit paragraph about Reagan growing the economy and making human rights the forefront of US foreign policy, etc., etc.) could've been written by anyone here at ET.

Is that a compliment to Rove, or ET, or... er, okay. Forget I asked that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:55:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A compliment to Rove, and an expression of surprise that his piece was reportedly greeted with more enthusiasm by wingnuts than progressives when it was posted elsewhere.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:01:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The reaction is clearly to the messenger, not to the message.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely - most of the response said the wouldn't read his stuff/cancel their Newsweek subscription etc.   I must say I always work on the "know your enemy" principle which is why I quoted him at length here.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:51:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Carl Rove is an incredibly bright propagandist and master of Machiavellian strategy. He has far better sources of information than I do. He's very good at mixing a cocktail with a large dollop of skillfully phrased truth with a subtly inserted jigger of antifreeze in support of a political agenda inscrutable to the reality-based dimwits like me. Though my bookmark file is replete with sources of opinion from all sides , I stick to those sources whose motives I can understand and whose analysis exists in the "reality-based" community I live in.

I do not read Carl Rove.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You deserved all the abuse you got over the One State or two post you wrote on Israel/Palestine and even here you don't highlight Obama's soemtimes ambiguous stance on the issue.  He simply cannot be trusted to support Isreal if times get tough.  We would be better off with McCain or Clinton.
by Mordecai on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:59:01 PM EST
Frankly, I wish Obama's statements were more ambiguous.  He's been pretty pro-Palestine in the past, and I wish he'd get back to pushing a more evenhanded approach to the issue, instead of feeling the need to pander, based upon bullshit media assumptions, to the Israel lobby.  It's time we put an end to militant pro-Israeli views in this country.

You saying he can't be trusted makes me think that perhaps he can be, and it certainly tells me he'd be the superior candidate to Clinton on the "Global War on 'Tara'".

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 02:07:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Support Israel or support the Occupation? Those are two different things. The absolute best thing an American president could do for Israel, in my considered opinion, would be to flat-out order them to dismantle the illegal settlements. No half measures, no bullshit, no nothing. Remove the illegal settlements, or lose the only ally they have left. Israel would fold, and would be better off for it.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 02:49:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that really is a Danish common-sense nugget of a comment, Jake.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 02:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:40:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.  It would also do well by us in the international arena to dump this bullshit about Israel telling us what to do.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 02:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we might all be surprised by what would happen.  Israel would simply tell the US to stuff it and make sure the next US elected President was more supportive.  Mossad/AIPAC/Evangelists/neo-cons wouldn't have too much of a problem in ensuring a reasonably favourable outcome next time around.

The degree to which a US President can actually dictate to Israel is actually very limited. Israel can manage without US aid, even military spare parts for quite a long time.  It has an independent military capability that would put all European countries to shame and could turn Iran into an uninhabitable desert if it really needed to.

This may not accord with vision of the new American Century, but Israel is very much in the driving seat and the US is only a fare paying passenger.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 03:12:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm sorry to say that I agree with all of that, mainly because the press is so blatantly eating out of the hands of the AIPAC group.  I'm simply saying that I think we could beat it back, at least to the point that it's a non-issue, and that ending our unconditionally pro-Israel stance would be to our benefit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 03:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, I see, the old "international jewish conspiracy" canard.  Why don't you just call it for what it is: blatant ant-semitism.  Jewish are as entitled to self-determination and to lobby within the US system as anybody else.  You only have a problem with it because it is jews who are doing it.
by Mordecai on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:23:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the trump card: anti-Semitism.  All criticism of Israel is based on nothing more than anti-Semitism, ain't it?  It's got nothing to do with knowing that my country's unconditional support for Israel puts my fellow citizens in danger, does it?  It's got nothing with believing that Palestinians have just as much right t self-determination as Israelis, does it?

Read up a little on what I've said on Israel and Palestine before you go shooting your mouth off with charges of anti-Semitism, because I assure you: You don't have a fucking clue.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gnnn... You just have to love the argument that goes: you can't critizise a Jew, because then you are an antisemite. I'm going to convert to Judaism, and then when Gaianne says my pro-nuclear diaries are not representative of the way she sees the world I'll just tell her she's an antisemite, and then that's that. This should work especially well in the German nuclear debate. I think I'll send a mail to the German nuclear industry, telling them to make sure all their spokesmen are Jews. </snark>

Anyway. You don't think Israel has a somewhat unusually strong influence in US politics, compared to other nations with about the same size and wealth, like Finland?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah but its not that simple - you may convert to Judaism - just about, but that won't make you a Jew.  At that point a racial definition is employed.  Do you think all the Palestinians would be granted a "right to return" to Israel if they converted to Judaism?  They cannot "become" Jews even if they wanted to.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, yes, but they're Brown People.

I'm as ashkenazi as they come (minus blond hair and blue eyes) and if you say any different it's just because you're an antisemite.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:49:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alright, you've had your fun.  Now it's time for us to go back up to the blackboard and write "They Hate Us for Our Freedom" a thousand times.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'd be surprised how many Jews are brown - and black - remember the Somali Jews who were granted the right of return?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:01:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I know. I was just snarking.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:04:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Many years ago, during a visit of the Beth-Hatefutsoth (the Diaspora House) museum in Tel Aviv, I saw a photography mosaic made up of many, physically very different faces. The message was made explicit in a comment next to it: "We are not a race".

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 09:48:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jewish are as entitled to self-determination and to lobby within the US system as anybody else.

I don't know why you would support the lobby system. I thought that it was a major disadvantage of the US system of government.

As for the self-determination argument - You won't get much support from me on that one either. Ultimately theocracies discriminate against the individual in order to support the group. A Jewish theoacracy must put limits on individual liberty in order to maintain itself as a Jewish state. That affects the ability of Jews to freedom of conscience as well as everyone else.

Our modern understanding of human rights is that they rest with the individual, not with the group. Judaism does not have a right to exist, but an individual does have the right to practice Judaism.

 

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Our modern understanding of human rights is that they rest with the individual, not with the group. Judaism does not have a right to exist, but an individual does have the right to practice Judaism."

Ah I see.  You can burn all our synagogues provided we are still allowed to pray in private (and in secret).  We have been there before.

by Mordecai on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep trying. There is absolutely nothing in the "right to practice Judaism" that implies burning synagogues. In fact it implies the exact opposite.

It has everything to do with religion being a personal choice, not something legislated by government or by religious institutions.

If you wish to live your life as a perpetual victim then be my guest. Just don't include me.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mordecai:
You can burn all our synagogues provided we are still allowed to pray in private (and in secret).  We have been there before.

You're pretty much there now with the Palestinians.

Mouth off about being the victims of history while you build a fucking wall around an entire country and then try to stop food, water and medical services getting in.

Lovely.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:03:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Amen.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

On the basis of what are you accusing whom of burning synagogues?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which part of Edwin's comment "Judaism does not have a right to exist" do you not understand?

It is what we are.  You destroy Judaism and you destroy us, as individuals, as a people.  Its that simple.  If you want to destroy a people yo start by destroying their identity first.

by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:57:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Saying "Judaism has a right to exist" is silly.  Ideas only exist insofar as people, who have the right to believe whatever they want, exist.  But Judaism has no more right to exist than belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Edwin is saying that the subjects of rights are human beings, not religions. Judaism exists insofar as individual people practice Judaism, but "Judaism" is not a proper subject of rights: "Jews" are. So, "Jews have the right to practice Judaism".

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are turning "Individualism" into a new religion, and you are entitled to do so, but it is not ours (or the Arab's for that matter). Our rights come from God and being True to Him - not from the mere fact that we exist as individuals.  It used to be the same in Christianity.  By all means evangelise your new fangled religion but you cannot and will not convert us by force or otherwise.  We have as much right to our religion as you have to yours, and ours is not based on the "individual".  It is based on God.  Islam is the same. We are closer to them than we are to you.
by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm talking about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which consists in its entirety of rights of individual humans.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:30:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and it is anything but universal in its values and approach - it is against Sharia law, for example.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:50:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is universal in that it lists rights which are predicated of every human being.

I don't know enough about Sharia law, but it's probably equally incompatible with Leviticus, for instance.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:32:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep - Leviticus thinks slavery is ok as long as you don't treat them too badly.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently you not only have the right to speak for Judaism but also for Islam and Christianity.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:31:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A reincarnation of Abraham perhaps? Except none of those religions do reincarnation. Maybe  an archangel? They all have those, right?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:38:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you don't stop, Saint Michael will be dispatched to kick your ass with his flaming sword.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you cannot counter my arguments on their merits you try to ridicule the messenger.  A clear sign that you have lost. Goodbye
by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, just a sign we don't take argument from religious conviction seriously.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:55:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you fight against God's will there are consequences and there is no point in blaming God or his people when you suffer the consequences.

There is no possible way to counter an argument centred on faith on its merits. It can't be done. Granted, ridicule also doesn't work.

If I believe that global warming is caused by a decrease in the number of pirates then there is no argument based on merits that can cause me to change my mind.

Our rights come from God and being True to Him - not from the mere fact that we exist as individuals.

If you reject the enlightenment, equality, individual liberty, and democracy based on your belief in "God's will" and "chosen people" then an impasse is created. Some other common ground could be searched for though it would be a difficult process. We could explore what being True to God means and see if there was some point where similarities between - say 'equality' and being True to Him lead. Unfortunately the diary format does not easily lend itself to such exploration.

That said, I suppose you are right. No one is likely to challenge your belief structure in a way that you would recognise as valid, just as you have not challenged our belief structure in a way that we would recognise as valid.


As it is necessary to affix right ideas to words, I will, before I proceed further into the subject, offer some other observations on the word revelation. Revelation, when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man.

No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.

It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication -- after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.

Age of Reason by Thomas Paine


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:32:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which arguments would that be? Perchance you could quote an argument you think someone has failed to counter? And, I hasten to add, appeal to religious authority is not an argument in the reality-based community.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a dumb argument.  Nobody's trying to convert you to anything, so stop playing the victim.  It's about respecting the individual's right to believe whatever the hell he/she wants to believe, not converting nations to some "new fangled" religion.

Seriously, Mordecai, read through what you wrote here, and try to think about how those of us who are secular see it.  You sound like a religious extremist of the sort that, in my country (not so much of an issue in Europe), many of us are kind of trying to do away with.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yawn

I'd dig up the 'unsupported assertion' .gif, but I've already used that once today. Besides, seeing it several times in one post would get boring.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.jesusandmo.net/2008/02/01/again/

Education for Mordecai. Entertainment for the rest of us.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:44:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh

What's with this self-determination bullshit? Lots of people who want to have their own state can't get it, if for no other reason then because it's impractical. Why is Jewish self-determination - your terminology, not mine - more important than Palestinian self-determination?

Also, we don't dislike APAIC et al because they're Jewish. We dislike them because they're religious lunatics and serving the interests of an extremely narrow (and narrow-minded) group of religious nuts.

Additionally, pointing out that the pro-occupation lobby has a right to lobby is a red herring. I don't see anyone here suggesting that they don't. What I see people suggesting is that the rest of the world exercise our equally important democratic right to ignore religious nutcases.

Finally, I'm going to break one of my principles and give you a Warning rating for the anti-semitism accusations, despite the fact that I'm part of the argument. I can handle the insult, but I have a hard time tolerating the way the pro-occupation lobby cheapens and legitimises anti-semitism by equating opposition to the slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people with anti-semitism. It's offencive to the critics and it's offencive to the real victims of real anti-semitism, but most importantly it's grist for the anti-semites' mill. Goebbels would be laughing his ass off if he could see the propaganda victory that the pro-occupation lobby is handing to anti-semite scum everywhere every day.

And here's something for you to chew on: After the six-day war, Ben Gurion was of the opinion that Israel should surrender the occupied territories outside the pre-war (the war in question being the six-day war) border - all the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem - in exchange for lasting peace with the Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East. Is or was Ben Gurion an anti-semite, in your opinion? If not, what makes the ETers who feel the same way anti-semites?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both Jews and Palestinian Arabs were offered "self determination" under the UN Mandate - and don't forget Jordan was created for Arabs at that time.

However the Arabs responded by making war on Israel and in that process lost their right to self-determination.  Starting a war and losing it has consequences.  If Israel had lost, it would have been wiped off the map.  Self-determination depends on having the military strenght to maintain your identity against all who would seek to destroy it.  Most national boundaries were determined at one time or another, by the outcomes of war and conquest, with stronger states/peoples surviving, and weaker states/peoples being submerged.  Israel is no different, except we are Jewish.

The message of history for the Arabs is - if you don't like the consequences don't start the war.  The price Arab states have to pay for starting and losing the war is that they will have to look after and absorb the losers within their own borders.  Israel is getting stronger and stronger.  When the oil runs out the Arab states will return to dust and Israel will be the only advanced democracy and economy in the region.

Then the Arabs will come running and looking for access to our economy, and our jobs, and our freedoms and our wealth.  And we will turn them away because you have sustained them in the illusion that they can fight Israel and get away with it.  If you fight against God's will there are consequences and there is no point in blaming God or his people when you suffer the consequences.  You have made your own bed, and now you have to lie in it, and not all the power of Mammon, whether in the shape of the EU or the US can change that.

by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:14:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is why the fools and bigots in power in Israel, in the US and in places like AIPC doom Israel to destruction: if your existence depends only on being the biggest bully on the block you will be destroyed when your military edge.

The Zionists are the biggest enemies of Israel's continued existence.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how is that different from the US and every other power which maintains itself by having sufficient military capabilty to deter invaders?  Once again you apply your arguments only against the Jewish people.

See neighborhood bully

by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:39:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm also highly critical of the US might-is-right attitude and the tendency to run foreign policy on the basis of brute short-term "national interest" without concern for ethics or long-term consequences, so I'm hardly only picking on the Zionists. I'll also register an objection to your attempt to speak on behalf of the Jewish people. Who the fuck appointed you?

You need enough military power to deter invaders and a good enough relationship to convince people that it doesn't suit their interests to invade anyway.  The first without the second - especially when military power is deployed ruthlessly for essentially domestic political purposes - will lead to long-term disaster. Why do you hate the Jewish people?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL!  Perfect.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Who the fuck appointed you?"

Thank you for your kind and temperate language.  I see troll rating only applies to Jews when we try to make our case.  All Jews have a duty to fight for their God and His People.  It does not require a special appointment, although it apparently requires a special dispensation here.

Europe only survived WW2 and the Cold war because of the American security guarantee and nuclear shield.  Now you have the gall to criticise those who potected you for saving you from Nazism and Communism. With friends like that we don't need enemies.  We will make peace with the Arabs before we will piece with those who would betray us into the hands of our enemies.

by Mordecai on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:01:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do not represent Jews, the Jewish people, or anyone else but yourself, whatever your bizarre superstitions might tell you.

I really don't want to be the friend of people who expect their friends not to tell them when they're being idiots. <shrug>

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mordecai:
All Jews have a duty to fight for their God and His People.

All Muslims have a duty to fight for their God and His People.

Shrug. This argumentation is pointless. If you want to involve religion, fine by me, but don't think for a second it's going to make a persuasive case other than for yourself. Religion as argument is a fallacy whether it is Christianity, Jewish, Islam, etc.

Bing! Try again.

by Nomad on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:15:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, repeat after me: They hate us for our freedom.

The last seven years have convinced me that those six simple words explain everything.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:32:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not our freedom they hate us for, it's what we're doing with it.

some of them love us for our slavery....to black gold.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WWII and the Cold War were pretty different.  Do the Brits, Soviets and others not get any credit here, or were the battles of Britain and Stalingrad just made-up?  I say this as an American: As much as I'd love to believe my country represented some sort of Great Savior in WWII, you're out to lunch if you think it was all about America.  The same goes for the Cold War.

The truly racist and bigoted bit here is your assumption of the Jewish people as being "His People," thus elevating their importance above that of other humans.  This is religious extremism and tribalism, of the sort that leads people to -- oh, I don't know -- run planes into buildings, or blow themselves and innocent people up on subway systems, or wall off entire territories while denying basic necessities (as TBG noted).

I'm reminded of a bumper-sticker I once saw that read, "9/11 was a Faith-Based Initiative."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
9/11 was a Faith-Based Initiative."

Lol - as was the crusade in response...

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your attempt to play ETers as anti-semites is noted. For the record, I disapprove of flippantly accusing people of being racist. But I digress.

Europe only survived WW2 and the Cold war because of the American security guarantee and nuclear shield.

I call bullshit on your attempt to conflate the Cold War and WWII. WWII was won on the East Front. In 1941-'43. It was half won before the USA even entered the war. And fully won before the first American soldier showed up in continental Europe.

Look up the battle of Moscow, the siege of Leningrad and the battle of Stalingrad, will you? And then go peddle your historical revisionism to someone else.

We will make peace with the Arabs before we will piece with those who would betray us into the hands of our enemies.

Who are 'we'? Who are you to speak on behalf of this 'we'? And precisely why should we give a damn whether you'll make peace with us? You don't sound like the kind of guy I'd want to make peace with anyway. You sound like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on a bad day, and frankly, Ahmedinejad and his fellow fanatics of all religious persuasions can take a long walk off a short pier and leave the world a better place.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:37:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Attempts to justify the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians on the back of the Holocaust is demeaning to history, to the victims of the Holocaust, and to those who fought against Fascism.

Crawl back under your bridge, troll. Or was the bridge bombed in a 'retaliatory' airstrike? Collateral damage, you know...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However the Arabs responded by making war on Israel and in that process lost their right to self-determination.

So, how does that work? You're only entitled to self-determination if you win your wars? Then what, if I may be so bold as to ask, is the point of the concept? If you already have taken your independence by might, then what need is there for you to assert it on principle?

And, if I may turn the argument on its head, suppose Israel loses a war. Are the Palestinians or the Hezbollah then entitled to turn Eilat and Tel Aviv into open-air prisons? To build a wall around Israel and blockade their sea-lanes? To murder Israelis at will?

Most national boundaries were determined at one time or another, by the outcomes of war and conquest, with stronger states/peoples surviving, and weaker states/peoples being submerged.  Israel is no different, except we are Jewish.

Leaving aside the fact that I find your inability or unwillingness to distinguish between states and people... disturbing, I would note that there is in fact a very important difference between Israel and - say - the Czech-German border (which was determined by war as well - or, rather, the peace negotiations that ended the war): The people who live on the Czech side of the border have full Czech citizenship. They are not being put in oversized concentration camps and subjected to airstrikes or murdered willy-nilly by the Czech army.

The price Arab states have to pay for starting and losing the war is that they will have to look after and absorb the losers within their own borders.

Oooh, so that's the rub of it: You think that winning a war gives you the right to deport anyone you please from the conquered territories? I'm sorry to say so, but in modern history, I can only come up with one example of such mass deportations being carried out after a war: Stalin did deport a lot of people after WWII. Other than that, I don't really see a precedent. Not the kind of company I'd like to be in, really, but it seems like Israel isn't so picky.

Israel is getting stronger and stronger.  When the oil runs out the Arab states will return to dust and Israel will be the only advanced democracy and economy in the region.

Israel is running out of water faster than Saudi Arabia is running out of oil. Now, not that I'd dream of letting little things like facts intrude on a perfectly good religious delusion, but I kinda think water is more important than oil, no?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mordecai:
 The price Arab states have to pay for starting and losing the war is that they will have to look after and absorb the losers within their own borders.

Well that's a war crime, advocating the expulsion of civilians is a war crime, building settlements on occupied land is a war crime. Why shouldn't we demand the arrest of people who push for these policies?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:30:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you're just being silly, you know. You keep forgetting that Israel is God's Chosen People(TM), and can thus do whatever they please. And besides, the pesky international law thingy is just a secular religion created to oppress religious freedom*. Israel won all its wars, after all. And besides, you can't argue with the Manifest Destiny of the Chosen People to have all the Lebensraum they want in the Promised Land.

So, how did I do? Did I pass Introductory Fundie or do I have to re-take the test?

On a serious note, I'd like to hear the answers to those questions too. I doubt you'll get any cogent answers from our friend Mordecai, though.

- Jake

*Note that in fundie-world, religious freedom means the freedom to impose my religion on everyone else.

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not holding my breath either.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

Mordecai, accusations of antisemitism are a serious thing, and should not be bandied about without evidence.

Mentioning the influence of AIPAC is not equivalent to positing an "international Jewish conspiracy". While You only have a problem with it because it is jews who are doing it is a gratuitous insult (you have no proof of what you're saying).

In one sense, you are ducking out of a proper discussion by using antisemitism as a strawman. In another, your behaviour is inflammatory. Duck out if you like, but please don't throw "antisemitism" around as if it were cheap.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ending our unconditionally pro-Israel stance would be to our benefit.

the best 'side effect', imo, would be the deconstipation of the UN, and in consequence a huge relevance upgrade.

the incapacity to censure israel effectively causes a blind spot in the  mirror, and reduces the UN to a mostly token role in the challenge of creating just, supranational solutions to an increasingly bellicose and lucratively over-armed planet.

to rectify this will be anything but simple, (the blowback from hitler's racist dementia, coupled with media complicity still serving to protract the uneasy status quo), but ultimately inevitable, or we'll continue to see the current levels of carnage and confusion reiterated ad nauseam.

reducing energy waste and hewing to smaller footprint lifestyles in the 'first world', with massive investment and rollout for renewable energy planet-wide is ultimately a swifter road to calming the middle east than waiting for leaders to do more than get all noble-sounding, then sell us short.

cf brown and britain, for most recent forked-tonguing...

 

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good to see you again melo.
by Nomad on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Israel would simply tell the US to stuff it

This is probably true.


and make sure the next US elected President was more supportive. Mossad/AIPAC/Evangelists/neo-cons wouldn't have too much of a problem in ensuring a reasonably favourable outcome next time around.

That I think is silly.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
and make sure the next US elected President was more supportive. Mossad/AIPAC/Evangelists/neo-cons wouldn't have too much of a problem in ensuring a reasonably favourable outcome next time around.

That I think is silly.

Really?  Why do you think any major Presidential candidate with any chance of winning has to kowtow to the AIPAC line (even when most Jews in the US adopt a much more critical/liberal position on Israeli policies vis a vis Palestinians?).  Even Obama, with a history of pro-Palestinian sympathies has had to do a radical about turn.  You simply can't afford to piss off the evangelical vote which thinks that Israel is the fulfillment of a Biblical prophecy and therefor God's will, and donors who are often pro-Israel.  It only takes a small % of US foreign aid to Israel to fund or destroy a Presidential campaign.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:53:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's silly, but I'm of the opinion that their influence on the actual public is quite limited.  I haven't met many Americans whose votes are decided based upon support for Israel.  And all those I have met are already Republicans who will only vote Republican.  The problem is the press, which doesn't accept the premise that Americans really don't care much about someone being pro- or anti-Israel, or being evenhanded.  So people are afraid to criticize Israel, because they assume the press will railroad them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:09:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
So people are afraid to criticize Israel, because they assume the press will railroad them

And why is this - why would the Press railroad them?

Remember the outcry when some mainstream respectable US foreign policy academics produced a paper arguing that supporting Israel was not in the US National Interest.  They were almost hounded out of academia.

Candidates who are soft on supporting Israel are not hounded for being soft on Israel, they are hounded for being soft on security and terrorism.  The success of AIPAC is not that they have encouraged people to care about Israel, for the most part they have not, but that they have created an identity of percieved interest between Israel and the US in opposing (Islamic) terrorism.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that we'd be surprised by the result of a clear and consistent "I don't give a damn about Israel" policy - ie it would not have that much of an impact on any election.

I agree that AIPAC et al have a lot of power and are not afraid to flex their muscles, but I think that a lot of it is self-reinforcing belief, and not an actual reality. If a major candidate had a position at odds with AIPAC and just said "I disagree" to them on specific points (like those proposed by Drew above), then that would be that.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sometimes the emperor doesn't have as many clothes as he likes to think he has (and everyone assumes) and it only takes one kid to burst the bubble.  But so far no one has done so and gotten anywhere near being elected.  So the myth persists.

But the political calculation may be that you would lose more votes and funding than you would gain, as Arabs are hardly an organised voting constituency/lobby in the US.  Think of the outcry if the Saudis started funding a whole slate of pro-Palestinian candidates or mainstream candidates who adopted a pro-Palestinian stance.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
Israel would simply tell the US to stuff it and make sure the next US elected President was more supportive.

I seem to remember that Bush I at some point got pissed off with Israeli Intransigence in negotiations and withdrew all financial aid. and the Israeli government folded fairly quickly. currently Israeli military aid comes to 2.4 billion US$ however the civilian aid t has now been brought down to nothing from 3 billion US$

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember it too, but the reduced aid buys a lot less leverage now and both the US and Israel have moved a lot to the right since.  Israel is getting stronger and more independent all the time.  It cannot rely on uncle Sam being there for it for all time.  

The reality is that the US national interest is not the same as the Israeli one (or the Cuban exiles one in Florida).  Sooner or later a US President will realise this and deal with the Middle Eastern conflict (and with the Cuban regime - with or without a Castro at the helm) in a much more positive, even handed and proactive way.

When that happens, Israel will simply not play ball, and Americans will realise it was an ally of convenience only.  

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that currently the US national interest - as defined by its ruling class - is to keep Israel doing exactly what they have been doing. Because, as I agree with Jerome about the self-reinforcing belief of AIPAC power, I would guess the reason noone has popped that bouble is because it is handy.

If we assume that the US government is supporting Israel because it wants too, then there is two layers to answer any critique:

  1. We have to help poor Israel (works great with the blood-thirsty arabs narrative).
  2. Even if I (as a politician) wanted too change policy, AIPAC would bury me, so change is impossible.

Then not only is the dog wagging the tail, it is also blaiming the tail for it.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:58:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So does the tail wag the dog, or does the dog wag the tail?

I'll start with the Jew, who went to the Rabbi and complained about his neighbor. "You are right'" the Rabbi declared. Then came the neighbor and denounced the complainant. "You are right'" the Rabbi announced. "But how can that be," exclaimed the Rabbi's wife, "Only one of the two can be right!" "You are right, too," the Rabbi said.

I don't think I'll take a side in this - but just want to add this to the fire:)

 Uri Avnery on Chomsky and the symbiosis between Israel and USA Middle-East policies

(I have no idea what this site is about - it just had an interesting article on it.)


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel can manage without US aid, even military spare parts for quite a long time.

Israel can't exist without a host. Small, universally hated by its neighbors and disliked by most of the planet, minimal agriculture, poor water supplies, few natural resources - and the political climate makes investors wary.

Israel is very much in the driving seat and the US is only a fare paying passenger.

Only as long as there is oil in the middle east "worth" fighting for. Not so many decades left. A sharp decline in the US standard of living will also blunt the political feasibility of funding Israel in the future.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:45:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll defer to your expertise w.r.t. Israeli military capabilities, but I think it would be - ah - prudent for Israel to recall that it has some very favourable trade agreements with the US and EU. How would their economy look if those went bye-bye?

The US and EU have a number of creative, humiliating and/or painful ways to enforce an ultimatum against Israel if they have the guts and political will to make it in the first place; two of the world's three largest economies is not a power bloc you want to fuck around with.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is "we"?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You haven't discussed it but one question is what role will cheating have?

A brief recap include distribution of voting machines based on political leanings, scrubbing voter's list, false information, voter id that heavily handicaps the Democrats, and so on.

Cheating is practically institutionalized into the voting system with gerrymandering. Then there is the wild card of Ralph Nader.

If Clinton wins the nomination on a pro-war platform, how many potential Democrat voters would jump ship and vote Ralph?

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 02:29:40 PM EST
I'm not qualified to discuss the cheating issue, but I would put voting reform at the very top of my list of priorities for the new President, e.g.

  1. Mandatory registration of all adults entitled to vote

  2. A non-partisan commission to oversee the running of all national and local elections

  3. Tight rules for the distribution of voting centres to ensure equality of access and minimal waiting in line

  4. Tight rules concerning vote counting procedures and the chain of custody of ballots

  5. Any computerised voting/vote counting to be independently overseen to much higher technical standards of security and with much better paper trails/audit capabilities

  6. Tighter rules governing the drawing of constituency boundaries and independent oversight of same

  7. "Corporate bodies" having no rights to provide funding - America is a democacy of people, not corporations.

  8. No paid for political advertising.  Free speech is only free if it is free.  Otherwise it simply allows the rich to drown out the voice of the less rich.

  9. Very severe penalities for authorities and individuals who flout the above.

The biggest crisis facing the US is a meta problem - the lack of accessibility, transparency, accountability, and fairness in the electoral process itself.  A flawed system cannot but produce flawed outcomes.


"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 03:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
#1 seems a bit silly to me but the rest I like.

Canada needs to add 7 & 8 as well.

Canada also provides direct funding to political parties based on the number of votes received in an election with a 2% (I think) cutoff. I know that this was a major boost the the Green Party.

In Canada we do not have mandatory registration, but we do make it easy to vote. You can show up on election day, show some id and vote.

If you don't have id you still can vote:

a person who is homeless can register on election day as long as another voter who is registered in the same electoral district, and who provides satisfactory proof of identity and residence [homeless shelters are ok for residence], can vouch for that person.

http://www.elections.ca/content.asp?section=faq&document=faqvoting&lang=e&textonly=false #voting2

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why silly?  Historically non-registration of people who should be entitled to vote has been one of the most effective ways of manipulating outcomes.  Also, if you make the registration requirements too lax you enable the "vote early, vote often" types of abuses also commonly found.  It shouldn't beyond the ingenuity of an advanced society to ensure fair and workable processes that enable everyone entitled to do so to vote - once.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 04:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that in Canada's case, we have found that there really isn't a lot of problems with vote early vote often. The number of people who register on election day to vote is very small - at least in the couple of elections that I have monitored. I think that it amounted to a single person. I guess if we started to really have a problem we would have to work out some other arrangement.

I believe that our policy is that - lets encourage people to vote and not make them afraid of the consequences if they happen to make a mistake.

I have not yet heard of someone being charged for voting when they should not - including one case where someone was trying to prove a point by deliberately voting more than once.

I don't know how much of a problem it is in the US. I guess you have mandatory filing of income tax so it may be workable. I haven't a clue how it would be done in Canada.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget that Canada has a civilised political culture.....(hides)

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Use to, use to.

Now that we support the death penalty, oppose native rights, support massive increases in military spending etc. etc. we've lost it. That's what happens when you elect a government who thinks that Bush is the cat's meow. Some countries in Europe are looking better and better...

Really - it's quite frightening just how fast Canada has changed - and its been a minority government too.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:13:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
clarification: We do not have the death penalty, but we in effect support it in other countries.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:15:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
. . . especially as election tampering has become a Republican tradition in recent elections (2000 Florida, 2004 Ohio).  If Hillary wins the Democratic nomination (as I think she will, and so voted in the poll) and looks like winning the general election, the GOP may yet resort to its time-honored tactics.  This may not be possible, however, if, as in 2006, the Democratic tide is running too strong in too many states for GOP election fraud to be "plausibly" covered up.

If Obama somehow wins the Democratic nomination, he'll probably win the election easily, but in that event the GOP won't have to resort to cheating because their man will already have been elected.

Nader is over as a respectable alternative vote among Democrats.  The meme--though not actually true--is now firmly established that it was Nader who "cost" Gore the election in 2000.  The truth is that Gore cost himself the election, by not disputing the Supreme Court's illegal disposition of an election he had in fact won--but nearly all Democrats believe otherwise, and will not vote for Nader again.

by keikekaze on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 02:58:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll be sure to have some after watching this.

I don't believe the fucking zombie bitch is for real. Probably she is some kind of WMD invented by McCain to deploy in a false-flag operation, because seriously, she is beyond insane. Absolutely horrible. Right now I have a burning desire to see President McCain, just to spite the hag.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:11:20 PM EST
Zombie bitch.  That's pretty funny.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:18:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot believe Ann Coulter just endorsed Hillary over McCain!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She'll say anything to keep her in the limelight to sell books and appearances. Capitalism personified.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:28:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't believe they send that kind of stuff on TV, it's like they're all on acid! Totally wacko!

It's even worse, much worse, than Swedish socialist State TV, where it's like they are on cannabis at worst!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:30:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want more completely surreal entertainment, go to the Youtube comments page for the video. It's like, do these commenters really exist? Or are they some kind of mindless bots.

Still, some comments made me chuckle.

As long as terrorist are men, Hillary will kill as many of them as she can.

Oh yeah, and this one.

I love Ann Coulter! She's so honest!

<head explodes>

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 05:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have some vids up on YT and boy, the comments you get make you wish for the end of mankind sometimes. But I have the impression that a lot of people are actually trolling. Or maybe I'm just naive.

/works for me

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu

by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:23:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're just naïve. YouTube is the new AOL. Perpetual September, I believe it's called in use.net parlance.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:31:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably. But it's saf to see. I upped a 4-minute-cut of Gus van Sant's "Elephant" where I took all scences that could be interpreted to give a reason for these boys to run amok in their school. And suddenly, the fans of the Columbine killers started telling me that "we" did a good job in re-encating the events. Or telling me that I should die, because I cut the kiss scene in AND THE Y WRENT GAY!!!

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:21:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maria Shriver, wife of a certain governor, just endorsed Obama after that governor endorsed McCain.

Watch Ahhhnold squirm.  The Cali papers should be fun to read tomorrow.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:04:47 PM EST
Maria loyal to Ted rather than ahhhnold?  Blood is thicker than the marital bed.  I'm sure ahhhnold and Maria will continue to get along just fine - it jut means ahhhnold will clean up on both GOP and Dem votes when it comes to re-election.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:14:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my guess -- that Ahhnold migth be sensing an Obama victory, and so he's covering his bets.

Still, he'll get defensive when the reporters get hold of him, and it might serve as mildly entertaining.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since I wrote this post a few more polls have come in confirming the Obama surge.  He is now ahead in California in the last 3 polls.

The trend is quite staggering

I think we are going to see real history being made...

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:34:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know yet.  I guess, being a Deaniac, I've heard it all before from the groups backing Obama, especially the young people.  That said, with Edwards gone, I'm voting for him as a vote against Hillary Clinton and this stupid fucking war and the whole filthy Clinton Machine.  I've had enough of it.

But you know, I said the same thing before Iowa to myself.  "The young people won't show.  The Obama campaign is run by kids who will be out-muscled by the older, experienced Clinton Machine."  Damned if the little bastards didn't pull it off in a big way.  One thing that's interesting to note is that Obama almost always outperforms what the polls predict.

There might just be a tsunami coming that a lot of us either don't see or refuse to admit to seeing.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:42:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to be coming down to the Clinton Democratic Machine versus Obama-rama fervor.  

Can we fix it?
Yes we can!

That leads me to think Obama has the edge going into 2/5 as his support is outside the usual channels making it more likely (?) his people will vote on the day. (?) Whereas Clinton's support may be already well in from the absentee balloting. (?)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:57:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Field Poll in Cal, allegedly the goldstandard (and I was surprised at how dead-on it has consistently been), has the two at 36-34.  Obama up six, Clinton down seven, in a bit less than two weeks.

It's an interesting race to see, because they're two very different kinds of campaigns.  (And here I'm not speaking to any substance on the issues but rather the different qualities of the two efforts.)  Clinton's is the conventional candidacy, having institutional strength, perfect name recognition, and so on.  Obama's is a movement candidacy, meaning it's always trying to catch up to the institutionalized advantages of Clinton's camp.  Movement candidacies rarely win, because they require constantly fuel from victories, but when they catch fire and are able to build the organization, they can blow by conventional ones.

It didn't quite happen with Dean, mainly because of particular considerations being made by Iowans.  Electability and military experience won the day, because people desperately wanted to beat Bush and believed those were the important characteristics.  That's not the case this time, and so Obama does have at least a half-decent shot to blow past her if he does, indeed, have that momentum.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:08:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't think of the last movement candidate that won the Presidency.  Lincoln?  

Looking at the battlegrounds, see elsewhere, and the recent endorsements by the Kennedy's, et.al., we could be seeing a movement candidate that has support from the non-Clinton factions within the Democratic Party.

Now that's a winning combination.

BTW, I have no skin in the game.  I was going to work for Richardson just to grab some mojo in NM.  So much for my little plans.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You could argue that Jack Kennedy's was a successful movement candidacy, I believe.  Johnson/Humphrey would be the analogy for Clinton in that primary battle.

RFK is the obvious movement candidacy, although he obviously couldn't win, having been shot and all.  Reagan had elements of one, although most of the movement behind him was assembled after he assumed the presidency.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:03:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah! Hahahah! They've just cancelled out each other's vote!
by The3rdColumn on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 09:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
These are the states and delegates for the 2/5 primary -- aka Tsunami Tuesday -- for the Democrat Presidential nomination.  Source: Wikipedia.
The Republican info is also there but I don't care.  ;-)

Delegates:  Pledged  Unpledged   Total

Alabama         52      8       60
Alaska          13      5       18
American
Samoa              3     10       13
Arizona     56     11       67
Arkansas     35     12       47
California     370     71      441
Colorado        55     16       71
Connecticut     48     13       61
Delaware     15      8        23
Democrats Abroad 7      4       11
Georgia         87     17      104
Idaho           18      5       23
Illinois       153     32      185
Kansas          32      8       40
Massachusetts     93     28      121
Minnesota     72     16       88
Missouri     72     16       88
New Jersey     107     20      127
New Mexico     26     12       38
New York       232     48      280
North Dakota     13      8       21
Oklahoma     38      9       47
Tennessee     68     17       85
Utah             23      6       29
West Virginia     18       -        18

Totals:        1,706    400      2,106

Current delegate count w/o Michigan and Florida from MyDD:

Clinton: 48
Uncommitted: 62
Obama: 63

Total needed to elect: 2,208
Total delegates to 2008 nominating convention: 3,977

Note 1:  The Democratic procedure is to apportion the delegates by the percentage of popular vote received in that state.  In practice, this doesn't always work out.  Example, Clinton won the popular vote in the Nevada caucuses but Obama got more 13 to her 12 - correction requested - delegates.

Note 2:  The 400 uncommitted delegates represent almost 40% of the delegates selected on 2/5 and are, when the previous are added to the count, 22.22% of the vote needed by a candidate to get the nomination!  That's one group to keep watch on as they are a tremendous source of votes that can be 'sprung' at the convention.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:37:16 PM EST
What I find amazing is that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of polling evidence for most of these states on which to base any prediction.   What states we do have nearly all seem to be showing a swing to Obama, but in some cases it won't be enough to win.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:44:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is expensive, difficult, and time consuming to run polls for each of the states, thus we're seeing all these National polls.

Anyway, polls in a rapidly changing political environment aren't worth much.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:51:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Ireland can have regular polls, even between elections, why not Wisconsin in the run up to a primary?  Its not that expensive.  Irish polls are usually sponsored by a newspaper which gets a few stories out of it

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:14:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that the delegate count will still be close to even Wednesday night.  What will matter is momentum and seizing the media.  If Obama wins Cal, it's big, since he hasn't even been campaigning there (a big mistake, in my opinion), while she was just there today.  If the polls out of Jersey and Connecticut are true, showing him pretty much tied with her and rapidly moving up, then it's going to be an incredibly ugly night for Clinton, because he'll have successfully isolated her to New York while posting a solid performance everywhere else.

If Clinton wins Cal, it's probably not a big deal either way, depending on her margin of victory.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tho' the polling doesn't show it, I think the Edwards people are going to move to Obama.  That argues O will do well on Tuesday.

California?  I don't know.  Usually the turn-out for these things is tepid which gives the various machines lots and lots of power and Clinton the advantage.  IF Obama gets out the youth vote and regular people go to the polls he will do very well, methinks.  We're definitely looking at a split delegation from California.  I can't see NoCal going for Clinton in a big way.

Latinos are the big unknown.  Don't know much about Ca or Az.  Here in NM the Kennedy endorsement will help Obama.  I don't think Clinton has strong support in the state.  But w/o polling who can say?

One thing to watch for is the turn-out in Los Cruces.  That's where New Mexico University is and if a higher than normal vote is recorded there it most likely means O got his youth turn-out in NM and he will do very well here.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:23:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The polls have been so wrong before because they didn't measure enthusiasm/turnout very effectively - this is where Obama seems to be scoring

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My guess is that Albuquerque and Santa Fe would be good towns for him.

The Kennedy endorsement seems to mean different things in different places.  I've seen some NM polls showing Obama either ahead or catching up.  Ditto AZ.  But Cal is different, especially around Los Angeles, where the "tension factor" seems most likely to be present.  NoCal/Silicon Valley is solidly for Obama, I believe.  It's too good on his demographics to go any other way.

Every state is looking for record turnout.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the polling is even more difficult than usual.  A high turn-out means the polling screens are so much garbage.  We are in uncharted territory with all these states crammed into one big cluster fuck primary and Obama's appeal to unlikely voters.  

Clinton is in a bind in ABQ and SF.  The 60+ crowd, her big demographic, in both towns is retired military and (1) votes GOP mostly and (2) remembers the Gays-in-the-Military stuff from Bill's first term.  Either way, she looses.  Offsetting this is Los Alamos National Labs which is surprisingly conservative.  Offsetting that is the regular folks who live in SF are surprisingly liberal and Progressive.  

All of this is off the table if Richardson endorses.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:41:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Richardson is watching the Super Bowl with Bill Clinton, and he apparently made it clear at halftime that he would not endorse, despite Clinton people posting "Breaking!  Richardson Endorses!" diaries everywhere.  That makes it pretty clear to me, assuming he maintains that stand.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The people at Los Alamos Lab are "surprisingly" conservative?
by GreatZamfir on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:05:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about New Mexico State?  (Is there a New Mexico State U?)  I'm not sure how large the college campuses are in New Mexico.  U of Iowa is a huge university, so I'm not sure others compare with it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:34:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
University of New Mexico is in Albuquerque at about 20,000 students & etc.  New Mexico University is in Los Cruces and I don't know what the student population is.

You went to the University of Iowa?  (Go Hawks!)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:51:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.  I went to Florida State U, pop 45,000.  (Go 'Noles!)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Mexico State University is in Cruces.  (sorry for the potential mix-up)  26,400 students enrolled in 2005

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:55:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those are pretty big numbers for each school.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
If Obama wins Cal, it's big, since he hasn't even been campaigning there (a big mistake, in my opinion), while she was just there today.

If his private polls have confirmed the trend we are seeing now he may have decided its in the bag - his numbers are going north so fast anyway.  Conversely Hilary would not have campaigned there if she didn't think she was in trouble.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She's been push-polling against him, according to the LAT, too.  That's always a bad sign when a candidate feels the need to do that.  That means her internals show her in trouble.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He may have mouse-trapped Clinton.  She is facing "Obama Surges, Clinton Falters" headlines in every single newspaper in the US because of her widely reported leads in the national polls.  

He forced her to campaign in California to protect her lead there and now he is campaigning in other states, building his total delegate count.  

Clinton is facing "Obama Surges, Clinton Falters" headlines in every single newspaper in the US.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the real race is no longer Clinton vs Obama.  It's Obama vs time.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
I think the real race is no longer Clinton vs Obama.  It's Obama vs time.

One of the most difficult skills, in politics, as in sport, is timing and peaking at the right moment.  People have to believe you're still on the up and up, if they are to join your bandwagon.

Hilary is losing even where she is still ahead because she is perceived as having peaked too soon and is now on a downward curve.  Who is going to join THAT bandwagon?

The very fact that you are nervous about the "race against time" is a good sign.  It means the assumption is he will still be rising AFTER Tuesday - in that scenario he can't but be a winner even if Hilary still wins a majority of delegates tomorrow.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A US blogger breaks down the Democratic delegate count: Democratic delegate count. Blog also contains interesting poll results.

by The3rdColumn on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 08:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
will america take on feminism or racism first?

maybe the vote will tell us which is the deeper problem.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:46:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which do you think is worst? :-)
by GreatZamfir on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 04:06:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hate is hydra-headed, vile and evil are spelled with the same letters.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Democrats Abroad primary starts on 2/5, but lasts a week. Polls are open on different days in different countries (2/5 in Italy), but on-line voting should be possible for the whole week. I just got an email with details on the procedure for voting. It included the remark
Once you have completed voting your ballot online, you can print out a copy of your
voted ballot in order to maintain a paper trail of internet votes.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:45:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democrats Abroad 7      4       11

I've no idea where this figure comes from (I found the same number on electoral-vote.com), but the emails I get from Democrats Abroad always say 22 delegates.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 11:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May I tentatively suggest an answer to the title question? Wall street and the transnats.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:00:45 PM EST
That would be "none of the above" in the poll.  I see Edwards has made a comeback with a vote - that would put the comeback kid in the shade!

I see Obama has now also taken the lead in the last two national polls - so that even the rolling average of polls has him in a statistical tie with Clinton.  But just look at his trajectory in the graph!
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/democratic_presidential_nomination-191.htm l#charts

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:23:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it's not an answer to the poll question, because the poll asks who'll be POTUS. Unless of course you want to argue that everyone left might as well be employed by Wall Street and the transnats - and I'll grant you that there's certainly a case to be made for that...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:34:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you can have a Manchurian candidate then why no Wall street?  They do brainwashing better that the Vietcong ever did

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trends towards Obama - the following polls now put him in the lead in:

  1. last 2 National polls
  2. last 3 California polls
  3. last polls tied in Alabama and new Jersey where Clinton had 6 and 14 percent leads only a couple of days ago
  4. 5% up in last Missouri poll (from 6% down)
5, 4% up in Connecticut (from 14% down a couple of eeks ago)
  1. Arizona - Clinton lead down from 10% to 2% - no very recent poll
  2. Clinton leads eroded in other states as well with the sole exception of Tennessee
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_primaries.html


"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:38:28 PM EST
I'm inclined to think this is a real (and really big) surge happening.  (Is it just me, or does this always happen with Obama as we approach election day, even if he's loses?  I don't know how he does this, but it seems that the more people see him, the more they like, while the opposite holds for Clinton.)  The surge is practically slapping us all in the face at this point, but I'm ever skeptical.

Zogby's polls are what really shocked me, because he seems to have had a pretty good year so far.  Each year, one or two pollsters seem to get the models just about right.  Gallup had it in 2004, I believe.  Zogby blew everybody away in 1992 and 1996.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should be banned for at least two presidential periods.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:16:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about Drew, but I've been using the word deliberately to show that surges can go both ways....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 05:35:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zogby's polling last night apparently had Obama up 17pts in California, 49-32%.  If that's true, look out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you a source for that 17% lead?  The Zogby site gives the following numbers:

Zogby International

UTICA, New York - Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain leads in three out of four key Super Tuesday states - winning more than 50% support in New York and New Jersey - while Democrat Barack Obama enjoyed a big Sunday bounce in important Democratic contests, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby telephone tracking poll shows.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, however, was ahead in California, expanding his lead there Sunday by six points over McCain, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee places a distant third in the Golden State. Huckabee finds himself in third place in three out of four GOP races, the exception being Missouri, where he stands in second place ahead of Romney.

In Democratic contests, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama leads rival New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in three of the four Democratic races surveyed, and the two were tied in the fourth. Though he draws strong support from black voters, he also does well among whites, and was ahead of Clinton with white voters in California.

This is the second release of figures from rolling telephone tracking polls in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Missouri and California. The surveys were conducted Feb. 1-3 using live telephone operators from Zogby's call center in Upstate New York. In Georgia, only the Democratic race was polled, and in New York, only the Republican race was measured. Sample sizes and margins of error for each of the eight surveys is listed in the synopsis below each chart. Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Super Tuesday States by the Numbers: New Jersey - Republicans

Republicans

2/1-2/3

1/31-2/2

McCain

52%

54%

Romney

26%

23%

Huckabee

7%

7%

Paul

4%

4%

Someone else

3%

3%

Undecided

9%

10%

McCain continued to dominate in the Garden State, though his lead dropped by two points, from 54% to 52% since the previous poll. Romney edged up from 23% to 26% in the same period. Half (50%) of Republican voters said they backed the Arizona senator, compared to 27% for Romney and just 7% for Huckabee. McCain did even better with independents, getting 58% of their support. Voters over 30 in all age categories here liked McCain, giving him 50% or more of their support. He was also ahead among those under 30, who gave him 44% support. The New Jersey GOP tracking survey included 835 likely voters and carried a margin for error of +- 3.4 points. New Jersey - Democrats

Democrats

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

Clinton

43%

43%

Obama

43%

42%

Gravel

1%

1%

Someone else

3%

4%

Undecided

10%

10%

Obama and Clinton were dead-even in New Jersey, each with 43% each and with 10% of voters undecided. Clinton was ahead among Democratic voters, 45% to 42%, but Obama had more support from independents, with 48% of their support to Clinton's 34%. Half of women (50%) supported the former First Lady, compared to 38% for Obama. It was almost a mirror image among men, however, with 48% supporting Obama to 35% for Clinton. This survey included 847 likely voters and carried a margin of error of +- 3.4 points. New York - Republicans

Republicans

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

McCain

53%

49%

Romney

19%

23%

Huckabee

8%

8%

Paul

5%

6%

Someone else

5%

5%

Undecided

10%

8%

McCain's lead broadened in New York state, the tracking poll here showed. He gained four points over the day before to end with 53% support. Romney, meanwhile, lost four points and had 19% support at the end of yesterday. The Arizona senator was well ahead in all regions of the state, but did best in the New York City suburbs, where he had 62% support. In the city he had 59% support, while upstate he had just 47% support. The survey included 883 likely Republican voters and carried a margin of error of +- 3.4 points. Georgia - Democrats

Democrats

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

Obama

48%

48%

Clinton

31%

28%

Gravel

2%

1%

Someone else

10%

10%

Undecided

11%

13%

Obama was still well ahead in Georgia in the second tracking poll, with 48% support to Clinton's 31% support. African-Americans, who made up half the sample, preferred the Illinois senator, giving him 67% of their support to Clinton's 18%. Clinton attracted 43% of white support, compared to Obama's 30%. Obama was also ahead among women, getting 47% of their backing to Clinton's 32%. The Georgia Dems survey included 864 likely voters and carried a margin of error of +- 3.4 percent. Missouri - Republicans

Republicans

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

McCain

35%

36%

Huckabee

27%

27%

Romney

24%

22%

Paul

5%

4%

Someone else

3%

2%

Undecided

8%

9%

McCain was ahead in Missouri with 35% support in this key Midwestern winner-take-all state, benefiting from a split in the conservative vote between Southerner Huckabee - who was is second place with 27%, and Romney, who gained two points and stands at 24%. Much of Huckabee's support came from the conservative southwestern part of the state, where he got 41% support, compared to McCain's 28% and Romney's 19% support. McCain dominated in St. Louis, where he had 40% support to Huckabee's 10% and Romney's 25% support. This survey included 852 likely voters and carried a margin of error of +- 3.4 points. Missouri - Democrats

Democrats

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

Obama

47%

43%

Clinton

42%

44%

Gravel

<1%

1%

Someone else

3%

3%

Undecided

9%

10%

Obama leapfrogged over Clinton in Missouri, gaining four points while she dropped two points to end the tracking period with 47% support to her 42%. Clinton continued to lead among white voters with 48% of their support to Obama's 40%, while Obama had a four-to-one margin over Clinton with African American voters, with 72% of their support to her 18% support. The survey included 851 likely voters and carried a margin of error of +-3/4 points. California - Republicans

Republicans

2/1-3

1/31-2-2

Romney

40%

37%

McCain

32%

34%

Huckabee

12%

12%

Paul

5%

5%

Someone else

4%

5%

Undecided

8%

7%

Romney's California lead over McCain grew by three points over the previous tracking poll, to 40% support in this important winner-take-all state, compared to McCain's 32%, a two-point loss from the day before. Romney did well among conservative voters here, with 46% of their support, compared to McCain's 29%. That group made up more than half the sample. The survey included 915 likely voters and carried a margin of error of +/- 3.3 points. California - Democrats

Democrats

2/1-3

1/31-2/2

Obama

46%

45%

Clinton

40%

41%

Gravel

<1%

<1%

Someone else

5%

6%

Undecided

9%

9%

Obama's lead over Clinton in California grew by two points, with 46% saying they would support him, compared to 40% for Clinton. Obama had a four-point lead over Clinton among white voters, with 45% of their support to her 41% support. Black voters liked him four-to-one over Clinton (72% to 16%), while Hispanics preferred the former first lady, giving her 55% support to his 36%. The survey included 967 likely voters and carried a 3.2 point margin of err



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it's not in the press release anymore, but Zogby had a comment in the press release this morning when I read it at his website.  FlyOnTheWall, TPMCafe's resident poll junkie, has it.

49-32% Obama in CA and 49-39% Obama in MO for last night's polling.  I'm getting less skeptical.  Something big seems to be coming.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its as if voters wanted a Dem as the next President and Clinton was ok so long as she was the front runner - and until McCain surged, any democrat could have won anyway.  Then McCain surged and made her victory problematical.  Now the voters are finding a candidate they actually LIKE, and guess what, he has a better chance of beating McCain.  Hilary gets dumped faster than a girl you didn't like very much anyway...if you will pardon the metaphor.

I know I am anthropomorphizing "the electorate", and there probably isn't that much tactical voting around, but if you want a Dem President you're going to go with the one with the best chance aren't you?  Most voters have probably only really started to think about it in recent days anyway, until now might have given the stock "Clinton" answer to pollsters because they didn't really know the other candidates anyway.  Now they have found someone they actually like they are moving in droves.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 01:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if things are indeed move to Obama in a big way, and if he wins the nod, -- both still big ifs, I think -- we'll likely look back and see the Clinton campaign as having been simply too conventional.  She was the front-runner, and then Obama started moving up a bit, at which point she freaked out and went "nukular" on him.  To this day, I don't know why she did that, because it only fed his campaign and sent her into a series of stumbles.  She should've been able to dispose of both Obama and Edwards easily, but the attacks basically amounted to throwing gasoline on a small spark.

Again, it's still too early to tell, for me at least.  I won't believe anything until I see results.  Bear in mind, too, that Hillary apparently had another crying moment in Connecticut today, and we don't know how the press will play it.  Remember New Hampshire.  And, you know, I gave her the benefit of the doubt the first time, but it's awfully convenient timing on both episodes.

Clinton basically had to make every mistake in the book to lose this, and she did.  Whether it's enough to give Obama the win is anybody's guess.  Tomorrow night will be interesting either way.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Playing the front-runner role is always difficult, because all the heat is on you and others get an easier ride.  But you just have to grin and bear it and take the fight to the Republicans, not some other democrat.  If you want to be the leader of your party you have to act like one, not attack the upstarts in your own party.  Attacking them only gives them oxygen and airtime.  Get some minion to respond to their jibes if you must, but never lower yourself to their level, because then your vote gets lowered to their level and all the momentum is with them.  I'm surprised Bill hasn't advised her better.

The crying game is a very dangerous one.  Works a treat first time around, gets an indifferent/doubtful response second time around, and cynicism anger if repeated.  Haven't seen it, but it sounds like shes losing it.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:17:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they were hoping a few of the dog-whistles would bring out the black leaders (Sharpton, Jackson, et al), thus securing Obama's place as The Black Candidate(TM).  If that was the plan, it was quite a screw-up, because those folks, not being the idiots the Clintons apparently thought they were, all knew to not say a word and simply watch Clinton hurt herself.  She tried to play them, and she got played.

It was a smother-the-baby-in-the-cradle strategy, which can work if the kid gets psyched out and can't handle it.  It didn't work here.  Quite the contrary, the image that stuck with me was the half-playful, half-wicked smile on Obama's face when Clinton's people brought up his Kindergarten paper.  An "Ah, so it bleeds" moment.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His reply to the Bill being the first Black President jibe was masterful - "I'll have to check out his dancing before I'll know whether he is a brother"  I thought we Irish had the patent on that sort of playful humourous response which mocks the mockers!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed.  That was quite funny.  The "I'm looking forward to you advising me, too, Hillary" bit was also good.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:22:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not so sure about that. Everybody I've spoken to recently (mostly in NY) isn't excited about either of the remaining candidates, and seems to be concerned mainly about voting for the one who is most likely to defeat McCain.

As an expat, I have the advantage that even though I can vote tomorrow, I have a week to do so. Now that Edwards is out, I've decided to wait for the results of Super Tuesday before voting. If I'm really lucky, one of the candidates will do so badly that she (using the politically correct female third person for "he or she"....) will drop out and I'll have a much easier time deciding.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are precisely the sort of voter I was talking about just above - wanting a Dem president, and therefore wanting to vote for whichever Dem has the best chance of winning.  I would expect New Yorkers to be more pro-Hillary - she is their Senator and is still well ahead in NY.  But everywhere else for which we have data, bar Tennessee, Obama is gaining if he hasn't already over taken her.  The speed of this fascinates me.  I've never seen it happen so fast in Europe.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 02:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew - appropo your earlier comment, you may find this of interest: FT.com / Columnists / Observer - The Blair project gains momentum

Hillary Clinton is the last person you would expect to heap praise on Dick Cheney. After all, she once likened the US vice-president to Darth Vader.

But in an interview with Fox News this weekend, Clinton seemed at a loss when asked about her husband Bill's embrace of a bid by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakhstan dictator, to become head of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which promotes human rights and fair elections. Pressed by Chris Wallace about the allegations, raised in an article in The New York Times, that detailed Bill's involvement in a Kazakh uranium deal, the former first lady first put down the story as "one-sided and inaccurate".

Asked again about the conflict between her view of Nazarbayev (she says he runs an anti-democratic regime) and her husband's praise of him, she appeared to grasp at the only straw she could think of.

"Well, Dick Cheney also went to Kazakhstan and praised the current regime. You know, you sometimes have to use both carrots and sticks to move these regimes to do what they should be doing."

Give her credit for knowing her audience - Cheney still has fans with the Fox crowd. Still, Observer has to wonder about her statement. After all, we always thought that Cheney, like John Bolton, didn't do carrots.



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:05:32 PM EST
What a shock.  Hillary and her fellow warmonger, (Pencil) Dick Cheney, out courting dictators.

But you watch, Frank: People will vote for her.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 05:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they will.  America has been making war and courting dictators for years - its the American way - only the curmudgeons amongst us would quibble will Bill doing some PR work for his foundation....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not exactly spectacular PR, though.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 06:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This may sound strange, Drew, but there is a large business community out there that will be reassured that Bill is so good at doing this sort of thing - and it is the business community which will probably decided the issue in November!  The only question is whether Hillary would still be able to mobilise the progressive vote.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 05:38:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's true, but it's also a concern for me, because the Clintons' closeness with the business community, making it (in the 1990s) the main driver of our fundraising, is dangerous in my view.  It's why the Dems so desperately need to get away from the DLC and its Republican platform.  Unfortunately, if Hillary's the nominee, it's going to reinforce this behavior.

FYI: This morning's Zogby poll out of Cal has
Obama 49%
Clinton 36%

Seems to be a bit of an outlier, but, like I said, Zogby's been good this year, so we'll find out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 06:36:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, but there are also some contra-indications - two syrveys from SurveyUSA putting Clinton well ahead in Calfornia and new Jersey - what's that all about?
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_primaries.html

PS Drew, I wonder if it would be ok for me to contact you privately by e-mail about something?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 06:42:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, absolutely.  My email is jones(dot)drewj(at)gmail(dot)com.

I caught the SurveyUSA one.  Both have had decent results in the predictable primaries, although Zogby seems to have come a bit closer.  But, with the enormous difference between the two, it's impossible to venture a guess.  One thing I'd give to Zogby: His is an actual cal-and-talk survey, while SurveyUSA is a press-one-for-whomever survey.  And, given that Zogby's is a rolling average, his is probably less subject to outliers.

Still, SurveyUSA is a good one, so we're back to square one, which is to say, "Who the hell knows?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 07:12:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And everyone who wants to be taken seriously does it. Even Sweden, thought it is pretty much limited to hunting customers for our weapons industry.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 07:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, but that doesn't mean we can't bitch about it. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 5th, 2008 at 07:13:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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