i’ll say it

by twit

she’s a devil-bitch.

Now that Hillary Clinton is predicted to lose the Texas primary to Obama, we get treated to this chatter from the internets:

The Texas Democratic Party is warning that its March 4 caucuses could be delayed or disrupted after aides to White House hopeful Hillary Clinton raised the specter of an “imminent” lawsuit over its complicated delegate selection process, officials said Thursday night.

Nice how the lawsuit talk starts when they are behind in the polls.

Texas party officials said they believed Cecil was threatening legal action and wrote a letter to him and to Obama senior strategist Steve Hildebrand reflecting that concern.

… The letter also noted that many of Clinton’s senior campaign advisers in Texas had helped to develop the rules governing the state’s caucus system. A Texas party official also noted that former President Clinton won the state’s caucuses in 1992 and 1996 following the same rules.

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i’m not saying

by lestro

… I’m just saying …

via yahoo

mission accomplished?

by lestro

So the President today said we are not headed into a recession:

“I’m concerned about the economy,” he said. “I don’t think we’re headed to recession. But no question, we’re in a slowdown.”

Wondering whether this means we are already IN a recession, I did what any intrepid internet user might do and headed on over to Wikipedia:

In macroeconomics, a recession is a slowdown in a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or negative real economic growth, for two or more successive quarters of a year.

An alternative, less accepted definition of recession is a downward trend in the rate of actual GDP growth as promoted by the business-cycle dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research.[1] That private organization defines a recession more ambiguously as “a significant slowdown in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months.”

A recession may involve simultaneous declines in coincident measures of overall economic activity such as employment, investment, and corporate profits. Recessions may be associated with falling prices (deflation), or, alternatively, sharply rising prices (inflation) in a process known as stagflation.

Hmm. I am not an economist, but unlike the President, I do read the papers and I must say, they have been talking about this for a while.

I realize the President is a busy man and has many miles to jog and brush to clear and all, but you think someone would have mentioned this to him, if not an economic adviser, one of his oilman buddies bragging about his new boat or private island or something…

On one issue particularly worrisome to American consumers, there are indications that paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline is not out of the question once the summer driving season arrives. Asked about that, Bush said “That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that. … I know it’s high now.”

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Mark Penn says vote Kodos 2008

by twit

Mark Penn defends his work for the Clinton campaign, as promised…

If we lose, I will take my share of the responsibility. I have won about 70 major elections around the world, including many presidents, and I devised the simple message for Tony Blair in his last successful campaign: ‘Forward, Not Back.’

as Wonkette points out, he’s apparently talking about the “wildly unpopular slogan for Tony Blair’s last campaign—“Forward, Not Back”—which British journalist Andrew Rawnsley wrote “is as uplifting as ‘Open Other End,’ ‘This Way Up’ and ‘Now Wash Your Hands.’”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d3/THOH_Kang_and_Kodos.png/200px-THOH_Kang_and_Kodos.png

The twit isn’t so sure, since she is always uplifted by the line we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom, and luvs how Penn seems to have missed the reference, holding his slogan up as evidence of his “success” in understanding what voters want to hear.

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German Humor

by loadz

Germans may not be able to write a joke worth a damn, but they do manage a mighty fine float.

And they were even nice enough to make the effigy’s butt smaller than Hillary’s.

postcards from the internets

by twit

when he’s right he’s right: “I have some news for John McCain,” Obama said, according to The Politico. “There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain” started their war… John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but so far all he’s done is follow George Bush into a misguided war…”

when she’s right she’s right twice: “It’s a hard sell for Hillary to say that she is the only one capable of leading this country in a war when she helped in leading the country into that war.” aaaand: “It is only because of the utter open-mindedness of the press that Hillary can lose 11 contests in a row and still be treated as a contender.”

through the looking glass: “First came Harold Ickes, who gave a presentation about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s prospects that severed all ties with reality.”

and back again: “A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds Barack Obama with a 16-point lead over rival Hillary Clinton among Democratic primary voters nationwide…

When all registered voters were asked who they favored in a head-to-head general election match up between Obama and McCain, Obama led by 12 percentage points, 50 to 38 percent. In a Clinton-McCain match up, registered voters were evenly split, with 46 percent backing each candidate.”

when the kitteh’z right…

http://yeswecanhas.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/republicat.jpg

more postcards after the jump…

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monday cartoons

by twit

Rampant technical issues prevent embedding videos for reasons beyond the twit’s comprehension. Videos are available at the links.

From the Raw Story on Feb 25, 2008:

Sen. Hillary Clinton blames some of her presidential woes in part on unfair press coverage but said she believed Obama had come under increased media scrutiny in recent days.On Sunday, she urged donors to watch the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, which featured a skit mocking last Thursday’s CNN debate as little more than a love fest for Obama.

Video at this link. Additional videos of SNL sketches from the episode are available here, including Tina Fey’s “Bitch is the New Black” sketch.

The twit’s first response was ‘aaiiigh!’ but then she saw the video and how it really, really makes fun of Hillary, her string of losses and her unified lack of popularity. Her endorsement of the video because of its extreme depictions of the media is so out of touch it boggles the twit’s mind.

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How to Speak Hillary

by twit

It can be an exercise in apoplectic futility to attempt to make sense of the various messages sent from the Clinton campaign. So with clips from a Feb 24, 2008 New York Times article entitled “Somber Clinton Soldiers On as the Horizon Darkens” the twit offers a translation, with emphasis added throughout:

“She has a real military discipline that, now that times are tough, has really kicked into gear,” said Judith Hope, a friend and informal adviser to Mrs. Clinton, and a former chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party. “When she’s on the road and someone has a negative news story, she says, ‘I don’t want to hear it; I don’t need to hear it.’ I think she wants to protect herself from that and stay focused.

Hillary intentionally filters the information she receives so she doesn’t have to acknowledge reality. An uncanny bit of de ja vu all over again, considering that President Bush also likes his news filtered.

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morning cartoons

by twit

Barbie Tarot cards

high priestess barbie

Traditionally dressed in blue with the moon under her feet, she represents wisdom, intuition and purity of knowledge.

Here she is packaged with the moon behind her, holding strings of pure white pearls and wearing a priestess’ circlet.

devil barbie

Licentiousness, lack of self-discipline and being a prisoner to one’s own desires are all faults of the Devil, though the positive aspect of all this are lost inhibitions, passion and the understanding that comes with experience.

Here is Barbie as Catwoman, gleefully waving her whip and celebrating her physical and erotic power. Does that disguise liberate her or entrap her?

thx Jezebel

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The superdelegates need to “get real” with the Clinton campaign

by lestro

And once again, the Clinton campaign has revamped its message.

After failing to get much traction by accusing her opponent of plagiarism (lifting two lines from a national campaign co-chair and long time friend and used in response to the Hillary’s fadeaway shots on Obama’s powerful oratory), the Hillary campaign is trying out some new material, according to CNN:

As Barack Obama solidifies his lead, Hillary Clinton is shaking things up with a revamped message and sharper digs at her party’s front man…

“It is time to get real,” Clinton said, “to get real about how we actually win this election… It is time to move from good words to good works — from sound bites to sound solutions.”

As it increasingly looks as though neither candidate will get the requisite delegates necessary to lock up the nomination through primaries and caucuses, the focus in this race has turned to the superdelegates, the 795 party insiders and muckity-mucks who get to be delegates fro whomever they choose.

As (mostly) high-ranking party members, however, one would expect that the superdelegates would not only vote their conscience, but also have to think about what is best for the party and which candidate has the best chance of securing the White House for the Democrats.

And with that in mind, it is time for the delegates to take Mrs. Clinton’s advice and “get real” with each of the campaigns.

The first thing to remember is that if one candidate has more elected delegates, more popular vote and more states won, but party members select the other candidate, they will destroy the Democratic Party. After all, why should rank and file members of any political party stay with a group that overrides their votes and feelings?

There would be no viable explanation for such a move and it would turn off all of those voters who thought they could believe in the Dems to listen to their collective voices.

And smart money says it would lead to a landslide for John McCain.

But beyond all that, these two candidates have similar positions and neither has any real executive experience (despite what Hillary may tell us) so one of the best ways judge these matters is to look at the administration of their campaigns.

And by that measure, the choice is obvious: The Obama campaign has been run much, much better.

It didn’t always seem that way, but after the events of the past few weeks there can be no doubt.

The first real mistake the Clinton campaign made was underestimating their opponent and the general desire for change in the country, and not just a figurehead change, but a real, honest-to-god change of perspective and vision.

In failing to recognize that, the Clinton camp decided to run a fairly traditional Democratic campaign, focusing on a few early contests and then targeting the Big States, all of which she won.

But failing to learn the lessons of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, the Clintons mostly ignored what is commonly referred to as “flyover country,” barely, if ever, visiting states that Democrats do not tend to do well in and, just like Al Gore and John Kerry before her, failing to recognize that you don’t need to win NY and Cali to win.

So, while Hillary was stumping around a few select places, Obama set up organizations in every state and drummed up support in every corner of the country, even in Idaho, where he set attendance records at an arena in Boise. Acknowledging the turnout, he opened with the line “they told me there were no Democrats in Idaho,” at which the 15,000 or so in attendance exploded into applause.

We know whose strategy proved better.

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welcome to the future

by twit

From MSNBC on Feb 22 2008:

… Serbia said it regretted what it called acts of isolated vandals who did not represent a nation which, while bitter at Kosovo’s declaration of independence on Sunday, did not want further violence.

In the context of an MSNBC report on Feb 21 2008, ‘isolated vandals’ sounds like a bit of an understatement.

Masked men broke into the U.S. compound in Belgrade, which has been closed this week, and tried to throw furniture from an office. They set fire to the office and flames shot up the side of the building.

… For several days, Kosovo’s Serbs have shown their anger by destroying U.N. and NATO property, setting off small bombs and staging noisy rallies.

… On Thursday, the neighboring Croatian Embassy also was targeted by the same group of protesters at the U.S. Embassy, and smaller groups attacked police posts outside the Turkish and British embassies in another part of the city but were beaten back.

… Groups also broke into a McDonald’s restaurant and demolished the interior. A number of other shops were also ransacked and people were seen carrying off running shoes, track suits and other sporting goods from a department store.

… Hundreds of Serbs have launched attacks on border outposts, prompting NATO to reinforce the northern Serb-dominated part of Kosovo and take control of the borders.

Serbia — and Kosovo’s Serbs, who make up less than 10 percent of Kosovo’s population — refuse to give up Kosovo, a territory considered the ancient cradle of Serbs’ state and religion.

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change you can replicate perfectly

by twit

… is probably what Xerox ™ would like Hillary’s endorsement of Obama to mean.

it was an endorsement, right? it sure sounds like one.

and I realize Queen Clinton is hard up for cash these days, but corporate sponsorship?

Is there anything she won’t do for pity or money?

the twit’s not holding her breath.

(UPDATED!)Spy satellite update: It’s raining metal, hallelujah!

by lestro

FEB. 21 UPDATE AND VIDEO BELOW!

Well, by now we all know that a US spy satellite is getting closer and closer to landing on our heads, but never fear, the Bush Administration is all over it.

Despite initial statements that it could not be shot down, it looks like either tonight or tomorrow a Navy ship will be firing off a couple of missile in an attempt to shoot this bad boy out of the sky, weather permitting:

The officer said that three Navy warships were in position in the Pacific Ocean to launch the interceptors, and that radar and other tracking equipment, both in space and on the ground, were being monitored at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, and at a space command headquarters in Colorado Springs.

The operation is being controlled from the Strategic Command headquarters in Omaha, Neb., with additional monitoring of information transmitted from the interceptor managed by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.

Visually speaking, via reuters:

Apparently despite circling the earth every 90 seconds or so, once the order is given, the Navy will have a window of “tens of seconds” in order to hit this thing, which weighs 5,000 pounds (including 1,000 pounds of toxic rocket fuel) and is the size of a school bus.

But not to worry, just in case they miss, FEMA is on top of it:

A United States satellite is falling back to earth and could potentially impact almost anywhere on the planet…

Perhaps trusting this to folks who couldn’t even feed flood victims in New Orleans is a bad idea, but no matter.

I am not worried though. I have seen the Simpsons episode where Bart discovers a comet aimed directly for Springfield. The military tries to shoot it down, but misses, destroying the only bridge out of town. Luckily, Homer’s prediction proves right and one can only assume we are destined for a similar result:

Homer: What’s everyone so worked up about? So there’s a comet – big deal. It’ll burn up in our atmosphere and whatever’s left will be no bigger than a chihuahua’s head.

Bart: Wow, Dad, maybe you’re right.

Homer: Of course I’m right. If I’m not, may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow.

Beyond all that, there better be footage of this. I want multiple angles, high def footage I can download and watch over and over again. Hell, if they run it live, i’ll even get up in the middle of the night to see this…

UPDATE:

At approximately 10:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday night, the Navy shot down the offending satellite in an explosion one paper described as “like the death star.” The military is also “80 – 90 percent confiden[t] the fuel tank was destroyed,” which was the part they were aiming for as it contained the toxic bits. From the New York Times:

“Completing a mission in which an interceptor designed for missile defense was used for the first time to attack a satellite, the Lake Erie, an Aegis-class cruiser, fired a single missile just before 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the missile hit the satellite as it traveled at more than 17,000 miles per hour, the Pentagon said in its official announcement.

“A network of land-, air-, sea- and spaced-based sensors confirms that the U.S. military intercepted a nonfunctioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite which was in its final orbits before entering the Earth’s atmosphere,” the statement said.”

USA! USA! USA!

The military will also continue to monitor the debris as it falls through the atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour, but the rest of it is expected to burn up to chunks no bigger than the aforementioned chihuahuas head.

The best news of all of this, however is that there is footage and you know, it does look a little like the Death Star explosion from the original Star Wars, though not as cool as the re-released Star Wars

JFK knocks Reagan out of the top spot

by lestro

Since we already know why the various candidates are fighting to claim the legacies of former presidents, there’s probably no need to go through that again.

But yesterday’s annual Presidents Day poll may give a little indication of a change on the horizon and good news for the Obama campaign. Last year, the top four most popular presidents were, in order, Lincoln, Reagan, Kennedy and Clinton.

With Lincoln a mythic figure, each of the candidates hitched themselves to a wagon, Clinton stuck with No. 4 whether she likes it or not, every Republican cozied up to Reagan’s mantle as much as he could and then, in a stunning shot to leapfrog the Clintons, the Kennedys themselves bestowed the mantle onto Obama.

While the top four have not changed in this year’s “greatest president” poll, a second poll released yesterday asked Americans which president, living or dead, they would most like to bring back as president to lead the country today.

In that poll, John F. Kennedy came out on top, besting Reagan 23 percent to 22 percent (though technically a dead heat). Clinton comes in third at 13 percent.

The fact that Americans seem to recognize that it is once again time for the sort of change those two president brought can only bode well for the Obama Campaign…

Bubba vs. Bubba

by lestro

The Clinton campaign continued the tired experience attack today, with the former president taking personal offense that he is not getting his due for his legacy as president:

Former President Clinton on Friday accused Sen. Barack Obama, his wife’s rival for the Democratic nomination, of trying to ignore any accomplishments they achieved during their years in the White House.

“You have one candidate who’s made the explicit argument that the only way we can change America is to move into a post-partisan future and therefore we have to eliminate from consideration for the presidency anybody who made good things happen in the ’90s or stopped bad things from happening in this decade,” said Clinton

Without mentioning Obama by name, Clinton said the Illinois senator was promoting a position that it’s “actually an advantage to not have any experience because you’ve not made anybody mad.”

But that’s a different tune than he was singing in the first debate of the 1992, when the topic of experience was the first issue they discussed, though nowadays, President Clinton sounds more like his former rival:

President Bush: Well, I think one thing that distinguishes is experience. I think we’ve dramatically changed the world. I’ll talk about that a little bit later, but the changes are mind-boggling for world peace. Kids go to bed at night without the same fear of nuclear war. And change for change’s sake isn’t enough. We saw that message in the late seventies when we heard a lot about change. And what happened? That “misery index” went right through the roof. [...]

Mr. Lehrer: Governor Clinton, how do you respond to the President — you have 2 minutes — on the question of experience? He says that is what distinguishes him from the other two of you.

Governor Clinton: I believe experience counts, but it’s not everything. Values, judgment, and the record that I have amassed in my State also should count for something. I’ve worked hard to create good jobs and to educate people. My State now ranks first in the country in job growth this year, fourth in income growth, fourth in the reduction of poverty, third in overall economic performance, according to a major news magazine. That’s because we believe in investing in education and in jobs.

We have to change in this country. You know, my wife, Hillary, gave me a book about a year ago in which the author defined insanity as just doing the same old thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We have got to have the courage to change.

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Real News To Terrorize Y’all’s Neighborhood

by squishmael

I was in first or second grade when another student went up in front of the class, wearing a t-shirt with a photo of some girl dancing on a strangely-lit walkway, to demonstrate something called the “moonwalk.”

It wasn’t long after that I made the connection in realizing that the girl on his shirt was an all-of-a-sudden monumentally popular singer named Michael Jackson. It also wasn’t long before my mom helped me making my own white glove to wear with my red and black “Thriller” jacket and zipper-happy “Beat It” pants.

The collision of pop-culture marketing and my small town elementary school kid sensibilities prompted an earthquake-sized influence on my appreciation for music and the re-release of THRILLER is an aftershock that I can’t help, but, to let hit me 25 years after the initial jolt.

You can go on about all of the crazy crap that Jackson has been involved with over the years, but, just the first few beats from “Billie Jean” are enough to make me wish that I was the little brown chimp that Jacko referred to as “Bubbles,” instead of the big fat albino gorilla that I am. So, forget about the issues in the presidential race. Just tell me who Michael endorses and they’ll get my vote.

There’s no Clinton in baseball?

by lestro

As part of a promo set for their 2008 series of baseball cards, the Upper Deck card company has released a series of caricatures of the presidential candidates put into famous baseball settings from history.

But after an “informal focus group” rightfully complained about the card portraying Hillary Clinton as Morganna, the kissing bandit, the company thankfully pulled the card from packs.

And rightfully so. It is a bit distasteful.

Here’s the explanation linking the two from the back of the card:

“Hillary Rodham Clinton and Morganna Roberts, baseball’s infamous ‘Kissing Bandit,’ share a similar life strategy: go after what you want and get it!” the card reads. But unlike Roberts, who would dash onto ballfields and kiss players during games, it credits Clinton for generating headlines with “her reforms, initiatives and current bid for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination.”

The company plans to re-release in May a new Hillary card (as well as Huckabee, who didn’t expect to be called up to The Show this season), but is certainly backtracking just as pitchers and catchers are reporting for Spring Training.

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

“We wanted this set to be light and humorous and chronicle presidential history,” explained Terry Melia, Upper Deck’s public relations manager. “We married each candidate to a character or moment in baseball history.”

The cards (sprinkled through the regular baseball card set at a ratio of one per every eight packs) feature a caricature of each presidential candidate in a baseball role. Mitt Romney, for example, is seen as Carlton Fisk, waving his famous home run just past the foul pole in the 1975 World Series.

“The others were all male,” Melia said. “Hillary, being the only female in the lineup, we were reaching for comparisons to make.”

Well, they could’ve made her one of the professional women ballplayers honored in the movie, “A League of Their Own.”

Instead they made her Morganna, “The Kissing Bandit.”

For a look at the whole series of “Presidential Predictors” (Including a guest appearance by President Bush), but for some reason missing the Hillary card, click here…

Gangster lobby makes NH Senate an offer they can’t refuse

by lestro

I have never taken out a payday loan and have only been in a payday lender one time while looking for a money order. I do, however, live pretty much paycheck to paycheck and lord knows i am one family illness or blown gasket from needing a quick couple hundred bucks.

Payday loan establishments are often labeled derisively as “predatory lenders” and while there is some truth to that, the industry is being unfairly targeted across the country.

The idea is simple: Borrowers in need of a quick influx of cash borrow somewhere between $100 and $500 for a short term, usually until the borrower’s next payday. The cost of such two-week loans run between $15 and $30 per $100 borrowed, but if you miss the payment interest and fees really start to pile up, not to mention fees on the bounced check you gave the lender.

But, of course, if you don’t have enough in your paycheck to survive to week’s end, a payday loan can provide a quick influx of cash, but since you are short as it is, paying it back from the next check tends to leave one even shorter for the next pay period, trapping the borrower under continuously compounding mountains of debt.

The commercials show actors, mostly minorities as they industry realizes that, like liquor stores, the best way to drum up business is to put these places into struggling neighborhoods often populated with minorities. The well-dressed actors talk about needing an advance for a new apartment or a couch or a car repair or something and of course shy away from the whole compounded mountain of debt thing.

The practice is legal in 37 states. But because of the revolving door into and out of these establishments, many of those states are seeking to either highly regulate or outlaw the practice, choosing to blame them as a source for continued poverty instead of recognizing them as a symptom of a much larger economic disparity and issue. Read more of this post

morning cartoons

by twit

aw, how sweet:I call him Baby Poo. He calls me, ‘Bitch, get over here.‘”

http://jezebel.com/assets/resources/2008/02/icecoco021508.jpg

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100 Years Is OK With Me

by squishmael

Please don’t interpret this as a commitment of support on my hairy part, but, in specific regards to the ‘100 years’ statement that Hill and Barry have been riding, I don’t think it’s all that bad as explained by CNN. I, too, think that a 100% pull-out could have some notable consequences. In fact, I would have to say that having some very-limited presence there is the responsible way to go. Getting to the point where our presence is peaceful and not prompting innocent civilians to be killed as a result of suicide bombers’ actions in reaction to our presence, however, is a very dim-lit road.

Obituary for the Clinton Campaign

by twit

Ramussen reports on Feb 14, 2008 that Obama is polling as the favorite for the Democratic nomination and the general election.

… Obama is the most popular candidate at the moment, viewed favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 43%.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 44% of Likely Voters nationwide, unfavorably by 53%.

McCain’s is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 47%.

Opinions about Clinton are more strongly held than opinions about either Obama or McCain.

While Hillary’s shining personality may be a key factor in the stumbling failures of her campaign, there are also reports of massive planning failures within the campaign itself. From the New York Times on Feb 14, 2008:

She and her team showered so much money, attention and other resources on … Feb. 5 that they have been caught flat-footed — or worse — in the critical contests that followed, her political advisers said.

She also made a strategic decision to skip several small states holding caucuses, states where Mr. Obama scored big victories, accumulating delegates and, possibly, momentum.

Her heavy spending and relatively modest fund-raising in January compounded the problems, leaving the campaign ill-equipped to plan after Feb. 5, advisers and donors say.

The Clinton campaign appears to be working from a playbook that reads like a strange blend of the Bush “Mission Accomplished” strategy and the Guiliani “New York and Florida” death-rattle. Focus on the big states, ignore the rest, and expect that it will be smooth sailing to the coronation nomination, because Hillary will be greeted as a liberator, of course.

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Hillary may be a top-of-the-line VCR, but Obama is a DVD player

A letter to a Hillary Clinton supporter

by lestro

Recently I discovered that a friend of mine is a supporter of Hillary Clinton and what follows is my response, with links added for reference purposes:

Well, thankfully your reasons for Hillary are actual reasons and not just ‘it’s a woman’s time.’ I hate that shit. It’s so anti-feminist. I am all for a woman President. But not Hillary Clinton. and I voted for her for Senator.

Which is where she belongs, working on the legislation, fighting over the details, making the sausage.

Presidents, however, are about vision, leadership and direction. The policy will follow.

Presidents do not write laws, Congress does. The President sets the vision. Think of your city councils. The mayor doesn’t have a vote. The federal government is supposed to function in the same way on a larger scale.

Presidents provide vision and direction by rallying the country around a set of ideas and a series of goals. Congress then responds to that by writing those laws.

And Hillary has no vision. Obama has vision. He’s the first candidate since Reagan to have vision. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of Reagan’s but he definitely changed the entire political culture of the country. We are still living in Reagan’s America. And I, for one, am done with it.

It is time for something different.

Hillary Clinton will lose to John McCain (you asked who needs Reagan? really? He’s the second most popular president ever. Clinton is fourth. Kennedy is third) because the change she offers is essentially the same he offers. There would be changes in policy, sure, but the time of the baby boomers is over. They are all VCRs and Hillary may be a top-of-the-line VCR, but Obama is a DVD player.

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pimp pimpity pimp pimp

by lestro

Yeah, I said it. And why not, it’s just a word.

But it’s a revealing word, especially when judging someone’s reaction to it.

By now we all know that the Clinton Mafia went apeshit last week when an MSNBC reporter described the Clinton Family Campaign machine like this:

“Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in a weird sort of way?”

The reporter, David Shuster, was immediately forced to apologize and suspended after Hillary Clinton adviser Howard Wolfsen responded like this:

Asked about Shuster’s “pimp” comment, Wolfson denounced the comment as “disgusting” and “beneath contempt,” adding: “It’s the kind of thing that should never be said on a national news network.”

Then Wolsfon added: “You have to question whether or not there is a pattern here on the part of the network.” He added: “Is this part of a pattern? I don’t know, but [it’s] beneath contempt.”

So I looked up the verb “to pimp” and found this at Merriam-Webster’s Web site:

“to make use of often dishonorably for one’s own gain or benefit”

That sounds about right to me, especially when you add the “in a weird way” part of Shuster’s question. Chelsea has been pulled away from her job and fiance in order to help circle their race-baiting wagons around her mother’s flagging campaign.

But beyond that and the fact that they are sinking and they know it and grasping at straws (MSNBC is apparently part of yet another vast conspiracy to bring down the Clintons. Easier than blaming the candidate or the lack of a coherent, consistent message, I suppose, though it is worth noting that the Campaign Manager and assistant have both been canned this week…).

But what it really shows is the generational divide developing both in the country and especially the campaign. It reminds us that the Clintons, and many of the Baby Boomers, whose time, as we know, is coming to an end, have turned into the Old Guard who are completely out-of-touch with both culture and the changing uses of words.

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yeah, can I get a grande torturecinno, extra foam?

by lestro

So as if it wasn’t enough last week for the Attorney General to admit to Congress that the Bush Administration no longer even pretends to obey the Geneva Convention or the US Constitution due to the use of the technique known as waterboarding (regarded as torture pretty much everywhere in the world except the White House), today we get absolute and definite proof of the United States using torture:

The admissions made by the men — who were given food whenever they were hungry as well as Starbucks coffee at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — played a key role in the government’s decision to proceed with the prosecutions, military and law enforcement officials said.

Starbucks?! Good god, I’ll talk! Just stop burning your coffee! The reason their lattes are so popular is because the only way their coffee is drinkable is to cut half of it with milk.

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meet the Technium

by twit

well, then. I suppose this means that if you feel like your tv is watching you, you’re probably right. From Kevin Kelly’s website, where he is developing ideas for his upcoming book, a clip with emphasis added:

eventually technology will far more autonomous than it is today. Right now not only are we the parents of the technium, we are also the sex organs of technology. From technology’s view, we are the mysterious walking-around glands that reproduce them. They may be able to operate on their own, but they need us to reproduce them. This is already changing. Most computer chips in the world today are designed in part by other computer chips. Most robotic devices are manufactured in part by other robotic devices. As we improve chips and robots, there is no reason to believe that at some point computers will wholly design some other computers, and some robotic systems wholly manufacture other robotic systems. The next step seems inevitable: technology will reproduce itself.

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Right To Life

by squishmael

I haven’t finished the process of breaking down all the issues yet. I admit to not giving the race for the presidency a lot of attention until the last month or so. But, you can count on one issue being on the top of my list when I line up the candidates side by side to compare their positions: how do they address the issue of the people’s right to life?

Now, you may already be writing me off as a Christian conservative, but, hold on. When I consider the right for each individual being to live, I’m not just talking about fetuses (which I do believe have that right), but, also about American citizens being forced to serve in Iraq, elderly people who can’t afford medication, hispanics who cross the border out of desperation, and blue collar workers who can’t afford proper medical care.

The worst thing somebody could do is claim that they are for protecting the lives of the unborn and vote for a candidate who says they also want to protect the unborn, but, then put hundreds or thousands of people in harm’s way for the sake of oil.

The fact that the American political system is flawed becomes apparent when you realize that bundled laws that aren’t even read by most lawmakers are being passed by the truckload and presidential candidates are burning millions of dollars just to make the point that they’re responsible enough to have the job of righting our economy, providing healthcare for people who can’t afford it, and feeding those whose cupboards are bare.

As Chris Cornell once sang so brilliantly several years ago, “The wreck is going down. Get out before you drown.”

This is what change looks like

by twit

Via BarackObama.com, highlights from the Feb 12 ‘Potomac Primary’ victory speech:

We need a new direction in this country. Everywhere I go, I meet Americans who can’t wait another day for change. They’re not just showing up to hear a speech – they need to know that politics can make a difference in their lives, that it’s not too late to reclaim the American Dream.

It’s a dream shared in big cities and small towns; across races, regions and religions – that if you work hard, you can support a family; that if you get sick, there will be health care you can afford; that you can retire with the dignity and security and respect that you have earned; that your kids can get a good education, and young people can go to college even if they’re not rich. That is our common hope. That is the American Dream.

… The voices of the American people have carried us a great distance on this improbable journey, but we have much further to go. Now we carry our message to farms and factories across this state, and to the cities and small towns of Ohio, to the open plains deep in the heart of Texas, and all the way to Democratic National Convention in Denver; it’s the same message we had when we were up, and when were down; that out of many, we are one; that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; and that we can cast off our doubts and fears and cynicism because our dream will not be deferred; our future will not be denied; and our time for change has come.

Video after the jump:

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de ja vu all over again

by twit

what lestro said, now with recent polling data indicating that men are significant swing voters this election season:

Obama does better than Clinton with men when paired against McCain, splitting the male vote with the Arizona senator. Obama does especially well with men under 45: He defeats McCain by 9 points among younger men, while McCain defeats Clinton with those voters by 7 points.

… When she is paired against McCain in a general election matchup, she gets 46 percent to his 45 percent, a tie, according to the poll. Obama edges McCain, the Arizona senator, 48 percent to 42 percent in their pairing.

… One reason McCain holds his own against Clinton is his support from men, who prefer him to the New York senator by 9 percentage points. That compensates for her 11-point advantage among women.

AP via MyWayNews Feb 11, 2008

understatement of the day

by twit

“This parody concept is brilliant.”

thx Wonkette

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People may ignore the war in favor of the elections

by twit

and the Pew Research Center reports that Iraq was the focus of only two percent of news coverage from January 28 through February 3, 2008.

But Iraq has a way of calling attention to itself:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two journalists working for CBS News have gone missing in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, the company said in a statement.

“All efforts are under way to find them and until we learn more details, CBS News requests that others do not speculate on the identities of those involved. CBS News has been in touch with the families and asks that their privacy be respected,” CBS News said in a statement.

via drudge

Bush tries reverse psychology, fails miserably

by twit

Via Think Progress Feb 10, 2008:

In an interview with Fox News, President Bush argued that if his agenda and record are made central issues in the upcoming presidential election, then the Republican nominee stands “a better chance of winning” because the election won’t be about him:

My attitude is, so long as they’re talking about me, we have a better chance of winning because our candidate will — what’s going to matter is not the past but the future when it comes to campaigns.

If the Democrat Party feels like they can win an election by focusing on me, I think they’d be making a huge tactical mistake. But I hope they do that then because our candidate will be able to talk about the future.

Videos and the punchline after the jump…

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does this mean we don’t need worldwide sonar?

by twit

From the BBC on Feb 8, 2008:

The team which developed the autonomous vehicle say it has covered “thousands of kilometres” during the tests. The team believe the glider – which needs no batteries – could undertake oceanographic surveys for up to six months at a time. “We are tapping a virtually unlimited energy source for propulsion,” said Dave Fratantoni of the Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOi).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/technology_enl_1202474702/img/laun.jpg

that would be really nice.

McCain calls Chelsea ugly and other afternoon cartoons

by twit

hmm…

Romney himself never attacked McCain’s age or temperament directly, but his campaign aides were not shy about highlighting McCain’s volcanic temper.

“Choosing to ignore substance and relevant issues, the McCain way has always been to attack opponents in a personal manner,” read a Jan. 5 e-mail from Romney press secretary Kevin Madden. “Defending his amnesty bill, Senator McCain lost his temper and screamed, ‘Fk You!’ at Texas Sen. John Cornyn.”

McCain has said such outbursts were understandable as he fought pork-barrel spending or clashed passionately with his rivals.

to the internets, then, to find footage of such things…

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Once you vote black you’ll never go back?

by lestro

With two pretty evenly-matched candidates, the Democratic race seems to hinge, for a lot of people, on the idea of “electability,” the mirage that even though you like one candidate, you can’t vote for them because the other candidate is more likely to win.

It’s what killed the spark and energy of Howard Dean, favoring the middle-of-the-road blandness of John Kerry. And now it has many voters picking Clinton over Obama.

There are many ways electabilty is measured, but one of the most fun ways is money and if that is any indication, the most electable candidate, by a long shot, is Obama.

This is from today’s NYT piece about Washington being the “contest du jour”:

“On Friday morning, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers fought back against impressions that the campaign was short on cash…”

That’s a pretty Clintonian spin on things and not entirely accurate.

I mean, it’s not the impression that the campaign is short of cash. It WAS short of cash, which is why the candidate had to loan herself $5 MILLION.

Campaigns that are not short of cash do not have to take out loans. and even if they did collect $10 million so far in February, that’s really only $5 million because they have to payback the Clintons, right?

Beyond that, $5 million is more than half as much as the Huckabee campaign has spent in total. Hillary has spent more than $100 million to try and convince us she’s the candidate, and the only people who are listening seem to be the same Democratic Party Establishment Elites and Old Guard that make up the 49 percent of democratic primary voters.

And if that’s a problem now, it’s going to be a real bitch in the general election.

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Since when are we not allowed to call Hillary a pimp?

by twit

NBC NEWS STATEMENT REGARDING CHELSEA CLINTON COMMENT:

On Thursday’s “Tucker” on MSNBC, David Shuster, who was serving as guest-host of the program, made a comment about Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton campaign that was irresponsible and inappropriate. Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.

but the comment wasn’t about Chelsea. it was about Hillary being a pimp. Since when are we not allowed to call Hillary a pimp?

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