Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A letter to Hillary from a former supporter...

Andy Ostroy writes for The Huffington Post:

Dear Hillary:
What happened? No really, what the fuck just happened to you? I can't for the life of me figure out how a once-promising presidential campaign -- a sure thing for Pete's sake -- turned into a pathetic embarrassment? You've had such a head start in this quest to occupy the Oval Office. I mean, literally, you and Bill have been planning it since at least January 1993 when he became president. Was there a more plausible, natural, inevitable scenario than you following in his larger-than-life footsteps? And Chelsea after you? The Clinton Dynasty. Has such a regal ring to it, doesn't it?

But then 2008 rolled around and something terrible happened. Both you and Bill lost that famous mojo. It started in Iowa, where you were all but certain to win. Everyone, including yourself, anointed you the Queen of the Ball before the dance even began. And then you lost. Some inexperienced kid named Barack Obama came out of nowhere and stole your thunder. And then you sat down and cried. In front of the cameras, and the good folks of New Hampshire felt sorry and gave you their state. And just like that The Comeback Twins came back yet again. Never count out a Clinton, huh?. Ahh, but then came February. Damn February. The junior Senator from Illinois, that pesky Kid, won big on Super Tuesday -- despite your pickups in NY, NJ, CA and a few others -- and later in the month racked up an impressive string of eleven consecutive wins. Ouch. That's when the chorus of "Hillary Should Quit" calls officially began. But you'd have nothing of the sort. This was a battle, and you were in it till then end. And we admired you for it.

March was much kinder to you, as was April and May. You won big key swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, and trounced The Kid in Appalachia. You even managed to obtain more delegates and popular votes in these three months than The Kid. But the "Hillary Should Quit" calls kept coming, weighing you down and casting an ominous cloud over your campaign. The endorsements kept going to Obama too (Richardson, Edwards, etc) and the superdelegates began to flow to your opponent in anything but a trickle, until he had more of them than you. Many even started to desert you, switching their allegiance. But you pressed on. Even with Bill out there accused of playing the race card and pissing off as many people as he once impressed, especially in the black community. To many, perhaps the "first black president" wasn't so black after all.

Then there were the many boneheaded comments you made. You remember, like the time you basically said that while you and the GOP's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain, were tough enough and experienced enough to be commander-in-chief, Obama merely had "a speech." Didn't you realize how that irresponsible blunder would come back to haunt the party in November? Or how about the one where you told everyone that the "hard-working whites" won't vote for Obama. Honestly, Hill, with all those fancy degrees and years of elite lawyering, didn't you realize that some things were meant to be privately thought but not publicly voiced? And so the "Hillary Should Quit" calls continued unabated. Yet we were still in your corner.

You vowed to stay in the race and fight until the very last American exercised his or her inalienable right to vote. You vowed to fight for women everywhere. To be a role model for young girls. To show them that women can be just as tough, just as resilient, just as determined, just as ambitious and just as successful as a man. Your campaign was no longer merely about becoming president. It became a lesson for the history books. A paradigm-changing feminist movement. And we applauded your determination and stuck by you.

You parsed and nuanced and molded the process to fit your end-goal of ultimately snagging the nomination from the grip of The Kid by convincing the superdelegates that you had the better narrative. That you were the more electable candidate. Since neither you or The Kid would end the campaign with enough pledged delegates to win, in an effort to make your case even more compelling, you threw as much shit up on the wall as you possibly could in the desperate hope that something would stick, ie that you had more popular votes; that we should re-seat Michigan and Florida's delegates; that only you could win back the Reagan Democrats. At this point, while we continued to support you, we grew a little leery of your motives and a tad weary of your disingenuousness.

No matter how many "Hillary Should Quit" cries we heard, we still believed in you and went along for the ride, no matter how bumpy. We defended you wherever and whenever we could. Like Bill, we made excuses for you, and chalked up your blind ambition and your regrettable gaffes to long days, late nights and the general stress of the campaign trail. We vowed to support your valiant fight till the end, right along with you, no matter how taxing it became.

And then the unthinkable occurred. When asked last week by South Dakota's Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper about all this "Hillary Should Quit" nonsense, you said: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don't understand it." Jeez, Hillary, are you out of your fucking mind? Even if you didn't mean it, to suggest that as a justification to stay in the race, Obama could be assassinated before the primary season is over, is perhaps the most shocking, shameful, morally reprehensible thing you could have possibly ever said. How could you? Do you realize that with that one comment you threw away whatever shot you may have had to fulfill your dream of convincing, brainwashing and/or bullying the super D's into handing you the nomination? How could you implode like that? It was a despicable act of desperation and, quite frankly, it was pathetic. With that one reckless opportunistic blunder you not only threw away the campaign, but your legacy as well. A once valiant warrior, you are now just a sad footnote in history. An embarrassment. I suspect you will never recover politically from your monumentally insensitive RFK comment, made in the very same week that Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor.

And so I can no longer support this destructive campaign of yours. It's time for me to say "Hillary Should Quit." You have taken your insatiable hunger for the presidency too far. You've let so many of us down. You will not be president. You will not be vice president. It's time to step aside and let the Democratic Party and the nation heal, ultimately with Obama as our nominee and hopefully our president as well. It's time for something different. You just convinced me that America needs more than politics as usual, especially your kind. I am so disappointed, Hillary.


(Link)


I had promised myself that I would not dignify what's left of Clinton's campaign by making any more posts about her here (it's all about Obama vs McCain now).
But this was so poignant, I had to repost it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Olbermann nails it...




Good night and good luck indeed, Senator Clinton.
Your career is over.

Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain misses more senate votes than any other senator

Ben Pershing writes for the Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) didn't find time in his busy campaign schedule Thursday to make it back to the Capitol for votes on money for Iraq and Afghanistan as well as new educational benefits for veterans that he opposes. After all, even though he has been quite outspoken on the new GI Bill and even pushed a competing bill of his own, he still has to, um, win the Republican nomination (isn't Ron Paulstill running??). And, apparently, he had to campaign and raise moneyin that pivotal swing state, California.

McCain's absence helped cement his lead in one key category over his potential Democratic opponents and every other Senator -- missed votes.

Through last week, McCain had missed a nice, round 60.0 percent of Senate votes so far in the 110th Congress



(Full Article)

Mo' delegates, Mo' delegates, Mo' delegates...

Huffington Post reports:

UPDATE: Obama has picked up another superdelegate from Oregon.

Barack Obama has picked up a series of superdelegates this morning, one of which at the expense of Sen. Clinton.

Today, two California superdelegates endorsed Obama, Reps. Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza. Cadoza has previously endorsed Hillary Clinton.

In addition, two of John Edwards' New Hampshire delegates, who have since been designated as superdelegates, endorsed Obama.



(Full Article with statements from the two California superdelegates)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crow Nation for Obama...

CNN reports:

Barack Obama held a rally in Crow Agency, Montana at the Crow Indian Reservation. Obama was given the name of “Awe Kooda bilaxpak Kuuxshish” which means “One who helps people throughout the land.” Obama was adopted by a Crow couple named Black Eagle. He joked that he very much liked the idea of “Barack Black Eagle.”



(Photo Credit: Mike Roselli/CNN)

Wiki-McCain...

All of McCains lies, flip-flops, and policy blunders in a convenient Wiki:

McCain-Pedia

Will the real John McCain please stand up?

Courtesy of DailyKOS:

An essay that needs to be read...

Reprinted from Melissa Harris-Lacewell's blog:

Hillary Is White
by Zillah Eisenstein


It seems clear that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee for president this fall. Nevertheless, it is crucial to clarify how wrong-headed Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been so that the legacy she leaves does no more damage to a multi-racial, multi-class based feminism/womanism both here and abroad.

None of the pundits and journalists appears to be wondering and worrying about black women in this post-Indiana-North-Carolina-West-Virginia moment. Instead, all eyes, and especially Hillary and Bill’s are on the so-called “white-hard-working working class”. Hillary’s pre-occupation with white voters is a dead give-a-way of how she thinks about gender, and being a woman. Gender is white to her, like race is black. Bill and Hillary Clinton have thrown African-Americans to the wind because they thought they could play the gender card with its history of whiteness and win.

And here lies the rub. Hillary Clinton presents herself to the electorate as a woman. She argues that she wants to break the glass ceiling of/for gender. But the truth is that she is not simply a woman but both a woman and also white. The very fact that she ignores her own race, in a way that Obama cannot, is proof of the normalized privileging of whiteness. In this instance white is not a color, but the color, the standard, by which others are judged. So she silently, inadvertently but knowingly, uses her color to write her meanings of gender and mobilize older white women and angry white men by doing so. She presents herself as a woman but her real power here is as white. Misogyny—the fear, hatred, punishment, and discrimination towards women—ensures that Hillary’s privilege is her whiteness.

Most often the term white is not spoken alongside the term woman; there is no need. One only specifies color when it is not white. Women are assumed to be white if not specified otherwise, especially if you are speaking about gender or women’s rights, or feminism. Forget the fact that it was a group of black women that initially challenged the Supreme Court in the first sex discrimination case in this country years ago.

Hillary speaks of herself as a woman, and then speaks separately about race, as though she does not embody both at the same time. She has as much `race’ as Barack, but her race is not a problem for her. It is for him, even though it may not be as much as a problem as she is trying to make it. As such, Hillary, as a (white) woman pits herself against Barack (as black) with a race so to speak. So Hillary (as a woman) is falsely, wrongly, pitted against Barack (as black). Her whiteness privileges and pits gender against race. She encodes her whiteness as though it is central to her gender, and to her kind of feminism without saying a word. She re-awakens and rewrites the history of 19th century U.S. feminism that pitted black men getting the vote before white women had that right. More recently, women’s rights rhetoric was used to justify the bombing of the Taliban and brown people in Afghanistan and Iraq. Feminism has a history of being bankrupt on this issue so this is nothing new. What is forgotten here is that women’s rights come, orshould come, in all colors.

Barack Obama has said he wants to embrace the new notions of race and the racial progress that has occurred. He is not post-racist, but recognizes the newly raced relations as they exist at present. Nevertheless, he must give a speech on race although he says he does not want to be a racial candidate. He recognizes that the country has new-old racial hierarchies with complex identities and that he himself represents white and African blackness, whatever this might mean for him. Meanwhile Hillary says she is running as a woman, and never gives a speech on gender because white angry men and women, would not be pleased by this. So patriarchy, or sexual discrimination, or the structural hierarchy of masculinity with its racialized and class aspects is never mentioned in her campaign. She uses whiteness as her weapon and pretends to be speaking about gender. But she never once mentions the unacceptable misogyny of this country, or the sexual hierarchy of the labor force, or any of the great racial and class inequities that define women’s lives today. This is a misuse and abuse of her gender.

Feminisms of all sorts have moved beyond the idea that feminism is a white woman’s thing; or that feminisms should be particularly beholden to the white mainstreamed part of the U.S. women’s movement. Large numbers of women, especially women of color, but many white women as well, know that race and gender are inseparable and that is why most of these women, whatever their color, are voting for Barack Obama. Hillary should not be allowed to push feminism backwards for her own political ambition. It is not surprising that it is older white women who disproportionately support her. They identify with old notions of womanhood—a homogenized notion that all females share an identity, and race and class are not connected issues to be named and spoken. This is why younger women and progressive women from the civil rights and women’s movements, some of whom are older, disproportionately support Obama.

My thoughts about Hillary Clinton have their own history, which also coincide with her history. I have not been a fan of hers. I have written critically of her for more than a decade now. She has never spoken on behalf of women or as a candidate with a woman’s agenda, let alone as a feminist when she was in the White House. Many of us who are her contemporaries were active in the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Movements and Anti-Vietnam War movement—while she chose not to be. Her one speech addressing the exploitation of women was delivered in Beijing, China, as though it is women outside, but not inside the U.S. who face untold discrimination. Now she runs for president and has become agun-toting, war mongering white woman who asks for your vote if you are an angry white Reagan Democrat. Maybe she thinks manly gender is the answer for breaking glass ceilings for women.

I would argue that she is not breaking gender boundaries but rather has embraced and extended masculine/misogyny for females. And misogyny always comes in racialized form. She remains female in body and hence parades as a decoy for feminist claims. And her white self is central to this decoy status. Susan Faludi wrote in the New York Times that Hillary is having a success with white male support because she is willing to battle, and engage in rough play like one of the boys. She is supposedly willing to “join the brawl” and as such has won their confidence. She has “broke through the glass floor and got down with the boys” opening the way for women to finally make it “through the glass ceiling and into the White house”. Barbara Ehrenreich inThe Nation hesitantly embraces this assessment and then more forcefully criticizes Clinton for her ruthlessness. Ehrenreich writes that Clinton has “smashed the myth of innate female moral superiority in the worst possible way…demonstrating female moral inferiority.”

Hillary has proven that sometimes the best man for the job may be a female posing to be a man. In other words, Hillary has simply clothed herself in men’s tactics and strategies. She can nuke with the best of them. Hillary not only authorized the war in Iraq but she repeatedly continued to do so for several more years—up until the time she began running for president. She allowed, along with Bill Clinton, the egregious trade blockade against Iraq as hundreds of thousands of children starved to death after the `91 war. She more recently has supported Israel’s terror bombing of Lebanon and has newly endorsed “the total obliteration” of Iran.

But this is just part of the sad story. Hillary’s embrace of a masculinist machismo embraces the very misogyny that most feminists want to dismantle. Instead of challenging the gender divide Hillary simply slides over to the other side of it. Instead of offering a new vision of what it might mean to have a female president she offers us old versions of white privilege and war mongering. But the structural privilege of patriarchy is ignored and obfuscated with Hillary’s race card. Nevertheless many (white women write, like Marie Cocco in the Washington Post (May 15, ‘08) that she won’t miss the misogyny of the campaign when its over—she lists the sexist T-shirts, and array of commercial goods circulating at present. While I abhor any form of degradation of girls and women, or any human being for that matter, I am also hesitant to see this as a sufficient critique of the problem.

Hillary Clinton should never be demeaned for being a woman. But being a woman comes in all colors and classes. Hillary has done the unforgivable. She has used race—the whiteness card—on behalf of gender. We, the big `we”—the huge diversely defined feminisms in this country and across the globe—are better than this. Black feminists in this country, during the 1970’s and `80’s women’s movement made sure to break open the race/gender divide and clarify that gender is always racialized and race is always gendered. No person ever experiences one with out the other. Only when whiteness parades as an invisible standard can you think that gender and race can be separate. As such Hillary is white and a female and Barack is black and male. They are each both. Everyone is.

Hillary’s manipulation and misrepresentation of her gender reveals her sexual decoy status. Being female is not enough to allow one to claim their gender as a political tactic. Such claims must be rooted in a commitment to end gender discrimination and their racial and class formulations; not pit races and classes against each other in the hopes of being the first woman president. Clinton does not share a political identity with women of all classes and colors and nations simply because she has a female body. She first needs to claim that body and demand rights for it—reproductive, day care, health, education, etc. She has no multi-racial woman’s agenda because she has no anti-racist agenda.

Meanwhile she is thrilled that she won big in West Virginia. West Virginia is “almost heaven” to Hillary. She says it shows the country that she can win the “hardworking white Americans” in November. But West Virginia is not heaven, nor is it like much of the rest of the country. It may look like what the U.S. used to be, but that is exactly the point. It does not have the diversity of color, age, culture that defines the U.S. today. Neither does Hillary’s vision.

Hillary is a sexual decoy. She looks like a woman but is not a feminist nor does she speak for or on behalf of most women. She speaks for white people while identifying with her gender, as a woman. But she has trumped herself here. If a female prepares to bully the rest of the world with war and white privilege hopefully we—the big `we’—the `we’ that spans across our differences will defeat the political forces she represents.

And this means building a coalition for the November elections that makes sure that a non-misogynist agenda is part of the anti-racist politics of the Obama campaign.

Zillah Eisenstein is professor of politics at Ithaca College, a feminist anti-racist activist, and author of ten books in feminisms and feminist theories across the globe. Her most recent book is SEXUAL DECOYS, GENDER RACE AND WAR IN IMPERIAL DEMOCRACY, (London: Zed Books, 2007).Thanks to Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Carla Golden, Rosalind Petchesky, and Richard Stumbar for reading an earlier draft of this discussion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hillary finally smelling the coffee?

CNN reports:

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday reiterated her vow to stay in the Democratic presidential race, but she said it would be a "terrible mistake" for her supporters to vote for John McCain over Barack Obama.

Sen. Hillary Clinton vowed to stay in the race, saying she's "not going anywhere."

"Anybody who has ever voted for me or voted for Barack has much more in common in terms of what we want to see happen in our country and in the world with the other than they do with John McCain," Clinton said on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"I'm going to work my heart out for whoever our nominee is -- obviously I'm still hoping to be that nominee, but I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that anyone who supported me ... understands what a grave error it would be not to vote for Sen. Obama."


(Full Article)

College Democrats of America Superdelegates endorse Obama

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Carville: Obama likely to win nomination

Peter Hamby reports for CNN:

Speaking to students at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Carville argued Clinton should stay in through the final nominating contest in early June, but said the Democratic tide appears to be moving in Obama's direction.

"I still hear some dogs barking," Carville said, according to The State newspaper. "I'm for Senator Clinton, but I think the great likelihood is that Obama will be the nominee."

"As soon as I determine when that is, I'll send him a check," he added.


(Full Article)


Must be a chilly 10 degrees below zero in hell today.

White Voters, Obama and Appalachia

DHinMI of DailyKOS has posted a well-researched and revealing rebuttal to the argument that Obama has an alleged "problem with white voters".

Since it includes many helpful graphics to illustrate the argument, I'm just going to link to it rather than repost.

A must-read!

(Full Article)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ill Doctrine rocks my socks...

Editorial

Stop. Just...Stop. And Think.
By Woodrow Jarvis Hill



So what is it with the Clintons and Black People? Why even bring up talk like this:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.


...well, she's right about a pattern emerging. Just not the one she thinks -- Obama is actually gaining in that group of voters as Rust Belt contests go forward, as Andrew Sullivan points out.

I've tried to be fair. I've tried to be even handed. I've tried to realize that she's being hit by layers of sexism that aren't even being hinted about in the media, much less addressed (c.f. "tears"). People make mistakes. I'll make mistakes, time and again. Hell, it's a point that, perhaps, a man who's interests are such as mine are cannot also stand four-square as a Feminist*.

But enough is enough. Not only do two wrongs not make a right, but there comes a point where people of goodwill must step forward, and speak out against an ongoing trait, a disease that seems to infest her side of this race.
Who I am is informed by many things, but first and foremost, my experiences as a Man of Color. Without the starting gun of racing against a system bent against me, I don't know if I'd ever have seen the others running the same race. From Feminism to GLBT to Religious Freedom, and my current brooding over my "supposed ememy", so-called "rednecks" -- all these groups of Lesser Privliage have my suppport because I've seen what ingrained hate and fear can do, and not just to the Hated.

To Hillary Clinton:

When you run a race that digs itself further into the ground on racial issues, I'm forced to take notice, as is anyone paying close attention to the election. I'm forced to see the ongoing neglect of dealing with people on "your side" with regard to this issue -- from Bob Jonston to your husband to Ferraro -- as more than one-offs, more than missteps. It begins to hint of something systemic to how you see your chances, no matter how infetestimal, for this election. And given your history, given how much you and your husband have done for "my people", I can only imagine that you're doing and allowing these things to be said because it Wins Races.

This is politics, it's true. Sometimes nuance is lost, things are said in the heat of the moment, things are done for a Greater Good that look more than a little seedy and ugly at first. And it's true that you've had decades of slime, especially Sexist slime, thrown at you.

So I don't understand why you feel the urge to prove all the "politics of personal destruction" charges true. Why run a race that is doomed in ways that will only tar and slag your legacy? Is this how you wish to go down in history? Is this all that your years of hard work can, and will, amount to?

These discussions you keep having, about "states that count", and, now, "colors that count", they simply go against the core precepts of the Party who's standard you hope to bear. And moreover, they fan flames of division that many of us hoped your run, along with Senator Obama's, would help heal.

Yes, all this is a footnote in the great American Story. But it is now up to you, Senator Clinton, to decide how that footnote will read.

And I can only urge you, in the strongest of terms, to make it end on a positive, and uplifting, note.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Edwards: Obama will beat McCain

Donna Smith writes for Reuters:

Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards on Friday declined to make an endorsement in the Democratic presidential battle, but said Barack Obama could unite the party and win in November.

In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Edwards said Obama appears set to win the nomination. The former North Carolina senator refused to say who he voted for in his state's primary this week, won by Obama.


(Full Article)

Quick links...

According to ABC News, Obama now leads in Superdelegates.

(CNN reports: He's still slightly behind)

Peggy Noonan calls on white women to step up for Obama and save the Democratic party from destruction by Clinton.

Angry Black Bitch comments on Clinton's decline

Angry Black Bitch writes in her blog:

At some point my brain registered the follow quote from Senator Clinton citing an AP poll in an interview with USA Today "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

Blink.

"There's a pattern emerging here," Clinton added.

Oh honey, that pattern has emerged…it is out of the closet and leading the parade!

For the record, this hard working American is tired as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

The sad thing is I can’t even be insulted because I’ve lost respect for this woman, her candidacy and the entire Clinton legacy.

This shit is just pathetic and embarrassing to those of us who wasted our loyalty in response to what has been revealed to be a clever two-term pander to secure our lesser than equal and not quite desirable yet somehow still capable of making the difference between Clinton/Gore and Dole/Kemp black votes.

Yeah, I voted for her husband…twice.

Clearly I played myself…twice (wince).

But oh honey child the lesson has been learned…big time.

So I lift this vodka cran in a toast to the most amazing free fall from inspiring politician to complete gaping asshole of my lifetime.

You’ve come a long way baby will forever have new meaning…



(Full Article)


Amen sister!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

McGovern switches to Obama, tells Clinton to get out

CNN reports:

Former Sen. George McGovern urged Hillary Clinton Wednesday to drop out of the Democratic presidential race.

McGovern, who had endorsed Clinton, told CNN he was switching his support to endorse Barack Obama.

“It certainly was not out of any less respect for Senator Clinton,” McGovern told CNN in a telephone interview early Wednesday afternoon about his decision to switch his support to Barack Obama. “I think she has waged a really courageous and valiant campaign. She will have my affection and admiration for all of my days.

“But I think mathematically the race is all but won by Barack Obama and the time has come for all of us to unite and get ready for the general election in the fall.”

McGovern also told CNN he had just spoken to former President Bill Clinton about his decision to back Obama – a conversation he described as “very good.”

“I have had many conversations with him over the years, none better than today," McGovern said. "He did me the honor of talking to me about this. There will be no hard feelings with him or Senator Clinton.”


(Full Article)

Game over. Obama wins.

Cash-strapped Clinton dipping into personal finances... again

CNN reports:

Democrat Hillary Clinton has loaned her presidential race $6.4 million over the last month, bringing the total amount of money she has lent herself to $11.4 million.

And she is willing to lend herself more money, top adviser Howard Wolfson told reporters Wednesday, a day after Clinton eked out a narrow victory over Sen. Barack Obama in Indiana's Democratic primary but lost to him by a landslide in North Carolina.

The $11.4 million she has lent her campaign this year is about the same as the amount she earned from book sales and her Senate salary, Wolfson said.


(Full Article)

After the dust settled...

Indiana is a statistical tie.
Obama trounced Clinton in North Carolina.


More to come...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The dangerous Clinton/McCain gas tax con...

Rachel Beck writes for the AP:

Sure, a gas-tax holiday seems like a good idea, at first. According to the presidential candidates touting it, it would yield cheaper gas, which in turn would produce less expensive packaging, food, etc.

It's trickle down at its best ... until you drive over one of those super-sized potholes that jolts your car and rattles your teeth.
That's because the idea proposed by presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton to ease the federal gas tax would strip the U.S. government of about $10 billion for roadway and transportation projects.

And the plan doesn't even guarantee that lower taxes will lead to lower gas prices. Just the opposite might happen if the tax holiday spurs more demand for gas at a time when supply is already constricted.

It's basic economics. But it gets muddled when mixed with politics.

McCain and Clinton are trying to capitalize on motorists' dismay over gas prices topping $3.60 a gallon nationally. That's more than 20 percent higher than a year ago and it's hurting average Americans as they face mounting economic stress due to soaring food costs, fewer jobs, declining home prices and volatile financial markets.

McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, recommended the gas-tax moratorium during an April 15 speech where he laid out his economic plan. He called for cuts in the federal gas tax — 18.4 cents a gallon for gas and 24.4 cents for diesel — from Memorial Day to Labor Day — the peak summer driving season. He also wants the United States to stop adding its emergency stockpile known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move that would lower the worldwide demand for oil.

Combined, he said, the two proposals would reduce gas prices, which would have a trickle-down effect. "Because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy," McCain said in the speech.

Clinton, who is still battling with Barack Obama for the Democratic Party nomination, announced her support of the tax holiday on Monday, and said she would make up for that lost revenue by imposing a windfall profit tax on oil companies. "I understand the American people need some relief," she said in an April 28 speech.

Before anyone starts counting on the potential savings, it's important to know that a gas tax moratorium might not give them much.

As economists explain it, gas prices typically rise in the summer months because demand is higher. Now, refineries are already running near capacity. If lifting the federal tax reduces gas prices, that could boost demand even more. Supply can't grow — in economics terms it is known as being inelastic — so it could drive prices back up.

That means the economy wouldn't get the intended stimulus, and consumers would see no benefit or could even be worse off.


(Full Article)


A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Daily Kos' Meteor Blades sums it up...


McCain supporter Hagee compares Catholic church to Hitler...



In a NY Times Op-Ed, Frank Rich lays out the stunning hypocrisy of Wright vs. Hagee:

Mr. McCain says he does not endorse any of Mr. Hagee’s calumnies, any more than Barack Obama endorses Mr. Wright’s. But those who try to give Mr. McCain a pass for his embrace of a problematic preacher have a thin case. It boils down to this: Mr. McCain was not a parishioner for 20 years at Mr. Hagee’s church.

That defense implies, incorrectly, that Mr. McCain was a passive recipient of this bigot’s endorsement. In fact, by his own account, Mr. McCain sought out Mr. Hagee, who is perhaps best known for trying to drum up a pre-emptive “holy war” with Iran. (This preacher’s rantings may tell us more about Mr. McCain’s policy views than Mr. Wright’s tell us about Mr. Obama’s.) Even after Mr. Hagee’s Catholic bashing bubbled up in the mainstream media, Mr. McCain still did not reject and denounce him, as Mr. Obama did an unsolicited endorser, Louis Farrakhan, at the urging of Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton. Mr. McCain instead told George Stephanopoulos two Sundays ago that while he condemns any “anti-anything” remarks by Mr. Hagee, he is still “glad to have his endorsement.”

I wonder if Mr. McCain would have given the same answer had Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted him with the graphic video of the pastor in full “Great Whore” glory. But Mr. McCain didn’t have to fear so rude a transgression. Mr. Hagee’s videos have never had the same circulation on television as Mr. Wright’s. A sonorous white preacher spouting venom just doesn’t have the telegenic zing of a theatrical black man.

Perhaps that’s why virtually no one has rebroadcast the highly relevant prototype for Mr. Wright’s fiery claim that 9/11 was America’s chickens “coming home to roost.” That would be the Sept. 13, 2001, televised exchange between Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who blamed the attacks on America’s abortionists, feminists, gays and A.C.L.U. lawyers. (Mr. Wright blamed the attacks on America’s foreign policy.) Had that video re-emerged in the frenzied cable-news rotation, Mr. McCain might have been asked to explain why he no longer calls these preachers “agents of intolerance” and chose to cozy up to Mr. Falwell by speaking at his Liberty University in 2006.


(Full Article)

Poll positions...

The only national poll in which Clinton leads is Fox Noise.

Go figure.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to inch ahead in the latest Zogby poll of Indiana.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A call to action...

After getting riddled with shots from Rev. Wright like Al Pachino in the final scene of Scarface, the campaign is now in critical condition.
We all know that poll numbers can be deceiving, but the recent drop cannot (and should not) be ignored or dismissed.

Barack Obama needs our support more than ever.
If you have ever considered yourself an Obama supporter, you need to get mobilized and act NOW.

If you live in Indiana, North Carolina, or West Virginia, find your local campaign office!
Go to the Obama site and create a profile.
Do a zip code search and find the organizers and events nearest you.

If you don't live in these states, and you have unlimited long distance, making calls is still extremely effective.
Talking to a live human does much more than a "robocall".
The site will give you a script that you can follow if you don't know what to say.

We've come too far to let "campaign fatigue" make us apathetic!
Obama has all but won the nomination. The superdelegates are not abandoning him, neither should we!

Get FIRED UP again folks!