January 30, 2008

Breaking: Edwards leaving Presidential race

Former Senator John Edwards is abandoning his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination...

Florida, the demise of Giuliani, and a Clintonian "victory"

For those in the blogosphere who have been living under a rock or in Iraq for the last week, in particular the last twenty-four hours, brace yourselves:

Florida had a primary yesterday and a "New Yorker" won.

To the surprise of no one, however, it wasn't the "real" New Yorker. Rudy Giuliani came in a weak third place, just barely edging out Mike Huckabee for fourth place, in the the Republican primary. Arizona Senator John McCain took 35%, slightly ahead of Mitt Romney, to take all of Florida's Republican delegates.

Of course McCain is not from New York, so that leaves the other "primary" to parse.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton took 50% of the votes cast in Florida's symbolic primary. Much like the Michigan primary, Clinton pandered to disenfranchised Floridians in order to score a victory of zero delegates. For those unfamiliar with the situations of Michigan and Florida, use Wikipedia, because it's not worth explaining the stupidity of front-loading primaries.

That being said, I disagree with the DNC's decision to strip both states of all delegates, I disagree with the states' unwillingness to comply, and I disagree with Billary Rodton Clinham's campaigning in both states despite a so-called moratorium on campaigning in them. All in all, it's a disagreeable situation.

WSJ has an article on A4 today on how former President Jimmy Carter waxes sympathetically for Barack Obama, but still has not issued an endorsement. On the same page, another article also looks into how the primaries have become "racially divisive" - though I could not disagree more with that meme. The only matter divisive about these primaries are the Clintons and how they will stop at nothing to get Bill a 3rd and 4th term via Hillary's proxy. Barack Obama is the Great American Hope and there's nothing racially chraged about that.


January 28, 2008

Something to chew on

I am finding that this election season finds two competing value-sets in the Democratic Party. One of those value-sets is that of the old guard, of Senator Hillary Clinton, and of former President Bill Clinton. The other value-set is that of Senator Barack Obama. It is not that the two individuals necessarily have conflicting values, indeed it seems that their attitudes towards policy seem to be generally the same, with Senator Obama actually providing more nuanced approaches than what Senator Clinton offers, but I digress. The value-set which Senator Clinton represents is that of the aloof defense attorney with a potentially guilty client. The lawyer must work at all points to destroy the prosecution in order to wholly acquit the defendant, whom the lawyer even feel to be guilty. Thus the attacks on the prosecution must be malicious enough to convince the minds of the jury that the prosecution's case rests upon prejudice and hate. This is the same attitude which has prevailed over Washington, DC, with different defense attorneys, over the last decade-plus.

Senator Obama provides a different tact. Rather than act as a defensive aggressor, Senator Obama creates the perception, whether valid or not, that he does not embrace the tactics of persistent attack. While maintaining the same values as his opponent, he has demonstrated a willingness to govern over cooperative parties while maintaining faith to his ideals. He is sharp and witty, without being mean or ascerbic. Senator Obama is campaigning proof that it is possible to be over the age of thirty, be an idealist, and not be considered some sort of Pollyanna. He demonstrates and understanding that it's far easier to despair and waste away your hopes and dreams, but the rewards of that could never match that of achieving those same hopes and dreams.

Those who turn thirty and lose their idealism stop trying to be idealistic and acclimate themselves to ceding their dreams to the past, dreams that are let go and slowly forgotten. Keep your eyes on your future - don't let the past haunt you. It is always possible to recover, you just need be willing. That's what this country needs - the will to be great again, the will to hope, and the will to dream. Without hopes or dreams, there is no future to seek. And with no future, we can make no gain.

With Barack Obama, we may begin to dream and hope again, and in that dreaming and hoping, we may once again find that America has a future which does not mire it in America's past.


January 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer, Anti-Semite, Dead at 64

Bobby Fischer, Chess Master, Dies at 64.

He was a genius in chess, but in matters concerning Jews, Bobby Fischer certainly does not count among the righteous of the nations.


January 16, 2008

Romney's first win - or is it?

It seems that the media are making much over Mitt Romney's win in Michigan, proclaiming that it is his first victory and that the race for the GOP presidential nomination is further muddled in confusion. While the latter portion of that statement may be true - despite being a purely subjective statement - it can be undeniably confirmed that the former part of the statement is false.

It wasn't even two weeks ago that the Wyoming Republicans held their county conventions and handed Mr. Romney a "victory" of 8 delegates and 5 alternates in the unabashedly conservative state. Thus Michigan, while an interesting symbolic win for Mr. Romney, is nothing more and is certainly not the first victory for him.

We pray it will be his last.

HRC won the symbolic vote for the Democrats in Michigan, which was stripped of its delegates after the Democrats in that state moved their primary into January. Other articles can offer further insight - I need to have lunch.


January 10, 2008

Kerry chooses Obama

2004 Democratic Presidential candidate and perennial long-face man John Kerry has endorsed Barack Obama to be the Democratic Presidential candidate of 2008.

Other news: Bill Richardson is to announce that he is dropping out of the race for the White House after poor showings in iowa and New Hampshire. Dennis Kucinich vows to fight until the end of time, even after Barack Obama is re-elected President in 2012. Shame that Bill couldn't muster up more support, though.


January 9, 2008

A new link on the side...

I'm not one to post about my religion on the blog, as it's something that's very intensely private to me (although, that is changing very much), but I just wanted to announce the addition of The Chosen Blog to the Blogroll.

The Chosen Blog is connected to Pop Judaica and also features Jewish events that happen throughout the country, in addition to amusing commentary and various Jewish cultural notes.

That said...

I can't believe Hillary got a 9-point bounce compared to the averages of the tracking polls and Obama was flat. I went to sleep last night when Hillary was still up by six, so I suppose a two-point loss isn't as bad as a six-pointer. Regardless, it's not a win. It's perplexing to me how people fall for the same old tricks that the DLC's core has up their sleeves. That said, not all is glum in Obama country, as it looks that Barack will be picking up union endorsements in Nevada.

I don't have much else. I'm sore from the fall.


January 8, 2008

Early results

Early results from Dixville Notch, NH:

Obama - 7 votes
Edwards - 2 votes
Richardson - 1 vote
All others - 0 votes

McCain - 4 votes
Romney - 2 votes
Giuliani - 1 vote
All others - 0 votes

No one voted for HRC or Huckabee in Dixville Notch. Oh well, can't win 'em all, can ya Huck?

A Daily Show* and The ColBERT RePORT* were back on the air last night, with both Stewart and Colbert poking fun at the continuing impasse that the networks have created in their intransigence to accede to some wishes of the writers on strike. Even without their writers, both shows were welcome sights on my television last night and content, though awkward at moments, was not lacking.

Tonight's results should be interesting, with a possible Clinton exit looming, the focus should be shifting to the Old versus New battle between Edwards (Old) and Obama (New). Of course, that is predicated upon a good Edwards showing and a Clinton exit. We'll see tonight. I personally think that if HRC loses by more than 10%, she will need to bow out, as her support is even weaker in South Carolina - though come Super Duper Wooper Tuesder Tuesday, she may be able to salvage some delegates.

That's all, folks.


January 4, 2008

Clinton comes in 3rd

Iowa sends HRC a message that she can take to the bank. That's enough to make my year.


January 3, 2008

God, I hate CNN and cable news in general

Big hat-tip to CNN's John "Durrrrrr" Roberts for this gem

It feels like it has taken forever, but the big day is finally upon us. I’ve covered the caucuses in Iowa several times, but I have never felt the buzz around this arcane gathering of voters that I feel this year. It IS, after all, the first election since 1960 that an incumbent President or Vice President hasn’t been in the race.

I might be young, but I'm not one thing: stupid.

The 1960 race featured Vice President Richard M. Nixon (R-CA) against Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA). Yes, that's correct, an incumbent Vice President ran for office in 1960.

I believe the year that Roberts is looking for is 1928: Herbert Hoover (R-IA), who was Secretary of the Commerce Department, against Al Smith (D-NY), Governor of New York.

That, Mr. Roberts, only took a cursory search on Wikipedia and is an easily verified bit on information.


Alas - 2008.

I am very much loathe to posting about today's Iowa caucus (and using the expression "to be loathe to") as it seems like I'm just not covering any angles that aren't already being covered.

Truth be told, I don't know what to expect come the end of caucusing this evening. Polls have numbers everywhere, with the latest from CSPAN/ZOGBY having Obama sitting at 31%, Edwards at 27%, and HRC at 24%, with no other candidate in double digits. Those three candidates assume 82% of the polling - the other 18% belong to the remaining Bill Richardsons, Chris Dodds, Joe Bidens, Mike Gravels, and Dennis Kuciniches of the Democratic presidential race. I'm not sure how big those remaining 18% will be, as one must recall Iowa's 15% rule. What is the 15% rule? Any candidate not receiving 15% of caucus votes must release their supporters to either no longer vote or allow them to caucus with others. (At least that's how I've understood the rule... I may be mistaken.)

Will Kucinich's 2% help Obama's 31% when it becomes very apparent that Kucinich's instructions to his supporters - that they are to caucus for Obama should he (Kucinich) not garner the 15% necessary to stay in the game - will take effect?

I don't know. The race is effectively a three-way one and my only concern is by how much HRC will finish in 3rd place, as in mind there seems to be no escaping that fate. HRC's campaign seems to have slowly declined since HRC developed a heavy case of foot-in-mouth. BUT it's important to remember that in all likelihood, should Richardson not hit 15%, his caucus-goers will be caucusing with the Clintonistas.

Maybe a 2nd-place finish for HRC is in order. Again, I'm not sure.


Iowans: caucus early and caucus often.