Category Archives: democrats

Obama x10

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Just in case you ig’nant and haven’t heard the latest news on the election front I thought I’d help a ninja out with a recap of recent events. Last night Obama won his 9th and 10th consecutive contests, winning a primary in Wisconsin and a caucus in Hawaii. In Wisconsin Barack won big, with 58% of the vote compared to Hillary’s 41%. A margin of 17%! Just for a bit of perspective of what a trouncing that is: the only thing Republican front runner John McCain can do to foul his nomination is quit and he only beat Mike Huckabee by 18%. In Hawaii the results were far more ludicrous with Obama taking 76% of the vote to Hillary’s 24%. These victories ensure that Hillary will go the entire month of February without a victory. That is a long ass time in this kind of atmosphere, ninjas.

Obama now leads in total delegates with 1,319 to Hillary’s 1,245. His camp claims that she will have to win every race from here on out by more than 20 points to recover. Do Hillary’s supporters really think that after he beats her, any heat coming from the Republicans will be worse? I mean she’s hitting him with everything she’s got and she can’t even make a dent in his momentum. I think if he beats her it proves the ‘Republican attack machine’ can’t stop him either.

The hits just keep on coming for Hillary, who plans to attack Obama on not being ready for the Oval Office. Sister, who is? 

Obama’s Weekend Sweep

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Well, my ninjas, what a weekend. Barak Obama won all three contests on Saturday: Nevada, Washington and Louisiana. Then, on Sunday he won Maine too which was supposed to be Hillary Country. Now this sweep is by and large a result of the huge momentum Barak has accumulated as of late and Hillary’s camp is not pleased. Obama has drastically closed the gap between he and Clinton. They have reacted by switching campaign managers and claiming that Barak has been able to spend much more money than they have (his donations far surpass hers in 2008).

 

On the GOP side of things it was quite an interesting weekend. Mike Huckabee is proving to be quite a thorn in the side of John McCain as Huck won two of the three races: Kansas and Louisiana. The third GOP contest this weekend has created some controversy, as the chair of the Reps. in Washington State decided to call the race in favor of John McCain after only 87% percent of the votes had been counted with a discrepancy of less than 2% between the candidates. Huckabee has responded by sending a legal team to investigate the situation. All this adds up to Huck giving McCain a run for his money as he has the nomination all but secured. This really shows the reluctancy many conservatives have with backing McCain and illustrates the struggle he will have to rally the party around him in the coming months.  

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Get a giggle out of this article. Bringing us (and himself) down a peg or two.

“Almost like what was that movie with, oh, the movie, oh God. That English actor, he practically said nothing. Oh shoot. He was the butler and everybody loved him and what he was thinking and feeling. Do you know the movie I’m talking about? You don’t.” Hers, of course, is the demographic most likely to vote.

 Thanks to the Daily Dish, again.

Ouch!

And her career there shows what a trail blazer she could have been for feminism. A skilled, cautious, pragmatic and constituent-focused legislator, she began to build a Senate career admired by many. But it became clear pretty soon that the Senate was indeed merely a stepping stone back to the White House.

-Andrew Sullivan, the Daily Dish

What a great opinion piece on Hillary.

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You ninjas are constantly fooled by trickery and hood-winkery from the liberal media that plagues our country. What you need is a reasonable conservative voice who can show you what America is really all about. I propose you read this man’s blog. He’s an HIV positive, gay Brit; he is Andrew Sullivan.
[Disclaimer: Do not prescribe to Andrew Sullivan's words because of the above. Sure, he's really intelligent, and I bet he's a great guy (in that British sort of way), but his opinions are just insightful, and we offer this because we're just trying to help you develop some of your own.]

Barack Goes Pop

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms[/youtube]

Here’s the speech [above] and the music video [below].

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY[/youtube]

Unfortunately, all the people who would care that these celebrities support Obama probably like him anyway. As for the non-Obama supporters – particularly Republicans – this will probably just make him look like a liberal supported by Hollywood. Should’ve gotten some country singers for the video…

Giuliani and Edwards Are Drop-Outs!

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Today we are expected to hear that both Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John Edwards will be dropping out of the race for Presidential nomination. This is rather big news because it means that both the Republicans and the Democrats have a two-person race. In the Donkey’s ring it will be Sen. Barack Obama vs. Sen Hillary Rodham Clinton. These two candidates will now scramble to pick up all the Edwards supporters (I am guessing that the majority of them will go to Barack, and I am assuming that Edwards himself will endorse Obama soon. Just a guess…) On the Elephant side of things Rudy Giuliani is expected to endorse John McCain. I don’t know how his fear mongering managed to gain so much support anyway, and his supporters will probably just follow suit and jump on the McCain wagon. And though Mike Huckabee has not dropped out of the race, I find it hard to imagine a surge of support for him. It looks like he will be a distant third after Super-Tuesday, but he might wait to see anyway.

David Broder is the man.

David Broder

Note: from now on I am going to try and post after every David Broder opinion column from the Washington Post. You should all read it anyways because the man is good.

Case and point: Today’s article (12/5) highlights the most important events of the international community according to how they might affect the U.S. Broder tells us that things are different than they were two weeks ago. Now, his near perky article must have been a result from this weeks BIG STORY: the NIE report on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Anywho, he got me thinking about how much I want a Democrat in the White House, AND a Democrat controlled Congress. This would be the ill na na, ninjas. Actually … f*ck that, I just don’t want Giulliani or Romney-Bushified chuckle heads. If the Reps cared about themselves they would rally around McCain with Huckabee as the VP. Huckabee is ill because he’s the Republican I could see stabbing the neo-cons right in the heart and letting the blood drip all over him. Interesting guy.

The point is, ninjas, change is on the horizon. If you live in a swing-State, I plead with you: don’t vote for an asshole. Take the time to listen to how these candidates talk, what they talk about, their demeanor, their grace or lack their off … In all sincerity, I think Hillary Clinton should get the nod.

Ninjas, the war on terror needs to end. Because it’s not really a war on terror, this government seems to be all too pleased to feed this fire.

2 For the Price of 1?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfkRjvAYuOc[/youtube]

Charles Krauthammer‘s Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post today got me thinking.

Should Hillary Clinton find her way into the White House because of the 2008 elections, guess who comes with her: PRESIDENT Bill Clinton. Clinton had a great Presidency compared to Bush (and that really pisses some people off). He also had a wife back then, and as much as he’s already been there and done that, she was looking over his shoulder. So, do we, the people, benefit from this? Honestly, I’m gonna go ahead and say yes on this one. Ninjas, if we had foresight of what was to come with the Bush Administration we would have been saying, “Damn, Bill. Go ahead, get some ugly p@$@@, whatever. Just don’t do what this dude’s gonna do.”

And however you look at the f*cked up marriage he and Hillary have, he’s still going to be an enormous influence on this Presidency, if it were to happen… Don’t forget, Hillary has lived in the White House for 8 years. She might know what’s up. And, not that it has anything to do with the U.S., but in Argentina, the out-going President’s wife was just elected President. Things that make you go “Hmmm…”.

I’d say the fact that these two have both lived in the White House for eight years should be a significant thing for voters when considering Hillary Clinton.

Another Weekend, Another Defeat

Before I get started on today’s post, I shall take a moment to note just how right I was about the “how do we beat the bitch” bit: here’s the New York Times (seriously, the “bastion of old liberalism” the right is always railing about) on how the incident not only won’t hurt McCain, it’ll hurt Clinton. Sometimes knowing how the process really works can suck.

Anyway, I think enough time has now passed that I can begin to talk rationally about the pathetic collapse of the Democrats on the Mukasey nomination last week. Whether I will remain rational as I type is up for debate, but let’s give it a shot anyway.

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So to begin, what the hell happened? The Senate theoretically has a 60-vote threshold in order to do anything, yes? After all, every time a war funding bill comes to the upper chamber, every Democrat in sight will begin to gnash their teeth and rend their garments over the awful burden of needing 60 votes to overcome Republican filibuster threats. Yet there were, if I recall, 40 votes actually cast against Mukasey, not to mention that Biden, Clinton, Dodd, and Obama had all declared their opposition to his nomination, and could easily have gotten back to Washington in time for a vote if given word that it was imminent. That, by my count, is 44. Now, I’m a history/poli-sci major, so math’s not my strong suit, but I’m pretty sure that 44 is more than the 40 votes which are required to sustain a filibuster well into 2009.
So if the Senate Democratic leadership really opposed the nomination, and had a tool at their disposal which would have prevented the nomination from succeeding, then why didn’t they use it? Glenn Greenwald’s got one theory, which I’m inclined to buy, but I’m also really blown away by the story I found on TPM about another possible explanation: that Reid struck a deal in which he would hold the vote and pledge not to stage a filibuster, in exchange for which several Senate Republicans would support a move to split the latest defense appropriations bill into one general funding bill (for troop pay, weapons development, base maintenance, etc) and one bill specifically doling out funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The theory here was basically “we keep getting rolled on Iraq because the President accuses us of threatening national defense by cutting the DoD’s budget. So if we separate that from war funding, he can’t use that weapon anymore.” So they’d take the hit of an executive-worshipping, torture-sanctioning Attorney General in order to bring a swifter conclusion to the war. Decent deal, right?

Well, let’s fast-forward to this week, when it actually happened. The Senate passed an appropriations bill, with no funding for the war attached. The House swiftly followed with a bill which would grant enough funds for the next several months, provided that the President started a withdrawal, with a goal of complete withdrawal by the end of 2008. And so it went to the Senate, where… well, what do you think happened?

Ah well, at least they’ve managed to defuse that whole “you’re risking America’s defense and not supporting the troops” thing, right? In fact, here’s Tony Fratto, White House spokesman, who I’m sure will have nothing but respect for the Democrats’ principled stand:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwWHJv7qhQY[/youtube]

So the war keeps going, the Republicans continue to use their “support the troops” mantra, and Mukasey is Attorney General. To quote Casey Stengel as he addressed the 1962 Mets: “Can’t anyone here play this game?”

Where have all the progressives gone?

As a quick question to start, how sad is it that upon hearing that Pakistan’s president had declared a state of emergency, suspending the constitution and indefinitely postponing elections, my very first thought was that somewhere Dick Cheney was scribbling down notes? And that were the Administration to take similar action, a fair number of pundits would think it was alright, what with the unprecedented threat and all? I just keep imagining the President making the announcement, quickly followed by a host of talking heads making like Mary Sunshine. It ain’t the happiest train of thought.

Anyway, tonight I wanted more to post about a fantastic piece running on Salon right now about this bloke (who does a freakishly good Donald Duck impression, by the way):

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It’s terrifically written and the tone is perfect, so I’d very likely have linked to it anyway, but when thinking about it in conjunction with Paul Krugman’s op-ed for the Times for Monday morning about the Dems’ unfortunate reluctance to be as liberal as the electorate would like, it became imperative.

(A brief aside: this isn’t going to be a post which argues in favor of voting for Kucinich. Partly because I’m not going to vote for him, but mostly because I’m going to bend over backwards on this blog to avoid endorsing individual candidates. That isn’t what politricks is for. When a candidate does something noteworthy, I’ll certainly mention them for it, but that’s all.)

Anyway, the Salon piece got me thinking a great deal about why it is that no mainstream candidate will put forth the kind of unapologetically progressive views that someone like Kucinich will. Especially with the public so clearly in favor of (among other things) better environmental regulations, universal health coverage, and a swift exit from Iraq. And it can’t just be a matter of traditional “I’ve got a real shot, can’t afford to offend the center” calculation, given that the prominent GOP candidates are falling over each other to figure out who can be the most hawkish on Iran or the most opposed to “socialized medicine.”
Part of it, certainly, is that we’ve been pounded on by the right, called “elitist” and “out of the mainstream” for so long, that we’ve started to believe it. Another big part is the simple fact that when your worldview allows for disagreement and debate, it’s hard not to seek compromise. It’s hard to imagine a progressive candidate being satisfied with the Bush-style “turn out enough of the base to eke out 51% and then ram your agenda down their throats” method of governance.

Still, it’d be nice, just once, to have a Democratic candidate for president who didn’t feel the need to flee from the “liberal” tag as though it were a plague rat. To watch a candidate asked about same-sex marriage say simply that everyone has the right to marry whom they choose, and that enshrining bigotry in the Constitution would be despicable. To say about global warming that leaving behind a flooding, drought-ridden world to our children, when all it would take to prevent it is a little ingenuity and sacrifice, is downright criminal. I know Jed Bartlet isn’t going to spontaneously burst forth from the annals of fiction anytime soon, but I’d at least like to have some reasonable facsimile around.

More than that, though, I want to know why, were someone along those lines to run, he or she would instantly be tarred as unelectable by the press, when a quasi-dictatorial ex-mayor and a former governor who hasn’t met an issue he couldn’t flip on are considered viable, even impressive candidates. And here I’m seriously asking, because I have no idea. Anyone who can explain it, please do.

A few quick ones for Wednesday

Couple short ones today…

I’ve always been kind of torn on Joe Biden. I’ve always liked his qualifications on foreign policy, and he’s clearly bright. On the other hand, there’s a rather distinct mouth-brain filter issue that makes me reluctant to make him the nation’s ambassador to the world. Still, when he wants to, the man can turn a phrase. From Tuesday night’s Democratic debate:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPOAKXBi9Pw[/youtube]

Meanwhile, over on the Hill, the Judiciary Committee is looking less and less likely to endorse the nomination of Michael Mukasey to be the next Attorney General. This is really remarkable, given that Mukasey seemed destined for a swift confirmation, what with his stellar qualifications of not being Alberto Gonzalez. However, as people began reading more of his judicial opinions, it became clear that whatever competence he might bring to the office, it also comes with a hefty dose of executive-authority worship. Beyond that, there’s the entire argument over torture. For those who haven’t been watching the fight, a brief overview:

In a round of hearings, the Judiciary Committee asked Mukasey about a method of interrogation known as “waterboarding,” in which a prisoner is strapped tightly to a board, a cloth placed over his face, and water poured over his head, so that in attempting to inhale, the prisoner inhales only wet cloth, making him feel as though he’s drowning. (In one iteration, anyway. As with most forms of torture, there are all manner of delightful varieties.) He dodged the question, claiming that he didn’t know what waterboarding was; that he wouldn’t even speculate on what it might be, since that would give al-Qaeda an idea of what they might face in US custody; and that he wouldn’t say whether he thought such a thing was illegal, as that might put US officials in danger of arrest.
The proper response to claims 1 and 2 is to simply call bullshit, anyone who’s read a newspaper in the last five years knows what waterboarding is, and that it’s been used on terrorism suspects in American custody. As for the third, if American officials have done something illegal, then they damn well ought to face trial for it. And if they did it because their bosses at Justice, the VP’s office, or the White House told them it was OK, then those bosses damn well deserve to be prosecuted. Do we really have to sit down a federal judge and explain to him the basic principle of American government that nobody is above the law? More on this one as the votes come in.

Finally, for those of you who like to finish your reading with a bit of schadenfreude, here’s a fun story out of Washington state. I must say, as many times in the last few years as I’ve heard the “closeted antigay Republican exposed in run-in with the law” story, somehow it just never gets old. Although this one can’t hold a candle to the best one of the year: the lamentable tale of Bob Allen, arrested for offering an undercover police officer $20 for the opportunity to perform oral sex on him. When asked about the occurrence, Allen claimed that, said officer being black, he was afraid for his life and willing to do anything to survive. That one may never be topped.