Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

This is pretty impressive stuff from our Secretary of State. I can’t help but wonder if the right-wing establishment is going to criticize her for admitting American culpability as they do with any reasonable discussion on what reasons terrorists have for harming America. In their world view, America’s enemies have no motivation because America is infallible.

Speaking upon arrival in Mexico, Mrs Clinton said: “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.

“Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.

“I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility.”

The BBC’s Stephen Gibbs in Mexico says these points have been repeatedly made by Mexico, which sometimes sees itself as the setting for an American financed and armed war.

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For all that’s been written about the ”disastrous” Clinton campaign it certainly was miles ahead of the McCain one. The strategy appears to be same – that is the kitchen sink strategy, but McCain’s execution is terrible. If John McCain is trying to dispel the idea that he is a crotchety old man he’s not doing a very good job. Obama’s message doesn’t require the existence of McCain; he rarely brings him up, but McCain’s message is “don’t choose Obama.” I can’t help but think of Statler and Waldorf, the old muppets in the theatre boxes.

Look at this last week:

Michael Goldfarb: Today he says ‘never again.’ A year ago stopping genocide wasn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn’t that strike you as inconsistent?”

McCain: “I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Sen. Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.”

“If he had his way … we would have had defeat. And my friends that would have been a catastrophe for the United States of America. He was wrong then, he’s wrong now and he still failed to acknowledge … that the surge succeeded.”

I also note the ever-changing message as to why we can’t leave Iraq. No matter the success of Obama, and I would say having the Iraqi Prime Minister agree with your withdrawal plan is a success, McCain wants to somehow twist it into a failure. But again, the lack of consistency makes me think of those dang Muppets.

Al-Maliki appeared to back the idea of a timetable in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel over the weekend, but an Iraqi government spokesman said later the prime minister’s comments were “misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.” (The magazine has said it “stands by its version of this interview.”)

The Bush administration has opposed timetables for troop withdrawals, but al-Maliki and President Bush last week agreed to a “general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals” on troop cuts.

McCain shrugged off the suggestion that Obama’s talks with al-Maliki undercut his message.

“It doesn’t in the slightest undercut the fact that it’s based on the conditions on the ground,” he said.

McCain pointed to comments made by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Sunday that the consequences of Obama’s withdrawal plan could be “dangerous.”

“I hope [Obama] will pay attention to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, particularly someone who has no military experience whatsoever,” McCain said.

It just gets worse.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it really hard to follow or get enthused with anything McCain says. He’s the guy who’s resentful when he doesn’t think of an idea first and so he needs to trash anyone and everyone else’s opinions in order to feel important. How do you get inspired by that?

What’s more interesting is that that is the exact obstinacy that has led to George W. Bush’s abysmal approval ratings. The people don’t want a person that has no ideas of their own, but only seeks to trash everything else. People want leadership. The people want a person who is open to new ideas and resilient. Obstinacy is a fatal flaw of the current administration and I don’t think voters want to return there.

I thought the Republican primary voters had done a good job in choosing McCain. He was the one person I thought that could seem like he wasn’t a Republican while still being one. Sadly (or happily since I support Obama) he’s been an utter disappointment.

Image via http://www.blazesoftball.com.

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The Seattle Post Intelligencer has an opinion piece on how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had no advantage being black and female respectively during the Democratic nomination. The writer describes how she has heard many people express that Barack Obama wouldn’t be where he is if he wasn’t black and how upsetting that is for her to hear.

I absolutely agree. There is this bullshit belief out there that if you are from an underrepresented group, there is no way you could have gotten there based on your own merits and you must have had help. Like it’s impossible for a black man to actually be good at anything as difficult as politics. Only white guys are good at that. “Inadequate black man” springs to mind as an example of this sentiment.

But I felt a need to comment on this editorial. I mean, wake up Mary (the editorialist), this has been happening for years outside of politics. I’m including my comment below to show the context for a response I got.

This is not limited to political campaigns. It exists all around us.

My sister has been told she only got into an exclusive university because of her race. I have been told I’ll have an easy time finding a job because so and so company cares about diversity. The people doing the telling are very nice but very clueless people. My sister for instance marked white on her college application.

I’m sure many other successful non-white males have been told the same thing in their lives. If it were up to me I would rather not have affirmative action, because I don’t think it’s worth the false impression that it gives. And truthfully, I would so love to have an advantage. I’d be all over cashing in the race card or the sex card if it really existed. But I’ve never found it to be so.

I don’t know how I could be more clear that it’s really offensive for people to tell me that I’m only where I am in life because I’m a minority and that it is doubly offensive because I never have received any benefit from it. Then I get this:

Daranee, that’s unfortunately the way they justify the decades of discrimination — calling it “reverse discrimination” — and pretending there’s actually a quantitative way to assess “qualified” applicants.

I can understand your feelings on AA, but make no mistake: Without it, you and I would probably be in bad shape.

I give up. I really do. Nice clueless people love to tell other people like me how great it is to be a minority. All these nice perks as if it’s a members only lounge anywhere you need it. Conversely, it’s probably just as offensive to tell unsuccessful white men how lucky they are too.

To the writer’s credit, perhaps she is more concerned with my radical suggestion that affirmative action isn’t worth the trouble. I can understand that. I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes to affirmative action (as I said I’ve never benefited from it), but I think it is a valid question to talk about the resentment it creates among some whites and how it balances with the benefits.

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Police on Sunday were investigating vandals’ spray-painting of dozens of city vehicles here, some with disparaging messages about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Authorities think the vandalism to about 60 vehicles, estimated at $10,000 in damage, was done Saturday afternoon, police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones said.

The vehicles were parked across from City Hall and investigators said culprits tagged messages including “Obama smokes crack” and a racial epithet.

They even left business cards on the vehicles that disparage both the Illinois senator and his rival, Republican John McCain. The cards voice support for Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former opponent.

Well that’s completely brilliant. I’m sure all of those people who got their cars damaged are now going to vote for McCain because that’s completely logical. That’s about as smart as taking your jihad training VHS tape to Circuit City to get transfered to DVD. I suspect the Hillary cards were put there to throw the scent off Republicans. I have a hard time believing that Hillary supporters would go out and tag cars.

Update: Then again, where was Bill Clinton on June 28th?

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I’m one of those unappreciative women that grew up with equal rights and didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. Perhaps because of my age, I found it hard to identify with Hillary. She’s nothing like me.

I am living the life that women of older generations fought for, and yet I am living it more fully than I perceive those women to be. I work in technology, a largely male dominated field. I am married to a partner who is every bit of my equal. We share everything and respect each other. I wouldn’t hesitate to end our marriage if either of us fell out of love and I’m sure my husband would do the same.

Though I am of mixed race, I have never felt that I personally was the victim of racism, but I can most certainly tell you that I have been the victim of sexism. It was my first job out of college and while I would prefer not to go into the details other than to say it was a boys club and my work was frequently credited to other men in the organization.

Hillary would have made a good president. She certainly would have kicked George W. Bush’s ass four years ago. It would have been nice to have Hillary be president if only so that the Rush Limbaugh fanatics would know that it was they who put her there.

As much as I would like to tell you that I voted for Obama because of his policy differences, we all know that there is very little policy wise to separate the two candidates — at least before the obliteration of Iran was brought up. My choice in Obama was identity politics. I completely identify with Barack Obama and I don’t with Hillary. I can’t point the finger at older women choosing Hillary based on identity.

I identify with the fact that Obama is of mixed race, of the education he received, of his desire to seek out religion in his adult life, of his optimism, of his understanding that the world is not made up of us vs. them. This had a profound effect on my psyche and it is why I voted for him.

It’s been nearly three months since I pledged to vote for Hillary if she were the nominee. I hope that this party can come together to bring about the end of this war, the end of America-the-tyrant, and move forward.

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I think it’s a valid question that the pollsters should be asking. Clinton scores well with white working class voters without a college degree, especially in the Appalachian region.

Many voters in Clinton’s base core say they won’t vote for Obama unless Clinton is the V.P. Would the voters in Appalachia do the same? Would they like Hillary Clinton just as much if she were the Vice President for an African American President?

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Whoever takes the presidency in November will have difficulty finding a solution to the mess of Iraq. Though perhaps one individual may be worse than the others, Obama, McCain and Clinton are doomed to failure because this administration never considered part two of playing war.

In reference to the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay here’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates explaining there is no good solution for releasing the prisoners.

Efforts to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are at “a standstill,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday.

“The brutally frank answer is that we’re stuck, and we’re stuck in several ways,” Gates told the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

Gates said that he favors closing the detention center, which currently holds about 270 detainees, but that a number of problems stand in the way.

For one, Gates said, there are about 70 detainees ready for release whose home governments either will not accept them or may free them after they return.

He referred to former Guantanamo detainee Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, who killed himself in a suicide attack last month in Mosul after being released from Guantanamo in 2005.

Who can say if this man would have blown himself up had he not be imprisoned? I can imagine that a lot of anger would have built up over the years being held. As for the the fact that some governments may free these men — if we don’t have enough to charge them with a crime how can we expect their home countries to.

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When you click on this link you find out that the friend is Warren Buffett. I think Warren Buffet has accomplished enough in his lifetime to be valid on his own.

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Yesterday in America it was Mother’s Day and so I called my mother to have a conversation about life. You may recall my post about race in America in which my mother expresses disbelief that America is ready to elect a black man as president. We picked up where we left off a few months ago. A little background may be necessary. My parents are both conservative. My father is a white American from the South while my mother is from Thailand though she has been an American citizen for several decades. My mother voted for Bush in 2000, but not in 2004.

I asked my mother whether or not she would vote for Obama in the fall. I paraphrase her response of course. “You know Daranee, I worked with a lot of black people and they always would help each other get jobs and give favors to each other while not caring about anyone else. The favoritism was so clear. I just worry that Barack Obama would do the same thing – only give his friends jobs and only care about things that concern blacks. I would probably vote for Hillary because McCain is so terrible about the economy, but I worry about voting for a black.” My mother was a civil servant and indeed she did work with a lot of black people, and yet I didn’t know what to say. Here is a woman who is a minority. Here is a woman who I have witnessed racism directed at and yet she struggles to judge a person by something other than their skin. Maybe, I worried, America isn’t ready to vote for a black man.

I was racking my brain to come up with some sort of analogy that might make her consider a different side. I asked her how she would feel if I had difficulty getting a job because people made assumptions about me based on my race. She agreed that in that case it would be unfair. I asked her if there was anything about the campaign that Barack Obama was running that led her to believe that he would only focus on black issues. She said she didn’t think so. But again she repeated her worries based on her own experience at work.

I’ve sort of glided over a rather monumental portion of her statement which was that she would vote for Hillary. This was huge. My mother hated the Clintons especially Hillary Clinton. She didn’t like how Hillary wasn’t modest and how Hillary said “When you vote for Bill, you get me too.” And yet here was my mom saying she would vote for Hillary. At least for my mother, sexism is easier conquered than racism. And I think this says a lot about how much the Republicans have failed and how they should be very worried in the fall.

It’s curious that minorities sometimes have the most difficulty judging people by something else than the color of their skin. I’ve worked with a Filipino woman who declared to me she wouldn’t hire any Filipinos. My mother feels comfort grouping people together by race or other similar categories. I was horrified when we went into a Bass Fishing contest in Wisconsin when my mother loudly exclaimed “Boy there are a lot of hillbillies in here.” Luckily the auditorium was very loud and no one heard.

It’s very curious because my mom has certainly been unfairly judged by her race. I should tell you that she has a very strong Thai accent. My mom is a big animal lover, and one time decided to adopt a dog that needed a home. She called the number on a classified ad for a dog. My mom asked if the dog was still available and the woman who answered the phone said that the dog was taken and hung up. My mom thought that it was strange the way the woman talked to her, so she had my dad call to find out for sure. When he did he found out that the dog was still available. My mother thinks the woman was worried that my mom wanted to eat the dog.

I asked my mother if she would consider taking a chance on Obama. “Vote for him and see how it goes,” I said, “then decide in four years whether or not your worries were founded.”

She said: “Maybe. That’s what I did with Bush, you know?”

In many ways this conversation was important in that people should feel comfortable expressing their fears. How can we get over race if we are too afraid to talk about it. In getting our prejudices out in the open we can actually do something about them, and analyze them in the same way that we would analyze anything else. I’m worried we have not come so far as we should have as a nation, but it’s not hopeless. It is possible. And I think, maybe with a little coaxing America is ready for a black president.

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My grandmother was a Southern (Louisiana) headstrong woman — very self-sufficient and very stubborn. One time when she visited my family in California we decided to take her dinner to a Mexican restaurant. She refused. She told us she had heard on Paul Harvey that Mexicans ate bugs and she would not go to a restaurant that served bugs. No amount of imploring and no amount of assurance would get her to that restaurant. We told her we had been to the restaurant several times and they did not serve bugs. She thought they may try to sneak those bugs in to the salsa.

This post from the Slog reminds me of my grandmother.

Kirby is one of those fascinating people who both know that Obama spent 20 years at a certain Chicago church and firmly believe that Obama is a secret Muslim.

“All the evidence points to that he is,” Kirby told me. “I don’t trust him.”

The evidence Kirby has received comes in the form of emails from “watch dog groups” that he listens to, as well as chatter among his friends. He’s heard it all—Obama not saying the pledge of allegiance, Obama’s pastor engaging in hate speech, Obama being a Muslim—and he believes it all.

Granted, he also thinks Hillary Clinton is “crooked as a snake” and he wishes Mike Huckabee had won the Republican contest, but Kirby is nevertheless quite worried about a potential Obama presidency: “Having a Muslim for a president—if he’s true to his faith he’s going to be pushing the Muslim faith.”

I asked Kirby why he thinks Obama went to church for 20 years if he’s in fact Muslim.

“I have no idea,” he replied. “A lot of people have political reasons behind everything they do.”

And why would Obama lie about his alleged Muslim faith?

“If people of your faith had attacked New York City, and that is still fresh in Americans’ minds, wouldn’t you lie about it?”

What would it take to convince him that Obama is a Christian?

“If I heard him say Jesus Christ is Lord it would cause me to listen to him.”

I told Kirby that Obama has, in fact, said he believes in Jesus. Repeatedly.

“Oh, really,” he replied. “I didn’t know that. I hadn’t heard that.”

Kirby gets most of his news from email and the Internet, he told me, and then he instructed me that even if Obama does believe in Jesus, “believing in Jesus and believing that He is Lord are two different things.”

Kirby is from Albertville, Alabama, and he said he used to be filled with prejudice but that Jesus has filled his heart with love. “I don’t even know you, man, but I love you,” he told me.

If he only knew.

After I finish asking him questions about the presidential race he starts asking me about my religion. He finds out I’m Jewish. He wants to know if I believe in God. The snack cart interrupts.

I figure it’s dangerous to go down this road, so I decline to mention that airplanes are actually one of the few places where God and I have words.

He asks if I believe in the Book of Revelations. I tell him no, and, gosh, I’m really tired, should probably take a nap.

After the plane lands he tells me he’s going to pray for me as he’s getting into bed tonight. He also tells me that he hopes this image—him talking to God about me in bed—is with me while I’m in bed tonight.

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I have to admit I’ve never heard that one before. I’m from California and I live in Washington, so really I’ve been a neighbor of Oregon most of my life. The fact that I now learn they are just a bunch of elitists is a real shocker.

Seattle political consultant Cathy Allen, a Clinton supporter, said the contest will go on, but acknowledged that opportunities for her candidate to win it are few and far between.

“There is an elitism about Oregon that makes me nervous about Hillary’s prospects,” Allen said Tuesday night.

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Keith Olbermann explains it all.

For the record, this logic negates my vote.

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This weekend within an hour I saw two pop culture references to Bill Clinton’s philandering. Please excuse my paraphrasing.

  1. A commercial for Direct TV in which a man says something about how you can watch two programs at once (or record two programs, I don’t remember). Then a Bill Clinton impersonator walks into the frame and says “two at once,” smiles, chuckles and expresses pleasure at “having two at once.”
  2. Cedric the Entertainer was on Comedy Central talking about Bill Clinton and saying he could have sworn Bill said something about there being a whole lot of hot b—— in the room.

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A good post on the Washington Post fact checker that demonstrates what happened in Illinois after a six month gas tax break.

When gas prices hit a shocking $2 a gallon in Illinois in the summer of 2000, politicians demanded action. As a Democratic state senator, Obama joined other lawmakers in pushing through a six-month suspension in the state’s 5 percent sales tax on gasoline. While there was some talk about making the moratorium permanent, the tax was reinstated in January 2001, after Illinois Gov. George Ryan told lawmakers that the state could not afford to continue the tax break.

The gas tax moratorium proved politically popular in Illinois, but economically questionable. The Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission estimated that the state lost $175 million in revenues during the six-month period. A subsequent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that gas prices fell by 3 percent, meaning that only three fifths of the savings from reduced taxes was passed on to consumers.

“It turned out to have a pretty small effect,” said Joseph Doyle, an assistant economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Consumers were slightly better off, but the benefits were spread very thinly, and the government was a lot worse off.”

A poll by the Chicago Tribune showed that only 28 percent of motorists believed that they were actually paying less for gas as a result of the temporary suspension of the tax. Obama has changed his mind dramatically on the tax cut since voting for it back in 2000 in Illinois. On the campaign trail Monday in North Carolina, he described the proposal as a “short-term quick fix that we can say we did something even though we’re not really doing anything.”

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On Tuesday, voters in Indiana and North Carolina will go to the polls to vote in what could be one of the most significant days of the Democratic presidential race. But in Indiana, the Wall Street Journal suggests, it might not be Democrats who matter most to the final results.

Indiana’s primary is open, which means that Republicans can cross over if they wish and vote in the Democratic primary instead. And they may have reason to — besides the general swing from Republican to Democrat lately, there’s just not as much reason to vote in the Republican primary now, since that party’s presidential race is over and there aren’t many big local down-ticket races. With that in mind, the WSJ reports that the state Democratic Party’s chairman estimates that Republicans could constitute as much as 15 percent of turnout for the Democratic primary; officials with Barack Obama’s campaign put that number at about 5 percent.

There are reasons to think either Democratic candidate could be the beneficiary of Republican votes. For Hillary Clinton, there’s the possibility that Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos,” intended to prolong the Democratic race by giving Clinton Republican votes, could help her. The Obama camp, meanwhile, has been reaching out to Republicans in the state, and will even be rolling out three prominent state Republicans who are supporters of his campaign.

There’s no question that Rush Limbaugh is an idiot, but I wonder why any Rush Limbaugh Republican would be idiotic enough to take such a risk. How would they feel knowing they had helped elect Hillary Clinton?

I think it’s highly likely that a Democrat will be the next President of the United States given John McCain’s Iraq failings — remember it was he who touted the surge as the way to end the war. While I want Obama to be the nominee, there is some pleasure I derive in imagining a Hillary Clinton presidency that resulted from the support of Rush Limbaugh.

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I live in Seattle. I blog. I have a coffee category for my blog. In fact my coffee posts have gotten more hits than anything else. I am definitely a coffee connoisseur.

Even as a fervent Obama supporter, I nonetheless have to say I can’t blame Hillary for not knowing how to use those terrible coffee machines at the gas station. Who buys coffee from a machine at a gas station anyway? Are these the same people that buy the three hour old hotdog and hamburger? While we’re at it don’t gas stations sell brewed coffee in a pot?

I’m getting more annoyed at this whole “elitist” thing anyway. You’re elitist if you like espresso? Give me a break. If I’m an elitist I’d like to have the millions in the bank to back it up. I don’t. Besides you can now buy espresso at McDonald’s. Nothin’ elitist about McDonald’s.

Let’s be honest, most politicians don’t lead the life we lead regardless of whether they are Democrat, Republican, man or woman. My job like most people’s jobs doesn’t pay my expenses on top of my salary. I have to pay for my own lunch, my own transportation, gas, I don’t get to vote on what my next salary increase is going to be and I don’t get to opt out of Social Security. I’ve never ridden in a private jet and I certainly never have flown first class. I wouldn’t call politicians elitist, but they are certainly clueless.

So enough with the shows. If you play basketball regularly, by all means play basketball. If you don’t bowl regularly, don’t bowl. If you don’t regularly shoot animals, do shots, or pump gas, then spare us. As for Hillary, try McDonald’s for your espresso. I hear they’re pretty good.

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Can there be anything more flagrant than offering to suspend the gas tax for the purpose of getting elected president of the United States?

Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain are pushing for a gas-tax holiday, but Sen. Barack Obama says the plan is a quick fix that would do more harm than good.

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, was the first to propose a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax.

His plan would lift the 18.4 cents per gallon tax during peak summer travel months. It also would suspend the 24.4 cent diesel tax.

Clinton, who rejected a similar idea in 2000, said her plan is different from McCain’s. She said the Republican’s proposal would cost the government up to $10 billion — money that is used to improve roads.

Obama does not support a suspension of the gas tax, which he described as a political scheme that would save the average driver $25 to $28.

“It’s typical of how Washington works — let’s find some short-term, quick fix, even though we’re not really doing anything,” he said.

McCain and Clinton — employing the tactics of Hummer Salesman everywhere.

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Wounded Girl in IraqAn often used argument for electing women leaders around the world is that women by their nature are not warmongers and that the world would be more peaceful if ruled by women. It is said women and mothers in particular better understand the value of life because they have the ability to give life.

Yet in this election we have a woman, supported by many other women, who seems to be arguing that she should be elected president because she would lead this country, insofar as war is concerned, exactly as a man. Not only did she vote to give the Bush Administration war powers, and vote against delaying war powers were the U.N. to not authorize war, she now seems to be stirring the fires of a war with Iran.

Clinton further displayed tough talk in an interview airing on “Good Morning America” Tuesday. ABC News’ Chris Cuomo asked Clinton what she would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.

“I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran,” Clinton said. “In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

Aren’t we just finishing the eighth year of this macho bullshit of dick waving? Whatever happened to diplomacy? Whatever happened to women being reasonable enough to avoid a commonly considered shortcoming of men — that the answer is always to fight. Have we forgotten the very reason why women would make better leaders?

Photo via dpatterson.blogspot.com.

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I’m too smart to have lied. That was answer Hillary Clinton gave when asked about how she could reconcile her credibility after misrepresenting her visit to Bosnia as First Lady.

Well, Tom, I can tell you that I may be a lot of things. But I’m not dumb. And I wrote about going to Bosnia in my book in 2004. I laid it all out there. And you’re right. On a couple of occasions in the last weeks, I just said some things that weren’t in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book.

This defense (I’m too smart) didn’t work for Martha Stewart and I doubt it’s going to get back Tom Rooney’s vote. In Stewart’s famous trial, her lawyer shockingly called only one defense witness and spent less than twenty minutes questioning them.

Instead, Mr. Morvillo simply presented the idea that the defendants were too smart to be involved in the conspiracy that the prosecution described, which he labeled ”a confederacy of dunces.”

”How could we tell anything about how smart either of them was if they never took the stand?” asked Amos Matthew Mellinger, 55, a freelance market researcher from Riverdale, the Bronx, who was Juror No.4 in the trial.

You wonder why this could ever be an effective defense of any crime. It’s like saying the guiltier I look the more likely it is that I didn’t do it.

Furthermore, Clinton defended her “misstatement” by referencing her own book where she describes what actually happened that day. Odd, given that the book itself was the smoking gun that proved she had lied. How can the passage in the book, the smoking gun that she lied, prove her innocence?

I don’t get it, and I don’t think the public will either.

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In last night’s Democratic debate the question was posed:

Governor Cuomo, on elder statesman in your party, has come forward with a suggestion. He has said, “Look, fight it to the end. Let every vote be counted. You can test every delegate. Go at each other right till the end. Don’t give an inch to one another. But pledge now that whichever one of you wins this contest, you’ll take the other as your running mate, and that the other one will agree, if they lose, to take second place on the ticket.”

So I put the question to both of you: Why not?

It may interest international readers to know that originally the runner up to the Presidential election was given the office of Vice President. I always make a disclaimer that Wikipedia is not necessarily accurate, but what else is a amateur blogger supposed to cite when writing at 10:30 at night. So here is the Wikipedia info for all those who are curious:

Under the original terms of the Constitution, the members of the U.S. Electoral College voted only for office of president rather than for both president and vice president. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for the top office. The person receiving the greatest number of votes (provided that such a number was a majority of electors) would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president.

The original plan, however, did not foresee the development of political parties and their adversarial role in the government. In the election of 1796, for instance, Federalist John Adams came in first, and Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second. Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties. Predictably, Adams and Jefferson clashed over issues such as states’ rights and foreign policy.

As this election shows even candidates from the same party whose policies are strikingly similar though whose philosophies at achieving those policies may differ, make this also an unforeseen difficulty.

This tumultuous affair led to the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, which directed the electors to use separate ballots to vote for the president and vice president. While this solved the problem at hand, it ultimately had the effect of lowering the prestige of the vice presidency, as the office was no longer for the leading challenger for the presidency.

If no vice presidential candidate receives an Electoral College majority; The United States Constitution states that the Senate selects the Vice President. This is a curious anomaly since the sitting Vice President is also President of the Senate and would be called upon to break a tie vote, possibly for himself or his successor. The election of 1836 is the only election so far where the office of the Vice President has been decided by the Senate. During the campaign, President Martin Van Buren’s running mate Richard Mentor Johnson was accused of having lived with a black woman. Virginia’s 23 electors, who were pledged to Van Buren and Johnson, refused to vote for Johnson (but still voted for Van Buren). The election went to the Senate, where Johnson was elected, 33-17.

So there you have it. Mario Cuomo’s idea has already been exercised and quite frankly it’s not a good one.

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Here’s an interesting article about the similarity with the Prime Minister of the U.K. and our own Hillary Clinton:

They are tacticians, not strategists. Neither seems able to focus on the longer-term or the bigger picture. Neither is blessed with an appealing personality, neither seems to appreciate that these days candour wins more points than trying to play both sides of an issue in an effort to appeal to as many interests as possible. In a cynical age, admitting error is more likely to impress than pretending, robot-style, that everything is always under control.

These are not comfortable times for incumbents (and in the Democratic context Clinton should be considered the incumbent). Nicolas Sarkozy achieved the striking feat of appearing to offer change and glamour despite representing the incumbent party; Silvio Berlusconi’s triumph in Italy is another indication that voters are attracted to candidates that, however flawed, offer something like flair and excitement. A victory for Boris Johnson in the London Mayoral race will strengthen the sense that glamour and idiosyncracy are back in fashion.

Indeed, turbulent economic times may demand politicians who offer cheer as well as diligence; inspiration as well as perspiration…

What is Hillary Clinton for beyond the advancement and greater glory of Hillary Clinton? What is her campaign about? She has never given a satisfactory answer. Similarly, what is Gordon Brown’s ministry for? What does he want to achieve that his party could not achieve in its first ten years in power? Again, the answer is hard to discern. As with Mrs Clinton there is an unfortunate whiff of entitlement about Brown. He doesn’t deserve to be Prime Minister because he has a compelling, sweeping vision for the future but because, well, because he’s waited a jolly long time and it’s his turn to be Prime Minister. But that’s not enough. Is there anything actually there? It’s hard to say.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

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Then George W. Bush and a half dozen cabinet members in some back room somewhere authorize the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody, but we can’t pay attention to that because we’ve all got to decide whether we want a president with good bowling scores.

Where did we get this notion that the President of the United States should be a drinking buddy? Where did we get the notion that the strongest nation on earth should be led by a folksy, easy-to-like drunk? I don’t mean where did the country get this notion, I mean when did the media decide that this was a valid measure of a leader, something worth endlessly discussing, and analyzing, and tittering over? When facing down the leader of a rogue nation in a series of intense negotiations, I don’t want the guy shooting pool at the corner bar, I want someone with a head for the job, for God’s sake, and I don’t give a rats ass if he likes buffalo wings, or bowling, or can smash an empty beer can on his head.

And it goes on. Worth the read.

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I was surprised to see a brutal editorial by Carl Bernstein on CNN on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and even more surprised by a rebuttal editorial from a Hillary supporter Lanny J. Davis who seems to be clueless that any negative campaigning has been going on in the Hillary camp.

As to Carl’s reference to her “repugnant” campaign, that’s a strong word among the many personal-attack words he used in his piece. But at the very least it should be clear that he uses a double standard in judging her and her campaign.

Two examples only should suffice:

First, Carl criticizes the Clinton campaign for being negative — “her Pavlovian resort to trench warfare…angry, demonizing….”

First, this is a baseless statement — he cannot cite an example of such a personal attack on Senator Obama by Senator Clinton. But Carl also omits any reference to the constant stream of personal attacks on Senator Clinton’s character and integrity from the Obama campaign, especially in recent months. In fact, in the summer of 2007, it was Senator Obama himself, who promised not to engage in such personal attacks, who began it all in a front page New York Times story, when he called Senator Clinton “untruthful and misleading.”

Let’s see her campaign (though subtle) has insinuated he is un-American, not capable of answering a telephone at 3am, an angry black man out to get white people, elitist, his campaign a fairytale, and not as against the Iraq war as she is. To name a few. And in return Obama says “untruthful and misleading.” Wah, wah.

As time goes by, I’m finding it harder and harder to stick to my pledge of voting for the Democratic candidate whoever that may be. However, today I’m sticking by it. In return I say please, please, please let this madness stop. I don’t think the public is enjoying how hateful the race has become.

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Trolling wordpress I have recently seen my share of crazy blogs written by crazy people who support both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. I’m talking about people who are obsessed (an understatement) with their candidate and people who use what I would call very strange, twisted, circular and un-scientific logic to go about their beliefs. Another attribute is pouncing on anyone who has an even remotely different opinion even if that opinion is shared in a respectful way.

Though I am an Obama supporter, I am not naive enough to think crazy supporters are limited to these two candidates. There have got to some crazy and obsessed Obama supporters out there. Please leave your suggestions.

And a note. Usually I don’t delete any comments, but I’m reserving the right to delete comments that are off topic. For instance, if you wanted to share a blog about crazy Muslim and Jeremiah Wright conspiracy theories I will delete it. Only legitimate Obama supporter blogs or your own commentary.

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So Spike Lee is an Obama supporter, and I am an Obama supporter. Does that mean I have to like Spike Lee? The blogosphere has focused on only a small part of Spike Lee’s interview with New York Magazine where he says Hillary Clinton would lie on a stack of Bibles. The interview is well worth a read for anyone who liked Do the Right Thing as I did.

I’ve had a mixed relationship with Spike Lee films; either I love them or a hate them. I’d say I’m about 50/50 right now. Even with the films I like, I have a hard time. Like Do the Right Thing, a great film, but a film that I admit I don’t wholly understand. I think I have the response that Lee wants me (a non-black) to have in that I get angry when Mookie throws the trash can through the pizza parlor. How could Mookie do it and exactly what benefit does Mookie get that we should champion such a move, I ask myself.

As a woman, it’s even harder to like Spike Lee. He is a misogynist after all. But then I think Robert Altman was also a misogynist. Lee’s depiction of women in film is pretty sketchy. I find it odd admitting that my favorite Lee film is Girl 6 when the first five minutes depicts in the most humiliating way a woman being subjected to the casting couch. As a viewer I felt that by looking at Theresa Randle’s breasts on full display, I was as complicit in violating Theresa Randle the actor, as the director character QT was in violating the Theresa Randle’s character Judy. Perhaps it’s Suzan-Lori Parks amazing script that makes me forgive the direction.

Even Rosi Perez said she cried after filming the sex scenes in Do the Right Thing, but she felt really positive after her sex scenes in White Men Can’t Jump.

My first experience, of course, was ”Do the Right Thing.” And I had a big problem with it, mainly because I was afraid of what my family would think — that’s what was really bothering me. It wasn’t really about taking off my clothes. But I also didn’t feel good about it because the atmosphere wasn’t correct. And when Spike Lee puts ice cubes on my nipples, the reason you don’t see my head is because I’m crying. I was like, I don’t want to do this. I felt like Irene Cara in ”Fame.” It was like, Wait a minute, I feel so wimpy, this is not who I am. So that was my first experience, and it was horrible. But then I went and took my clothes off again for ”White Men Can’t Jump”! But that was because it was totally my decision, I felt totally comfortable, the director was so cool and Woody Harrelson was like, Well, whatever you want is cool with me. So there I felt empowered by it. But with ”Do the Right Thing” it was like, Now I’m the object, here’s the shot. And the reason why I cried was not so much because I felt violated as because I was angry at myself, because I wanted to say: ”Say something! Get up!” So that’s how I felt violated. I felt like I violated myself.

Compounding the violation was that Spike Lee was the “actor” in the scene with Rosie. In He Got Game women are portrayed as money-grubbing prostitutes, a thing to be avoided like drugs and violence.

So I guess what I’m saying is that Spike Lee is not the best advocate for Obama given that he seemingly deplores women. But Barack Obama doesn’t and I think that shows in his choice of partner. I like this quote from the interview:

Actually, Barack told me the first date he took Michelle to was Do the Right Thing. I said, “Thank God I made it. Otherwise you would have taken her to Soul Man. Michelle would have been like, ‘What’s wrong with this brother?’ ”

It’s true, Soul Man is a terrible film.

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