Saturday, February 9, 2008

Washington Infected: Obamamnia

Three and a half months ago, the Strategic Vision Survey found Hillary leading with 48, Obama second with 28 and Edwards last with 16.
Now that CNN is calling it at Obama 67, Hillary 32, I'll quit bothering and turn my attention to Lousiana, as if there is any question.
So, folks, Obama is expected to take the rest of the primaries and caucuses this month with Hill hoping to save herself by picking up Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania in March and April.
Update 7:14 p.m Turnout was 200,000 plus, twice the 2004 total. Did you have a good time at your caucus? Mine had great brownies, standing room only, mostly greybeards, but that's Port Townsend.


Sign here to petition Congress.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hill Haute

Okay, we all made these mistakes. But still, it's Hill.

Update 4pm Feb. 8

Rep. Norm Dicks endorses Hillary. But not those striped pants.

Zsa Zsa's Dog Keeper?

and other sleaze in the Clintons' past. Listen, we need to know. It's gonna come up.

Don't Forget, Caucuses Tomorrow

DDon't know where to caucus? (They start at 1 p.m. Saturday.) Go here.

WA Gov. Chris Gregoire endorses

Wait for it...wait for it...Barack Obama.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"He went for youth, she went for oldth."

I pretty much love Gail Collins (and pretty much hate Maureen Dowd).

Diet Soda...and You

From the New York Times:
"Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and elevated blood pressure."

Political News Digest

Post-Super Duper Tues. Edition

Update 3:14 p.m.
Just to be fair, courtesy AP

NEW ORLEANS — Democrat Barack Obama raised $7.2 million and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton collected $6.4 million since Super Tuesday, as he continued to resist a Clinton campaign clamoring for attention-getting debates.

The remarkable outpouring of contributions recorded since Tuesday's contests in 22 states comes on the heels of an eye-popping $32 million raised by Obama in January and the record-shattering $100 million each Obama and Clinton raised in 2007 in their neck-and-neck race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Hillary last month loaned her campaign $5 mil, and almost made it back in the first 24 hours after the Tuesday primary, netting "approximately" $4 million.

Obama's take in the same period was more than $7 mil.

Mittens is gone because we're at war. Question: Will his four sons, busy serving their country by campaigning for Dad, rush down to the recruiting station and sign up for Iraq? Afganistan? Beverly Hills?

Joe Lieberman's Dem superdelegate status yanked while he campaigns daily for McCain. Vice president anyone?

FISA fight continues as the Senate takes up amendments to the telecom immunity for their illegal surveillance of Americans that dates back to Feb. 2001 — yeah, way before 9/11. Want to bet whether the amendment to pull immunity from the bill passes? No, neither do I.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We Matter

From the Seattle P-I

" After initially planning to dispatch Bill Clinton to Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane Thursday night and Friday, Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign changed course and is sending the candidate herself here instead. The former president is being detoured to Maine.

The New York senator will appear at a free public event Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Pier 30 warehouse on the Seattle waterfront. She might also campaign in Tacoma Friday morning and then in Spokane.

Sen. Barack Obama, battling Clinton for the Democratic nomination, will address a "Stand for Change" rally at Seattle's Key Arena Friday at 11 a.m. while his wife Michelle campaigns for him in Spokane. Both will be free to the public. Details of the Spokane event were still being firmed up Wednesday."

Are Men More Competitive Than Women?

(A SHORTIE worth linking to to read.)

Or maybe are Khasi women just as competitive as Maasai men? Who knows? Some of those Freakonomics types think they do.

Oops. What, No Brokered Convention? Aww

The Obama campaign accidentally sent a strategy memo to a reporter and, guess what, it got reported.
It says the campaigns will still be deadlocked after the last primary June 7 in...wait for it...wait for it...Puerto Rico.
It also hypothesizes that he and Hillary will closely split the superdelegates, meaning it could come down to a fight over Michigan and Florida delegates which, under party rules, don't get seated because the two states violated party rules by moving up their primaries.
MEANWHILE Mr. Smirky Mark Halperin over at TIME quotes Howard Dean (remember him, he's head of the Democratic National Committee now) saying the party can't afford the turmoil of a convention fight and if neither candidate has enough of a majority of delegates before that, they're going to have to come to some arrangement.
Wonder if he means like this:

Ooh, did I really post that? Guilty, yer honor.

Washington Primary

Okay, as a Democrat, you get two chances to vote, but one of them doesn't count.
So if you don't caucus on Saturday, what you choose on your ballot won't matter anyway.
And if you don't choose a party in the box above your signature on your mail-in ballot, your vote won't even be counted.
This is all because the parties make the rules for choosing nominees. Dems went all-caucus. R's decided to count half of each primary vote toward a nominee, which is why we're spending millions of dollars on a primary that is meaningless for Democrats. But still fun, I guess, if you don't care that a lot of people are either missing or boycotting the party choice on the ballot.

Don't know where to caucus? (They start at 1 p.m. Saturday.) Go here:

COMMENT OF THE DAY: from an Open Left debate over the significance of governor and mayor endorsements: " You can discount
the value of the Greg Nickels endorsement. There is no political machine in Seattle to back him up. We prefer to govern by clusterfuck."

Washington's Superdelegates

Superdelegates are delegates to a presidential nominating convention in the United States who are not legally bound by the decisions of party primaries or caucuses. Superdelegates are current elected officeholders and current party officials as well as former elected officeholders and former party officials. ...

Superdelegates were first appointed in the 1970s, after control of the nomination process in the Democratic Party effectively moved out of the hands of party officials into the primary and caucus process. The aim was to grant some say in the process to people who had been playing roles in the party before the election year.

Washington has 17 superdelegates. Read about it here.
Money quote: "The superdelegates are kind of like birds on the telephone wire," said Robert DiClerico, a West Virginia University professor of political science who studies the presidency. "If they see the winner coming along, they'll all leave the wire and flock to the winner."

Endorsed Clinton
Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray, King Co. Exec. Ron Sims, Rep. Jay Inslee, former Rep. Tom Foley

Pledged to Obama
Rep. Adam Smith, Pat Notter (Dem. Nat'l. Committee member, Wenatchee)
Unpledged (so far)
Reps: Rick Larsen, Brian Baird, Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott
Gov. Chris Gregoire
DNC members: Dwight Pelz, Eileen Macoll, Ed Cote, Sharon Mast, David McDonald

Super Tuesday Aftermath

Who has super delegate endorsements to roll out this morning? Who do elected Democrats want to run with?, from Josh Marshal at TPM this morning.
As I said before, I loved the '68 convention. Fat men smoking cigars in back rooms. Floor fights. Yea!

Update: 10:01 am
Ed Kilgore over at TPM, a Dem convention veteran, and his commenters are hard at it about what a brokered convention might look like.
"The big topics (explored especially well at have been the battle over the 796 superdelegates, who are not bound by election results, and the possibility of a pre-convention or convention credentials fight over the Michigan and Florida delegations, who currently have no seats (or even hotel rooms) in Denver."
But let's not get too arcane this morning. Just consider this from cowology,
"Neither Hil nor Obama lockup the nomination. Deadlocked 1st vote. Al Gore nominated from the floor. (the crowd goes wild)."

Update II: 10:54 am
CNN delegate count as per a Daily Kos posting. First number is delegates through Super Tuesday, second figure is pledged super delegates (elected officials and state party officials). So, 497 super delegates will likely decide the nominee in August?

Clinton: 632 + 193 = 825
Obama: 626 + 106 = 732
Edwards: 26 + 0 = 26

Update III: 11:19 am

TIME has other numbers, super delegates changing as they line up

Clinton 836 w/o super delegates
Obama 845 "

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

O.K., NOWiennes, Now I'm Really Mad

My reservations about Hillary Clinton have to do with her Iraq War vote, her yes vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that opens the door to an attack on Iran, her corporatist connections (don't even get me started on the Tan family donations, those corrupt oppressors of women in Mariannas Islands sweatshops). But what really swung me hard was the feminist leaders in New Hampshire who sent out a late flyer to women voters before the primary accusing Obama of being shaky on choice issues because of some of his present votes in the Illinois Legislature.
Some of those women later recanted, having taken the word of the Clinton campaign, which misrepresented the issue to the signatories.
His votes were a deliberate, NARAL Illinois tactic, to lend protection to Dem legislators in swing districts faced with horrible bills promulgated by Republicans specifically to put them on the spot.
One former NOW leader in Illinois disagreed with the tactic (Illinois pro-choice politics are, apparently, like all Illinois politics, acrimonious) and now she's being cited as the expert for Connecticut NOW to pull the same thing in that state on Monday.
I was so incensed by the New Hampshire thing, and then the statement by NY State NOW president Marcia Pappas calling Ted Kennedy's Obama endorsement a betrayal of all women that I wrote Pappas and National NOW an angry, but polite, letter.
Pappas didn't reply. But National NOW did. Although they've endorsed Clinton, they do not endorse Pappas' position, but state leaders speak for themselves, I was told. Fair enough.
Bottom line: Women's right to choose is about more than our bodies. And slimy tactics to manipulate us by our so-called sisters is not okay.
Whew. Thanks for the rant space. Oh, that's right, I own it. Heh.

About Mothers...and Children

As well as two other poems from Billy Collins because I couldn't get a copy of just The Lanyard .

Americans Will Never Vote For Dept.

Based on Georgia exit polls, they're calling it for Obama, who won 43% of the white vote.
Or maybe 39%, conflicting reports.

Updated 4:51 pm

Exit polls on Drudge:

OBAMA LEADS: Alabama: Obama 60, Clinton 37... Arizona: Obama 51, Clinton 45... Connecticut: Obama 53, Clinton 45... Delaware: Obama 56, Clinton 42... Georgia: Obama 75, Clinton 26... Illinois: Obama 70, Clinton 30... Massachusetts: Obama 50, Clinton 48... Missouri: Obama 50, Clinton 46... New Jersey: Obama 53, Clinton 47...

CLINTON LEADS: Arkansas: Clinton 72, Obama 26... California: Clinton 50, Obama 47... New York: Clinton 56, Obama 43... Oklahoma: Clinton 61, Obama 31... Tennessee: Clinton 52, Obama 41...

Take a Break from Politics Dept.

Planning Ahead for V-Day

Money quote: (Hat tip for the term, Andrew Sullivan)
"Why would a day that inspires people to buy stuffed dogs that say "I Ruff You" be a good occasion to have sex for the first time?," asks Catherine Price in a Salon piece about Thai police planning to take a break from surveilling the sex trade to concentrate on teenage girls who say they might give up their virginity on Valentine's Day.
Other questions:
Why would you try to prevent sex by sending lusty teens home, out of public view? Since when is it a good idea to take teenagers at their word about things they "plan" to do?

Super Duper Tuesday Dept.

So, When Will We Know and Exactly What Will We Know?

Somewhere-in-the-woods Jefferson County, WA — Well, first we'll know that John McCain is going to be the Republican nominee. But we knew that last week before hardly anyone voted anywhere.
According to the political pundit I love to hate, Time Magazine's Mark Halperin at The Page, who ties Shrubya for Best Smirk, we'll know a lot by the end of the night.
We'll know the candidate distribution of 1,681 of the 2,025 elected delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.
So far, Obama leads Clinton but each has less than 100 from earlier primaries and caucuses.
Then there are the Super Delegates. I forget how many of those there are. I could look it up for you, but let's just wait until somebody else does that tomorrow. ( C'mon, give me a break, I was up all night trying to figure out how to get that airbrushed picture into my profile.)
Then there's the question of the disallowed Florida and Michigan primaries, which could go to court if Hillary's feeling really stressed.
So if Super Duper Tuesday produces no blowout — both campaigns are very cautiously "realistic" today — we won't know until August. Denver. National Convention. Floor fights. Fat men smoking cigars in back rooms. Chicago '68! Yea!
Oh yeah, when will we know it?
The fat lady sings at 5 pm PST in nine states; 5:30 in Ark.; 6 in six states; 7 in four, 8 in Cali, the last. Alaska's polls close, unaccountably, at 10:30 p.m. Last I heard, Obama was the only candidate with a field office up there.

The Story of Stuff

"Woe to them that call evil good and good evil." Isaiah 5:20

(I wouldn't ordinarily know that but it turned up on a funeral wreath for a gangster on The Wire, the best television show evah!)

The three things at the top of my political concern agenda are Iraq War, climate change, and the Constitution.
But there's something more personal, and I am ashamed. But then I figured, so probably are we all, we just don't talk about it much because, well, it's personal.
I have too much stuff. I live in a consumer society, a consumption economy. And I haven't yet figured out what I'm going to do about it. But here's a start.
Takes 20 minutes to watch online.

FISA Update Already?

Seems the Senate votes on amendments to the FISA-fix bill, the Protect America Act, aren't going to happen this week after all.
The Republicans on Monday decided instead to drag it all out toward the Feb. 15 deadline by pulling a fast one and invoking a call for 30 more hours of debate on the economic stimulus package. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was pretty pissed, accusing the R's of stalling the FISA action on purpose to squeeze the D's into a quick, losing vote as the deadline approaches.
This news from Joan McCarter, mcjoan at Daily Kos.

Sometimes A Democrat Does Something Right

Unnoticed by just about everybody except the vigilant odum at Daily Kos, a very persistent Sen. Patrick Leahy managed after months of patient legislative process to turn back a draconian step taken by the Bush administration in late 2006.
Seems the Republican Congress snuck a rider onto a bill that gave Bush "unprecedented, direct control" over state National Guards, allowing him to circumvent state governors, who have authority over the troops, and call them up for any
purpose he deemed a public emergency.
Think street protests. Think large civil disobedience, anything the president would choose.
Last Monday, after marshaling the support of suspicious Republicans, state governors, Guard and law enforcement officials, Leahy's repeal was approved.
"The repeal went into the latest Defense authorization, and quietly, and with little notice, a Bush power-grab was actually rolled back last Monday. How often does that happen?," writes odum.
Dood, like NEVER.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

The Germans, after a month has passed since the winter solstice, celebrate a most curious custom. They gather at each others' homes, and at the temples, and the fields, and eat, and drink, and make sacrifices to Mercury. They shout unto the heavens for many hours, and throw swine back and forth until the sun sets.
-- Gaius Cornelius Tacitus, De origine et situ Germanorum

ct at Daily Kos explains it all.

Posted by Julimac

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

"This is nothing. But when I write about it, it will be something." Reinaldo Arena

Jan. 26, 2008

NOTE TO SELF: Think about love today, and beauty, and curiosity. And excellence.

Jack Schnabel wrote this to his son Julian:

"You're a gem of a man, I wonder where people like you are hatched. God sent you to me. Do me a favor, give me a scratch, put me to sleep so I can be reborn. I wish my wife was alive, she'd tell you what a good man I am."

Saturday mornings and early afternoons are the best part of any week because of Weekend Edition, Bob Edwards Weekend and This American Life on KPLU 88.5 out of Tacoma, WA.
Today I think I would like to sit in a room silently and listen to Julian Schnabel talk about anything — but preferably life and death and art. I would not say a word. I would not dare.
If you saw him on Charlie Rose, be assured he was not at his best, and that was Charlie's fault.

If you're curious but don't want to be bound to Saturday morning like I am, you can subscribe for free to podcasts of Edwards.

I think This American Life is also there, but I'm too lazy to find it for you.
As for NPR's weekend edition, I'm not looking for that link right now either. Just Google, and I think you can listen anytime.

If you're curious about Schnabel but don't want to listen to a podcast, see this item about Schnabel's new movie.

a stunning dark red w/lime green leafed houseplant grown from a cutting my friend Mo gave me a few years ago has always thrived on neglect. Its soil is rank with age, its roots jam the pot. They should be trimmed and the whole thing repotted. It gets no fertilizer. Yet it flourishes on the windowsill, often completely dry when I remember to water. Still, there it is today, I discover as I aim a thin stream into the center mound. It is, unmistakably, blooming for the first time.
Like this blog.

Posted by julimac