Change has come to America

November 5, 2008 at 7:17 am (Election 2008)

There are no words adequate to describe the feeling this night has left me with.

Though this is technically my ‘first’ election, it really felt like my third. I watched through the eyes of a child-transitioning-to-teenager as Bush was elected in 2000, and again as a 15-year-old who had actively participated in Howard Dean’s campaign prior to Kerry’s nomination. Now, at 19, not only have I had the sincere pleasure of voting for a man whose ideologies I feel truly passionate about, but I – WE, have all witnessed history tonight.

My emotions really weren’t quite sure what they wanted to do with themselves. Initially, I was in complete and utter shock, and the banner on the screen declaring Obama President didn’t compute – it took me a few seconds to scream. I saw the hundreds of thousands of people on TV cheering, laughing, crying – all things I did in the space of about ten minutes. A friend and I ran outside of the building we were in and just started jumping up and down in the parking lot. When I saw my roommate, we didn’t say anything – just embraced. And I’m not quite sure when I made the decision in my mind, but I am going to be in D.C. on January 20th to witness President Obama (God it feels so good to say that!) get sworn in. I’m going to be there with several friends from school, plus the beautiful and talented Elysa Montfort, who is up at some outrageous hour of the morning across the pond at Oxford watching Prop 8 results with me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot express how unbelievably lucky we all are to be here tonight. If anyone had told me four years ago tonight what I would be witnessing in 2008… Well, suffice to say, I wouldn’t have even been able to imagine just how powerful this night would turn out to be. Looking back, I wasn’t even able to properly imagine it during the primaries. I’m not even sure it’s really sunk in yet – that may come tomorrow, or it may come on January 20th.

So, on behalf of myself and Elysa, I want to offer my congratulations: To Barack and Michelle Obama and their family – The Bidens – To America… and last but not least, congratulations to all of us.

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Pass it On

November 3, 2008 at 11:33 am (civil liberties, gay rights)

Sometimes– and it’s pretty rare– but sometimes, I’m proven wrong about people. Sometimes, humanity mocks my cynicism with the good actions of true people. This man is one of them:

I cannot adequately put to words how glad I am to be proven wrong in this way. This man has demonstrated remarkable courage, resolve, and righteousness. The sort of bravery we’ve just witnessed in this video is very nearly unheard of in today’s politics; he deserves all of our respect and unmitigated admiration for standing up in the face of adversity and doing the most unpopular act imaginable: “flip-flopping” on an issue in order to support gay rights.

San Diego, which he represents, has strong conservative values. They’re one of the major Californian cities in favor of Proposition 8 (a proposition that would amend the California state constitution to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman). He has risked his career, his entire life’s work, and not least of all, (unfortunately) he’s also likely to have lost the respect of his conservative constituents. So for once, I’m not here to bitch about how the political system is failing us– or indeed, how we are failing it. I’m not here to point out stupidity or make snide remarks about politicians’ lack of insight. Today I’m here to point out why those things are sometimes necessary: because right can still defeat wrong, because equality can still defeat bigotry, because there is still love and justice left in this country and those thing can defeat the worst among us… but because it’s only when we speak up that they ever do.

/Elysa.

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They aren’t stupid for voting McCain; they’re stupid for WHY they’re voting McCain

October 28, 2008 at 1:11 pm (Barack Obama, democrats, Election 2008, republicans)

For anyone who might accuse me of being partisan, here you go: self-admitted proof that lifelong “liberals” can be equally retarded, can make me question humanity on just as many levels, as lifelong “conservatives.”

My God. See, it’s just that… I’m never sure whether to be disgusted or amused over these things. It’s a bit like a circus act. They keep bringing out weirder and dumber people all the time, and I just sort of sit in my seat observing in astonishment and childlike wonder that anyone that flagrantly idiotic could still exist.

And I think people like that serve to disprove both evolution and intelligent design. Because those bitches’ brains sure as shit haven’t evolved, and whoever/whatever created them sure as shit wasn’t intelligent.

/Elysa

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Another game of catch up

October 28, 2008 at 1:09 am (Uncategorized)

No, we’re not dead. Or at least, I’m not… Elysa has been slightly better about keeping this thing updated than I have. What can I say? I am a liberal. That means I am by nature scatterbrained and disorganized. If it means anything, I have been a slave to my classes this semester, which is just another excuse in the very very long list I could give justifying my neglect of Political Bitches. So I’ll stop with the simpering and whining about my schedule and move on.

A lot has happened since we last updated. On the day the bailout was initially rejected and the markets proceded to fall around 700 points, I can personally attest to being on IM with Elysa shitting bricks. To tell you the truth, I have very mixed feelings about the bailout. I certainly see the need to keep the economy moving (the alternative could be… unfavorable), however, the sheer idea of putting more money in the hands of the people who screwed this up to begin with leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

As for the debates… I grew weary of them. During the first (the one McCain so kindly showed up for), a couple of friends and I mixed up mojitos, created a list of key words and ideas to drink to, and promptly enjoyed our evening (my favorite was two drinks if a candidate tells a story about a US citizen, plus one bonus if they were from a swing state). The problem with the debate system in general is we really don’t learn anything about the candidates, which is especially problematic if you’re actually tuning in for that purpose. Regardless of whether or not you’re an informed viewer, it’s simply the tit-for-tat hour. Obama will compare McCain to Bush, McCain will appeal to Obama’s “lack of experience”, while blatenly avoiding the fact that all Sarah Palin can do is roam up and down the countryside parroting, “Maverick! Maverick!”. All the while, a plumber named Joe has become famous at the expense of time that should have been used to talk about policy in relation to the country and not just one fucking person.

Then of course, there was the Bill Ayers shit. Seriously. I’m thinking members of the McCain campaign were severely deprived of learning basic mathematics in grade school (and they weren’t even subject to No Child Left Behind!). When using the very very complicated subtraction model utilized by first graders across the nation, one will find that not only was Obama incapable of running for office, he was also about ten years shy of being able to vote when Ayers was running around like a lunatic. It amazes me that this basic arithmetic seems to elude these people, yet they’re capable of taking a leap in faith to say Obama + Bill Ayers = RECIPE FOR DESTRUCTION. Furthermore, not to run too far off topic, but I’m really quite amused at the myriad of things Obama has been accused of being… If we run by this logic, he’s an Arab-socialist-black supremecist-Christian extremist-terrorist-Kenyan citizen who is lying about his US birth. Wait, you mean that doesn’t add up?

I don’t want to sound overly confident, but I am hopeful that barring discovery of Obama and Ayers’ polkadotted love child, he may actually win this one. *crosses fingers*

Hopefully Elysa and I will be updating this more frequently now that we’re only days from the Election.

Hoping you’re all as excited about the 4th as I am,

Laura

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The Bailout Bill

September 30, 2008 at 2:25 am (Economy)

Because part of what (I hope) this blog accomplishes is explaining political situations in layman terms, I’m going to give a very brief overview of what, precisely, this $700 billion “Emergency Economic Stability” bill is. You know— the one that was voted down today, and which promptly induced the hugest fall in points the DOW stock market has ever seen. It’s critical to understand, even if all you grasp are the basics. So I’m axing the partisanship and punditry from this post, because some shit is simply too important.

Here you go:

On September 18th, Henry Paulson— the Secretary of the Treasury— requested a meeting with Congress. At the meeting, he explained that the economic situation in the United States is rapidly deteriorating, and that he doesn’t believe it will get any better without government intervention. In fact, he warned of extreme financial turmoil— a “crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen since pre-Depression”— if Congress did nothing.

But he didn’t just say, “do something” and then leave Congress high and dry without any ideas. He came to the meeting prepared with his own plan: a $700 billion bailout of the country’s most strained markets, including the mortgage, banking, and lending industries. The money would go to the Treasury, who would use it to pay for the debts of these industries by paying for the debts of individual firms: Washington Mutual, AIG, Wachovia, etc. But because the Treasury has no Constitutional or legal authority to do this, he also requested the power to administer this bailout. Therefore, his request was for $700 billion to save failing companies, along with the power to do so.

Most of Congress had huge scruples with this, not the least of which was with the fact that Paulson’s proposal would grant the Treasury unprecedented power. Plus, some argued, Congress had already bailed out many firms: Bear Stearns, the Automotive Industry, etc. They’d already granted roughly $100 billion to do this— why was so much more needed? Paulson explained that it’s because, this time, they weren’t aiming to bail out specific companies—though part of the monies would of course go to individual firms— but instead the aim now was to bail out the U.S. economy, purchasing entire industries wholesale. This still didn’t answer other questions, however— such as the concern over the power it would grant to the Treasury— so Congress dismissed Paulson and immediately set about revising his proposal to fit what they deemed to be an acceptable piece of legislation.

This is of course harder than it sounds— they have to get both the Democrats and Republicans to agree on what is “acceptable”— but nearly every member of Congress agreed that something had to be done, and soon, so cooperation was at an all-time high. Meetings were scheduled at the White House, with all the high-level Representatives and Senators in attendance. Including, of course, Obama and McCain. (This is when McCain “suspended” his campaign— to focus on these meetings, he said.)

After a few days of negotiations, President Bush and Congressional leadership had a new, revised version of Paulson’s proposal which they believed addressed the major concerns and was bipartisan enough to pass a vote. In brief, here is what the bill would have done:

The $700 billion would have been dispersed across the economy— primarily going to the mortgage and lending industries— namely to purchase the bad mortgages that have the housing market in a freeze. Which is the source of this economic turmoil: the poor housing market. So all the bad loans that were given out and that no one could afford, and that are therefore dragging the market down, would be bought out by the U.S. Treasury. Consider it this way: you take out a loan, but your lender increases the interest rate so high that you can no longer afford payments. You go bankrupt and have your house foreclosed upon. You’re a week away from starvation, and so to save you, the government swoops in and pays off your bad loan. Now, you’re free of debt and able to start rebuilding your life. That’s what this bill was trying to accomplish, only on a broad scale. A very broad scale, as in, the entire economy.

The idea is that, once free of debt, lending companies and banks would be able to start loaning money again. Then, once loans are again available, people will start taking them out to alleviate their personal finances. With their personal finances looking better, they’ll be able to afford more and therefore will buy more: gas, clothes, food, finished goods, you name it. Essentially, this would put money back into circulation, therefore stimulating the economy and dragging it out of the dumps. That was the bill. That was the plan.

Of course, the $700 billion needs to get paid for somehow, and the government’s bank account relies completely on taxes. And it would be utterly counterproductive to bail out the economy just to raise taxes— it would completely defeat the purpose of fixing Americans’ finances just to make them literally pay for it. So this begs the question: how do we pay for the $700 billion? Well, remember the bad mortgages/loans the government would be buying to free up the banks? They (the Treasury) are going to sit on it— for about 5 years— and resell them later, once the economy is back up and running (again, they predict in 5 years’ time).

Therefore, assuming the bill worked as planned and the Treasury could eventually resell the assets, we— the taxpayer— will break even, so no taxes need be raised. But just in case, the Treasury is also going to print off more money to cushion the whole affair.

To ensure this entire operation goes smoothly, the bill also called for two oversight boards, one of which is congressional (meaning, one of which contains members of Congress; the other is administrative, consisting of Paulson and other federal executives).

If, when reading that, you found yourself scratching your head and wondering “what the hell are they thinking?” then congratulations— you have a pulse. The bill is far from perfect, and as the only bit of commentary I’m going to do on it, WHAT are they thinking with this whole “we’ll just print more money!” provision? Are they mentally unstable? Seriously? That’s half the reason we’re in this mess to begin with, is unsound printing policies. But, no bill is perfect, and frankly, I was glad just to see Congress working together to accomplish something substantial.

But of course, the bill was voted on today, and didn’t pass. House Republicans shot it down.

In any case, there you have it. The best objective summary I’m able to give. If you’re still deathly interested, you can always read CNN’s abbreviated version: http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/28/news/economy/Sunday_talks_bailout/index.htm?cnn=yes

Lastly, I leave you with the greatest gift anyone can give: primary source information.

The actual “bailout bill” that was voted down today, in its entirety: http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/28/ayo08c04_xml.pdf

The final tally for how the House of Representatives voted (including the names and direction of those who voted): http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/29/bailout.rollcall.0929.pdf

And lastly, for some perspective on how this bill’s failure to pass will affect the economy, a relatively objective analysis of the situation as it stands right now: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/09/29/us.congress.bailout.deal/index.html

*sigh* That’s all I can do for you. I hope it proves useful. So in the words of the great Edward R. Murrow, “Good night, and good luck.”

/Elysa.

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Debate… maybe?

September 26, 2008 at 2:54 pm (Election 2008)

EDIT: News has just broken that John McCain will participate in tonight’s debate.

What an interesting few days it has been. First $700 BILLION is proposed for our bailout plan, and now John McCain is playing hard-to-get in reference to tonight’s scheduled debate in Mississippi. As most will know well by now, the senator has said he will not participate in tonight’s debate unless a consensus is reached in Washington regarding a solution for the economic crisis. That’s not even the most annoying thing about the whole situation – McCain has vowed to suspend his campaign until the crisis is ironed out, and even called on Obama to suspend his as well.

Sorry, John, but we’re only weeks out from the election here – how the hell are people (especially undecided voters) supposed to learn anything about you in these last crucial weeks if you were to really suspend your campaign for any period of time? Furthermore, if you end up being President of the country, you’d better be used to dealing with multiple issues at once. There’s no reason you can’t show up for a debate, which the University of Mississippi has spent MILLIONS preparing for. Letterman is being a little bitch about McCain canceling his appearance, however, I might delicately point out that standing the country up is a bit more serious of a matter.

So, what does this all boil down to? McCain pulling a cheap ploy to look like a hero. “I’ll cancel a couple of appearances to go back to Washington to save the world.” But wait, there is an answer! Tina Fey – I mean… Sarah Palin, his VP! I mean, I know she doesn’t know what the VP does but I’m pretty sure the VP is supposed to stand in for the President when he is unable to complete his job.

Silly me, I forgot. Sarah Palin isn’t really there to break the glass ceiling – she’s there to serve as a pretty little mantle piece, to stand behind John McCain and smile and clap and make cute little jokes about being a hockey mom to her constituents. I’m not sure she’d know what to do if she were debating with Obama.

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Logic (n): The use of reason in decision-making processes; antonym, see ‘Hillary Clinton Supporters’

September 3, 2008 at 4:16 am (Barack Obama, democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Primaries)

All right, this one goes out to all the Hillary Clinton supporters who’re planning to vote for McCain— or to not vote at all— this November.

Hello. You’re an idiot.

I mean, Jesus fucking Christ. Get off your high horse. No one is impressed with your uncanny ability to put your own juvenile petulance before the good of the country. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that everyone who isn’t in your camp— democrats, republicans, independents and fellow children alike— is watching you curiously, wondering whether there isn’t some epidemic of retardolitis going around.

But just so I’ve got this straight: you rally around Clinton like she’s the Second Coming because she’s fought for universal health care, higher minimum wages, tax cuts for the middle class, alternative energy, and a timetable for our troops to return from Iraq. Yet you are willing to vote for someone who’s against universal health care, voted against the minimum wage increase, plans to make Bush’s tax cuts for the top 2% permanent, endorses off-shore drilling, and refuses to even acknowledge that our troops should come home.

I’m sorry, but… I’m obligated to ask. Are you aware of a concept known by the modern man as “logic”? It’s a tough one, I know, and something you’ll clearly have to struggle with for the rest of your self-indulgent little life. But for a moment, would you do me the honorable favor of at least attempting it?

Barack Obama— while far from perfect— sides with Clinton on 95% of the issues. Not only does he side with her on them, but he also largely agrees with her on how to implement them. Or have you not thought of that? I suppose it’s possible that you’ve missed all the glaring similarities on that which is most important, given all the time and energy you’ve been dedicating to fulfilling your own egotistic notions of political justice. I mean, really? Really, folks? You’re going to vote for McCain— a republican, a senator with whom Hillary Clinton passionately disagrees— to “honor” your candidate in a poorly-executed, half-assed attempt to ease your own vindictiveness? My God. How utterly poor and pathetic. How, precisely, does it honor your candidate by voting into office someone with opposite opinions and clashing values? How does that help anything, solve anything, prove anything, other than your own conceit? I’m asking sincerely here. I am hoping that one of you will be able to enlighten me with your world-class rational thinking.

Here’s what I’ve been hearing a lot of in response to those questions: “My vote is precious to me, it doesn’t just go to the next person in line. Obama doesn’t have a right to it, he must earn it, and so far he hasn’t done that. So far, he’s failed to make clear where he stands on certain issues and how he plans on running his administration, should he win. It isn’t about being vindictive, it’s about ensuring my vote is given to the right person.”

LULZ. I’ve got to hand it to you, really, because no one’s made me laugh quite like that since Bush asked “what’s the difference between Sunni and Shia?” And that, by the way— that quote up there?— practically verbatim, from a woman in charge at the “Just Say No Vote” coalition. That’s their official stance on the matter. And let me break it down.

i. So far he’s “failed to make clear where he stands”? Well, if that’s true, you’re an idiot. Because then why did you support Clinton in the first fucking place? Why did you hail her as a demigod if you didn’t know where Obama stood on the issues? Wasn’t that unbearably irresponsible of you, to support a candidate when you weren’t even aware of her rival’s credentials? You could have been supporting the lesser person, and not have even known it. So shame on you for being politically negligent and careless. You gave your vote away without having a full picture of the candidates— the absolute farthest fucking thing from treating it as if it’s “precious.” So it’s ironic that you would claim the “holiness” of your vote after handling it like a recyclable Coke bottle.

ii. Secondly, “my vote doesn’t just go to the next person in line.” Well apparently it’s given away without understanding where the hell anyone stands, so you’re hardly the poster child for responsible voting, dumb ass. And no, you’re right— it shouldn’t go to the next person in line. But how about the next closest candidate to your own? How about to the person your own candidate has fearlessly and fervently endorsed? Because you’ll trust her with those 3 a.m. phone calls, won’t you, but not with supporting someone else? You’ll trust her judgment enough to readily place the fragile economy, the fate of the war in Iraq, health care, social security, and nuclear fucking weapons in her hands… but not enough to let her guide you to another politician with shared values? Wow, I just can’t tell you how less and less surprised I become by your overwhelming enthusiasm for senselessness.

That aside, there are those of you who at least show yourselves for what you truly are— morons, in case you were wondering— by not hiding the fact that you’re only supporting McCain because you’re sore about losing the primaries. I suppose a congratulations is in order for owning up to your own stupidity— they do say the first step is admitting you have a problem. You’re on the right track. Perhaps from now on you could introduce yourself thusly: “Hi, I’m ______, and I’m a moronaholic.”

Hillary Clinton’s a big girl. She’s over it, she’s lived to fight another day, and she’s being responsible and intelligent by vehemently endorsing the candidate who best reflects her opinions while you disgraceful bastards smear her hard work by giving a bad name to Clinton supporters everywhere. You’re detracting from her credibility with your cheap kindergarten antics. You’re doing a disservice to the woman you so tenaciously admire. But you know something? You’ve proven that this isn’t about her. It’s about you— it’s all, always, been about you. You care nothing for Hillary Clinton. You care nothing for the issues with which the next 4 years will be shaped, you care nothing for the elections or the consequences. You care only for yourself. Because no one, regardless of political affiliation or belief, consciously chooses to support their candidate’s enemy purely out of spite if they aren’t entirely and completely self-important.

And here’s the truth no one else seems to be saying: it just doesn’t fucking matter. You think the primary season was unfair? Why, because Florida and Michigan FUCKED UP and the DNC actually went through with their warning? Or because you believe sexism reared its ugly head and that’s why she lost? Maybe that’s true, but you know what’s worse than mixing sexism and politics? Selfishness and politics. Your “my feelings before our country” attitude is sickening. You sad little fucks are flocking to John McCain with a rallying cry that might as well be “I love myself and my own hurt feelings more than the troops, more than the wellbeing of the economy, more than THE SHIT THAT REALLY MATTERS.” And I cannot even begin to detail precisely how nauseating and pathetic that is. I am disgusted to even live on the same continent as you. If you want to sob over Clinton’s defeat, go ahead. Cry into a pillow and blare Death Cab for Cutie like a normal person. But don’t you dare jeopardize this election and this country with your painfully self-righteous, self-centered little agenda. It’s revolting.

So grow up. It’s a big world out there, full of foreign concepts like common sense and maturity. Climb out of the sandbox, little ones, and move on into the world of adults. Get some perspective. And while you’re at it, buy yourself a nice hardback copy of Webster’s and look up the term “logic.”

And if that fails, at least you’ll already be close to home, “losers.”

With Love,

Elysa

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Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a nominee…!

June 4, 2008 at 5:33 am (Election 2008)

We return from our terrible lack of updating to join in the celebrations as Barack Obama officially won enough delegates this evening to secure the Democratic Presidential nomination. (Yes, we’re celebrating – it’s been fairly clear whose side we’ve been leaning toward this primary season, right?)

Obama’s win was certainly expected, so why are we so excited? I suppose we could purely cite the fact that our nominee of choice will definitely be facing John McCain, but it is so much more than that. Regardless of political affiliation, I think we can all feel extremely fortunate that today we have witnessed history in the making. What happened today will be going down in the books our children will be reading tomorrow, and considering the grim happenings of the past eight years, Obama’s nomination is a breath of fresh air and a gust of hope for a better tomorrow.

Of course, there is really no shock that Hillary Clinton didn’t concede tonight – I didn’t think she would. As I watched CNN this evening, I was a bit perplexed to see that so many of the political analysts were flabbergasted by this fact. Of course she’s not going to give in the second the official victory has been reached – she’s spent the past weeks and months going strong despite the best numbers being against her. For the record, I don’t intend for this statement to be a scathing one towards her – Clinton has clearly demonstrated her ambition to be President, and I don’t doubt her ability for the position. My main problem with Hillary these days is that she has now morphed into a populist against a system, which she previously endorsed when she thought she’d have the nomination in the bag. Despite the shortcomings of her campaign, I would not expect or even be offended by the fact that she didn’t resign – it’ll come in the next few days, folks, so let’s relax and look to the months between now and November. Hillary Clinton is not enemy number one, is essentially the gist of my message.

There has also been renewed talk about the “dream ticket”, after Clinton stated today that she would consider being Obama’s VP. I’m personally not sure how well an Obama/Clinton ticket would go over considering the strong disenfranchisement many people have with the Clintons, but if the Obama campaign has proven anything, it’s that new ideas can certainly trump the status quo of Washington politics, so we shall see what fruits will bear of this ticket, if it does occur.

For now, there will be no bitching, because I for one, am ECSTATIC that we have finally arrived at a conclusion at the end of the primaries, and won’t have to wait for this mess to drag out until the convention in August. I raise my glass to Barack Obama for the amazing campaign he has led, and for a great presidency I’m sure he will lead.

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Oh Hillary…

May 17, 2008 at 6:08 am (Bush, Iraq War)

(*Note: This post was originally written around a week ago and I just got around to finishing and posting it, sorry for the tardiness of the subject, but I felt it still needed to be posted.)

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

As if this election couldn’t be more meticulously monitored based on ethnicity, Hillary Clinton makes this winner of a statement. Of course, I’m more likely to attribute this to a case of “lack of head on tight”, however the fact remains, she related being hard-working to being white. I’m not sure what’s worse: the fact that Hillary, despite her best intentions, drew a strong parallel between which race is the most “hardworking”, or the fact that John McCain is touting the foreign policy card but continues to confuse Sunni and Shi’a. (For those who are not familiar, McCain stated that Al Qaeda was a Shi’a group.)

Will this hurt Hillary in the long run? Probably not. I think if anything sealed her fate, it was the extremely narrow margin with which she won in Indiana this week. If anything, it’ll just be another quote added to one of those nifty little tear-off calendars with a new stupid quote made by a politician each day.

All the same, she shouldn’t just expect to be able to shrug it off her statement by saying “these are the people you need to win”. Au contraire, if the news networks have proven anything in their obsession with race and exit polling, it’s that more than just one group counts, stupid. Both Latino and Black Americans are going to have a lot of impact on this election.

Of course, to add a more current note to this post, let’s have a looksie at what some of our favorite conservatives have had to say lately:

“That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He’s getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he — he dove for the floor.” – Mike Fuckabee, referring to a loud noise backstage as he presented  at the NRA convention on Friday.

^^ Yes, because considering the history of political assassinations as far back as, you know, THE BEGINNING OF TIME, this was a REALLY great statement. Calling Mike Huckabee a “douche” doesn’t even begin to cover it… For the rest of my life, Mike Huckabee shall be referred to as receptalacum testis, you know, to exemplify the ornate and diverse language and ideas he has tried to impart.

“As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American Senator declared, ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this may have been avoided’. We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.” – President Bush, in reference to the Democrat’s stance on the Iraq war.

Right… because being best friends with Saudi Arabia and allowing Prince Bandar in the White House on September 12th, 2001 after their country funded 9/11… that is so completely not appeasement. Folks, I’m beginning to think it’s time that every citizen of this fine nation should mail President Bush a dictionary. Maybe his speech writers, too.

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John Edwards FOR THE WIN!

May 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm (democrats, Election 2008, Primaries) (, , , , , )

YES! OMG, YES! John Edwards is endorsing Barack Obama! *Takes a solid 5 minute break to squee like a child on Christmas morning*

Over AIM 10 minutes ago:

ElysaMNFF: YES!

Laura: YES

Laura: JOHN EDWARDS IS THE MAN

ElysaMNFF: 4 SRS

ElysaMNFF: OMG

ElysaMNFF: PWN

Laura: I love how

Laura: all you had to say was

Laura: “YES!”

Laura: And I knew automatically what you were talking about.

This is huge news, and let me explain why:

i. First of all, Edwards’ endorsement– no matter to whom it went– was/is hugely significant. Edwards has a massive following of extremely loyal populist/working class voters. This has been evidenced by the fact that, despite that Edwards dropped out of the race ages ago, he continues to garner votes in the primaries. His following is so loyal that they vote for him even when he is no longer viable, or even on the ticket. Translation: Edwards holds the hearts of millions of important Democratic voters who have refused to vote for either Clinton or Obama up to this point. Now, that’s set to change. By endorsing Obama, Edwards is releasing his constituents to vote for Obama, is in fact encouraging them to support Obama, and with such an intensely devout following this is essentially guaranteeing that they will. And mark my words. They will.

ii. It is also about the type of voters they are. Edwards, like Clinton, runs on an extremely populist message. He focuses on poverty, healthcare, welfare, et al. Therefore, his target crowd are middle/working class, blue collar Americans– the same target audience as Hillary Clinton, and the one crowd that Obama has had enormous trouble winning over, which is essentially why he lost West Virginia last night by such a massive margin: 90% of West Virginia consists of the middle/lower working class. So Edwards’ endorsement is going to be huge in closing that gap for Obama. It’s going to bring those types of voters over into Obama’s camp, giving him much more support in practically the only real electorate weakness he had (past tense now!). This is terrible news for Hillary Clinton, for the obvious reasons, but also because Edwards’ voice has so much credibility among Clinton’s strongest supporters that by supporting Obama, Edwards will not only bring him more support, but will potentially divert support from Clinton by provoking blue collar voters to rethink their choice of candidate.

iii. Thirdly, this comes at the perfect time for Obama. He just suffered a crushing defeat in West Virginia last night, so Edwards’ timing is choice and strategic. Both the media’s and the nation’s attention is going to be diverted from Obama’s loss and refocused on Edwards’ endorsement. In a political system that (unfortunately, but nonetheless) relies heavily on momentum and media/mass perception, the timing truly could not have been better. The West Virginia defeat story will be old hat within a matter of 24 hours as this Edwards story dilutes the news cycle. It reinforces Obama’s stance as the front-runner, reinstates a little lost certainty in his ability to pick up working class support, and reaffirms his campaign as being the stronger, more credible and able campaign to face McCain in the November General Elections.

iv. Lastly, when an ex-candidate formally endorses another candidate, he/she is also formally releasing their delegates. Meaning, the 19 Superdelegates that Edwards had won in the early primaries are now free to support someone else. And who do you think they’ll support if the candidate they were formally supporting has endorsed Obama? One guess.

Not to mention, of course, that Clinton worked endlessly to garner Edwards’ endorsement, so his decision to support her rival is more than a little embarrassing. No matter how you slice it, it’s utterly fantastic news for the Obama camp, meaning it’s utterly fantastic news for me and Laura. Let it be known that Wednesday, May 14, is officially some manner of National Holiday.

I’m certain I’ll have more on this later (such as what this could mean for a possible Obama/Edwards ticket), but in my unhindered excitement the threads of coherent thought are slipping speedily away.

/Elysa

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