Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama warned of mortgage crisis - ONE YEAR ago!

March 22, 2007

The Honorable Ben Bernanke
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20551

The Honorable Henry Paulson
U.S. Department of Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Chairman Bernanke and Secretary Paulson,

There is grave concern in low-income communities about a potential coming wave of foreclosures. Because regulators are partly responsible for creating the environment that is leading to rising rates of home foreclosure in the subprime mortgage market, I urge you immediately to convene a homeownership preservation summit with leading mortgage lenders, investors, loan servicing organizations, consumer advocates, federal regulators and housing-related agencies to assess options for private sector responses to the challenge.

We cannot sit on the sidelines while increasing numbers of American families face the risk of losing their homes. And while neither the government nor the private sector acting alone is capable of quickly balancing the important interests in widespread access to credit and responsible lending, both must act and act quickly.

Working together, the relevant private sector entities and regulators may be best positioned for quick and targeted responses to mitigate the danger. Rampant foreclosures are in nobody's interest, and I believe this is a case where all responsible industry players can share the objective of eliminating deceptive or abusive practices, preserving homeownership, and stabilizing housing markets.

The summit should consider best practice loan marketing, underwriting, and origination practices consistent with the recent (and overdue) regulators' Proposed Statement on Subprime Mortgage Lending. The summit participants should also evaluate options for independent loan counseling, voluntary loan restructuring, limited forbearance, and other possible workout strategies. I would also urge you to facilitate a serious conversation about the following:

* What standards investors should require of lenders, particularly with regard to verification of income and assets and the underwriting of borrowers based on fully indexed and fully amortized rates. * How to facilitate and encourage appropriate intervention by loan servicing companies at the earliest signs of borrower difficulty. * How to support independent community-based-organizations to provide counseling and work-out services to prevent foreclosure and preserve homeownership where practical. * How to provide more effective information disclosure and financial education to ensure that borrowers are treated fairly and that deception is never a source of competitive advantage. * How to adopt principles of fair competition that promote affordability, transparency, non-discrimination, genuine consumer value, and competitive returns. * How to ensure adequate liquidity across all mortgage markets without exacerbating consumer and housing market vulnerability.

Of course, the adoption of voluntary industry reforms will not preempt government action to crack down on predatory lending practices, or to style new restrictions on subprime lending or short-term post-purchase interventions in certain cases. My colleagues on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs have held important hearings on mortgage market turmoil and I expect the Committee will develop legislation.

Nevertheless, a consortium of industry-related service providers and public interest advocates may be able to bring quick and efficient relief to millions of at-risk homeowners and neighborhoods, even before Congress has had an opportunity to act. There is an opportunity here to bring different interests together in the best interests of American homeowners and the American economy. Please don't let this opportunity pass us by.


Barack Obama
United States Senator

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Monday, March 24, 2008

The Obama Doctrine

Strong and RIGHT

Barack Obama is offering the most sweeping liberal foreign-policy critique heard from a serious presidential contender in decades. It cuts to the heart of traditional Democratic timidity. "It's time to reject the counsel that says the American people would rather have someone who is strong and wrong than someone who is weak and right," Obama said in a January speech. "It's time to say that we are the party that is going to be strong and right." (The Democrat who counseled that Americans wanted someone strong and wrong, not weak and right? That was Bill Clinton in 2002.)

But to understand what Obama is proposing, it's important to ask: What, exactly, is the mind-set that led to the war? What will it mean to end it? And what will take its place? Click HERE to get the answers to these questions and more. . .

To answer these questions, spoke at length with Obama's foreign-policy brain trust, the advisers who will craft and implement a new global strategy if he wins the nomination and the general election. They envision a doctrine that first ends the politics of fear and then moves beyond a hollow, sloganeering "democracy promotion" agenda in favor of "dignity promotion," to fix the conditions of misery that breed anti-Americanism and prevent liberty, justice, and prosperity from taking root. An inextricable part of that doctrine is a relentless and thorough destruction of al-Qaeda. Is this hawkish? Is this dovish? It's both and neither -- an overhaul not just of our foreign policy but of how we think about foreign policy. And it might just be the future of American global leadership.
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Ex-Romney co-Chair endorses Obama

By Doug Kmiec:

Today I endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. I believe him to be a person of integrity, intelligence, and genuine good will. I take him at his word that he wants to move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides and that he wants to return the United States to that company of nations committed to human rights. I do not know if his earlier life experience is sufficient for the challenges of the presidency that lie ahead. I doubt we know this about any of the men or women we might select. It likely depends upon the serendipity of the events that cannot be foreseen. I do have confidence that the senator will cast his net widely in search of men and women of diverse, open-minded views and of superior intellectual qualities to assist him in the wide range of responsibilities that he must superintend.

This endorsement may be of little note or consequence, except perhaps that it comes from an unlikely source: namely, a former constitutional legal counsel to two Republican presidents. The endorsement will likely supply no strategic advantage equivalent to that represented by the very helpful accolades the senator has received from many of high stature and accomplishment, including most recently, from Gov. Bill Richardson. Nevertheless, it is important to be said publicly in a public forum in order that it be understood. It is not arrived at without careful thought and some difficulty.

As a Republican, I strongly wish to preserve traditional marriage not as a suspicion or denigration of my homosexual friends but as recognition of the significance of the procreative family as a building block of society. As a Republican and as a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception, and it is important for every life to be given sustenance and encouragement. As a Republican, I strongly believe that the Supreme Court of the United States must be fully dedicated to the rule of law and to the employ of a consistent method of interpretation that keeps the court within its limited judicial role. As a Republican, I believe problems are best resolved closest to their source and that we should never arrogate to a higher level of government that which can be more effectively and efficiently resolved below. As a Republican and a constitutional lawyer, I believe religious freedom does not mean religious separation or mindless exclusion from the public square.

In various ways, Sen. Barack Obama and I may disagree on aspects of these important fundamentals, but I am convinced, based upon his public pronouncements and his personal writing, that on each of these questions he is not closed to understanding opposing points of view and, as best as it is humanly possible, he will respect and accommodate them.

No doubt some of my friends will see this as a matter of party or intellectual treachery. I regret that, and I respect their disagreement. But they will readily agree that as Republicans, we are first Americans. As Americans, we must voice our concerns for the well-being of our nation without partisanship when decisions that have been made endanger the body politic. Our president has involved our nation in a military engagement without sufficient justification or a clear objective. In so doing, he has incurred both tragic loss of life and extraordinary debt jeopardizing the economy and the well-being of the average American citizen. In pursuit of these fatally flawed purposes, the office of the presidency, which it was once my privilege to defend in public office formally, has been distorted beyond its constitutional assignment. Today, I do no more than raise the defense of that important office anew, but as private citizen.

Sept. 11 and the radical Islamic ideology that it represents is a continuing threat to our safety, and the next president must have the honesty to recognize that it, as author Paul Berman has written, "draws on totalitarian inspirations from 20th-century Europe and with its double roots, religious and modern, perversely intertwined. ... wields a lot more power, intellectually speaking, then naïve observers might suppose." Sen. Obama needs to address this extremist movement with the same clarity and honesty with which he has addressed the topic of race in America. Effective criticism of the incumbent for diverting us from this task is a good start, but it is incomplete without a forthright outline of a commitment to undertake, with international partners, the formation of a worldwide entity that will track, detain, prosecute, convict, punish, and thereby stem radical Islam's threat to civil order. I await Sen. Obama's more extended thinking upon this vital subject as he accepts the nomination of his party and engages Sen. McCain in the general campaign discussion to come.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Obama - More Voices

Barack Obama talked earlier this week about bridging divides and bringing people together to solve our common problems. That's not just the theme of this campaign -- it's been the theme of his life's work.

When Barack came back to Chicago after law school, he led a voter registration drive to attract people to the political process. Watch this short video about Barack's voter registration efforts and do something to help register new voters in the upcoming states:

Registering voters and bringing more voices into the political process is what this campaign is all about. In the ten contests left in this race, we have an opportunity to build a base of support that will lead Democrats to victory up and down the ballot in November.But more importantly, we have the chance to transform our party and our politics.

By bringing in new voters and encouraging voters who have gotten fed up to get involved again, we can move beyond the divisive and petty tactics that have dominated our politics for far too long. We can send a message that we're ready for something new -- something positive that brings us together around a shared goal of a better future for all Americans.

You can help build our movement and create a lasting change in our party and in our country.
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Story Behind The Story

Story behind the story: The Clinton myth
By Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
The Politico

One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.

Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency.

Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.

People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.

As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives.

In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.

View this entire article.

Personally, I am tired of this game, this "make-believe" world (or is it nightmare) the democratic party is living through at this point. As my 7 year old stated a week ago, "I wish this was already decided..." Me too... Me too...

I have tried not to get immersed in the infighting going on in the Democratic party, because at some point, we're all going to have to come together. Obama or Clinton will be our candidate and the objective will be to beat McCain in November. That's why I'm tired. I try to convince myself that the party will mend, but will it before November? Before it's too late to start the real fight, the one with the Republican party?

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson Endorses Obama

Richardson Endorses Obama

By Patrick Healy
The New York Times

Friday 21 March 2008

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who sought to become the nation's first Hispanic president this year, plans to endorse Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination on Friday at a campaign event in Oregon, according to an Obama adviser.

Mr. Richardson, a former congressman and energy secretary in the Clinton administration, dropped out of the Democratic race in January after finishing behind Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Since then, both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have aggressively courted Mr. Richardson for his endorsement. Mrs. Clinton had also deployed her husband, and Mr. Richardson's former boss, to seek the governor's political support; former President Bill Clinton watched the Super Bowl in February with Mr. Richardson, and both Clintons had spent time on the phone trying to persuade him to back her candidacy.

In a statement explaining his endorsement, which was provided by the Obama campaign early Friday morning, Mr. Richardson hailed Mr. Obama's judgment and ability to be commander-in-chief - qualities that Mrs. Clinton has called into question in recent weeks on the campaign trail.

"I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America's moral leadership in the world," Mr. Richardson said in the statement. "As a presidential candidate, I know full well Sen. Obama's unique moral ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation."

Mr. Richardson based his candidacy in large part on his strong opposition to the war in Iraq and on calls for an immediate and total withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both support a steady but carefully paced withdrawal of troops; Mr. Obama, however, was an early, consistent opponent of the war, while Mrs. Clinton voted in 2002 to authorize military action in Iraq and supported the war in its first years.

As a governor, Mr. Richardson is a super-delegate who would have a vote in the nominating contest if neither Mr. Obama nor Mrs. Clinton ends the primary season in June with a lead in the delegates amassed during the 2008 primaries and caucuses. Mr. Obama now has an overall lead of 1,485 delegates, according to an analysis by the New York Times; a candidate needs 2,024 to win the Democratic nomination.

Moreover, as the nation's only Hispanic governor, Mr. Richardson could become a champion for Mr. Obama among Hispanic voters, who have been a key voting bloc for Mrs. Clinton in the primaries thus far. And his endorsement is also notable because he is a friend and admirer of Mrs. Clinton, and was widely viewed as a possible running mate for both her and for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Richardson served as ambassador to the United Nations under Mr. Clinton, and has also worked as an official and unofficial troubleshooter for the government on foreign policy issues and crises, drawing on his extensive contacts overseas such as with leaders of North Korea.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama has the judgment and courage we need in a commander in chief when our nation's security is on the line. He showed this judgment by opposing the Iraq war from the start, and he has show it during this campaign by standing up for a new era in American leadership internationally," Mr. Richardson said in his statement.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Obama said:

"Whether it's fighting to end the Iraq war or stop the genocide in Darfur or prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, Gov. Richardson has been a powerful voice on issues of global security, peace and justice, earning five Nobel Peace Prize nominations," Obama said in a statement.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Does Cenk Uygur Support Barack Obama?

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Interview with Obama just after his speech.

With ABC news.

Some more clarification, examples, truth. I love it.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's speech on race and politics from Philadelphia

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Guilt by association or who the hell is Marc Rich?

Hillary surrounded by Susan McDougal, Robert L. Johnson, Marc Rich, Norman Hsu and Jim Guy TuckerThere appears to be some major double standards being applied to the race for the Democratic nomination for president. According to Clinton supporters, Barack Obama should always be found guilty by reason of association. They have no problems pointing out people like Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko while conveniently leaving out any references to people associated with Hillary. In the long run, this could prove to be a huge mistake. Let’s say that by some freak of nature, Hillary manages to talk the super delegates into ignoring the vote totals and delegate count and “selecting” her to be the nominee. Don’t think for a minute that the GOP will be afraid of bringing up Hillary’s associates, both past and present. When it comes to guilt by association, “Hill” has an ample amount to be worried about.

Hillary supporters - especially the ones who only came to Hillary after being abandoned by John, Chris, Dennis, Joe, Bill, Mike and Tom - like to point first to Tony Rezko whentrying to derail Obama . Ooh, great idea for Hillary supporters to point to a real estate scandal. Maybe Susan McDougal and Jim Guy Tucker could join Hillary on the campaign trail and talk about how much the Whitewater scandal taught them about real estate scandals. Isn’t that a great idea! Talk about guilt by association. I say that from this point forward, every single time a blogger mentions Rezko that Obama supports simply use a one word response in the comment section - Whitewater.

The Hillary people love it when some someone associated with Obama says something controversial - in fact, it’s almost as if the Clinton campaign has someone ready to pounce and cry “foul” every time. “Hey, Samantha Power called Hillary a monster!” What happens? The Obama campaign apologizes and Samantha Power is no longer with the campaign. On January 13, B.E.T. founder, Robert L. Johnson made obvious reference to Obama’s admitted drug use during a Clinton rally in South Carolina. After being called on it, he tried to hide it, claiming he was referencing Obama’s work as a community organizer. Of course anyone with a lick of sense knew this was something someone wouldn’t actually try to ridicule, yet the Clintons backed Johnson. It would be four days before Johnson finally apologized for his outrageous actions. It took Gerry Ferraro over ten days to step down from the campaign. But I digress, I’m getting away from the point, if Obama is guilty by association, then why isn’t Hillary guilty by association with Norman Hsu? Norman who, you say. Norman Hsu. Norman is one of those gentlemen who makes money off people who are both greedy and easily duped. He engineered pyramid schemes. He also engaged in improper actions with bundled campaign contributions. What did the Clinton campaign say when this was reported by the Wall Street Journal? “Norman Hsu is a longtime and generous supporter of the Democratic party and its candidates, including Senator Clinton. During Mr. Hsu’s many years of active participation in the political process, there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question.” Oh, did I mention that Hsu had been a Federal fugitive for 15 years?

Here’s the skinny - I do not hold Hillary Clinton responsible for the actions of any of her supporters, friends or past acquaintances. How can I? No one has proven she was behind anything nefarious and she should be innocent until proven guilty. Do you think the Clinton supporters would be so generous with Obama? Uh, do cartoon bears shit Rice Krispies? I didn’t think so.

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Obama visits Plainfield, Indiana

From Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times:

Speaking in a gym at Plainfield High School, making his first visit to Indiana of his presidential campaign in advance of the May primary here, Obama said “everybody, you know, senses there has been this shift.”

This comes as Obama is trying to distance himself from Wright, whose controversial sermons—on videotape—threaten Obama’s presidential quest. Obama talked about Wright in his stump speech as a man of fiery rhetoric—but one who talked to him about Jesus.” Obama's reference to Kennedy is about a speech he made in this state after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Click HERE for the rest of the story.

A short video of the crowd at the rally

And another report, this one from the Indianapolis Star.

Obama spoke for about 20 minutes, then answered questions from the audience for another 45 minutes on everything from whether he would change No Child Left Behind -- he would -- to saving Social Security. On that, he proposed raising the cap on payroll taxes. Right now, people pay payroll taxes only on their first $97,000 in income. That means, he said, that 94 percent of folks pay on every dime they make, while billionaire Warren Buffett pays only on a tiny fraction of his income.

If elected, he said, he would focus immediately on three things: Bringing the troops home in a responsible manner; universal health care reform that continues private insurance but helps people afford it; and a new energy policy. Do those things, he said, and other programs such as improving education become doable; fail, and the nation would be bankrupt.

People reacted with a disappointed "aah" when Obama finally said his time was up. But he promised to be back to campaign aggressively in Indiana.

And the Herald Bulletin:

Kokomo resident James Whitfield originally was a supporter of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for president, but has switched allegiance to Barack Obama.

“I’m an Obama supporter,” Whitfield said, waiting for the doors to the high school gymnasium to open. “I’m really excited about it. Both candidates are good.”

Whitfield said he first started by supporting Clinton, even making a monetary contribution, but didn’t like some of the political tricks her campaign was using and switched to Obama.

“I’m more interested in issues than digging up dirt,” he said. “If he (Obama) wanted, there would be plenty to dig up on her (Clinton).”
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Obama Speaks Out on Rev.Wright

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kinda Scary.

Snipets from a Wall Street Joural article this morning:

Infighting Worries Democrats
Split Between Backers Of Clinton and Obama Lifts Republican Hopes
By JONATHAN KAUFMANMarch 11, 2008; Page A4

The groups that for months have energized the Democratic campaign and have given Democrats high hopes -- blacks, women and young voters -- are increasingly sniping at each other, raising concerns that the battle could create problems in the November election.
More Republicans now say they are satisfied with Sen. John McCain than Democrats are with either Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"As things become more competitive, people's language heats up a bit," says Ellen Malcolm, head of Emily's List, the women's fund-raising group, who supports Sen. Clinton. "After the convention, we will all come together. People on the Democratic side are highly energized to take back the White House."
Other Democratic leaders, including veterans of hard-fought contests, worry about the emerging divisions. "I am fearful; we are heading into uncharted territory," says Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000 and is now an uncommitted superdelegate. "Over the past few weeks, the mood and the tone has shifted. The Clinton backers are as adamant as the Obama people. The undertones [about race and gender] are the kind of cultural fault lines that lead to divisions. It is alarming and sickening."

Republican pollster Bill McInturff says the longer the race goes on, "there isn't much time to heal. If you have a party made up of a disparate coalition of race, ethnicity and gender, that is very precarious and can be a hard thing to repair."


Black radio talk shows are ablaze with callers saying they will stay home in November if Sen. Clinton wins the nomination. Warren Ballentine, a nationally syndicated show host, says he has been flooded with calls and emails from African-Americans saying they won't vote for Sen. Clinton.
"If she would have won a few months ago, people would have been cool with it," Mr. Ballentine says. "But because of everything that has happened, African-Americans are getting to the point now that there is no way on God's green earth we are going to vote for her."


Anger is also appearing among women supporting Sen. Clinton. Connie Swanson, a teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, voted for Sen. Clinton in the primary and tried to recruit friends to caucus for her. "If Obama gets it, I'm voting Republican," she says. "I've watched all the debates, and I honestly don't get it. He's like a fantasy."


Supporters of Sen. Clinton also worry about young voters, male and female, who have turned out in large numbers for Sen. Obama. "Young students for Obama could stay home; that's one reason I am so furious at them," says Fran Reiter, former deputy mayor of New York and a Clinton supporter. "They are all excited about him, and they don't have any staying power. If Obama doesn't get the nomination, do they get angry again and crawl back into their apathetic hole?"
Republicans are gleeful. Six weeks ago, Shawn Fago, a Rudy Giuliani supporter and head of the Orange County Young Republicans, was despondent and looking enviously at the energy among his Democratic friends. Now, he has switched to Sen. McCain and says he is "super excited about how much disarray the Democrats are in. The best-case scenario is that this all goes to the convention and Hillary wins and all the Obama supporters feel disenfranchised and they stay home. It's beautiful."


My comments: I blame She Who Must Not Be Named. Her intense denial that anyone but herself should be the nominee has caused a HUGE rift in the party. Proof positive that she is the Queen of Polarization. If McCain wins in November, we'll know who to thank. Sheesh.

I can hardly watch this train wreck about to happen. It's rather disheartening.
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Obama wins Wyoming

Voters buck state's history:

Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” because of the rights women have traditionally enjoyed there. Wyoming women were the first in the nation to vote, serve on juries and hold public office. Despite that history, the first serious female contender for the presidency was brushed aside today as Barack Obama handily won the Wyoming caucuses today by a 61% - 38% margin. No word on whether his cousin, Deadeye Dick, voted for him or not. 12 delegates were at stake in this state where only 675 statewide took part in the last caucuses in 2004. Nearly 10 times that number turned out to cast their votes today.
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There's Something Happening Here...

The "Momentum" has only just begun...


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Friday, March 07, 2008

The Florida, Michigan Delegates Dilemma.

As we know, there has been a lot of back and forth about whether to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates who were "elected" in primaries that were deemed invalid by the Democratic Party. These two states where told that if they moved their election dates up in the primary calendar that they would be punished by the party for not following party rules and that their delegates would not be legitimate.

Here is my opinion. The reason behind a political party is to organize people who share similar ideologies, opinions, principles, visions and interests. A political party formulates a certain structure and coalition to maximize the collective shared individual views in order to gain political office to dictate policy.

These parties create rules and regulations to maintain that coalition and maximum power. It's rules and regulations are somewhat similar to laws of the states and federal governments to maintain order and organization. Without rules and regulations a political parties coalition would fall apart and therefore the party would be more likely to disintegrate into different factions and splinter groups.

So with all this being said, I do not support the view that the Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated at the Democratic convention in Denver. That is because they violated the rules with full knowledge of what the consequences would be. This is tragic for the voters for those states because they were abandoned and "thrown under the bus" by their the Florida and Michigan Democratic state parties. It is, however, not the fault of the overall party which represents all the states of the union that these two states decided to do their own thing. There must be enforcement of the rules or else chaos would ensue and each state would decide to follow their own rules. Thus, the above mentioned breakup of the party would be more likely to ensue. There must be order to maintain the power and order of the collective voters of a certain party.

It is not fair to the rest of the states who followed the rules to accommodate two states who broke the rules. It is a dangerous precedent to allow state parties to break the rules but then given another chance after complaining that they were disenfranchised. They knew full well that they would be disenfranchied when they made the original decision to break with the national party!!

Imagine that you have say five children and three of the five (the majority of states) obeyed the rules of the household (The DNC) as determined by the parents (The DNC officials). Then two of the kids (Florida and Michigan) break the rules but don't want to face the consequences of their actions. In keeping with the example, suppose after a bunch of whining and complaining that you allow the two kids who broke the rules to not have to pay for their actions. This would enrage the three kids who didn't disobey and they would feel upset and rightly so. They would feel that the two other kids received special treatment and would send the example that the rules don't have to be followed in the future.

At that point all five of the kids would want to make their own rules and when chastised say to the parents that if the two other kids could break the rules then so could they. The parents would lose their power to maintain structure and respect of their authority would be shattered. At that point the family would fall into severe dysfunction. See what I'm getting at?

Then there is the problem of seating the delegates without a redo because Hillary was the only one on the ballot in Michigan and no one was allowed to run in either state. Seating those delegates despite those problems would be undemocratic in the least. Now you might say that not allowing the two states to revote is undemocratic but I'd say that it is not because they didn't follow the rules. If you don't follow the rules of an election and say try to vote twice but get caught, you can't come back and scream that not counting your vote at all as punishment for you disobedience is undemocratic!!!

Speaking of rerunning those elections, I am quite disturbed about that view because again, it shows that rules don't apply. But perhaps more importantly, what would keep other states from wanting to have a "redo?" What would keep the Obama campaign from saying that they want to rerun elections that they barely lost such as California and Texas? How could the national party grant the two states who didn't follow the rules another chance but not the other states?

Yes, it is tragic that the state parties of Michigan and Florida screwed their own voters but that's not the fault of everyone else!!! The right thing to do is get in the face of those state party officials who used their voters as pawns.

This all makes me wonder if the Clinton campaign would want these delegates to be seated if they had lost those two states? If Barack had won those two states I would still be against seating those delegates or having a redo because the rule of law should be sacrosanct in a Democracy.

The only thing that is fair is to split those delegates 50/50.

I'm telling you and the Democratic Party right now that if this goes ahead, I will never forgive the party and most likely switch to a Greenie for good. I am already an Independent from other issues that I've had with some elected Democrats but I still mostly vote Democrat. However, mark my words, is this happens it will be the end of the Democratic Party. If you are as outraged as I am that the national party is even considering these two options then I suggest that you email/write to the DNC and tell them that how you feel.

UPDATE: Have you heard that the Clinton campaign is comparing Obama to Ken Starr because he criticized her for not releasing her tax returns?!!! The obvious is that this is an absurd, below the belt typically Clintonian attack. In addition though I wonder if the Clinton's really want to bring up the Ken Starr specter. Do they really want to crack that book open again?

(Cross posted at: The Political Junkie).

---End of Transmission---

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Beyond Chron: The Voice of the Rest

from San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily March 4, 2008

Ignore the Spin: Clinton Done After Texas by Randy Shaw‚ Mar. 04‚ 2008

Absent a hurricane or some other unforeseeable event, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign ends tonight in Texas. The media has covered so many angles to the Texas campaign -- the Latino vote, the generation gap, Californians arriving en masse to help, the bizarre “two step” voting system (people vote first in the primary and then in the caucus) -- that the essential piece of information has been obscured: the most delegate-rich districts are heavily African-American, and will go overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. While the Latino vote gets far more attention, low turnout in past elections has left Latino districts with fewer delegates. Meanwhile, African-American refugees from Hurricane Katrina are now concentrated in Houston, adding to Obama’s likely victory margin in that delegate-rich area. Republicans’ strategy to change the political make-up of Louisiana by displacing blacks from New Orleans will help nominate the presidential candidate they fear most. While the Clinton campaign is spinning all kinds of talk about proceeding after March 4, even an Ohio victory will not stop a Texas defeat from ending her candidacy.

Remember Texas Delegate Rules!

While the traditional media would love for the Obama-Clinton race to continue to the late August convention -- CNN’s primary night ratings are through the roof -- tonight effectively ends the Democratic presidential primary race. Regardless of whether she wins Rhode Island and Ohio, Hillary Clinton cannot continue without a major victory in Texas -- an event that borders on the near impossible.

Although Clinton’s need to win 65% of Texas delegates in order save her candidacy was much discussed in the wake of her Wisconsin defeat, this critical fact has receded into the background as media coverage of the race has gone into overdrive. Also pushed aside has been Texas’ voting system, which assigns delegates to districts that have voted most heavily Democratic in the past.

These districts are primarily African-American. And in cities like Houston, Obama’s strength has been increased through two factors: the transplanted refugees from New Orleans, and SEIU -- which is going all out for Obama -- getting a major beachhead in the city in late 2005.

The media occasionally notes how Texas’ delegate selection rules strongly favor Obama, but this point has gotten lost amidst the information deluge. In fact, the media has done such a poor job at explaining Texas’ system that even close observers may not be aware that the winner of the state’s popular vote gets no extra delegates.

This means that unlike New York or California, a popular vote victory by Clinton in Texas would not increase her delegate count. Instead, 2/3 of the delegates are picked by district through the primary system, with the balance selected through tonight’s caucuses.

Consider that when commentators say that Clinton is justified in continuing if she wins Texas’ popular vote. Such a “victory” is irrelevant -- instead, Clinton must win a substantial majority of Texas delegates to retain a prospect of entering the convention in the lead.

Simply put, Obama is virtually certain to win more Texas delegates than Clinton. Even a tie in Texas prevents Clinton from ending the primary/caucus season with anywhere close to Obama’s delegate count.

Clinton’s Campaign Cannot Last Until April 22

Although both Bill Clinton and James Carville have admitted that a Texas defeat ends Hillary’s campaign, others have argued that she will take her fight to Pennsylvania on April 22 if she wins Rhode Island and Ohio and wages a close but losing race in Texas.

But there are two problems with her continuing after a Texas defeat.

First, it means Clinton continuing a contest where she has no mathematical ability to enter the convention with the most delegates, which would only divide the Democratic Party.

Second, there is too much down time between March 4 and April 22 for the Clinton campaign to claim “momentum” from its Ohio and Rhode Island victories.

If the Pennsylvania primary were next week, then Clinton could justify holding out for a political miracle. But we’re talking six weeks. Six weeks has become like six years this political season. Six weeks ago, the campaigns were still organizing for South Carolina’s primary. Six weeks ago, Obama’s long winning streak had not even begun.

Hillary Clinton cannot sustain six long weeks of having to explain why she is playing the spoiler.

The Limits of Clinton’s Scorched Earth Campaign

Whereas Republican Mike Huckabee has continued his presidential challenge despite McCain’s grip on the nomination, few see the former Arkansas Governor as dividing his party or weakening its eventual nominee. But Clinton’s increasingly vicious campaign against Obama is increasingly seen as accomplishing both.

For example, when Clinton publicly stated yesterday that John McCain has a lifetime of experience behind him while Barack Obama has but a single speech, she gave the Republican a great quote for the November election. As Rachel Maddow of Air America radio told Keith Olberman, "That's what you say when you want to be John McCain's Vice Presidential choice."

The Democratic Party Establishment that has long backed Hillary Clinton is not going to tolerate six weeks of further attacks on Obama from a candidate that cannot win. Unlike Huckabee, Clinton is not claiming to represent the “soul” of her Party, and continuing her campaign after losing Texas would appear as pure bitterness.

Clinton knows that Texas represents her last stand, which is why she has thrown a “kitchen sink” of attacks at Obama in recent days; once she loses Texas, she has nothing left to alter the race.

The Myth of Clinton Momentum

Ever since the crying scene before New Hampshire, the media has jumped on isolated incidents in the waning days of the campaign to find a boost for Clinton. In South Carolina, until the votes were counted most commentators felt that Bill Clinton’s racially charged appeals would prove successful; we were told that whites were fleeing Obama in droves.

The truth was the opposite.

The day before Super Tuesday, Hillary again cried in Connecticut, an action that was predicted to stem Obama’s momentum there.

It didn’t.

In Virginia, we were told that after MSNBC’s David Shuster accused Hillary of “pimping” her daughter, that voters would rush to Clinton in sympathy.

Didn’t happen.

In Wisconsin, we were told that Clinton’s claim that Obama was guilty of “plagiarism” would lead her to victory.

She lost by nearly double what any poll had predicted.

Now we are told that “sympathy” for Hillary is boosting her support for today’s primaries, even few voters in any election who bases their vote on such a criteria. We are told that Hillary has finally “found her voice,” even though that supposedly occurred in New Hampshire.

If such arguments prevent Obama supporters from getting overconfident, great. But everything I have heard says that Obama has an extraordinary operation in Texas that will carry him to the delegate victory.

There are probably more Bay Area folks working for Obama in Texas than for Kerry in Nevada in 2004, and Obama rallies have greatly outnumbered Clinton events in almost every Texas city.

It would only be fitting for the most progressive Democratic nominee in three decades to secure his spot by winning in the state that gave us our last progressive president, Lyndon Johnson. And to be put over the top by the long-suffering victims of our government’s inaction in New Orleans, who are making Houston the heart of Texas’ Democratic revival.
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Monday, March 03, 2008


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Zogby: Obama Barely Overtakes Clinton in Ohio and in Texas Retains Small Edge

(Zogby) UTICA, New York — The Democratic Party presidential primaries in Texas and Ohio remain too close to call between Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, with momentum sloshing back and forth, a new Zogby International poll for Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle two-day telephone tracking poll shows. As voters in these two big states prepare to wrap up their voting tomorrow, neither candidate has been able to break away from the other.

The two delegate-rich states with elections on Tuesday are among the last of the big states left in the primary election season, and both candidates stand to split the delegates under the party's proportional delegate apportionment scheme.

TEXAS - DEMOCRATS 2-29/3-2 2-28/3-1 2-27/29 2-26/28
Clinton 44% 43% 43% 42%
Obama 47% 47% 45% 48%
Gravel 2% 1% 1% 1%
Someone else 1% 2% 3% 3%
Not Sure 6% 7% 8% 7%

The telephone surveys also show Republican front-runner John McCain, the senator from Arizona, moving two steps closer to sealing the GOP nomination, as he continues to enjoy a sizable lead over closest challenger Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

OHIO - DEMOCRATS 2-29/3-2 2-28/3-1 2-27/29 2-26/28
Clinton 45% 47% 45% 44%
Obama 47% 46% 45% 42%
Gravel 1% 1% 1% 1%
Someone else 2% 1% 3% 5%
Not Sure 6% 5% 6% 9%

In the Democratic race in Texas, Clinton and Obama saw stability set in among the key demographic groups. Obama leads among men, and the two are essentially tied among women. Clinton continues to enjoy a sizable lead among Hispanic voters, but Obama has made gains in the last day among white voters, where the two are now tied.

Obama continues to enjoy a two-to-one lead among voters under age 30, while Clinton leads 54% to 31% among voters age 65 and older. Obama continues to lead in the Dallas and Houston areas, while Clinton leads in more rural areas, including southern Texas. But in the key swing area of east Texas, Obama has surged into a tie with Clinton. While he trailed her 45% to 38% just a day ago, it was Obama 45%, Clinton 44% in that area at the end of yesterdays polling, but the numbers in that region have been volatile.

In Ohio, there is very little movement as the Democratic candidates have solidified their support among those groups that have come to be familiar supporters of each. Obama leads Clinton among men by a 54% to 39% margin, while Clinton leads Obama among women by a 51% to 42% edge. The Obama increase in support among men is likely what has moved him ahead of Clinton.

Obama continues to lead among Ohio voters under age 50, while Clinton remains strongest among voters over age 50. Clinton leads in the rural areas of Ohio and in Cincinnati, while Obama leads in the Democratic bastion of Cleveland and the state capital of Columbus.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obama mocks Clinton mocking Obama

Several days ago, I posted video of Hillary Clinton mocking Obama with "the sky will open up, he will wave his magic wand, and all will be right with the world". Here's Obama responding to that from the very same stage that she utttered it from:

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Methinks the Republicans are a bit skeered of Mr. Obama

But Karl Rove, the former senior political adviser to President Bush and architect of his presidential election victories, said such calls from Democrats for Mrs. Clinton’s withdrawal were unwise and unbecoming.

“I think it’s a mistake for his campaign to be calling for her to drop out,” Mr. Rove said on Fox. That would be seen as “rubbing her nose” in the fact that she is trailing,
he said. “It’s up to the delegates at the convention to decide who wins and loses,” he added.

Published: March 2, 2008 New York Times)

Things that make you go Hmmmm.........

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Another Democrat endorses Obama?

Is that William Jefferson Clinton I see endorsing Barack Obama???

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

I likey. You likey?

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