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Reverand Wright: Black People Must Fight Each Other May 1, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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I guess Obama will end up losing this battle for the nomination.

I really think Hillary is gonna pull this out.

For me, and milliions of Americans, it will destroy what was left of what we call hope.

That town in Arkansas, the town that gave birth to Bill Clinton and Mike Huckleberry, is gonna be the only “hope” that ends up mattering in this election. It’s ironic in a sick, twisted way. Hope, Arkansas, is all the hope we will all ever know, after this election.

It’s tempting to blame Hillary for this, but, just as I blamed the American people for choosing Dubya not once, but, twice, I blame the American people for this obsession over Reverend Rite®.

Americans have always had a weird, twisted relationship with African Americans. Most of the immigrants who helped built America on their backs never got to know the people who really built America. On their backs. It’s a weird thing, that the people who are killing Obama in the polling are the same people who would have loved him 60 years ago, who would have loved his people sweating, building their country.

You would think they would love, and understand, the stuff Reverend Wright was talking about. But instead, they’ve turned against him. The working class said, to the real working, slave class: we have no appreciation what you did for our country, and we hate you for your efforts.

So, they are saying, your punishment is just. You have finally found an idol who is not a sports star. And we will make sure you fight each other forever. And we will destroy him.

That’s the karma going right now. I know *I* can’t make it right. Can you?

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Mommie dearest: Chelsea speaks, but won’t talk to journalists April 26, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Election 2008, elections, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, News and politics, Politics, primaries.
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Chelsea Clinton, Dorothy Rodham, and Bill Clinton

Look mom! No reporters!
Photo: AP

In Philadelphia Monday night for a final rally before the must-win Pennsylvania primary, Chelsea Clinton told a packed crowd that she and her father are having an “implicit competition about who is, like, duh, more normal.”

Bill Clinton is the master of retail politicking, widely acknowledged to have few peers as a campaigner. But ever since the red nosed beacon of 21st century racism began making an utter fool of himself, there’s a case to be made that his 28-year-old daughter is the more valuable advocate for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.  After all, she is allowed to speak in front of thousands, but the Clintons won’t let her speak to journalists. Smart move, considering the family’s sordid past. The question really becomes, though, why is the media giving her a free pass? Why are they afraid to ask her questions? Is she still a child?

Meanwhile, the former president has stumbled badly at times, veering wildly off message, picking fights with reporters and making ill-considered comments that have caused his wife’s campaign to relegate him to out-of-the-way locales and made even progressives consider the nickname “Bubba” legitimate fodder. The once-and-maybe-future first daughter, on the other hand, has loosened up and eased into her role as a surrogate, hitting her stride just when her mother needed it most, and done a marvelous job of keeping at arms length from reporters. Sites like Politico unabashedly sing her praises, partly out of fear that the Clintons may somehow still wrest the nomination from Obama and not have access to whatever they think they’ll need access to as journalists, perhaps, or maybe somehow too ashamed to ask why a major political figure like Chelsea will not talk to the press.

And, a major political figure is exactly what Chelsea has become.

Despite the fact that she is now a major figure on the Hillary campaign stump, she will not talk to reporters, and even spurned a child reporter in a now famous diss.

In the last three and a half months alone, Chelsea Clinton has traveled to 37 states, logging more than 75,000 miles on commercial airlines, speaking at more than 115 college campuses and answering more than 1,500 questions in total, said Philippe Reines, a senior aide to the campaign.

“She’s definitely her mom’s secret weapon,” said Erika Alexander, an actress who has appeared on the stump with Chelsea. “[Hillary Clinton] has no better messenger. But if you are a journalist, she’s like a scorpion. Good luck getting near her.”

Chelsea also has helped take some of the burden off her mother by reaching out to undecided superdelegates and placing as many as 80 thank-you calls a day to organizers of fundraisers and other events. The thank-you’s have even included the many vendors that are owed huge sums of money by the Clintons.

Earlier this month, when a small printing press in Pennsylvania sent a bill to the Clintons for a $300,000 printing job, it was Chelsea who called and told them to back off.

And, even earlier this month, when Minnesota superdelegate Nancy Larson decided to endorse Sen. Barack Obama, it was Chelsea Clinton who picked up the phone to find out why.

Larson told The New York Times that the conversation was “heartbreaking” because Chelsea was a “delightful young woman who loves her mother very much. I mean, I could almost hear the suckling still from her pursed little lips, and I now understand why the Clintons are reluctant to expose her to the mass media.” The incident stood in stark contrast to media accounts of Bill Clinton’s private discussion with uncommitted California superdelegates several weeks earlier, in which the superdelegates reported being stunned by his angry response when one of them broached the subject of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Obama.

Asked if Chelsea was proving to be a more effective surrogate than her father, Reines said, “Sen. Clinton is lucky to have two fantastic surrogates who know her best and how great a president she’d be, working tirelessly on her behalf. Well, I mean, I’m not sure Bill would be comfortable being called a surrogate, since he’s used so many surrogates in his marriage, but, well, you know what I mean. ”

So far, then, it is Chelsea who has handled delicate situations with aplomb, and it is Chelsea who has emerged unscratched from public events where her family’s most sensitive issues — such as the Monica Lewinsky scandal — were suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon her by questioners.

Only once has she drawn unfavorable public notice — and that for an absurdly disciplined approach that led her to refuse an interview request from a 9-year-old student journalist. Since then, the press has gotten smart, and has been afraid to challenge the notion that she should be asked questions on the stump.

Bill Clinton, by contrast, has appeared volatile and contentious at times as he careens from controversy to controversy, seemingly unable to grasp the realities of a new political environment where every statement is captured on audio or video and can be immediately vetted for accuracy.

However, that hasn’t stopped the press from its relentless pursuit of Obama’s relationship with a pastor. The question of this campaign hasn’t been, “How do you control your husband?” It’s been, “how do you control your pastor?”

How Does Obama Stay Obama? March 7, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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Dave Winer’s talk with UC-Berkeley professor George Lakoff really was a home run:

http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/03/05/lakoffHitsItOutOfThePark.html

Is the reason Obama did badly in Ohio (especially) because he now has too many handlers? That’s not a question Lakoff brings up, but it is one that worries me.

Regarding some specifics of what Lakoff said, I’ll reiterate that The Gore Years has written extensively on how the world might have been different if Iraq had not been invaded.

The Iraq war is the one, single reason the American economy is falling so fast.

It’s not NAFTA, it’s the war.

Side note. I sent a comment to Dave’s site:

Thanks Dave for this podcast. What’s neat about this podcast is that it is so unlike talking head TV where the interviewer is almost as much a part of the interview as the guest. You got out of the way and let the man speak.

Dave’s questions were few and intelligent. Much better than the blather you’ll find on any national broadcast of talking heads. I even appreciated the phone hanging up at the end.

Desperate For Cash, Clinton Campaign Raids Bührle, Nabs $163 Million In Art February 13, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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Zurich police today identified the thieves who recently stole art masterpieces from the renowned Bührle collection as having “direct ties” to Vice President Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The campaign, which has been reeling as a result of a string of several primary and caucus losses at that hands of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, is said to be desperate for cash, and will use the proceeds from the art heist to, in the words of deputy campaign manager Mike Henry, “make our stand at the Alamo. Paul Cezanne's painting The Boy in the Red VestWe’ll saturate the great state of Texas with ads on every radio and TV station in the state, and we’ll make our case for change with some beef.”

Henry was relieved of his duties later in the evening, but there is no indication if he was fired because of his involvement with the heist or because he simply did a sloppy job of carrying out the heist. “They came in with guns blazing,” Zurich police spokesman Marco Cortesi told the press today, “and screaming, ‘Remember the Alamo!'”.

Image URL: Paul Cezanne’s painting “The Boy in the Red Vest”, http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2008/02/11/PH2008021102650.jpg

Presidential Candidates Assault the Senses February 5, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Obama, Politics.
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Note to regular readers: As the campaign heats up, The Gore Years will be continuing the news on real events, rather than the fantasy world of The Gore Years. We leave it up to our readers to discern the difference between reality and that other thing, whatever that other thing might be. We appreciate your patience.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by cheering crowds and bolstered by more than $1.3 million a day in TV ads, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continued their love fest as they raced through the final hours of an unpredictable Super Tuesday campaign across 22 states. The Republican race turned negative on the eve of the busiest day in primary history.

“We’re going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise,” boasted Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, holding a small, hand-held telescope to help him search the tiny crowd for liberals.

He then criticized John McCain for his positions on tax cuts, gay marriage and immigration and predicted an upset win in delegate-rich California. “McCain will try to undo the damage of the Bush administration, and that can’t be a good thing,” he told an excited crowd of Republican ex-office holders in Tennessee. “If we cannot maintain the policies of this administration, then we can’t keep getting you all to vote against your own interests. We believe in moral majorities!” he screamed to the small crowd, which responded by tossing foreclosure notices into the air.

And then, in an apparent dig at McCain, he screamed, “And we believe in standing up!”

Shortly afterwards, eBay’s CEO Meg Whitman, who heralds from the same venture capital fund company as Romney, Bain Capital, stunned the crowd and approached the podium and announced that all eBay sellers who were willing to vote for Romney would never pay eBay insertion fees for as long as they live.

“We need to give eBay sellers something to live for in this economy,” she explained to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.

McCain struck back a few hours later Monday with a television ad that showed Romney sitting at a desk, pining away for Whitman. The ad clearly shows a despondent Romney drumming his fingers on a huge, walnut desk while staring at one of several computer video screens showing Whitman captivating a crowd of eBay sellers with promises of “better things to come.” The crowd threw various artifacts at her, and there is a rumored YouTube video of her getting nailed on the head by a Pez dispenser, but, according to Romney pollsters, it hasn’t stopped the Romney juggernaut, and didn’t change Romney’s infatuation.

Meanwhile, outwardly, McCain projected confidence, not only about wrapping up the nomination but about staying healthy until November’s general election as well. “I can lead this nation in medication, and motivate all Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest, as long as they continue to stuff their throats with pharmaceuticals” he said while campaigning at a fire station in New Jersey, during a photo opp with Merck. Asked by The Gore Years if he might accidentally fart during some future press event helping to solidify America’s hundred year commitment to Iraq, he replied, “God, I hope not.” The Gore Years has always appreciated his honesty.

Unwilling to leave anything to chance, both men hastily rearranged their schedules to make one more late stop in California, the largest state, with 170 delegates.

After months on the road, the wear on the candidates was showing, and the schedules strained human endurance.

Clinton’s voice was raspy, and at one stop, she struggled to control her coughing. She denied it had anything to do with the Obama love fest. “Don’t you ever compare me to that nasty intern,” she scolded one reporter who asked how she was holding up.

Romney had breakfast in Tennessee, was in Georgia at lunchtime, was touching down in Oklahoma at the dinner hour, got drunk with former candidate George W. Bush after dinner, arranged for a Britney Spears-like pickup of Baseball Commisioner Bush around 10 pm, and was scheduled to arrive in California for a rally at the Spears residence just before midnight local time, partly, his aides said, because he was in the mood for “more debauchery”.

All before flying through the night so he could attend the West Virginia state convention on Tuesday morning and meet the few people still left in America who might vote Republican in the next election.

The Democrats were spending unprecedented amounts of money on television advertising. Records showed Obama and Clinton each spent $1.3 million last Wednesday and have been increasing their purchases in the days since. In fact, some broadcast industry analysts have been reporting that Clinton, through a proxy, has purchased KRON-TV from Young Broadcasting and will, according to one source, “begin broadcasting All Billary, all the Time.”

Obama spent about $250,000 to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl in selected, less expensive regions. Clinton bought one hour of time on the Hallmark Channel for Monday evening to air a live town hall meeting from New York. However, the Hallmark Channel refused to air the meeting. One reason, sources say, is that Hallmark is concerned about rumors that Hillary and Obama got a room (see above link). The other, more significant issue, according to pundits and Hallmark insiders (assuming there is such a thing as a Hallmark insider), is that Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall, Jr. is not a fan of Bill Clinton. “I have seen poster boys for Hallmark Cards,” Hall is known to have said, “And my friends, Bill Clinton is no poster boy.”

The prize in each race was a huge cache of delegates on the biggest primary-season day ever. The biggest concern about that cache was that somehow the Republicans would find a way to get Diebold to create an electronic cache of Democratic votes and somehow turn them into Republican votes, and throw the election again in 2008.

But for today, it was all smiles as Hillary and Obama continued their love fest, and McCain and Romney each tried to figure out which part of the past to represent.

Associated Press reporters Beth Fouhy, Glen Johnson, Jim Kuhnhenn, Nedra Pickler, Libby Quaid and Liz Sidoti contributed to this report. The Gore Years reporter Chuck White made it all right.

Obamamania January 8, 2008

Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, News and politics, Obama.
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Barack Obama’s apparent impending sweep of the Democratic primaries speaks loudly about the American mood. Even in a time of unprecedented prosperity under Al Gore, Democratic voters are shunning his would-be successor, Vice President Hillary Clinton.

It may be that Americans simply don’t like the idea of dynasties. If Clinton would be elected, not only would it be the second Clinton in office, but it would extend the Clinton/Gore dynasty to, potentially, nearly a quarter century. Americans are understandably squeamish about such things.

Ironically, this kind of feeling could have been exacerbated by some of the fears generated by progressives who have repeatedly pointed out that a cadre of Republicans such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney, pushed hard for an invasion of Iraq and have since written that had George W. Bush won the election, they would have launched preemptive strikes against Sadaam.

A Newsweek journalist even raised the hairs of many Americans by posting a fictional blog called The Bush Years which painted a nightmarish, almost science fiction-like alternative future that had America sending ground troops into Iraq and spending hundreds of billions of dollars funding a long-term quagmire. Most economists scoffed at the premise: that the war is largely funded via long-term debts to China. In the blog, the American dollar becomes nearly worthless, and America is reviled throughout most of the world.

These are events that, had they happened, would have been blamed at least partly on dynastic politics.

In real life, of course, Sadaam, has long since disappeared from the scene, having been stricken down by his own people. The Middle East is thriving even as the U.S. is throwing off the chains of its oil dependency. The American economy, fueled in no small part to a host of emerging technologies spurred on by the Gore Administration’s industrial policies, is humming along like a well oiled machine.

Still, voters appear to be on the brink of rejecting Hillary and embracing Obama.

There are two things that Gore has not accomplished that might help explain this phenomenon. One, he has not healed the divisiveness between Republicans and Democrats that has existed since the Clinton years. In fact, under Gore, it may be worse, as the Republican Party has become marginalized because of the domination in that party of evangelicals and the far right. Eventually, though, the GOP will return to a more moderate focus, and the pendulum in Congress will swing back. It always does.

Obama, though, isn’t waiting. He’s already reaching out to Republicans and leveraging his long-term mantra of unity by pointing out that we don’t live in red states or blue states, but in the United States. This message is resonating.

The other thing Gore hasn’t accomplished is in regards to lobbyists. They still have way too much control, and Obama has promised to do something about that. These are two powerful messages. Combine that with Americans’ inherent distaste for dynasties, and you have a rout in the making.

Hillary’s mistake may have been to simply assume she was the appointed successor to the throne. The Bush Years did a nice job of pointing out how dangerous a dynasty can be, even if it did seem a little far-fetched in its apocalyptic tone. And the American people don’t need much help anyway in rejecting the concept of the throne. They’ve been doing it for 232 years.