Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans

January 23, 2012

The Buffalo Beast has produced lists of “The 50 Most Loathsome Americans” almost every year this decade (see their lists for: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) To recap, the most loathsome over the years, with…

Three entries: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin
Four entries: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain
Five entries: Ann Coulter, Joe Lieberman
Six entries: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney
Included every year thus far: “You”

I know this because I tried to put the info from the lists on Wikipedia last year, but they didn’t like that :( But hey, neither did Orly Taitz ;)

Their 2011 list is due any day now; HERE! In the mean time though, I thought I’d guess (total not guaranteed to equal 50) who might be on the list when it gets published, in alphabetical order:

Scott Adams
Roger Ailes
Casey Anthony
Levi Aron
Joe Arpaio
Any/all of these Bad Governors (Rick Scott (Florida), Paul LePage (Maine), Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), Rick Perry (Texas) note: see also below, Jan Brewer (Arizona), John Kasich (Ohio), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Scott Walker (Wisconsin) )
David Barton
Glenn Beck
Rebecca Black
Michael Bloomberg
John Boehner
Harold Camping (I wasn’t raptured because I’m a godless heathen; what’s his excuse?)
Deryl Dedmon (and ‘friends’)
The Duggars (specifically the parents: their 19+2 kids didn’t ask to be born)
John Freshwater
Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO)
Christopher Hitchens
Victoria Jackson (INSANE.)
Kim Kardashian
Amy Koch
Charles & David Koch
Steve Jobs
Rush Limbaugh
Jared Lee Loughner
Keith Mason (Personhood USA)
Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform)
Barack Obama (even if only for signing the Patriot Act Reauthorization)
James O’Keefe
Bill O’Reilly
Sarah Palin
Pepper Spray Cops (Anthony Bologna & John Pike)
Phone hacking scandal participants (Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Les Hinton, et al)
Republicans running for President (Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty)
Jerry Sandusky
Charlie Sheen (and Sheen-wannabe Ashton Kutcher ;)
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tea Party
Tim Tebow
Donald Trump
Anthony Weiner
“You”

If you think I missed anyone who really deserves it, leave a comment!

“We ARE winning!”

November 3, 2008

A brief reply I made to this post which quoted (via an embedded YouTube clip) supposed secret official internal polls as showing McCain way ahead in certain blue states:

“We ARE winning!”

Oh dear; every time I hear that, I remember that this fellow is quoted as having said the same thing.

Take a look at this quote from his Wikipedia article:

“When asked where he had got his information he replied, “authentic sources—many authentic sources”.”

If you want an attempt at neutral treatment of available data, just go to fivethirtyeight.com Note that things have changed a bit in the last month-and-a-half (when Obama was at a six-month low in terms of poll numbers).

On 538 they have NJ/MI/CA as likely to go red as NY/DC/MA. And PA is less likely to go red than *Montana* is likely to go blue.

Also check out the historical info on 270towin.com:

NJ and MI And CA AND PA all last went red in 1988. That was *two decades ago*. So really, think about that for a moment…

Realistically, Obama shouldn’t get less than 300 EV. But let’s be pessimistic for him to start and just give Obama the states that only both Gore and Kerry won; that’s a base of 248 EV. Now, between Gore and Kerry, one of them also carried Iowa, New Mexico and New Hampshire. I think (e.g. based on the 538 blog) that its safe to give those to Obama as well. Suddenly he’s up to 264 EV. That means that he only needs the addition of one of the following states to win: FL,OH,NC,VA,IN,MO,CO whereas McCain needs *ALL* of them (plus NV).

Those aren’t good odds for McCain IMHO.

[update: Wow, it looks like 538 came to the exact same conclusion :]

Keith Olbermann just read the obituary for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 political ambitions

May 24, 2008

It looks like the Hillary campaign just imploded.  Text from here; video (with slight differences) here. The below quote starts ~7:15 into it and runs to the end:

God knows, Senator, in this campaign, this nation has had to forgive you, early and often…

And despite your now traditional position of the offended victim, the nation has forgiven you.

We have forgiven you your insistence that there have been widespread calls for you to end your campaign, when such calls had been few.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about Martin Luther King’s relative importance to the Civil Rights movement.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about your under-fire landing in Bosnia.

We have forgiven you insisting Michigan’s vote wouldn’t count and then claiming those who would not count it were Un-Democratic.

We have forgiven you pledging to not campaign in Florida and thus disenfranchise voters there, and then claim those who stuck to those rules were as wrong as those who defended slavery or denied women the vote.

We have forgiven you the photos of Osama Bin Laden in an anti-Obama ad…

We have forgiven you fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.

We have forgiven you accepting Richard Mellon Scaife’s endorsement and then laughing as you described his “deathbed conversion.”

We have forgiven you quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.

We have forgiven you the 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial.

We have forgiven you President Clinton’s disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson’s.

We have forgiven you Geraldine Ferraro’s national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.

We have forgiven you the dozen changing metrics and the endless self-contradictions of your insistence that your nomination is mathematically probable rather than a statistical impossibility.

We have forgiven you your declaration of some primary states as counting and some as not.

We have forgiven you exploiting Jeremiah Wright in front of the editorial board of the lunatic-fringe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

We have forgiven you exploiting William Ayers in front of the debate on ABC.

We have forgiven you for boasting of your “support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans”…

We have even forgiven you repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama’s expense, and your own expense, and the Democratic ticket’s expense.

But Senator, we cannot forgive you this.

“You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

We cannot forgive you this — not because it is crass and low and unfeeling and brutal.

This is unforgivable, because this nation’s deepest shame, its most enduring horror, its most terrifying legacy, is political assassination.

Lincoln.

Garfield.

McKinley.

Kennedy.

[Malcom X.]

Martin Luther King.

Robert Kennedy.

And, but for the grace of the universe or the luck of the draw, Reagan, Ford, Truman, Nixon, Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts, even George Wallace.

The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton, you cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!

And to not appreciate, immediately – to still not appreciate tonight – just what you have done… is to reveal an incomprehension of the America you seek to lead.

This, Senator, is too much.

Because a senator – a politician – a person – who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot – has no business being, and no capacity to be, the President of the United States.

Good night and good luck.

I would also recommend the post “why am i crying?” and a browse through the comments.

Update: the bulk of an interesting comment from this thread:


I used to view HRC with simple pity, with frustration at not recieving her inevitable nomination.

Now I view her more as a high functioning sociopath who craves power and lacks the ability to comprehend the true wrongness of her words or actions. All is allowed in the pursuit of the goal.

As a political animal driven by coldblooded ambition, I believe she is quite aware of the meaning of her words and feels no remorse for pain or upset they may have caused others.  The moral capacity to feel such remorse is simply not present.

Unlike her opponent, she represents the very worst in all of us.

Update 2: And here is the music for her downfall:

It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun
She’s come undun

Update 3: a great quote from this post:

This is her “Dean scream” moment.  This is her “I voted against it before I voted for it” moment.  This is […] her “macaca” moment.  She can’t recover from this – even if she actually gave the most heartfelt apology and retraction and clarification and innocent explanation that she has ever given.

Update 4: snarky sarcasm can be fun ;)

When I referenced the Hindenburg…

…I was talking about the first twenty one minutes of the flight, not the part when it was set aflame and thirty-two people were burnt to a crisp.

I’m really, truly and wholeheartedly sorry if you were too stupid to figure that out and were somehow offended by what I clearly wasn’t actually saying.

Also… when I casually spoke of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination I was talking about how much I would have loved to see Laura Keene’s performance in Our American Cousin, not the fact that the President of the United states was shot in the head and died.

I think about Laura Keen and Our American Cousin almost daily.

She was never better than that night.

I’m sorry… and sad… that wasn’t apparent to someone like you.

And when I brought up the Bay of Pigs, its wasn’t to invoke the image of one of America’s greatest political disasters, but instead because I just love those porcine fuckers so much.

It was OBVIOUSLY about pigs and nothing more.

I’m so sorry you are a pinhead and missed that somehow.

Additionally my choice to talk about Pearl Harbor was not to invoke the harrowing imagery of a foreign power bombing America, but because Pearl Harbor is in Hawaii and my wife and I took a trip to Hawaii and while we LOVED it, we weren’t so much into the poi.

That’s why I had that look on my face when I said “Pearl Harbor”.

The POI not the war.

I’m sorry if you are a simpleton and couldn’t keep up.

And I don’t mention September 11th to try and terrify you into voting for me or to stir up hatred in Muslims or to justify a position I may have had on the Iraq War, but because September is my favorite month and 11 is my lucky number.

I always play 11 in the lottery. And sometimes 22, which is double 11.

If you KNEW me, that would be obvious.

I’m truly sorry you don’t know me.

Glad we could clear that all up!

And from the comments:

Jeff, I know when you mentioned John Wayne Gacy
You were just referencing your love for children’s party clowns.

I SO LOVE CLOWNS! Ha-Ha-Ha…
…just thinking of them makes me happy.

Oh no. Oh no no no.

May 13, 2008

I can’t believe it.  Yah, the SNL video about Hillary having no ethical standards was amusing but I didn’t think it could be completely true…

Why is Hillary still in the race when its clear to everyone, even her own aides, that its over in all but name?

Mrs Clinton is also facing a cash crisis: she has now loaned her campaign more than $11 million just to keep it afloat and it has further debts of at least $10 million.

Wouldn’t prolonging the campaign just be a further waste of money?

[Update 5/21: Indeed; the ‘further debts’ has now ballooned to ~$20M]

And then I read this just a few minutes ago:

A little-known provision of a 2002 campaign-finance law cosponsored by McCain prevents candidates who drop out of the race from raising money after the nominating conventions to repay themselves for personal loans. If Clinton fails to come up with the funds by the Democratic convention in August and she fails to gain the nomination, she will be out the $11 million. If she quits before then, she may find it hard to get people to keep giving cash so she can retire her debt.

And it suddenly becomes clear; she’s staying in the race to get people to contribute to her so that she doesn’t lose her $11M…

[Update: Look at the maps from this post showing where Clinton got >65% of a given county’s votes and note where the upcoming West Virginia and Kentucky primaries are; its not a stretch to think that Hillary will get a lot of support there.  She’s going to try and parlay large victories there into campaign fundraising]

never mind that “Bill and Hillary Clinton earned a combined $109 million between 2000 and 2007”  its the principle of the thing: she wants others to pay for her mistake.  Others like this 11-year-old kid who sold his own stuff to raise money for her to be president even though that’s all but impossible now.  Others like the Obama campaign workers who have to endure hideous racism while Hillary stays in the race and tries to attract the support of “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans” who (won’t vote for a black man for president and) will contribute to her campaign; this is worse than plain demagogy, this is a giant scam.  She knows she can’t win, but she wants her money back and she’s willing to pander to the prejudices of others to fleece them out of their cash.  And its hurting Obama’s chances to become president, but she doesn’t care either…

Update:  I can’t think of any other reason unless she is in such an absolute denial of her own imminent failure that she can’t realize what’s going on and won’t until its finally over.  And either way, as unscrupulous crook or delusional thinker, this proves to me that she is not qualified to be president.

Here’s how we can test which it is. If she drops out of the race before the convention (with significant debt remaining to herself) then she’s just in denial right now.  But if she drags this on to the convention (or ends it only when she’s debt free), then its sadly true.

Update 2: Surprise, surprise:

“Hillary Clinton seized on the West Virginia results in an area where she needs particular help: fund-raising. Roughly $20 million in debt despite $11 million in personal loans from Clinton, her campaign sent a text message to supporters’ cellphones less than an hour after the polls closed hailing the victory and urging them to donate at her Web site. A similar pitch arrived by e-mail two minutes later.”

Though the article quotes her as saying in the e-mail:

“With your help, I’m going to carry the energy of tonight’s victory into the next contests in Kentucky and Oregon”

Kentucky sure (see map above; the voting will be very similar to W. Va.), but Oregon is a whole separate matter.  First, consider the racial breakdown:

West Virginia: ~95% white
Kentucky: ~90%
Oregon: ~80%
US as a whole: ~65%

Second, consider per capita income:

US avg ~$21.5K
Oregon (23rd) ~$21K
Kentucky (40th) ~$18K
W. Va. (49th) ~$16.5K

As a result it might not be too surprising to note that three separate polls in Oregon in the last week have shown Obama at ~55% to 35~45% for Clinton (the rest ‘unsure’).  HRC will lose Oregon and by double digits.  Hopefully then she’ll bow out gracefully, but I won’t hold my breath.

Note: as per Wikipedia, here are the number of pledged delegates from each state:

W. Va.: 28 (20 Clinton; 8 Obama)

Kentucky: 51 (guessing: 34~38 Clinton; 13~17 Obama) [5/20: pretty good guess! CNN says 37:14]
Oregon: 52 (guessing: 22~25 Clinton; 27~30 Obama) [5/22: final results are in and Obama did even better than my max. guess! CNN says 21:31]

Based on my guesses, the Kentucky and Oregon primaries on the 20th will thus give:

56~63 pledged delegates for Clinton and 40~47 for Obama; at MOST, Hillary would have a net gain of 23 delegates that day.  Obama leads her by 154 pledged delegates right now (see small table near the top of the Daily Kos homepage).

Update May 20: “Hillary just threw down the gauntlet in her Kentucky victory speech.  She clearly and unambiguously stated that this battle is going to the convention.”  The author of that post suggests an even more shocking possible motive than financial gain: “It seems clear to me at this point, that she is going to try to divide the Democratic party in an attempt to ensure that McCain wins and she can run again in 2012.”  Insanity! I hope hope hope that she is just delusional and has not decided to go down the ‘If I go down I’m taking you all with me’ road… (note the suggestions of hyper-zealous Hillary supporters on the ‘Hillary is 44‘ website)  I sincerely hope also that she has also not contemplated pulling a Lieberman; going the ‘Independent’ route and getting her name on the ballot alongside McCain and Obama.  I note that like Lieberman getting ‘hacked’, Hillary’s supporters are blaming ‘sexism’ for her downfall; you may read a dissenting view here.

Update May 21: Oregon?  ‘Tis but a scratch for the Clinton campaign! ;)

Update May 24: The map after W. Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon voted; the redder the county, the greater the percentage for Hillary (blue for Obama, green for Edwards):

Compare Hillary’s strong winning area with a map of Appalacia.

Electoral Math

May 11, 2008

Now that Obama appears almost certain to be the democratic nominee [1, 2, 3] (even with Clinton on track to win West Virginia and Kentucky by ~2:1 margins it should be over by May 20, though she might not admit it to herself ;) the question becomes ‘How can Obama win the 2008 general election?’  And I have a nice map site to help me illustrate :)  The goal is the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

These are my basic assumptions:

1. The states that voted for both Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 will almost certainly vote for Obama in 2008; this gets Democrats 248 votes immediately.

2. I will give McCain the benefit of the doubt and give him each state where he’s currently polling favorably (>5% in his favor).  I will give Iowa to Obama as they voted for Gore in 2000 and currently are polling in Obama’s favor (NOTE: polls will change between now and November and thus recalculations will be needed! e.g. watch New Hampshire).

3. Of the remainder, states which Clinton neither won in 1992 nor 1996 and which Obama is not leading (curiously enough, they’re the same right now ;) go to McCain. (NOTE: as in #2 except this should be more stable; if any do get Obama leading I would switch them to undecided unless it was >10%)

The result of all this is that (currently) just four states are in play:

Nevada, Colorado, Ohio and Florida

Yes, again with Ohio and Florida; ugh.  Let’s hope that Obama picks up significant support in some of the other states (perhaps via a VP candidate? :)

Update: a very interesting article about how Obama could win simply by increasing voter turnout…

Update 2: linked from the above article is this very interesting set of maps.  Note the “best case” (for Obama) scenario at the bottom; of the sixteen states that Bill Clinton never won in ’92 or ’96 (AK, UT, ID, WY, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, IN, VA, NC, SC, MS, AL), Obama actually has a small chance in five of those: TX, IN, VA, NC, SC.  It would be an amazing coup if Obama could win Texas, though of those, it looks like his best chances are in Indiana and Virginia.

Also interesting is that if you take the 2004 results and do the following switches: NH -> Rep.; IA, NV, CO, NM -> Dem (see this page), Obama can win without West Virginia or the south…

Obama’s speech on race

March 18, 2008

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/18/122716/628/855/479171

Worth a watch if you’re into US politics…

Is Geraldine Ferraro projecting her own doubts about Hillary?

March 12, 2008

Just had a retort to Geraldine Ferraro’s offensive comments about Barack Obama; that “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.” Imagine for a moment that it was not Barack Obama running for democratic nominee, but rather Alan Keyes

- compare and contrast -

Would Alan Keyes ‘be in the same position” that Obama is now? Certainly not; even though, yes Geraldine, his skin is also darker than yours. But why not? Oh, could it be that for all of Mr. Keyes’ political experience, he is a right-wingnut whose political positions are just plain scary? That he is not qualified to be the democratic nominee because of his politics

Let’s look at this another way; if you were presented with a candidate for democratic nominee, ‘Herman McLinton’, who was on the board at union-hating Wal-Mart for six years, who voted for war in Iraq and had “no regrets” about doing so later and who, unlike their opponents, won’t reveal their tax returns; wouldn’t… shouldn’t Democrats have serious issues with voting for them?

The sad subtext that I get out of Hillary’s camp is that they don’t necessarily feel their candidate is qualified but feel that its important to elect woman; however when faced with another visible minority who is probably better qualified for the job and more popular, they begin projecting. Does Geraldine feel that ‘if Hillary was a man, he would not be in this position.’?

Did Bush just give McCain the ‘kiss of death’?

March 5, 2008

Bush just endorsed McCain as the GOP candidate. Obviously that was going to happen to the winner of the primaries, but its just so… schmoozy… that you really have to wonder if GWB the dishonest used car salesman is trying to sell you another lemon like he did on Iraq… ‘I’m reti’rin but meet the new boss Honest John!’ Except now pretty much everyone is wise to his tricks. I seriously wonder if pictures like this will be popping up everywhere once the Dem candidate is settled on. (Update: and lines like “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” or ‘four more years’ [Update March 31: I note a graphic that very cleverly uses what is clearly an upside-down “W” for an “M”.  I suggest that all Dem posters should use that when referencing McCain ;])

Update 2: Daily Kos has an interesting article up comparing John McCain to Hubert Humphrey:

John McCain increasingly is looking like the hapless Hubert H. Humphrey of 1968. Captive to his own partisan support for a disastrous war; too timid to stake out an agenda for change; passively permitting an unpopular president to embrace him as heir; squandering what little was left of his good repute in shabby political maneuvering. It’s Humphrey all over again. McCain is busy tying a dead weight around his shoulders that he imagines is the mantle of the presidency. The endorsement today by Bush went a long way toward sealing his fate. During the rest of the campaign the president’s embrace will become painful, paralyzing and toxic, just as it did for HHH. The press conference today gave a glimpse of what it will look like.

Update 3: Something else to mention in this post…

hardly a whisper has been heard about a Congressional hearing in Washington last week on a topic that could have been drawn, in all its tragic monstrosity, from the theater of the absurd. The war in Iraq will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers not hundreds of billions of dollars, but an astonishing $2 trillion, and perhaps more. There has been very little in the way of public conversation, even in the presidential campaigns, about the consequences of these costs, which are like a cancer inside the American economy. On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war — not just the cost to taxpayers — will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. […] The Bush administration has tried its best to conceal the horrendous costs of the war. It has bypassed the normal budgetary process, financing the war almost entirely through “emergency” appropriations that get far less scrutiny. Even the most basic wartime information is difficult to come by.

Oh and if you check the numbers, US dead in Iraq are almost at 4K and wounded (from enemy attack) almost 29K.


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