January 8th, 2008

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This post is brought to you by the letter "R"...

As in recession.  As in, we're now officially in a profits recession, and will probably soon discover that we're in a general recession.

And, if, as I think, consumer prices keep going up due to a devalued dollar and higher oil prices, then we find ourself facing something that feels awfully close to stagflation... though the continued decline in housing prices might just mean that we don't technically trip that barrier. Still, given that a lot of Americans don't own a house and won't benefit from lower housing prices, it will feel just as bad as stagflation for those most vulnerable to it.  

Ah well.. .at least when the next president is elected, it won't be possible for the Republicans to say that this didn't happen on their watch. And after the last several Republican administrations, it will be relatively easy to say that the Republicans are the party of big deficits and Social Security shortfalls. 

Frankly, the Democrats should start a dialogue with senior citizens and let them know that if they keep voting for Republican deficit spenders / Social Security plunderers, they might have to look at getting a job at McDonalds, splitting their pills, and/or adopting a ramen and catfood diet.  

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Advance to Water Works. If you pass go, collect $200.

Hillary Clinton's tears cause cancer... Chuck Norris reportedly pissed, voting Huckabee.

Now, I have no problem with a candidate tearing up a bit at times, but it does make me wonder whether it's just part of the game, as her husband was known to get choked up and glassy eyed on cue when it was politically advantageous to do so... and he has been playing an increasing role in her campaign strategy, with the ignomineous defeat of her campaign advisor Mark Penn in advising her to run the kind of uninspiring, cynical campaign she has run thus far.

That said, I do find it distasteful that the moment she finally starts to come across as vaguely human, she then says "some of us are right and some of us are wrong.." 

(read: "But *I* should be the President! Obama's wrong!")

Really, it all seems a bit distasteful, and kind of reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon's behavior in "Election", with overtones of George Bush's "You're either with us or against us." absolutism, and a streak of entitlement about a mile wide. 

Is this a skeptical viewpoint to have about a candidate's show of emotion? Perhaps. That said, Hillary Clinton is a career politician, so I think it's a healthy skepticism. Ultimately, it doesn't matter much whether she tears up occasionally or not. What matters more to me is that she's just not a very good candidate if you want to weaken partisan gridlock, reform the process, bring change to the country, and help bring new life back to the Democratic Party.

Ultimately, it comes down to trusting Obama more, not just because of what he says, but because of his record, his policies -- which are far more detailed than Hillary gives him credit for and available in detail to anyone who cares to google them -- and who he is. I also personally trust people who know him, such as Creative Commons creator / EFF board member / technologist / corruption fighter Larry Lessig, who has nothing but good things to say about him.

"He is the real deal" has become my favorite new phrase. Everything about him, personally, is what you would dream a candidate should be. Integrity, brilliance, warmth, humor and most importantly, commitment . . . on the big issues -- the war and corruption. Obama has made his career fighting both. Obama has committed himself to important and importantly balanced positions. . . that shows a team keen to get it right. . . (and) to a technology policy for government that could radically change how government works." 

I could tolerate Hillary Clinton's behavior a bit better, if it weren't for the fact that she did a speech yesterday evening where she once more seemed a bit choked up at points, so it makes you wonder whether she's being somewhat manipulative or not... but then again, politics is persuasion, and that generally entails some element of manipulating other's emotions. I just hope that her speeches and debates don't start looking like an episode of "Coffee Talk", with Hillary getting "a little verklempt" on a regular basis.

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An Obama blowout in New Hampshire?

It seems likely, as the turnout thus far is "absolutely huge", according to the New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State. So huge, infact, that there are concerns about running out of ballots... Democratic ballots, to be specific. Undecided voters are apparently voting Democratic, by a large margin.

Really, the script couldn't be written any clearer for an Obama victory, as everything he could want demographically is falling into place. South Carolina looks to be a shoo-in for him, but after that, things could get interesting.

What I find particularly interesting, however, is that Barack Obama is going from New Hampshire to campaign in New York and New Jersey, Hillary Clinton's stronghold... assuming that she will actually have a stronghold after another big loss.  Hillary Clinton's campaign apparently is running short on funds, and appears ready to write off South Carolina. As such, they will need to really focus on a few states such as Nevada that, under normal situations, should be fairly easy wins but under current conditions will be anything but. 

Hillary absolutely needs a couple wins soon after S.C. falls into the Obama camp, but risks having New York and New Jersey put into serious contention while she's trying to eke out a victory elsewhere.  It's entirely possible that Obama could win this race by heavilly focusing on New York and California, and making use of the proximity to NYC and LA to raise money and rack up numerous national TV appearances.  It's got to be giving Hillary's campaign serious conniption fits, because the bedrock they thought they were standing on has turned to quicksand. 

 
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P.S. - Your parents hated you. Go by Richard instead.

From this article:

Former U.S. Rep. Dick Swett, a long Clinton supporter who was appointed ambassador to Denmark by the former President, said, “Two days ago, Hillary found her voice. It was a different candidate who spoke last night in Manchester. She gave all the practical stuff but also was inspiring. . . If she comes within eight points of him, she’s the ‘Comeback Gal.’ ”

Note in the original article, that Dick Swett isn't a longtime Clinton supporter. Dick is just long, really. 
They should consider a new byline for the story:  
Dick Swett gushes for "Comeback Gal".
 
Apparently, Mitt Romney also appreciates Dick, and is known to pay good money for it, much to the embarassment of his fellow Republicans.