Friday, February 29, 2008

Speaking of Terminator

Christian Bale is slated to star as John Connor in the "first of a new Trilogy" of Terminator movies.

Rock the fuck on.

I love the Terminator series. I actually enjoyed T3. And I adore Christian Bale.

However, the Sarah Connor Chronicles is, well, the Dawson's Creek of the whole series. And that's not a compliment.

Where's Sarah Connor when you need her?

Daily Kos article lampooning a Faux News "story" about - get this - terrorists wielding killer robots!!!!

Terrorist groups may soon deploy killer robots against unsuspecting civilians, a British researcher warned Wednesday.

Professor Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield, in an address given to a defense-oriented think tank in London, pointed out that combat robots, or "autonomous weapons systems," were already being used by several countries.

"The trouble is that we can't really put the genie back in the bottle," he said in a press release before his speech to the Royal United Services Institute. "Once the new weapons are out there, they will be fairly easy to copy. How long is it going to be before the terrorists get in on the act?"

Just don't create Skynet. That's all I ask.

Happy leap day

as a special treat, here's John McCain calling himself a liberal.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

PhD Candidate wants you to complete a survey

I looked at the link and the info, and it seems legit. It's a political survey for a PhD dissertation. Click the link to take the survey.


Update on Obama GLBT letter

Ok, he's got it linked on his website under "people" and "LGBT." That's not as buried as I thought it might be.

Obama "releases open letter" to the GLBT community

The link is to a DailyKos discussion of the "letter." I put "letter" in quotes because I don't yet understand how it was "released." If you click on the link that takes you to Obama's website, where the letter is posted, it's actually posted on a blog on some obscure inner page of the website. I don't quite understand how that qualifies as an "open letter" that was "released." It looks more like a "secret communique" that the general electorate isn't meant to see. If that's the case, then it's nothing more than pandering and political cowardice. If, on the other hand, he plans to release this to a larger audience, or in a more public way, then that would be better.

On the other hand, while I'm still pissed about the Donnie McClurkin thing, if Obama means half of what he says in this letter, then he's got some damned good positions. Repealing DOMA and DADT would be huge steps forward.

On the lighter side

Only in Australia...

I'm just going to quote the entire story and highlight my favorite parts. It's just too funny.

Hapless robbers target biker meeting

Two masked and machete-wielding men who barged into a club in Sydney, Australia, couldn't have picked a worse night for their robbery -- a monthly meeting of bikers.

The robbers chose the wrong night to burst into the club where the Southern Cross Cruiser Club have their monthly meeting.

About 50 burly bikers fought back with tables and chairs -- pretty much anything that wasn't bolted down. One would-be robber was tied up; the other in the hospital.

Police arrested both.

"These guys were absolutely dumb as bricks," Jerry Vancornewal, leader of the bikers, told CNN Thursday. "I can't believe they saw all the bikes parked up front and they were so stupid that they walked past in."

Vancornewal and his buddies were at the Regents Park Sporting and Community Club in Sydney when the two men wearing ski masks stormed in Wednesday night. They yelled at patrons to drop to the floor as they emptied cash registers at the bar.

Hearing the commotion from an adjacent room, Vancornewal and his pals with the Southern Cross Cruiser motorcycle club stomped through to the bar area to intervene.

"They (the robbers) thought they had the upper advantage with their knives and their machetes," Jim Webb, night supervisor of the club, told CNN. "They didn't expect to run into a bunch of guys carrying chairs and tables."

One of the would-be robbers crashed through a plate-glass door and jumped off a balcony.

"All he had to do was push the button and it automatically opened," Webb quipped.

New South Wales police said they arrested the 20-year-old man a short distance away.

The second man made a break for it through the club's service entrance, but the bikers tackled him near a neighbor's fence.

"We just grabbed him, crash-tackled him to the ground, hogtied him with electrical wire and left him for the cops," Vancornewal said.

Police confirmed in a statement that club patrons subdued the second man until officers arrived, but did not provide additional details. The suspect turned out to be a 16-year-old boy.

Both would-be robbers were charged with attempted armed robbery and "face disguised with intent to commit indictable offense," police said.

A third person, who was waiting in a getaway car, took off when the bikers threw pieces of furniture at him, Webb said. Police have not located him.

The Regents Park Sporting and Community Club is a place where locals come to enjoy drinks and take part in various games: cricket, soccer, lawn bowling. The biking enthusiasts meet there once a month to plan rides and other club activities.

In the last year or so, criminals have struck the club about 10 times, Webb said. And Wednesday night's incident, while unusual, wasn't the most memorable.

"We have these old bingo players and they are really serious about their games," Webb explained. "They do not like to be interrupted."

When robbers barged in one evening and announced that they were holding up the place, the players turned around and testily told them to be quiet.

"They were making it difficult for the players to hear the numbers being called," Webb said

Israeli airstrike kills 15 near Hamas PM's home

The bad news is we didn't get Haniyah. The more bad news is that the Palestinians are saying that the airstrikes killed children. Whether the airstrikes actually killed children is not clear, because I know that the Hamas authorities in Gaza want to play up the Palestinian sympathy factor and they never hesitate to use propaganda to do so. However, if children were killed in this raid, then clearly that's a tragedy.

I just don't know if this "whack a mole" method of killing terrorist leaders is going to work in Gaza. It certainly isn't working in Iraq or Afghanistan, and it doesn't seem to be stopping the rocket fire on southern Israel. I once played this video game that was designed to be social commentary. You were presented with a busy cityscape somewhere in the Arab world. Your job was to bomb the terrorists who were identified by the rifles they carried. The problem was that as soon as you bombed one terrorist, several more would be created in the immediate blast area. There was no way to win the game. I think the same thing applies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza. The more our side uses force to quell terrorism, the more terrorists use our own violence against us to recruit more terrorists.

So what's the answer? I don't know. You can't use diplomacy with people like Hamas or Al Qaeda; their ideology is the definition of psychosis. But how do you discredit their ideology when they can "prove" it on a daily basis by pointing to "Zionist aggression" or the "brutality of the American occupation?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NJDC debunks right wing smears about Dem positions on Israel

The National Jewish Democratic Council has set up a website to debunk right-wing smears alleging that Democratic candidates don't support Israel.

Obama eats McCain's head

John McCain tried to eat Barack Obama's head:

"I am not embarrassed to tell you that I did not watch the Democrat debate last night," McCain said at the beginning of a town hall meeting in Tyler, Texas.

"But I am told that Senator Obama made the statement that if Al Qaeda came back to Iraq after he withdraws, after American troops are withdrawn, then he would send military troops back if Al Qaeda established a base in Iraq."

McCain, R-Ariz., paused for a beat before continuing on with a hint of sarcasm.

"I have some news," he said. "Al Qaeda is in Iraq! It's called Al Qaeda in Iraq."

He continued, "If we left, they wouldn't be establishing a base. They wouldn't be establishing a base, they'd be taking a country. And I am not going to let that happen, my friends."

But Obama came back and chomped down on McCain's head:

He then launched into a strong retort, "Well, first of all, I DO know that al Qaeda is in Iraq, that's€™s why I've said we should continue to strike al Qaeda targets. But I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq!" he said.

"I've got some news for John McCain: he took us into war along with George bush that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged."

Obama finished, "I've been paying attention, John McCain! That's the news. So John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq that's cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars," he said.

That is exactly how we need to frame the debate on Iraq. Yes, there are terrorists there - but there wouldn't have been terrorists there had Bush, with McCain embedded firmly between his nether cheeks, not invaded Iraq in the first place. The mess in Iraq is firmly Bush's fault, and McCain is going to do nothing but continue Bush's failed policies.

There. McCain's head, in a white wine sauce, wrapped in bacon. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

David Cross eats Larry the Cable Guy's head

Apparently there's a feud going on between Larry "Git Er Done" the Cable Guy and David Cross. In my humble opinion, David Cross is one of the smartest, funniest comedians out there, and this critique of LTCG is spot on. Here is but one example:

But you also specifically dumb down your speech while making hundreds of purposefully grammatical errors. How do I know this? It's on page 17 of your book wherein you describe how you would "Larry" up your commentaries for radio. What does it mean to "Larry" something up? Take a wild guess. The reason you feel the need to "Larry" something up? Because you are not that dumb. I mean you, Dan Whitney, the guy who's name the bank account is under. You were born and raised in Nebraska (hardly The South), went to private school and moved to Florida when you were 16. This is when you developed your accent?! Not exactly the developmental years are they? At age 16 that's the kind of thing you have to make a concerted effort to adopt. Did you hire a voice coach? Or were you like one of those people who go to England for a week and come back sounding like an extra from "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"? As you said yourself in an interview once, "I can pop in and out of it pretty much whenever I want". In your book on page 89 you say in reference to the "gee-shucks" millionaire comment, "...see, to his (David's) mind, bein' well paid means I'm no longer real and I can't be a country boy anymore. It's just an act." Hey, it's always been an act! That's my fucking point! You admit it yourself so cut the indignation shit.

Diebold leaks election results (courtesy of The Onion)

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

They could only get McCain up to 48%? Not a very convincing victory...

Look at this kid's picture

and tell me why we're still in Iraq.

19 years old.

What did he die for?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Truer words have rarely been said.

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio -- John McCain said Monday that to win the White House he must persuade a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose. I lose," the Republican said.

Nuff said.

Friday, February 22, 2008

McCain lobbyist scandal may have bigger legs

Just hours after the Times' story was posted, the McCain campaign issued a point-by-point response that depicted the letters as routine correspondence handled by his staff--and insisted that McCain had never even spoken with anybody from Paxson or Alcalde & Fay about the matter. "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," the campaign said in a statement emailed to reporters.

But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. "I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue," McCain said in the September 25, 2002 deposition obtained by Newsweek. "He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint."

Another nail in the Repugnant Party's electoral coffin, to be lowered into the ground in November.

Sinister politicians have an edge?

First off,

Sinister. Gauche. Satanic. Throughout history the word "left" has been synonymous with awkwardness, even evil.

Ok, look at the dictionary definition up top. Nothing wrong with the word "sinister."

Also, I did not know this:
Commanders in chief Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were southpaws, a term derived from baseball. George W. Bush is not.

Given that overwhelming modern trend, campaign front-runners Barack Obama and John McCain might have the political upper hand.

See? Lefties can be President. So there. Check this out:
But scientists and historians agree that being left-handed, which is often associated with outside-the-box thinking, can be a political strength.

"They have a wider scope of thinking," said Amar Klar, a biologist who has done breaking research on handedness. "I know among scientists their numbers are really high. There are more Noble Prize winners, writers and painters. We need more people like that."

Which once again proves that one day, lefties will RULE the WORLD!!!!

Hmm. Maybe Obama CAN debate.

He's getting better. And Clinton was booed over the plaigarism thing. I honestly think we're gonna win this thing based on numbers alone. Think about the fact that in a lot of these races, the Democratic turnout has been more than double the Republican turnout. I believe that in at least one race, Obama's margin of victory over Clinton was larger than McCain's entire vote. Those numbers are very telling. What they tell me is that in November, Obama's numbers are going to overwhelm McCain's numbers, as long as Obama can maintain this kind of momentum, this movement candidacy that has proven so earth-shaking. It's really something.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Company gives away thousands of tree seedlings

A company has given away 24,000 loblolly pine tree seedlings to be given away to those who lost trees in the recent ice storm disaster. I'm not sure what a loblolly pine is, but I like saying it. Loblolly. Hee hee. No, but really, this is a great idea. Tulsa lost a whole lotta trees in that mess, and anything we can do to re-green the city is a good thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oklahoma lawmakers give preliminary approval to "American Dream Act"

A bill to has been approved by an Oklahoma House subcommittee that would allow first-time homebuyers to make tax-free deposits into a savings account to be used as a downpayment on a house. This comes at exactly the right time for me - my partner and I are working on buying a house in 2 years. This could really help us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel steps down

Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba for more than 40 years, is formally stepping down as President. This marks a real transition for Cuba. It is a complicated country - Castro's attempt to build a functioning socialist state has had mixed results. On the one hand, Cuba has an outstanding system of health care and universal education. On the other hand, Cuba's human rights record is dismal at best. On a third hand, it's a country that got stuck in the "vanguard party" phase of Leninism, and never evolved to give the working class real control. Of course, a lot of the problems Cuba faces are not helped by the American embargo. If Cuba can reconcile its ideological development with a new democratic outlook and a new emphasis on human rights, it could really serve as a global model of socialist development. Of course, in reality, I don't expect Raul Castro to make any real changes, but there's always hope.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oklahoma moving toward smoke free?

An Oklahoma Senate panel has approved a bill that will ban smoking in all restaurants and bars, including cigar bars. I'm of two minds about this kind of legislation. On the one hand, I believe that smokers should have the right to smoke in public provided some accomodation is made to prevent non-smokers from inhaling secondhand smoke. On the other hand, allowing public smoking under those conditions is pretty impossible to implement, especially for waitstaff and bartenders who have no choice but to breathe in the toxic fumes. I think I approve of this legislation. It'll certainly make it more enjoyable to go out to Karaoke on a Saturday night. *Whoaaoaooaoa...*cough cough* sweet child of *cough* miine!!!!*

Memo to Clinton and Obama


Every attack that one of you lobs against the other becomes fuel for the Republican attack machine later in the year. Focus your attacks on John McCain, who's the real enemy here.

That is all.


Mondays hurt. Anything on anyone's mind?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend post

It's a relaxing weekend. Enjoy some cute photos of my pets.

Cosette, my one-eyed Tonkinese cat, being cute.

Cosette again, during the ice storm blackout, in her bed, next to the fireplace.

Wendy, my terrier/mutt, wearing her argyle sweater and sitting on the back of the couch.

Wendy again, just being cute.

Friday, February 15, 2008

For a limited time only

The official apparel of Sinister, the "I hate this war." t-shirt, is on sale at! Get yours whilst they're slightly warm. They're versatile shirts that work for any war that we happen to be waging at any given moment. Are we at war? Do you hate it? Let the world know!

Keith Olbermann eats Bush's head

If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend.

You’re a fascist — get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it! What else is this but fascism?


You are a liar, Mr. Bush. And after showing some skill at it, you have ceased to even be a very good liar.

And your minions like John Boehner, your Republican congressional crash dummies who just happen to decide to walk out of Congress when a podium-full of microphones await them, they should just keep walking, out of Congress and, if possible, out of the country.

For they and you, sir, have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom “freedom” is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite.

Forget recession, how about a Great Depression?

Disturbing Reuters article details steps the government may have to take if the economy keeps deteriorating to avoid a repeat of a 1930s-style Great Depression.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Freedom to Marry Week

Click on the link to read about Freedom to Marry week. It's apparently this week. I'm apparently out of touch.

Another gay kid killed in America

Kossack expresses justified anger and grief over the hate killing of a gay teenager. This violence has to stop.

This is Hamas

Video shows the latest installation of the adorable Hamas cartoon characters that just want to teach your kids to blow themselves up in the name of Allah. Oh, and eat Jews.

I'd like all of you on the left who lament the plight of the Palestinians and blame it on Israel to take a look at this video and see who the real culprit is. Hamas is a terrorist organization that uses children as pawns in its radical agenda of violence and hatred. Is that really a government you want to legitimize? Until Hamas is driven from power in Gaza, Gaza will continue to be isolated. It's simply a matter of Israeli self-defense from those maniacs. If the populace suffers as a result, then that's a tragedy, but the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Hamas.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Remember when I said

That I would be starting a new regular weekly feature article thing on Sinister at some point?

Yeah, that's still going to be happening.

At some point.

Suggestions as to format, topic, etc, are welcome.

Sign the Petition

Sign DFA's petition to persuade the super-delegates to respect the popular vote in the Democratic Primary.

On to the general

Our candidates are Barack Obama and John McCain. I don't believe Hillary can defeat Obama's incredible momentum and energy at this point, and to be honest, I don't think she should. There's a real movement behind Obama, and there isn't really one behind Hillary. Obama's movement candidacy is a potentially explosive force that could really propel us to victory in November, despite Obama's thin rhetoric and difficulties in debates.

This is not an un-endorsement of Hillary. This is merely a recognition of the reality that I believe the primary process to be essentially over, and it's time to move forward to the general.

Uno takes it!

Uno the Beagle wins Best in Show.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ok, no really, this time I mean it

Sinister is now a blog in shades of gray and blue and white, and thus shall it remain for a while at least.

I know the blog's still ugly

I'm trying to fix it. I thought I had fixed it when I went home for lunch, but apparently not. God, next time I'll think twice before I try to redecorate the blog....

Vice President Coburn? *shudder*

Some are suggesting McCain should pick proto-fascist Senator Tom Coburn as his running-mate. Some of Coburn's choice quotes:

Gun control: ''If I wanted to buy a bazooka to use in a very restricted way, to do something, I ought to be able to do that.''

-- May 2, 1999, Tulsa World

Abortion: ''I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.''

-- July 10, 2004, The Associated Press.

Gay issues: ''He was telling me lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom.''

-- Oct. 12, 2004, Tulsa World.

Yeah, this guy's qualified...or certifiable....

Bill would restrict sale of cough syrup, spraypaint

Under a bill to be considered by the OK Senate, minors under 18 wouldn't be allowed to buy certain kinds of cough syrup or spraypaint, because kids are getting "high" with them and thereby putting themselves in danger.

Yeah, that'll work. Just like the laws restricting sales of cigarettes to minors has worked so well.

Hey, why don't we put an age restriction on anything that teens might use to hurt themselves, like, oh I don't know, rope, or mouthwash, or household cleaners, or hell, caffeinated beverages? You drink enough Mountain Dew and you'll blow up your heart!!! Right...

Age restrictions are the stupidest way to prevent drug abuse. The smart way is to educate kids about the real risks and real dangers of the drugs and trust parents to guide kids to make the right decisions. I make the same argument about movie and video game ratings. Let the parents decide what their kids can watch or play; don't do a blanket restriction based on some subjective idea of what is "appropriate" for a kid to watch or play.

Go, Uno, Go!

Uno the Beagle wins best in the hound group. He's in the finals now.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm a fan of beagles...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ok, site redesigned. I hope.

Simple blue color scheme. Screw earth tones. Earth tones can eat my shorts.

Good post-mortem on the Edwards campaign

Ther's a lot of meat in this analysis, so I'll just quote a snippet.

Typical was this horrible editorial by the Nation, which didn't endorse a candidate (Obama) until Edwards had dropped out of the race. The Nation's editors praised JRE's partisanship and populism, noting that he was "the only leading candidate to connect the war and the home front, bravely arguing that an ambitious domestic agenda would require cuts to the military budget." But what, according to the Nation, was the argument against him? He wasn't getting enough support! Around and around we go.

He has not managed to consolidate the traditional Democratic base, and while he has loyal supporters among organized labor, he has not sewn up union support across the board, nor has he excited a cohort of previously disenfranchised voters. Perhaps some have been turned off by the media's relentless fixation on the "three H's"--haircuts, hedge funds and houses--symbols of the gap between his populist rhetoric and his lifestyle.

Do you see what happened? JRE wasn't consolidating the base partly because of crappy MSM coverage, and rather than counter the crappy coverage, the leading liberal publication (and part of the base) cited his failure to consolidate the base as reason not to support him. The Nation let the MSM select our candidates.

The author also points out that the blogosphere didn't rally around Edwards because a lot of mainstream bloggers aren't as opposed to free trade (aren't "economic liberals"), and so didn't glom on to Edwards' strident fair trade message. For the record, this blogger is about as economically liberal as you can get, and I was very much attracted to Edwards' fair trade message. Trade was something that made me gravitate toward Kucinich as well.

Damned liberals with their....good ideas

WASHINGTON - The heck with Congress’ big stimulus bill. The way to get the country out of recession — and most people think we’re in one — is to get the country out of Iraq, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they’ll spend the economy into recovery.

So let's recap. The top two answers were:

1) Pulling out of Iraq, and
2) Spending more on domestic programs.

Obama, Clinton, you listening?

Temporary fix

I'll do a more permanent change when I get home from work, but I've changed the site to a nice non-offensive gray color until then. Yes, the logo looks stupid right now - it's an image file and I can't change it from work.

On the lighter side

An adorable beagle named Uno is in contention to win the Westminster dog show, despite the breed never having won the event before. Go forth, young beagle, and bay your way to victory!

RIP: Tom Lantos

Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress, has died. He was diagnosed recently with cancer of the esophagus. From the CNN story:

Lantos, who referred to himself as "an American by choice," was born to Jewish parents in Budapest, Hungary, and was 16 when Adolf Hitler occupied Hungary in 1944. He survived by escaping twice from a forced labor camp and coming under the protection of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who used his official status and visa-issuing powers to save thousands of Hungarian Jews.


Ok, apparently the green I chose for the color scheme displays very differently on some monitors than it does on others. My apologies to those whom I inadvertently blinded. I'll fix it when I get home this evening.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Minor site redesign

Hope you enjoy the new color scheme and title design. It was time for a little redecorating. I thought earth tones would be a nice change. :-)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

March 19th Iraq War Blogswarm

Sinister will participate in this. March 19th marks the 5th anniversary of this war, and it's time for it to end. I'm not sure what I'll post on March 19th, but I'll post something.

Romney out

Looks like it's Mark of Cain on the Repug side. We'll see what happens...

Krugman on the differences between Obama and Clinton's health care plans

"If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen. "

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Great article about the Canadian health care system vs. the American system

This article paints a very good, very clear picture of the Canadian system, and quite frankly shows why single payer health care makes the most sense.

Still think global warming isn't happening?

A massive string of tornadoes kill 48. In February. Following record high temperatures.

No, global warming isn't happening, and it certainly isn't leading to bigger and sronger storms.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Polls look good for both Dems

From the poll:

"Looking ahead to the general election in November, Clinton tops McCain 50 percent to 47 percent and beats Romney 56 to 41 in hypothetical matchups. Obama beats McCain 52 percent to 44 percent and tops Romney 59 percent to 36 percent."

I'm still rooting for Romney to win on the R side, because it'll be really smooth sailing into November for the Dems. McCain presents a challenge. This is the first poll I've seen that shows Obama with such a decisive advantage, but even Clinton is ahead in this poll, which is good news.

The funny thing about this whole election right now is that I never thought I'd be going against the tide of progressive opinion that has attached itself so passionately to Obama. I just don't see what they see in the guy. I think he's essentially a charismatic empty suit. I've always thought that about him, and I don't think that's going to be our best option going into November. This poll doesn't change my opinion on that matter. Plus, between the two of them, Clinton's health care plan is miles better than Obama's. I'm in favor of mandating coverage. It's not just about the right to have health care, it's about our collective responsibility to each other, so that the public doesn't have to pay the costs of those who for whatever reason can afford health insurance but don't have it. There's a real social cost there, and mandating health care is a good way to fix that.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Example of difference between Obama and Clinton from last night's debates

Thanks to CNN for the transcript:

Excerpt from Obama's opening statement, which Wolf Blitzer had to interrupt and which had a minimum of a dozen or more "uhs" and "ums" in it:
don't think the choice is between black and white or it's about gender or religion. I don't think it's about young or old. I think what is at stake right now is whether we are looking backwards or we are looking forwards. I think it is the past versus the future.

BLITZER: Thank you, Senator.

OBAMA: And just to finish up, Wolf. And I think that, as we move forward in this debate, understand we are both Democrats and we understand the issues at stake. We want change from George Bush.

But we also have to have change that brings the country together, pushes back against the special interests in Washington, and levels with the American people about the difficult changes that we make. If we do that, I am confident that we can solve any problem and we can fulfill the destiny that America wants to see, not just next year, but in many years to come.

The transcript doesn't give you a good sense of the rambling nature of the statement - for example, he spent a good 30 seconds trying to figure out how to say "fulfill the destiny that America wants to see" which is a meaningless bit of drek anyway.

From Clinton's opening statement:

Well, on January 20, 2009, the next president of the United States will be sworn in on the steps of the Capitol. I, as a Democrat, fervently hope you are looking at that next president. Either Barack or I will raise our hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

CLINTON: And then, when the celebrations are over, the next president will walk into the Oval Office, and waiting there will be a stack of problems, problems inherited from a failed administration: a war to end in Iraq and a war to resolve in Afghanistan; an economy that is not working for the vast majority of Americans, but well for the wealthy and the well-connected; tens of millions of people either without health insurance at all or with insurance that doesn't amount to much, because it won't pay what your doctor or your hospital need, *applause* an energy crisis that we fail to act on at our peril; global warming, which the United States must lead in trying to contend with and reverse; and then all of the problems that we know about and the ones we can't yet predict.

It is imperative that we have a president, starting on day one, who can begin to solve our problems, tackle these challenges, and seize the opportunities that I think await.


So what we have to do tonight is to have a discussion about what each of us believes are the priorities and the goals for America. I think it's imperative we have a problem-solver, that we roll up our sleeves.

I'm offering that kind of approach, because I think that Americans are ready once again to know that there isn't anything we can't do if we put our minds to it.

So let's have that conversation.

Boom. Organized, concise, precise, and right on target.

It was also interesting how both candidates pandered to Edwards voters. I can't count the number of times one of them said, "and I worked with John Edwards," or "like John Edwards said," or "My plan is similar to John Edwards' plan." Even in their opening statements, both candidates praised John and Elizabeth Edwards.

I didn't watch the whole debate, but I watched enough to know that I've made the right choice.

I didn't know this

Apparently Barney Frank has endorsed Hillary. That seals it for me even further. If he's confident of her stands on civil rights issues, then so am I.