Candidate Matchup Test

How do the candidates line up with your views?

I was clicking around the net slightly aimlessly and came across this "Candidate Matchup" diary leading to a test that matches up candidates with your issues... So, being a lazy Saturday I took the test:

95% Dennis Kucinich
93% Mike Gravel
87% John Edwards
84% Chris Dodd
84% Barack Obama
80% Hillary Clinton
77% Joe Biden
77% Bill Richardson
35% Rudy Giuliani
25% John McCain
21% Ron Paul
20% Mike Huckabee
18% Tom Tancredo
17% Mitt Romney
10% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

I don't put too much faith in tests like this, in as far as their accuracy goes, because they usually don't cover every possible issue that people may be interested in. In this test's case there is a total disregard of religious issues like the separation of church and state, which is an issue that can provide a huge defining line between party and candidate support. And it does not address the issue of "Single Payer" universal healthcare head on, only universal healthcare ("We need a national health insurance system that makes sure everyone is covered."), but the candidates have never had a chance to vote on that issue so it would be hard to match up a person with a candidate. Nor does this test completely address some of the very real racial and gender issues, which would mark some serious differences beyond just GLBT issues and immigration issues that are highlighted in the media and by candidates, IMHO.

But these tests do give you an idea of candidates that are close to your ideology, as imperfect as they are.

Previously, I had posted on the Political Compass:
How Does Your Candidate Measure up?

Many of us are familiar with the Political Compass. Some at MLN even had their compass score in their signatures for a while, and even took the time to chart some of their own personal scores in March. But do you know where the 2008 Presidential Candidates sit on this political chart?

You should:

My kingdom for a real progressive candidate!

Perhaps you've heard of the Political Compass website, where you can take a test that places you on a grid based on the degree to which you are "left" or "right" on the economic scale as well as how socially libertarian or authoritarian you are.

I'm damn near as moonbatty as it gets: -6.50, -6.67, which puts me in, for lack of a better term, the "deep Southwest" of the grid.

Anyway, thanks to a recent article on London's TimesOnline, we can see how the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates fit on the grid.

This should worry those on the left, and I know that many at MLN scored even further left than I did (I am a Liberal, but I am a moderate Liberal), as they watch the next candidate chosen for the Democratic party who is nothing less than a conservative. That is, if they chose anyone other than Kucinich or Gravel. And right now they aren't even counted in the top 3 contenders.

This is where the Democratic party is failing miserably. They are not really providing any different ideology than the GOP, just a moderate version of it, if they choose any of those conservative candidates on that chart.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden... They are all conservatives, as moderate as some of them may be, they are conservatives nonetheless.

These tests often elicit surprising responses from people:
MattW: "I find it hard to believe that I'm actually 3 times more liberal and libertarian than Dennis Kucinich."
Well Matt? You probably are... The problem is that moderate conservative candidates, and ones that are somewhat authoritarian to boot, have been labeled as "Liberals" for so long by the corporate owned MSM it has skewered the views of the American people to accept candidates that are far more conservative than many of the American people really are.

IOW: People have been conditioned to reject candidates that would better represent their own views through years of propaganda.

This is a direct result of the MSM's incompetence in addressing real issues and, instead, sticking to their scripts of Horse Races, Manipulation of Polling Popularity Contests, Who Smells the Best, The Prettiest Face, Masculintity, The Money Game, Crying Games and a myriad of other exercises in avoidance and misdirection from the real issues that are truly important and could do a lot to shape your support based on what is actually best for you, the voter.

Information is the best weapon you have to fight this propaganda:

Click on Pic to Enlarge

So it is left up to you to seek out the important information, at least, until the media finally meets our demands that they AND the candidates address the issues honestly.

The short version of this post?

Because We The People are getting tired of doing all of the heavy lifting.

[update] edited and rewritten a few times - CM1


Countrywide CEO Rapes the Company On Leaving

If the sale of Countrywide to Bank of America goes through:
If he engineers a sale of battered Countrywide Financial to Bank of America, Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo stands to walk away with a severance package worth more than $110 million, the Los Angeles Times' Kathy Kristof reports tonight.

Such a payout would come on top of huge gains Mozilo has made selling Countrywide stock during the mortgage crisis. As the mortgage industry went into a nose dive in late 2006 and 2007, Mozilo cashed out about $140 million in stock options, becoming one of the highest-paid executives in the country,


plus a cash payment equal to three times the greater of his average bonus or the incentive bonus paid the previous year. Net value: $87.8 million.

In addition, Mozilo has two pensions that his severance agreement gives him the right to receive as a lump sum upon his departure. Those pensions were worth $24 million as of December 2006, the last time the company was required to report their value.
for driving a mortgage company into bankruptcy. Meanwhile millions of Americans are losing their homes. Imagine how many homes could be saved if all of that money that turd is getting, and has gotten, for running the company into the ground were put to good use?

No... There is no class war going on in the good ol' USofA.

Kucinich Asks for Recount of New Hampshire

Via Donailin at the Booman Tribune, Dennis Kucinich wants a recount of the New Hampshire primaries to assure voters of the integrity of the vote:
from the detroit business wire

DETROIT--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the most outspoken advocate in the Presidential field and in Congress for election integrity, paper-ballot elections, and campaign finance reform, has sent a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State asking for a recount of Tuesday's election because of "unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots."

"I am not making this request in the expectation that a recount will significantly affect the number of votes that were cast on my behalf," Kucinich stressed in a letter to Secretary of State William M. Gardner. But, "Serious and credible reports, allegations, and rumors have surfaced in the past few days...It is imperative that these questions be addressed in the interest of public confidence in the integrity of the election process and the election machinery - not just in New Hampshire, but in every other state that conducts a primary election."

He added, "Ever since the 2000 election - and even before - the American people have been losing faith in the belief that their votes were actually counted. This recount isn't about who won 39% of 36% or even 1%. It's about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them."

Kucinich, who drew about 1.4% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary vote, wrote, "This is not about my candidacy or any other individual candidacy. It is about the integrity of the election process."

This is excellent news. This matter needs to be settled. Anyone with any common sense would agree we should verify the vote when the results are wildly off all predictions by every pollster that worked NH.
BooMan adds his reasons why, even if there appears to be only minor discrepancies in results of polls and the actual vote and there are already some rational explanations for them, it is worth doing this integrity check.

Also, from Connecticut Bob, we have this interview with Kucinich on the night of the New Hampshire Primary:
I was very lucky to get a moment to ask Rep. Kucinich (DK2008.COM) a brief question about impeachment at Jillian's Pub where his campaign was set up to watch the returns from the New Hampshire primary.

[update] Welcome to Buzz Tracker readers and thanks for linking in!

[update deux] From the AP:
Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said Kucinich is entitled to a statewide recount. But, under New Hampshire law, Kucinich will have to pay for it. Scanlan said he had "every confidence" the results are accurate.

Candidates who lose by 3 percentage or less are entitled to a recount for a $2,000 fee. Candidates who lose by more must pay for the full cost. Kucinich's campaign said it was sending the $2,000 fee to start the recount.

Scanlon said his office had received several phone calls since Tuesday, mostly from outside the state, questioning the results. New Hampshire's voting machines are not linked in any way, which Scanlon says reduce the likelihood of tampering with results on a statewide level. Also, the results can be checked against paper ballots.

Kucinich may need a few bucks to help pay for this little integrity check... And just in case you are wondering if it is only the left side that does not trust these machines:
Both Republican and Democratic candidates have asked the state of New Hampshire to conduct a hand recount of all primary ballots statewide, citing internet rumors about vote discrepancies and voting machine fraud in the primary results.

Democratic presidential nominee candidate Kucinich was the first to make headlines in calling for a statewide recount of the Democratic primary results in response to the internet fury around a post made by a woman named Lori Price that compares votes counted by optical scan machines made by Diebold Election Systems (now re-named Premier Election Solutions) to votes counted by hand.

Today the New Hampshire secretary of state's office announced that Republican presidential nominee candidate Albert Howard also asked for a statewide recount of the Republican primary results.

[update trois] Kucinich has an appeal up to help pay the costs of the recount:

Dennis Kucinich has asked for a recount of the New Hampshire Primary vote and we need your help to raise the funds for this important action. Dennis is asking for a recount of Tuesday’s election because of "unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots."

Please help with a contribution. Thank you

Humpty Dumpty Bush

This cracks me up:

Bush’s job approval numbers may be mired in the low 30s right now, but U.S. News’ Washington Whispers reports that Bush aides predict he’ll be at 45 percent when he leaves office:

He’s a poll cellar-dweller whom even GOP presidential candidates sneer at, but George W. Bush and some congressional backers see happy days for the prez this year. His fans have dubbed it his “legacy year,” when they hope to lock in his achievements on the domestic front.

Among the items Bush’s GOP congressional allies want to work on this month: continuing his tax cuts and extending the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. As for the war, they say, the news has been good, and Bushies believe that their guy will eventually get credit for opening the war on terrorism. But more immediately, they are predicting a remarkable poll shift to about 45 percent favorable by the time he leaves office next year.

While the White House sees “happy days” here again for Bush’s “legacy year,” the American public appears quite ready for his presidency to be over.

And just how do they plan to put Humpty Dumpty's legacy back together? Through basic grammar, of course!
“I ain’t got it yet,” Bush said as Abu Mazen stopped speaking and an aide got on stage to fix the problem - which looked like it might have been an unplugged chord.

(As an interesting side note, “I ain’t got it yet” was changed to “I haven’t got it yet” in the official White House transcript…)


Canadian Courts on American Torture Policies

The Canadian courts don't seem to think too highly of the American torture of prisoners:
The Federal Court of Canada Thursday struck down a refugee agreement [judgment, PDF] between Canada and the US, noting that the US does not meet international refugee protection requirements or respect international conventions against torture. Justice Michael Phelan essentially nullified the 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement , which barred foreign refugees who first arrived in the US from seeking refugee status in Canada and vice versa. Phelan noted that the US has not been compliant with the Refugee Convention or the UN Convention Against Torture. The court also held that the agreement discriminates against refugees based on how they first arrived in Canada and thus violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

The nullification of the agreement will likely result in Canada processing thousands more refugees each year. The US and Canadian governments have until January 14 to file an appeal. CTV News has more. [The National Post] has additional coverage.
This ought to make the crowd that wrapped themselves in faded flags feel pretty good about what they have accomplished under the criminal bush administration. This is the world view of America that you have created and supported.
Washington State Democratic Central Committee Passed Bush-Cheney Impeachment Resolution

Resolution Pertaining to Investigation and Impeachment Proceedings for George Bush and Dick Cheney

WHEREAS, there are already known and admitted illegal and impeachable actions on the part of George W. Bush, some examples being, in broad outline:

a) unlawful wire-tapping of American citizens,
b) deliberate manipulation of intelligence reports for the purpose of starting a war,
c) deliberate violations of international treaties pertaining to acts of war,
d) deliberate violations of international treaties pertaining to prisoners of war,
e) deliberate violations of constitutional rights provided in the Bill of Rights;

and... continue reading

Yeah... Impeach them.

An Informal Quinnipiac Poll

In an article on New Milford resident Lorella Praeli's activism in support of Barack Obama in New Hampshire you can find what I would call an informal poll of the Quinnipiac students' support for presidential candidates:
With that kind of passion and determination, the freshman cajoled McLean to let her enroll in his semester-long honors political science seminar for upperclassmen which would study and track the 2008 presidential campaign.

Selecting a candidate to endorse and participating in the New Hampshire primary are key lessons, McLean said.

Of the students in the class, he said, six are campaigning for Obama, two for Democrat John Edwards, two for Republican Mitt Romney, one for Republican Rudy Giuliani and three for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"And I'm so proud she's in my class," McLean said.

Besides making door-to-door visits and attending campaign rallies and other events, she has proved to be the "queen of phone banking."

In the past week, Praeli and her Quinnipiac peers have caught the political fever now rampant in New Hampshire. They translated that enthusiasm into conversations with voters, trying to persuade them to see the candidates through their eyes.

It's a far more realistic lesson than anything they might glean from a textbook or lecture, McLean said.
Yes, Obama seems to have generated a lot of support from Quinnipiac's youth... But even more interesting, IMHO, is this realistic lesson in how far the republican party has fallen:

Democratic Supporters - 11
Republican Supporters - 3

Yes, it is a very small polling sample but it can't be much further off than any of the recent New Hampshire polls were.
As soon as the results started trickling in the explanations began as to how the polls could have been so wrong. Was it the voters reaction to the media’s coverage of a show of emotion from Hillary? Or could it have been those damn Diebold machines again?! On MSNBC, WaPo’s Eugene Robinson brought up one explanation that’s now being floated around: the Bradley Effect, in which people supposedly lied to pollsters about whether they would vote for a black candidate.
I wouldn't be surprised about Diebold theories or the Bradley Effect and other possibly racist statements, to be honest... This would be, after all, signs of a pretty freakin' fascist country. Then again? So are the sexist undertones in this campaign.

[minor update] for linkage... And a note: Some of the campaign statements appear to be seriously distorted by the media, IMHO, while others coming from both the media and the campaigns appear to carry genuine racist and sexist over and undertones...


Classic Republican Fiscal Conservatism at RedState

Spend it even when ya ain't got it:
"So we’ve decided to move ahead with our upgrades without delay, and despite not having the cash on hand – hoping and praying that RedState.com readers like you will help us make up the shortfall with a generous donation."

Just like their puppet masters in the GOP. Atrios has this up:
Dear RedState Reader:

I have, as they say, some good news and some bad news.

(Short version: We need you to open your wallet and give what you can to build RedState 3.0. Go here to help. We need the money ASAP.)

The good news first: RedState.com is about to embark on a major upgrade of our website that will make it easier, more informative, and just plain more fun for you to visit.

The bad news: our liberal “friends” – you know, the ones who believe so strongly in free speech and open debate – have done what they can to prevent us from making these improvements, so that our influence will be minimized just as we head into the 2008 presidential primary season.

No, our Blue State buddies haven’t succeeded in stopping us from improving our website. But they’ve made it more difficult and more expensive – which is why I’m coming to you for help.

Let me explain …

You see, when we started RedState in May of 2004, we used a website program called Scoop — the same program a lot of similar sites on the left used. But, as the number of visitors to our site grew, Scoop kept crashing on us.

If we’d been a liberal website, we would have been able to fix the problem quickly and relatively cheaply. The online left loves Scoop. Unfortunately, there weren’t really any conservative Scoop developers out there to help us. We kept crashing and were out of money. We had to close down or take drastic action.

Well, we didn’t close down. We ditched Scoop and moved to the best alternative at the time, a program called Drupal. But, in accomplishing the switch, budget constraints forced us to sacrifice some popular site features in order to alleviate the strain on our overused servers.

Needless to say, we always regarded those “downgrades” as temporary, and we hoped to restore the eliminated features – and to add new and even better ones – as soon as we could afford to.

Unfortunately, we still can’t afford to. But we’re convinced that America can afford even less to have us operating at anything less than our absolute peak potential during the coming presidential election season.

So we’ve decided to move ahead with our upgrades without delay, and despite not having the cash on hand – hoping and praying that RedState.com readers like you will help us make up the shortfall with a generous donation.

Here, specifically, is what we’re planning to accomplish with your generous financial support …
There's more, but you get the idea. It's the fault of liberals that they can't run their website because... hell I don't know.

If we click on over to redstate and donate one penny online to their cause... Would it cost them more to process the payment than they would take in? evil grin

I know, I know! A penny for their thoughts is overpaying...

[update] American Street has some more to add to this:
...this bit of blegging by redstate.org not only caused much laughter but charges they were fleecing their readers due to their parent corporation’s profit margins. How many bloggers have had grander designs than they ever could afford to build? How many don’t have corporate sponsors and work for free? Plenty, which is why some can be justifiably outraged. But, on the other hand, if their readers have that kind of cash that they’re willing to be snookered out of, that provides some room for mirth.

Atrios, then Kos, then Jane Hamsher weighed in on that one. Maybe they should hire a Mexican to do the geek work no conservative knows how to do.

And much laughter was shared amongst the left...

[update deux] I am glad I didn't waste my time overpaying with that penny... From Jane Hamsher at FDL:
Yesterday Daily Kos readers decided to make fun of Red State's "Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Fundraising" pitch by calling for PayPal donations of 1 cent. The logic was that PayPal charges a minimum of .30 for a transaction, so Red State would be paying .29 cents per donation.

Which is ridiculous. I don't approve of screwing with someone's fundraising like that, but that's beside the point -- PayPal doesn't charge you more than the amount of the transaction.

So Erick Erickson of Red State should've just left it there, but he couldn't, and instead decided to by issuing threats regarding the personal information of PayPal donors:

But, we do get their name, credit card billing address, and email address. Those are actually valuable pieces of information.

Coming from someone else, it might sound quite idle. But RedState bloggers have a history of outing the identity of anonymous online folks, so I think it's a threat that can safely be take seriously, and abusing that information would be a violation of PayPal's terms of service.

Chuck Norris Wants to Go All Kung-Fu on Mitt Romney

Typical republican politics at its best:
Introducing Huckabee at a pancake house this morning, Norris jokingly threatened violence. He said if he were Huckabee and someone tried to mischaracterize his record -- as Huckabee said Romney did in last night's Fox News debate -- he'd take him out, kung-fu-style.

"In these debates . . . if you say the wrong thing, they're going to crucify you," Norris said. "Or if a guy says the wrong thing about you and you respond, they'll crucify you anyway. I don't have the skin for it. . . . The first time the guy started saying the things they say to Mike Huckabee, I'd be choking him unconscious. That's what I would have done last night."

Sounds like a B-movie that could become a Republican cult classic.

How is that Republican economy going into the election cycle?

According to the worst president ever in the history of the USA:
“In a marked shift from his usual upbeat economic assessments,” President Bush “conceded…that the nation faces ‘economic challenges’ due to rising oil prices, the home mortgage crisis and a weakening job market.” Though Bush insisted he “recognize[d] the reality of the situation,” the White House has refused to say that the economy might be heading towards a recession.
And according to the calculator toting kind of people:
In a “controversial” report, Merrill Lynch “said that Friday’s employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.”
Bahhh! What would those financial type idiots know about this anyways? Well... They know they have plenty of money to toss at fighting presidential candidates that want to do something to help the little guy:
Alarmed at the increasingly populist tone of the 2008 political campaign,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said his organization “would spend in excess of the approximately $60 million it spent in the last presidential cycle” to defeat “anti-business” candidates.

Presidential candidates in particular have responded to the public concern. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has been the bluntest populist voice, but other front-running Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have also called for change on behalf of middle-class voters.

On the Republican side, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - emerging as an unexpected front-runner after winning the Iowa caucuses - has used populist themes in his effort to woo independent voters, blasting bonus pay for corporate chief executives and the effect of unfettered globalization on workers.

While I would not lump Hillary Clinton into the populist candidate short list in any way shape or form, it is apparent that the Chamber of Commerce is part of a group of idiots that will try and make "Populist" the new "Liberal" smear from the rightards that got us in this mess.

Also, I am glad to see the recession hasn't stopped them from finding the dough
to stomp on the poor people in their ongoing class war known as "The Great and Failed Republican Experiment" brought to you by your local and national GOP candidates, aided and abetted by spineless Democrats who had turned their back on the people, over the last 30 or so years...

We have a crippled Economy brought to you by precisely the kind of candidates and policies that the Chamber of Commerce would and do support, but they want to stop candidates that advocate real change?

John Edwards clearly fits into the long tradition of economic populism, and this is clearly a major reason why Versailles has done its very best to ignore him, and if it can't do that, to label him as angry, to write him off as "not serious," in some way. Obama, on the other hand, has repeatedly poked at post-1950s styled "progressives", often along the lines that they are somehow uncouth-a typical progressive complaint about populists. Edwards, in true populist style, is emphatic in demanding change, and stressing the urgency involved. Obama prefers to work incrementally. The two candidates are almost archetypal embodiements of populism and progressivism... except that Obama's followers rally around him like a populist tribune of the people. This is not unheard of. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the main progressive leaders of his day, and was clearly a political rock star. But Roosevelt was the exception that proves the rule. Most progressive leaders are restrained and cerebral, reflecting the normative difference between their tradition and that of the populists.

In fact I would argue the following:

(1) People are suffering from extreme wealth polarization, and related political neglect that has a wide range of manifestations. Edwards is a genuine economic populist speaking to this neglect, and because he is doing so, he is despised by the political establishment.

(2) However, this situation has developed over a long period of time, and has a rather complex and confusing overlay surrounding it, including several decades of distracting political debates, in which the Democrats traditional defense of the work class has largely been obscured, and the normal history of American politics, in which one party or the other dominates for long periods of time, has been forgoten. Barack Obama has taken advantage of this situation to substitute his own version of the elite/progressive narrative, which blames the situation on "gridlock," "polarization," and "politics as usual," casts both sides as similarly (if not equally) to blame, and demonizes populist anger, offering in its place a sanitized dionysian frenzy of ecstatic release.

(3) In short: Edwards is the real populist, but in today's world, you almost need to be a progressive scholar to appreciate just how deeply rooted his populism really is. Obama, on the other hand, is a classic progressive, who is playing the part of a populist to perfection, with none of that icky oppositional baggage that progressives always find so distressing. Obama's victory speech in Iowa was the perfect embodiment of cultural populism-it's model was not William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold," but Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich , more recently channeled by the likes of Tony Robbins.

I am not a member of the Democratic party, not in any way shape or form, and I certainly do not suffer from "GOP delusions" about the differences between the candidates on the left. And I will continue to paint a clear and honest picture of where the Democratic candidates really stand, IMHO, in the hopes that the voters will make an informed choice based on facts... Regardless of whom they should choose as their candidate in the election cycle and, hopefully, with them disregarding the far-right wingnuts spin.


Romney Campaigners Caught Stealing Signs in NH?

You be the judge. Were they stealing John McCain signs? Or were they just flip flopping in their support of candidates?

Not like we haven't seen local ding dongs stealing signs in the Danbury area before... Though, that was coming from a hate monger in the anti-immigrant category:
"the new anti-immigrant posterboy for stupidity, John Casamento plead "not guilty" to the charge of 6th degree larceny.

This act of ignorance stemmed from the dummy running around like a moron at two o'clock in the morning stealing several Brazilian flag raising lawn signs. It's believed that this is the same idiot that repeatedly desecrated the signs over a series of days."
If I am not mistaken, Casamento was caught on film stealing the signs too.

Chris Murphy Shows Joe neocon Lieberman The Door

ctblogger over at HatCityBLOG caught CT-05 Representative Chris Murphy boldly saying what few Connecticut Democratic party politicians have had the courage to say:
Back from campaigning for Chris Dodd in Iowa, Congressman Chris Murphy made an appearance on WFSB's "Face the State" and offered his views on our junior senator's endorsement of John McCain.
HOUSE: When Joe Lieberman was elected to the senate last year in 2006 he said he was going to work hard to get a Democrat back into the White House, yet he has endorsed Republican John McCain. How do you feel about that.

MURPHY: I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed.

I find it hard to believe that another four years of a Republican administration, whether it's George Bush or John McCain is the right thing for this country. I can't understand how a stay the course policy in Iraq, which John McCain espouses, is going to make this country any safer or make this country any stronger.

We all understood when Senator Lieberman got re-elected that he was going to be a different voice than he was previously, but a lot of us that think this country has to take a different direction were disappointed with his choice.

HOUSE: Should he leave the party or has he already left you think?

MURPHY: Well I think it's hard to justify that Senator Lieberman is a member of the Democratic Party any longer.

All I can wonder is how it has taken so long for CT Dems to come out and say what we, in Connecticut's left Blogosphere, have known for a long time? Well... At least Joe neocon Lieberman has finally and definitively outed himself as the elephant in the room and some Dems are taking note.

If Democratic politicians repeat this fact in the news enough the media may finally notice that Lieberman has officially taken the red walk of shame and they might stop mislabeling him as some sort of centrist or as being bipartisan. Harry Reid might even take note of this fact and do something about it!

You can catch the video of the interview over at HatCityBlog where Murphy also discusses the republican party's efforts to obstruct any movement on immigration issues in the hopes of using it as a wedge issue in the 2008 election cycle - something we have noticed on a local level - and few other issues as well.


Hillary Clinton's 103 Delegate Lead Over Obama

While CNN is reporting a surge in support for Obama in New Hampshire (Connecticut Bob has more on New Hampshire Primaries), it is clear that he has a lot of ground to make up. From the "I shit you not!" files:
Barack Obama’s stirring victory in Iowa was also a good night for our democracy. The turnout broke records and young people - who were mobilized and organized - participated in unprecedented numbers. And now that Iowans have spoken - the first citizens in the nation to do so - here’s the Democratic delegate count for the top three candidates (2,025 delegates are needed to secure the nomination):

Clinton - 169

Obama - 66

Edwards - 47

“Huh?” you say. “vanden Heuvel, you made a MAJOR typo.”

In fact, those numbers are correct
: the third-place finishing Sen. Hillary Clinton now has over twice as many delegates as Sen. Obama, and more than three times as many delegates as the second-place candidate, Sen. John Edwards. Why? Because the Democratic Party uses an antiquated and anti-democratic nominating system that includes 842 “super-delegates” - un-pledged party leaders not chosen by the voters, free to support the candidate of their choice, and who comprise more than forty percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination. Many have already announced the candidate they will support.

Oui over at BooMan Tribune offers this up in comments to help explain:

Superdelegates for Clinton (Undecided's No. 1)

(NYT/CBS News) Nov. 8, 2007 - In an early indication of where Democratic Party leaders are leaning, a survey of the party's superdelegates -- elected officials and other leaders who vote at the party's convention but are not selected in primaries -- found they are favoring Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Created by the Democratic Party in 1984, superdelegates include members of Congress, governors, former presidents, Democratic National Committee members and other party leaders. There are 850 of them, which comprises nearly one-fifth of the overall delegate count. They can back any candidate they want and change their mind as often as they want.

... more than a third of the party's 850 superdelegates said they were undecided.

New York Times/CBS News Poll

The superdelegates are in no way bound by their stated preferences and dynamics in the race are likely to change.

Democrats' Superdelegates Unswayed

In the same comment threads idredit offers some food for thought on this issue brought up by Katrina vanden Heuvel:

The Super-delegates Issue:

"In a clear attempt to protect the party establishment, this undemocratic infrastructure was created following George McGovern's landslide defeat in 1972. It was designed to prevent a nominee who was "out of sync with the rest of the party," Northeastern University political scientist William Mayer told MSNBC. Democratic National Committee member Elaine Kamarck called it a "sort of safety valve."

MSNBC article - "What role for Democratic Super-delegates? - had this

Evidence of momentum

Building the appearance of momentum and inevitability is why Clinton and her rivals will gradually be unveiling their endorsements by super-delegates.

Howard Dean's momentum appeared unstoppable in the first weeks of 2004. Super-delegate Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said emotionally a few days before his state's caucuses, "In my entire adult lifetime, I have never seen anyone broaden our party and bring people in and excite young people... like Governor Howard Dean." It was powerful testimony from a hard-nosed politician.

Dean had amassed the most super-delegates before the Iowa caucuses. But many had buyer's remorse and some abandoned him once he finished a weak third in Iowa.[.]

In the two weeks following the Iowa caucuses, 36 of 132 Dean's super-delegates peeled away from him; while John Kerry's tally jumped from 74 to 102."

So, Clinton beware!

I had never realized that the grassroots primary voter was relegated to only a 60% share of the vote in the Democratic primaries. It is so anti-Democratic in so many ways.

It is pretty clear that things can change, as far as the previous declarations of of intent by these "Super Delegates," but this is a system that needs to be tossed along with the conservative DLC types that would likely covet it as populism is on the rise.

[update] Welcome to Crooks and Liars, skippy the bush kangaroo, NYC Educator, American Street, NewstThief, House of the Rising Sons and Jabberwonk readers and please feel free to enjoy some fresh brews on me!

danvera notes in comments here that a movement of "Super Delegates" may already be happening:
"Clinton Machine Shaken by Setback"

The scope of Barack Obama's victory in Iowa has shaken the Clinton machine down to its bolts. Donors are panicking. The campaign has been making a round of calls to reassure notoriously fickle "superdelegates" — elected officials and party regulars who are awarded convention spots by virtue of their titles and positions — who might be reconsidering their decisions to back the candidate who formerly looked like a sure winner. And internally, a round of recriminations is being aimed at her chief strategist, Mark Penn, as the representative of everything about her pseudo-incumbent campaign that has been too cautious, too arrogant, too conventional and too clueless as to how much the political landscape has shifted since the last Clinton reign. One adviser summed up the biggest challenge that faces the campaign in two words: "Fresh thinking."

It should also be noted that with a third of the super delegates undecided when the NY Times took its poll (image ^^up there^^), there is a lot of wiggle room for movement on their support.

As well, Mike's Blog Roundup suggests reading one of my favorite Blogs' - The Strange Death of Liberal America - post titled "Can Barack Obama Pull Off a Woodrow Wilson?" as a companion piece to this one:
"In the aftermath of the Iowa Caucuses, Barack Obama’s stunning win has the pundits seeking parallels. The problem is they are all looking in the wrong places. They need to go back 100 years. In keeping with this blog’s reputation for original analysis, I offer a historical analogy that you will read here and nowhere else."
Sorry Liberal American... But you can read a snippet of it here too!

[update deux] The eggman runneth over at the Drudge Report with a screeching headline full of what must be right-wingnutty wishful thinking:

As I said... Screeching, BUT not a siren or flashing light in sight so I don't think that anyone could mistake that GOP wet-dream as anything more than non-news. (h/t Memeorandum) Even the right wing Captain's Quarters points out the obvious:
It didn't work with Fred Thompson, and it won't work with Hillary Clinton. Matt Drudge says that Hillary's considering withdrawing from the race if she loses big to Barack Obama in tomorrow's New Hampshire primaries -- a notion that makes even less sense for Hillary than Fred (...snip...) A flashing siren on Drudge won't be enough.
Maybe that is why Drudge didn't even bother with the siren... He has got to know that nobody will buy that story.

[update trois] Ken Layne at Wonkette seems to have captured the image of what was a fading siren by the time I read the story:
Have you ever seen a sadder Drudge Report Siren? Hillary can’t leave Matt, not after he’s been telling the world how she’s so smart and tough and the whole President Clinton Jr. thing is inevitable! Hang in there, Matt! Hillary might still be your Queen.
Too funny!

[update quatre] ABC gave a different breakdown of the decided Super Delegates:
Because super delegates are unpledged, they are under no obligation to state their preferences publicly before the convention. Counting super delegates is an inexact science, but this is the best estimate of the current state of play according to the super delegate responses we've received.


Clinton 158

Obama 89

Edwards 26

Richardson 20

Dodd 15

Biden 8

Kucinich 1

Gravel 0
[update cinque] An explanation of how the Delegates are allocated, because it confused the heck out of Aristocrats, posted in 2003:
Delegate counts, super delegates

"The allocation of each state's delegates to each candidate is a bit murky, but in general it's apportioned by a complex series of formulas that kick in once a candidate crosses the 15% threshhold.

For example, this is how North Dakota allocates its delegates:

Here's how we compute the delegate count:

1. A candidate must receive 15% or more of the total popular vote to qualify for delegates. Discard those votes cast for candidates who do not qualify.
2. Allocate Congressional District delegates from the qualified vote in each district. Allocate Pledged PLEO and At-Large delegates using the statewide qualified vote.
3. In each jurisdiction:
1. Total qualified vote = total votes cast for the qualifying candidates in the jurisdiction.
2. Allocation = (delegates for the jurisdiction) x (candidate's popular vote) ÷ (total qualified vote).
3. Assign each candidate the WHOLE NUMBER of delegates.
4. If delegates remain, allocate each of the remaining delegates to those candidates with the LARGEST REMAINDERS.

If you can figure out what that formula means then you're a smarter person than me.

Super Delegates can vote for whomever they want, but they generally vote with the winner of the popular vote. It would be highly undemocratic and a breach of faith to subvert the will of the voters and push an alternate candidate itself. Now if we were to face a brokered convention, then all bets would obviously be off. But the chances of that happening, as exciting as it would be for political junkies like us, is practically nill."

When this was posted in 2003 Iowa had 45 delegates and 9 super delegates. Those numbers have likely changed since then.

[update six] AP had a different breakdown for before the Iowa Caucus:
Most superdelegates contacted by the AP before the Iowa caucuses were undecided. However, among those who have endorsed a candidate, Clinton leads with 160, compared to 59 for Obama and 32 for former Sen. John Edwards.

Even The Left Blogosphere Falls Into Media Traps

I very rarely have anything to disagree with over at TPM since they do such great work on many issues but in this case Josh Marshall critiques the Dem debate like a wolf with one leg caught in the right wing media trap:
John Edwards also had, I thought, a very strong debate, particularly in the latter half of the debate. He talks a lot about feeling this fight in his blood and being a fighter. And it's important when you say things like that that it really resonates in what you say, how you act, who you seem to be. And I think it did on every count. Unfortunately for Hillary, most of the eloquence and fire was directed at her tonight.

The exchange I noted earlier from around 9:30 PM was the emotional, dramatic crux of the evening. After that a lot of the energy seemed to be released from the discussion. Not in a bad way necessarily. I thought each of them had very good moments in the second half. But that was the crux of the debate, where the key points were enunciated, and each candidate defined.

In general, I think Obama's the winner tonight. I think Hillary made her case well. I think Edwards had the best debate. But the debate can only be understood in the context of the moment. Right now, Obama's on fire. The first post-Iowa polls show him picking up a big post-caucus bump. He needed to come off well. Not make any mistakes. And not let Hillary open up any strong line of attack against him.

Forgive me for noticing the fact that Edwards took the second spot in Iowa, and even you said he had the best debate showing, so I don't buy the media spin about the Obama/Hillary fight and neither should TPM. It seems to me that Obama had to worry more about not opening up any line of attacks from Edwards. But that line doesn't follow the media's pre-written script about pre-ordained candidates, which is nothing more than a trap that I will not fall into.

We expect more, and certainly better, from you than this at TPM.

Celebrating Blogroll Amnesty Day!

It is a little early but Mike the Mad Biologist brings back an idea that skippy the bush kangaroo and Jon Swift got a lot of people involved in last February after January's link assault by some "A list" Bloggers:
"Speaking of Jon Swift, the start of 2008 seems like a good time to have another Blogroll Amnesty Day. If you're not on my blogroll, and I'm on yours, leave me a link below and I'll add you (note: racists, creationists, and flat-out weirdos won't be accepted). Instructions below the fold.

Please put your blog name on one line, and the url on the second line, like so:

Mike the Mad Biologist

or give me a line of html code, like so:

Mike the Mad Biologist


Same goes for this Blog. If I am on your Blogroll and you notice that you are not on mine, tell me! I will fix it. Heck... Add me to yours and I will add you to mine. Just drop a note in comments here.

For me, it doesn't matter whether you are covering local Connecticut stuff, national politics, and or pretty much anything else. And if you click around you should be able to get a link from Mike, John Swift and skippy as well as from here! Four Blogroll links just for being astute enough to add 4 links from your Blogroll... Does it get any better or easier than that?

Some ideas are worth repeating over and over again. It is all about building a better Blogtopia! (y!sctp) I was re-repeating the mantra to left leaning people to "Link Damnit!" in a piece on the "Blog Link Meta Backlash" around the time all of that stuff was going down:

(Here I am with another "Link Damnit!" moment...)

Skippy hops along in Jon Swift's "Liberal Linking Policy" footsteps:
skippy the bush kangaroo:
we got yer 'amnesty' right here

"and who are we to limit political discourse diversity? what's going on here? it's as if the major blogs are trying to emulate the democrats in washington who suddenly forget about their constituents.

(ok, it's not. our metaphors suck tonight. but we're pissed. so cut us some slack.)

ergo, we here at skippy are planning to retaliate by offering real blog amnesty. and here's how it goes:

many smaller blogs link to skippy for one or more of a few reasons: out of politeness, out of a hope that we might notice them and link back, or simply out of the imitation of what it takes to make a good blog. it's the second reason that interests us (we really should have put it as the last reason to be more clear with sentence structure (on the other hand, using less parenthetical phrases in a paragraph would go a long way towards grammatical clarity (too late now))).

to wit: any blog that has linked to skippy and has not received a reciprocal blogroll link will now be included on our roll! all you have to do is notify us in our comments section or email us, and we will happily include you! that will show those big shot elitists too good for the little guy blogs! ha!"

At a time when the bigger Blogs need to be doing more to help build the left community some are, and some aren't. I find it ironic that I posted just last week on Chris Bowers argument that we need to link more effectively:
If everyone on the left works a little harder on this we can turn the tides on on the Google Wars and win. We have already made a lot of inroads since this 2004 picture:

The graphs represent the aggregate linkage going on leading up to the 2004 election. Reds (them) are the Republican bloggers, and Blues (us) are the Democratic bloggers. The full expanation of the graphs particulars are on page 9 of the PDF paper. Basically, the first graph connects dots (blogs) when there is strong linkage between them (+25 during the period), the second one where there is less stronger linkage (+5), and they've a 3rd map that includes all linkage that I've not included.

Between blogs then (not taking into consideration that diaries on #8DailyKos and #17MyDD serve to allow massive coordiantion and spreading of message), there's just a lot more coordination through linking among Republican than there has been with Democratic bloggers, at least on the surface of particular URL's. The other interesting thing I noted was that the blog by George Bush's campaign didn't even make the top 40-- now that's pitiful.

We were less coordinated in '04. But in '06 we did little things a little better. I am sure the more recent graphs would look a lot better. But you know that we can still keep on improving on this.

Remember that every time you link to any site you are, over time, creating a kind of GOOGLEBOMB effect on that site when it comes to site rankings, search results, etc.. Tagging and choice of words that are used to link are important in these cumulitive effects as well.
Now this week... Brilliant at Breakfast has the scoop on how MyDD has become an apologist for those attempting to cut out the links that we need to build the Left:

Shorter Chris Bowers

"We innovate more than you, we hired people to help us, and because we did that there is no place for you lone bloggers anymore -- because WE decide who makes it and who doesn't."

Oh, you really have to read this self-congratulatory drivel to believe it. It's truly amazing to see one blogger fellating the entire Big Name Blogosphere in one post, while at the same time consigning the rest of us to the ranks of the MySpacers.

Kool Kidz Klub indeed.

It's funny how Bowers uses a quote by Jeffrey Feldman to illustrate his point, because as I've mentioned before, I had a very nice conversation about blogging just last week with Mr. Feldman, who seems to be in no way a blog snob. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is at least one Big Name Blogger who isn't puffed up with his own self-importance.

But with Kos and Atrios making a big show about "culling the blogroll", and Chris Bowers playing "Mine's Bigger" with the rest of the blogosphere, is this really what it's come to? Is this the Revenge of the Nerds come to fruition? Is this the guys who DIDN'T get laid on prom night finally staking their claim to coolness?

If so, are we going to sit by and take it? Are we going to just toil away while guys like Atrios and Kos and Chris Bowers define the rules and brand the rest of us as useless?

What an amazing flip-flop-contortion there Bowers... This leaves me wondering just how committed he really is to the cause.

Jon Swift puts it all in perspective:
I adopted this policy in a spirit of both self-interest and altruism. In the blogosphere links are like capital. By offering links to others, others would be more inclined to offer links to me. But I am also very grateful to those who helped me out by throwing a link my way or adding me to their blogroll when I was just starting out. Now that I am a Large Mammal, according the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem, I have tried to return the favor by helping out those further down the food chain.
Links are capital! It is the foundation of bringing views from fellow bloggers out of obscurity and into the top of search engine results. And just how much does it cost any blogger to spend some of this valuable capital?

ZIP. Zilch. Zero dollars.

Not even one penny to use the most effective marketing tool that Blogtopia has to offer.

All you have to do is put a few seconds into the act of cut'n'paste into your Blogroll or into a post... And you make a huge difference for everyone in our fight.

As ctblogger commented in an earlier MLN diary of mine on building a better community:
We should all work together to fight the good progressive fight and not be so critical in terms of other people's sites. I read CTBlue, Ed's Daily Rant, CT Local Politics, and the watch sites everyday and I learn something new from all of those guys which I incorporate into my site and that's the way it should be. Learn something from me and I learn something from you.

2006 is going to be a HUGE election year and Connecticut will be ground zero in terms of who controls Congress (2nd, 4th 5th district races). The faster we can all work to get this site up to full-speed, the more national attention it will receive.

He also called me out for not having links to his sites... Which I quickly fixed. lol

2006 is behind us but there are still a lot of common causes that we all share, and we can all help each other in achieving our goals. Linking is the first, easiest AND cheapest way to start.

For more background on all of this: Boston Joe has a Meta diary up x-posted at BooTrib and at MLW covering a bit more of this Meta discussion in a thoughtful way. Both have generated a lot of comments. I usually hate Meta... But this topic is the foundation of what Blogging is all about.
We can do better than we have been doing. And if we keep building on what we already have our numbers (and the fact that we deal in reality) will easily overcome the right wing echo chamber's lies and propaganda.

Start the new year off kicking Blogtopia (y!sctp) up a notch! BAM!

[update] Many Bloggers chose to participate in Blogroll Amnesty Day, but did it work?

Yes! But not perfectly:
I hope that helps a little in fixing the problem, and I still plan on using these Blogs for references in future posts...