Monday, November 10, 2008

If This Isn't Worthy of a Post-Election Post, I Don't Know What Is

Time to meet your new White House, everyone. Today, you get Rahm Emanuel, newly anointed Chief-of-Staff, and professional bad-ass. provides you with all the information about him you will ever need.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why We Need to Win

"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe" -- here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers -- "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom."

- Governor Sarah Palin, 2 days ago

Do we need leadership in this country that distinguishes between "real" Americans and "fake" Americans? Between parts of the country that are "anti-American?" I cannot begin to describe how offensive I find these comments. How do you define what pro-American is? These talking heads seem to identify "Republican" with "American," and frankly there are two sides of the political debate here in the United States.

Although, after listening to what the other side has to offer over the past few months, I'm starting to feel like there's two sides to this debate in the same way that there were two sides of the McCarthy hearings.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What We're Up Against

All right, so maybe Homer Simpson wasn't the best strategic ploy to convince everyone to vote Democrat. But I think this video illustrates exactly what sort of campaign John McCain ran this year, and exactly why he does not deserve to be President of the United States.

It also illustrates why I'm a little scared of my own country.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Last Day to Register!!!

PLEASE make sure you and the people you know are registered to vote. This is Haverford - we're a small enough institution to ensure that if enough people actually care, we can't miss anyone.

Also, if this isn't enough to convince you to vote, I don't know what will:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Hmm...Let's See...

God bless you, Sarah Palin. You must be Jon Stewart's favorite politician ever. He might actually vote Republican this year, just to have you around to make fun of (what good would you be back in Alaska?). However, I hope that everyone else (you know, those who aren't late-night comedians) doesn't vote based on that rationale.

While we're at it, enjoy John McCain being angry, and John McCain pretending to understand space travel:

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Will Make Them Famous, And You Will Know Their Names!

Borrowing the above line from John McCain, I would like to point out exactly who is responsible for voting against the bailout bill in the United States House of Representatives today. No, it's not a perfect bill, but it is a solution that had been negotiated for over a week, and did in fact contain some necessary home-owner protections and other important provisions that are key to getting the economy back on its feet.

You will know their names. These are the congressmen who voted against the Bailout Plan, most of them because they're running in close re-election races, not because they actually didn't think it was important.

I am proud to say, as a Haverford student, that Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) buried partisan concerns and stood with the Democratic Party leadership to try and bring some relief to this economic crisis.

Upon this news, the Dow dropped 778 points today, an all-time record, putting the stock market below where it was on President Bush's first day in office.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Republican Senators Under Seige

After the 2004 elections, the Democratic Party was faced with a major deficit in the United States Senate. Minority Leader Tom Daschle even last his seat. Holding only 44 seats, and having just taken a beating at the hands of the GOP, things looked grim.

But oh, how the times have changed. Democrats now hold a 50-seat majority + 1 Independent (thanks for that one, Joe), and look to be in prime position to win several more seats this time around. Of course, the magic number is 60 seats - the amount needed to prevent Republican obstructionism and get votes to the Senate floor. On paper, a +10 victory would seem almost impossible, but the realities of this year's races give us a chance.

Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Colorado seem to be all but locked in for the Democratic challengers in those states. So congratulations Mark Warner, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, and Mark Udall on your impending elections as United States Senators. Beyond those races, there are a number of extremely tight contests across the country:

--> Alaska's embattled, crotchety Senator Ted Stevens (R) is currently on trial for corruption. The outcome will decide whether or not he has any chance to beat challenger Mark Begich (D). Let's see how long Sarah Palin's coattails really are.

--> In Oregon, Democratic State Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley is locked in a dead-heat with incumbent Gordon Smith (R), who has attempted to save his seat by running ads touting his close relationship with the next President of the United States - Barack Obama. Just goes to show how out-of-fashion the Republican brand is this year.

--> In Minnesota, comedian-turned-politician Al Franken is also roughly tied with incumbent Norm Coleman, who won his seat in 2002 after his opponent passed away in a plane crash two weeks before the election. Some may question Franken's qualifications to be a Senator, but remember that this is the state that elected Jesse Ventura. Also, as Franken likes to point out, he's "the only New York Jew in this race who actually grew up in Minnesota."

--> In Mississippi, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) is locked in a surprisingly close battle with incumbent appointee Roger Wicker (R).

--> North Carolina also features one of the most exciting races of this cycle. Elizabeth Dole was expected to win reelection handily, but thanks to her desire to never actually be in the state of North Carolina, she currently trails State Senator Kay Hagan. This is a race that DSCC head Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will pour money into, because of how excited he is about Hagan's strong showing.

--> Finally, a new poll in Kentucky shows Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford tied with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). This would be an enormous upset for the Democrats, even larger than the defeat of their minority leader 4 years ago.

A win in all 10 of these races would give Democrats the 60 seats, regardless of Senator Lieberman's mood. A win in 9 means we have to play nice with Joe for another 2 years. So just remember, the presidential election is far from the only interesting race to watch on November 4th. Keep an eye on these seats, so that we can see how effectively President Obama will be able to work with the Senate to get his agenda passed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CNN Attacks Sexism - By the McCain Campaign

Thanks for this one...

I also believe in setting Sarah Palin free, so that she may return to Alaska and roam the land as she was meant to, instead of being stuck in Washington. In Alaska, she can still live in a white house because her office will be covered in snow.

I hope that you will all join me in freeing Sarah Palin, by voting for her return to Alaska on November 4th.

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain Wages War on Facts, Facts Respond with "Tanks"

Steve Schmidt held a conference call today to press the media to scrutinize Senator Obama's campaign more closely. Steve Schmidt, for those unfamiliar, is Senator McCain's chief strategist on issues of mayhem, destruction, and overall naughtiness. Top campaign officials also report that he was not hugged enough as a child. He's welcome to stop by my apartment any time before Election Day for the biggest hug of his life - I'll hold him close and won't let go for 43 days.

Schmidt came out swinging today against the scourge of the GOP, The New York Times. He accused the liberal rag of failing to properly attack Obama to the same extent that McCain has felt the paper's wrath. Specifically, he whined about how, among other things, no one has pointed out that Senator Biden's son was a lobbyist for the banking industry. Of course, Hunter Biden was a lobbyist, although never for any credit card company or bank, but that didn't stop the McCain campaign. In fact, Jonathan Martin of Politico reports, shortly after Schmidt's rant was finished, RNC communications director Danny Diaz sent out a piece "to illuminate the connection." Anyone familiar with John McCain's line of attacks this fall can probably guess where the story originated: THE NEW YORK TIMES.

When pressed about the series of factual errors Schmidt made on the call, spokesman Brian Rogers, replied, "You are in the tank." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John McCain's perception of our nation's journalists:

Meanwhile, it would be interesting how the media would react if your VP candidate would ever actually decide to take questions from the press. It's been 24 days - enough already. If she's qualified to be Vice-President, and potentially (shudder) President, then she's qualified enough to handle the U.S. media.

Obama's camp responded by pointing to a dark mark on McCain's past: the Keating Five scandal. They sent out a memo comparing the "more than 40" articles that the New York Times has written about Obama's "life, his religion, his childhood, his politics, his time in the state senate, his time in the U.S. Senate, his family, his religion, his friends, his fundraising and all other manner of associations" to the 0 articles they've written about McCain's incredibly questionable relationship with Charles Keating Jr., former chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. The Senate Ethics Committee accused McCain and 4 Democratic senators (this is how McCain views bi-partisanship) of interfering with an investigation into Keating's company.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Obama Argument

Well, for the first time in what seems like quite awhile, the Obama campaign exceeded expectations in its primary performance. With a 14 point trouncing in North Carolina and a mere 2 point defeat in Indiana, Obama made significant gains in both the delegate count and the popular vote. At this point it's fair to say that Clinton's chances of victory have dropped from "extremely unlikely" to "essentially impossible."

The Obama campaign has begun a fresh appeal to superdelegates after last night's results. From the Caucus Blog of the NYT, here's the letter Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is sending to superdels:

TO: Superdelegates

FROM: David Plouffe, Campaign Manager

RE: An Update on the Race for Delegates

DA: May 7, 2008

There are only six contests remaining in the Democratic primary calendar and only 217 pledged delegates left to be awarded. Only 7 percent of the pledged delegates remain on the table. There are 260 remaining undeclared superdelegates, for a total of 477 delegates left to be awarded.

With North Carolina and Indiana complete, Barack Obama only needs 172 total delegates to capture the Democratic nomination. This is only 36 percent of the total remaining delegates.

Conversely, Senator Clinton needs 326 delegates to reach the Democratic nomination, which represents a startling 68 percent of the remaining delegates.

With the Clinton path to the nomination getting even narrower, we expect new and wildly creative scenarios to emerge in the coming days. While those scenarios may be entertaining, they are not legitimate and will not be considered legitimate by this campaign or its millions of supporters, volunteers, and donors.

We believe it is exceedingly unlikely Senator Clinton will overtake our lead in the popular vote and in fact lost ground on that measure last night. However, the popular vote is a deeply flawed and illegitimate metric for deciding the nominee – since each campaign based their strategy on the acquisition of delegates. More importantly, the rules of the nomination are predicated on delegates, not popular vote.

Just as the Presidential election in November will be decided by the electoral college, not popular vote, the Democratic nomination is decided by delegates.

If we believed the popular vote was somehow the key measurement, we would have campaigned much more intensively in our home state of Illinois and in all the other populous states, in the pursuit of larger raw vote totals. But it is not the key measurement.

We played by the rules, set by you, the D.N.C. members, and campaigned as hard as we could, in as many places as we could, to acquire delegates. Essentially, the popular vote is not much better as a metric than basing the nominee on which candidate raised more money, has more volunteers, contacted more voters, or is taller.

The Clinton campaign was very clear about their own strategy until the numbers become too ominous for them. They were like a broken record , repeating ad nauseum that this nomination race is about delegates. Now, the word delegate has disappeared from their vocabulary, in an attempt to change the rules and create an alternative reality.

We want to be clear – we believe that the winner of a majority of pledged delegates will and should be the nominee of our party. And we estimate that after the Oregon and Kentucky primaries on May 20, we will have won a majority of the overall pledged delegates According to a recent news report, by even their most optimistic estimates the Clinton Campaign expects to trail by more than 100 pledged delegates and will then ask the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters.

But of course superdelegates are free to and have been utilizing their own criteria for deciding who our nominee should be. Many are deciding on the basis of electability, a favorite Clinton refrain. And if you look at the numbers, during a period where the Clinton campaign has been making an increasingly strident pitch on electability, it is clear their argument is failing miserably with superdelegates.

Since February 5, the Obama campaign has netted 107 superdelegates, and the Clinton campaign only 21. Since the Pennsylvania primary, much of it during the challenging Rev. Wright period, we have netted 24 and the Clinton campaign 17.

At some point – we would argue that time is now – this ceases to be a theoretical exercise about how superdelegates view electability. The reality of the preferences in the last several weeks offer a clear guide of how strongly superdelegates feel Senator Obama will perform in November, both in building a winning campaign for the presidency as well as providing the best electoral climate across the country for all Democratic candidates.

It is important to note that Senator Obama leads Senator Clinton in superdelegate endorsements among Governors, United States Senators and members of the House of Representatives. These elected officials all have a keen sense for who our strongest nominee will be in November.

It is only among D.N.C. members where Senator Clinton holds a lead, which has been rapidly dwindling.

As we head into the final days of the campaign, we just wanted to be clear with you as a party leader, who will be instrumental in making the final decision of who our nominee will be, how we view the race at this point.

Senator Obama, our campaign and our supporters believe pledged delegates is the most legitimate metric for determining how this race has unfolded. It is simply the ratification of the D.N.C. rules – your rules – which we built this campaign and our strategy around.

Seems like a pretty strong case to me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Congressman Joe Sestak on the Colbert Report

This is pretty funny stuff... lasers mounted on dolphins...what type of naval ship would each candidate be?...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well, that was an exciting 6 weeks or so. . .

And after a hard-fought battle, Hillary has pulled out the win. As everyone has been saying, it will come down to spin. Obama is focusing on the fact that he closed the gap--and in the long-term, that's definitely true:

But Hillary's got the stronger argument, I think. Considering how much money Obama has spent in PA in recent weeks (with an acceleration in the last few days), it's remarkable that Hillary was able to maintain basically the same lead. She'll be able to play the underdog card that she used so effectively post-New Hampshire.

As for the bigger picture? No way in hell she drops out now. Even though her chances of grabbing the primary are negligible--her victory tonight won't get her more than a handful of delegates--I'd be shocked to see her out of the race until after Indiana and North Carolina, which are on May 6th. For the good of the party, hopefully a strong performance from Obama will convince her that the Democrats are going to need unity against McCain.