Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

[C]urrent polling makes it look likely that Hillary Clinton will beat Barack Obama by a bit more than ten points.

Now if you'd said on March 5 "looks like Clinton will win Pennsylvania by about 12 points" most people would have said "sounds about right, she has a huge advantage in the polls right now but Obama always gains ground through actual campaigning; still, demographically speaking it's very favorable terrain for Clinton." But today it's essentially inevitable that any failure on Obama's part to close the gap will be substantially attributed to "bittergate" even though failure to fully close the gap was not only predictable but widely predicted weeks ago based on Pennsylvania's age structure, educational attainment, and African-American population.


According to the right-wing Human Events online: Barack Obama's "complicity with rappers dates back to at least 2006."


How many delegates might each candidate win in Pennsylvania, which is the most populous of the states and territories that have yet to vote?

That answer will be mainly determined not by the sum of the votes Clinton and Obama win in Pennsylvania, but rather by the state’s parts. Pennsylvania will send 187 Democratic delegates to the party’s national convention in Denver this August, and most of them — 103 to be exact — will be allocated according to the votes the candidates receive in each of the state’s 19 congressional districts.

And a CQ Politics analysis of the political circumstances in Pennsylvania’s congressional districts, detailed below, projects an edge to Clinton — but by just 53 district-level delegates to 50 for Obama under the Democratic Party’s proportional distribution rules.

These numbers suggest that Clinton, even with a victory in Pennsylvania, would make only a small incremental gain against Obama’s overall lead in the delegate race.


Older voters gravitate to Hillary Clinton because they're too wise to be fooled by Barack Obama’s rhetoric, former president Bill Clinton told Pennsylvania voters today.


Obama sent a clear signal that -- unlike impeachment, which he's ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility -- he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding -- which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past -- was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.


Obama has embarked on a profound sociological and political gamble. He gambles by offering the electorate a deep respect by quietly and firmly telling truths. His campaign, to a degree unparalleled in normal campaigning, constantly and repetitively gambles that voters of all stripes, indeed, can handle the truth. It must be at times agony to watch the "gotcha" spin from opponents and the press while waiting to see if the American citizenry can make intelligent decisions faced with a cacophony of spin.


The Democrats are promising to raise taxes only on the rich: the country’s vast middle class expects to be unaffected. And as long as Mr McCain declines to explain exactly how he will curb spending (aside from attacking earmarks, the special interest spending projects which in the larger scheme of things are trivial), voters will be equally blithe about that side of the calculation too. Everyone can deplore the fiscal incontinence of the Bush administration and hardly anyone need worry about what restoring fiscal control might require. In this, as in other areas, the thinking boils down to: "After George W. Bush, everything will be fine."

On taxes and spending – as on Iraq – it will not. The point has become dulled through repetition, but the fact remains that the US faces, from a position of fiscal weakness, new and mounting pressures on public finance. In dealing with the larger problem, muddling through is unlikely to succeed. The country will have to change how it confronts fiscal questions.


Professor [John] Yoo holds morally reprehensible views and his legal work on the so-called "torture memos" was obviously shoddy. Neither consideration constitutes grounds for terminating the employment of a tenured law professor. Tenure, and academic freedom, would mean nothing if every professor with views deemed morally reprehensible or every professor who produced a shoddy piece of work--while inside or outside the academy--could be fired. I find it almost unbelievable that a group calling itself "American Freedom Campaign" does not understand this. (Have they already forgotten the case of Professor Churchill?) I had previously thought well of the work of the American Freedom Campaign, but this latest stunt is a disgrace and I am removing myself from its e-mail lists.


By now you've heard about the 416 children, many young girls who it is alleged were abused by their far older "spiritual husbands", who have been removed by the State from the Texas compound of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

What you may not have heard about is that the US government gave a company owned by FLDS honchos a nearly $1 million loan from the federal government and $1.2 million in military contracts - despite a 2005 lawsuit alleging that cult members worked for the company on cult orders for little or no pay.


Cartoon by Tom Toles/Universal Press Syndicate

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