Saturday, June 7, 2008

Delegate [chat]

We'll update delegate math here as it happens. Then you can [chat] about it.
As of 6/5/08 @ 11:38 a.m.:


Friday, June 6, 2008

GH3: Expert 100% Fire and the Flames

Why We Argue

The first post in the comments is a long, and terrible reprinted conversation.

I am clearly full of holes in it, and yet, I'm certain, you'll note what I'm up against, and weep with me.

Macie Hope: Born Twice for Mockery

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?"
I do not know if this is a bigger "fuck you" to Nicodemus or Jesus. But the double birth of Macie Hope is most assuredly a big old FUCK YOU to one of them:
The first “birth” was about six months into Keri McCartney’s pregnancy, when surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital took the tiny fetus from Keri’s womb to remove a tumor that would have killed Macie before she was born.

The second time was on May 3, when the McCartneys welcomed their surgically repaired — and perfectly healthy — baby girl into the world.
So let the records show that Jesus Christ was incapable of shoving Nicodemus back into his mommy's snatch while surgeons as Texas Children’s Hospital were more than able to yank out Marie Hope, cut her up, and then shove her back in. And if fuckheads in Texas can do something your lord and savior cannot? It's time to rethink your life.

Also, I don't know if being "born twice" is somehow a requirement for being the antichrist any more than homosexuality or partial judaism are required. But I'm still keeping my eye on you, Macie Hope. If we can't trust something that bleeds for five days and doesn't die then we most assuredly can't trust someone who was born, shoved back in, and then born again.

Finally, if you take a cake out of the oven before it is done but then put it back in? There is a chance that the cake will collapse in on itself. Let's hope the same is not true of babies.

American Teen: The Trailer

This is going to be surreal.

Howard Wolfson speaks for Clinton, Contradicts Self

Of all the confusing things the Clinton campaign did over its 17 months this has to be the most mentally perplexing:

“While Senator Clinton has made clear throughout this process that she will do whatever she can to elect a Democrat to the White House, she is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her,” Howard Wolfson, one of the campaign’s chief strategists, said in a statement provided to The New York Times.
If you did not catch it then let me restate it for you: Howard Wolfson said, "No one speaks for Hillary but Hillary". As negative statements are sometimes confusing allow me to restate it as a positive:

"No one speaks for Hillary but Hillary" = "Only Hillary speaks for Hillary"

You see the problem. How could Howard Wolfson say "only Hillary speaks for Hillary" and it be meaningful?

Let me begin by saying that it can be the case that "only Hillary speaks for Hillary" and people other than Hillary can say that; they would merely be stating a fact. The problem is that in this particular example Howard Wolfson appears to be speaking for Hillary, which is impossible given what he said.

This leads to the main point with which I am struggling: Is it the case that "no one speaks for Hillary but Hillary"?

Simply googling "clinton spokesman" produces what appears to be an abundance of evidence to the contrary. Throughout the 17 month campaign multiple individuals with the title of "Clinton spokesman" made statements on behalf of Hillary Clinton. But let us assume that "only Hillary speaks for Hillary". What then of these spokesmen and spokeswomen?

Obviously these spokesmen and spokeswomen, if we are to believe that "only Hillary speaks for Hillary" could not have been speaking for Hillary; that would be impossible. So then what were they doing? Is it possible that they could communicate true information about Hillary Clinton without speaking for her? Certainly. But it would be impossible for them to communicate this information on her behalf. They would have to be speaking on their own behalf, for themselves. Could the speak on behalf of the campaign? Yes, assuming that Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton's campaign are separate entities. But they absolutely could not speak on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Of course, it is also possible that "no one speaks for Hillary but Hillary" is a false statement and that Howard Wolfson is a fucking moron who doesn't know what he's saying most of the god damned time.

Personally? I tend to settle on the "Howard Wolfson is a fucking moron" option given that over the past 17 months a metric shit ton of people have spoken for Hillary Clinton, most of whom are fucking tools.

Except for Terry McAuliffe. That guy totally has his shit together.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indiana Beat Hillary Clinton

Per this Washington Post article:

Hillary and Bill Clinton were optimistic as they approached primary day on May 6. They dipped once again into their personal fortune, lending her campaign $1.4 million more in the week before the Indiana and North Carolina votes. At least three campaign officials described the Clintons as furious when they saw the results in the two states.

Indiana proved to be the bigger disappointment, even though Clinton won there. What irked her advisers was that Clinton got no credit for what they saw as a come-from-behind victory. Even more irritating was that, because ballots were being held back in the Obama stronghold of Lake County, across the state line from his home town, Chicago, the networks declined to call the race for Clinton until after midnight.

The most effective phase of her campaign "came to a screeching halt the night of Indiana and North Carolina," said a senior aide. "The change was discernible almost immediately.

Zero Punctuation: Oblivion

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lincoln Douglas? McCain Obama!!!

You know what would be amazing? Joint Town Hall appearances by Obama and McCain would be amazing:

“As Barack Obama has said before, the idea of joint town halls is appealing and one that would allow a great conversation to take place about the need to change the direction of this country," Plouffe said. "We would recommend a format that is less structured and lengthier than the McCain campaign suggests, one that more closely resembles the historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. But, having just secured our party’s nomination, this is one of the many items we will be addressing in the coming days and look forward to discussing it with the McCain campaign."

Clinton's Journey: Anyway You Want It

With Obama securing the position of Presumptive Democratic Nominee for President the instinctive pivot of the media has been to the issue of Hillary Clinton. Specifically, What does Hillary Clinton want? Does Hillary want the Vice Presidency, a speaking role at the Convention, a Supreme Court seat, a Prime Minister position, an assassin to take out Obama in RFK fashion so that she can be the nominee? While we can certainly entertain ourselves with speculation regarding Hillary's desires I think it may behoove us to take a step back and answer, what I think, is a far more pressing question at this time: Why the fuck should we care what Hillary Clinton wants?

Hillary Clinton mathematically lost the nomination long before last night yet the media, her supporters, and the narrative of the primary stayed with her. Even after Obama won 11 contests in a row Hillary Clinton was still considered to be a contender. As Mikey mentioned there is a mystique to Bill and Hillary Clinton. The democratic political zeitgeist says that the Clintons are winners, that they never give up, that they maintain some political force unique unto their selves which will propel them ever forward in the Democratic party. The common knowledge, the shared understanding, is that the Clintons are a substantial political force.

Except...Hillary Clinton just lost the nomination to a political nobody, for all practical purposes, from Illinois whose only noteworthy accomplishment was his delivery of the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

So, again, why the fuck should we care what Hillary Clinton wants?

It seems to be the case that perhaps this loss was merely a misstep; that Hillary will be back and continue to be relevant to Democratic politics. It seems to be the case that Hillary Clinton ought to be offered the Vice Presidency, that Obama needs her. But what is the foundation for this thought?

The Clinton campaign ceaselessly advertised their "18 million votes" claim in an effort to reinforce the idea that Hillary matters, that 18 million people wuv her. But, one must ask, how many of those 18 million votes came from genuine Clinton supporters? When you subtract the racist vote, the sexist ignorant feminist vote, the Clinton familiarity vote? What is left? What percent of Hillary Clinton voters actually voted for Hillary Clinton rather than voted for the white woman whose last name we know?

That is the question upon which we need to focus; the question which demands an answer. The other questions? The other concerns? Those are irrelevant. We do not need to know what Hillary wants.

We need to know who wants Hillary.


Why Clinton finished Strong

Last night was a great night. One of the best nights ever. Obama went over the top with a strong finish in The Big Sky Country. However, as Pat Buchanan has been saying over and over, Hillary Clinton also finished strong. He keeps banging his fist trying to get people to answer that question but nothing seems to satisfy him.

Why did the Big-H win when Obama was so fucking awesome. I think the answer is quite simple. She is Hillary Clinton. "Clinton" entered the race as a front runner, the wife of one of the most popular presidents ever. She also happened to be a leader of the women's rights movement.

That shit goes a long way when people are not political wonks like us. When you watch the today show or the evening news and get a small local news paper, how do you make your choice? You go with what you know. I am not saying that the voters are stupid or idiots or wrong. It is how a lot of people work.

Votes in the last few weeks are not votes against Obama, but votes Clinton. The states Hill has won are not states that the Democrats can win in in November. Clinton will bow out quietly with little fan fare. She does not want to to be V.P. She wants to be, to quote Jay, Prime Minister.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What "equality" means.

Leila Medley, an undeclared superdelegate, described herself as being "in turmoil" over who to vote for. Said Leila Medley:

Here I am -- 71-years-old and this is the last time I'll be involved in this process to this extent -- and there's a woman on the ballot. And she's a viable candidate
Ignoring the question of "viability" with regard to Clinton a more important point need be addressed:

Voting for a candidate because of their gender, because of their race, is a step away from equality.

If we wish to embrace the idea that the categories of man, woman, white, black are all irrelevant to the question of whether or not an individual is capable of performing a given task then we need to embrace this idea, this concept, this truth fully and base our assessments of individuals on the person alone.

If you vote for Obama because of his race or gender; if you vote for Clinton because of her race or gender, then you have declared the race, that gender matter; that race and gender are important, meaningful criteria by which a person's abilities may be assessed.

Don't vote for Obama because he is a black man.
Don't vote for Clinton because she is a white woman.

Vote for the person who shares your ideals, your hopes, your vision for a better tomorrow.

Anything less is merely an act of sexism or racism which behooves no one.

Clinton to Recognize Obama Nomination

Per First Read:

Breaking news from the AP: "Officials say Clinton will acknowledge Tuesday night Obama has the delegates for the nomination."

Per Lowell Sun Online:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation's first female president.

The former first lady will stop short of formally suspending or ending her race in her speech in New York City. She will pledge to continue to speak out on issues like health care. But for all intents and purposes, the two senior officials said, the campaign is over.

Per Munchkin Land:
Mayor: As Mayor of the Munchkin City, In the County of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most regally.
Barrister: But we've got to verify it legally, to see
Mayor: To see?
Barrister: If she
Mayor: If she?
Barrister: Is morally, ethic'lly
Father No.1: Spiritually, physically
Father No. 2: Positively, absolutely
Munchkins: Undeniably and reliably Dead

**Update** Per First Read
Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe just told CNN that the AP article is "100% wrong." He said Clinton will NOT acknowledge Obama as the nominee tonight.
Note the wisdom of Barrister, "But we've got to verify it legally".

Monday, June 2, 2008

Earth's Resources are Finite

Two things you need to know to understand this rant:

1. Earth's Resources are Finite
For all practical purposes the Earth is a closed system. Yes, occasionally a meteorite will hit Earth and so deposit a few more materials. Yes, Earth receives energy from the Sun. In terms of the material components which comprise Earth, though, Earth itself is finite; there is a finite amount of matter out of which we may make things.

2. Currency is infinite
I do not receive cash from my place of work. Instead, my salary is directly deposited into my bank account. There is no physical component of my salary but rather numbers in a database somewhere indicate the balance of my account, the balance of my employer's account. Since numbers are infinite, unending, there are no restrictions on what my account can hold. Granted, the system we have in place "transfers", in an odd sense of the word, numbers from one account to another. But these numbers are not constrained by the rules of physicality or finitude; there is no physical component to which these numbers relate; we can always add more numbers.

So what is the point?

We use an infinite system of currency to allocate and dispense finite resources; item values in terms of currency are only part of the whole picture.

Think of it this way: My parents have a predilection for not turning shit off. So they will turn on a television and lights in a room, leave the room, and not turn the shit off. When I confront them about this their response is that they are willing to pay the minimal fee incurred by leaving on these electronic devices. The problem is that there are a finite amount of fossil fuels on Earth. Running electronic devices depletes Earth of its finite supply of fossil fuels. The financial cost of electricity is only part of the actual cost. In addition to slightly increasing your electric bill by running a television you also slightly decrease the amount of Earth's finite resources.

This is the problem with discussing consumption in terms of economics or "the market". Economic concerns are only part of the picture; arguably, the least important part. When you buy that new car you don't need you are not only wasting money but also you have consumed some of the Earth's finite resources and so brought humanity a step closer to its end.

What of the actual value of these resources? Gas is $4 a gallon. But that $4 cost is the result of a consideration of the cost of obtaining that gallon of gasoline. What if we assessed the value of gas from the opposite direction? The total amount of gas X for the planet Earth, the finite supply of gasoline available to humanity, has a value of priceless. What is the value of that one gallon when one recognizes that it is part of a finite supply of a priceless commodity? Is it still $4? I fucking doubt it.

Think of how wasteful humanity is with Earth's resources. How many resources are consumed by World of Warcraft? Consider the computers used to create it, maintain it, play it. Electricity, plastic, metal all gone for a leisure activity. Think of lawn mowing. How much fuel is consumed to run mowers? How many resources are wrenched from the Earth to build them, maintain them? Think of anything else you do, consume, purchase. How many of Earth's finite resources are consumed by your car, your dog, your Xbox, your iPod, your going to see a movie?

When you consider activities in terms of their financial component alone you ignore the true cost, the actual reality of the situation. You are consuming the Earth's finite, irreplaceable resources. Everything you consume, purchase, build depletes the finite quantity of resources available to human kind.

What happens when those resources hit zero?