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THE POLITIPOOP

THE POLITIPOOP

Heeeeere we go. It’s the Vice Presidential game …

Well, this is going to be fun to track … Note the date — Friday, June 6 — so we can follow how this changes.

Now read Washingtonpost.com’s political blogger Chris Cillizza top five Vice Presidential picks for Obama and McCain.

US News & World Report is (of course) onto the game as well, and they offer some similar and some different choices from the Post (above) with their picks in Obama’s Veep Choice.

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What they’re both saying. Check out Barack’s and Hillary’s official websites …

For Barack, go to www.barackobama.com.

For Hillary, go to www.hillaryclinton.com.

Here’s a hint. They’d both still like money …


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What do Dr. Seuss and Barack Obama have in common?

I don’t always agree with the New York Times editorial columnist David Brooks, but sometimes he just really captures something out there in the “vote-a-sphere” (yeah, I just made that word up) that others are missing. He did that in his column The Alpha Geeks on Friday, May 23rd, pg A25. Suggest you read it …

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Overseas perspective on the U.S. Presidential election and a missive on Zimbabwe’s battle for the vote …x
xx

Having just returned from southern Africa (Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa), snoety was surprised to find that “everyone” encountered there asked about Barack – the employed, the unemployed, the have-nots, the elites, the professionals, the service workers, the blacks, the whites.

There was universal awe that Obama might be President of the United States; there was skepticism that Americans would really elect a black man; there was amazement that whites would actually vote for someone who wasn’t one of their own. Traveling there — in a world often divided by tribal distrust and conflict – I had to reflect on the wonder that is the United States and (regardless of who is ultimately elected) how the diversity that we’re made of is the source of our strength.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been following what’s going on in Zimbabwe as it struggles for fair elections, here’s an explanatory post with an email attached that quite graphically tells and shows how it really is …

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Elizabeth Edwards talks about “The candidates I saw; the campaign you see.”

The following are two short excerpts from a New York Times editorial, “Bowling 1, Health Care 0,” by Elizabeth Edwards, Sunday Opinion, April 27th. If you’re as disguntled with the press as I am, you’ll want to read it in full …

[News] is essential to an informed electorate. And an informed electorate is essential to freedom itself.”

“If voters want a vibrant, vigorous press, apparently we will have to demand it. Not by screaming out our windows as in the movie ‘Network’ but by talking calmly, repeatedly, constantly in the ears of those in whom we have entrusted this enormous responsibility. Do your job, so we can — as voters — do ours.”

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Earth Day was this week. Here are 10 things to ponder

Global Warming by the Numbers from the Environment Defense Action Fund:

45%
Increase in world’s solar generating capacity in 2005.

2
Rank of China as global producer of solar cells, behind Japan (U.S. ranks 4th).

$1.5 billion
Amount US government spends a year on renewable energy research.

$1 billion
ExxonMobil’s daily revenue.

$2 billion
Amount GE Energy Financial Services invested in wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy in 2007.

$200 billion
Amount China has committed to invest in renewable energy sources over the next 15 years.

0.74%
Projected cost of smart cap-and-trade climate policy on US economic output in 2030.

100%
Projected growth of the US economy by 2030.

53
Number of senators supporting cap and trade legislation.

0
Number of bills passed by Congress to cap and reduce America’s global warming pollution.

Sources:
World Watch Institute, Earth Policy Institute, Department of Energy, CNN, GE Energy Financial Services, Reuters, Upcoming Report: Climate Policy and the U.S. Economy. Environmental Defense, 2008


You can calculate your personal carbon impact by going to the pollution calculator the Environmental Defense Fund provides.

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U.S. News & World Report lists “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Pope Benedict XVI”.

Here’s what I found to be most surprising:

– He wanted to be a Cardinal from the age of 5.
– Esquire
magazine in 2007 listed him as one of the best-dressed men in the world. The magazine named him “Accessorizer of the Year.”
– He deserted the German army towards the end of WWII.
– He’s been seen wearing red loafers (possibly Prada).
– He enjoys playing Mozart and Bach.
To see all “10 Things You Didn’t Know …” click here for the U.S. New & World Report article.

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During all the petty bickering that accompanies this Presidential race, I encourage you to remember what it once was all about by watching the HBO miniseries John Adams.

It’s a poignant reminder of the principles that led to the founding of the United States of America.

“Trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
– John Adams, 1772

A friend encouraged me to watch it, and I encourage you. You can play catch-up by tuning in to HBO Demand.

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Let’s just say Hillary doesn’t heed the calls to cede to Barack. In that case, doesn’t a superdelegate convention make sense?Here’s an overview of the idea as proposed by Philip Bredesen, Democrat, Governor of Tennessee, in his editorial, “Choose, or Lose” in The New York Times:

Rather than face a “long summer of brutal and unnecessary warfare,” the Democrats could … heal the wounds of the primaries … fill the party’s coffers … and offer unified Democratic ideas for America’s challenges. We could do this by scheduling a superdelegate primary — a public caucus — in early June after the final primaries

“[We’ll] have all the information reasonably needed by June … There will have been more than 20 debates, and more than 28 million Americans will have made their choices and voted. Any remaining uncertainty in our nominee will then lie with the superdelegates, and it will be time for us to make our choices and get on with the business of electing a president.”

This is … “a call for a tight, two-day business-like gathering, whose rules would be devised by the national committee, of the leaders of our party from all over America to resolve a serious problem. There would be a final opportunity for the candidates to make their arguments to these delegates, and then one transparent vote.”

” … The chance to have our nominee clearly identified in June as opposed to late August far outweighs any logistical or financial concerns. We can show “America that we are a modern political party focused on results … that when confronted with an unexpected problem, we have the common sense to come together, roll up our sleeves and direct events to a successful conclusion.”

Philip Bredesen is the governor of Tennessee and the policy chairman of the Democratic Governors’ Association.

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About Obama’s speech: the pedestal’s disappearance may be a good thing … In the New York Times, Maureen Dowd’s column “Black, White & Gray” says: “Good riddance to the pedestal.” … “A little disenchantment with Obama could turn out to be a good thing.”

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Something we haven’t heard much about lately is now front and center: Should prostitution be legal?

In Slate Emily Brazelon reports on “Why is Prostitution Illegal?” and tell us that “the oldest question about the oldest profession” is really not so simple to answer.

Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times: “Do as he Said” opens with: “The last time I saw Eliot Spitzer, he encouraged me to write about his work involving prostitution. So here goes.” Kristof, who writes aplenty on this topic every year, goes on to talk about what we’ve learned from other countries about the pros and cons of legality and who it is that should be prosecuted.

Click on both these stories above. They’re worth reading and considering.

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Since I’m pooped out on politics for the moment, here’s a brief respite to make you smile. Called “Frozen in Place”, it’s a live art event that took place in NY at Grand Central station … Was I even aware it happened? Nope, missed it. It took a friend from Chicago who’s immersed in the design/art world, Janet Lerman-Graff, to tell me about it. Take the time (2 minutes 15 seconds) to have a little fun and click here. It’s one more reason to love New York.

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Will this election have different results than the “Neither high-octane campaigns nor charisma-laden politicians have been able to break the deadlock of presidential politics over the past 50 years. So will this November be any different?

According to Michael Medved, in USA Today*, the answer is not likely.

“Going all the way back to Kennedy’s race in 1960, eight of the 12 presidential contests have yielded a winner who won less than 51% of the popular vote … “We most likely will witness another breathlessly close race in 2008 — especially with no sitting president or vice president in the race and scant prospect of a major third-party spoiler …”

*Michael Medved, in USA Today, The Forum, “Our 50-50 political world”, Thursday, February 28, 20098, pg 11A

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Is Obama fever breaking? The Washington Post: “A Rash of New Sites Throw Some Cold Water on the Hot Candidate” …

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The White Guys
So with all the talk about race and the female gender,
did we forget the white guys?
The Wall Street Journal thinks so … The WSJ’s online edition features: “White Men Hold Key for Democrats” by Jonathan Kaufman who reports that the contest in November possibly hinges on the blue-collar vote. A brief summation:

  • Working-class white men make up nearly one-quarter of the electorate, outnumbering African-American and Hispanic voters combined.”
  • In Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania their allegiance is up for grabs, and they are also an important swing constituency in November as many don’t relate to an African-American or a woman.
  • Many feel “Hillary Clinton is a poster child for everything about the women’s movement that they don’t like …”
  • “People don’t want to speak out against Obama because of the fear of being seen as racist … You can call a woman anything.”
  • But for some of these white men … “Obama’s appeal is that he is different from many black leaders they have seen in the past.”
  • Says one interviewee … “Hopefully [Democrats] will listen to the message, and not who’s delivering it.”

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More on Michelle: This time it’s love.
Man, you can really tell
The Wall Street Journal from The New York Times when it comes to characterizing a female who also happens to be a Democrat. Would love to see what they’d both do if the woman was a Republican.
See more on the WSJ Michelle article below. As for the NYT article: “Michelle Obama Thrives in Campaign Trenches,” it’s interesting to compare how each publication characterizes the same qualities. But don’t take my word for it. Print them both out and see for yourself.

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How do you vote? Clemens or McNamee
Just when I thought it was McCain versus Obama versus Clinton, it turns out to be Democrats for McNamee versus Republicans for Clemens. How pathetic and scary is that. Our politicians sit in the same room with the same testimony and — even when it’s sports and steroids — still “vote” along party lines.

See the New York Times story: “Politicians Turn Steroid Hearing Into a Partisan Squabble.” Unfortunately I can’t link you to the “Taking Sides” inset (pg D2) from “The Top Steroids Investigator Is a Silent Presence” story which demonstrates how questions and statements of the House oversight committee were largely Democrat versus Republican …

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Michelle as Bitch …
Okay ladies … it’s happening again.
Check The Wall Street Journal story: “Michelle Obama Solidifies Her Role in the Election,” which basically paints Michelle as the next bitch to be reckoned with. Unattractive sketch/photo included. And you thought it was just Hillary … Here are some highlights …

“… she has emerged as an influential adviser whom aides watch as a barometer for how both they and the candidate are doing.”

“We each think we’re right about everything, and can argue each other into a corner … ”

“She’s the heart to his head, the enforcer to his lapses, regimented to his laid-back, critic to his ego, details to his broad strokes, sarcasm to his sincerity, toughness to his cool vibe.”

“A striking woman who’s as tall as her husband when she wears her Jimmy Choo heels …”

“She’s got a temper.”

NOTE from Harriett:
You heard it here first — what the mantra’s going to be —
TOUGH WAR HERO versus METRO MALE WIMP (aka henpecked). Wait and see.

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Here are some OTHER RECENT ARTICLES on the election I thought particularly interesting:

Relating specifically to Women:
Have to follow up the preceding article with this one: “All You Need Is Hate,” by Stanley Fish in The New York Times about the viciousness of anti-Hillaryism.

And, bear with me, here’s one more really terrific one focused on the female angle: “When Women Rule,” by Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times who cites studies that demonstrate when a women (as opposed to a man) highlights her own accomplishments, it’s a turn-off. And that women seem even more offended by self-promoting females than men are. He goes on to cite: “there is a tradeoff in qualities associated with top leadership. A woman can be perceived as competent or as likable, but not both.”

Relating to Obama or Clinton Closing:
An analysis on the dynamics of the Democratic primaries entitled “Can Obama Close?” on realclearpolitics.com by Arnold Mishkin.

Inspiration vs. Substance , an editorial in Time magazine by Joe Klein, is also about “closing.” To quote: “Obama’s flights of rhetoric are the stuff of legend. But Clinton simply knows more. What this nail biter of a Democratic primary may come down to … “As their campaign progresses, their weaknesses — the reasons for their inability to put it away — are going to become more apparent than their strengths …”

POLITIPOOP COMMENTS RECEIVED

Symon Cowles says: February 14th, 2008 at 1:10 am

Do I want an inspirational leader or a pragmatic politician? I would love to have a combination of both. Doesn’t look as though I’m going to get one of those in the Democratic candidate. So I have to chose between them. That’s the problem the Democrats have. I want someone with a vision who can get things done in a system that is based on personal greed and aggrandizement. We all know WHY we need to change… now we need to hear HOW we can make it happen. FOR REAL!

Sharon says: February 25th, 2008 at 1:47 am

Even if Barack Obama does not fulfill the promise of his rhetoric, the larger point is that he has effectively tapped into the huge dissatisfaction with American politics. He gets the attention because of the historic significance, and because he’s fresh and new. Hillary Clinton would be on equal footing in many hearts if we hadn’t already seen both her and the Clinton baggage over so many years. If Obama can legislate effectively, and unite, as is his stated goal – wonderful. If not, at the very least, perhaps this tsunami of energy he’s generated will – with or without him – sweep through all of Washington and rinse out all the dated, stale and entrenched attitudes that have created the climate we’re currently in.

Symon Cowles says: February 25th, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Harriet: I recently listened to the new CD by Steven Wright – “I Have A Pony”. As a result I now see life around me through a different perspective.
Thought I might share my thoughts with you…….

I never go anywhere. My car has 4-wheel drive. Two go forward. Two are in reverse.

I drive a Jaguar made in England. It stops every afternoon at 4:00.

I drink instant coffee instantly. I always burn my tongue.

I saw a billboard that said, “LEARN ENGLISH NOW”. Que?????

jeff says: March 15th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

That “Frozen in Place” in Grand Central link was awesome.
Thanks!

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