Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fecking Fantastic in 08

2:35 PM - Live Blogging from the roof, VTKids. Remember that last post when it was "feels like" negative 7? Well, just a few short days later and it's "feels like" 70 here in beautiful Cambridge, MA. That's positive 70. It's crazy. I'm sitting up here on my roof in a t-shirt and sunglasses, live blogging. New England. Don't like the weather? Wait five minutes. Or 5 days for a 77 degree temperature difference. Enjoy it Northeasterners. It won't last.

2:42 PM - Speaking of won't last, my battery won't last. That's for sure. I've only got about ten minutes tops before it shuts this live blog down so I'd better get to it. What to say. Well, that graphic novel in the picture is called Epileptic by David B. and it's pretty kick ass. Someone mysteriously left it on the doorstep of my building (or in the hall) with a parking stub labeled "4 Dan". Thanks to the mystery book fairy. I'm enjoying it quite a bit and on a few levels.

2:46 PM - Time for one more post? In other New England news, the NH primary is today and Obamarama is in full swing. Kucinich is my pick, but in the realm of realism, VTK endorses Obama. I'm also looking for suggestions for different Obama rhyming group names/slogans to forward on to their campaign. So far I have "This Mama's For Obama" and "Farma for Obama", but that only really works with a Boston accent. Maybe NH. "I'm an Obama Llama"?

2:51 PM - going to lose power any second. but a quick note to my roomies. this is our wireless that I'm on! rock/roll.

2:53 PM - Want good karma? Vote Obama!

2:54 PM - I know this isn't an original thought, but how crazy is it that the front runner for 08 US president's name rhymes with Iraq Osama.

2:55 PM - End live blogging for now. I'm back in the apartment to type this but am headed back up to read that g-nov. 25 minutes on the battery. That's impressive for my crapass battery.


Joel said...

I know my nickmame for Obama will not be as sexy as "Obama yo Mama" or "Obama in the Sauna" I am just hoping it will be "Mr President Obama yo Mama"


Dan said...

Yeah, if you introduce the m to n rhymes, that opens it up a bit:

Wanna Obama?


well, not really. it's pretty much just wanna and sauna.

akboognish said...

New Hampshire? (Hopefully) full of Obama fauna.

If there's going to be any Obama drama (comma) I'm wearing my Obama pajama.

Dan said...

Nicely done.

Dan said...

Has anyone else familiar with Mitt Romney's speaking style noticed that it has changed over the last year? It's more staccato now or something. It seems like a conscious strategy to make him sound less like a Northeastern elitist which is actually making him sound more robotic since it's fake. And the way he looks around a room and moves while speaking is different and choppier now. weird.

akboognish said...

Romney is so scary I wonder how he ever won an election in that state. Shows how pathetic the Democrats have been for the last 20 years or so that it took them that long to nominate somebody (Patrick) worth voting for.

So Clinton heads to a victory tonight? Are these numbers going to hold up? Either way, are those Clinton handlers smart or what, WAY lowering expectations so she can be "comeback kid, part 2" or whatever?

akboognish said...

Just heard Romney on the radio and I agree--he sounds odd. He does frighten me. I think he's cooked though, after these two states. Although if he's as smart as the Clinton's, he'll play a huge comeback kid role in one of the next states and get a big boost. We'll see...

Dan said...

He used to be a much smoother speaker, which is why I always thought he was so successful. But without the smooth talking, he's just a dork. Before he was a smooth talking dork. Now just dork.

It's still tight but it looks that way unless Obama can win some more of the Southeastern part of the state. Anyways, it was the pollsters that lowered expectations. They had Obama up by 10 this morning.

Dan said...

cooked? really? so does McCain run away with it now? that's what scares me. a lot of moderate Democrats think they like him. But that's probably because they're thinking of 2000 McCain. He could be revealed as the conservative hawkish schmuck that he is in a general election.

akboognish said...

McCain is a way different candidate than he was in 2000, and the Democrats who "liked" him were only saying so because there was no vote in the Democratic primary. Hell, I voted for him in the Republican primary, just to get Bush out of there (I was registered as an independent). I'll also confess to liking his general integrity, even though I abhor almost all of his politics.

Actually, interesting (or not) side-note to that vote: in Massachusetts (if my memory is right), if you're an independent you can vote in any primary. But if you don't change back immediately, you then get registered with whatever party's primary you voted. So I was expecting to be registered Republican, since I had forgot to change it when I left the polling place. I went in to change it 6 months later or so and guess what I was registered as? Democrat. Not sure if it was a conspiracy or just some little old Cambridge lady assuming for me that there was no way I wanted to be a Republican, but either way it was a bit odd.

Dan said...

well, if integrity means staying true to your principles, I don't value integrity that highly if the principles adhered to are abhorrent. McCain represents the worst of this country's governance in terms of his foreign policy views, so his integrity doesn't really mean shit to me at this stage.

I remember you telling me about that and the last time I voted I asked several polling workers about that (I'm independent too and wanted to remain so) and they all assured me that voting in the Dem primary wouldn't change my independent status and I didn't have to do anything to stay independent. That might have been an isolated mistake on your status.

akboognish said...

That's good to know. I'll modify the story accordingly.

Interesting thought on the radio about how the Iowa caucus allows (forces) the supporters of the lowest-tier candidates to switch over to one of the higher placing candidates, and how that might have helped Obama, since presumably many of these votes went his way (assuming that there's more anti-Clinton than anti-Obama votes). Curious to see how that plays out down the road as the fourth, fifth, sixth place candidates bow out (and especially after Edwards does, if present trends continue).

Dan said...

That is interesting. I think if Edwards ever does drop out, that might help Obama since he seems to be playing to the liberal change vote as well. I could be wrong on that though. Hillary's up by 4500 votes with 63% reporting. That's basically over.

Dan said...

Update - Edwards: "I'm in this race to the end". oh well.

Duffless said...

Why Obama over Hillary?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

marshall said...

Back to the original question here... when addressing his Spanish-speaking constitutents, will Barack begin by saying, "Hola. Me llama Obama!"

Dan said...

Duffless - well, because I can't stand Hillary. I've never been a real fan of Clinton Incorporated, though I did begrudgingly vote for Bill in 92. I don't like the direction in which they dragged the left and the intimidation stranglehold the DLC held over the Democratic party for more than a decade. As far as Hillary herself goes, I don't like the hawkish positions she's held over the last 7 or 8 years and I don't want the country to be ruled by 4 more years of that. And I believe that, because of her gender, in order for her to project herself as a viable leader of the free world to American voters she has needed to and is going to continue to need to be more hawkish than she might normally be. And if she gets elected she will have to continue the same trajectory to retain respectability and in order to get re-elected.

I also detest the way that she is using the fear factor against Obama, evidenced in her comments during the now famous crying in the cafe incident. Really, Democrats? Are you not tired of being bullied by the fear factor over the last 7 years? Now you're going to fall prey to it in your own primary? I'm not talking about the crying itself (Maureen Dowd (god help me I'm citing Maureen Dowd) does a good enough job criticizing that in her op-ed in the New York Times today); I'm talking about the words that she used:

"I just don’t want to see us fall backwards [tremble]... But some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not"

what? fall backwards? like where? falling? where are we falling back to? to when we were attacked by terrorists? to when our economy was in trouble? to when republicans were in office? where are we falling from and where to? I don't like falling. Sounds like I'd prefer someone who was right to wrong. Sounds like I'd prefer someone who was ready to someone who wasn't.

The fact that she went this route when she started to well up with tears is diabolical because she took a normal human emotional reaction and she transformed into an political instrument of subtle terror related anxiety.

am I reaching with that analysis? maybe. but there's some Bush in her tactics at times.

Dan said...

nicely played Senor Carter.

Ian said...

Dan you mentioned that Mrs. Clinton's record over the last few years as being "hawkish"do you feel at the time that it was justified? And do you feel seeing that there is still some very bad guys out there that might want to strike us again maybe being a little hawkish is not as disingenuous as you are suggesting.

Well all know that those idiot neocons got us into this mess and national security will be an important topic during this election

Would you agree?


akboognish said...

I very much agree with Dan, although I will say that I don't know if her gender will require her to be more hawkish or not. That her gender limits her actions is certainly argued by a lot of folks, but that could also very easily be just another demonstration of false glass-ceiling limitations being placed on women. I think it's probably easier to argue that Clinton is hawkish on her own, irrespective of her gender, and then use that argument to counter the "well, at least she's a woman" crap.

I totally agree with the crying episode. It was so Clintonian to spin that question around to attack Obama. Also in today's NYTimes was an excellent editorial, discussing Clinton's veiled racist crap against Obama (saying MLK wasn't going to accomplish the civil rights' movements' goals--that LBJ was needed). And Bill's tirade against Obama--that his candidacy is the "biggest fairy tale" he's ever seen--is exactly the kind of low-ball gutter campaigning he was famous for.

After Clinton's attack on Obama's (in)experience failed in Iowa, all they could come up with was that he was peddling "false hopes" and, like you said, Dan, that she feared us all falling backwards.

Duffless said...

Thank your your answer, as I'm still shopping for a candidate - i'm still torn between the two of them...i do agree with Ian with regards to the "woman/hawkish" comments - i feel like all politicians come in with baggage, be it GW senior being percieved as a Wimp, GW jr in his father's shadow, JFK being too green and catholic, being a women is just something hillary brings with her - if that affects her hawkishness, i'm yet to decide

thank you for sharing your thinking, i'd love to hear why you are pro obama, verus why are are anti clinton

Michael5000 said...

Yeah, I'm thinking you're reaching in that analysis. Didn't she transform an emotional moment into a political instrument just because she's, like, running for president? And if she was trying to evoke terror related anxiety, it was completely lost on me. I hate it when I miss an opportunity for a good fret.

In other news, I've put a library hold on "Epileptic," per your recommendation. Maybe I'll go up on the roof and read it when it arrives. Except that it's really wet up there. And steep.

Ian said...


In my last post I had mentioned Mrs Clinton being hawkish on issues of the day and if at the time was she justified, I don't think her gender should be brought in to the discussion.I know Dan pretty much despise's her and what stands for and to honest I am not her biggest fan either but she might be our next president.

But you have to think "she" will be a lot better then what we have now.


scoutie said...

i don't have anything of substance to say. but hi danno!

akboognish said...

Ian, I agree that Clinton will be a lot better than Bush. So will McCain, though, and that doesn't mean that I'm going to vote for him.

I don't agree with the premise that the times uniquely call for somebody to be hawkish. I think that the presence of bad guys out there who want to strike us again has a lot to do with the U.S.'s imperialism, which I see the hawks as vigorously supporting.

You can be strong on defense, and protecting our country and our people, without destroying what it is we're protecting by being a hawk. I agree that the neo-cons got us in to this, but the Dems actively assisted, and are not getting us out. Clinton voted for the war, voted to fund it, voted for the Patriot Act, voted to reauthorize it (and didn't support the filibuster that Obama did, that led to at least some important changes), and voted in favor of Kyl-Lieberman (which Obama, to his shame, chose not to vote on). None of those things enhanced the security of the U.S.--all they did was pander to our fears.

Dan said...

All - my apologies for not responding to your comments. I have been / am busy with the Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy. I will respond and clarify my statements in greater detail tomorrow, especially if the debate/discussion is still going on.

M5K - good call. I think you'll like it.

scoutie - hi. go tarheels.

akboognish said...

I should amend my last post a bit--Obama was not in DC when the vote went down on Kyl-Lieberman. The vote was supposed to happen the night before, but then Reid delayed it without setting a date, and then scheduled it the next morning for a vote that same day. Obama said he would have voted against it if he could have voted.

Ian said...

Thanks for your reply and you bring up some very valid points,
I have to first preface my reply by stating that I consider my positions on politics to be for the most part liberal and but I have take certain liberal arguments with a grain of salt including yours.

In my previous posts I had blamed the neocons for our current situation and for the most part that is true but you strike me as being a very intelligent person and I would find it hard to believe that you would not agree that the radical Islamic factions were actively planning acts of terror against our country during the Clinton years.

The truth is you have always lived in an imperialist country and don't lump all of that on GWB.We have been forcing our way of life on the little guy for decades.I not here to support GWB's position lord knows I hate everything he stands for but it would be to easy to blame it all him and his government.

Mrs. Clinton,Obama & John Edwards will be just a continuation of these imperialist idea's so when I cast my vote for the "D" in the booth to vote for our next president I will just be supporting the "same old same old"

This whole system is BULLSHIT!


akboognish said...

Ian, I agree completely that U.S. foreign policy has been imperialist for decades, regardless of whether its been a D or an R in office. I think the hawks play to that more than the non-hawks (there are precious few doves in nat'l politics, unfortunately), which separates some of the D's from other D's.

I also agree that radical Islamic factions have had their guns or bombs trained on the U.S. for a while, including during Bill Clinton's regime. There are probably a host of reasons for the rise of the radical Islamic terrorist threat, and the rise of danger to the U.S., but one thing I'm certain of is that it's not because "they hate our freedom" or "they hate democracy," as GWB likes to claim. I'm no fan of Islam and think that it has to carry some of the blame (along with Christianity and Judaism, of course, which I'm also no fan of), but I have a hard time believing that if we weren't in those countries stirring up shit, enabling their oil-baron dictators, supplying everybody with lots of weapons, supporting Israel's occupation of and subjugation of Palestine, maintaining a global economy that provides for no role for most of the world's people other than serf, etc., that "radical Islamic factions" would be focused on acts of terrorism against us. So yeah, I agree that they exist, but I think we created them. At least we enabled them. And they won't go away until we alter our behavior. The hawks, and Clinton especially, have no plan or hope for altering our behavior. They want to ramp it up. I think Obama, even as relatively moderate as he is, has the best chance of figuring out that we need to go in a different direction and the best chance of making that happen. Part of the reason is because of his mixed heritage, which would be an amazing thing to broadcast to the world, and part of it is just who he is and what he believes. I think he scored a lot of points in my mind when he said he'd talk to Iran. Was he the only one? What did Clinton say? She lashed out at Obama for being inexperienced and naive and argued that she would not be so accommodating.

Dan said...

Ian – I’m in agreement with most of what akboognish has said in his last couple comments, but to specifically respond to your comment, I do not feel that Clinton was justified in her hawkishness because of the presence of bad guys in some parts of the world. The existence of bad guys is not justification for the unprovoked invasion/occupation of Iraq and the murder of 150, 000 Iraqi civilians as of June 06 plus however many more since, let’s call it 200,000,
, the blood of all of which is on US hands – neo-cons and “liberal” hawks alike. And the negative consequences of that invasion obviously go well beyond the deaths of those innocent civilians. I wouldn’t say being hawkish is disingenuous; I’d say it’s disgusting. I’m not talking about striking military targets in Afghanistan, or about evicting the Taliban from power. I’m talking about unnecessary bellicosity and hubris that got us into this mess in Iraq and squandered a legitimate chance for diplomatic growth with Iran, instead turning it into a potential nuclear standoff.

As for the role her gender has in her hawkishness, baggage or not, glass ceiling or not, it is a reality of her role in this American political zeitgeist. Her gender is an issue because there are morons in the US who think that a woman is not fit to be the commander in chief of the free world. If she reacts to that by being a hawk, she may assuage their fears. If she holds a more moderate stance or stresses diplomacy or doveishness, I feel like people will hold it against her more than they would a man with the same stances. That’s why I think it has to be mentioned in the conversation. Because she will always tend towards being a hawk because more than being a hawk or a dove, she’s a politician. That is her nature. Sure, they’re all politicians, but the combination of her gender and her political nature in this zeitgeist add up to unnecessary bellicosity in my mind.

I agree with akboognish that Obama represents our best hope for a departure from our current foreign policy trajectory, our best hope for healing, diplomacy, and non-violent common sense. I’m not predicting he’ll pop in there and sort this all out straightaway, but he’s a step in the right direction hopefully.

Dan said...

Sorry for the incomplete link to cite my source. Here's the w.h.o. report.

Ian said...

Thank you for the link to the WHO report it was very scary to think that this war has brought this much pain to some many non enemy combatants, is shameful really!
What disturbs me is that you would have to quote chapter and verse of this report to prove a point that I think everybody in this blog already knows especially me!

For one thing I would asked you to do is be careful with the way you try to back up your point with outside sources i.e. WHO report "murder of 150, 000 Iraqi civilians as of June 06 plus however many more since, let’s call it 200,000," After reading the report for on thing the word murder never appeared in the article that came from you, and as far as the numbers that you are so loosy goosy with they stated those were estimates:

"Assessment of the death toll in conflict situations is extremely difficult and household survey results have to be interpreted with caution," said study co-author Mohamed Ali, a WHO statistician who provided technical assistance for the survey. "However, in the absence of comprehensive death registration and hospital reporting, household surveys are the best we can do." WHO Report

I must first state that I am veteran of the first gulf war "USMC 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion" and and was proud to serve my country but here you call those men murders is just wrong.They are making every effort to reduce collateral damage but there in war zone and guess what Dan there not only ones doing the shooting! An I think your missing the point whether its 1 person 1000 people this war is wrong and in my opinion its illegal but
if we leave now we risk a power vacuum of epic scale, and if you think that the death toll is horrific now it will be three times that if Shiite Iran takes over and purges the Sunni & Kurdish areas. these are the facts.

Mrs Clinton assumed office in 01/03/2001 as the junior senator from the state of New York and just maybe do you think her constituents where pretty hawkish less than two months after 9/11 and don 't you think that would set the tone for her first term in office? I would have to say yes.
Her gender has nothing to do with it, she strikes me as being tough "senator" on these issues, I have looked beyond her gender, maybe you should too

I hope your right about Obama I think he represents our best chance for change but my cynical side thinks 5 minutes after he puts his feet up on the desk in the oval office the 700 lbs gorilla will pop up from behind the curtain and tell him like it is!

I guess I am liberal with a "Big Stick" maybe thats bad I don't know Dan I suspect you are far liberal than I am but I respect and your convictions, I just think your delivery is kind of like that 700 lbs gorilla looking to pounce.

Semper Phi,


Dan said...

As always, Ian, you're more than entitled to your opinion, as long as it's not offensive to the regular readership of this blog (which it hasn't been). But the fact is that, I am a very liberal blogger, and so you're likely to see some very liberal viewpoints espoused in this forum. That's just the way it is. I have no problem with disagreements though. And that's what we clearly have here.

I'm not too concerned about your accusation of "loosy goosiness" in my 200,000 estimate. Their 151k was only through June 2006. I don't find it unreasonable to suggest that an additional 49k were killed since and above and beyond their estimates. Feel free to disagree, but that's my guess.

The "murder" point is semantics, but I can respect that you would take offense to that given that you were in the first Gulf war. My intention was not to accuse you of being a murderer. I consider the 2003 - present war in Iraq to be wholly illegitimate. I think it was a crime to invade. I consider the deaths of the innocent civilians over there 151k, 200k, whatever, to be murder, much in the same way that I consider those who died in the 9/11 attacks to have been murdered (except the terrorists themselves, of course). All those people died in unwarranted criminal acts of aggression. So, yes, I call it murder. I don't care what the WHO calls it or the US government calls it. If you disagree with me, you disagree with me and that's that. But let me just make the point in an effort to not insult you, that to call something a murder is not a specific assignment of blame for that murder. That's where things become ethically more tricky. There are levels of blame involved in these murders. And I don't really blame some kid from Queens who joined the USMC after 9/11 out of a sense of duty to country and then ended up being lied to extensively and ended up being forced to fight in a fraudulent war that had nothing to do with 9/11 and ended up executing military orders that resulted in "collateral damage", ie the deaths of innocent civilians. I personally would have more respect for him/her if he/she recognized the immorality of the war on Iraq and refused to fight, which would result in a court martial, I'm sure. But if he doesn't, he's still ultimately just an extension of the gun that's put in the field. It's the people who put him in the position to have to kill innocent civilians, that are the real murderers. George Bush and co. are the real murderers. 151k (200k?) innocent civilians died. And he (they) are to blame. You don't call it murder. fine. I do. And I won't apologize for that or change my opinion because I'm talking to a former or current member of the military. It's not my place to tip toe and make people feel better about what's happening. It's fucked up, my moral obligation is to the innocent dead, and I'll call it exactly as I see it. - which I think part of you has to respect, even if you find it offensive as a marine.

I don't have much to say about this statement: "if you think that the death toll is horrific now it will be three times that if Shiite Iran takes over and purges the Sunni & Kurdish areas. these are the facts." Seems like speculation over fact. And I must reiterate that there was genuine sympathy in Iran for the United States after 9/11 - all of which ended the moment, Bush came up with his inexcusable, ridiculous, words: "the axis of evil". What a wasted opportunity for diplomacy. One of the biggest wasted opportunities in the history of the world?

What else can I say about Clinton, her hawkishness, and the role her gender plays in it. I think I've stated my point well twice, and I haven't heard anything to convince me otherwise. Your point that she's a senator from New York doesn't cancel out the role her gender has in her hawkishness and I don't see it as an issue of "looking beyond it". that just doesn't make sense to me. But again, we seem to just disagree on this point.

I don't have great confidence that Obama is going to change the world or anything, but I think he's the best available option. That's all I'm saying. You may be entirely right about the 700 lb gorilla, but it seems like it will be an 800 lb gorilla for the rest of them (?? I have to admit that I'm not sure what any of this gorilla talk means).

As far as my delivery goes ... well, I don't tread lightly. I've been accused of being crass on more than one occasion. But maybe that's why some people like what I have to say.

cheers buddy,

Ian said...

I know that you know the score the Dan I just have to watch my boys (USMC)back,and I know when they return from the cluster fuck you will be the first guy to buy them a beer.


Dan said...

as long as they drink cheap beer. I'm a broke mo'fo.