“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Polar Shift?

The new face of the Democratic party is revealing itself and Barack Obama is the "Change Agent."

Barack is a very interesting figure. He is articulate, intelligent, young and photogenic. A man with little political baggage and a history of bipartisan legislative work. He is a fresh face that brings an optimistic, hopeful message. In many ways, he in the antithesis of Hillary Clinton even as he emulates the original Man from Hope in a call for "Change." Just as George W. Bush did in 1999, he has positioned himself as a "uniter, not a divider." A politician who can reach across the isle.

His campaign rhetoric has a seductive appeal to the moderate middle of the political spectrum. He calls for "unity" but his platform, his policies, are not moderate. They are straight out of the Democratic Party platform and therein lies the rub. Barack represents himself as a "change agent" but the real change he represents is in the power shift within the Democratic party. Away from the Clintons and towards the back rooms of the Chicago machine. Not that he is a product of that machine. It's been reported that he rose to prominence and office outside the machine but it's a safe bet that he has since been embraced by the Chicago king makers and this election could annoint Barack's succession to that throne.

Just as Bill Clinton was groomed by his mentor William Fullbright, Barack has been groomed. His path to politics is a familiar one for young black men and involves working with PIRG where up and coming young activists work hard, and learn the issues and the systems.

Barack Obama is Democratic insurance against the "unelectability of Hillary Clinton." He is the alternative candidate who has so far succeeded beyond any Democrat's wildest dreams. Barack is dismantling the Clinton machine and causing a polar shift in the Democratic party. As Barack reminds us, "Change is coming."

We would do well to find out where that new center of gravity is and where that change is coming from.


  1. trish's list, edited a mite. Almost all were Clinton Administration foreign/security policy advisers, now in the camp of
    Barack Obama. Those that did not serve Clinton, served in the Carter Administration.

    When change is no change at all, excempt that the powers behind the throne are sure that Billery's negatives are to high, or that Bill does not REALLY want to be First Husband, and the spotlight that would go along with the title.

    The Brookings Institute ranks high amongst the current employeer of Team Obama. All are members of the usual Councils and Fraternities, standard Ivy Leaguers that serve in the Federal Government.

    Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, head of Brookings�s China center, national security adviser

    Mark Brzezinski, a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter�s national security adviser

    Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton and President George W. Bush�s counterterrorism czar

    Gregory B. Craig, a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly, foreign policy adviser

    Roger W. Cressey, former National Security Council counterterrorism staffer

    Ivo H. Daalder, a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

    Richard Danzig, a Center for Strategic and International Analysis fellow, national security adviser

    Philip H. Gordon, a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

    Maj. Gen. J. (Jonathan) Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa anti-poverty effort Millennium Villages, national security adviser and surrogate

    Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, informal foreign policy adviser

    W. Anthony Lake, a professor at Georgetown�s school of foreign service, foreign policy adviser

    James M. Ludes, executive director of the American Security Project, national security adviser

    Robert Malley, International Crisis Group�s Middle East and North Africa program director, national security adviser

    Gen. Merrill A. ("Tony") McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff

    Denis McDonough, former policy adviser to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, foreign policy coordinator

    Samantha Power, Harvard-based human rights scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, foreign policy adviser

    Susan E. Rice, a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser

    Bruce O. Riedel, a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser

    Dennis B. Ross, President Clinton�s Middle East negotiator and now a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow, Middle East adviser

    Sarah Sewall, director of Harvard�s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, national security adviser

    Daniel B. a lobbyist with Timmons & Company, Middle East adviser

    Mona Sutphen, managing director of business consultancy Stonebridge, national security adviser

  2. Blame the big turnout on the warm weather in New Hampshire which in turn can be blamed on Global Warming of course.

  3. BOB




    e-mail received from a friend, a vet...

  4. This is amounting to an 'American Idol' election.

  5. Lots of folk reportedly voting in New Hampshire. Many of the Independents are coming out to vote.

    Wonder which way they are going?
    Democrat or Republican
    Ratios of each...
    When do the polls close, anyone know, off hand?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I wouldn't think, whit, that a political machine whose "main man" was into furniture scams & check kiting with stamp purchases could pull a coup within the national Democratic machine.

    Be part of it, fer sur, but engineer it. That'd be an awfully long reach with a short arm, me thinks.

  8. In foreign/national security policy I fully expect Obama to be a radical continuation of the past 20 or so years.

    I also expect that he will be an object of intense admiration and enthusiasm abroad. Til, you know, he starts seriously pissing some people off by stepping all in their shit.

  9. and that, trish, seems true of any person in power - the longer they have power the more people they piss off. In a democracy it pretty well guarantees a short shelf life. Bush held on pretty good until he hit the immigration snag which finally kneecapped some of his strongest supporters.

  10. GWB was himself, as oft noted here, very much a radical continuation of Clinton in this area.

  11. Ever since the weeks before he took office (and owing very much to the circumstances in which that took place as much as the intense loathing on the right of Clinton/Gore) Bush became through many people's eyes something he is not: a grand figure. After 9/11, something like a prophet or a god. Not his fault that so many had him so wrong. But my lord, there was a long, long way to fall in other people's perceptions of him.

  12. I have oft wondered what thoughts will occur to us 20 years from now as we come across GWB's likeness from today.

    Well, I don't wonder what Doug's thoughts will be. I have a fairly good idea of that - post traumatic stress-like.

  13. Not his fault that so many had him so wrong.

    Ever see Life of Brian?

    Kinda like that.

    But not so damned funny.

  14. Used to see that, at the BC, back in the day.

    After 23JUN03 no one wanted to admit he'd lost his verasity, proven by his actions, that day.

    But that was when the majority there thought there was a War on Islam. Despite every thing Mr Bush said.

    Selective projection, excusing what they thought were the lies he was telling, for expediency's sake, while denying he was telling US his version of the truth.

  15. Obama says the 1st thing he's doing is shutting down Gitmo. Wonder what he's going to do with all the guests there.

  16. Bob,

    Can you throw that link up again that you had a couple threads back that was monitoring the Iowa vote in real time? Only for NH this time. Thanks.

  17. At the beginning of this commentary or discussion we present to the Archbishop a supreme truth: knowledge of Jesus son of Mary, and belief in him are integral to the Islamic faith, since they are pillars of the faith, and a Muslim’s faith is considered incomplete without it. What follows is verification from the Quran and Sunnah:

    1. In the Quran: “And say we believe in God, the revelation given to us, Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, as well as what was revealed to Moses and Jesus and all messengers of God. We draw no distinction between them and we submit to God,” (Surat al Baqara 2: 136).

    2. In the Sunnah: It has been accurately reported that the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever believes in One God and that He has no partner, and that Mohammed is His servant and prophet, and that Eissa (Jesus) is His servant and prophet and His Word spoken unto Maryam (Mary), and that God sent the Holy Ghost to him, and that Heaven is real and Hell is real; Allah will admit him into Heaven for whatever good deeds he has done.”


    The following are examples of these principles, concepts, and values that Muslims learned from the Quran:

    A. Mercy - The primary and most salient of Jesus’ qualities as well as his mission. The Quran states this: “And we shall make him a miracle among men and a mercy to them, and so it has been decreed.” (Surat Maryam 19:21).

    Mohammed and Jesus

  18. Obama is going to face a technocratic world. He is going to withdraw from Iraq. He has to so that to free up resources to expand social programs. That will set into motion events that may be very positive if he is lucky. It will force the Iraqis to solve their own problems. From then on he will be reactive to events in the ME.

    AQ will set the agenda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. No ally will contribute in any significant way to helping there because they like his smile or his ears. No change there.

    China, India, Japan and developing markets will continue to put pressure on trade. Obama will beholden to the unions and to a lesser extent African-American resentment on new immigrants. Not much change there.

    Obama will have to bail out the sub-prime mortgage market which is a result in no small measure of affirmative lending practices. No change there.

    Social Security will continue the slow slide to insolvency. He will probably raise taxes.

    He will have to look for Republican support to help resist the real crazies in the Democratic party to slow demands of the left.

    Energy will see fiscal stimulus programs that will be hog heaven for unions and a lot of future millionaires. That will be quite a party.

    The civil service will be filled with the best and the brightest redux.

    The boomers will go to Florida, Nepal or Costa Rica. That may not be a bad thing.

  19. What's he going to do with the Gitmo residents?

  20. One of Zbigniew Brzezinski's relatives is an infobabe, just as is Stephie, and a whole host of other Dem Insiders.

  21. I would have shot the son of a bitches in the first place, and would be in Levenworth eating baloney sandwiches.

  22. Countrywide stock plunges

    The struggling Calabasas-based mortgage lender says there is no truth to rumors that it plans to file for bankruptcy protection.
    Nicaragua: I Was Wrong, and So Was Peter

    Asked why he believed Jennings wanted his script changed to reflect a more positive spin about the Sandinista government, Collins was unequivocal.

    "Because I presume that Peter Jennings felt that the Sandinista regime, which was a communist regime - no questions about it - were mere benign agrarian reformers ... [Jennings] was a believer, was and is," Collins explained.

    Not just ABC News

    Collins, who served as a CNN correspondent in Baghdad in 1993, also criticized CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan following Jordan's confession that he had withheld from viewers numerous details of Saddam Hussein's atrocities over the last ten years in order to protect news sources and maintain access in Iraq.

    Collins resigned from CNN after growing uncomfortable with the way CNN was reporting from Baghdad and Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Collins wrote an op/ed in the Washington Times in April detailing how he was pressured to read what he calls "Saddam Hussein's propaganda" on the air as part of CNN's effort to obtain an exclusive interview with the Iraqi dictator.

    Other news organizations are guilty of similar tactics, according to Collins. "CNN is only the most egregious violator of this principle that you ought not to get too close to the regimes you're covering," Collins said.

  23. Huckmentum: The New Math
    Mike Huckabee on the new definition of momentum:

    "If we finish even in fourth place, we're still definitely moving forward with momentum," he said while chatting with a crowd of supporters in front of a polling place. "Because everything we show above sixth place is momentum for us."


  24. Barack on Guantanmo Detainee trials:
    I've heard, for example, the argument that it should be military courts, and not federal judges, who should make decisions on these detainees. I actually agree with that. The problem is that the structure of the military proceedings has been poorly thought through. Indeed, the regulations that are supposed to be governing administrative hearings for these detainees, which should have been issued months ago, still haven't been issued. Instead, we have rushed through a bill that stands a good chance of being challenged once again in the Supreme Court.

    This is not how a serious Administration would approach the problem of terrorism. I know the President came here today and was insisting that this is supposed to be our primary concern. He's absolutely right it should be our primary concern - which is why we should be approaching this with a somberness and seriousness that this Administration has not displayed with this legislation.

    Now, let me be clear - for those who plot terror against the United States, I hope God has mercy on their soul, because I certainly do not. And for those who our government suspects of terror, I support whatever tools are necessary to try them and uncover their plot.

    But we also know that some have been detained who have no connection to terror whatsoever. We've already had reports from the CIA and various generals over the last few years saying that many of the detainees at Guantanamo shouldn't have been there - as one U.S. commander of Guantanamo told the Wall Street Journal, "Sometimes, we just didn't get the right folks." And we all know about the recent case of the Canadian man who was suspected of terrorist connections, detained in New York, sent to Syria, and tortured, only to find out later that it was all a case of mistaken identity and poor information.

    In the future, people like this may never have a chance to prove their innocence. They may remain locked away forever.

    And the sad part about all of this is that this betrayal of American values is unnecessary. We could've drafted a bipartisan, well-structured bill that provided adequate due process through the military courts, had an effective review process that would've prevented frivolous lawsuits being filed and kept lawyers from clogging our courts, but upheld the basic ideals that have made this country great.

  25. "Not his fault that so many had him so wrong"
    Not his fault he refuses to enforce the laws He SWORE to enforce.

    Not his fault he was a big govt big spender just cause he claimed to be a conservative.

    Larry Johnson and Ron Paul are not Wackjobs.

    There WAS NO other plan for Iraq...

    on and on, but always right.

  26. Levenworth for the Gitmo detainees, I believe is the plan.

    That and quick trials.
    That Austrailian fellow has served his sentence, and is out, I've read.

    He is afraid, very afraid.
    No more gumption in him.

    The Republic will survive an Obama or Huckabee Administration, though there are others in the world that may not be said for.

    Bring the conventional troops home, send in the A-Teams. Plans are in the works, regardless of who wins. The 2 million mussulman we've trained or funded, as the cases may be, ready to rock & roll.

    Just need some death from above options available to them, for that they need some US boots along on the ground.

    Back to the future in Iraq and Pakistan. As we've done in Laos, Salvador, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan redux.
    No matter the name of the President.

    Rudy is doin' his war and terror avertising, here. He says he's ready.
    Send in the A-Teams.

  27. Thanks, Whit. Military courts and swift trials sound good to me.

    That makes sense Rat. If it's military courts that could only mean Leavenworth in the end.

    Dave Hicks got out of jail here last week. Part of the deal that Bush cut with Howard was that he has to give a public apology as soon as he got out. Well, he got out and re-nigged on his public apology. Refuses to give it. Nothing going to be done about it.

  28. And my message today, to the Iranians, is they shouldn't have done what they did."


    That's it. Case closed.

  29. Can't seem to find it, Sam. I think I got it at RCP.

    Never trust the kiddie polls,. I quess. Looks like McCain, and maybe Hillary.

  30. Drudge is showing Hillary ahead.

  31. By the way, Wyoming has as many delegates as N.H. I think and Romney got no press for winning that. Americans haven't accepted us folk from God's Country as real Americans yet.

  32. McCain's campaign have put out a statement:

    We showed the people of this country what a real comeback looks like. We're going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and victory.

    The Republican race remains wide open nationally - who knows who the eventual winner will be?

    McCain Wins NH

  33. I'm not going to make anymore predictions. My heart rules my head, and I start talking to children.

  34. Hillary ahead by 1,900 votes. Still counting. Shit.

  35. Wyoming
    27 Total Delegates: 3 Congressional District & 24 At Large
    Format: Caucus/County & State Convention
    Delegates technically not bound
    Precinct Caucuses: TBD
    County Conventions: TBD
    State Convention: TBD
    Twelve delegates are elected by the county conventions, and the remaining ten delegates are elected by the state convention. The delegates are technically not bound, but at-large delegate candidates must inform the state convention of their presidential preference.

    New Hampshire
    24 Total Delegates: 6 Congressional District & 18 AL
    Format: Primary
    Delegates bound
    Proportional w/10% threshold
    Pres. Primary: TBD
    Delegates are allocated proportionally based on the results of the Presidential Preference Primary. Prior to the primary, each Presidential campaign submits a list of delegate candidates to the NH Secretary of State. After certifying the results of the primary, the Secretary of State informs each Presidential candidate how many delegates they have been awarded.

  36. At least you got one right. What are you bitching about?

  37. Nevada
    32 Total Delegates: 9 Congressional District & 23 At Large
    Format: Caucus/Convention
    Delegates not bound
    Precinct Caucuses: TBD
    County Convention: TBD
    District Meetings: TBD
    State convention: TBD
    Congressional district delegates are elected by district meetings held at the state convention. At-large delegates are elected by the state convention. Delegates are not bound to support any presidential candidate.

    61 Total Delegates: 45 Congressional District & 16 At Large
    Format: County Convention/State Convention
    Delegates bound through 1st ballot
    Winner-Take-All by Congressional District, Winner-Take-All by At Large
    County/District Convention: TBD
    CD Caucuses: chosen at caucuses at State Meeting
    State Convention: TBD
    Congressional district delegates are elected by congressional district caucuses, and at-large delegates are elected by the state convention. Presidential preference vote will occur at congressional district caucuses. Congressional district delegates will be allocated on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who receives the most votes in the district. At-large delegates are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide.

    South Carolina
    46 Total Delegates: 18 Congressional District & 28 At Large
    Format: Caucus/Convention
    Delegates bound for 2 ballots, unless candidate receives less than 30 % of the vote
    Winner-Take-All by Congressional District, Winner-Take-All by At Large
    Precinct Conventions: TBD
    County Conventions: TBD
    CD Conventions: TBD
    State convention: TBD
    Congressional district delegates are elected by congressional district caucuses, and at-large delegates are elected by the state convention.

  38. There are only 16% of the Dem reporting. The GOP was called with the same % but 10,000 less votes than the Dems have.

    If that holds there will be about 300,000 Dem votes and 200,000 GOP votes. In what has been a historicly GOP State.

    Bad news for the Republicans.

  39. Actually it's worse
    McCain and Romney, combined equal right about the votes that either Billery or Obama recieved on their own.

  40. About a 2 to 1 Democratic advantage

  41. I'm bitching about the bitch.

  42. Clinton's lead has blown out to 2275. Still counting.

  43. bitch,bitch,bitch is all I hear around here

  44. a jerked tear is worth thousands of votes

  45. Good for her, let 'em bare those knives

  46. Bill Clinton, who campaigned doggedly throughout New Hampshire for his wife, complained bitterly Monday that she had been unfairly treated while Obama had been given a free pass.

    "The idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months is a little tough to take," the former president said at a campaign forum at Dartmouth College. "Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media doesn't mean the facts aren't out there."

    Indeed, her advisers intend to step up their scrutiny of Obama's record in the coming days and are likely to begin airing negative ads - the first in what has been a remarkably civil TV battle so far.

    Critical Moment

  47. Slicin' & dicin' is the Clinton specialty. Go Hillary!!!

    Rudy's best hope.

  48. Barone says that's not enough, no strong trends with only 25% of the vote counted

  49. Look at this. Exit Poll Data Everything but dick size.

  50. "I think the nominating process ends at midnight on February 5," she said, referring to the day when 22 states hold their nominating primaries. "I look forward to campaigning across the country."

    Fine weather contributed to an expected record turnout, in the most wide open US presidential race in more than 80 years, with no sitting president or vice president seeking nomination.

    Clear skies and temperatures in 50sF after weeks of freezing weather were only expected to help further Mr Obama, who has targeted casual voters.

    NH Primary

  51. Sheee-it. That's alot of stats. 57 - 43% female dems. That should do it for Hillary right there.

  52. Auma Obama is stuck in the snows of New Hampshire. Can't go Home

  53. 2578 - C'mon baby.

    I feel like I'm betting on a horse race.

  54. Before the New Hampshire results came in, former President Bill Clinton tried to lower expectations for his wife, arguing the New Hampshire primary was scheduled too close to the Iowa Caucuses.

    "It takes some time to undo that; for people to say, 'Well, this is our race in our state and we're going to think about this and give all these candidates a free shot,'" he said. "If this were 10 days after Iowa, instead of five, I believe we would have no doubt about what the outcome would be."

    The Clinton campaign mobilized some 300 drivers; more than 6,000 volunteers to knock on doors.

    Too Close to Call

  55. Michael Savage is saying Hannibal lost to Rome because of the peace party. Says it's a lesson for today.

  56. RCP Thread

    Election Night Thread
    Posted by TOM BEVAN | E-Mail This | Permalink | Email Author
    NASHUA - I'm settled in and ready for a long night. Check back on this thread for updates throughout the night.

    9:08 PM Exit poll has been reweighted and combined with town-by-town returns from sources suggest Senator Clinton may very well win by two points. - JOHN McINTYRE

  57. There is clearly a yearning for that, for a break with the past however defined -- whether a break with the policies of the Bush administration, with two families, Bushes and Clintons, atop the political system, or with the gridlocked partisanship of Washington

    Obama and Clinton are now operating at different levels. Their messages pass one another but do not intersect.

    Obama has profoundly changed the terms of the debate and now sets the terms. It is Clinton's challenge to force it back in her direction.

    Tipping Point

  58. Why is that? Are they in the Obama camp, or something?

  59. Chris Matthews was orgasmic a couple of hours ago. Now he looks the horse's ass we all know that he is.

  60. Where are you getting your numbers, Sam?

  61. I don't like that image, deuce.

  62. Looking like a Fleetwood Mac night.

  63. Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas, like most observers, thinks that NH's famous independent voters hold the key:

    "The big challenge here is trying to figure out where the independent vote will go. If they decide to cast a Democratic ballot, Obama wins huge. If they decide to cast a Republican one, Obama wins less big."

    While liberal bloggers agree that Obama will probably win NH, they are divided on his overall chances of winning the nomination. Moulitsas thinks that Obama is rapidly becoming an unstoppable "tsunami", but other prominent bloggers -- including Jerome Armstrong and Matt Stoller -- think that HRC still has an excellent shot at the Dem nomination even if she loses NH.

    Independents Flex Muscles

  64. Sorry Bob, say something poetic to erase it.

  65. There's nothing I can think of that's poetic about Mathews.

  66. The greatest real change in the presidential campaign so far has been the shift in the military situation in Iraq. It has revived John McCain's campaign and turned the Democrats' debate into one largely about domestic issues, with vague references to our standing in the world.

    Obama's stump speech has evolved over the past few months to accommodate this shift. Republicans can take some solace from this change.

    2008 will not be a simple repeat of 2006.

    Incorrect Change

  67. O.Savior has moved up to 10 write in votes.


  68. What are the Cardinals going to say about McCain?

  69. That's Ollie Savior if you didn't know.

  70. Huckabee dismissed the idea that he was a "one-state wonder" during an interview with MSNBC today. He pointed to the latest national Gallup poll and other surveys in states with upcoming primaries as hopeful signs for his candidacy.

    "We're first in South Carolina, Florida, Texas, all over the Southern states; second in California; first in Delaware," he said. "This is a national campaign, and we expect it to go all the way to the White House.

    Giuliani's campaign strategists continues to insist that the former mayor can withstand a series of losses in early states including Iowa and New Hampshire because he enjoys substantial support in Florida, which votes on Jan. 29, and in the series of big states set to vote in early February.

    1 State Wonder

  71. Rudy's ad is still marching, lots of terrorists, Osama, explosions and a little kid marching in a white terrorist uniform lookin' outfit.
    wi"o" would love it.

    Not a US uniform or citizen in sight, for the whole of thirty seconds, unitl Rudy's photo is overlaid with his voice, approving the commercial.

    Clinton wins with single women and folk from families earning under $50,000. Many the same people in each of those demographics, I'd venture to guess.

  72. Ollie's son is Ollie Saviorson.

  73. California delegates are proportioned by District, win the District, get 3 delegates.

    John Edwards has recieved $8.8million in Federal money. Good job, if you can get it.
    No reason to drop out yet.
    Bill Krystal says it hurts Obama, to have Edwards in the race.

  74. The women in Iowa went for Obama. They must be lonely out there amongst the corn stalks.

  75. Ollie's got 16, moving up fast.

  76. Similarly, while former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani did make a series of stops throughout New Hampshire over the weekend, he made it clear from the beginning that his real focus was on later states, such as Florida and its Jan. 29 primary.

    Same with former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who departed for South Carolina shortly after this weekend's debates in Manchester.

    Now the focus is on post-New Hampshire. Romney and McCain planned to go straight to Michigan, where they both have already begun running television advertisements. (Romney also hoped to gain traction there because his father previously served as a popular governor of Michigan.)

    NH GOP Primary

  77. Buchanan said the press has been reporting Obama as having been born under the star of Bethlehem.

  78. Or the moon of Mecca.

    KGO is saying the college towns haven't reported in yet.

  79. Cousins
    The BBC says Kenyan politician Raila Odinga has claimed that he is the cousin of Barack Obama.

    Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he is a cousin of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Mr Odinga told the BBC's The World Today that Senator Obama's father was his maternal uncle. Mr Obama's father - a Kenyan also called Barack - met and married his American mother when they were students at the university of Hawaii.

    You can't choose your relatives but then your relatives can make things complicated. Raila Odinga is accused of signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Muslim Leader's Front, which allegedly promises among other things to "popularize Islam, the only true relgion", establish madrassas and implement sharia law besides in exchange for political support.

    posted by wretchard at BC

  80. As a religiously pluralistic society, the Philippines observes the Islamic New Year as one of the five Muslim legal holidays proclaimed by Presidential Decree 1083 and Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 81-1277.

    May the observance of the new Hijrah year be an occasion for a new-found strength and unity among all the world’s Muslims, especially the Filipino Muslim communities scattered in this land. New growth in spirit and a reconciliation of differences is our wish for all Filipino Muslims today.

    Happy Islamic New Year!

    Islamic New Year

  81. KGO says Hillary is the projected winner according to their sources.

  82. Mr. McCain styles himself a maverick whose appeal to independents and Democrats might make up the lost GOP votes. But independents and Democrats this year want change.

    Mr. McCain is about continuity, not change. He is at least as much a hawk on Iraq as President Bush.

    He has as much principled opposition to government spending as Mr. Bush, which is to say, none at all. He differs from the status quo only in his willingness to tax more.

    GOP Loss in November Might be Good

  83. It doesn't surprise me, my picks are always backwards. I'm concentrating on the more interesting write in votes from here on, where Ollie, at 23, is well positioned to overtake Tom Laughlin and Randy Crow, 25 each.

  84. You can just hear the cackling now.

  85. A cackle will sound better than a sermon from the mount.

  86. I feel better when the candidate is teary than the adoring throngs, all howling for hope and change.

  87. Obama is having a Martin Luther King moment... lot's of yes we cans..

  88. Sermon? You saying Obama speaks sermon-like?

    And if it came down to it, you'd take Hillary over Obama?

    C'mon, man.

  89. Sam,in a word, yes. I always prefer cynicism over hope.

  90. Huckabee and Giuliani ran into each other outside the Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester, where Huckabee immediately asked the former New York mayor for his vote. “We get along beautifully on the trail," the former Arkansas governor said.

    "No animosity."

    Within moments, Romney also was on hand. "The Republicans will vote for me,” the former Massachusetts governor predicted.

    Clinton and McCain Win

  91. You're a glass half empty man, 2164th.

  92. Jupiter and Moon

    Well, who is easier to beat? And, much as I dislike Hillary, isn't Obama about to go on some world wide apology tour once elected? What the hell is that? With Hillary we at least got a known quantity. Obama, coming out of nowhere, seems scarier to me. Obama would be the last person I'd want talking to the muslims. And who knows, maybe some republican will take either of them out. Still early days, yet.

    And, with the strength shown tonight, O. Savior may play the write in surprise. He's the guy can work subliminally on the masses.

  93. I for one, am all for keeping Hillary around because there is no hiding what she is about. No hope and change there. The election will be about change and the only hope a Republican can win is a comparison with Hillary.

  94. Fred Thompson didn't have a good night. It's most likely good night, Fred. I'd gotten to like the guy.

    I heard an interview with Kucinich and wife today. Kucinich would have been much better off if she'd been on the ballot. She did all the talking. Bright, humorous, how he got this English chick 30 years his younger I don't know.

  95. Ok, maybe my hatred is clouding my judgment.

  96. I was just going to say that.

  97. Hmmph.

    What to do, what to do..

  98. It can always be worse Sam...have refill on the house.

  99. Sounded great on the radio. Talked about the English health care system. Said don't criticize if you haven't used it, like 7 of her relatives have who had major problems, cancer, etc. Put Hannity back on his ass, argumentally. I don't know what she looks like but she is well spoken.

    Sam, I'm down too, in a way, but I was getting fearful of this unknown, Obama.

    Here's to ya! We'll slay em' in Novemer! Barkeep!...

  100. Cheers!

    Who are you talking about, Bob?

  101. It was different for the Democrats. Undeclared voters make up a larger portion of the voters in the Democratic primary -- more than 40 percent. Mr. Obama got about 4 in 10 undeclared voters and Mrs. Clinton got about a third of their support.

    Mrs. Clinton got 45 percent of the registered Democrats, and Mr. Obama got a third of undeclared voters.

    Mr. McCain did better with young voters, but older voters were equally divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney, the surveys of voters showed.

    McCain Wins

  102. I think I called this NH for Billery!

    Good to be right once in a while

  103. RCP's got Florida:



  104. You're right, whoever said it before, Obama is suffering from the Perot syndrome with Edwards in there.

  105. Any democrat, we'll slay any democrat in November.

  106. No, I meant the chick on the radio.

  107. Hey, anybody know how many drinks Bob's had tonight?

  108. Dennis Kucinich scored a young English wife, who is very well spoken, listened to them on the radio today. She comes over as 'the better half'.

  109. Oh right, gotchya. Must be the tequila..

  110. No, kiddin'! I never knew. I think the problem was on my end, anyways.

  111. I'm outta here. That was fun today.

    In a sick sorta way.


  112. grrnite, Sam. Don't let that Hillary disturb your dreams.
    One last thought: this is the second state where the independents broke towards the Democrats. Republicans need to consider that and its implications for the entire ticket in November.
    Capn Ed

  113. Who's the drunk voting for Edwards, that's what I'd like to know.