“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."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

WTF is This?


  1. Romney on the Way Out?
    Maybe, maybe not.

    People think history is what's in the headlines. Immigration, that is not in the headlines day after day, is making history, even as we sleep. Changing the country, for the worse.

  2. Obama is raking in about $1 million a day, near as I can tell, average donation being around a couple hundred bucks. This is impressive. Meanwhile Clinton is borrowing her own money(and you can bet she will pay herself back, with interest). Who is Soros backing in this? Isn't he behind They seem to be backing Obama.

  3. from

    Two weeks ago, Barack Obama was down 20 points in national polls. Last night, he won 13 of 21 states, and is leading in elected delegates.

    In the next week, the race moves to 7 more contests. Can you help Obama invest in the next states by making a contribution today?

    Contribute to Obama
    Don't want these emails?

    Some folks may prefer to solely get emails about MoveOn's ongoing issue advocacy and 2008 general election work. If you click here, we'll leave you off emails about the Democratic primary.

    Click here

    Dear MoveOn member,
    Just two weeks ago, Barack Obama was down 20 points in national polls. One week ago, newspapers had headlines like, "For Obama, it's all uphill to Super Tuesday" and reported Obama was leading in only three states.1 Last night, Obama won 13 of 21 states and a majority of delegates up for grabs.2

    This happened because of an amazing grassroots movement—including MoveOn members across the country who voted overwhelmingly to endorse Obama and then made phone calls, sent emails to their friends, and volunteered on the ground this past week. (By the way, if you'd rather not receive emails about MoveOn's work in the Democratic primary, please click here.)
    We need to keep that surge of momentum going as the race moves to 7 more contests in the next week. Obama will have to ramp up his campaign in states that haven't had much focus until now. That will take money—fast. MoveOn members can help.

    If you support Barack Obama, if you're inspired by this grassroots movement, if you're excited by results this morning that seemed impossible a couple weeks ago—please make a contribution to his campaign. Click here to contribute:

    Whether it's $5 or $50—or $500—every bit makes a difference in a race this tight. Why give through MoveOn? So Obama knows that progressives have his back as he pushes to unify the country around a progressive agenda—an agenda we'll push hard to enact when he's in the White House.

    Over the past 4 days, it's been amazing to watch MoveOn members swing into action. On Saturday, we launched the Obama Endorse-O-Thon with a goal of 25,000 personal emails to friends and family about Obama. MoveOn members sent nearly half a million! Meanwhile, MoveOn members in Super Tuesday states volunteered on-the-ground in the critical final days. And the rest of us did our part by using MoveOn's Call for Change phone program to get out the vote for Obama.

    We will continue our people-powered activism to help elect Obama, because we've seen what a grassroots movement can do. Just consider:

    In Alabama, less than two weeks ago, Obama was down by 15 points. Last night, he won.
    In Connecticut, on January 20, Obama was down 41-27. He won that state, too.
    In Missouri, less than two weeks ago, Obama was down 19 points. But last night, after many of the networks had already called it for Clinton—Obama won.
    Obama holds the lead on delegates elected to the National Convention.3

    The Washington Post summed it up: "Obama fared better in the 22-state crush than appeared possible a couple weeks ago, when he was...facing the prospect of having to compete in a slew of states against a better-known candidate with widespread establishment backing."4

    We need to keep Obama's momentum going. The best thing we can do today is help him bolster his campaign in the next several contests. Can you chip in today? Click here to contribute to Obama:

    Thanks for all you do.

  4. WTF is This?--Whatever it is it doesn't look like a lot of fun, to this old fuddyduddy.

  5. The Republican winner in each Wisconsin congressional district gets three delegates, for a total of 24 to be awarded. The statewide winner gets 13, and three delegates may support any candidate they want.

    All the major candidates are raising money in Wisconsin, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. Obama's leading the pack with $583,523, followed by Clinton with $180,583.

    Among Republicans, McCain raised $179,799 from Wisconsin residents, Romney raised $143,144 and Huckabee collected $45,781.

    Enormously Competitive

  6. Some speculation today was on the possibility of ending up with a McCain/Huckster ticket, which seems to me what Huckster has been angling for. Might work, don't know.
    Sam, you missed Alaska:)

  7. Last time we had a republican Senator nominated for President from Arizona he really was a conservative.

  8. Yeah, I know. That was a big call. :)

  9. Councilmember Gordon Wozniak also expressed reservations; Wozniak had voted against resolutions calling for the recruiting station to cease operations, and about the proposal to rescind the statement calling the Marines "unwelcome," Wozniak said, "It’s not clear a majority of the council will change its viewpoint on this."

    However, Wozniak continued, "I think the item needs some clarification. I support what they are trying to do."

    Still, Wozniak added, "We should also apologize."

    Unwelcome Intruders in City

  10. I listened to a lot of talk about the Marine Recruiting Station in Berkeley last night. It doesn't do much business, not because of the protesters but because most people joining the Marines don't need to be recruited in the first place. Most- at least many- of the protesters seem to be older trying to recapture a little meaning in their lives. Some good congressman has made a move to cut off federal funds to Berkeley, but Feinstein etal are fighting it and it won't happen probably, though it should.

  11. Too bad. Lieberman's got it sewn up.

  12. Emory University political scientist Merle Black said the Democratic split of Super Tuesday victories sets up more fights.

    "The Democratic race is very competitive -- both of these candidates are very close in terms of delegates, and i think it's going to be a fight to the finish," Black said.

    As for the Republicans, Black said Romney is the one in the toughest spot now.

    Continue to be Counted

  13. He said the other day he wouldn't take it. He's been there once. A year like this you never know.

  14. That's pretty good. I particularily liked this--

    Dennis Kucinich swept the Mars caucuses.

  15. The need to lend the campaign money exposes Clinton’s inability to raise money from new donors as fast or in increments as large as Obama’s.

    Obama has raised more money from small donations than Clinton. An analysis by the Campaign Finance Institute, which tracks trends in political money, found that Obama raised about a third of his money in 2007 from donors who gave $200 or less.

    Only one-third of his money came from donors who have given the legal maximum of $2,300, compared to Clinton who raised about half of her money from “maxed out” donors and only 14 percent from donors of $200 or less.

    Outpaced in Fundraising

  16. Ties to lobbyists have been an increasingly hot issue during this campaign season, with both Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., repeatedly promising not to take contributions from federal lobbyists. The Center for Responsive Politics lists Obama as receiving $86,283 in lobbying contributions and Edwards as receiving $28,250.

    Massie Ritsch, communications director for the center, says the group includes federal, state and local lobbyists in its analysis. Also included: family members with no separate means of income, and people who work for lobbying firms but may not be registered lobbyists.

    Not included: corporate lobbyists who work in-house for a specific company.

    Lobbyist Lucre

  17. I'd like to see a big fight just for old times sake--something along the lines of Chicago, 1968(though Mailer is no longer here to write about it) for the dems:)--

    Democratic dead-heat 'not good news' says Dean

    Feb 6 06:23 PM US/Eastern

    Dean: Democratic Dead-Heat 'Not A Good Scenario'

    Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on Wednesday voiced concern over the prospect of a brokered convention at the end of the party's White House nominating contests.
    "The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario," Dean said according to excerpts of an interview with NY1 television.

    In state nominating contests so far, no clear winner has emerged among Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the party's nomination ahead of November's presidential vote to replace George W. Bush in the White House.

    "I think we will have a nominee sometime in the middle of March or April. But if we don't, then we're going to have to get the candidates together and make some kind of an arrangement," said Dean, who failed in his bid for the party's nomination in 2004.

    "Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention -- that would not be good news for either party."

    A brokered convention has not been seen in decades, and harkens back to an era of shady political deal-making when powerbrokers and cash kings -- instead of regular voters -- chose one candidate over another at a raucous, smoke-filled convention hall.

    The comments by Dean highlighted the rising tensions among Democrats as rivals Obama and Clinton fight bitterly for delegate votes ahead of the Democratic National Convention in August, at which a nominee is officially selected.

    For more than 50 years, each party has selected delegates who favor one nominee over another by a significant margin well ahead of the convention, which exists mainly for ceremonial and celebratory purposes.

    The last conventions that required more than one ballot to designate nominees were in 1948 for the Republicans and 1952 for the Democrats.

  18. WTF is This? from Jihad Watch--

    No, I am not saying this was jihad-related. So why am I posting it? The facts are these: a 22-year-old mechanic with a name that may indicate he is a Muslim, an employee of the gas station, returns for a reason no one knows to the gas station after midnight. There is then a huge explosion there, in which he is killed, and the FBI is investigating. This one is, as they say, one to watch.

    "Gas station fire kills one in Tampa," from MyFoxTampaBay (thanks to Cumulus Nine):

    TAMPA – Tampa Fire Rescue crews say one person was killed in a fire at a gas station early Wednesday morning.
    Crews say witnesses reported hearing an explosion and then seeing flames as high as the treetops coming from the Citgo Gas Station on West Busch Boulevard just after midnight. Two men who worked across the street from the gas station saw what was happening, and ran to help. They say they found a man lying inside the garage area of Jacob's Lube Repair Shop, which is attached to the gas station. They say they ran inside, but the flames were just too intense. [...]

    When firefighters pulled the man from the burning building, they say he was already dead. He was later identified as Farid IA Karakra, a 22-year-old mechanic who worked there. Coworkers told investigators he left work around 7:30 p.m., but they're not sure why he would have returned. [...]

    Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire. On Wednesday morning, agents from ATF, FBI and the Tampa Bomb Squad were also at the scene, possibly looking into the cause of the explosion.