libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Most Interesting Time

"Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done."
So said Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

This and her husband's "fairy tale" comment--which he applied only to Obama's stance against the war, he claims--have seemed to get the Clinton's into hot water with some in the black-American community. How fair it is, who can say. We all know how volatile race relations can be in this country.

On thing seems clear: through mistatement or outright gaffe, the Clinton's will keep generating messages until they get one that will cut through their opponent like a knife. Mike Huckabee, who says he's fought the Clinton Machine every time he ran for office in Arkansas, describes it as a sausage grinder.

As any Republican political consultant will tell you: don't underestimate the Clintons. Never thinking Bill quite as "brilliant" as everyone always said he was, I can see now how adept he is at finding the right way to frame the question and state his case.

If they do end up in the White House as a couple again, we are in for a most interesting time.

For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Is It Any Wonder

Carolyn Bothwell Doran, 45, moved up from a part-time bookkeeping position to chief operating officer of Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, before being hauled down for her past criminal record.

Transgressions include . .

*wounding her boyfriend with a gunshot to the chest for which she received probation.
*a hit-and-run accident for which she served seven months in jail.
*theft (penalty unknown).
*writing bad checks (penalty unknown).
*multiple drunken-driving convictions (penalties unknown).
*credit card forgery (penalty unknown).

This long list of criminal offenses might tend to throw into question her involvement in a former roommate's poisoning of a man for insurance money (Doran helped investigators by secretly recording incriminating conversations with the supposed perpetrator), and the honeymoon drowning of her newlywed husband in the Cayman Islands.

With a woman like this as their C.O.O., perhaps is it any wonder the Wikipedia sections related to domestic violence read more like an anti-male Feminist tract than factual encyclopedic entries.

From "Former Wikipedia Officer Found to Have Long Criminal Record" by Brian Bergstein, Associated Press

Lying with the Heavenly Woman: Understanding and Integrating the Feminine Archetypes in Men's Lives

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Iowa Kernels

Race

Iowa is 95% white (Caucasoid and Caucusoid), but a black guy is polling first on the Democratic side. A black guy's running on the Republican side, too, but few have noticed. (How many know he placed third there in 2000?) Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, black voters are supporting Hillary Clinton more than they are Barack Obama.

Strategy

Using game theory in the Iowa caucuses, with the help of second-tier candidates, John Edwards and Barack Obama could eliminate Hillary Clinton from the race.

Uncommitted

"Uncommitted" beat Bill Clinton in 1992, the year he won the presidency. "Uncommitted" beat Jimmy Carter in 1976, the year he won the presidency. "Uncommitted" beat George McGovern in 1972, the year he won the nomination for his party. Why is no one discussing "uncommitted" this year (especially with so many undecideds)?

Reagan Effect

Ronald Reagan was a ballot-box politician: he'd poll much lower than the actual votes he'd get. What if that works for Fred Thompson, the only real Conservative in the race, and against Mitt Romney--will Iowa farmers really buy his super-slickness?

Ron Paul

In a state where Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes can place second and third (in 2000), who can really count out Ron Paul with his fervent and energetic band of supporters.

Spouses

Spouses may end up being the determining factor on the Democratic side.

Grassroots Democracy

Whatever might be said about the anachronisms of the Iowa caucus system, it sure looks like grassroots democracy in action.