Saturday, May 31, 2008


Pardon my math, but Obama looks like a winner.

Based on the rough totals that I've been tracking in this primary, Barack Obama has gotten 17,505,420 votes so far if you count Michigan's uncommitted Democrats for him. I frankly don't see how you can count them any other way, since they are Democrats who voted against Hillary Clinton. Even without Michigan, Obama has about 17,267,658 votes.

John McCain's numbers have been lower, partly because the GOP primaries were a done deal much sooner. I suspect that this is also because the Republican Party is demoralized by the Bush presidency. Anyway, my count for McCain is 8,105,439. Let's multiply that by 1.5 just to be realistic, and give him 12,158,158.

Then we'll take Hillary Clinton's supporters at their word and assume that half of them dislike Obama so intensely that they will vote for a Republican. I think they call that cutting off your nose to spite your face, except in this case they're asking lots of other Democrats and progressive-minded Independents to sacrifice their noses as well. Half of Clinton's total -- including Florida and Michigan -- is 8,714,890 votes. If we add that many to Obama's no-Michigan total we get 25,982,548. With Michigan it is 26,220,310. Add the 8,714,890 disgruntled Clintonites to McCain's total and we get 20,873,048.

Obama would win by 5,109,500 votes, or 11 percentage points.

My point is, even using the relatively pessimistic evidence of primary and caucus votes, November looks like a safe win for the Democrats. In case it isn't obvious, I'm no statistician. What I am is the mother of an eighteen year old who I would rather see in college the next couple of years than possibly drafted into combat. I totally understand how Barbara Bush and Cheney's mama felt about sending their boys to war.

By the way, as bad as my math is, it wouldn't work at all if Hillary Clinton were the nominee. Obama supporters are less likely to switch parties if their guy gets the rug pulled out from under him, but they could definitely stay home. The real difference will be on the McCain side. Demoralized or not, the Republicans will turn out in droves to keep Mrs. Clinton out of the White House. I don't much like or approve of the reasons they'll do this, but I can face facts. That scenario is beyond my fertile imagination to estimate.

Note: I've updated the numbers since June 1st, 2008.

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Friday, May 30, 2008


Geraldine Ferraro is not an idiot.

Geraldine Ferraro is an Italian-American politician and ex-officeholder who understands identity politics. Like many Americans she comes from a background and belief that governance is the ultimate zero-sum game. In this context it is as impossible for Barack Obama to care about white people as it is for Bill Richardson to consider the needs of Anglo-Americans -- or, by the same logic, for Hillary Clinton to represent males. In Ferraro's universe of racial and ethnic interest groups and tightly controlled machine politics, the name of the game is patronage. There is only so much pork to be handed out, and if anything at all goes to a previously ignored or devalued group of people, it is at the expense of the group who used to be on top.

In today's Boston Globe, she writes "As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated........ It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment." I'm not sure how this qualifies as "not racism," but everyone likes to believe that as bad as their lives get, there is always someone beneath them on the stairway to success. Like Ferraro, the voters she claims to represent are not interested in a flood that lifts all boats. They think they know from previous experience that any change that comes from Washington will be to their detriment. Why should they think otherwise? Every politician runs on a message of improving life for some group or other, and the lives of high school educated working people stay the same or get worse. It must be that dark-skinned guy's fault, or maybe them people who don't speak English so good.

Ferraro writes: "Hope, change, and inspiration don't do it." Really? Are we just crabs in a bucket, or are we the most imaginative species ever put on the planet?

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Saturday, May 24, 2008



I received the following email this week. It is the second or third time different friends have sent it to me. I'm pretty sure they were just passing in on out of habit and couldn't have read it themselves, let alone put any credence into it. I did clean up many of the typos, repetitions and mis-spelled words.

The Bible warns us of Barack Obama!

The Bible has warned us that 'A man will come from the East that will be charismatic in nature and have proposed solutions for all our problems and his rhetoric will attract many supporters!'

When will our pathetic Nation quit turning their back on God and understand that this man is 'A Muslim'....First, Last and always....and we are AT WAR with the Muslim Nation, whether our bleeding-heart, secular, Liberal friends believe it or not. This man fits every description from the Bible of the 'Anti-Christ'!

I'm just glad to know that there are others that are frightened by this man!

Who is Barack Obama?

Very interesting and something that should be considered in your choice.

If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts...this is very scary to think of what lies ahead of us here in our own United States...better heed this and pray about it and share it. ... confirms this is factual. Check for yourself.
[Note: If you do check "Snopes" you will see this email reproduced word-for-word and labeled false. Snopes also includes specific citations on many of the claims here and documentation that they are lies.]

Who is Barack Obama?

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHEIST from Wichita, Kansas.

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii.

When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia .

When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, 'He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.'

Obama's political handlers are a attempting to make it appear that that he is not a radical.

Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahhabi school in Jakarta.

Wahhabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States , Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran.

Barack Hussein Obama will NOT recite the Pledge of Allegiance nor will he show any reverence for our flag. While others place their hands over their hearts, Obama turns his back to the flag and slouches. Do you want someone like this as your PRESIDENT? Our problems and his rhetoric will attract many supporters!'

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.

The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!

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Sunday, May 11, 2008


Freedom, comfort and utility

Many years ago when I lived in Chicago, I used to frequent the downtown Chicago Public Library. I would go there mostly to read the newspaper or to get some peace and quiet on my way to work or in between college classes. Quite frequently I would have to move from where I was sitting because of the smell coming from a fellow library patron. In those days we called them bums, and they were generally harmless but not always pleasant to have too close.

Now I work part-time at a community center that is right down the street from the largest homeless shelter in this part of the state. The residents are not allowed in the sleeping quarters during the day; I'm not sure why, but it may be part of the director's emphasis on helping people to help themselves by looking for jobs and purposeful activities, or simply not wanting them to wallow in their misfortune. Whatever the reason, many of them end up wandering around the neighborhood for the day. The people from this particular shelter tend to be clean and well-behaved. Many are parents with children, who bring the children to play in our center's park and playground. We have drinking fountains and bathrooms, and even bus schedules for the line that stops on our corner.

Every once in a while someone -- often but not always from the shelter -- will come in and ask to see our facility and want to know what services we provide, whether they can use the pool table, whatever. The other day it was very windy outside and a man stopped in with the usual questions. The manager on duty was rather unfriendly with him and told him we were closed during the day -- which is to a large extent true. After he left she told me "I know how I sounded but we don't want to have all of them coming over here and hanging around all day when we have kids here and programs going on."

She had a point. We are responsible for the safety of children in our care, and we need to be available for the programs we have scheduled and advertised. It would be inhospitable to the (taxpaying) neighborhood residents if we became a refuge for just anyone with noplace better to go. This all makes sense, but still it makes me uncomfortable to turn people in the community away from a community center....

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Dear B.J. Novak

You cannot get orange juice from poking a straw into a fresh orange. You can, however, drink orange juice out of a fresh orange through a candy stick. It is a delightful treat we learned in Girl Scouts.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008


Books for Soldiers -- What a great concept!

The "Books for Soldiers" organization is currently making a big push for donations and participation. They provide reading material as requested by member of the military currently deployed in areas away from the usual libraries and bookstores. Many of their usual funding sources are stretched thin at the moment, so they can use any help they can get. They have no paid staff, but they provide a valuable service.

Please help if you can!

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