Monday, March 31, 2008

Unsympathic Litigants

A Carlsbad couple's day in court is coming, they claim their real estate agent should be liable for their having overpaid - in their estimation - for their $1.2 million home in a nice community next to the Four Seasons Aviara. The poor dears.

They seem to be claiming that the agent owed them a higher duty because they were out-of-town buyers unfamiliar with the local market: they were relocating from Northern California to the San Diego area sunshine.

San Diego appraiser Todd Lackner said many people in the industry are closely watching the Ummel case, and while Lackner said he believes the couple have a legitimate gripe, he doubts they will win in court.

“I give the buyers an awful lot of credit. They're sticking to their point, and most people couldn't afford these legal expenses they're shelling out,” Lackner said. “But appraisals are subjective. Did they pay too much? Yes, they absolutely did. But they bought it willingly. No one forced them to purchase that house.”
They are pissed that they paid what they paid when others paid $100k less for houses in the same tract. How close to $100k do you think they'll get in legal fees? Yeah, I think so too.

These owners were on the Today Show a few months back and it was pretty clearly the wife who has a really bee in her bonnet about this. The husband is dutifully standing by his woman, but didn't seem quite as bothered. Neither on the Today Show, nor in this article, however, are we given much more information about the actual comps in the neighborhood. There can certainly be a $100k difference in houses located next door to each other. Even in relatively new housing developments it's possible, isn't it?

Our housing search is confined to a bit lower price range, so I don't know what a $1.1m vs. a 1.2m house looks like.

I bet there are more honestly hurt litigants out there who might never get a fair shot in court because this couple's case will knock the wind of the issue's sails.

By the way they only mortgaged $300k for the house. A $300k mortgage on a $1.2m home? Wow, nice equity. That's quite a bargain payment on a house that size, isn't it? Like I said, unsympathetic.

Why I Prefer Virgin Atlantic

Unsinkable terminal sinks at grand opening, badly.

Even before the new Terminal 5, British Airways flights out of Terminal 1 were notoriously late and troublesome. Most of that owes to its success in an odd way. I can't recall the exact frequency, but, with something like a BA flight landing every 90 seconds, a minor weather disruption will hit the airline disproportionately hard.

Anyway, the new Terminal 5 mess has taken about 4 days to be news over here. You'd think it would travel faster than that.

Virgin Atlantic opened its new Terminal 3 a few weeks back and I haven't heard a peep about that having been a problem.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We're Doomed

Lawsuit Over Online Sex Toys Settled

First, this article isn't about what you think it is about.

Second, once you realize what it is about, you're going to feel concern for the world.

Third, you'll probably want to just get off the computer for a bit and go for a walk, embracing concrete objects made of matter just to reaffirm your sense of reality.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Which We Address Idol, The Presidential Election, And The American Identity

Oh I'll do it, just watch me.

So Kristy Lee "How is she still on the show" Cook sang, in a truly inspired, calculated, brilliant move, Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be An American" on Idol tonight. What can you do with that? She's still hot, it wasn't a mangled Beatles song, and she's still hot. She sold her horse.

She had a damn record contract, but she "sold her horse" to get on Idol.

To my point: last night, I had a lengthy, late-night discussion with my Dad about Michelle Obama's largely overlooked comment that now, watching her husband's success (I'm paraphrasing), it is the first time in her life that she's been proud of her country. That's a striking comment.

Would Mrs. Obama have sung this song during the first Desert Storm, during the song's heyday? If you take her comment at face value, no, we have to assume she wouldn't have.

The song never fails to give me goosebumps. It did even when I was little - of course, so did the Bangle's "Eternal Flame," but little kids emote. Now, it gives me more educated goosebumps. I was struck tonight with how intricate my relationship is with my country. I'm proud. I'm also angry, frustrated, unforgiving, full-of-excuses, defensive, aggressive, and hurt. The past 7 years have been something, haven't they? If you don't feel challenged, I suggest you move - or at least don't vote because I don't think you deserve to.

My pride in America has certainly wavered frequently over the past 7 years, but it's like family, isn't it? As mad as you can be one minute, you'll still beat the snot out of anyone else who messes with your bro or mom or whomever, right? I feel about my church in the same way. I tend to disrespect those who diss Catholicism because they - rightfully - think our views on birth control and homosexuals and our obsession with abortion are out of touch and foolish. I agree, but I don't use that as a basis for leaving. My parents and I disagree crazy amounts on lots of things, but family is family, country is country, religion is religion.

Are you proud to be an American? Unfailingly?

Take A Walk, Mom

Not my mom. Moms in general.

California legislators kill bill to give parking privileges to pregnant women.


Pregnancy isn't a disability. If it leads to temporary disability, go to a doctor, get a note, and then hit the DMV. But in and of itself, though pregnancy may be a pain in the ass. But it runs counter to policy to consider parking placards, as the bill's author Chuck DeVore says, as a matter of helping "women who are not necessarily disabled but are having a particularly painful day, or have swollen feet, or have given birth and find themselves struggling to switch their newborn from a car seat to a stroller in a parking lot with cars jetting by." No. Sorry. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to the issues since disability policy is sort of in my genes, but there's just no way this flies with disability advocates, is there?

Nope, there's not:
"Pregnancy is not itself a disability and, secondly, we are creating an issue for the disability community without offering a solution," said Charlotte Newhart of California NOW and the American Association of University Women.
Sorry Chuck: you're a good stag but this is bad policy.

Pretty Much

"Hillary's Major Address On Gender Issues will never happen. It can't ever happen."

And in response to a comment that sexism is nearly stamped out, Mick LaSalle says:

If it turns out you're right, great. But the thing is, when I was your age, I would have said the same thing. Women rule the universe until they're about 25. The worlds young women travel in are welcoming to young woman. You go up to an information desk and the person looks up and smiles. The temperature drops considerably when you're older, and I'd bet that the president of your company, and your university, and your country is a guy. And will still be a guy, maybe even when you're middle-aged.

I would like to be wrong. But all the young feminists that I had a good time laughing at (and the women I knew laughed at) when I was 24 and 25 have turned out to be right. You may find this to be the case, too, by the time you're in your forties, which is like 20 minutes from now.
I think a lot of sexism is gone, but what's left is more dangerous because we can't see it as well. Like jumping out of path of a speeding bus, but inhaling toxic mold when you get home. Never saw it coming.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

News As Film Ad

Card counters versus the Las Vegas casinos

At least the article mentions that there's a movie about this coming out, but other than that, what are we learning?

Canuck TV Sucks

I'm watching a show on WE. I haven't watched as much of this channel since it's 90% wedding shows and that bit's over now.

This show is called "Bulging Bridals." It's clearly Canadian - you can tell from the accents and the Cuban honeymoon. But this girl called herself a porker when she weighed in at 122 pounds on her 5'2" frame. That's a BMI of 22.3, well within the normal range. She did a 6 week bootcamp and frankly looked not so different. Her dress went from being a bit tight to shapeless on her waist since she still doesn't really have one.

Porker? With a normal BMI? She looked fine. What if she just buys a dress that fits her.

How offensive.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Please, Stop Giving Us So Much Credit

The only ones safe in a weak economy are construction and real estate litigation plaintiffs firms as this story relates. Seems KB Homes around Yuba City might have been playing fast and loose with their appraisals to keep purchase prices high and close deals. Whoopsie.

But what gets me is this closing graf:

'If we were ever to buy another home, I don't want a subdivision.' she told me. 'And no matter what, I would always hire an attorney to look at the paperwork. I'm just not as trusting any longer.'
Yeah, I hope you mean real estate attorney, or better yet, independent realtor or real estate agent. Seriously, just attorneys don't know jack about this process. Did you know we can just take the real estate agents exam without taking the classes required of non-attorneys? Yeah, because lawyers write the laws. Goofy.

Catholicism Today: Good Friday Gripe

Latin Mass is under fire in Oakland


But the revitalized tradition is drawing controversy. Some question whether the traditional rite is too outdated for a church grappling with the needs of a diverse membership and facing unprecedented challenges, such as an increasingly interreligious world.
So wait, because a lot of people are adopting less religion and more "spirituality" we're supposed to dump the religious part of our religion? Says who?

Right, other religions:

Those challenges are underscored this week, which is Holy Week. Today's Good Friday service has been criticized by many Jewish groups, for example, because the Latin liturgy includes a prayer for God to "enlighten" Jews so they will "acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men."

The Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism released a resolution saying it was "disturbed and dismayed" by the prayer and that it undermined decades of productive Jewish-Catholic relations.
In this country - in this state - is there some big Jewish-Catholic war about which I'm unaware? There are tons of religions out there trying to draft new members. A prayer seems like a pretty uninvasive means of trying to win over more people. But that's not the point.

You know, whenever I read this stories, I think back to my college Philosophy class. During the class, one of the more conservative, notorious students (tough title to win on our campus) pointed out that beliefs aren't worth much if you don't think they are, well, correct. They aren't worth that much if you won't fight for them. And they aren't worth much if you don't think others should believe them too. Yes, there are limits, parameters, and levels to beliefs. But tolerance doesn't mean agreement. Can't one religion tolerate and coexist with another, without necessarily thinking they've got it right?

And in a few years or twenty, what I just wrote will be taken out of context and used against me. That will rock.

Anyway, I dig tradition and Catholicism.

Happy Holy Week. Go to mass.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Credibility Problems On Everything But This

If you've been following the trial of Hans Reiser for the murder of his estranged wife, Nina (no body yet, but no Nina either), I hope you've read enough to think the guy's theories just don't sound plausible. All I'm saying is that I think I'd remember where and when I threw out a car seat. Not for kids, like a whole seat out of my car.

But while a lot of his commentary, as relayed in the linked article, makes me think he's an evasive, difficult witness, this part, has a slight ring of truth:

Later, Reiser said, "I am not consistent with my thinking."

"That's a hallmark of lying, isn't it?" the prosecutor asked.

"It's a hallmark of real people," Reiser replied.

No Wounds, Just Ignorance

Now, some are calling for a Superdelegate primary because if no winner is known by the end of the primaries in June, then:

we would then face a long summer of brutal and unnecessary warfare. We would face a summer of growing polarization. And we would face a summer of lost opportunities — lost opportunities to heal the wounds of the primaries, to fill the party’s coffers, to offer unified Democratic ideas for America’s challenges.
Give me a break. Do you know we have a superdelegate primary already? Yeah, it's called a convention and it is already scheduled for November. This notion that we, as a party, can't keep our eyes on the big prize as we're going forward in selecting our best face is disheartening. What, we can't multitask? Then we shouldn't preside, should we.

Seriously, though, what "wounds?" I know lately things have been getting punchier, but for the most part, this is an invigorating, high energy contest between two worthy (though maybe not stellra) candidates. And while there are still, a-hem, those out there who swear McCain is a good option if Dem Candidate X wins, I think when the rubber hits the road and the ink the ballot, they'll all vote Dem anyway.

We've spent YEARS decrying New Hampshire and Iowa's ability to determine the outcome of the primary race before a vast majority of Americans can hit the polling place. Now, with things running more like they, frankly, should run, we're screaming "hurry up!" and forgetting about the end goal in all of this.

The only "wounds" out there are the scabs being picked at by the MSM who can't do much besides report the derivative angle - the process story - on each election event. It's not what happened, it's what what-happened means. According to them. And some pundits.

Superdelegate primary? I call shenanigans.

Friday, March 14, 2008

We're Getting Beat By The CHF?

Well, the dollar is still tanking, but now it's fallen below the Swiss Franc? Are you kidding? The Swiss Franc. CHF? That was like the only place I ever felt like I was in the money while traveling in 2006 (and that was when the dollar wasn't even SO bad).

It was bad enough when the Canadian money was beating us. This is just sad.

But, on the bright side, a strong GBP is fine in my house.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Someone With HBO Watch This And Tell Me If It's Worth It

Paul Giamatti isn't my favorite actor to begin with (or maybe it's just that I though Sideways was crazy overrated), so I may agree with this assessment that his casting as John Adams could be problematic. I've always been a fan of Adams and I have the book on which this mini series is based.

I haven't read it all, but I own it. Sorry, Mom (and Amber, as it is displayed on my bookshelf). Maybe I'll start it over again.

Hey, They Don't Call It ICE For Nothing

The way we treat people sometimes . . . one wonders how the people responsible for denying this man care sleep at night:

A doctor finally ordered a biopsy in late January 2007 and said Castaneda probably had cancer, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement released him 11 days later rather than having him treated, the suit said. He underwent the biopsy and amputation at a county hospital.
And once you read what they amputated you will be even angrier. Or you should be.

'Housekeeper Sues Atherton Couple'

So, here's the deal:
A 69-year-old San Mateo woman who spent four years working as a live-in housekeeper and nanny for an Atherton couple filed suit in federal court against her former employers today, charging that they violated labor laws by working her 14-hours a day, six days a week, without overtime pay or breaks.
And if you're interested, here's the complaint.

I went to law school with one of the plaintiff's lawyers, Matt Goldberg. I don't really keep up on alumni from Hastings, so when I do come across something about our grads, especially the good ones, it makes me happy. He's a runner too - good peeps.

I wish him luck - seems like a bit of an uphill climb that is poised to earn not only some big media attention, but probably a lot of criticism as well.

I'm reading the complaint and will freely admit that, while I'm somewhat familiar with the general area of law, some of the stuff I don't get. Like the application of the unfair competition provisions of law which, trust me, don't work like you think they do or the name might imply to others. I wonder about statute of limitation questions or at least wage and hour law limitations on recovery since the housekeeper was fired in September, 2006. Can you go more than 3 years back? Oh wait, there's information on tolling agreements and stuff people playing in big kid court deal with. That's not my venue right now.

What happens if the plaintiff prevails?

At any rate - Hastings sucks nuts at promoting the work of its grads, so if I can help promote alumni in the news, I will. Sometimes. Matt deserves the credit for being one of the few who has found a way to remain firmly in the public service.

More press here and here.

Bump: The Spitzer Thing

Just to direct your attention back to this post on Spitzer which attracted the reader comment I was hoping for from a long time reader (who needs to, seriously, pick a handle and stop going with Anonymous before I thump him in the nose).

Okay, So, Does Anyone In This State Bother To Check The Law Anymore?

Between Jack O'Connell basically dismissing (or actively attempting to appear to be) the appeals court and today's story about an SEIU protest, I wonder if anyone looks anything up anymore.

So here's the deal, the Bee posted a database of state employees' salaries. It's user-friendly and fun. But at least one union is taking a very public, very angry stance:

[Service Employees International Union Local 1000] President Jim Hard told the protesters that he was "disgusted" by what he described as the paper's "crass commercialism" and "callous disregard" for his members' safety.

"Our union is completely in favor of public access to information regarding the use of their tax money, the pay scales, the classifications, the number of state employees and comparisons in any reasonable fashion to counties, cities and the public sector," Hard said. "But to post my name up there, I'd like The Bee to explain how that helps any public policy of public finance discussion or issue."
Well, for one thing, it helps me decide who should be paying for lunch, but that's just a side benefit.

The Bee defends itself, rightfully, by saying "salary information on individual employees "has long been public and available to anyone who sought it out." Such public information shouldn't be limited "to journalists or lawyers."

Of course, if I were a journalist watching my fellow writers disappear because of budget cuts, I might want to keep tighter control on information - or at least the impression that I have control over it. But nevermind.

Of course, among state employees included in the database are a vast number of peace officers whose privacy has also been afforded higher protection than non-sworn employees. But even they can't avoid disclosure, as determined by a recent California Supreme Court case (POST v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, Respondent; Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, Real Party in Interest):

This case presents the question whether the California Public Records Act (Gov.Code, § 6250 et seq.) requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (Commission) to disclose the names, employing departments, and hiring and termination dates of California peace officers included in the Commission's database. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment rendered by the superior court, which directed that the records be disclosed, because of the appellate court's conclusion that this information is obtained from peace officer personnel records which, under Penal Code sections 832.7 and 832.8, may not be disclosed except under certain statutorily prescribed circumstances. We conclude that the records at issue are not rendered confidential by those two statutes and that the records do not come within any of the exemptions contained in the Public Records Act. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal. Upon remand to the superior court, the Commission may seek to establish that information regarding particular officers or categories of officers should be excised from the disclosed records because the safety or efficacy of the officers would be jeopardized by disclosure.
So, sorry SEIU, but if peace officers can't dodge this informational bullet, I don't see why you would be able to do so.

Of course, legislative staff have been easily searchable on-line for years now. And even before the on-line database was available, their names were printed up once a year or so in hardcopy form. Same for federal legislative employees.

And all these people: Michigan, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, South Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, All U.S. Government Workers.

The Bee defends itself thusly with the best single argument against outrage being:

2. Concerns about safety being compromised by publishing the names and departments where individual workers are employed: We have considered this issue again today in light of the complaints but do not believe we are publishing information that could not easily be obtained from other public sources. State workers' names and locations, for instance, are available online through the state government employee directory. So is other information, such as employees' email addresses, that we have not published.
There's so much more about people out there that could be a problem that they haven't noticed . . . this is really no big deal.

Unless you live in a country where money is the single thing we want most but want least to talk about. Oops, we do, don't we.

But to get back to my original point, as with homeschooling and eminent domain, this is just one more example of a big deal being made out of the status quo. That no one has been paying attention to the status quo is of no consequence. I suppose ignorance is bliss - expect when subsequent education results in media storms full of bluster but devoid of substance.

Now, who do I call about lunch . . . .

p.s. The underlying concern here is captured in a comment to the story about the protest:

As a State Employee, I work for the citizens of California. As a citizen, you are entitled to know how much you are paying me to do my job. My biggest concern about this whole matter is you as taxpayers may not beleive I am worth what your paying me!!
And there's the problem: directing more attention to state salaries results in focusing on the very highest echelons of salaries which results in non-state-employees pitching a fit (at the suggestion of media, natch) about unfairly high wages. Of course, in the private sector, everyone wants to be paid more, right? I do. Who doesn't? We all want more stuff, more security, more comfort, college for our kids, etc. But we're missing the point if we blame state employees for our not having more money ourselves. They're the butt of jokes and consistently told they aren't worth what they are being paid. Somehow, they should serve us as an act of charity on their part. Some critical state jobs are so poorly paid compared to private jobs or even other jurisdictions that the state loses qualified people. Then we're left with either vacancies or lesser qualified individuals. Which results sometimes in mistakes that anger the public and make them question why state workers are paid "so much." And they cycle continues.

Like this blogger says - save yourselves, don't work for us.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Politics And Gender

This is the second sort of odd take on the Spitzer scandal I've read today. Here was the first. What does each tell us about our relationship with gender, politics, power, and morality?

Politics And Comedy

Ding! A Phoblog favorite, you know it!

The LAT on SNL and HRC.


Politics And Science

Tonight's going to be a great politics-and night. First up, science:

As an evolutionary biologist, I look at New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's now-public sexual indiscretions and feel justified in saying, "I told you so."

One of the most startling discoveries of the last 15 years has been the extent of sexual infidelity (scientists call it "extra-pair copulations" or EPCs) among animals long thought to be monogamous. It's clear that social monogamy -- physical association and child rearing between a male and a female -- and sexual monogamy are very different things. The former is common; the latter is rare.
"Right!" said Spitzer, "she blinded me with science!"

The only thing in the article that seems incredible is the inclusion of Larry Craig in the list of sex-scandal marred politicians. I don't think evolutionary biology explains HIS transgression, does it?

Idol Recap In 3 Words

David was robbed!

Please send Kristy Lee Cook home next week. Not only can girlfriend not sing so well, but the wide-eyed, oooooh-the-big-city-is-so-new-to-me act makes me mad. She had a dang record deal (country music - wow, Randy was right!) and was dropped. Even that Carly girl has sort of copped to her recording industry past.

Oh well.

So You Think You Can Dance starts right after Idol ends. Only, what, 11 weeks to go!

Finally, Something To Distract Us From This Primary Nonsense

So he's quitting, we know that. But there's been lots more coverage, it seems, on Spitzer's wife standing painfully at his side through two crappy press conferences.

I know I have a reader who was, if memory serves, gonzo over Spitzer when he was running for Governor.

So, are you there and if so, got anything to say about this? I'm bummed for you - no one should have to see someone they believe in exposed as a jerk.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Annnnnnd, There It Is

Schwarzenegger denounces 'outrageous' homeschooling ruling

Said Schwarzenegger: "Each day I hear news about more laws that exist in the state I was elected to govern which come as both a shock and a disappointment to me. Someone should have told me about these laws forever ago. I didn't know I could have been outraged all along at this 1953 homeschooling ruling, but now that I do know, I fully intend on making up for lost time."

Reader Contest: Answer The Question!

No, this isn't a double post, there's just ANOTHER GOP GOP political worker who's been fired over visa problems - this time a damn dirty Canadian who tried to collect two paychecks with two visas, a no-no in US immi law. One per customer, kids. Don't confuse the guy in this article with the Australian who got sacked for his immigration law violations and subsequent stupidity in handling them, and nondisclosure.

But let's get to the contest part. Please answer the question, in bold below:

Sources said that some officials in the state GOP discussed hiring an immigration attorney to defend Matthews after the news stories revealed the apparent violation.

But that idea was scrapped after other party leaders argued that spending money to defend Matthews could subject state GOP officials - who have often been outspoken in their criticism of illegal immigration - to charges of hypocrisy.

"Would they have done that if his name was Mario Lopez?" asked one GOP official who was in on the discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity.
If you don't see why that's funny already . . . . Pony up your answers in the comments section. Good luck!

Homeschooling Isn't Really Legal?

I don't know much about homeschooling, but I know more now, like a lot of California homeschooling parents are probably breaking the law, and there's no right of homeschooling in California. Kids need to be taught by a credentialed teacher.

If you follow the link above (hey, someone else with an old-skool orange blogger blog!) through to the article, you'll see an insane number of comments on the issue. I'm sure, as the other blog says, this is going to be a poo-storm of rhetoric and I'll put $5 on a ballot measure inserting some bogus homeschooling right into the Cali Constitution. Joy. Most annoying is that this latest case, as mentioned, doesn't break new ground, it just breaks the news at a time when rapid response is way too easily facilitated by nutty advocacy groups.

Ignorance is bliss. These court cases are hell.

Maybe We Need Another Congressional Hearing

Pro Golfer Apologizes for Killing Hawk

So some golfer gets made that a hawk won't shut up while he's filming a video. He drives his cart over to it and then drives balls at it. The hawk doesn't flinch. Then later it flies closer and makes more noise. So the golfer starts chipping balls at it again. Finally, he nails it and kills it. Oh, but he didn't intend the bird any malice and he and his family have adopted cats, see they love animals. A crew member on the shoot (who said nothing to stop the golfer - neither did any of the crew) said of the incident:

Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot, said hitting the bird was "basically like a joke to Isenhour)."

"He just kept saying how he didn't think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA Tour golfer to say," Senger said. "He can put a ball in a hole from hundreds of yards away, and here he is hitting line drives at something that's, I don't know, a couple hundred feet away?"
Ugh. Man. Screw steroid usage, this kind of misbehavior from adults should be cause for concern. Who does that? A guy named "Tripp" I suppose. What an ass.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Do Over!

Hey y'all, remember that time that we, Michigan and Florida, got all pissed because the DNC let stupid Iowa and New Hampshire move THEIR primaries up be first, as always, and then we tried to move ours early but we got in trouble so they took away our delegates? Can we call a do-over? Seriously, come on. We appreciate the irony that had we left our shiznit alone, we'd have played a critical role in the race now. How were we to know?!

Ah, sweet political irony, how I love thee.

The new contests could be part of a strategy for Clinton to come back in the race and attract votes from superdelegates who are not bound by any primary or caucus votes, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told the network. "Let's assume for the moment Hillary Clinton wins Ohio and Texas, she wins Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan have primaries in June, she wins both of those," said Rendell, who has endorsed Clinton. "Then, can the superdelegates look at that and say, `Gosh, she's won the last five big primaries in a row. She's won almost every big primary since we began.'"

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter, told the Detroit Free Press that Clinton's victory in Ohio changes "the landscape a bit." She said it could open the door to a caucus, if it can be privately funded and both candidates agree.
Emphasize privately funded and maybe - mayyyybe this plan could make sense. The governors of both states are "demanding" the national party seat their delegates. I think the governors should have demanded their state party leadership and whomever calendars elections there not be so damn knee-jerk and try to play ball against the flippin' DNC. How about that?

By the way, Jennifer Granholm is frequently cited as a woman who would make a superb president. Sadly, she's a dang Canadian by birth, so she can join Madeline Albright in our American Hall of Fame for Amazing Women We Can't Draft.

Anyway - DNC Chair Howard "If Only" Dean summed it up the only way he could (but I'm still glad he said it this way):

"The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game," he said.
Just another exciting chapter in the 2008 primary cycle - the election that's done more to awaken Americans to the existance of political parties than I think anyone would have predicted we needed. Good stuff.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tomorrow's Headlines Tonight

Hillary Clinton won three out of four contests and vows to fight on - at least that's Nora O'Donnell's take on the sitch. And it's, of course, the most likely headline the Clinton camp will repeat and appreciate in the coming weeks. Delegate count seems to have been less important as Obama won "11 in a row" and so why wouldn't the headline be "Clinton beats odds with 3 out of 4 close states choosing her over the seemingly unstoppable Obama." It's numbers AND expectations - wohooo!

Of course if life mimics SNL, then the headlines will focus on delegate counts instead.

Hillary said - as she went wheels-up on her way back to DC - that tonight with 3/4 wins begins a "New Chapter" in her campaign. Mmmm, warm rhetoric - sweet like political apple pie.

How we doing on totals?

Oh look. We still don't know anything. Oh well, still makes for great theater. You can't spell MSNBC without Mmmmm!

You know, Tim Russert referenced a memo that, supposedly, the Obama camp mistakenly sent to Bloomberg that forecasted an uncannily accurate future, calling the results of tonight's races nearly spot-on. My quick google of the subject didn't give me much and I lack the attention span to google more thoroughly, but it seems like the Obama camp has a genius for a pollster. Then again, I suppose the law of averages would hold that SOME pollster has to be right SOMEtime - maybe this was just dude's month.

Someone asked me earlier today what I thought the outcome would be. I predicted Ohio to Obama and Texas to Hillary, by a smaller margin than Obama would carry Ohio. So I was wrong pretty early in the evening. I didn't think Hillary would get both - then again, she does seem to get delegate rich states, while Obama just gets MORE states.

So now its on to Pennsylvania. Ah, Pennsylvania - home to Philly and all the political operative fund within its city limits. One word, y'all: turnout. Some talking head tonight implied that Obama had a better field operation than Clinton. Moreover, that Hillary DIDN'T have a field program. Given the kind of supporters and campaign staff she has, I find that hard to believe, though it does seem like Obama is the Dean 2.0 insofaras he has united new media with old school organization. Field is ultra-important. And as 2004 taught us, GOTVing the right parts of Pennsylvania will get you everywhere.

The question seems to be whether the lag time between now and PA a boon for the candidates or something that will potentially bust Democratic interest and energy. Guess we'll know eventually.

Everyone Loves A Clip Show

Friend and reader - and Ohio HRC scheduler Catherine passes on this YouTube clip good for a chuckle (so long as you don't dwell on which Jack characters are used. Not that there are many sympathetic Jacks, but these are some bad ones):

Of course, what good is a clip without a paradoy to go with it:

The part I don't get with the parody is the line about Clinton even trying to insult Obama by comparing him to MLK, Jr. I must not remember that story too well, but that statement makes no sense. Is the meaning that she tried to make a comparison an insult or that a comparison is an insult? Either way, not getting it.

Tonight should be interesting . . . and get me a Chris Matthews hit. You know I love me some Matthews Mayhem and Political History Allusion Fest.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How Does This Guy Command A Paycheck, Credibility?

Seriously, I'm very curious. Because I remember that pesky Valerie Plame thing. But no Bob Novak gets to keep writing. Here, it's about Clinton's failed attempts - according to him - to link Obama with Chicago baddy Rezko. He's trying to make Clinton's non-story a story about how her non-story couldn't be a story? Or something like that. Kinda weak.