Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Bill Buckley has passed away. Like a commenter named Sailmaker said over at TPM Cafe:
"I've respected Buckley for his intelligence and wit. He was one of those people one is glad to have as an adversary, even while almost never agreeing with him."
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Chris Dodd endorses Barack Obama, and calls for unity:
Sen. Christopher Dodd endorsed one-time presidential rival Barack Obama on Tuesday and said it is time for Democrats to join forces to defeat the Republicans in the fall campaign.
''I don't want a campaign that is divisive here, and there's a danger in that,'' Dodd said, although he denied he was nudging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to end her candidacy.
Dodd said Obama was ''ready to be president and I am ready to support him in this campaign.''
The two men appeared together at a news conference. Dodd is the first of the Democratic campaign dropouts to endorse another candidate.
He said Obama ''has been poked and prodded, analyzed and criticized, called too green, too trusting and for all of that has already won'' more than half the states and millions of votes.
''It's now the hour to come together. ... This is the moment for Democrats and independents and others to come together, to get behind this candidacy,'' he said.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Bill Clinton said within the last week that Texas was do-or-die. CNN's poll is indicating Obama ahead: with a week to go, this will only get worse for Hillary. Here's hoping she bows out gracefully, and returns to the Senate with dignity intact. (Something tells me that "hope" may be a little too "audacious", so to speak. Hope I'm wrong.)
[UPDATE] A new SUSA poll has Obama up by 4. More confirmation that events have passed Hillary by.
Robert Reich, on the resemblance of Barack Obama's movement to the idealism of another time:
It is easy for cynics to write off Obamania as a passing fad, as lofty rhetoric that can't and won't hold up on close inspection -- another bout of the kind of naive and romantic enthrallment that occasionally claims American voters until common sense sets in. This is surely what Hillary Clinton and my friend from forty years ago [Bill Clinton, classmate at Oxford] are counting on. But if the Clintons stop to think back to what they felt and understood in those years leading up to 1968, they may come to a different conclusion, as have I.
It occurs to me that the Republicans have been using the rhetoric and imagery straight out of the Sixties, to try and revive, and this time win, the fights from that turbulent decade.
Be careful what you wish for, Republicans. A tsunami is making its presence felt: the waters of conservatism are receding rapidly, and a gathering roar can be heard approaching.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
...and what it is, is becoming clear: Obama is nearing 1 million donors to his campaign. Not one million dollars - one million donors.
Barack Obama has a Bona Fide movement working for him - the average donation to his campaign (last I checked a couple months ago) is under $100. His candidacy is already changing the political game: rather than relying on fat-cat donors to finance his campaign, his looking to ordinary Joes to do it.
His campaign is a 21st Century Populist movement.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
In a development that should make Republicans nervous, Obama got more votes (619,000) in Virginia than all the Republican candidates combined (485,000). In fact, the combined Democratic vote in Virginia was more than double the combined Republican vote. And this in a state that hasn't voted Democratic in a Presidential election since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson wiped Barry Goldwater off the map. If the Democratic enthusiasm is running so high in places like Virginia, what's going to happen in the general election in true swing states like Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado?
Posted by Matt Talbot at 11:08 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Justice Scalia to the BBC:
Justice Scalia argued that courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions.
"I suppose it's the same thing about so-called [Note from Matt: 'so called'?!]" torture. Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the constitution?" he asked.
"It would be absurd to say you couldn't do that. And once you acknowledge that, we're into a different game.
"How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?"
Posted by Matt Talbot at 3:44 PM
California doctors are being asked to look for (and report to Blue Cross/Blue Shield) any evidence of pre-existing conditions in patients, so that those patients can be dropped from coverage.
Some of my fellow Catholics oppose Single-Payer Healthcare because (they claim) it would violate the principle of subsidiarity, and thus would be a grave evil.
I think the actions of Blue Cross-Blue Shield are the latest sign that the private insurance model is unable to perform the function of providing healthcare to all Americans. Time for a Universal, Single-Payer plan.
Posted by Matt Talbot at 11:12 AM
Monday, February 11, 2008
The following ad is, in my humble opinion, the worst campaign ad ever run by a major campaign for any office, in the history of the United States. This sets some sort of record for out-of-touch cluelessness:
No wonder she fired her campaign manager. This ad is enough to make you wonder whether Karl Rove has some sort of mole over in the Clinton machine, throwing sand in the gears.
This ad reminds me of when I was a middle-schooler, and my dad would try to act cool and hip when I had my friends over, and only succeeded in making himself ridiculous (and making his son pray for sweet death to come and end his terminal embarrassment.)
Posted by Matt Talbot at 3:49 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
The Nets have called Maine for Obama, by 59 - 41. Hillary's fired her campaign manager (probably about a month too late to make a difference.)
Next up, Obama is set to do well in, and possibly sweep, the "Potomac Primary" on Tuesday.
A week after that, Wisconsin - which is a tough call at this point, though a poll on February 7th showed Hillary leading 50-41. My current sense is that this will be a narrow win for Clinton, with the state's delegates more or less evenly split between Clinton and Obama.
Hillary's last chance to lay any plausible claim to being a front runner is on March 4th, when Texas and Ohio vote. If she wins these convincingly, and then wins Pennsylvania in April, she can make a plausible case that she's back in it. If Obama takes one of those, it gets harder for her: if he takes two of the three, it's over for the Clinton campaign.
Posted by Matt Talbot at 5:06 PM
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
"My name is Safa Younis. I'm 12 years old."
The interviewer asks, "What did the American soldiers do when they broke into the house?"
"They knocked at the door," Younis says. "My father went to open it, they shot him dead from behind the door, and then they shot him again after they opened the door."
She describes hearing the Marines go through the rest of the house, shooting and setting off a grenade before getting to the bedroom where she was with her mother and siblings.
"Then comes one American soldier and shot [at] us all," she says. "I pretended to be dead ... and he did not know about me."
May God bless Safa Younis and the surviving members of her family; May God be merciful to the Marines who killed her father, and to the commanders and president who put them in that situation; and most of all, may God be merciful to me for my silence.
Monday, February 04, 2008
I just rediscovered this powerful essay. Read it and remember. An excerpt:
Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.
Posted by Matt Talbot at 10:29 PM