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Hillary, God Is Trying To Tell You Something

Step 1. Tell people to bet on an underdog horse in the Kentucky Derby that not only loses to a horse named "Big Brown," but breaks both of its legs and has to be put down in front of everybody. Hillary, God is trying to tell you something!

Step 2. Send out negative mailers in Indiana, one of which attacks Obama on guns by using the image of a gun that doesn't exist! Trying to connect with rural Hoosiers, Clinton's folk used the model of a $2,200 German gun that was often used as... A SNIPER RIFLE. You can't write comedy this good people. Step 3. Claim you don't listen to economists and refer to facts as "elite" in trying to defend your flamboyantly stupid gas tax holiday idea. It's a stupid idea proposed by a person who assumes all Americans are stupid. It's not only pandering but condescending and dangerous. From Robert Reich

When asked this morning by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos if she could name a single economist who backs her call for a gas tax holiday this summer, HRC said "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists.” I know several of the economists who have been advising Senator Clinton, so I phoned them right after I heard this. I reached two of them. One hadn’t heard her remark and said he couldn’t believe she’d say it. The other had heard it and shrugged it off as “politics as usual.”
Just substitute the term "scientists" for "economists" and you have yourself a working model of President George W. Bush who couldn't be bothered with things like "evidence" and "facts." Soon, Hillary will explain that "a higher power" told her that the gas tax holiday was a good idea and then she will explain that she knows how hard it is for people to put food on their families. I wouldn't misunderestimate her if I were you. Not satisfied to dis every single economist, Hillary went a step further... (from TPM)
Could she name a single economist who agrees with her support for the gas tax holiday? Hillary sidestepped the question, and tried to use the complete dearth of expert support for the idea to her advantage, pointing to it as proof that she's on the side of ordinary folks against "elite opinion" -- a phrase she used twice. "I think we've been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion behind policies that haven't worked well for hard working Americans," she said. A bit later she added: "It's really odd to me that arguing to give relief to a vast majority of Americans creates this incredible pushback...Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that don't benefit" the vast majority of the American people.
Sadly, this works on some people. From the NY Times Blog
Senator Barack Obama has derided the gas-tax suspension as a gimmick that would save consumers little and cost thousands of jobs. Kara Glennon, a member of the audience at a town-hall-style meeting, seemed to agree. Gas prices are “not academic” for her, she told Mrs. Clinton, because she makes less than $25,000 a year — and then she accused Mrs. Clinton of pandering. “Call me crazy, but I listen to economists because I think I know what they studied,” she said. However, in an interview afterward, Mark Moorman, another audience member and a firefighter, said he shared Mrs. Clinton’s mistrust of experts. Political candidates cite economists but they “never say anybody’s name, or where the study came from,” Mr. Moorman said. “So as far as me, it doesn’t have no relevance.”
This is such dangerous ground. Hillary is playing to people's ignorance and stupidity. By labeling sound facts and evidence as "elite," she's making it acceptable and desirable to be stupid. More than her irresponsible threats against Iran, this strategy makes it clear that Hillary would continue the third term of the Bush administration. She's doing exactly what Bush did: obscure your multimillionaire lifestyle by falsely identifying with an idealized version of "regular folk" and deriding "fancy" things like facts and education by labeling them as "elite." For seven years, we've suffered under the reign of a man who governed from his "gut" and dismissed the advice of scientists, teachers, military experts and more. That hasn't worked out so well. Democratic voters and superdelegates need to put this horse down.

Hillary On Working Class Whites In 1995: "Screw 'Em"

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics Barack Obama is rubber. Hillary Clinton is glue. Everything she says about him bounces back and sticks to her. Everything. From Huffington Post:
In January 1995, as the Clintons were licking their wounds from the 1994 congressional elections, a debate emerged at a retreat at Camp David. Should the administration make overtures to working class white southerners who had all but forsaken the Democratic Party? The then-first lady took a less than inclusive approach. "Screw 'em," she told her husband. "You don't owe them a thing, Bill. They're doing nothing for you; you don't have to do anything for them." ...those who were at the event say the 1995 episode fits into her larger political viewpoint. As Harry Boyte, the director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Democracy and Citizenship who was at the retreat, told The Huffington Post: "[Hillary Clinton] sees herself as the champion of the oppressed, but there is always a kind of good guy versus bad guy mentality. The comment before that was that 'the Reagan Democrats are our enemies and they weren't on our side,' and she was agreeing with that comment. She said we should write them off: screw them."
There you have it. Screw them. Screw those people with values. Screw those hunters. Screw those church-goers. Screw those people whose hypothetical offense I am exploiting for short-term political gain. It doesn't matter why they might be frustrated. She doesn't try to explain it. She writes them off. That's just cold. She's so full of excrement, this one. The article continues, explaining that after her comments, Bill Clinton stepped in to explain (I've highlighted a few sections for later focus):
I know how you feel. I understand Hillary's sense of outrage. It makes me mad too. Sure, we lost our base in the South; our boys voted for Gingrich. But let me tell you something. I know these boys. I grew up with them. Hardworking, poor, white boys, who feel left out, feel that our reforms always come at their expense. Think about it, every progressive advance our country has made since the Civil War has been on their backs. They're the ones asked to pay the price of progress. Now, we are the party of progress, but let me tell you, until we find a way to include these boys in our programs, until we stop making them pay the whole price of liberty for others, we are never going to unite our party, never really going to have change that sticks.
The HuffPo author seems to think that the above "is remarkably similar to what Obama was trying to convey in his now controversial remarks about small town America." He's wrong. I bolded a few sections above which caused me to pause. Bill goes far beyond anything Obama was trying to say. Bill says that "our reforms" came at "their expense" and amazingly claims that they've paid the whole price of liberty for others. What a paternalistic nincompoop. I'm sure poor Southern white men have suffered the neglect of a corporate-driven system that overlooks them. All poor people have. I'm sure it was painful for many white supremacists in this group to watch women and blacks start working and voting. But to somehow claim that this group paid the whole price of "liberty for others" is stunning. How magnificently twisted of you Mr. Clinton. Here I am thinking that the liberation of any is the liberation of all, that a society which begins to value the least of us can finally truly value each of us. Here I am thinking that the "liberty of others" might have been fought for and paid for in blood by those very "others" through marching and lynchings and state-sponsored terrorism, but apparently it was all due to hardworking, poor, white boys. This sounds similar to Hillary's "it took a president to get it done" comment which sparked so much ugliness in this campaign back in January. It's never the oppressed working hard, fighting and dying for their freedom. It's always somebody else. Thanks for the clarification, Bill. Now kindly, take your opportunistic, back-stabbing, kamikaze wife and your patriarchal, historically revisionist ass, and shut the fuck up.

Easy Question: Are PA Voters Actually Offended?

cross-posted to jack and jill politics It's a simple question. All these old, white millionaires on TV are saying Obama made a big mistake. That he chose poor words. That he offended small-town Pennsylvania. How do they know? They all live in Los Angeles and Manhattan. They eat sushi and drink mad lattes. They read the NY Times. None of these commentators owns a gun. I bet most don't go to church. I bet most don't know financial hardship because their town wasn't decimated by the end of the industrial era in this country. It's all bullshit. Almost everything you see on TV is just bullshit. These idiots have big ass microphones and cameras and soapboxes. They are in the top percentile of wage-earners. Yet somehow they know the hearts and minds of a rural voter? It's a complete farce. They waited all of 30 seconds to say his comments were wrong, but they didn't ask any of these allegedly-0ffended voters. They just made it up. They pulled political analysis right out of their buttholes. And yet, their uninformed opinions dominate the news and dominate the discussion. Just look how much time we've spent on this topic, and we're supposed to be new media. Granted, I think we serve a useful purpose in these distraction-debates when we call bullshit. When we counter with information. When we don't simply amplify or get baited (like Hillary) into a meaningless conversation. However, it's not easy. So do I have special insight? Not much, but I have family that's lived in rural PA and post-industrial Michigan. I also think I use my brain more than these TV people. And I still live in the real world. The dangerous part is that if PA voters were not offended before, they might be now because they don't hear the context of Obama's statement (a reaction to a question about what they might face as volunteers going to PA). They only hear "elite" and "out of touch" and "condescending." Thus Obama gets defined beyond his control. If it could happen to Max Cleland, of course it can happen to a half-black dude who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia and graduated from Columbia and Harvard. It's so frightening and certainly not isolated to this candidate or this event. So, can anyone point to actual -- and I know this is crazy -- evidence that rural or post-industrial small town voters would be offended by Obama's comments? If not, then just realize we're all being bamboozled and distracted. Meanwhile, there are food riots in the developing world due.
In the last year, the price of wheat has tripled, corn doubled, and rice almost doubled. As prices soared, food riots have broken out in about 20 poor countries including Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, and Mexico. In response some countries, such as India, Pakistan Egypt and Vietnam, are banning the export of grains and imposing food price controls. Are rising food prices the result of the economic dynamism of China and India, in which newly prosperous consumers are demanding more food—especially more meat? Perennial doomsters such as the Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown predicted more than a decade ago that China's growing food demand would destabilize global markets and signal a permanent increase in grain prices. But that thesis has so far not been borne out by the facts. China is a net grain exporter. India is also largely self-sufficient in grains. At some time in the future, these countries may become net grain importers, but they are not now and so cannot be blamed to for today's higher food prices. If surging demand is not the problem, what is? In three words: stupid energy policies.
I'll be writing more about energy and food policy later.

Combatting Ignorance: Report From Someone Actually At The Obama San Fran Event

cross-posted to jack and jill politics What would we do if all we had were cable news yappers and Clinton backstabbers to explain what was going on? Read the entire thing. Here's an excerpt:
Imagine my surprise to see an article in the Huffington Post by Mayhill Fowler describing his answer as "a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience." and his answer being like "explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a Turkeyfoot from a Marin County." I guess Ms. Fowler thought that, unlike herself, the other attendees had never gone outside the large house in Pacific Heights where the event was held. I grew up working class in Texas. I thought it ironic that Ms Fowler, was attempting to paint Obama as a condescending elitist, while at the same time she was stereotyping everybody at the event with her omniscient insight. In any case, her agenda was clear. Despite Ms. Fowler talking about the people at the fundraiser being middle class in an earlier post, the "rich man poor man" theme fit better with the "Obama as a judgmental elite, talking to judgmental elites" spin. This also seemed to fit with some of her earlier articles where she had described Obama as cocky, arrogant, and even "flirty". What a coincidence that she now writes an article putting another twist on Obama's personality. All she had to do was a sneak a recorder in an small event for Obama supporters and do a little bit of crafty writing and out of context editing. Now Fox News and Lou Dobbs are having a field day.
I say again, the people moderating our political discourse are dangerously unqualified and irresponsible. I'm amazed this country still functions at all with the amount of well-financed ignorance that passes for media coverage. Amazed.