Monday, December 31, 2007

2.0 Screen Time, 5.0 Face Time, Of Racialism, Progressive Group Dynamics

Recently a reporter asked Google CEO Eric Schmidt what he thought of 2.0 and what he thought 3.0 might be. He said 2.0 was just a marketing term. Not so. 2.0 is a very concrete milestone for web technology.

Web 5.0: Face Time
A Web 3.0 Manifesto

The other day I was hanging out with team member two - I stole him from Morgan Stanley, they just promoted him, but he is quitting nevertheless - of my tech startup at his place, his girlfriend who lives in New Haven and cousin who lived only a few blocks away, joined a little later, my first time seeing them. And when it was just the two of us early on, at one point he was saying 5.0 this and 5.0 that. And I said, "I hope you realize you and I are the only people who talk of 5.0." The term has not caught on.

I lived cloud group dynamics for two years for Nepal's democracy and social justice movements. The price I paid: weak social muscles. After we hung out for a little while, an hour or two, more perhaps, the idea of going to the movie came up. I skipped that part. It got a little too much for me. I later wrote to him: sorry, weak social muscles. Cab drivers who don't get into the habit of daily, elaborate exercise end up with back problems. 2.0 cloud group dyanmics, if not accompanied by a rich emotional, social life, can result in weak social muscles. It is an occupational hazard. As we build our team, we will have to remember. 5.0 is key.

2.0 and 5.0 have to go hand in hand. That is a given for my startup. Recently I suggested the same for DL21C, an organization I have long respected as the top political organization in the city.

I Want To Join The DL21C Steering Committee

I suggested the 2.0, 5.0 thing to DL21C, but there are a few differences. With my startup, I just go ahead and decide. A political organization is a different organism. But its adoption of 2.0 and 5.0 does not have to be as total as for my startup. But I can't see how it can skip it entirely.

Made me think, though.

Imagine a high quality video. Then you reduce the quality of the video. Then you turn it black and white. Then you get rid of the imagery altogether. Then you get rid of the music. Then you put the words from the video down on a piece of paper. Face time can be said to be that high quality video, an email is that piece of paper with words only.

When I put out theories on gender, I am always worried if I am just talking stereotypes, or if I am upto something after all. Like the proposition that men are instrumental - think action movies - and women are relational. The high quality video is great for the relational mindset. You see many details to the conversation that you want to see. But to the instrumental mindset, the email works just fine. The mind does not even know what it is missing. But to the relational mindset, an email has many fill in the blanks. You see meaning that was not put in there, but to you it is as real as if it was put in there. Can lead to a lot of misunderstanding and confusion.

So there is that major content difference between 2.0 and 5.0. But 2.0 does not just come in the form of words. Besides content, there is a major interactivity difference.

TV is not interactive. It is one way. You watch. Newspapers are not interactive: crossword puzzles don't count, or not that much. But when the internet came along, it was different. It was interactive. You could click, you could search, you could send and receive email. That was Web 1.0. The current DL21C website is a great example of a Web 1.0 site. All Web 2.0 did was take interactivity to a whole new level. So much more interaction became possible. Facebook is the flagship example of a 2.0 application.

Geography is irrelevant. That is the basic postulate that makes the current technology feel highly inadequate. All the features are not there. And perhaps the richness of face time will never really be replicated.

But compare 2.0 interactivity to 5.0 interactivity. Face time interactivity is so much richer. There are so many additional elements. There is so much more emotional interplay during face time. The degree of difference is just humongous.

Content, interactivity. And then there is the social dynamic that comes into play.

To overgeneralize, let's say Queens is a largely brown crowd, Brooklyn is a largely black crowd, Manhattan is a largely white crowd, Bronx is primarily Hispanic. New York City is at once the capital city of the world, the most diverse place on earth, and also its most segregated in some ways.

So when someone brown like me shows up at a "progressive" event that is predominantly white, I don't hear alarm bells ringing in my head, but I do notice it is a predominantly white crowd, and it is racial, not racist, but racial.

It did not take me long to get to know all the top people at all the top political organizations in Manhattan after I moved into the city. And I can stand my own when it comes to politics. And over time you do get to know a few people here, a few people there. And at that point the city feels like a small town.

But this city is the Amazon forest of humanity: all possible human life forms live in this city. You routinely meet jerks. I don't love this city because it is devoid of racists, but because they might reveal themselves once, but then they don't have to stay in your face.

My favorite one is where some random, dumbass white guy will go ahead and "slap" a conversation between a white woman and a nonwhite guy. It is like they sense budding intimacy and will not put up with it. There are a few problems with that. First, not everyone is trying to hook up. Most conversations are social. Second, he is invading the personal space of two individuals and is being racist and sexist at the same time in suggesting who these two individuals may or may not talk to, or to what extent. Such dumbasses are ripe targets for some basic verbal jujutsu. One oneliner, and they don't know what to think next.

There is an underlying value system that decides why a crowd is predominantly brown, or black, or white or Hispanic. A total reliance on 5.0 says that value system comes before the individual. And that is why I put so much emphasis on a seamless 2.0 and 5.0. For political action, that is my big reason to emphasize 2.0. I can't imagine a decided move towards a post-ISMs individual group dynamic without a seamless 2.0 and 5.0.

And there is a major major efficiency issue. 2.0 is just so much more efficient. 2.0 enriches 5.0.

So: content, interactivity, post-ISMs individual group dynamics, and efficiency. But then there is another angle to content. There's all that stuff online that I just can not convey during face time. I will have to email you a blog post to make a point once in a while.

As to what particular combo of 2.0 and 5.0 is right for an individual, it is for the individual to decide. The same applies to organizations. For my startup, it is total, with an emphasis on 2.0. For a political organization like DL21C, it can be a Lite version, with the major emphasis on 5.0.

DL21C has an enormous reservoir of untapped social and political capital in terms of all the members it has in three big cities, and all the guests it is able to summon: pretty much the who is who of American politics. I wish there were a movies version of DL21C, I'd like to meet Al Pacino, I once said to Elizabeth. DL21C is like Arabs before they realized they were sitting on top of oil, politically speaking.

December Baby?

John Hot Air Edwards

John Edwards rose from a humble background - "son of a mill worker" - to build a very big, fancy house in North Carolina. He worked for a hedge fund when hedge funds were still cool. He took a "break" from campaigning to go on a "poverty tour" for a week, was it this summer? This firebrand messiah of the working classes used to talk of "two Americas." Many have seemingly flocked to him as the last white male hurrah. C'mon people, this is a job application. Let the best qualified person win, regardless of skin color.

I like John Edwards as I like the rest of the Democratic fiend. I can't remember the last time the Dems had it this good. But this guy is not going to be president. This guy should not be president. He is a loving husband who says the word "fight" so much because he wants his wife to fight her cancer. He knows he is not going to win this race, but he is in to make a statement. He wants the working classes to be heard. And I will not have it any other way.

But this is not a guy you can imagine in the Oval Office. He wants to nuke the insurance companies to get to universal health insurance. He wants to offer vouchers so some families can escape the dead end of the inner cities. Look at the picture of his house above. This guy does not get it.

The working white males of the unions have got behind him because it is identity politics. He is white, he is male, his father was a "mill worker," and he has taken to breathing fire. The nice guy of 2004 is gone.

He will make you feel good, but he will not get anything done. First, he will not win. For him it is a matter of dropping out after Iowa, or after New Hampshire, or after Nevada, or after South Carolina. That is as far as he goes. He does not get to see February 5. If he finished third in Iowa, he is over after Iowa.

But if by some miracle he were to become president, he will have to disown his fire if he is to begin to start to doing anything.

What a waste. You get the working classes, and the union households excited, and to what end?

Barack is the one who will deliver. He is the one who is looking at the big picture. No, you don't nuke the insurance companies, but you make sure they are not the only ones at the table. It is that approach that will bring health care for all.

We don't need more fire. We need more light.

Don't Count John Edwards Out Yet
John Edwards, Voucher Man, Is A Republican
PBS Debate: Hillary Was Strong, Barack Was Warm, Edwards Was Composed
McCain Is 1970s, Hillary Is 1990s, Edwards Is 2004, Obama Is Today
John Edwards: Antiwar

"The Congress spends money like John Edwards at a beauty shop."
- Mike Huckabee

In The News

Deadly Rioting Over Kenyan Election Results
ABC News
Obama campaign touts crowd sizes
Baltimore Sun his crowds have been significantly outsizing those of rivals John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in the Iowa battleground. ...... his events have drawn more than double the attendance of Edwards events in several Iowa cities. ..... In the match-ups with Clinton, they contend Obama draws at least 50 percent more people. ..... The crowd sizes are also a testament to organization
Obama, Edwards look beyond Iowa, NH Boston Globe Plouffe outlined a 24-slide presentation that not only details what he called growing momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire, but also describes progress in Nevada, where Democrats caucus on Jan. 19; South Carolina, which votes Jan. 26; and in the Feb. 5 super primary. ...... has the minimum of $100 million to compete in the first 26 states to vote, has 32 offices in 17 of the 22 states scheduled to vote on Feb. 5; and has the highest favorable ratings and electability findings among the leading Democrats.
Obama's Campaign Manager Makes The Case Atlantic Online gently eviscerating (thanks, Mark Leibovich, for the phrase) John Edwards's chances after Iowa, contending that he has no organization to speak of in most of the states following Iowa and is severely limited as to what he can raise and spend. ............. Obama "has the dominant field organization in Iowa" and is well positioned to win "with even the most aggressive turnout models." And Obama is strong outside the cities, Plouffe said. "We believe we're going to be viable in every county, in every precinct." ........ Obama is the strongest second choice preference among those Democrats most likely to caucus. ....... "Sen. Edwards will have no operation to speak of in the Feb. 5 states. I believe Sen. Clinton has political or field organizations in five or six of those states. We have, I believe, 17 of the 22 states covered." ......... John Edwards .. can spend only $17M more between now and Democratic National Convention. ......... the campaign's internal polling shows Obama leading in New Hampshire. ...... the campaign estimates turnout among African Americans in South Carolina will be well above 50%. ...... "We believe that by Feb 6., we'll be turning our attention to the general election."
Obama's Middle Class Appeal Washington Post Meet Barack Obama, man of the people. ..... The Illinois senator is weaving new threads about his life into his stump speech, recalling a time not long ago when he was a member of the beleaguered middle class ..... ordinary problems, like daycare and housing costs, that he and his wife Michelle confronted as recently as five or six years ago, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate and became a best selling author. ....... "We were still struggling with all the student loans we had to pay off after law school, because neither of us were rich," he said. "Our parents couldn't provide us with all that education. We had to borrow. We hadn't started a college fund yet for our kids. We hadn't started saving for retirement. We had some credit cards we had to deal with. We were living in a small condo that was getting a little too small for our two kids." ..... People nodded their heads. "I was doing the grocery shopping," Obama continued. "Michelle shopped at Target. She does still shop at Target. She really loves Target." He quoted his wife telling him, "I think one of the reasons you'd make a good president now is...we're not that far from being normal." ...... "That's why I didn't become a trial lawyer," Obama told the Newton audience -- a clear dig at Edwards, who made millions in the courtroom.
Democrats Try Various Styles, and Pronouns New York Times In the last 10 days, Mrs. Clinton has presided over “Moms and Daughters Making History” events, “Time to Pick a President” events, “Working for Change, Working for You” events, “The Hillary I Know” events and “Every County Counts” events. ...... Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s events are meticulously planned. ....... “I think you do it by working really, really hard,” she said, before going on to catalog her résumé. ....... look very much in need of a good night’s sleep, or 10. ...... (Mr. Obama outdrew him 900 to 300 at simultaneous rallies in Davenport on Friday.) ...... He speaks less than an inch from the microphone and deploys bellicose words (22 “fights” in 40 minutes on Saturday morning) ....... a scattering of older voters covered their ears. ...... tends to address his crowds as a singular civic unit (“Hello, Marshalltown”), like a real rock star would. ....... Toddlers are more likely to be seen scurrying around Obama events, sometimes breaching forbidden areas, like TV camera risers. ..... Clinton’s events are meticulously planned and orderly, and even seem regal at times. ...... hands folded in perfect symmetry with her mother’s. ...... Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea were slumped shoulder-to-shoulder, holding each other up. ...... Mrs. Clinton took the microphone, thanked him profusely, and praised him “for producing wonderful fruits and then expanding into juices.” ........ Mrs. Clinton gets by far the most autograph and photo requests. ...... He vows to invite C-Span to broadcast his health care deliberations, resulting in one of his most sustained and reliable applause lines. ....... He is gifted at summoning fresh rage, despite delivering these grievances so many times. ....... Edwards described a sharp phone conversation he had with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto was slain.
Obama to Iowans: Pick me at least as 2nd choice Reuters pick me second if you don't pick me first. ...... "Make me your second choice, although you are wiser making me your first," he said to laughter and applause. ...... the other four Democratic candidates are not expected to get to the magic 15 percent mark
Michelle Obama Counting Down to Caucus on Campaign Trail KMEG 14 She says today's generation of young people are timid, hesitant, and doubtful........ "We are afraid of everyone and everything, the problem with fear is it clouds our judgement and cuts us off from one another, our own families, communities and cutting us off from the rest of the world."
Surging Edwards may be blessing for Clinton Newsday Meet John Edwards, Hillary Clinton's baby-faced tormenter - and the guy who just might be her last, best hope to stop Barack Obama in the early primary states. ....... he's splitting the vote against her ..... His collapse could deliver his supporters, overwhelmingly anti-Clinton, to Obama in numbers great enough to push deadlocked New Hampshire and South Carolina into the Illinois senator's column. ....... Joe Trippi, who said his candidate's gains have largely been drawn from Obama. ....... Edwards and Obama are rediscovering their mutual animosity after a year of ganging up on Clinton ...... "If she finishes third, how can she recover?"
Clinton leads in Iowa but Edwards gains Reuters "It's about as close as you can get at the top in both races," pollster John Zogby said. "But it's still very uncertain." ...... The poll showed Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, leading Edwards and Illinois Sen. Obama by four points, 30 percent to 26 percent. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, gained two points overnight to pull even with Obama.
Prominent Clinton backer criticizes Iowa caucuses CNN International Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland told The Columbus Dispatch it "makes no sense" to grant Iowa the right to hold the first presidential contest. He called the GOP and Democratic caucuses "hugely undemocratic," because the process "excludes so many people." ...... Clinton's Midwest co-chair, Jerry Crawford, told him that Clinton would "not be here caucus night." ........ it was because she "needs to get to New Hampshire." ....... Asked at an event Sunday night in Cedar Rapids whether she planned to spend the night of January 3 in Iowa, Clinton first laughed and then told CNN, "I'm just trying to get through each day here." Pressed to clarify that remark, Clinton said, "I've got to figure out what I'm doing." ....... "She is staying in Iowa until after caucus returns come back, and won't leave until late, late, late that night," Carson said.
Tenth Senator Backs Clinton The Associated Press

Bhutto's son maintains political dynasty USA Today
Bhutto’s Son, 19, Chosen to Lead Pakistan Party New York Times
Obama Tries New Tactics To Get Out Vote in Iowa Washington Post "the largest grass-roots volunteer operation that Iowa has ever seen." ....... an Election Day operation that combines an apparent edge in technology with the tried-and-true grunt work of a traditional Iowa campaign ........ Obama began organizing in Iowa by deploying more staff members earlier to more counties and by building tracking mechanisms to identify and retain supporters. ....... the campaign mines data gathered online: Which petitions did people sign on the campaign Web site? Which e-mails have they answered? ....... today's Web is vastly different, that Iowa is much more wired, that they have learned that electronic touches are only part of the picture. ...... It's not just a computer-to-computer relationship -- it's a person-to-person relationship. ...... She taped a call to them and told them to expect an envelope in the mail. The packet, less political than other Clinton mail, included a card that said, "If you're itching for change, scratch here to win." Those who sent it back received a blue travel mug that said "I'm standing with Hillary." The campaign collected the names of thousands of potential supporters -- so many that it needed a tractor-trailer to haul all the mugs. ...... "We realized it wasn't that we needed to spend our time building the support in Iowa for Hillary -- we just needed to turn out the support that she had," said Emily's List spokeswoman Ramona Oliver. "We looked at why they wouldn't go -- what were the barriers?" ....... an online advertising strategy that popped up a link to its Web site every time a computer in Iowa searched Google or Yahoo using specific terms. ..... By the end of the week, about 20,000 visitors from 613 Iowa towns had clicked on the ads...... The group decided not to send out-of-state volunteers to knock on doors in Iowa. "It just felt wrong" ....... campaigns have been urging Iowans for months to bond with like-minded supporters at barbecues, house parties and mock caucuses. And that's why the ground armies are arranging rides and babysitters, and the candidates are returning again and again to Ottumwa, Davenport and Mason City. ...... The key of keys, Hildebrand said, is to knock on doors. ....... "Working the ground, going from house to house, talking to supporters and those leaning towards us and to undecided voters, is what we'll do all day Thursday," he said. "Nothing beats that door-to-door contact."
Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President New York Times A final decision by Mr. Bloomberg about whether to run is unlikely before February. Still, he and his closest advisers are positioning themselves so that if the mayor declares his candidacy, a turnkey campaign infrastructure will virtually be in place. ...... a pragmatic, progressive centrist ..... Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, who has said he would consider being Mr. Bloomberg’s running mate on an independent ticket. ....... Bloomberg-Hagel, Bloomberg-Nunn ...... Bloomberg, who has tried to seize a national platform on gun control, the environment and other issues, has been regularly briefed in recent months on foreign policy ......... might invest as much as $1 billion of his own fortune ....... the Electoral College has nothing to do with parties, has absolutely nothing to do with parties. ........ “a rich Ralph Nader” ....... what’s magical about people who happen to be a member of a party? ...... after six years as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg was itching for a new challenge — much like he was in 2000 when, as chief executive of Bloomberg L.P., he was flirting with running for mayor. ...... Can he run for president and serve as mayor of a combustible metropolis simultaneously for eight months?
Incumbent Declared Winner in Kenya's Disputed Election Washington Post
Sean Penn and wife set to split after 11 year marriage San Jose Mercury News
Obama Fires Back at Edwards Washington Post that he is "too nice" to bring about change in Washington, dismissing what he called "hot air" and "rhetoric." ...... Edwards called the idea of sitting down to negotiate with special interests to solve the nation's problems a "complete fantasy", adding: "You can't nice these people to death." ...... Obama's strategists long believed that Edwards would fade as the caucuses drew closer, ceding the anti-Clinton vote to the Illinois Senator. That has not happened; in fact, just the reverse is true -- Edwards appears to be gaining strength in recent Iowa polls. ...... Edwards casts himself as a skilled, effective and willing fighter for the middle class ...... "There's no shortage of anger in Washington," said Obama. "We don't need more heat, we need more light." ....... Voters tend not to like their presidents angry, preferring candidates who appear above-the-fray and always looking at the big picture. ...... "George Bush is the most anti-science president in American history"
Chelsea Clinton Guards Her Words The Associated Press a 9-year-old reporter .... Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and "kid reporter" for Scholastic News ...... she approached the 27-year-old Chelsea after a campaign event ..... "Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?" Sydney asked, but Chelsea brushed her question aside. "I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," Chelsea told the pint-sized journalist. ...... Tall and attractive, Chelsea cuts an impressive figure on the campaign trail; she plunges enthusiastically into the crowd after her mother's speeches, shaking hands and posing for pictures while asking, "Are you going to caucus for my mom?" ...... An aide follows the former first daughter as she works the crowd, shushing reporters who approach her and try to ask any questions. ...... For her part, Sydney looked a bit crestfallen after Chelsea turned her away.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Don't Doubt Hillary's Compassion Overall, Just Her Judgment On Iraq

Hillary went to many poor villages in many poor countries as First Lady. That is one of the reasons why I admire her so much.

But Bill Clinton is now campaigning like he were bar hopping making outrageous suggestions that somehow America would be less safe under President Obama. That line of argument worked for Bush against Kerry in 2004. Bill Clinton thinks it will work for Hillary now. Hillary took the cues from Bush when it was time to vote for or against the Iraq War. Bill Clinton is taking cues from Bush 2004 for January 2008.

Bill Clinton was okay with Hillary 2008's inevitability theme all of this year until it seemed to evaporate off and then he went ahead and blamed Mark Penn for having come up with such a ridiculous line of argument that would lead to total disaster should Hillary lose Iowa.

Bill Clinton talks of 9/11 and Katrina as two things Bush did not see coming. What we don't see today might happen in 2009 or 2010, he seems to be saying.

Is Al Qaeda news to Bill Clinton? I don't have the slightest doubts in my mind that the Al Qaeda, an organization that is stronger today than it was on September 10, 2001, plots everyday to pull off something bigger than 9/11 on American soil.

One scenario I painted yesterday was this. The Al Qaeda that has managed to penetrate the Pakistani state - you don't have to get the top guy, there are enough God-fearing, God-loving middle ranked people in Pakistan's military and especially intelligence services who will not have a hard time in choosing between their allegiance to their God and their state - might manage to "steal" nuclear material, and transport it from Pakistan to Africa to Mexico, using ancient transport methods (mules, anyone?), cross the border, and detonate it in, say, Dallas. That is the next 9/11. An incident like that would mentally paralyze all American cities.

Global warming is no news either. Katrina could happen again. Before the California wildfires, there were similar wildfires that burned down a major chunk of Greece, and the Greek authorities were out arresting known arsonists. That was not arson, that was global warming.

If terrorism and global warming will surprise you, you are not ready to be president, or the presidential spouse.

The worst byproduct of America's invasion of Iraq was that was America taking one eye off the Al Qaeda. Result: the Al Qaeda is stronger today than ever before.

When I study Al Qaeda's momentum, I fear Bin Laden might pull off something bigger than 9/11, one final act, before he goes down in flames.

If you could have imagined 9/11 the year before, what would you have done to prevent it? Or would you have sat idly by?

Now I am asking you to imagine a dirty bomb in Dallas, and giving you a pretty precise geographical location of the people who might mastermind it. What will you do to prevent it? This is a call to design a new antibiotic to go after this new strain of virus. It is not a state with a standing army, so the state with a standing army way will not work. And the approach can't be reactive. Got to be proactive.

I think it is obvious that the Al Qaeda is America's number one security threat.

Either Hillary apologizes for her 2002 vote that took one of America's eyes off the Al Qaeda in a dumb diversion, or she stop pushing the argument that somehow she is better prepared on issues of foreign policy.

If you are scared of terrorism, you should vote for someone who seems to know who the enemy is. The person to vote for is Barack.

If you are scared s___tless on global warming, as you should be, the person to vote for is Barack. He is the only person in this race on either side who can bring the world together on this as many other issues. And, yes, having lived abroad as a child, having family origins on several continents is a big part of it. Living abroad counts. (Living Abroad Counts)

And when Barack mentioned tea, he meant tea as offered in the American embassies and fancy hotels where First Ladies are kept under tight security even when they make their rare ventures into Third World villages.

Between foreign policy and domestic policy, Hillary's strength is domestic. She should stick to it. She should emphasize domestic policy more. Like her generic health care policy: everyone and Harry Truman's cousin have had good ideas on health care. The real question is who can actually bring the country together around it and deliver. The Clintons already got to try once. They failed miserably.

Hillary Messed Up On Iraq, And Al Qaeda Is Strong, America Insecure
Al Qaeda Strikes India, Wants Hindu-Muslim Riots
Bush Nabbed Saddam, His Mandate Was To Nab Osama

 The Dashboard Is Too Slow

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down The Dashboard Is Too Slow

I am beginning to think the engineers behind and the top staffers in Chicago are not avid users of, or maybe they are, but just of the front pages and not the Dashboard. Even if they do go log onto the Dashboard once in a while, perhaps they don't have that many points, few friends, few blog entries, and so the problem is not being experienced, and so is going unaddressed.

But for the top volunteers across the country, the Dashboard at MyBO is the only office you have, there is no offline office for the most part. There is your Dashboard at MyBO and there is offline action. And so the Dashboard is critical. It has to load up in two seconds.
It should feel like a Google search. Google market research has shown that they are already so fast, your search results here in 0.04 seconds, but they do 20% worse, they lose 20% of their customers. We are talking milliseconds here, not minutes. Right now the MyBO Dashboard takes minutes to load up. And you lost me. I have not logged on for most of the pat week or more. This is not a good sign.

I have over 2,000 friends and over 4,000 pending friend requests all over the country. I have many blog entries. I have more than 50 unread messages and I am going to not try to read them now because a message takes forever to show when you click on it.

In Google's case they realized the 20% extra time was because they were showing 20 results per page. And so they cut down, they went to 10 results per page.

I am beginning to think my Dashboard takes minutes to load because I have over 2,000 friends at MyBO and most of their profiles come with pictures. And that is what is slowing things down. But that is no excuse. This still has to be fixed like now, definitely before January 4.

My guess is the top 1,000 volunteers at MyBO are all experiencing the same problem: a really, really slow Dashboard. Right now my ranking is 24. I am fairly dedicated. But you lost even me for more than a week. This is not a good thing.

The only way out might be to reduce the clutter on the Dashboard. How about not displaying photos of friends either on the Dashboard or on one's public profile page and instead giving a link to another page that has all that stuff. Got to turn the Dashboard into something light like the front page is. The front page is looking real good. I just noticed has been redone. It has a more sophisticated look now. It is jazzy.

This is not a bandwidth issue. It is not in Obama 2oo8's control as how fast or slow someone's connection is. If my download speed were 1GB per second, I would not be complaining.

But do the Google thing, take a tip from them: Unclutter The Dashboard. Make it super light.

Facebook has the same problem. If you have too many applications on Facebook, your profile page can take longer to show up fully. Clutter is what is bogging the MyBO Dashboard.

List how many friends someone has, but get rid of that box of profile pictures of those friends. Instead provide a link to a page with that box and more. That should take care of the speed problem.

I will admit, I went on a major rampage. I was sending friend requests left and right. I sent one to everyone in the "near you" category, for example. I sent one to all who had "updated" in October, November and the first half of December. Nothing wrong with that. That is the cyber version of working the rope line, shaking hands. It is legit. I have said I am not going anywhere outside the city boundaries. But that does not apply online.

This cheetah video at the top, that is my personal theme video for Obama 2008. I want that also to become my theme video for the MyBO Dashboard. Chicago, make it happen.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down

If Hillary Has So Much Foreign Policy Experience, Why Did She So Mess Up On Iraq?

I can't believe Hillary is casting foreign policy as her strength in these final days. She just so happens to be part of the biggest foreign policy disaster in a generation.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down

Benazir: What If It Was Not The Al Qaeda

What Pakistan needs is a new constitution born out of a popularly elected constituent assembly. That is the only way to bring the army under the thumb of civilian leaders.

An independent international investigation has to be conducted. That should have been done after the first attempt on her life the day of her arrival.

She was killed a few miles from where her father was killed. Perhaps her enemies in the army and the intelligence services saw poetic justice in that statement.

The president of Pakistan has to be popularly, directly elected.

And the killers have to be taken to international court.

It all starts with an independent, international investigation.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down

Increasing Spending

It might be worth it to spend a little more the final few days. Run again that ad that starts with Barack's mother that was run months back, the one on health care. That woman was ahead of her time. She was working on microfinance for women in the Global South decades before Yunus bagged a Nobel for the same.

Looks like a lot of 527s are coming out of the woodworks. We can't afford to be outspent these final few days. The people are king of making up their minds right about now.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down

Bill Clinton's Bar Hopping

That guy has started campaigning like he were barhopping.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down


Got to hit Hillary on Iraq. Got to hit back.

Warning Sign: Is Melting Down


Nobody is more Jewish than my Hasidic neighbors.

An Amazing White Media

For all of this year they kept saying how Hillary was invincible, inevitable, and all that. And now they are saying, if Barack wins Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the race is going to turn competitive. Unbelievable.

In The News

Presidential Candidates Gear Up for Iowa Caucuses Voice of America the campaigning has become intense. ...... Senator Clinton downplayed the notion that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would take a leading role in policy matters. Her comments produced laughter from John Edwards during an interview on the CBS program, Face the Nation. ...... "Well, I think it is a complete fantasy," said Edwards. ..... latest pre-caucus poll of Iowa voters. It shows Hillary Clinton with a narrow lead
Candidates Digging for a Deeper Pool of Iowa Voters New York Times Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are trying to expand the tiny universe of caucusgoers, a fundamental shift in the way candidates have approached the Iowa caucuses. Mr. Edwards is focusing mainly on voters who have reliably voted in the past. ...... this contest could be determined by a swing of as few as 1,000 voters. ...... “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Gov. Chet Culver ...... Mrs. Clinton’s office here is filled with hundreds of new green snow shovels that were being strategically distributed on Saturday to precinct captains to clear the walks of older women who might be particularly wary of going out to the caucuses in bad weather. The campaign has printed doorknob hangers with caucus locations printed in extra-large type, also to accommodate these older first-time caucusers. ......... Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has contracted with a local supermarket chain to deliver platters of sandwiches for pre-caucus parties at caucus sites late Thursday afternoon. The idea is to entice people to arrive early and thus give Clinton aides time to see who has not shown up and get them to the caucus before the doors close at 7 p.m. ....... are betting that they can use computer-driven research to expand the relatively small pool of caucusgoers ........ The Clinton campaign has mailed refrigerator magnets marked with the caucus date to the women they have identified as first-time caucusgoers who might determine her fate. Mr. Obama has promised baby-sitting to any parent who needs it caucus night. ...... “It is definitely the most highly organized caucus of all time,” said Michael Whouley ........ sophisticated voter identification models, using detailed demographic and consumer data ........ make multiple personal visits to the homes of those people ...... After his speech, he holds a brief meeting and photograph session with his young supporters who belong to a program called Barack Stars. ........ a yellow slip of paper — a “Ticket to Change” — with directions to their caucus site and a telephone hot line (one for each of Iowa’s five area codes) to answer questions............ finding voters through microtargeting
Edwards, Obama Boost Efforts to Avoid 3rd Place NPR
Was Obama Comparing Edwards Unfavorably to John Kerry? ABC News Edwards, for all his strengths, does have a list of major issues he's changed his position on
Obama: Mo Money, Mo Problems Yahoo! News "unprecedented" spending by Democratic groups could "impact the outcome" in next week's Iowa Caucuses. ........ some of the advertising by unions and liberal organizations is "underhanded," "negative," and "misleading."
Obama Derides Outside Spending Washington Post two pro-John Edwards groups -- the beneficently named Working 4 Working Americans and the Alliance for a New America -- have spent nearly $2.1 million on direct mail, radio and television ads. Three groups promoting Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Teachers and EMILY's List -- have dropped $2.6 million, including, according to the memo, $309,000 against Obama. ....... average voters simply do not follow elections that closely and much of the back and forth is lost on them ......... Poll after poll shows voters are following this election more closely than any one in modern history
Edwards Fights to the Finish Washington Post Edwards is on the move. Independent analysts see his support firming up ....... he cannot afford to lose here on Thursday night. ..... His "America Rising" theme is not a variation of "Morning in America." ...... It is a call to arms that is raw and angry, populist and pugnacious. It is a message that is as exhausting and is it confrontational. .... has turned street-fighter for the final stretch run. His message can be boiled down to a single word -- "Fight!" ...... He was, as he now explains, a brawler as a kid, taking on bullies the way he later took on corporations and insurance companies as a trail lawyer. ....... if you're not willing to stand up for yourself and if you're not willing to fight, no one will stand up for you ...... The rich have an "iron-fisted grip" on democracy and won't let go through negotiations...... the beneficiary of an independent expenditure campaign run by his former campaign manager. ........ He promises not to fix the system but to blow it up.
Clinton victory could hang on the weather forecast Times Online There is no state whose collective decision I would trust more. Iowa is largely a farming state, with few large cities and a first-class university, Iowa State. Iowans have the core values of the American Middle West, practical, serious, good-natured, religious and thrifty. .......... Six weeks ago none of the political commentators gave Huckabee any chance. ......... in Iowa, the race is much closer — Clinton 29 per cent, Obama 27 per cent and Edwards also 27. ...... Foreign policy has played only a small part in the Iowa debate, even after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. ....... The weather forecast for the coming week is bright and sunny. ....... Barring catastrophe, Hillary Clinton should be ahead or level in Iowa, ahead in New Hampshire and should virtually win the nomination on Super Tuesday. ...... a presidential race in November between Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton
Poll: Clinton leads in Iowa; Huckabee, Romney even Reuters 31 percent to 27 percent, with former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards a close third at 24 ....... 6 percent of likely caucus-goers in each party are uncertain ...... narrowly leading Obama among women voters and ahead among older voters, who are the most likely to participate. ........ a big lead among younger voters ..... Clinton's supporters were the most dedicated, with 76 percent saying their support was "very" strong, compared to 65 percent for Edwards and 56 percent for Obama. ...... Edwards was the most popular second choice with 30 percent, while Obama had 25 percent and Clinton only 12 percent.
Staying out front hasn't been easy for Clinton Newsday It took Obama the better part of a year to tear down Clinton's facade of certainty - even his supporters jokingly called him "Obambi" because he seemed awed by Clinton at times. But he pounced on Clinton's disastrous showing at a late October debate in Philadelphia, shedding his passivity and tapping into pent-up hostility toward the front-runner. ....... Shorn of her air of inevitability, she has spent weeks groping for a coherent message, and only recently hit on a hybrid theme her campaign believes is a winner. Some backers jokingly call it the "Mama Bear" approach, emphasizing Clinton's toughness and experience, while using friends and family to melt her Ice Queen image and demonstrate her commitment to change. ........ By the third quarter, she had reasserted her fundraising dominance, beating Obama $28 million to $20 million. ...... But at the Philadelphia debate it all seemed to fall apart for Team Clinton when a series of gaffes cascaded into a full-scale collapse of the inevitability argument. ........ But earlier this month, Team Clinton rolled out the kinder, gentler approach that many in the campaign credit for stemming Clinton's slide ....... "Within the last couple of weeks they've settled on a single message that's just a lot more comfortable for them and it shows. They're doing a lot better," said a top Clinton donor.
Clintons' dual jab at Obama on experience AFP Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are raising new questions over her White House rival Barack Obama's experience, warning perilous national security decisions loom for the next US leader. ....... the latest bid to paint Obama as too green to serve as US commander-in-chief. ..... Clinton said she had unsuccessfully urged her husband to intervene militarily to halt Rwanda's genocide in 1994, and then traveled to Uganda to say sorry to the victims of the atrocity. ........ "I personally apologized to women whose arms had been hacked off, who had seen their husbands and their children murdered before their very eyes and were at the bottom of piles of bodies," she told ABC. .......... the next president had to be ready for sudden, national security challenges. ...... "You have to have a leader who is strong and commanding and convincing enough ... to deal with the unexpected," he was quoted as saying ....... "There is a better than 50 percent chance that sometime in the first year or 18 months of the next presidency, something will happen that is not being discussed in this campaign. ....... Clinton's comments were reminiscent of the Bush administration's successful gambit of framing the 2004 campaign against John Kerry as a question of who was most fit to lead a global war on terror. ........ The former first lady also said that the ex-president would not have a formal role in her White House ..... argued Sunday he had more experience in global affairs than Bill Clinton did when elected in 1992. ...... Clinton's comments on Rwanda appeared to be a new jab at Obama, who last week said his multi-ethnic background and childhood years abroad meant he was more in touch with the world than someone who had taken tea with US diplomats. ..... Madeleine Albright recalled how Clinton had traveled to scores of remote villages and refugee camps.
Clinton: My Foreign Policy Experience More Than Just Drinking Tea CBS News While discussing a visit to Bosnia during the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords as First Lady, Clinton took a swipe at Obama saying, "We landed in one of those corkscrew landings and ran out because they said there might be snipers. I don't remember anybody offering me tea on the tarmac when that was happening." ........ "Senator Clinton has been in refugee camps, clinics, orphanages, and villages all around the world, including places where tea is not the usual drink. In addition to these experiences she has met with world leaders and has known many of them for years. I have been with her on many of these occasions, and it is this combination of experience and understanding that sets her apart from the field, and why I am supporting her for President." ....... We used to say in the White House that if a place was too dangerous, too small or too poor send the First Lady. I had the time of my life
Warning of Threats, Clinton Sells Clinton Washington Post who could best manage unforeseen catastrophes. ...... the experience argument was bolstered by the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the threat of wider unrest in that country ..... "I'm not asking you to take me on faith. I'm not asking you to take a leap of faith." ...... "Who better to explain what it takes to be president than the last two-term president the Democrats have had since FDR?" said Mark Penn, chief strategist for the Clinton campaign. ....... He did not elaborate on what he meant by the prospect of the audience members' grandchildren not being there in 50 years....... In past weeks, he has argued that there are three reasons to nominate his wife: her vision, her plans and her record. In Nashua, he said there was a fourth reason: her ability to deal with unseen threats. ......... "If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again ...... those Hillary Clinton aides who had come to worry about his occasional freelancing ........ Clinton is able, some supporters believe, to help neutralize the concerns among women about the authenticity of the Clinton marriage. ......... Clinton spent much of the 45-minute speech talking about the achievements of his own administration ...... Clinton, who took no questions
Bill Clinton Stumps for Wife NH The Associated Press Bill Clinton praised the Democratic field of presidential contenders Saturday, noting that as president he had close ties to almost all of them. ....... her high-wattage husband ...... He noted he had campaigned for John Edwards' 1998 Senate campaign and Obama's in 2004 and that Bill Richardson served as his United Nations ambassador and energy secretary. He said he counts Joe Biden and Chris Dodd as "two close friends of mine and our friendship has remained since I left the White House and it's even endured this campaign." ........ He draws crowds as large as she does and has helped her campaign build its list of volunteers and supporters ...... Part of Clinton's plan is to derail any momentum Obama might build.
Bill Clinton Warns of "Unexpected" Washington Post

Making Nevada's Caucus Count the state's Young Democrats organization. ....... Clinton leads Obama by 8 points in a recent poll ...... nothing will be settled after Iowa and New Hampshire ..... 10 straight days of attention ....... One third of Nevada's 2.5 million people are Hispanics, Asian-Americans and blacks ....... Unions — particularly Culinary 226, which includes Strip hospitality workers ........ when Hillary Clinton campaigned in Pahrump, a small town outside of Vegas known for its anti-government leanings and several well-known brothels, more than 2,500 people showed up ........... the first time [in the campaign] a presidential candidate has to stand before a crowd that looks like America. ........ western, Hispanic and labor issues. ........ issues that are transcendent in the west — water, public resources, public land-83 percent of Nevada land is public ...... Steelman explains caucusing by having the group decide what their favorite movie is. ..... ("The Godfather" wins this mock caucus.)
Bhutto's Warm Smile The most striking characteristic of Benazir Bhutto, back when she was a student in the 1970s, was the contrast between the intensity of her eyes and the warmth of her very large smile. ...... She tended to wear blue jeans and baggy sweatshirts, fitting in with the dress code of the day, but she told me she dressed that way (never shorts, skirts, or t-shirts) also because it honored the Muslim custom of covering her body as a woman. Another contrast was between her nickname Pinky — she even typed some of her essays on pink paper — and her serious personality. ........ at Harvard ..... she stood out as a powerful figure in the dining hall of Elliot House, where she lived, and she displayed a passion for international politics that went beyond the antiwar rhetoric that passed for political discourse in those days ....... the Oxford Union, the venerable debating society, and she viewed it as her mission to become the first Asian woman in that post. She lost her first campaign for the post, but when her father was deposed and arrested the following year, we used that crisis as a reason to urge people to vote for her, and she won. ........ Benazir Bhutto navigated through personal as well as political turmoils that were far more intense than most of us can imagine. Over the years, on those rare occasions when we’d meet and reminisce, I’d notice how the features of her face had hardened a bit, as had the intensity of her stare when she talked to you. But she never lost the warmth in that very big smile.
Bhutto's Jihadist Enemies Benazir Bhutto had long been an outspoken critic of Pakistani militants and this made her the mortal enemy of a galaxy of extremist forces inside Pakistan. "Bhutto was the only Pakistani politician willing to stand up and say, 'I don't like violent terrorists,'" says Stephen Cohen, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Many of these groups have intertwining histories and common loyalties — as well as shadowy links with Pakistani intelligence. As the probe into her assassination begins, investigators will have to sort through a morass of violent groups that were gunning for Bhutto. And while all have some historic link to al-Qaeda, they have just as much ideological impetus to act on their own — or at the behest of rogue elements of the Pakistani government sympathetic to Islamic radicals. ...... In a briefing Friday, the Pakistani government emphasized that al-Qaeda had Bhutto in its sights. ....... "She was on the hit list of al-Qaeda." ....... the suicide bomber who killed Benazir Bhutto belonged to a domestic terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda called Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. The group is responsible for dozens of attacks inside Pakistan over the past decade including sectarian killings of Shi'ites and Christians, a failed 1999 assassination attempt against then-Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and involvement in the kidnapping and beheading of the Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl. .......... Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had claimed responsibility for Bhutto's assassination ........ another suspect: Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader and an influential tribal chief in Waziristan ....... Pakistani intelligence services intercepted a supposed conversation in which Mehsud congratulated those who carried out the assassination. "Fantastic job," reads the transcript released by the Pakistan Ministry of Interior, "[They were] very brave boys who killed her." But a spokesman for Mehsud told the Associated Press on Saturday that the militant was not involved in the attack, calling the allegation "government propaganda." ......... Mehsud is a very convenient [person to blame]. ....... the Taliban and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi emerged from the two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, where eventually a Taliban regime would give refuge to al-Qaeda ........ Lashkar-i-Tayyba or the "Army of the Pure," which Pakistani intelligence agents, after the end of the Afghan war, would redirect toward Kashmir and the Indian troops stationed in that disputed region. ........ The group has close ties to al-Qaeda. The leadership of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi fought alongside many high-ranking al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan before Sept. 11, 2001. ......... many in its ranks trained in al-Qaeda-run camps in Afghanistan during the late 1990s. When al-Qaeda retreated from Afghanistan in 2002, many of its fighters are believed to have joined forces with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Lashkar-i-Tayyba ....... In March 2002, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi retaliated against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the resulting fall of the Taliban by launching a grenade attack on the International Protestant Church in Islamabad ...... "It is probable there are links between Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and al-Qaeda," says Grare, "but it is certain they do have links to the government." He adds, "If the government itself says Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is involved, it is suicidal because it opens the door to speculation about their own role." ...... Pakistani authorities have had a hand in encouraging groups like Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Lashkar-i-Tayyba, Islamabad has done little to systematically dismantle these jihadist "armies" now that their original purposes — fighting the Soviets and supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan or fighting the Indians in Kashmir — are over. .... "It's like a cancer you've started elsewhere that comes back to eat you up."

Was It Al Qaeda? Newsweek Mehsud is described by the officials as one of the Taliban's most senior leaders inside Pakistan. He supposedly operates from loosely governed tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and is believed to be in contact with elements of the Al Qaeda central command, whose leaders, including Zawahiri and bin Laden, are believed to be hiding out in the same rugged region.
Bhutto Conspiracy Theories Fill the Air TIME On jihadi websites, al-Qaeda claimed the assassination was their work .... the sentiments provide a powerful insight into how angry Pakistanis are at their President and how mistrustful they are of the U.S.
Al-Qaeda's New Terror Tactic? one of Bhutto's assailants was a known member of the extremist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a group it said was allied with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. If so, it could mean further evidence of a dramatic and disturbing diversification in Al-Qaeda's terrorism playbook. ....... Up until now, the violent methods employed by al-Qaeda and its operatives around the globe have largely eschewed single assassinations or the targeting of political leaders. .......... creating chaos and panic through large terror strikes that claim large numbers of random victims — carnage that creates pressure and fear in the societies and governments that the jihadists view as enemies ......... "There is so much scheming and double-dealing in Pakistan that the country is the analyst's worst nightmare. ...... it has helped create the uproar and turmoil al-Qaeda has always seen as its best method of destabilizing enemy regimes it wants to replace. ........ They're willing to do anything, and with anyone's help.

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Obama: US needs to come down hard on Musharraf Chicago Sun-Times“As long as we are supporting somebody who the Pakistani people themselves believe has subverted democracy, that strengthens the hand of the Islamic militants,” Obama told the crowd. ...... Obama started four campaign stops Thursday apologizing for being late because of phone calls he said he had to make to ambassadors early Thursday to get a reading on Bhutto’s assassination. He continued using that opening up to and including his 8 p.m. appearance about eight hours after he made the calls.
Clinton, Obama Seize on Killing Washington Post
Clinton demands Bhutto probe, slams Musharraf AFP Clinton Friday called for an independent, international probe into Benazir Bhutto's murder, as the turmoil wracking US anti-terror ally Pakistan reshaped debate in the White House race. ..... Clinton paid a personal tribute to the former Pakistani prime minister, and also turned on Musharraf, saying he had failed both to usher Pakistan towards democracy, and to crush Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. ...... the US invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the "war on terror." ...... "We've got to reverse policies, but we've got to see this in a bigger context which is that our invasion of Iraq resulted in us taking our eye off the ball," Obama said. ....... "We should have been focused in Afghanistan, finishing off Al-Qaeda."
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