Friday, August 31, 2007

173 Vs 1,433 Delegates: February 5 Is Key

If Barack wins, Hillary is going to want to be running mate. That is what the Hillary 2008 Campaign Manager has publicly stated. If Hillary wins, Barack must be the running mate.

Bill Clinton Is Still Relevant

May the most qualified candidate win. It is amazing to watch the democratic process unfold. Democracy is a beautiful thing.

Obama's positive message is uplifting.

The big states that moved to February 5 did not do so to say let the small states give us a clue. The February 5 states are going to be quite independent.

My suggestion would be to invest heavily also in the February 5 states. Got to build major organization in California. That is 441 delegates.

Counting on momentum only to carry you all the way is not going to fly.

John Kerry's experience was that the Iowa victory meant everything. You win that one and you win all that follow. I don't think that will necessarily repeat.

Momentum + Betting Big On February 5 States

January 14 Iowa 56 Delegates
January 19 Nevada 33 Delegates
January 22 New Hampshire 30 Delegates
January 29 South Carolina 54 Delegates

Total 173 Delegates

""Tsunami Tuesday," "Super Duper Tuesday," "Giga Tuesday," "Mega-Tuesday," "Powerball Primary," and the "Tuesday of Destiny." A total of 1,433 Delegates will be pledged by the results of the February 5th votes."

Alabama 60, Alaska 18, Arizona 67, Arkansas 47, California 441, Colorado 71, Delaware 23, Georgia 104, Idaho 23, Illinois 185, Missouri 88, New Jersey 127, New Mexico 38, New York 280, North Carolina, North Dakota 21, Oklahoma 47, Tennessee 85 and Utah 29.

Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008 ...

Hillary is smart, strong, experienced. She is disciplined. She has inherited a political machine from a guy who I call Pele. She is a woman. This is enormous symbolism for women. I mean, I like her myself. I was as fanatically behind her before Obama said he was considering running.

2008 is going to be a great year for the Democrats. That much is clear.

Hillary is a formidable candidate. She would be tough for anyone to beat. She has never lost an election, not since high school. She is methodical, she is thorough. The debates she has performed well in, she dreaded going into them, story has it, but she prepared and prepared and prepared. She role played. She did her homework. She works very hard. So if you want to beat her, you have to work harder.

February 5 Is Key

You don't want to have lost with a ton of money still in the bank. You got to focus like a laser beam on the first four states, true, but you can't afford to ignore the February 5 states. You got to give at least one day a week to the February 5 states while you give the rest of the week to the first four states.

Nevada's Hispanic population and South Carolina's black population mean the first four states are a fair composition. Howard Dean played his cards right.


They have been key to Hillary's big numbers. It really does boil down to those two seconds. But then Obama is getting better. He won the Iowa debate.

Iowa Debate: Obama Clear Winner

Media Attack On Obama

First it was Osama Obama.

Then it was ignore Obama.

Now they have gone more sophisticated. They have him stuck in the too inexperienced narrative. He has to fight back. He has to turn it into a judgment narrative.

Gender: The Number One Issue

If Barack and Hillary are Coke and Pepsi, women are going to go for Hillary. And I can understand why. Gender has to be addressed.

The Grassroots Power Woman

In The News

Castro: Clinton-Obama “Invincible” New York Times
Rep. Adam Smith to be Washington state chair for Obama's campaign
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Clinton, Obama draw blacks, liberals from Edwards
The Swamp, IL
Edwards On Track in Iowa TIME after Edwards' seven-day, 31-stop bus tour of the state, gives Edwards 29% of the vote, five points ahead of Hillary Clinton and seven ahead of Barack Obama ....... With the field limited to the top four candidates, Edwards's lead over Clinton widens, to 32% to 24%. Obama was at 22%, with Bill Richardson at 13%. Iowa polls can be unreliable, since only 5% to 10% of voters go to the caucuses; some other recent surveys have Edwards in a dead heat with Clinton and Obama. The race remains wide open, but Edwards's position remains strong. ...... Strongest Leadership: Clinton holds a commanding lead over Edwards and Obama, 36% - 23% - 20%. ..... Handling of Iraq: Clinton (27%) leads Obama (19%), Edwards (18%) and Richardson (16%). ..... Protecting Against Terrorism: Clinton leads the field by a wide margin, picked by 27%, compared to Edwards, at 19%, Obama at 15%, and Richardson at 14%.
Poll: Clinton opens up a 20-point lead over Obama The Union Leader, NH showing her with a 20-point lead over her closest rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. ....... The same poll in July showed the two candidates in a dead heat at 31 percent apiece. ..... On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has opened a lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- 27 to 23 percent ..... The poll done this week of the Democrats shows Clinton favored by 37 percent of the likely primary voters, while Obama has 17 percent and former vice presidential candidate John Edwards has 14 percent ...... ARG polls done in Iowa show Clinton with a 28 to 23 percent lead over Obama, with Edwards at 20 percent, and in North Carolina Clinton has 32 percent, with Edwards at 24 percent and Obama at 21 percent.
Romney Leads, Obama Drops in New Hampshire Angus Reid Global Monitor, Canada Hillary Rodham Clinton is first with 37 per cent, followed by Illinois senator Barack Obama with 17 per cent—down 14 points in a month—and former North Carolina senator John Edwards with 14 per cent. ...... Since 1952, 11 Republicans and eight Democrats have won the Granite State contest and later earned their party’s presidential nomination. ...... In 2004, Massachusetts senator John Kerry won the Democratic New Hampshire primary with 38.4 per cent, followed by former Vermont governor Howard Dean with 26.3 per cent, retired general Wesley Clark with 12.4 per cent, and Edwards with 12.1 per cent.
Obama Admits Early Election Wins Crucial For Maintaining Minority ... AHN Obama's (D-IL) campaign acknowledged that in order for African-Americans to view him as a viable candidates, the senator must win either the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary. ...... But two recent polls show Obama trailing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in both those predominantly Caucasian states. The switch to a focus on whether Obama can win in predominantly white states comes after months of blacks wondering if Obama, who has a white mother and African father, was "black enough to win." .... "We have to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, and if we do, we will win South Carolina," Nugen said. "No one in the campaign would disagree with the notion that we have to win a state like New Hampshire to do well with black voters in South Carolina and beyond." ..... A recent Time magazine poll of voters in Iowa found Obama trailing Clinton by two points. While the Iowa numbers are very close, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, professor of political science at Princeton University, explained that blacks don't trust whites to actually vote for a black person when they say will do so. ..... She gave the example of the 1989 Virginia gubernatorial campaign of L. Douglas Wilder, a black candidate who had been leading in the polls by double-digit numbers. However, he barely won, taking victory by fewer than 7,000 votes. ..... All of that means African-American voters will be looking closely at the Iowa and New Hampshire results to gauge if Obama truly is electable.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Two Articles By Barack, Barack

Fine unscrupulous mortgage lenders

By Barack Obama

Published: August 29 2007 03:00

The implosion of the subprime lending industry is more than a temporary blip in our econ-omic progress. It is a cancer that, given today's integrated financial markets, threatens to spread with devastating impact to housing and to our economy as a whole, unless we act to contain it.

It is also a parable about how an excess of lobbying and influence can defeat common sense rules of the road, placing both consumers and our nation's economic well-being at risk.

This all started as a good idea - helping people buy homes who previously could not afford to. But over time, lenders began pushing low-income buyers into homes they could not possibly afford, abusing the system by lowering their lending standards, making loans that required no money down and offering low, teaser interest rates that explode after the initial grace period. Some borrowers were also lying to get mortgages or engaging in irresponsible speculation.

Nearly everyone - from lenders to investors to borrowers - fooled themselves into thinking that what they were doing was low risk when it in fact involved a lot of risk.

But we also know that Washington played a role. At a time when non-bank lenders were offering new kinds of mortgage, the federal government should have made sure it was all being done on the level. Instead, our government failed to provide the regulatory scrutiny that could have prevented this crisis.

There is a reason why this has happened. Over the past several years, while predatory lenders were driving low-income families into financial ruin, 10 of the country's largest mortgage lenders were spending more than $185m (£92m) lobbying Washington to let them get away with it. So if we really want to make sure this never happens again, we need to end the lobbyist-driven politics that made it possible.

Today, as we weigh our options on how best to resolve this crisis, many argue that bailing out the borrowers and investors will just encourage them to engage in more of the same irresponsible practices.

But I think we also have to recognise what will happen if we reward the mortgage industry's lobbying: they will keep using the same kinds of deceptive practices to make a quick buck, no matter what the consequences to home buyers and their communities. Rather than correct what they are doing wrong, these companies will know that if things go badly, they can always lobby Washington to let them off the hook.

The real victims in this crisis are the millions of borrowers who followed the rules, whose only crime was taking out mortgages that lenders told them they could afford. Normally, these borrowers could avoid foreclosure by refinancing their mortgages or selling their homes. The problem today is that they cannot refinance because no one will lend to them, and they cannot sell because the housing market has fallen. With some arguing that the effects of the worst subprime loans will not be felt until 2008 and 2009, this may be just the beginning.

We need to help struggling borrowers to weather this storm. One way to protect innocent homeowners - at least until this crisis passes - is to establish a fund to help people refinance or sell to avoid foreclosure. We can partially pay for this fund by imposing penalties on lenders that acted irresponsibly or committed fraud.

But we have to do more than just deal with the present crisis. If we do not address the root of these problems, it is just a matter of time before we will be dealing with them again.

The rules currently governing mortgages were written in the 20th century to make borrowing easier to understand for borrowers. We need to update these rules for the 21st century and enact the regulatory and disclosure laws that the mortgage industry has been lobbying against.

That is why I have proposed a Home Score system that would create a simplified, standardised metric for home mortgages - rather like the annual percentage rate (APR), the effective interest rate a borrower ends up paying on a loan - allowing prospective homebuyers easily to compare various mortgage products so they can find out whether they can afford to make the payments.

I have also introduced a bill in the US Senate called the Stop Fraud Act that would treat those who commit mortgage fraud as the criminals they are.

Owning a home represents a big part of the American dream and all Americans - no matter what their income level - should have the power to reach for that dream. But that is not going to happen until we stop the unlicensed, unregulated, fly-by-night mortgage brokers who are hoodwinking low-income borrowers into taking on loans they cannot afford.

If we are serious about stopping this crisis and preventing much larger turmoil in US housing markets, Washington needs to stop acting like an industry advocate and start acting like a public advocate.

Hit Iran where it hurts


Thursday, August 30th 2007, 4:00 AM

Americans need to come together to confront the challenge posed by Iran. Yet the Bush administration and an anonymous senator are blocking a bill with bipartisan support that would ratchet up the pressure on the Iranian regime. It's time for this obstructionism to stop.

The decision to wage a misguided war in Iraq has substantially strengthened Iran, which now poses the greatest strategic challenge to U.S. interests in the Middle East in a generation. Iran supports violent groups and sectarian politics in Iraq, fuels terror and extremism across the Middle East and continues to make progress on its nuclear program in defiance of the international community. Meanwhile, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that Israel must be "wiped off the map."

In response, the Bush administration's policy has been tough talk with little action and even fewer results. While conventional Washington thinking says we can only talk to people who agree with us, I believe that strong countries and strong Presidents shouldn't be afraid to talk directly to our adversaries to tell them where America stands. The Bush-Cheney diplomacy of not talking to Iran has not worked. As President, I will use all elements of American power to pressure the Iranian regime, including the power of tough, smart and principled diplomacy.

For diplomacy to work, we need to dial up our political and economic pressure - not just our tough talk. Iran's troubling behavior depends in large part on access to billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue. That is why I introduced the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act last May, to build on a movement across the country to divest from companies that do significant business with Iran. This would send a clear message about where America stands, increasing Iran's isolation and hitting the Iranian regime where it hurts.

The bill works in three ways. First, it would educate investors and pressure foreign companies to reconsider doing business with Iran by requiring the U.S. government to publish - every six months - a list of companies that invest more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector. Second, it would give explicit congressional authorization to state and local governments to divest the assets of their pension funds and other funds under their control from any company on the list. Third, it would give private fund managers who divest protection from lawsuits, while urging the government's own 401(k) fund to create "terror-free" and "genocide-free" investment options for government employees.

This common-sense approach enjoys broad support. Sam Brownback, a Republican senator and presidential candidate, joined me in introducing this bill. A companion bill passed the House of Representatives 408 to 6. The only obstacle now is a single senator who placed an anonymous "hold" on the bill, blocking it from coming to a vote.

This is exactly the kind of unaccountable obstruction that needs to change in Washington. Instead of having a debate in the open, a Bush administration ally is blocking the bill through a secret Washington maneuver - a maneuver that would be banned if a sweeping bipartisan ethics reform bill that I led the fight to pass is signed into law.

Talking tough and keeping our troops in the middle of Iraq's civil war has only served to strengthen Iran's position. It's time to turn the page on a failed foreign policy. It's time for strong diplomacy backed by common-sense measures that pressure the Iranian regime.

In The News

Potentially Dangerous Chemical Found Inside UN Building WNBC Potentially dangerous chemicals were found in vials in a United Nations Office building and FBI, NYPD and FDNY hazardous materials responded to remove them Thursday. ...... the vials were found at 866 East 48th Street and possibly included one vial of phosgene, a chemical warfare agent. .... the vials are sealed and the public is not at any risk. Officials said the vials were recovered from a former Iraqi chemical weapons facility by UN weapons inspectors back in 1996. ...... "There is no hazard tot he people of New York from this operation." ... the items were sealed and were in plastic bags and a metal box. .... during a routine archives check. ..... shipped more than 10 years ago and that "There is no indication of questionable activity."
UN Inspectors Find Chemical in UN Office Forbes
Vials of dangerous nerve gas found at UN building
Immigration Raid at Ohio Poultry Plant Forbes About 160 illegal immigrants were arrested in a raid Tuesday at a poultry processing plant ...... most of the illegal immigrants are believed to be from Mexico, other Latin American countries and Africa .... deportation proceedings will begin immediately in most cases. .... Meat-processing plants around the country have been frequent targets of immigration authorities as they have stepped up efforts to track down undocumented workers.
Spitzer Talks of Suing to Expand Health Plan New York Times New York would consider suing federal health officials if the state was not granted a waiver to expand its federally subsidized health insurance program for children. ..... “It is not right. It is not fair,” Mr. Spitzer said of the new federal requirements ...... Bush, who has called New York’s and other states’ plans a step toward socialized medicine ..... Under the new rules, states seeking waivers for a higher income ceiling would have to show that they have already enrolled 95 percent of children whose parents make less than twice the poverty level. Currently, no state in the country meets that standard, which Mr. Spitzer said violated federal laws that give governors broad discretion in setting the income eligibility levels in their states. ....... the change would have effectively made health insurance universal for children in New York. .... the one sought by New York would give the state the highest income ceiling in the country .... the new rules include what Mr. Spitzer called “poison pill” requirements that he said would effectively kill New York’s and others states’ plans. .... “If they come back to us and refuse to budge from the positions they’ve taken, then we will sue,” he said.
For Obama, Nothing is the Matter with Kansas Washington Post In 2004, 78% percent of White Evangelicals voted for George W. Bush. ....... Obama may be able to do is siphon off scads of “Swing Evangelicals” in battleground states ...... It’s mid-October and the senator is addressing a room full of Kansans in a non-college town. ..... Obama opens his talk by reminding them that he too is from Kansas (being from Kansas: Kansans love that!). He then surprises his listeners by pointedly noting his disagreements with certain secular mantras of his party (Indeed, it suddenly dawns upon the lone, closeted village atheist in the room that when it comes to separation of church and state, Barack Obama is no Michael Dukakis). ....... he fires up his audience with Jimmy Carter like gospel-based oratory, except that it’s interesting and fun to listen to. He speaks out-loud about an awesome God and his awesome God does not appear to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU ...... the Kansans head home in advance of their self-imposed, statewide 7:30 pm curfew ...... pleased to learn that Mr. Obama is a Good Christian Man (because Kansans are fair, big-hearted folks ...... Twenty five percent of his listeners, however, will now consider casting their vote for a Democrat (because Kansans are open-minded folks, after all). The next evening the scene repeats itself in Columbus Ohio. ...... if there is any present Democratic candidate who can manipulate faith-based rhetoric to trigger a political conversion among conservative religious voters it is the talented junior senator from Illinois.
Hillary Clinton Expresses Surprise at Big Money Donor's Wanted Status FOX News
Castro backs Hillary Clinton
Obama brings his pen on vacation
Boston Globe For the second time in two days, Obama has penned an op-ed in a major publication outlining his views on a pressing issue. ..... in The New York Daily News urging Congress to pass a bill that would increase pressure on the Iranian government. ...... "It's time to turn the page on a failed foreign policy," he writes. "It's time for strong diplomacy backed by common-sense measures that pressure the Iranian regime." ..... in The Financial Times on the mortgage lending crisis, calling for sanctions on unscrupulous lenders. "If we are serious about stopping this crisis and preventing much larger turmoil in US housing markets, Washington needs to stop acting like an industry advocate and start acting like a public advocate

Some antics for the web Economist FOR all the tricks that the world wide web can perform, it still resembles a collection of one-trick ponies rather than a concerted cavalry charge. You can book an airline ticket, hire a car at your destination, arrange concert tickets for the evening that you arrive and even get directions from the airport to the concert hall. But you have to do it all yourself, one element at a time. You cannot delegate the process to a website as you might delegate it to your secretary or your long-suffering spouse. ...... The semantic web is so called because it aspires to make the web readable by machines as well as humans, by adding special tags, technically known as metadata, to its pages. .... a trio of new technologies: the Resource Description Framework (RDF), the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and the SPARQL query language. Together, they allow computers to group objects and their features—from prices and measurements to locations and user ratings—into meaningful relationships and hierarchies, by analysing their associated metadata. ........ In the field of travel, attaching metadata to everything makes it possible to link up airline schedules, car rental and hotel bookings. ..... TripIt .... Wesabe refers to as “bank puke”

Virginia Tech Criticized for Actions in Shooting New York Times
Two prominent senators call for Craig to resign
Kansas City Star
Senator claims plea was error, denies being gay Concord Monitor
Senator's scandal rocks Republicans ABC Online
Blood-red eclipse stops nation Daily Telegraph the moon was eaten by darkness before emerging a bright red colour. .... If you missed out the next blood moon will be visible about 11.45pm on December 10, 2011.
Obama Dominates GOP Rivals in Illinois Angus Reid Global Monitor, Canada
In US Race, Obama Leads Giuliani and Thompson Angus Reid Global Monitor
Obama Tops Rudy, Thompson New York Press
Obama’s Attack
Town Hall, DC
The God Vote Washington Post “Everybody digs Barack Obama.” .... he does possess qualities that make him uniquely attractive to people with advanced degrees in religious studies and other subjects. Obama can sound awfully professorial, as opposed to wonkish, when discussing issues pertaining to faith. The decade he spent as a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago has clearly left its mark. When reading or listening to him analyze questions of public policy and religion many scholars undoubtedly experience the pleasure of recognition. They may even conclude--somewhat narcissistically-- that “Senator Obama is one of us!” ....... “a narrative of faith.” ..... As a child, he was schooled in both Catholic and Muslim institutions. Too, there is reason to believe that prior to his later-life baptism he was under-churched or non-churched and may even have flirted with a casual sort of non-belief. All of these experiences tincture his thinking on religion with more sophistication and edge than any other candidate in the race. ....... Obama is a very original and cunning operator. .... Obama can lampoon the faith and values game while playing it with extraordinary skill. ... His quip about the “politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps (off rhythm) to the gospel choir” is a classic zinger. It is a mustard-filled paint-ball aimed at John Kerry that then ricochets directly into one of Hillary Clinton’s preferred photo-ops.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Take Camp Obama Online: Cash On The Enthusiasm

You should be able to do it through MyBO. There should be a manual that you should be able to read online. And there should be tests you can take and get certified right there at MyBO. And it should show on your profile that you attended the Camp Obama Online.

Why? Because we got to scale this thing. Training thousands is not enough. We got to train tens of thousands all over the country, in small towns, and not just in big cities. We got to totally translate enthusiasm into organization. We got to get sophisticated. Otherwise we stand the risk of squandering the amazing grassroots response Obama 2008 has generated so far. We owe it to our army of small donors and volunteers to go all the way.

The Grassroots Power Woman
Zip Code By Zip Code: Synergy Needed Between Local Groups And The National Email Treasury
The Countdown Has Begun: Marathon Now Turns To Sprint

We will soon be into the sprint phase full blast.

This is a movement you are talking about. This is not your traditional presidential campaign. When we say change, we mean it. We mean every letter of it.

We are using online tools better than any campaign. But we can do much better. We need to do much better. The competition is not with the other campaigns. The competition is with our own benchmarks.

The course online has to be evolving and interactive. It should be a tool to be build community online and offline.

We have got to go online, because we have got to mass produce.

In The News

Obama getting tough as going gets rough Chicago Sun-Times his strategy: to introduce himself as a Washington outsider but someone who understood the global stage and who believed in consensus. ..... For months this strategy had little variation. ..... And then the crowds started to dissipate. Obama didn't do as well as his aides had anticipated in the presidential debates and forums. He paused a second or two too long at times. He seemed awkward. He made a few gaffes. A poised Hillary Clinton was often declared the winner. ....... CNN's in early August: Clinton 40 percent, Obama 21 percent. Rasmussen's in late August: Clinton 39 percent, Obama 23 percent. People were getting to know Obama, but they weren't certain about his ability to don the presidential cloak. ...... as he shifts the gears of his strategy, taking bolder attacks against Clinton (note his description of her as "Bush-Cheney lite" on foreign affairs); retreating from many debates and presidential forums; presenting more detailed policies, as in his recent outline about how to resurrect a New Orleans still suffering two years after the debacle of Hurricane Katrina. ...... John Kerry was "at 4 percent in the polls before he won the Iowa caucus," adding, "I am happy to concede these polls in August. I am more interested in January." ....... Obama's tougher strategy may well give him the push needed in the early-voting states.

2008: Endorsements, Fund-Raising and Primaries New York Times Obama won the support of L. Douglas Wilder, the mayor of Richmond, Va. and the state’s former governor. Mr. Wilder, who was also the nation’s first elected black governor, predicted that Mr. Obama would do well among Southern voters. ...... McCain’s presidential campaign is eligible to receive public financing
Dodd Catches Fire Yahoo! News
Fire Fighters Endorse Dodd Hartford Courant
Senator Craig Insists He Is Not Gay Miami Poetry Review
Why Apple Can't Stop iPhone Hackers BusinessWeek 17-year-old .. Hotz hacked his iPhone and unlocked it so that it can be used on a variety of cell-phone networks
What Will Fix the Mortgage Mess?
Corporate E-Mail on the iPhone
Lawmakers sound off on Gonzales’ resignation The Citizen's Voice
2 Years After Katrina, Bush Sees Hope in New Orleans
New York Times
Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast struggling 2 years later CNN
Jailed dictator Noriega a hot potato
Melbourne Herald Sun
GOP Plans Early-Primary Penalties
New York Times
Castro: Clinton-Obama ticket a winner
Houston Chronicle a "seemingly invincible ticket" of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama would easily land in the White House. ..... mockingly wrote that Obama and Clinton, both Democrats, "feel the sacred duty of demanding 'a democratic government in Cuba.' " ... Castro said Bill Clinton was friendly and intelligent, and that Jimmy Carter was the only U.S. president he has met who "was not an accomplice to terrorism against Cuba."
Fidel Castro Death Rumors Give Way to Clinton-Obama Support National Ledger
Fidel Castro Wants Clinton-Obama White House Judicial Watch
White House pranksters deck out Karl Rove's car with 'I love Obama ...
CBC Nova Scotia Rove's car is easily recognizable because of its "I love Barack Obama" bumper sticker
Pranksters Wrap Rove's Car Forbes
Rove's Ride Pimped The Gate - National Journal
Karl Rove's Car Vandalised at White House
Obama unveils radical mortgage plan Financial Times Unscrupulous lenders who deceptively sold subprime mortgages to millions of Americans should be fined and the proceeds used to help bail out borrowers facing a wave of foreclosures, according to Barack Obama ..... “Our government failed to provide the regulatory scrutiny that could have prevented this crisis. ..... “While predatory lenders were driving low-income families into financial ruin, 10 of the country’s largest mortgage lenders were spending more than $185m (€136m, £92m) lobbying Washington to let them get away with it,” he wrote, citing figures from the Centre for Responsive Politics. ...... Obama said the government needed to “stop the unlicensed, unregulated, fly-by-night mortgage brokers who are hoodwinking low- income borrowers into loans they can’t afford”. ...... Curtailing undue corporate influence on policymaking in Washington is one of Mr Obama’s signature issues. ...... “There needs to be rationalisation – more centralisation – of how mortgage lending is regulated.”
Obama would target sub-prime lenders United Press International
Google expert says 'TV is dead' One of the founding fathers of the internet has predicted the end of traditional television. ... television was approaching its "iPod moment" ...... viewers would soon be downloading most of their favourite programmes onto their computers. ..... 85 per cent of all video we watch is pre-recorded ... Cerf, who is now the vice-president of the Google ...... some internet service providers, have warned that the internet will collapse under the strain of millions of people downloading programmes at the same time. ..... Over the next four years, it is thought that the number of videos watched over the internet will quadruple, with people moving from short clips to hour-long programmes. ..... "I want every one of the six billion people on the planet to be able to connect to the internet - I think they will add things to it that will really benefit us."
Google: censorship is not up to us Times Online
Google CFO to Retire At Age 53 ABC News
Google CFO Out Forbes
Original Document: Obama's Field Director On Enthusiasm And ...
Atlantic Online crowds of more than 20,000 in Atlanta, GA; 20,000 in Austin, TX and a historic crowd of 10,000 in Iowa City, IA. ...... how are we going to channel this enthusiasm into an organization capable of delivering victories in the early states and the February 5th states? ..... marrying traditional field organizing training with the community organizing tactics Obama learned as a young man on the south side of Chicago. ...... Camp Obama: Turning Enthusiasm into Organization ..... the last three months, the Obama campaign has trained thousands of volunteers and supporters at “Camp Obama” trainings. ..... almost twenty Camp Obama trainings across the country including Burbank, CA; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT and New York City, NY. In October, we will hold trainings in Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis, Tennessee and will continue the trainings in Chicago. ..... What happens at the trainings? .... a marriage between community organizing and traditional organizing tactics .... a vigorous two to four day program that includes training on setting up and running phone banks, planning and organizing a door-knocking program and role playing common scenarios from the campaign trail including the process of registering voters and speaking with voters about Obama’s leadership on key issues. ...... community organizing tactics—like relationship building and the ability to find common interests in people and employ them ....... building local leaders in the communities and fostering long-term relationships to support our common values ..... mini-campaign offices with these groups—self-sufficient, interdependent teams that take responsibility for all aspects of a campaign within their congressional district. ....... provide supporters and volunteers with the tools to take organizing into their own hands. ...... enthusiasm alone will not win the nomination ...... turning energy into action all the way to the White House. ...... local people are the everyday experts on the issues important to their communities .... equip the everyday experts with the same organizing tools and the roadmap to victory that our paid campaign staffers rely on across the country. ....... Ben Turner, 17, Student, Atlanta "For me, Barack Obama is a symbol of what's to come, of an entire movement. Just like MLK ...... the February 5th states where most candidates are struggling to decide if they should invest resources. ..... investing in everyday people and encouraging them to be our ambassadors, our organizers and our voices in places where we don’t have paid staff or official offices yet. ...... early states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and in February 5th states like California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia and Missouri. ...... a winning campaign will need deep organizations in dozens of states to prevail. .... We will have the largest and most committed grassroots organization in the race, allowing us to build our support, chase absentee ballots, conduct early vote programs and turn out Obama supporters in any state we need to.
The Battle for the Democratic Nomination: Hillary Clinton vs ... TransWorldNews (press release), GA
Countdown begins for real in America's first billion-dollar ... Times Online In five days most Americans will begin enjoying their long Labor Day weekend - the traditional end of summer - in the usual way: barbecuing, a final trip to the beach and watching sport. ...... two of the whitest and least populated in America ..... Labor Day also marks the traditional start of the presidential primary campaign ... the moment when many voters begin to focus on the candidates and the issues. .... the longest and most expensive campaign in US history - it will be the first $1 billion election ..... “Tsunami Tuesday” ... America is probably only 20 weeks away from knowing who its two main candidates will be. .... The 2008 race is the first since 1928 in which both parties have genuinely open primary contests ..... In four out of five times in the post Second World War era - 1960, 1968, 1976 and 2000 - the party holding the White House for two consecutive terms has failed to win a third. ...... In 2002 party identification split evenly between the two parties. Now only 35 per cent of Americans call themselves Republican - compared with 50 per cent who say that they are Democrat. ...... Mrs Clinton fares the worst. She is in a statistical tie with Mr Giuliani and just ahead of Mr McCain. This is feeding Democratic fears that although she is a prohibitive favourite for her party’s nomination, she will prove too unpopular and polarising to win a general election. She has the highest “negatives” - unfavourable ratings - of any candidate. ...... She has run an utterly disciplined primary campaign. In debates she has been relaxed, confident and clearly the most knowledgeable and experienced. Her “negatives” have also started to inch downwards. She has been a better candidate in the skills of one-to-one retail politics than most predicted. Her closest adviser is America’s shrewdest political tactician: her husband. ......... Nationally her lead over Mr Obama is 16 per cent, 38 per cent to 22. That has edged down from 20 per cent from two weeks ago, and in the early nominating contests of Iowa and New Hampshire it is far closer. Mrs Clinton, Mr Edwards and Mr Obama are in a statistical tie in Iowa. She leads Mr Obama by eight points in New Hampshire. ..... his greatest challenge is to convince enough voters that he has the gravitas to lead America in a time of colossal foreign policy uncertainty. ..... Mrs Clinton’s relentless exploitation of it ... unlike the New York senator, had the judgment to oppose the Iraq war ..... a relatively stable two-horse contest. .... a personal wealth of $250 million ..... He is a hugely successful venture capitalist who rescued the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He desperately wants to be president. He is the Republican most on the rise. ...... A possible entry by Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, this year will shake up the already volatile Republican race even further. .... US presidential politics is a mercurial and brutal affair where conventional wisdom is often turned on its head. Michael Dukakis warned his party this week how quickly things can change. He should know. In July 1988 the former Democratic nominee held a 17-point lead over George Bush Sr. Three months later he lost in a landslide.
Stories and Numbers - a Closer Look at Camp Obama Huffington Post, NY No one who attends a "Camp Obama" training weekend can deny that something truly beautiful is taking place inside the Barack Obama campaign. ... lead by Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz ..... applying story telling, emotion and faith to politics. .... He was there when Robert Kennedy was shot .... says that for America it's been 40 years in the desert since that time. But he says he's beginning to see an out. ...... Almost every sentence Ganz speaks is at the same time intensely intellectual and intensely emotional. ...... telling our stories to each other ..... learn how to tell our own stories ...... how to "put into words why you're called, and why we've been called, to change the way the world works." ...... recruiting and motivating volunteers and building relationships. ..... emerge being able to tell their "story of self" in less than two minutes ..... I wasn't prepared for anything like who the people in this room turned out to be when they began to tell their stories. ...... two different professors tried to steer her towards a major in education. One told her, "This isn't a field for black girls." ...... Another told her he was sure she was being set up by affirmative action for failure, though actually her scholarship had been awarded for academic performance only. Despite that discouragement, she stuck with it and now does some crazy high tech job for NASA .......... After hearing their stories, I certainly was looking at this group differently than when we first sat down. ...... In just that first morning session, this group of "ordinary campaign volunteers" had been revealed to actually be a group of insanely talented, wise and courageous leaders. Now that that had been established, the real work could start. ...... This potential-revealing process of story telling ... a key tactic of every social movement from the American revolution to the Great Awakenings to the Civil Rights Movement. .... first appeared: as "ordinary volunteers." Because that's how organizers saw them, and how they saw each other, that is how they functioned. ...... the nuts and bolts: training and exercises on how to function as an effective team, skills training for volunteer recruitment and voter contact and review and explanations of field plans for Georgia, South Carolina and the rest of the South. ...... a process of setting goals and making a plan to achieve them ...... While still at the training, thirteen different teams scheduled thirteen different volunteer recruitment meetings back in the districts--and picked up their cell phones to get 284 commitments to attend from friends and neighbors. ..... the closing ceremony ... was incredibly high-energy and emotional. ....... establish parallel teams of five to eight people to be responsible for cities and neighborhoods all the way down to the precinct level. ...... There's no question that Camp Obama is a beautiful thing. ... communities benefit from the leadership development that takes place at Camp Obama. ..... But is there time for this meticulous organization-building to make any kind of difference in the vote in the "Super Duper Tuesday" February 5 nationwide primary? That all depends on the actual numbers of high-functioning teams that Camp Obama graduates are able to create in their districts, and the actual numbers of voters those teams are able to persuade and get to the polls. ..... the vast half of the country that votes on February 5. .... the hard numbers of this great experiment.

Obama's campaign gets mobile boost from Bellevue startup Seattle Post Intelligencer allows supporters of the Democratic presidential candidate to receive news and other information on their mobile phones. The service, which also was built by Distributive Networks, includes ringtones with excerpts from Obama's speeches.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gonzalez: The Ethnic Angle

Unlike many Democrats, I have not been following the Gonzalez saga in any detail. I don't remember clicking on any headlines while he was being pilloried. I have only read a few stories now that he has resigned.

I like it that Bush put Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Alberto Gonzalez in top positions. Democrats should have done it before him but didn't.

When you come from where Gonzalez came from, it is a big deal to become Attorney General. It is like being President of the United States. You have arrived in the big leagues. I relate to the feeling fundamentally. When I quote my scant conversations with Howard Dean from having met him at events in the city, people in the Nepali community are all ears, and Dean never even appointed me to anything. I am still the same guy, before and after, but I need some big shot white guy to elevate me even with my own people. I am a huge, diehard fan of Howard Dean, don't get me wrong, for me Obama picked up where Dean left, but at some level I find the symbolism of it all a little amusing and offensive. Look at me for me, I seem to want to say.

Bush messed up big time. He lied to a country to take it to a trillion dollar war. That is what impeachment is for. But so far noone has tried to impeach Bush, noone in a position to do so. So Gonzalez was the fall guy. Not even his own conservatives liked him. He was not white. He was incompetent, so to speak. He gets accused of being a crony appointment. When white people nominate white people like that, it is not crony appointment. Give me a break.

Bush messed up. So if Gonzalez worked for Bush, he must have messed up as well.

Gonzalez provided some symbolism for the Hispanics, but what did he actually do for them besides the symbolism?

I am more interested in an elected symbol like Bill Richardson than an appointed one like Gonzalez. Richardson is for real.

Gonzalez has been a victim to the progressive tide sweeping the country. That tide will also sweep about 10 white guys in the Senate next year. I am glad.

Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, we belong in the Democratic Party. That is my message to my fellow Indians. Go Barack. The right wing of the Republican Party has too much history, if you get the gist of what I am getting at.

In The News

Bihar police beating is broadcast BBC News the beating highlights the widespread problem of police brutality in India. .... the paper-thin suspect is seen wearing only tattered trousers. .... His hands are bound behind his back, and he is repeatedly punched in the face and kicked in the stomach, chest and back by a mob on Monday in the eastern city of Bhagalpur. ..... "He was dragged for some time and the police constable stopped his bike only when he lost consciousness ...... the victim, Salim .... in many cases, the victims are low caste and poor. ..... not the first time that police in Bhagalpur have been accused of abuses. .... In 1979 they were accused of blinding 31 alleged criminals by pouring acid into their eyes. .... Bihar is considered to be one of India's most lawless states.
Number of Uninsured Americans Hits Record High Washington Post
Clinton picks up first big union endorsement
Boston Globe
Clinton scores transportation union endorsement Politics on the Hudson
Castro Essay Criticizes 2008 Candidates
Washington Post Castro accused U.S. presidential candidates of "submission" to his exiled foes in Florida and offered a favorable assessment of only one of the 10 presidents he has known: Jimmy Carter. ...... Castro said that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "feel the sacred duty to demand 'a democratic government in Cuba'" _ something Cuban officials insist already exists. ...... Castro has not been seen in public in the 13 months ....... Castro said Bill Clinton was "really friendly" during a brief encounter at a U.N. summit and said he was "intelligent in demanding that rule of law be followed" in the case of castaway boy Elian Gonzalez ......... Clinton apparently tried to stop flights by exile pilots who had enraged the communist government by repeatedly scattering anti-communist literature over Havana. ...... Cuban jet fighters shot down the civilian planes off the island's coast during a repeat visit in February 1996.
Seek cover; Hillary hailstorm ahead UT The Daily Texan The same week thousands stood in the rain to watch Barack Obama speak in Austin last spring, Hillary Clinton made an appearance at a closed-door fundraiser thrown by some of Austin's elite. ....... Hillary Clinton, for all her incredible political gifts, has become Public Enemy No. 2 for a disturbingly large number of Americans. ...... She was for the Iraq war before she was against it. ...... the last 27 years under administrations that contained either a Bush or a Clinton. ..... party-machine-made candidates like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
Indian student found dead in Nepal Hindustan Times Two tablets of an anti-depressant cum sedative drug were found near the body ..... had been depressed following the results of the final year examinations on Monday afternoon, which showed him to have flunked the test. .... it was Sinha's third attempt to pass the examination, having failed twice earlier.
Gonzales Kicked On His Way Out The Door U.S. News & World Report "For a man accused of lying to Congress, it was a fitting way to go out." ...... Overwhelmingly, opposition to Gonzales is being cast as deep and bipartisan and even unnamed sources in the Administration are said to be glad the embattled Attorney General decided to leave. ...... The announcement caught his top aides at the Justice Department by surprise ..... Gonzales' departure came "to the relief of many administration officials who have long considered him an embarrassment." ..... no one in the White House asked him to reconsider and change his mind ..... was actually "a firing ...... in one of those Washington, no-fingerprints ways." ..... Bush saying, "It is sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons." ..... would continue their investigations on Gonzales' actions. ...... "ineffectual or counterproductive" in his defense of the Administration's war-time powers. ...... conservatives have "questioned both Gonzales's legal acumen and his ability to manage the sprawling Justice Department." ....... "You can bring your politics to Agriculture. ... You can do that at Interior. But the Justice Department is supposed to be different. ...... One who was a very decent person but seemed incapable of handling the Justice Department. At best he was seen by Republicans as incompetent, he was seen by Democrats as not truthful ...... just how deep the political corruption went during his time at Justice." ....... "for all of his undeniable deficiencies, merely reflected the principles of this administration. His resignation is a necessary but hardly sufficient step in restoring the nation's commitment to the rule of law." ........ "inadequate and inept ..... he "lacked the political skill and leadership ability to survive in a high-profile post." ...... recalling his rise up from poverty ...... "dirt-poor Texas childhood." ..... "I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days." ....... "to the bitter end, Gonzales remained the most self-involved attorney general in modern memory. ..... the grandchild of immigrants .... Solicitor General Paul Clement "will be acting attorney general ...... a solid conservative and "savvy" insider ...... hard-right conservative unwilling to consider the other side."
no rakhi in many Bihar homes Economic Times
Senate prospects seem brighter for Democrats
MSNBC it now looks possible that in next year’s elections the Democrats just might attain the 60 seats they need to foil Republican filibusters ...... there are 22 Republican-held seats to be defended, and six of them appear in jeopardy ..... Senate Democrats have only two seats that appear to be at any risk .... The financial momentum also is with the Democrats. ...... 2002. .. Bush seemed at the peak of his post-9/11 powers and was a big draw on the campaign trail. ...... Idaho — a state which no Democratic presidential candidate has carried in 43 years and no Senate Democratic candidate has won in 33 years ...... the Mountain West, where the Republicans have been dominant for the past 40 years but which is turning more competitive ...... Democrats will keep the focus on the Mountain West next summer by holding their presidential convention in Denver.
India aiming for free trade accord with ASEAN by November: official Channel News Asia
In Hyderabad, a tale of two cities Rediff
In dodgy neighborhood, India easy prey for bombers Reuters India was second only to Iraq in terms of terrorist incidents and deaths between January 2004 and March this year, with 3,674 people killed, more than hotspots like Afghanistan and Colombia. ........ Shahid Bilal of the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HuJI), a Bangladeshi group .... Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Taiba works hand-in-glove with HuJI ..... "A huge problem the Indians face is that they don't have a functional relationship with their near neighbors... with the people who can help them ....... vast swathes of the rural hinterland virtually unpoliced. The criminal justice system is overwhelmed and outdated. ..... no central database of militant suspects and little time for the kind of meticulous, post-attack hunt for clues undertaken elsewhere. ...... Foot soldiers in India are given small, specific tasks without necessarily knowing the people they are dealing with, or the grand plot. ....... "Our country is so big, things are happening in such a manner that even if we have the information that something is likely to happen we do not know when and where it is likely to happen." ....... India's 140-million-strong Muslim population is beginning to provide recruits for militant groups, especially after communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 in which around 2,500 people died. ..... Militants' attacks in recent years have failed in what most presume is their aim -- to destabilize India by fomenting violence between Hindus and Muslims, and to destroy the peace process with Pakistan.
10 die in mosque bombing in Iraq Los Angeles Times
Germany's Merkel prods China on rights, women
Guardian Unlimited
Angelina Jolie visits Iraq refugees Reuters
US Income and Poverty Rates Improved in 2006
New York Times
Google Germany slammed for Neo-Nazi YouTube clips
Google + CNN = Good for You
Motley Fool
Google Cuts AdSense Deal with Wired News
Samsung Will Roll Out WiMax In New York For Sprint
InformationWeek Samsung has already been rolling out WiMax in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, and Providence, R.I. ...... Sprint said it expects mobile Internet services to be available for New York area customers in late 2008. ..... Sprint's New York-area WiMax service will cover New York City; Nassau-Suffolk, Long Island; Jersey City, N.J; and some areas in northern and central New Jersey including the Newark, Bergen-Passaic, Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, and Monmouth-Ocean regions.
Google's Secret Society Forbes, with a redesign intended to prettify the site's Spartan look. ...... Orkut now draws 38.2 billion page views a month worldwide, 7.8 billion more than Facebook ...... In Brazil, where Facebook and MySpace are virtually unknown, Orkut has become a smash hit, with 15.6 billion page views monthly ...... 10 billion more monthly page views than Facebook draws from Americans. ...... Orkut's success in Brazil seems largely to be a fluke. The site hasn't made any special appeal to Brazilians, and only began to offer a Portuguese-language option in April of 2005, long after it had become the social network of choice in Brazil. One blogger argues that its name, which was taken from Turkish-born Google engineer Orkut Buyukkokten, is catchy in Portuguese and reminds Brazilians of a popular yogurt drink for kids. ....... Facebook will earn more than $100 million this year ...... "If you've got the ad coverage, an international user is as valuable as anyone ...... brings the percentage of Google's foreign revenue to 60.8%, up from 46.7% last year. ..... MySpace still leads the social networking market by a large margin, and Facebook tripled its audience in the last year .. Orkut grew only 64%. ..... Socialstream, a prototype for a site that allows users to post text and multimedia content to a single page, then syndicate that content to any social network where they have a profile. ........ Combined with Orkut, Socialstream might be just the sort of Googlish innovation that breaks down the "walled-garden" approach to social networking favored by Facebook and MySpace and brings American eyeballs to Orkut. ...... If Google could provide Orkut with a competitive advantage, it could easily build a community from the audience that uses its services like Gmail, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Maps, Google Calendar and its photo-sharing site, Picasa ..... "Until now, Orkut has been an also-ran in the U.S. because it's been neglected by Google," Sterling says. "But with just a few tweaks and redesigns, and in combination with all of Google's services, it has the potential to really differentiate itself from MySpace and Facebook."
looking forward to RGV's Aag Rediff
US Obesity Rates Continue To Rise, Study Finds
Britney, Kevin under child abuse investigation?
Xinhua the heated child custody battle between Spears and Kevin Federline

Fotolog and the French CNet hearty congratulations to Scott Heiferman and Adam Seifer, on selling Fotolog to France's Hi-Media Group for $90 million ....... Launched in May 2002 by Scott Heiferman and Adam Seifer as a small community project of 200 friends, Fotolog today generates more than 3.5 billion page views and receives more than 15 million unique visitors each month. Fotolog ranks among the top 25 in the Alexa list of the world's most trafficked websites (click here for today's ranking) and was recently named Site of the Week by PC Magazine.
Marc Andreessen: "Step 1: Go dark and execute... Money talks, hype walks -- when you're hitting your numbers, everyone thinks you're a genius and believes everything you say, no matter how silly. When you're not hitting your numbers, everyone thinks you're a moron and won't believe anything you say, no matter how true. So go dark, focus on the business.... Step 9: In six months, relaunch the company with a single, crisp, coherent message and strategy. Then go dark again and go right back to work."
Eleven lessons learned about blogging, so far It is crystal clear to me now that at least in industries where lots of people are online, blogging is the single best way to communicate and interact. ..... Blogging is clearly the second coming of high-quality Internet conversations ..... conversations on the Internet would eventually all revolve around every individual having a blog ....... and the communication would flow through the links. ..... I am also reading both Technorati and Google Blog Search results for my blog, multiple times per day. ...... writing a blog is way easier than writing a magazine article, a published paper, or a book -- but provides many of the same benefits. ..... how much more fun blogging is versus public speaking -- at least for me. ...... I'm not sure I'll ever speak in public again -- I'll be at home instead, blogging in my underwear. ..... a piece of original content that goes viral generates way more page views than a piece of content that does not. ...... we are definitely entering a world in which bloggers are taken super-seriously by political candidates, company PR departments, government officials, and book editors, among many others
The truth about venture capitalists, Part 1
The truth about venture capitalists, Part 2
The truth about venture capitalists, Part 3
Analyzing the Facebook Platform, three weeks in Facebook is promising economic freedom -- third-party applications can run ads and sell goods and services to their hearts' content. ..... The leadership that the Facebook team is showing here rivals anything that the large and established software and web companies have done in this decade.
Why there's no such thing as Web 2.0

Overheard In New York

: Due to a stalled train at Lorimer Street, there is no L service to Manhattan.

Hispanic lady
: Why would someone stole a train? Where they gonna put it?

--M train

Mom: I need a size 'Small.'
Little girl, loudly
: Mommy, aren't you a Large?

--H&M, 51st & 5th

Newspaper guy: Read all about it: girl passing me right now has holes in her jeans. Girl with holy jeans: They're made like that, asshole.
--Port Authority

Hipster dude: ... And she ended up renting some movie about Madame Curie. Hipster chick: That's the wax lady, right? Over at Times Square? I didn't know there was a movie about her.
Hipster dude
: I hate you.

--Union Square

Drunk chick: Oh my god, you look like the last tsunami!
Guy with really short hair
: What?

Drunk chick: I said you look like that last tsunami guy in the Tom Cruise movie! Guy with really short hair: You mean The Last Samurai?
Drunk chick
: Oh, yeah. Him.

--Party, 46th & 8th

Tourist #1: Why is New York called 'The Village'?
Tourist #2
: Huh? Oh, no. Greenwich Village. It's a section of New York.

Tourist #1
: Why does it need sections?

Tourist #2
: 'Cause it's huge. It's like the size of Chicago or something.

--13th & 4th

Bench chick #1: You know you can get, like, melanoma or skin cancer without suntan lotion.
Bench chick #2
: So? At least I'll die tan.


NYU boy, about man with cane and sunglasses: Why do all blind people have to wear sunglasses?
NYU girl
: Isn't it all part of the persona?

NYU boy
: What, like they don't want me to see their eyes?

NYU girl
: I guess. And like how they wear baggy pants and FUBU shit.

NYU boy, slowly, after long pause
: I said 'blind people.'

--F train, 14th St

Teacher: And Montana--
Asian girl, interrupting
: --Wait, isn't Montana somewhere near Germany along with Maine?

--Bronx Science