Breaking News: Obama Wins North Carolina

MSNBC and Fox News (Clinton team's network of choice) just called North Carolina for Obama-exactly when the polls closed.  This is great news because it indicates a significant victory for Obama.

Now to just keep Indiana close...

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Thomas Friedman is Back: Gas Tax Holiday "Dumb" and Energy Policy Even Worse

Thomas Friedman is back from his sabbatical with a wonderful column  criticizing the "McCain-Clinton" gas tax holiday.

It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away. Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer's travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country.

When the summer is over, we will have increased our debt to China, increased our transfer of wealth to Saudi Arabia and increased our contribution to global warming for our kids to inherit.

No, no, no, we'll just get the money by taxing Big Oil, says Mrs. Clinton. Even if you could do that, what a terrible way to spend precious tax dollars -- burning it up on the way to the beach rather than on innovation?

The McCain-Clinton gas holiday proposal is a perfect example of what energy expert Peter Schwartz of Global Business Network describes as the true American energy policy today: "Maximize demand, minimize supply and buy the rest from the people who hate us the most."

Good for Barack Obama for resisting this shameful pandering.

Friedman goes on to talk about how warped our energy priorities are.

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I am Sad Because Ed Rendell May Have Been Right (Updated)

Remember the firestorm that erupted when Ed Rendell came out with these comments?

"You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," the Governor said, ironically, to a black reporter. "I believe, looking at the returns in my election, that had Lynn Swann [2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate] been the identical candidate that he was -- well-spoken, charismatic, good-looking -- but white instead of black, instead of winning by 22 points, I would have won by 17 or so."

I was pretty upset when he said those comments.  Of course they followed Obama's Louisiana primary victory.

As reported on the Huffington Post:

This is the second time in as many days that the topic of Obama's racial appeal (or, in Rendell's case, lack of biracial appeal) has been brought up by the Clinton campaign. Yesterday, the Senator herself suggested that Obama's weekend win in the Louisiana primary was the product of, primarily, the black vote.

"In the case of Louisiana," she said, "you know, a very strong and very proud African-American electorate, which I totally respect and understand."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/12 /rendell-some-whites-won_n_86246.html

So, there has been all kinds of talk about the "race card" being played.  I for one, thought we had moved to a point where we are ready to elect an African-American to the highest office.  I still think we are, but after reading mydd over the last few weeks, it will be more difficult than I had hoped.

Then of course diaries began popping up that gave me pause such as one with an openly racist comment such as this:

When death reigned out of the sky on 9/11, 2001, and stock brokers and financial analysis's were running downstairs out of the burning towers, firemen were running  upstairs to rescue the wounded and the helpless. Close to 350 white guys gave their lives that day in the service of their country.  And the whole world took their hat off to them. It is about time the Democratic Party did the same.

And the diarist follow-up with these comments:

to me a racist comment would be I am not voting for some no-good n---. What she is saying is she is fearful that if an AA gets elected her little share of the pie will get even smaller. Working class whites and AAs have been pitted against each other for a long time. Those fears have to be addressed. Unfortunately, Obama doesn't seem to like white people. His pastor is bigtime serious in this regard.

The sad thing is that comment was uprated by two users of this supposedly progressive web site.  See here: http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/4/24/1 93334/383/60?mode=alone;showrate=1#60

The diary can be found here:http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/4/24/1933 34/383

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Obama Picks Up Another SD!

Good news for Obama....

Nebraska Superdelegate for Obama
By Sam Graham-Felsen - Apr 23rd, 2008 at 5:17 pm EDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. - Audra Ostergard, Associate Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and member of the Democratic National Committee, publicly announced her support for Senator Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

"I have carefully weighed input from Democrats across Nebraska and closely watched results from primaries and caucuses across the country," said Ostergard. "There are compelling arguments for supporting both candidates, but my decision came down to what's best for our country and for Nebraska. In that regard, I am confident in my decision to endorse Senator Obama. He has a proven ability to activate Democrats in Nebraska."

"The gravity of this decision has weighed on me heavily," Ostergard added. "I don't want to use my position to influence the process, but at the same time I agree with Howard Dean that our party needs a nominee. Senator Obama's prohibitive lead in pledged delegates was a major factor in my decision."

Ostergard, 41, is a publishing representative in Lincoln. By virtue of her position as Associate Chair in the Nebraska Democratic Party, she is a member of the Democratic National Committee and therefore automatically a delegate to the Democratic Party's National Convention in August.

All six of Nebraska's Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Official Delegates (also known as "superdelegates") have now endorsed Senator Obama. U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, Committeman Vince Powers, Committeewoman Kathleen Fahey, and Committeman Frank La Mere all endorsed prior to Nebraska's February 9th Caucus. NDP Chairman Steve Achelpohl announced his support last week.

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Hear Directly From An Undecided Superdelegate

Great blog on the web for those of you who don't know about it directly from an uncommitted superdelegate.

www.mrsuper.org

He/she plays things down the middle and gives users an interesting read:

On when to declare a preference:

I'm watching the numbers roll in after Senator Clinton's 10-point win.  I've spoken to one network and one newspaper.  Some rumors going around about some major Superdelegate shifts on Wednesday morning - that would be something if it were true, wouldn't it?  (It's probably not true).

There is a lot of debate going on over on private DNC member listserves tonight.  The main issue is a) do we make our leanings known now or b) do we wait until all of the states have had an opportunity to vote?

As of this writing, there is not a consensus.

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NYT: The Low Road to Victory

New NY Times editorial below the fold...

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Using the Electoral Vote Metric

Losing in delegates, popular vote, states won, etc, etc., Sen. Clinton's surrogates have been pushing the Electoral College metric.

In sum, they claim that we should choose a nominee based upon who won states with the most aggregate electoral votes.

Now, this argument is deeply flawed for one basic reason.  Sen. Clinton won California and NY, but is there any doubt that Obama could easily win those two states in the fall?  On the other hand, Sen. Obama won Illinois easily, but there is any doubt that Sen. Clinton could win it in the fall?

But maybe there is some merit to the argument, but not in the way the surrogates anticipated.....

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Can we finally talk about some real issues again?

How many diaries can we get attacking Sen. Obama about his remarks at a SF fundraiser?  One user alone has 3, count 'em, 3 recommended diaries on the same subject.  

Amazing.

It seems supporters on both sides in their overwhelming emotional support of their own candidate will jump on any remark by the other candidate and exploit it.

This is self-destructive.  I mean, it is fine to have a few diaries about a particular subject, but the sheer number is stupifying.

We are going to lose this election unless we talk about the issues that are important to Americans.

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Hillary's Elitist Contempt for Unions

How can we elect a nominee who has such disdain and contempt for unions as Hillary does?

Borrowing some language in the recent spate of nonsensical and abusive diaries aimed at the leader for the democratic nomination, I think Hillary's position regarding labor unions:

-reveals her elitist disdain for working people;
-reveals that she does not connect with the people that make up the backbone of America;
-reveals that she is just another wealthy liberal elitist without caring about ordinary folks like you and me;
-shows she is unelectable;

Hillary Clinton supporters love specifics right?

Let's talk specifics....

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BREAKING: Clinton's California Delegate Purge

As reported by the AP:

LOS ANGELES--Barack Obama's and Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaigns are purging potential California delegates to ensure that only their loyalists vote at the national convention that will crown one of them as the Democratic presidential nominee.
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Locked in a race with an uncertain outcome, representatives for both camps this week directed the California Democratic Party to remove dozens of names from the lists of more than 2,000 potential delegates. Party caucuses scheduled for Sunday will elect a slate of delegates for each candidate.

Driven by fears that some prospective delegates might be concealing their true allegiances, the campaigns are searching campaign finance data, scouring the Internet and making telephone calls to weed out dubious candidates.

Neither side wants to elect a delegate who might really support their rival, or other candidate.

Most of the cutting was done by Obama. His campaign dropped about 900 potential delegates, compared to about 50 excluded on Clinton's side.

They "want to make sure the people who are running for delegate for their candidate are going to stay true to that candidate," said Roger Salazar, a Democratic operative running as a Clinton delegate. "If they see somebody who is a supporter of the other side, they are going to knock them off" the list.

More than 4,000 delegates from across the country will travel to Denver in August for the Democratic National Convention, where the nominee will be chosen. Slots for 241 delegates divvied up in California's Feb. 5 presidential primary -- 134 for Clinton and 107 for Obama -- will be awarded Sunday.

Some say the notion of Trojan Horse delegates may be overstated.

"Most delegates are legitimate, but with this convention no one is taking any chances," said Steven Maviglio, who's running as a Clinton delegate and is an aide to her national co-chair, state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. "At this point of the game, each campaign wants its delegates to be 100 percent committed."

Suspicions about delegate loyalty have been heightened because the party has no rules guaranteeing they must vote at the convention for the candidate to which they are pledged during elections.

Clinton trails Obama both in the popular vote and in pledged delegates, and has said she will take her fight for the nomination to Denver if necessary. Clinton also has hinted that hopes to persuade some of Obama's delegates to switch sides and back her instead.

"There is no such thing as a pledged delegate," she said last week.

Neither campaign would comment Wednesday.

The delegates at stake in Sunday's caucuses represent a portion of those from California who will attend the convention. Others include 71 superdelegates, who range from members of Congress to former party leaders, and another group of 129 delegates to be chosen in May.

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