Archive: May, 2008
It seems like today is Veep Day -- a lot of people out there are weighing in on who Obama and McCain should pick for their No. 2s. The only things I know for sure is that a) I honestly have no clue who McCain should pick -- the most interesting name I heard was ex-Hewlitt-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who unlike McCain knows at least something about the economy and who would help pick off a few disgruntled Clinton backers (although wasn't she fired?) and b) I just don't think Clinton works for Obama, not only because of the inevitable bad chemistry between them but because Bill Clinton would just hover over everything.
So who should Obama pick? Well, vice presidential candidates are a little like the presidential candidates -- they're all flawed, only slightly more so. I once thought that Obama should maybe pick a woman, but the field of non-Hillary females is kind of lackluster and -- given the way some voters are reacting to Obama -- he may need to play it fairly traditional.
Based on the comments I get, I've decided there's only two kinds of posts on Attytood:
1) "Hate posts." This broad category, covering most of the material posted in Attytood, includes any criticism of the federal government, especially President Bush or Vice President Cheney, or any suggestion that the war in Iraq or torture maybe aren't the greatest idea.
Add another illustrious claim to fame for Philadelphia -- apparently we're the home of the "Sunni-type beard."
What am I talking about? A Friend of Attytood just forwarded a news release from the Philadelphia Police Department about two criminal suspects in a May 16 murder and home invasion. The first one is a black male who's described as wearing "a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans. Black boots. Full sunni (sic) type beard."
I've written a couple of times here about how when it comes to crime, there should be no reason why you can't wage the war on homicide on several fronts at once: Pushing for more personal, family and community responsibility while also getting ridiculous assault weapons off the street.
Same with reducing the murder rate and fighting against police brutality: The two things are not mutually exclusive, Except when you're the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, and when two cops have been charged with savagely beating an unarmed and never-charged suspect (who's pictured at top) -- then you see a connection:
“History appears poised to confirm what most Americans today have decided: that the decision to invade Iraq was a serious strategic blunder. No one, including me, can know with absolute certainty how the war will be viewed decades from now when we can more fully understand its impact. What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary.”
I remember when gas prices began their inexorable rise a few years ago, there was a spate of stories asking how high the price of gasoline would have to go before people started changing their behavior. I think we now know the answer: $4 a gallon. As Atrios pointed out earlier today, virtually every newspaper in America is running an article about a flood of commuters flocking to trains or buses.
But for the millions of Americans who work in the suburbs or live in one without trains or inadequate bus service, that's not an option. Clearly, the best way to decrease energy use would be to get more people to live in so-called "livable cities" where stores and entertainment are walkable and where mass transit is also on the table. A place like Pittsburgh, for example. I was thinking about Pittsburgh because of this story I read the other day:
"It's a Shame About Ray" by the Lemonheads wasn't a huge seller when it came out in 1992, but many people thought it was one of great pop-rock albums of the decade. I was one of those people; the title song and other tracks like the hidden bonus "Mrs. Robinson" take me back to a time of cassettes, the Sony Walkman, and a long train commute into Manhattan. The one thing that never occured to me back then was...hey, this would be a great commercial for your Chevy dealer, especially if they changed the melody to whistling!
But there you go -- Chevy advertises on both the Phillies and that ultra-left-wing MSNBC so I must hear the commercial about 12 or 13 times a day. I hope Evan Dando is getting paid, at least. It may be all tied into a re-release of the original CD by the Lemonheads, by the way.
Anyway, whistling "It's a Shame About Ray" sure beats the "FreeCreditReport.com Theme" for getting stuck in your head. Listen to the real thing below. Then talk about...whatever. It's the open thread!
There's been a lot of chatter about how the Democrats and their unelected superdelegates simply won't nominate Hillary Clinton if Barack Obama ends up with more elected, or pledged delegates, and with more popular votes, if you rely upon unfuzzy math. The logic -- and in this rare case it is sound logic -- is that Obama's core supporters, including blacks but also those enthusiastic under-25s who've been brought into the process -- will revolt if they see the party bosses take it away from a man poised to be America's first non-white president.
In the end, that's why most people feel confident now that Obama has the nomination in the bag. But few have focused on a much more realistic possibility -- that Obama will get more popular votes than the Republican John McCain, in the fall and still lose in the Electoral College.
Philadelphia native Sgt. Sherwood Baker was killed in a building explosion in Baghdad on April 26, 2004, leaving behind a wife and a son who was 9 years old. His brother, Dante Zappala, writes on Memorial Day of how his life and death continues to inspire him, the rest of Baker's family, and people who knew -- and who didn't know -- him:
We remember Sherwood as we work amidst an inspired group of unlikely activists -- Gold Star and Military Families who want an end to the war in Iraq. We are regular folks, your every day nobodies, whose grief and vigilance is aimed at preventing further tragedy. We have banged on the doors in Washington, we have marched in the streets of America. We have relentlessly called for an immediate end to this hideous debacle.
Conservative Inquirer pundit Jonathan Last is in "Operation Chaos" mode, trying waaaaay too hard here to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee, or at least prolong the nomination fight to the advantage of his presumably favored GOP candidate John McCain. He has an op-ed piece today that's currently the most widely read story on Philly.com, entitled "In most inclusive count, Clinton has the numbers." It attempts to make the case that by June 3, Clinton will have more popular votes than Barack Obama, assuming you use a formula that's not the most pro-Clinton but is still fairly pro-Clinton (not using Michigan, where Obama wasn't on the ballot, but also disregarding the caucus results from several states that Obama handily won.)
For one thing, the whole popular vote argument is a little silly, since -- and this is coming from a hardcore, lifelong political junkie -- this is a measurement that has never, ever been used before. Winning the nomination is all about getting delegates, just as winning in November is all about getting electoral votes. If I have time later, I'll be sure to dig up all the columns that Last wrote in 2000 declaring the illigitimacy of George W. Bush and annointing Al Gore our 40th president.