The only thing that would make this more ironic is if Hank Paulson swooped in and took over MF Global.
This feels eerily like Long Term Capital Management - though MF Global is just not big enough to be a problem (except for maybe Deutche Bank). MF is heavily leveraged and, apparently, former Governor Corzine gets a 12.5M severance package for blowing it.
I can't blame him for betting against Europe, but it seems his timing was WAY off or he was completely wrong.
I wonder if the OWS protesters will pay a visit to Mr Corzine's home? I bet he'll turn the dogs on them...
So I'm just looking at some numbers for the Governor's race. Bridgeport is 60% in with a total of 25,650 votes cast (everyone else is 100% in). There is a 75%/25% split in Malloy's favor so far.
25650/.60 = 42750 votes @ 100%
If the split remains, which is likely, we end up like this:
42750*.75 = 32062.5 (Rounding up for Malloy BP is a Dem stronghold) - 19148 (BP votes already in for Malloy) = + 12,915
42750*.25 = 10687.5 (Rounding the half vote down for Foley) - 6502 (BP votes already cast for Foley) = +4,185
This would make the totals look like this:
Foley with 25% of Bridgeport = 556,291
Malloy with 75% of Bridgeport = 556,597
If Malloy remains consistant, he wins. If he dips below 75% by one half of a percentage point, the race goes to Foley.
Let me point out that if there was anything not above board, Dan Malloy had nothing to do with it - I have never met a nicer, more upstanding person.
So here is my cynical take: either there was complete incompetence or the ballots were purposely under ordered. If they were purposely under ordered it was either in hopes that a crisis turns people out or in a close race, you mount a chall...enge based on x number of voters unable to cast their ballot. It's too easy to blame the Republicans and they would make a believeable villian if they held any power in Bridgeport...but Bridgeport is a Democratic stronghold. Not only that, but the Secretary of State informed them before election day that needed at least as many ballots as they had registered voters. That information apparently was ignored.
When trying to figure out what happened, you have to look at who would have the most to gain/lose. I'm left with only the Dems. The Republicans taking Bridgeport is completely unbelieveable, either every registered Democrat in Bridgeport would have to fail to vote or half would have to vote Red for it to happen. The ballot shortage and subsequent reporting of it on election day does present a crisis that would motivate an electorate that may otherwise be ambivalent - afterall, the Dems will win Bridgeport, the only question is, how big the margin will be.
MSNBC did a piece on the Biden/Clinton swap talk (see it here ).
Many people thought this was a good idea back in 2008, but it wasn't. It was a very bad idea. Imagine a new President, and all the difficult choices existing in Obama's first year, now consider what it would have been like with Bill doing the news shows - the favorite question for reporter would have centered around how he would have handled the challenge. Even though Bill is not part of the administration, he would become the most accessible and juiciest source. It would have produced an "all Clinton" news cycle and been extremely frustrating for a new President seeking to define his legacy.
At this point though, there is a very different problem. Obama is losing the "working class" (blue collar, white) voters, the ones Hillary warned him in the Primary he would not be able to maintain a connection with. Is this about race? Not likely. It's about elitism. The view that Barak Obama encapsulates the traditional Harvard liberal, which is the anethema to the working class Dem. His comments during the Primary race didn't do too much to assuage this feeling.
Swapping Clinton for Biden would bring those voters on board for 2012. It would also set Hillary up nicely for a 2016 race. It would also be less threatening as Obama would have a term of accomplishments under his belt, so Bill becomes less of an overshadowing force going into a second term.
Before you assume this is a done deal, you have to keep in mind there most be an actual threat to induce Obama to make this change. At this point, I don't see any. If you think Sarah Palin is a credible threat, you've lost your mind. It is far more likely that Ted Stevens will launch a successful campaign from beyond the grave than Sarah Palin ever be a real threat to Obama.
Until Primary season is in full swing we won't know how likely this idea is. If no one of substance gets nominated on the right then I think Obama will stick with Biden.
Maybe instead of Lolita, someone should have read Voltaire.
France's First Lady, Carla Brunni, condemned the sentence to stone to death Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for adultery.
(read the Rediff article here)
For her condemnation, Iran's hardline daily Kayhan, now says Brunni should be stoned (for daring to criticize the establishment).
The reaction seems so childish - the idea that someone voicing an opinion or a fact should be stoned and the act of being stoned some how proves their statement wrong and the government's statement correct.
Killing Carla Brunni won't make her words go away; they will just come from someone else. Killing her won't remove the ideas of personal liberty which she espouses; others hold those beliefs as well.
What rings true with me, is Voltaire's belief that you defend the right to free speech, even when you disagree (or despise the content). This is one of the cornerstones of liberty, it makes those of us lucky enough to live in a free society, truly free. There is nothing to be feared from open discourse and the voicing of dissent.
It may not change the direction of the government - it may have no effect at all - but there is a fundamental maturity in a government which acknowledges the individual's voice.
Everyone is anxiously talking about the possibility of peace in the Middle East - well, okay, honestly, they're really only talking about peace between Israel and Palestine. News outlets as varied as MSNBC and Rediff all have different takes on what is occurring (I happen to like Rediff's the best so far). It's funny how our (US) news outlets talk about how President Obama is opening "long shot" Mideast peace talks, yet other agencies talk about it in more general terms, as if Israel and Palestine have something to do with this process.
Want to know when peace in between Israel and Palestine will happen? When Israel and Palestine are ready for peace (I hate to sound like the Sphinx , but it's true). Our involvement should be as limited as possible - honestly, the process could probably occur without us. Let them meet here, bring them to the table, then leave the room and let them work through this.
We don't live under the threat of attack (as the Israelis do) and our people are not blockaded and starving (as the Palestinians are). We have a cursory understanding of the atmosphere on the ground at best when compared to the parties involved. Both states are there and both states will remain there (let's face it, no one is leaving), which means the only realistic option is to find a way to live together. Oddly enough, the two state solution presents some interesting common ground. With both groups so close and essentially both capitals tangled together in Jerusalem, the security of one side becomes a serious concern to the other, as any serious threat to one party can quickly become a destabilizing force to the other.
We have some promising signs this time around, as evidenced in the Rediff article and in this piece by the BBC . Maybe the global economic crisis should get some credit here (pun intended), in hard times the cost of conflict truly feels burdensome. In the end what will really matter is not what diplomats decide around a table in a comfortable room far away from human suffering, but what action the common citizens choose to take at home.
Tuesday, May 6th is the big day! ...well, the next big day, I suppose.
As we draw closer to the Convention it seems that history conspires to repeat itself.
Can we have another '68? I hope not, but who knows.
The "Old Timers" point out that political climate is completely different now. The '68 Convention saw issues of Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Counterculture and the assassinations of both Bobby Kennedy and MLK Jr., all come slamming together in one perfect storm. Hubert Humphrey walked away with the nomination even though he did not participate in any Primaries - he did, however, control enough delegates to win the nomination.
So what happened? The Democratic Party revamped their process to focus less on delegates and more on Primaries.
A different storm is brewing now, one that if not diffused will likely leave the Party in shambles, though I do not really expect any violence. Right now we have a split Party, we are at war, we are in an economic downturn and at the same time have rising commodity prices (which make the Middle Class feel poor and the poor feel completely destitute). We have some racial tension (though I think this is a bigger factor for the previous generations and not as much for GenX forward), we have two opposing sets of supporters becoming increasingly polarized and we have a Party head that prefers watching to leading (see Florida and Michigan).
So how does this shake out?
Here's what my crystal ball says...though it could be wrong:
Hillary comes within striking distance of the popular vote on Tuesday.
Obama remains ahead in delegate and Super Delegate counts.
As June approaches the tone of the campaign becomes more savage.
Neither candidate will feel they should throw in the towel.
Obama will make the Delegate case.
Hillary will make the Popular Vote and Battleground case - she will also argue that Florida and Michigan cannot be ignored (see it here).
Howard Dean will only manage by crisis and even then it will be after it's too late.
Dean will try to force a candidate to bow out and alienate one side of the party.
Yeah, it's pretty grim. Maybe Obama will completely blow Hillary away on Tuesday and put this whole thing to bed early. I doubt it. It's like we have this inherent need for a spectacle, a real train wreck complete with bodies strewn across four counties. Every time a candidate pulls ahead a bit, the other side has something disasterouos occur. Reverend Wright, either taking crazy pills or now in league with the Clintons, gives the most disasterous speech possible for the Obama campaign. Couldn't he just stay quiet? Wait to turn the crazy up until after November? Nah, that would make too much sense.
Lest you think I am not an equal opportunity hater, Bill Clinton makes similar, insane pronouncements "I never said that!" which sounds as believable as "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!"
How is Bill unaware that the NPR interview was taped? Does he think we're idiots? Did the Obama camp kidnap the real Bill Clinton and replace him with this nutjob? Where's the old Bill? In all likelihood this nutjob probably is the real Bill Clinton - I guess he's just not as smooth outside of a Chief Executive Office.
Whatever happens, this will be a wild ride.