Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Obama: Depending on Iowa?/Steve Earle Loves the Big Apple

Barack Obama better make hay in Iowa.

The Washington Post today features a poll that shows Hillary Clinton is expanding her lead among potential Democratic voters. According to the survey, 53 percent of Dems favor HRC, 20 percent back Obama, and 13 percent fancy John Edwards. This marks a 12-point boost for Clinton and a 7-point drop for Obama since early September, which means Clinton's edge has gone from 14 points to 33 points. Polls are, as the cliche goes, just snapshots. And any single poll can be an outlier. But if this marks any trend, Obama ought to be worried. At some point, he has to close the gap--not watch it widen.

If this trend is real and holds, there's more pressure on Obama in Iowa, the site of the first caucus. According to polls taken in Iowa over the past month, Clinton's lead is much smaller, ranging between 3 and 9 points, with Edwards in the hunt, vying for a second or third place. One poll even had Obama in the top slot, 4 points ahead of Clinton. Bottom line: in Iowa, where Democratic voters have already paid a lot of attention to the race, Obama is in a competitive position.

Yet if the primary season arrives and HRC is maintaining even half the lead she has in the national polls, Obama will have to smite her in the Hawkeye State. That could well be his best--if not only--chance to stop the Clinton machine. (Right now, Clinton is averaging a 20 percent lead in New Hampshire polls.) With deep pockets, an extensive and battle-tested organization in key states, and a strength in national polls, Clinton could be in a position to roll Obama and Edwards when the voting starts--unless she is cut down at the very beginning. Of course, even were she to lose a close battle in Iowa, she could recover and plow ahead in New Hampshire and other states.

The conventional wisdom until now was that Iowa was a make-or-break state for John Edwards. He's spent a lot of time and energy there. He clearly has been following an Iowa-first strategy. And I previously believed that Iowa might not be so influential, given that if Clinton and Obama placed second or third there, each would still have a lot of money left and plenty of passionate support in other states. (Moreover, my hunch is that voters in other states are increasingly less likely to follow the lead of the we-get-to-go-first Iowans.) But now I'm beginning to wonder if Iowa is the place where Obama, too, must make his stand. It could be that his politics of hope will depend on the caucus-goers of Ottumwa.

BUY THIS ALBUM. Rocker-folkie-singer/songwriter-activist Steve Earle has released a new album called Washington Square Serenade. It's something of a dual love letter to New York City, his new hometown, and to his wife, singer/songwriter Allison Moorer. Still, the album contains a dose of Earle's leftwing politics. (For a profile I did of Earle in 2004 for Mother Jones , click here.) He sings (favorably) of immigrants and serves up a song honoring Pete Seeger. And there's a wonderful cover of Tom Waits' Way Down in the Hole , which will be the title song for the upcoming (and final) season of The Wire on HBO The show will feature Earle reprising his earlier role as a recovering redneck addict. ("It's not a stretch," he says.) The disc is another fine entry in Earle's (seemingly) never-ending canon.

Posted by David Corn at October 3, 2007 10:52 AM


capt said...

(from an email from my sister)

A wonderful Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, an d pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

capt said...

Clinton Meeting Concludes With Billions of Dollars Promised to Aid the World's Poor

Former President Bill Clinton wrapped up his third annual Clinton Global Initiative Friday by announcing that 245 people, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governments had committed to devote money or time to solving big problems facing the world.

“This has become what I hoped it would be: an action-forcing event with a lot of ideas, not just responding to ideas but coming up with ideas about how to change the playing field for the future,” the ex-president said.

The scale of this year’s charitable giving and socially responsible investing seemed to far outpace previous years, although the William J. Clinton Foundation did not place a dollar value on pledges.

Philanthropic donors pledged to give, and nonprofit groups said they would raise, in excess of $1.5-billion. Companies said they would invest more than $10-billion in business schemes to help alleviate global problems. An additional $130,000 was raised through Mr. Clinton’s new Web site,

Some of the pledges were designed to help nonprofit groups generate buzz and raise money. For example, Mr. Clinton announced that YouTube, the video Web site, would create a special section for charities that would enable them to upload videos and collect donations free of charge. The pledge was valued at $20-million.

Other donors pledged to develop new ways to raise money. The Good Night Foundation, in partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Passport Resorts, pledged to collect $3 a night from people who stay at affiliated hotels with a goal of raising $3-million for charitable works in its first year. Hotel guests would have a chance to opt out of the program.

Future Plans

In concluding this year’s meeting, Mr. Clinton also announced big plans to expand the conference’s impact in the future.

In addition to holding a similar meeting in Asia next spring, and giving people the chance to contribute online, Mr. Clinton said he wants to take the Clinton Global Initiative effort to college campuses. The former president said he wanted to create “CGI-U’s” to encourage college students to pledge money and time to solving global problems. The first “CGI-U” conference would be held at Tulane University, in New Orleans, Mr. Clinton said.

“Getting young people into this at an early age is very important,” said Mr. Clinton. “I want every high school in America to have its own NGO, and every college in America to have its own CGI. It would change the face of philanthropy and the face of America.”

The Clinton foundation’s annual summit in Manhattan has become a coveted destination for nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, despite its sometimes schmaltzy style of celebrating do-gooders and those who pledge to support them. At the end of each panel, donors and nonprofit workers are invited on stage to receive a certificate and a photograph with Mr. Clinton or the session’s organizer.

But nonprofit and philanthropic leaders praised the forum as a way to mingle and make connections with a hugely diverse group of people, one that includes heads of state, celebrities, religious leaders, and social entrepreneurs, among others.

“It’s a great opportunity to stand up and show what you’re doing and get others to join you,” said Brenda Musilli, president of the Intel Foundation, which announced a $300-million commitment toward an online teacher-training program. Ms. Musilli said the event provided her with a chance to talk with heads of state of countries where she hoped to expand the program, as well as with nonprofit workers whom she might work alongside in the future.

For James Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, an education nonprofit that helps people recover from traumatic events, the forum was an opportunity to share his experiences in the field and help discuss best practices.

“It’s a chance to talk with philanthropists about what works,” said Dr. Gordon, who had just wrapped up a roundtable discussion with the minister of education of Kenya, the fashion-designer Eileen Fisher, and an executive from Motorola, among others. “I’m sold.”

For more on the Clinton Global Initiative, read The Chronicle’s coverage of the opening day and Thursday’s sessions.


*****end of clip*****

The big dog is doing more for the planet than the whole current maladministration.


corky said...


capt said...




capt said...

New Thread

Gerald said...

capt, the email from your sister summarizes Nazi America very well.