Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Huckabee

Wednesday Links!

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* The end of UW: Gov. Scott Walker to propose 13 percent cut, more freedom for UW System. UW System predicts layoffs, no campus closings under budget cuts. Layoffs, Building Closures, Slowdown on Admissions. But “few details.”

* But there’s always money in the banana stand.

In praise of zombies. A response to yesterday’s anti-Canavanist IHE polemic.

Giving students access to an important, brilliant, historically significant corpus of art seems to be an entirely appropriate activity for the undergraduate classroom at a university. After you have taken a Zombie Course, you may discover you have actually just taken a Great Books (or in the case of Ware, a Great Box) course without realizing it, and you may also decide that any Great Books course worthy of its name cannot afford to ignore the recent surge of brilliant zombie art. If anything, we need more Zombie Courses than we have, and one hopes — in time — even full-blown Zombie Majors (or at the least Zombie Double-Majors).

* Multiple Choice and Testing Machines: A History.

“What I would say about the university today,” he says, “is that we’re living through an absolutely historic moment – namely the effective end of universities as centres of humane critique, an almost complete capitulation to the philistine and sometimes barbaric values of neo-capitalism.”

* National Adjunct Walkout Day is coming soon.

Higher Education Is Not a Mixtape.

The Climate Science Behind New England’s Historic Blizzard. Massive Blizzard Exposes How Decrepit New York City’s Infrastructure Is.

All Our Grievances Are Connected.

* How the Left Won Greece.

* Forget immoral; the latest legal challenge to Obamacare is still nonsense.

Punch-Drunk Jonathan Chait Takes On the Entire Internet. It’s a terrible op-ed that makes an important point badly in the midst of saying a bunch of incorrect things, all in the service of a fundamentally bad framing — so of course it’s all we can talk about.

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients.

It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step.

* Associate Dean of What?

Drone, Too Small for Radar to Detect, Rattles the White House.

Defending those accused of unthinkable crimes.

* One aspect of that danger is the “abstract authority” of astrologers, now mirrored by the black-box algorithms of the cloud. The opacity of the analytic method lends forecasts their appearance of authoritative objectivity. In “Astrological Forecasts”, Adorno notes “the mechanics of the astrological system are never divulged and the readers are presented only with the alleged results of astrological reasoning.” “Treated as impersonal and thing-like,” stars appear “entirely abstract, unapproachable, and anonymous” and thus more objective than mere fallible human reason. Similarly, as Kate Crawford pointed out in an essay about fitness trackers for the Atlantic, “analytics companies aren’t required to reveal which data sets they are using and how they are being analyzed.” The inaccessible logic of their proprietary algorithms is imposed on us, and their inscrutability masquerades as proof of their objectivity. As Crawford argues, “Prioritizing data—irregular, unreliable data—over human reporting, means putting power in the hands of an algorithm.” As Adorno puts it, “The cult of God has been replaced by the cult of facts.” 

* America and fractal inequality.

100% of the women of color interviewed in STEM study experienced gender bias.

Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies.

* Reasons You Were Not Promoted That Are Totally Unrelated to Gender.

Today, more U.S. women die in childbirth and from pregnancy-related causes than at almost any point in the last 25 years. The United States is the one of only seven countries in the entire world that has experienced an increase in maternal mortality over the past decade.

* Marissa Alexander is out of jail after three years.

What has happened before will happen again, subprime auto edition.

Huckabee Complains That Women Can Cuss In The Workplace: ‘That’s Just Trashy.’

Oklahoma GOP wants to restrict marriage to people of faith.

* Corey Robin, against public intellectuals.

* I linked to a story about this the other day, but here’s the resolution: Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty of Raping Unconscious Student. Of course the next horrifying story in this wretched, endless series is already queued up.

* American Sniper focuses in tight on one man’s story of trauma, leaving out the complex questions of why Kyle was in Iraq being traumatized in the first place. The Iraqis in the film are villains, caricatures, and targets, and the only real opinion on them the film offers is Kyle’s. The Iraqis are all “savages” who threaten American lives and need to be killed. There’s some truth in this representation, insofar as this is how a lot of American soldiers thought. Yet the film obviates the questions of why any American soldiers were in Iraq, why they stayed there for eight years, why they had to kill thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians, and how we are to understand the long and ongoing bloodbath once called the “war on terror.” It does that precisely by turning a killer into a victim, a war hero into a trauma hero.

Freakishly Old System Of Planets Hint At Ancient Alien Civilizations. Okay, I’m in for three films with an option on a television reboot.

* Vulture says Jason Segel is good as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour, but I’ll never accept it.

The Psychology of Flow: What Game Design Reveals about the Deliberate Tensions of Great Writing.

The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?

* It’s finally happening, and of course it’s starting in Florida: ‘Zombie cat’ crawls out of grave.

* And while this may be of interest only to those whose children have made them watch untold hours of Dora the Explorer, it’s certainly of interest to me: Swiper the Fox has a totally bananas backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

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Saturday Night Links

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* The Guardian has a large special section on SF this weekend, of which the Iain Banks piece I linked yesterday was only a taste.

* Popular in my Facebook newsfeed this weekend: Scientists cure cancer, but not capitalism. (Update: see the comments for some debunking.)

* Another must-read post from zunguzungu about the intergenerational war on higher ed.

Did California college students and parents suddenly and abruptly get exuberantly irrational about higher education starting in 1980? Or did Californians simply pass Proposition 13 in 1978, permanently destroying California’s ability to raise the tax revenues necessary to support itself? I think the latter is actually pretty much the whole story. After 1978, the state’s tax base went down substantially, so less money was available for public universities, and so tuition prices went up. This was the choice that was made, and we are now seeing its completely predictable and rational consequences: to pay for a sizable decrease in property taxes, the state of California has dismantled what was once the greatest and most egalitarian system of public higher education in the world. To put it another way, the price of giving tax breaks to people who are wealthy enough to benefit from lower property taxes has meant that the nearly-free education that primarily poor and middle class families were once able to take advantage of, now, is mostly gone.

* Five signs your Republican governor wants to be president. Early detection is the best protection.

* Disney Trademarks “Seal Team 6.″ This will be adorable.

* And Huck says no. Why, Huck, why?

Thursday Morning

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Tuesday Links

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* How—and why—writers’ papers end up in British and American libraries.

* The Guardian loves China Miéville and radical SF.

* Creeping cowboyism: White House Tells Media It Was Ready to Risk War with Pakistan. We can take comfort I suppose in the fact that this is 99% bluster; full-on war with Pakistan was not a likely outcome of the raid. There’s more from TPM, where Josh Marshall speculates there could actually be some meat to this.

* Obama to pick a fight on immigration reform.

* Could Democrats retake the House in 2012?

* Almost forgot to link to this amusing, time-travel-flavored Tom Tomorrow cartoon.

* And a trip inside Mike Huckabee’s brain.

Huckabee has joked that he “answers” to “two Janets.” One is his wife, Janet Huckabee. The other is Janet Porter, the onetime co-chair of Huckabee’s Faith and Values Coalition. And Porter, the former governor has said, is his “prophetic voice.” But that voice has said some weird things over the years: Porter has maintained that Obama represents an “inhumane, sick, and sinister evil,” and she has warned that Democrats want to throw Christians in jail merely for practicing their faith. She’s attributed Haiti’s high poverty rate to the fact that the country is “dedicated to Satan,” and she suggested that gay marriage caused Noah’s Flood. And there’s this: In a 2009 column for conservative news site WorldNetDaily, Porter asserted that President Barack Obama is a Soviet secret agent, groomed since birth to destroy the United States from within.

Saturday Links

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* Unpopular opinions, number one: Yes, colleges should absolutely ban fraternities. I feel certain that at many schools donor flight is the only thing keeping the frats open.

* Unpopular opinions, number two: I think Campos and Chomsky are assuming facts not in evidence when they assert that bin Laden was targeted for assassination rather than killed while resisting arrest. There have been multiple contradictory reports of what exactly happened in the compound, and second-guessing the SEALs at this point seems really premature and ill-advised. Chomsky’s piece in particular is pretty terrible; it comes shockingly close to Trutherism in its opening paragraphs and completely elides the important legal distinction between state violence and terrorist violence in its middle. Only the last paragraphs provide something approaching a useful comment on the bin Laden arrest:

Same with the name, Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk… It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”

* BREAKING: Obama bans the American flag! It’s exhausting to try and dialogue with people this stupid.

* Judge Gives Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage a Reprieve From Deportation. According to my Facebook feed this is the first time this has been granted. Very promising sign.

* And Huckabee speaks the truth: St. Ronald himself couldn’t win the Republican nomination today.

Sunday Morning Links

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* 20 lies and counting from Scott Walker.

* Alas, Huckabee: Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon—Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Even the conservative George Will thinks the GOP primary is “cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.” (via)

* Guv Bev Perdue has vetoed NC Republicans’ health care nullification bill.

* Now you can play Rock-Paper-Scissors against a computer at the New York Times. Warning: no Spock or Lizard options yet.

* Is it time to liberate Canada?

* And in “Oh, how terrible” news: Prep star hits game-winning shot for perfect season, falls and dies.

Back in Durham Links

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* This notice is to clarify the purpose of your visit to the Student Health Center doctor’s appointment in the process of obtaining a beard exception.

* Wisconsin Voters Launch Recall Campaign Against Eight GOP State Senators.

* Wisconsin Republicans launch recall campaign against missing Democratic state senators:

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the resolution passed by the state Senate orders the Sergeant at Arms, if the Dems don’t show up by 4 p.m., to “take any and all necessary steps, with or without force, and with or without the assistance of law enforcement officers, by warrant or other legal process, as he may deem necessary in order to bring that senator to the Senate chambers so that the Senate may convene with a quorum of no less than 20 senators.”

* Oh, Ohio: Ohio’s Radical Anti-Union Bill Also Has A Hidden Provision To Deny Equal Rights To Same-Sex Couples.

* This Kenya gaffe won’t move many votes, but it’s a nice reminder that underneath the folksy charm Huckabee is completely odious.

* Said GOP pollster Bill McInturff: “It may be hard to understand why a person might jump off a cliff, unless you understand they’re being chased by a tiger. That tiger is the Tea Party.”

* What baseball team should I root for? Question #1 may be the most important: do I have a soul?

Links from the Weekend

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* Slate devotes a column to criticizing the U.S. military-based approach to Haitian emergency relief. There’s some attempts at push-back, with varying success, in the MetaFilter thread, particularly about the specifically helpful capacities of the ships that have been sent there, but what can you say about facts like these:

Air-traffic control in the Haitian capital was outsourced to an Air Force base in Florida, which, not surprisingly, gave priority to its own pilots. While the military flew in troops and equipment, planes bearing supplies for the Red Cross, the World Food Program, and Doctors Without Borders were rerouted to Santo Domingo in neighboring Dominican Republic. Aid flights from Mexico, Russia, and France were refused permission to land. On Monday, the British Daily Telegraph reported, the French minister in charge of humanitarian aid admitted he had been involved in a “scuffle” with a U.S. commander in the airport’s control tower. According to the Telegraph, it took the intervention of the United Nations for the United States to agree to prioritize humanitarian flights over military deliveries.

Meanwhile, much of the aid that was arriving remained at the airport. Haitians watched American helicopters fly over the capital, commanding and controlling, but no aid at all was being distributed in most of the city. On Tuesday, a doctor at a field hospital within site of the runways complained that five to 10 patients were dying each day for lack of the most basic medical necessities. “We can look at the supplies sitting there,” Alphonse Edward told Britain’s Channel 4 News.

The much-feared descent into anarchy stubbornly refused to materialize. “It is calm at this time,” Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command, admitted to the AP on Monday. “Those who live and work here … tell me that the level of violence that we see right now is below pre-earthquake levels.” He announced that four—four, in a city of more than 2 million—aid-distribution points had been set up on the sixth day of the crisis.

* Some good news: the IMF claims it is “pursuing” the total elimination of Haiti’s foreign debt. And some terrible news: by one estimate (highlighted by Marginal Revolution) a full 8% of Haiti’s population may be orphaned children.

* 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pinball History.

* From the comments: The Five Dials tribute to David Foster Wallace.

* David’s Cross’s The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret has been picked up by the BBC. My friend Bill posted a clip from the pilot not long ago, which he played at his recent show at Raleigh.

* Fan art gone terribly wrong/terribly right: Seinfeld Star Wars.

* Auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic: a case report. (Thanks Neil!)

* Via Ezra Klein, I see Tom Toles has somehow gotten hold of the Democratic playbook.

* Glenn Greenwald has a balanced piece largely in favor of the Citizens United v. FEC. Others are saying this decision may give foreign multinational corporations the right to participate in the American political process. Citizens United is by all appearances the first major domestic political crisis of the ’10s, and it came early; if I had sway in the progressive blogosphere I would suggest we devote ourselves to demanding the introduction of a constitutional amendment that reverses this decision by modifying or eliminating corporate personhood. That fight would not be easy—as Matt points out the total spending on Senate campaigns in 2004, $400 million, was just 17% of the marketing budget of a single American bank, which means our already corporatist ruling class would have every possible incentive to ignore such a campaign—but I don’t see much choice; it’s hard to imagine any sort of functional democracy existing in America while Citizens United remains in full effect.

* Republicans believe that Obama’s problem is that he’s pushing so much government intervention in the economy. That’s undoubtedly part of the story. But Obama’s larger difficulty is that he’s pushing so much change at a time when filibuster threats are so common that it requires 60 Senate votes to pass almost everything — and the minority party won’t provide the president votes on almost anything. We are operating in what amounts to a parliamentary system without majority rule, a formula for futility. Steve Benen has a post on the filibuster reform recently proposed by Tom Harkin here.

* Are Republicans “irrationally exuberant” about November? God, I hope so.

* For what it’s worth Obama’s poll numbers continue to match Reagan’s, and he beats nearly all comers in 2012. The one possible exception is the affable, if politically odious, Mike Huckabee, who beats Obama 45-44 in a PPP poll. And it was Huckabee himself who predicted just this week Obama will win again in 2012.

* NASA says 2000-2009 was the hottest decade on record. Good thing climate change is a myth.

* The immortal Neil Gaiman is profiled in the New Yorker.

* The last days of Philip K. Dick.

* And if my estimates are correct, we could hit Peak Crayola as soon as 2018.

Prison Nation

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Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International did a study into people sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes committed as juveniles. These are early teenagers that end up living their life, from age 13-17 to death, in prison, for something stupid that they did. They surveyed every country to see how many people were in each country that fit this criteria, and found interesting results. Tanzania has one such case, South Africa has four, and Israel has between four and seven. The US has two thousand, two hundred and twenty five such cases. Every other country in the world has zero.

On the heels of the Pulp Fiction‘s screenwriter’s tweets landing him back in jail and the Mike Huckabee clemency case threatening to inaugurate a whole new round of Willie-Horton-style fingerpointing despite the apparent merits of clemency in this case, these two links from MetaFilter seem very timely: Everything you never wanted to know about the American prison-industrial complex and Prison Nation.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 1, 2009 at 10:10 am

Preresults II

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It’s not long until we know for sure, but Drudge’s leaked exit polls show Obama with a 2-1 lead in Virginia and Maryland and a 3-1 lead in DC. (UPDATE: The Republican race looks a whole lot tighter. Can the Huckabee surge continue?) Everyone’s reporting record turnout, which is also a very good sign. Sit tight…

Written by gerrycanavan

February 12, 2008 at 11:30 pm

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Election Results

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Election results are now coming in for the day’s primary and caucuses:

Louisiana (closed primary, and please note the reports of dirty tricks)

No reports yet, but the exits look good. Results are coming in now, extremely slowly. At less than 1% in, it’s Barack up 49 to 37. According to CNN’s exits, analyzed here, this is likely the closest match of the night.

…at 14% in, it’s Barack 54%, Clinton 37%.
…MSNBC calls it. Barack sweeps!

Nebraska (caucus)

CNN has already called it for Obama. With 74% of the precincts reporting, it’s Obama 67, Clinton 33. Good numbers.

Washington (caucus)

No official call yet, but reports all day have sounded very good for Obama, with huge margins all over Seattle and elsewhere. CNN’s called this one too.

With 37% reporting, it’s Obama 67, Clinton 32. More very good numbers.

Meanwhile, Kansas is Huckabee country.

…and Louisiana!
…and Washington!

Has McCain been crowned too soon?

Written by gerrycanavan

February 10, 2008 at 1:30 am

The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too

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Very good news from Iowa tonight for Obama supporters as Barack takes Iowa by a solid margin (at the moment it’s just about 7%). The turnout is the other huge story tonight—the Obama campaign is claiming over 200,000 people turned out, which if true is approximately twice the participation in 2004.

That the Republicans decided to go with Hucklebee is just the icing on the cake.

I already spoke a little bit today about the reasons why I support Obama, reasons I find echoed in this piece Bill Simmon sent me from the Carpetbagger Report.

So in honor of this historic occasion, let’s just skip all that and go back in time instead to the moment that started it all:

The site is long gone now, but I just checked my personal archives for the post I wrote on Three Guys after the speech in 2004. Here’s what I had to say back then:


That man really is going to be president.

But as usual it’s my good friend Shankar D who’s worth listening to:

Obama gave a simply great speech that will, I believe, be remembered for a very long time. Like Clinton, he evoked a belief in the essential unity of the American people, but with much more powerful rhetoric and moving imagery. It was a much-needed clarion call at a time when ideologues on both sides of the aisle seem to relish and cherish the cultural boundaries that separate us from each other. A call that had no more fitting author than a man whose very existence bridges that gap.

But for progressives, it should be remembered for more than that. In those powerful final paragraphs, Obama premised his call for unity on the fundamentally liberal ideals of brotherhood and compassion.

For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Martin Luther King Jr. is smiling from above, I suspect, at this young black man giving life to the abstract notion that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

By weaving this old-fashioned liberalism together with an embrace of the principles and people of “the other side” – individualism, a pragmatic view of government’s role, and an embrace of our Red State brethren – Obama fused the promise of the left with the promise of America.

The drunken reverie of the moment will undoubtedly wear off. But tonight, I feel a renewed sense of hope about the possibility of a New Liberalism that accounts for the poor, the isolated, and the marginalized in a way that brings us together, rather than pushes us apart. Idealism will always have to confront the reality of politics and life itself, but great leadership is its surest steward. And if nothing else, I am hopeful tonight about the future leadership of this country. Such is, I suppose, the audacity of hope.

Jan. 2 Links

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Jan. 2 is traditionally the day where I link to things on the Internets. This one is no exception.

* Via MeFi, David Cross attempts to explain why it’s okay that he participated in the awful-looking Alvin and the Chipmunks remake.

* New blog Paleo-Future promises “a look into the future that never was.” Sold! It’s in my RSS reader now.

* My good friend Tim over at Bitter Laughter waxes nostalgic about Disney World’s Carousel of Progress, and also concludes that Huckabee is sort of frightening.

* And in New Hampshire’s Union Leader, Barack Obama puts forth the case for Barack Obama.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm

You Heard It From My Dad First

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Bold electoral prediction from my father: Fox News’s decision to unfairly bar Ron Paul from its debates will be the nail in the coffin that pushes Paul into a third-party run as a Libertarian, as he hinted he might last weekend on Meet the Press. I sure hope he’s right; let’s have Huckabee running in a fourth, pro-life party while we’re at it and kill the unholy Republican coalition once and for all.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 1, 2008 at 6:28 pm

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Obama’s Big Mo

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It’s a poll, and worse still it’s a poll of the incomprehensible Iowa caucus system, but if the Des Moines Register poll that called 2004 right is to be believed Obama should win Iowa by a good margin. More than that, the poll’s internals show Obama with huge support from independents—their breakdown of likely Democratic caucusers includes only 50% Democrats and 40% independents, which if true would be an unprecedented level of caucus participation from independents and suggests a Reaganesque blowout in November if Democrats have the wisdom to nominate him. Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has a nice roundup of responses to the poll, including Marc Ambinder’s aforementioned breakdown of the poll’s demographics and the Edwards’s campaign’s skepticism that so many alleged first-time caucus goers will actually attend. Best of all is this from TNR’s Noam Scheiber, quoted in its entirety for optimism:

Just to add a bit to Mike’s thoughts on the Register poll–Obama’s lead is clearly driven by three factors: His lead among first-time caucus-goers, his lead among independents, and his lead among young people. What’s interesting about the poll is that all of these groups make up a larger portion of its likely caucus-goers than in most previous polls. So the Register is basically saying that the groups that disproportionately favor Obama are much more likely to turn out than they have in the past. Now, the Register has a reputation for being the gold standard of caucus polling, so that may well be true. Or the paper could be way off the mark. But the thing is, it may not matter either way. That’s because the Register poll isn’t just a description of what’s going on. More than any other poll, it actually influences what goes on. Iowans will wake up tomorrow to find a headline that says, “Obama Widens Lead Over Clinton.” And, human psychology being what it is, that may well push them into the Obama camp Thursday night.

Meanwhile, in the Republican camp, Huckabee continues to lead the field despite the fact that he is a well-established maniac.

Two more days…

Written by gerrycanavan

January 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm