You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.

This from New York Magazine:

In the days after John Edwards’s withdrawal from the Democratic race, the political world expected his endorsement of Barack Obama would be forthcoming tout de suite. The neo-populist and the hopemonger had spent months tag-teaming Hillary Clinton, pillorying her as a creature of the status quo, not a champion of the kind of “big change” they both deem essential. So appalled was Edwards at Clinton’s gaudy corporatism—her defense of the role of lobbyists, her suckling at the teats of the pharmaceutical and defense industries—that he’d essentially called her corrupt. And then, not least, there were the sentiments of his wife. “Elizabeth hasn’t always been crazy about Mrs. Clinton” is how an Edwards insider puts it; a less delicate member of HRC’s circle says, “Elizabeth hates her guts.”

But now two months have passed since Edwards dropped out—tempus fugit!—and still no endorsement. Why? According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it. Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat. Clinton, by contrast, engaged Edwards in a lengthy policy discussion. Her affect was solicitous and respectful. When Clinton met Edwards face-to-face in North Carolina ten days later, her approach continued to impress; she even made headway with Elizabeth. Whereas in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

The implications of this story are several and not insignificant. Most obviously, it suggests that the front-runner’s diplomatic skills could use some refinement. It also raises the issue, which has cropped up in a different form after New Hampshire, Super-Duper Tuesday, and the Ohio and Texas primaries, of Obama’s capacity to close the deal. But equally important is how it bears on the questions du jour among Democrats who see their once-uplifting primary campaign descending into self-destructive mayhem: How can we put this thing to bed? How can Clinton be stopped from putting the party through three more months of hell? Where are those vaunted “party elders” who can convince her that it’s sayonara time?

In other words, he’s inexperienced. I support him, but the nomination would have been put to bed with an Edwards endorsement. Of course, Edwards isn’t particularly showing the leadership you’d expect of someone with the requisite hubris to believe he should have been the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth. He should be at the forefront right now, instead of relying on Reid/Dean/Pelosi to maneuver in back rooms.


Remember the McCain girls? Well, one of them doesn’t want you making fun of her, or so it appears. Personally, I think she’s layering irony within irony.


It’s official. Obama wins the delegate race in Texas.


Meanwhile Clinton’s in financial trouble.


Despite the rough month for the Democratic candidates, Obama remains pretty close to McCain according to the two most historically accurate pollsters. Clinton hasn’t faired quite as well, but she hasn’t exactly hemorrhaged either. The graphic above comes from the same site. Note the dramatic differences between the actual vote and the electoral-college vote.


Not directly campaign news, but President Bush’s HUD chief resigned today. No call girls. Just boring old graft and patronage.


Elizabeth Edwards, who reportedly got into it with Obama (see first note above), is making universal health care her personal crusade. Here are some remarks about McCain’s plan, such as it is. She points out that she and McCain (also a cancer survivor) would be excluded from coverage in his plan for the pre-existence of their respective conditions. Nobody bothers to argue that the free market takes care of those with pre-existing conditions. They simply point out that you can go to an emergency room when you’re ready to die. The war and the economy are the top two campaign issues. Obama ought to make health care number three.

In response to posts in the threads below, I called a source who was present at the E-40 concert at the MCC on Friday night. He says that somewhere around 11:00 p.m. or thereafter a couple of cro-mags decided to mix it up in the hall. The security folk turned the lights on, announced that the concert was being concluded, and sent everyone home.

Shortly thereafter another fight broke out down by the gate. My source is uncertain whether it was the same nerfbrains going for a second round. Security then called the Sheriff’s office. My source says he saw the police coming to the gate but most of the people had left. He doesn’t believe there were any arrests.

The producer says that it was the first time a fight had ever taken place at one of his concerts.

That’s what I have.

Jana was just polled this morning. They asked for her preference in the Second District race, but also for opinions on the mayor of Rio Dell, Mike Thompson, and Patty Berg.

Anybody know anything about it?

What happened to the PG&E power outtage?

And I mean yours. On the national list of school districts which received the beef are Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville, Fortuna, and yes, South Fork. I didn’t see Mattole Valley on the list. I glanced for Mendocino districts as well, and saw Anderson Valley, Ukiah City, and Legget Valley. I didn’t check for the others.

Here’s a media article on the subject.

Of course, there’s nothing to worry about. The FDA takes very good care of us, right? This is America.

The Washington State cow suffering from the “mad cow disease” photo comes from the blah.

(edited) PALCO’s creditors are pulling out the stops. I guess they’re concerned about the alternatives offered by the Mendocino Redwood Company and the Nature Conservancy coalition and they’re looking for heavyweights to back their plan.

I haven’t really explored this story, and actually I haven’t really put a lot of work into my blogs lately. I’ve had a vacation, a rush of business, and some family activities which have really taken up my time. I do hope to put in some quality time on this and other local issues when it all slows down.

In the meantime, the Town Dandy explains with some humor the NCJ creditor’s vote in the proceedings. It’s a much better update than I can provide at the moment.

Addendum: Thanks to one of the posters for bringing to my attention that Wilson is not supporting one of the PALCO plans, but a creditors’ plan. Apologies for getting that wrong.

Fun for the whole family!

March 27, 2008


Clendenen Campaign Announces Donations Received to Date

The committee to elect Clif Clendenen for Second District supervisor announced today that it has accepted a total of $27,342 in donations to date. While noting that much more is needed to continue this important campaign, Clendenen was happy with the results so far.

“I’m very pleased at the generosity expressed by the people of the district,” Clendenen said. “Besides the number of donations we’ve received, the tireless energy from supporters young and old at the grass-roots level has been tremendous, and I think it reflects a strong desire to have a greater level of representation and a commitment to change.”

The figure of more than $27,000 reflects donations received since Clendenen announced his intention to run for Second District supervisor late last year. Clendenen said he’s been very impressed with the interest shown by citizens in this year’s election. In addition to meeting voters by walking neighborhoods throughout the district, Clendenen has held town hall meetings and events in Garberville, Redway, Briceland, Fortuna, Weott and Miranda.

All are invited on Sunday, April 13, to Fortuna’s River Lodge from 2-5 p.m. to a free open house, including snacks, live music by Falling Rocks, a silent auction and a chance to meet the candidate. Immediately following at 5 p.m., Clendenen will host an evening event including dinner, more live music featuring Good Company and the Berel Alexander Ensemble, more auctions, a raffle and naturally Clif, both playing his mandolin and speaking to the guests. Tickets for the evening event will be available at the door with special student prices and children admitted free.

Clendenen, a native of Humboldt County, owns and operates Clendenen Cider Works in Fortuna, an apple farm his family has operated for several generations. After receiving a botany degree from the University of California, Davis, Clendenen returned to settle in Humboldt County. He married Laurie, a special education teacher and has two children, both living away from home while attending college. Clendenen helped develop the Fortuna Apple Harvest Festival, is a former board member of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce and has been actively involved in Fortuna’s General Plan Update.

For more information on Clendenen and the issues, or to volunteer or donate, contact his campaign headquarters in Fortuna at 725-4146 or visit the website

For more information contact:

Bill Thorington, campaign manager

(707) 496-4703

David Jervis, press secretary

(707) 498-0260

Just a couple of notes and I’ll add some more later.


Speculation: Obama/Bloomberg? God, I hope not!

Maybe Bloomberg will be satisfied to be Obama’s Lieberman. Make him ambassador to Tunisia or something.


On the upside, Pelosi showed some uncharacteristic spine and told Clinton’s donors to chill out.

Meanwhile, the economic crunch is taking its toll as many of us already know. And the bribes aren’t keeping the sects in check in Iraq at the moment. 100 years.


March 2008