Obama Wins in Guam

A win is a win, but they don’t get much closer than this. Obama beat Clinton by seven votes in the Guam primary. The projections were that this own would be close with Obama winning, and they were right. Clinton’s latest pandering didn’t give her the victory.

With this close a result both Clinton and Obama pick up four delegates, each of whom has one-half of a vote. Of the five superdelegates from Guam, it appears two are backing Obama, one backing Clinton, and two remain uncommitted.

Ron Paul to Back Obama?

It is far short of an endorsement, but Ron Paul has expressed a preference for Barack Obama over John McCain due to his positions on foreign policy.

In an interview on The Situation Room, Paul told Wolf Blitzer that endorsing Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, “would really confuse” his supporters “because they know we have a precise program and we have to defend that program.”

Having a Republican win the upcoming presidential election is “secondary” for Paul who is more interested in defending the Constitution, having the country go in what he considers the right direction, having a sound currency, and achieving balanced budgets. Paul parts ways with McCain over McCain’s support for the Iraq war, his approach to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and his willingness to spend federal dollars to support military operations in Iraq.

Instead, Paul favors Sen. Barack Obama because of positions on foreign policy. “But that’s doesn’t mean that’s an endorsement,” Paul quickly added.

The sounds you hear in the background are the exploding heads of all the Ron Paul supporters who have been writing that we cannot have Obama because he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Oh yes, to them he’s a socialist too.

SciFi Friday (Saturday Edition): Jack & Kate and Ted & Robin, and the Goat

This week we had two shows which deal with relationships viewed at different points in time. Lost was a Jack-centered story in which the flash forward showed Jack and Kate living together at some point after Kate’s trial. Jack proposed but we saw the seeds of the end of their relationship which would lead to them talking by the airport at the end of last season. We also saw the beginning of Jack’s problem with drugs and alcohol, as well as an explanation of why he mentioned his father in last season’s finale.

Back on the island Jack gets appendicitis, raising the question as to why Jack, and earlier Ben, developed medical problems while the trend for everyone else (who manages to avoid a traumatic death or pregnancy) is to have problems cured. There was little drama in Jack developing the appendicitis as we know he survives, and I suspect that the fact that he developed a life-threatening problem at all is the significant point.

We possibly also learn why Claire doesn’t make it off the island, depending upon whether we ever see her again after having disappeared at the end of the episode. The scene with Jin and Charlotte is also consistent with having seen Sun but not Jin off the island. Another question is raised when Kate, back at home, tells Jack that she is doing a favor for Sawyer. Is this something he requested before Kate left, is Sawyer also off the island, or are they in contact?

The supernatural element of the series also takes on greater importance. It appears that the dead can return to influence the living. The warnings against others raising Aaron in the past, along with the “message” from Charlie via Hurley, appear to be important.

How I Met Your Mother also deals with a relationship that we know will never lead to marriage, along with flashes to the future and information from the past. I bet that not many have considered the number of ways in which the show is like Lost.

Many episodes begin with a flash forward as Ted is telling his kids far more about his dating years than most men would ever dream of telling their children (or spouse). Due to these flash forwards we do not know who Ted eventually marries, but we do know it will not be “Aunt Robin.” Ted and Robin broke up at the end of last season. Last week Barney, in direct violation of the Bro Code, slept with her. Barney even hired Marshall to search for a loophole in the code but the Bro Code is just too tight. Barney also thought he could tell Marshall and take advantage of lawyer-client confidentiality, but by the end of the episode everyone knew.

This damaged Barney’s friendship with Ted, but the episode ended with an unexpected flash forward from Ted’s thirtieth to thirty-first birthday. The goat is still around and eats Robin’s hand towel in Ted’s bathroom. Either they get back together, Robin has reason to be staying at Ted’s or perhaps they swap apartments as the gang did in Friends. (To be honest, How I Met Your Mother is far more like Friends than Lost.)

Doctor Who, for those of us downloading from The B.B.C. also deal with romance which did not succeed and time. I think it is safe to tell those who are watching on the SciFi Channel that Martha Jones brings The Doctor back to earth. This begins a promising start to a two-part episode in which the earth is in danger.

The Fires of Pompeii aired on the SciFi Channel last night (which is why I postponed SciFi Friday until today). There’s mention of another missing planet, which many believe is connected to Rose hopping around between dimensions, along with allusions to classic episodes of the series. The episode helped establish Donna as a moral influence on The Doctor, which will be seen again in the following week’s episode. (However in a later episode she will show a skill which might raise questions.)

Changing time also became an issue for the Timelord. The Doctor could not prevent the volcano from destroying Pompeii because that was a known and fixed part of history. There was a flaw in his argument because it is somewhat arbitrary what is a fixed part of history. On the surface the argument is plausible because we, the viewers, know about Pompeii. However to people in the future in other areas where he intervenes he might also be changing their known history. Donna does convince The Doctor to save one family, but how does he know whether this will change history?

On Battlestar Galactica Starbuck faced a mutiny on the Demitrius but the previews show she does not wind up returning to Galactica. It looks like we will be seeing a lot more interaction with the Cylons, possibly including an alliance with one side of the civil war.

Hillary’s Move To The Right

If Hillary Clinton’s pandering and lies should allow her to win the Democratic nomination we could wind up in the unusual situation by modern standards that the Democrats have the more socially conservative candidate, as well as the candidate who comes closes to carrying on the Bush legacy. Michael Tomaskyhas also noticed the transformation of Hillary Clinton to the right wing:

Twice this week now, Hillary Clinton has stood there smiling like the Cheshire Cat as the governor of North Carolina used the word “pansy” and then as a union leader in the same state, who more famously referred to her “testicular fortitude”, went on to inveigh that Hillary was the only thing that stood between the good and God-fearing people of North Carolina and the “Gucci-wearing, latte-drinking, self-centred, egotistical people that have damaged our lifestyle.” Clinton, according to the report linked to here, “smiled sheepishly before breaking into a nervous laugh.”

As campaign moments go, these may not be up there with the Iraq-withdrawal debate or, Lord knows, truly important things like Barack Obama’s failure to wear a flag lapel pin. But they’re worth marking all the same.

These are explicitly right-wing tactics and talking points. Those of you across the pond may be unfamiliar with a very famous soundbite from the 2004 presidential campaign, which featured in a commercial that ran early that year in Iowa and was produced by the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

In the ad, a husband and wife discuss Howard Dean’s plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts. The happy couple join forces to say the following: ”Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs.”

It was garbage, but at least it stood to reason, under the logic of this country’s political climate, that a ferociously right-wing group (Club for Growth is known for finding even many Republicans to be “soft” on the tax question, backing right-wing anti-tax acolytes against a few Republican congressional incumbents) would employ such rhetoric against a liberal, Democratic candidate.

And now we are greeted by the spectacle of one Democratic campaign – no, not directly using, but getting a nice little happy kick out of seeing almost exactly the same rhetoric, right down to the choice of beverage, used against a fellow Democrat.

Clinton has had the opportunity to bring the campaign to a higher level, as Obama has done, but clearly chooses not to:

Clinton had the opportunity to say, during that ABC debate, something like: “You know, I don’t think the fact that Senator Obama served on a board will Bill Ayers some 25 years after the Weather Underground ceased to exist is relevant. Right-wing websites can traffic in that, and the mainstream media can if you want to. We Democrats don’t do that sort of thing.” But she piled on, even disingenuously implying that Ayers made comments “about” September 11 just because some remarks he’d made about his past happened to appear in the New York Times on September 11, 2001.

So, let Clinton revel in her incarnation as the sworn enemy of latte drinkers and Gucci wearers. If she somehow wins the nomination, it won’t last long. I expect the American people will be reminded of various episodes from her past that I won’t catalogue here because to do so would be to engage in the very kind of mud-slinging I’m rebuking.

And when they come up, those Gucci wearers and latte sippers will start looking better and better to Clinton and her backers. But don’t come crying to me.

Don’t come crying to me either. I won’t be voting for her.

Clinton the Fighter Escalates Pandering

Hillary Clinton’s pandering has extended to Guam. Jake Tapper reports that in an interview aired in Guam Hillary Clinton has come out in favor of allowing them to vote for president. Are all the territories to be made states? Strange that Clinton developed this interest in the rights of the people of Guam on the eve of their primary.

Guam has eight delegates, each with one-half vote and five superdelegates. This is clearly enough to attract the attention of the candidate who will say or do anything to get elected.

Despite such pandering, Obama has taken an early lead and is expected to win. If the people of Guam can ignore Clinton’s pandering, can we also hope that the voters of North Carolina and Indiana will see through her pandering with the gas tax holiday?