Can any of my techie readers suggest a bus-powered USB 2.0 external hard drive that will actually work with my PowerBook and its 500 mA bus?
(Yes, I realize I could get a special cord that would allow me to plug a drive that isn’t getting enough power into both USB ports simultaneously. But that’s not a good option, because my computer only has two USB ports, so such a setup would make it impossible for me to, say, transfer files between a bus-powered drive and a second external USB drive.)
Alternatively, are there any bus-powered FireWire hard drives out there that aren’t obscenely expensive? (To give you an idea of my price and gigabyte range, I bought the Western Digital 250GB Passport for $139.99 at Best Buy tonight, only to discover that it doesn’t get enough power from my computer’s USB bus.)
With Clinton and Obama splitting the first four contests, we head into Tsunami Tuesday in a Democratic nominating race that seems entirely up for grabs. From our vantage point, these are ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s base states: CA, NY, NJ, AR, MA, and OK. ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s are: AK, ID, KS, MN, ND, GA, AL, and IL. The toss-ups appear to be: AZ, CT, CO, DE, MO, NM, TN, and UT. Among those toss-ups, AZ and CT might lean towards Clinton, since theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re closed to independents, and TN — where Clinton is today — probably leans her way, too. Of course, Obama will make plays in CA, MA, and NJ, and sources tell us that he is going up with ads in Philly (NJ) and New York City (NY, NJ, CT). Also, Edwards will go heavily after OK and TN.
[UPDATE: The Associated Press says “both campaigns consider Missouri and Tennessee major battlegrounds.” Sweet! Maybe one or both of them will actually campaign in East Tennessee!]
Well I, for one, will be voting for Obama in TN. As I explained in a rambling comment last night, I’m at the point of being completely fed up with the Clintons and absolutely ready for something different. That doesn’t mean I’d necessarily support Obama in the general election — I’d be undecided between him and McCain — but for heaven’s sake, get the Clintons off the stage. Enough already. Or, as Mike’s brother Matt put it:
Hilary and Obama are about equally likely to screw things up. But, at least in Obama’s case, he’ll be trying to do the right thing in the process. If he puts into place programs that turn out to be wrong, well, at least his heart was in the right place. Whereas Hillary’s a coniving, self-aggrandizing carpetbagger who cares nothing whatsoever about the damage she does, as long as she makes herself look good in the process. So, even if we take the worst case, at least in Obama’s case I won’t be disgusted as things go wrong. I also think the potential upside of Obama’s vastly higher. If things go well with him, and he receives good advise to help with his inexperience, he could help heal much of the divisions in this nation. On the other hand, Hillary has no such outcome. With her, we’re certain to continue the pathological hatred both parties have for each other. As best as I can tell, there was actually a time when the elder statesmen types were widely respected, both in Congress and amongst the general public, regardless of party affiliation. Whereas now we have maybe Jimmy Carter in that position, and he gets it primarily by having done so little as President it’s hard for Republicans to truly hate him. So, overall I’m pulling for Obama to be the Dem’s candidate, even if I’m not sure I’d vote for him in November. At least I feel I could vote for him without hating myself for it.
Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy will endorse Obama tomorrow. That’ll make him the second Kennedy to do so; Caroline Kennedy jumped on the Obama train with a New York Times op-ed today, saying he would be “A President Like My Father.”
And more good news: Obama is taking the high road in response to Bill Clinton’s Jesse Jackson comment. This is exactly what Obama — and his surrogates — need to do: let the Clintons’ prevarication, triangulation and race-card-playing speak for itself. It does so loud and clear. Obama needs to rise above it and focus on the positive rationale for his candidacy, rather than fighting the Clintons on their turf. See also here:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you think President Clinton was engaging in racial politics there?Ã¢â‚¬Â George Stephanopoulos asked Obama on ABCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“This Week.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Illinois senator, who won almost four out of five votes from African-Americans, didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rise to the bait. Instead, he talked about health care, college costs, the credit crunch and the subprime-mortgage mess. Ã¢â‚¬Å“As long as we were focused on those issues, we thought those would transcend the sort of racial divisions that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen in the past,Ã¢â‚¬Â Obama said.
USC 95, Oregon 86 in overtime. Sweet! That’s a huge road win for ‘SC, which is now 4-3 in the Pac-10 after starting 0-3.
‘Twas a good day on the road for both the Irish and the Trojans.
“It’s not about black versus white. It’s about the past versus the future.”
UPDATE: Here’s the full speech.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the video:
P.S. When Bill Clinton called Barack Obama’s position on Iraq “a fairy tale,” he wasn’t playing the race card. On the other hand, when Bill Clinton said this…
Huh? Who said anything about Jesse Jackson? Why would his mind happen to wander there, pray tell?
Ugh. It’s pretty obvious what the Clintons are up to here. Obama’s people played right into their hands by making race an issue when it wasn’t — re: the “fairy tale” and MLK comments — but that doesn’t diminish the disgustingly cynical nature of what the Clintons are now plainly trying to do. The underlying strategy of their campaign has evolved into making the public perceive Obama as the “black candidate,” thus creating a white backlash. Will it work? God, I hope not. But I fear it may be enough to tip the scales in Hillary’s favor.*
Obama’s victory speech tonight shows that he’s doing exactly what he needs to be doing: rising above it all, or at least positioning himself so it seems like he’s rising above it all. Put another way, it now behooves Obama to look more “presidential” than the ex-president — and the way Bill’s been acting, that shouldn’t be too hard. Obama’s shots at the Clintons need to be veiled but effective, something he pulled off effortlessly tonight. As Eric Scheie puts it, “I’m very impressed at his ability to go for the jugular in a respectful manner.” (Hat tip: InstaPundit.)
For me personally, the Clintons’ recent behavior has caused a major tipping point my personal outlook on this race and my plans for how I’ll vote on February 5. I’ve gone from tentatively favoring Obama over Clinton, but leaning toward voting in the GOP primary (probably for McCain), to a solidly committed Obama supporter and voter. I will proudly cast my vote on Super Tuesday for the senator from Illinois — end of discussion. Obama is far more liberal than I am, and I do still have concerns about his inexperience; I’d enter a McCain-Obama general election thoroughly undecided. But I desperately want the Clintons to move off the damn stage. Good grief: Enough! I’ve always been anti-dynasty in principle, but now I feel it much more deeply than that. They need to go. They’re bad for the party, bad for the country, and bad for my stress levels. It’s time to get rid of them. We can salute them for their service at the convention… and then let’s nominate and elect somebody else, for the love of God.
*I suspect that only a minimal amount of “tipping” is needed, if any. The Super Tuesday format favors Hillary anyway. Obama does better when voters get to see a lot of him, and of his opponent. Hillary does better campaigning from afar; the more voters see of her, the less they like her. But voters in California won’t be seeing nearly as much of her (or of the uber-charismatic Obama) as voters in, say, Iowa and South Carolina did. This bodes well for Hillary.
P.S. On a more optimistic (for Obama) note, Noam Scheiber’s analysis is worth reading.
And then there’s the NRO reader who writes, “I would argue that a black man winning 25% of the white vote in good ol’ SC is HUGE.” There’s something to that. South Carolina is not representative of the rest of America when it comes to race relations; racial issues are, it seems to me, much more highly charged there than in all but maybe two or three other states in the whole Union. So let’s not assume that South Carolina’s racially polarized tallies (though not as badly polarized as some thought they might be) will be repeated to the same extent across the country on February 5. This is not the United States of South Carolina.
Sen. Barack Obama will win the South Carolina Democratic primary, CNN projects.
So says ABC News:
7 pm ET: ABC IS CALLING THE RACE RIGHT AT POLL CLOSING TIME. From our decision desk: "Based on exit poll data, ABC News projects that Obama will win the South Carolina Democratic primary. We do not yet have enough information to project who will be second or third, but based on the exit polls Clinton is leading over Edwards in a race for second."
This would SUGGEST a large margin — networks don’t call races based only on exit polls unless it’s pretty convincing.
CNN has called it too. And their exit polls show Edwards narrowly winning the white vote, with Obama getting a “healthy” 25%.
Among black men: Obama 80%, Clinton 17%. Among black women: Obama 82%, Clinton 17%.
Edwards got almost zero black support, which is why Clinton will probably beat him overall despite narrowly losing the white vote to him.
The full CNN exit poll results will eventually be here, but they’re not yet.
UPDATE: CNN’s exit poll still isn’t online, but MSNBC’s is, and extrapolating from the gender numbers, it looks like a huge win for Obama, to the tune of Obama 55%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 18%. Which raises the question: would a 25-to-30-point margin of victory be enough to offset the potential P.R. damage from the bloc voting issue? Especially given that Obama got a quarter of the white vote?
UPDATE, 7:39 PM: CNN now projects that Clinton will beat Edwards for second.
If Edwards does end up below 20% in the state of his birth, which he won in 2004 with 45% of the vote — beating ascendant front-runner Kerry by 15 points — does he still keep his repeatedly promises to stay in the race all the way to the convention? I get the “kingmaker” thing, but where will the money come from? And won’t this charade become humiliating exercise at some point soon? And isn’t the media soon going to start totally ignoring him — leaving him out of debates, etc.? It’s completely obvious now (if it wasn’t after Nevada) that this is a two-way race. With the probable exception of North Carolina, I bet this is the last time Edwards polls in double digits.
UPDATE, 9:06 PM: CNN estimates the delegate count from South Carolina as Obama 8, Clinton 4, Edwards 2. All this for a four-delegate edge? Heh.
Gonzaga and Memphis are underway, and so far, it’s not looking promising for the Bulldogs, as the fast-breaking Tigers have jumped out to an early 10-0 lead.
UPDATE: Well, that’s better. After trailing 25-13, the Zags have rallied to take a 32-30 lead! Two minutes left in the first half.
UPDATE 2: Aaaand the Zags lose all their momentum in the final minute, as Memphis goes up 35-32 on a thunderous dunk at the buzzer.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame leads #18 Villanova — on the road — 35-29 late in the first half.
UPDATE 3: Memphis wins, 81-73.
Mickey Kaus speculates that, even if Obama wins in the expected South Carolina landslide today, he could be damaged politically if the exit polls show him getting overwhelming support from blacks and overwhelming non-support from whites. (In some pre-election polls, his support among whites has dropped as low as 10%.) The fear, again, is that Obama will come to be perceived as another Jesse Jackson — a “black candidate” first and foremost — thus diminishing his appeal to non-blacks on Super Tuesday and beyond. Win the battle (South Carolina), lose the war (the nomination)?
Kaus thinks maybe we shouldn’t pay too much attention to exit polls, though, as people can lie to them: “If you’re a black South Carolinian and want to help Hillary as much as you can, you’ll walk into the booth, vote for her, then walk out and tell the exit poll person you voted for Obama.” Heh. Also:
There may also be non-Machiavellian peer pressure in black precincts to tell the exit pollsters the same thing (which, perversely, might hurt Obama in tomorrow night’s press spin by making it look as if he received an ethnic bloc vote). In white areas similar pressure might enocourage voters to falsely tell exit pollsters they voted for Edwards or Clinton. … I’m not sure we should pay so much attention to the exit polls! … Presumably the real, actual official secret-ballot vote tally will reveal any bloc voting by white areas or black areas, no?
Presumably so, but don’t expect the media to think about that. One thing that’s always struck me as odd is that, no matter how many times the exit polls are debunked as reliable predictors of the actual vote totals (see, e.g., Gore’s victory in Florida, the seven-hour presidency of John Kerry, etc.), they’re still relied upon as gospel truth for their racial, ethnic, gender, etc. results — even though that data is inevitably based on smaller sample sizes than the exit poll at large!
Obviously, it’s false, and I’m very glad Obama is addressing this head-on. The more I heard people talking about the e-mail in recent weeks, the more I became concerned about its potential impact on the race. I’m still concerned — I think it has the potential to be far more damaging to Obama than his skin color, particularly in a general election when more casual voters (who pay virtually no attention to politics, but do get e-mail chain letters) will make up a higher percentage of the electorate — but at the very least, it was essential that they aggressively counter it, and they’re doing that. Good.
(I wonder, though: how many times can Obama basically jump and down screaming “I’m not a Muslim!! I’m not a Muslim!!” before he starts to get in trouble for offending Muslims?)
For the record, here is the Snopes debunking of the rumors.
P.S. Older but funnier:
The Boyz 4 Change alliance emerges at last!… maybe. Quoth Robert Novak:
Illinois Democrats close to Sen. Barack Obama are quietly passing the word that John Edwards will be named attorney general in an Obama administration. …
In public debates, Obama and Edwards often seem to bond together in alliance against front-running Sen. Hillary Clinton. While running a poor third, Edwards could collect a substantial bag of delegates under the Democratic Party’s proportional representation. Edwards then could try to turn his delegates over to Obama in the still unlikely event of a deadlocked Democratic National Convention.
That’s one way to do it. Another way would be for Edwards to drop out now (or soon), and to not just endorse Obama but to actually join forces with him — before Super Tuesday. The concept of an “anti-Hillary vote” may be an oversimplification, but surely Edwards could convince a whole lot of his supporters to jump on the “Boyz 4 Change” bandwagon, as I called it two weeks ago when I suggested a similar course of action (though I assumed it would take a vice presidential carrot to bring Johnny Boy along). As I wrote then, “imagine the political power of such a development.” Barack Obama and John Edwards, the kinder-and-gentler reformer and the mad-as-hell crusader, campaigning together, promising that “together they will change America. Hillary wouldn’t know what hit her.”
That said, if Obama and Edwards are essentially already on the same page on this Attorney General thing, but Edwards isn’t dropping out, that means one of two things. Either: a) Obama is the world’s worst negotiator, having offered Edwards a cabinet position in exchange for Edwards’s merely “often seem[ing] to bond together in alliance” with Obama against Hillary (not a very high price!); or b) Obama thinks it’s in his best interest for Edwards to stay in the race at this point, perhaps because, as suggested here, Edwards “drain[s] white male votes away from Senator Clinton.” Me thinks option “b” seems more plausible (though perhaps not as plausible as option “c,” which is that there is no Obama-Edwards deal, and this talk is just that: talk).
P.S. If it is option “b,” there’s a pretty decent argument to be made for Edwards staying in the race for, oh, about another 24 hours — long enough to siphon off those all-important “white male votes” in South Carolina — and then dropping out, perhaps tomorrow night, followed by… hmm… a Monday-morning endorsement splash, perhaps? … “Up next on Today: the Boyz 4 Change!” … Talk about a massive infusion of energy into the Obama campaign! And then, with eight days until 24 states vote on February 5, the A.G.-in-waiting would go on the campaign trail for his new buddy and future boss, doubling the pre-Super Tuesday campaign reach of the Obama/Edwards juggernaut. … I’m not predicting anything, but if it happens, you heard it here first! :)
Big game at noon tomorrow on ESPN as Gonzaga visits #1 Memphis. Between USC losing to Memphis and Gonzaga losing to Tennessee, my teams are 0-for-2 against Jay’s teams so far this year (0-for-3 if you count UConn losing to Memphis); this is my last regular-season opportunity to get a win against him. Go Zags!!
Prediction: the Senate will back down. Nobody benefits politically from headlines like "Senate May Scuttle Stimulus," particularly not when the public will feel that it has essentially already been promised $1,200 per couple. The Republicans need this to pass, because they’ll be the ones primarily blamed for a recession, and they need the voters to think they tried to do something to stop it. And the Democrats need to avoid painting themselves into a corner where they’re the "obstructionists" who prevented Mr. & Mrs. John Q. Public from getting a $1,200 check in the mail. This is one issue where both parties in both houses will find some way to work together, in relatively short order.
Whoa! Not sure where the CNN Breaking News alert is on this, but Las Vegas’s iconic Monte Carlo casino/hotel is on fire. "The fire, which was reported around [2 p.m. EST], was spreading from the center section of the hotel across the roof. Flaming embers fell to the street below." Live video here.
UPDATE: The fire is reportedly contained.
At NRO, Victor Davis Hanson writes that, as a result of Bill Clinton’s antics in recent days, "liberals are waking up from their 20-year slumber and blurting out that the shameless Clintons ‘will say and do anything…’." In the WSJ, Peggy Noonan sounds a similar theme, writing that "many serious and thoughtful liberals and Democrats … are seeing Mr. Clinton in a new way and
saying so." Quoting a Nation columnist as calling the Clintons "high minded" on the surface but "smarmily duplicitous underneath," Noonan notes that this is "exactly what conservatives have been saying for a decade." Now that Democrats are seeing it too, the Clintons "are tearing the party apart," according to Noonan.
TNR’s Jason Zengerle rebuts Noonan, to a certain extent. But he, too, has noticed the "Clintonites against Clinton" trend. Back at NRO, Hanson says that if Billy Boy "keeps it up, it is very likely that he will alienate so many
moderate voters that many could hold their nose and vote for someone
like John McCain in the general election."
I witnessed this trend, albeit in microcosmic and anecdotal form, at a UT Students for Obama rally that I stopped by en route home from work yesterday afternoon. One of the student organizers for Obama was chatting with her friends about the "Barock the Vote" signs they’d made, and suddenly blurted out something to the effect of, "Maybe we should make a sign with Hillary’s face on it, and people could stomp on it." Someone suggested using Bill’s face instead, which was met with general approval. The student organizer then mused aloud, "This [election] is really souring my opinion of the Clintons," or words to that effect.
Of course, everybody has a different take on Bill Clinton’s effect on the race. Pundits have been saying since Iowa that he’s hurting Hillary, but then the exit polls keep suggesting that Democrats still love him, and he’s helping. Personally, I think people’s opinions of Bill Clinton are very complex, nuanced, and difficult to measure in a poll. This has been true for a long time: back in 2000, polls showed Clinton was extremely popular, yet it was clear to everyone involved that "Clinton fatigue" played a major role in hindering Al Gore’s campaign. (Gore might deny it now, but his pick of Lieberman for VP proves he believed it at the time. And from what I understand, Bush’s advisers are convinced that Clinton’s tarnished legacy helped them eke out an election they should have lost handily.)
The truth is, a lot of people have two or three different opinions of Bill Clinton, and in many cases those opinions are not fully reconciled with one another. They fondly remember the peace and prosperity of his presidency … they not-so-fondly remember the lies and deception and embarrassment of his scandals … they remember their anger at the Republicans for overplaying their hand with the impeachment … yet they’re still a bit ticked off at Clinton for creating the situation in the first place … and they’re not sure if he was really as good a president as they sometimes give him credit for … but then again, aw shucks, he felt their pain … and he was the victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy, after all … but on the other hand, that blue dress … etc., etc. Basically, if America in general, and the Democratic Party in particular, tried to classify its relationship with Bill Clinton in a Facebook profile, the classification would be "It’s Complicated."
Mix up the unpredictable and volatile stew of Americans’ (particularly Democrats’) feelings about Bill Clinton with the always unpredictable and volatile stew that is race relations in this country, with a dash of gender tension to boot, and you get, well, something really unpredictable and volatile — and not at all susceptible to resolution or understanding through a straightforward yes-or-no poll question about people’s attitudes toward Bill, Hillary, etc. I think this is why Obama still seems to be tiptoeing around the issue a bit more than he potentially could: he’s just not sure what will happen if he takes Bill on directly. Frankly, I don’t think anyone’s sure.
My instinct says that Hanson and Noonan are right, and that the student organizer at UT is representative of a broader phenomenon whereby staunch Democrats who once respected or even admired the Clintons are now becoming disillusioned with them, in a way that won’t just go away after the primaries are over. But my instinct could be wrong; it certainly has been numerous times this young election season. :) I wonder, though, whether Bill & Hill have fully thought through the risks they’re taking with this tactic? Or are they simply depending on fate to smile upon them once again, as it has so many times before — opponents overplaying their hands, external conditions falling into place, etc., and making the Clintons look like geniuses? At some point, their luck has to run out.