The Detroit Red Wings are Stanley Cup champions.
FHM Online has a bunch of new pictures of Megan Fox. Well, “new” is a relative term; the pictures are apparently from an old photoshoot, but many of them are newly published, both online and in the July issue of the U.K. edition of FHM. Here’s the cover:
See also some previously published FHM photos here, here and here. All links are probably SFW, but she’s scantily clad — in her underwear, to be specific — which is why I’ve refrained from posting any of the pics, except the magazine cover.
(Hat tip: Perez Hilton, via Becky. Yes, that’s right, Becky.)
I realize I’m incredibly slow in blogging about this story, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Kevin White is no longer Notre Dame’s athletic director.
Kevin White was hired as Duke’s athletic director Saturday, leaving Notre Dame for a school with an elite basketball team and a football team that has had 13 straight losing seasons and has not been to a bowl since 1994.
Notre Dame appointed Missy Conboy as its interim athletic director. The school said there is no timetable for a permanent replacement.
White will replace Joe Alleva, who was hired as LSU’s athletic director in April after a decade of leading the Blue Devils’ 26 sports programs.
“Kevin White is in the first rank of athletics directors nationally and will make a perfect fit at Duke,” university president Richard Brodhead said.
White had been at Notre Dame since 2000. He hired football coaches Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, and hired former Duke assistant Mike Brey as the men’s basketball coach. …
White helped Notre Dame plan a $26 million renovation of the basketball arena and expand the school’s nonrevenue sports. He and his wife were made honorary alumni three days before switching jobs.
But White was widely criticized by Irish fans because the football team hasn’t won a national championship since 1988 Ã¢â‚¬â€ the longest stretch in school history Ã¢â‚¬â€ and some fans place much of the blame on White.
He gave Bob Davie a contract extension in 2000, then fired him after the next season. White replaced Davie with George O’Leary, who resigned after less than a week on the job after he admitted he had lied about his academic and athletic past. White’s next hire was Willingham, who lasted just three years.
In all, the Irish football team had four winning seasons, three losing campaigns and one .500 finish during White’s tenure.
I apologize for not blogging this sooner. My parents were in town this past weekend, visiting us and the baby, so my free time for blogging was limited. Even so, as I mentioned in comments on another post, I actually drafted a whole post about this on Saturday, only to have my computer crash before I’d saved it. I then intended to post something Monday or Tuesday, but got totally consumed with blogging about the rapidly changing Hillary Clinton-related developments, and never got around to it.
Anyway. Yeah. Kevin White, gone. I can’t say I’m shedding any tears over it. What do y’all think?
P.S. Duke sucks.
ABC says Hillary Clinton will drop out on Friday and “ced[e] the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.”
I’ll believe it when I see it.
UPDATE: For some reason it didn’t auto-post, but CNN sent out a breaking-news alert at 7:10 PM stating: “Sen. Hillary Clinton will officially end her campaign for the presidency by the end of the week, multiple sources tell CNN.”
UPDATE 2: This isn’t just based on anonymous sourcing now. Here’s the official statement from the campaign: “Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, DC on Friday to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity.”
Politico’s Ben Smith writes:
Clinton delivered something approaching a victory speech Tuesday night, just minutes after the media reported that Senator Barack Obama had clinched the nomination with a majority of the pledged delegates. But reality began to sink in Wednesday, as party leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, declared Obama “the nominee” and close supporters like Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel lost patience with her delays. …
Clinton had convened a conference call with congressional supporters Wednesday to plead for time. Instead, a Clinton backer said, her supporters laid down the law: Time had run out, and she needed to leave the race this week.
More from NYT’s Adam Nagourney:
Her decision came after a day of telephone conversations with supporters on Capitol Hill about what she should do now that Mr. Obama had claimed enough delegates to be able to clinch the nomination. Mrs. Clinton had initially said she wanted to wait before making any decision, but her aides said that in conversations, some of her closest supporters said it was urgent that she step aside. The news was first reported by ABCNEWS.com.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We pledged to support her to the end,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Representative Charles B. Rangel, a New York Democrat who has been a patron of Mrs. Clinton since she first ran for the Senate. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Here are the final "popular vote" numbers, courtesy of Real Clear Politics. Leaving aside the fact that the "popular vote" is a fundamentally flawed and illegitimate metric for determining the "winner" of the Democrats’ byzantine primary and caucus process, the results are as follows:
Thus, the answer to the question I posed back on May 7 — can Hillary Clinton "win" an "arguably plausible" popular vote tally? — turns out to be "no." She only wins if she does one (or both) of the two indefensible things that I’ve been decrying all along: awarding herself a unanimous victory in Michigan that would make Saddam Hussein proud, and/or disenfranchising four whole states that did nothing wrong.
Stepping back from those controversies, though, a bigger-picture view of the "popular vote" reveals just how freakin’ close this election was. The most Obama-friendly scenario has him winning by 151,844 votes, which is just 0.4% of the total cast. The most Clinton-friendly scenario (giving her the unanimous Michigan victory and excluding the caucus states) has her ahead by 286,687 votes, or just 0.8%. Basically, the popular vote was a tie.
Now, that said, if the 13 caucus states had held primaries, Obama probably would have had a more substantial edge. For instance, although he won by a whopping 79.5% to 17.2% in Idaho, he netted only 13,225 votes there, because only 21,224 people voted. If Idaho had held a (real) primary, Obama’s percentage margin would likely have been more akin to his 56% to 38% win in the state’s non-binding primary, but turnout probably would have been more on the order of 175,000 or thereabouts (judging from Kerry’s total in 2004). That translates to a margin of roughly 31,500 instead of 13,225. Repeat that effect in the other 12 caucus states — Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming — and you’re probably talking about an additional several hundred thousand votes for Obama if all 50 states had held primaries.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that the battle for the nomination was achingly close, and the central reason Hillary lost is because of the strategic gaffes committed by her incompetently managed campaign. She and Obama essentially split the Democratic Party right down the middle, but Obama came away with a clear delegate majority for the simple reason that he ran a better campaign than she did. This obviously burns her up inside, and helps explain her current irrational behavior. She’s sitting there thinking, over and over again, "I should have won this thing, I should have won this thing." And that thought process makes it incredibly difficult for her to acknowledge defeat.
And you know what? In a sense, she’s right. She should have won. If her campaign had merely matched the strategic competence of Obama’s campaign, such that she’d essentially tied him in delegates as well as votes, she’d very likely have ended up being the nominee, precisely because of the electability arguments she’s been making. If this race were truly a tie, the superdelegates would be very open to those arguments, and she’d probably win the floor fight in Denver. But because her campaign arrogantly failed to compete in various states, and thus allowed Obama to rack up an unassailable delegate lead in February, she clearly lost the pledged-delegate count, which is the closest thing we have to an accurate reflection of the "winner" and "loser" of this byzantine process. As a result, it’s game, set, match, Obama.
So, Hillary, you’re right: you should have won the nomination. But nobody stole it from you. It’s your own damn fault you lost, and putting your party through hell in a futile attempt to make up for your own campaign’s blatant strategic errors is hardly the mark of a leader.
I was going to delete the blog sidebar thingy that was counting down to "MT, SD primaries," which stated (under "Upcoming events" at left) that those elections are "-1 days" away. But then it occurred to me to do something different. Instead of deleting the countdown, I’ve changed its text to read "Obama clinches," and I’m going to leave it there until Hillary Clinton drops out of the race and endorses Obama. So, this way, we can keep a running tally of how long Hillary continues her campaign even after she’s lost.
This is sort of like how, back in 2006, I left the "Shannon’s due date" countdown in place until Shannon actually had her baby — at which point it said "-7 days." I wonder if Hillary will beat that record? (For what it’s worth, the Democratic National Convention begins in 82 days.)
Her NYT column today contains this bit of sheer nonsense:
[Hillary Clinton] has told some Democrats recently that she wanted Obama to agree to
allow a roll call vote, like days of yore, so that the delegates of
states she won would cast the first ballot for her at the convention.
She said she wanted that for her daughter.
Memo to Maureen: there is always a roll-call vote, at every single convention, not just in "days of yore." Obama does not have the ability to "allow" or "disallow" such a vote, because it is the roll-call vote that will make him the nominee, as opposed to the "presumptive nominee."
Watch Obama’s speech (in particular the opening portion, about Hillary), and then watch Hillary’s speech, and tell me, which one of these candidates really wants the Democratic Party to be united?
Hillary’s claim that she wants the party to be united is, at this point, an utter and obvious lie. Her speech last night was sheer demagoguery, deliberately using rhetoric — about the "popular vote," about Michigan and Florida, about electability, and so forth — that will keep her supporters in a frenzy of anger and/or denial about the outcome of the election.
I said beforehand that it would be unforgivable if she made these sorts of arguments last night, and she made them, and it is indeed unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable. On the very night when the party should have begun coalescing once and for all around its presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton continued to stoke the fires of intraparty civil war, instead of beginning of the process of standing down and backing off.
I’m not saying she needed to concede last night, but she needed to be gracious and conciliatory and valedictory, not combative and defiant and demagogic. She needed to explicitly attack McCain’s candidacy, not implicitly attack Obama’s legitimacy. She needed to speak the language of unity, not merely pay lip-service to it. She failed — she deliberately chose to fail — on all counts.
This notion out there that we should "respect" Hillary by not acknowledging the repugnance of last night’s speech, and of her recent campaign tactics generally, is completely back-asswards. It’s disrespectful to be anything other than repulsed, because such a reaction requires a belief that Hillary doesn’t know perfectly well what she is doing. To give Hillary a pass is to assume she’s a witless child, which she most certainly is not. She knows precisely what she’s doing — and it is the exact opposite of "uniting the party." She is willfully undermining her party’s nominee.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the beginning of John McCain’s (widely panned) speech, in which he made a blatant — and somewhat ham-handed, in my view, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work — play for disaffected Hillary voters.
McCain’s efforts in this regard, aided and abetted by Clinton’s rhetoric, are already bearing fruit:
[T]he RNC’s convention office in St. Paul has received numerous telephone
calls in the last few hours from people who identify themselves as
Clinton supporters asking how they can help Sen. McCain.
HillaryGrassrootsCampaign.com, an organization with upwards of
half-a-million supporters, announced today it is committed to breaking
ranks with the Democratic Party and supporting Senator Hillary Clinton
in the general election - regardless of her status as the party’s
will be more developments like these, and no matter what she says
publicly about "unity," Hillary can’t wash her hands of them. She created
this monster. If you tell people, over and over again (even unto the
very night that your opponent clinches victory!), that their votes aren’t
being counted, that they aren’t being "respected," that they’re
"invisible," and that their chosen candidate, despite having lost, is
the legitimate winner — no matter how untrue all of those things are
– many of them are going to start believing what you’re telling them.
Hillary’s dead-woman-walking "campaign" has become one giant Big Lie.
At this point, the only way Hillary can even begin to redeem herself is by aggressively countering this stuff — not merely by dropping out and endorsing Obama, which she will inevitably do at some point, but by explicitly walking back her combative, divisive rhetoric. She needs to passionately make the case to her supporters, particularly women, that Obama’s their man, and McCain isn’t. She needs to find a plausible way to openly contradict her past statements about "elitism," electability, the "commander-in-chief test," and so forth. She needs to be the one who convinces her supporters that Obama is really and truly the legitimate nominee, that the "popular vote" doesn’t matter, that nobody was "disenfranchised," that no one is "disrespecting" her "18 million" supporters. Above all, she needs to make perfectly clear that she was not robbed, that she lost fair and square.
She needs to do all this, irrespective of the fact that it will leave some of her most fervent supporters feeling "betrayed." She can’t use their fragile emotions as an excuse, because she created those emotions with her shameless demagoguery. (That’s what demagoguery does. That’s its whole purpose.) Like I said: she created the monster. Some of the damage she’s done is irreparable, which is why she can never fully be forgiven for her actions. But she can take a small step toward reconciliation by undoing as much of the damage as possible.
Somehow, though, I don’t think she’ll be walking back her rhetoric on any of these key points. Oh, she’ll make the case for Obama on policy, and argue that he’s better than McCain, for the sake of appearances. But, having planted the "she was robbed" seed in her supporters’ brains, she’ll let them stew about it, and she’ll tell herself that if they want to stay home — or vote for McCain — because of that, well, there’s nothing she can do. Like so much of what she says, that’s a lie. But maybe it’ll let her sleep at night.
Personally, I am not a Democrat — I’m an independent — and although
the portion of my brain that views politics as a sport can’t help
"rooting" for Obama (he’s exciting! he’s inspiring! he’s shiny!), the
rational part of brain, which governs my actual vote, is totally undecided
between Obama and McCain. Thus, my anger at Hillary is more based on my
internal sensibilities — about right and wrong, about proper and improper
behavior, and, above all, about truth and untruth — than on fear
of what she’ll do to Obama’s chances in November. And yet I’m pretty damn angry. So I
can’t imagine how intense the anger must be among committed Democrats who are 100% behind Obama. They have to be livid. At this point, she’s got be reaching Bush/Cheney/Lieberman levels of earned hatred, yes?
Oh, and as long as we’re talking about Hillary hurting Obama’s chances, check out this video clip that the Republican National Committee sent out last night:
This is Exhibit A, B, and C for why the unity ticket is wolf-face crazy. Can you imagine how much worse it would be if she were his runningmate?
UPDATE: Here’s another clip the RNC is circulating: