I went to go see The Raconteurs last night, and they put on a really great show. They'll be back in September for ACL Fest so I'll check them out then too. Speaking of ACL, I was pretty disappointed with the lineup this year, although I am really looking forward to Beck and The Swell Season.
Here's a very nice summary of why Hillary Clinton has lost the Democratic nomination. It still amazes me how many people don't realize how hopeless her odds are. It really ended in February when she needed a 200+ delegate win over all the Super Tuesday contests to keep things close with Obama, and instead, at the end of the day, Obama came out with a 10 delegate win. Then all the contests that he won handily throughout the rest of February sealed the deal. Ever since then they've been essentially staying tied in delegates won and lost, which isn't good when you're in a 150+ delegate hole.
Also pandering to the voters 101: Gas tax holiday. This again is why I like Obama so much, he doesn't pull this kind of crap that every single economist, tax adviser, climate scientist, and transportation engineer, both conservative and liberal, thinks is a terrible idea. You don't decrease the demand for something (which is what drives prices up) by making it cheaper! I do like Obama's ad on this topic.
At least for once we have an actual issue to talk about and debate. I've already started denouncing and rejecting every possible person that I know that might have ever said, or might say in the future, something controversial. Just in case I ever decide to run for office. Because apparently what you've done and said you're entire life count for nothing. It's all about what the people you know say and do, which seems to me like a terrible way to go through life constantly judging people to see how they'll impact a possible political career, but if that's what it takes...
With Hillary's big win over Obama in West Virginia today, that now will give her 3 contests she's won by more than 20 points, as compared to Obama's 21. And it still means she has absolutely no shot at winning the nomination. Obama has even surpassed her in super delegates now, and exactly one week from today he will clinch the nomination with a win in Oregon.
I have come across several depressing stories about race in America though over the last few days. To begin with is this AP video about voting in West Virginia, with quotes from a voter that "I guess because he is another race, I'm sorta scared of the other race because we've had so much conflict with them". And then a Washington Post article describing some of the racism that volunteers for the campaign have experienced, which includes stories like "One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: 'Hang that darky from a tree!'" (wow, just wow), a mayor in Pennslyvania accusing Obama of not pledging on the bible, another voter explaining she would not vote for him because "He's a half-breed and he's a Muslim. How can you trust that?", and it describes the story of multiple cars yelling out the n-word on a busy street in the middle of the day towards a group of black high school students holding Obama signs. What the hell is wrong with these people?
I guess I still forget that segregation was still legal and encouraged only a scant 40 years ago, and a lot of people grew up being taught the color of your skin had a direct link to your intelligence and what you should be allowed to do in life. Or that when Barack was born, his parents could have been arrested for having an interracial marriage in certain states.
But at the same time, I think it's amazing that for the first time we have both a black man and a woman running for the highest office in America and both were the leading contenders for that spot. And I have no doubt that there has been a lot of misogyny towards Hillary. Which while I have my many reasons for preferring Obama over Hillary, I really do hope to see a woman president in the near future (say 2016?), as it *IS* time that we break the idea that to have a chance at being president you must be an old white male. And I have to love that in spite of those crazy people in the links above, a black guy with a funny name, who grew up poor and politically unconnected, has a great shot at becoming the next President of the United States.
My car celebrated it's 2nd birthday on the 9th. So far I've ran into one other car with my front left bumper, a pile of rocks with my right rear bumper, a dent from someone's car door in my left rear wheel well, and lots of rock chips and small scratches, but it still is looking pretty good for having 33,000 miles on it. And I still plan on keeping it for a long long time.
So about 15 months since he announced his candidacy, Barack Obama has now essentially clinched the nomination to be the Democratic nominee! Which is amazing considering that back in November before the first primaries, Hillary had a 25 point lead in the national polls. And yet the underdog was able to pull the amazing upset.
Of course he hasn't quite officially clinched it, since he's still about 80 delegates shy of the 2025 needed to officially win the nomination. But tonight he did win the majority of the pledged delegates up for grabs. And there is no way that the super delegates would end up pushing someone over the 2025 threshold who didn't win the pledged delegate metric. Otherwise why bother having primaries at all if the winner of the votes doesn't get nominated? So now the race is essentially over, regardless of when Hillary finally ends up dropping out. Even with her claims of holding the lead in the popular vote, which counts Florida (where neither of them ever campaigned and Hillary has FAR better name recognition) and Michigan (where Obama wasn't even ON THE BALLOT!). Yes, that's right, she's claiming a voting lead by including a contest that Obama got exactly 0 votes in. Oh and she also doesn't count some of the caucus states Obama won because they don't report the total votes cast, just the final delegate breakdown. I suppose she has the right to keep on chugging along, but eventually she has to face reality right? We've lived with 8 years of a president who can't face reality, so I'm not sure this is a good image for her to be portraying.
Remember the McCain media adviser who said he's stop working for McCain if Obama was the nominee because he didn't want to stand in the way of a person like Obama winning the White House? He wasn't kidding.
In his victory speech tonight, Obama provided a nice point by point list laying out exactly the "change" that he wants to bring. He's said it many many times before, but I still hear way too much "What does he mean by change? He never says what he wants to change!". So here you go:
I will leave it up to Senator McCain to explain to the American people whether his policies and positions represent long-held convictions or Washington calculations, but the one thing they don’t represent is change.
Change is a tax code that rewards work instead of wealth by cutting taxes for middle-class families, and senior citizens, and struggling homeowners; a tax code that rewards businesses that create good jobs here in America instead of the corporations that ship them overseas. That’s what change is.
Change is a health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants; that brings down premiums for every family who needs it; that stops insurance companies from discriminating and denying coverage to those who need it most.
Change is an energy policy that doesn’t rely on buddying up to the Saudi Royal Family and then begging them for oil – an energy policy that puts a price on pollution and makes the oil companies invest their record profits in clean, renewable sources of energy that will create five million new jobs and leave our children a safer planet. That’s what change is.
Change is giving every child a world-class education by recruiting an army of new teachers with better pay and more support; by promising four years of tuition to any American willing to serve their community and their country; by realizing that the best education starts with parents who turn off the TV, and take away the video games, and read to our children once in awhile.
Change is ending a war that we never should’ve started and finishing a war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan that we never should’ve ignored. Change is facing the threats of the twenty-first century not with bluster, or fear-mongering, or tough talk, but with tough diplomacy, and strong alliances, and confidence in the ideals that have made this nation the last, best hope of Earth. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy.
That is what change is.
That is the choice in this election.
Finally, here's how to market Obama to Republicans. The main idea is that you never get anywhere by saying someone's viewpoints are wrong. Instead you have to point out the advantages of your ideas. So it means pointing out the advantages of Obama's middle class tax cut proposals, instead of McCain's plan of sending that money to the richest 2%. Pointing out that it was under a Democratic president that we last had a balanced budget and that Obama has passed legislation to make government spending more transparent. That Obama did his work in the South Side of Chicago doing meaningful community social work through voluntary, faith-based, non-governmental community organizations, rather than government bureaucracies. And that a core of his message is that the government has it's place in social programs, but it's up to people to do the work and show real results. That he doesn't stand up for the Bush policies of warrantless domestic wiretapping, warrantless searches and seizures, arresting U.S. citizens without probable cause, holding them without trial, and other outrageous civil liberty grievances that McCain supports. And the final point that with Obama growing up on food stamps in a single parent household, and having to win scholarships to attend the schools he did, which President is more likely to make a difference in the lives of people, and motivate them with initiative to best achieve their individual God-given potential?
In other news, I'm going to be going to Orlando in June for the Freescale Technology Forum, which is Freescale's annual trade show where we show customers how awesome Freescale chips are. I'm going as part of a really cool high-profile project that I can't talk about quite yet, but I'll be able to say more once the conference starts. It's a really fun project, and I'm excited to go on my first business trip. So more details on that in a few weeks.