Though we've come a long way since Bernie, Donald and Hillary formally launched their campaigns, there's still a while to go before polling stations open. Recently, Barack enjoyed a Nordic State Dinner , delivered a commencement speech of our time, and pushed through rules including extending overtime pay to more than four million Americans. On the campaign trail, Hillary takes Kentucky while Bernie takes Oregon. Meanwhile, Donald clarifies that there's no VP for Marco with him, but Marco wants people to leave him alone anyway, people make wild speculations about Bernie's possible VP pick, Ted pretends Donald does not exist, Reince pleads "come together", and in coal country Hillary mentions a Bill role as a potential running mate is a bit coy. [more inside]
Blogger suggests that a win For Hillary Clinton's methods on the way to the White House is a loss for participatory democracy. Alongside the quiet rollback of Obama's ban on contributions from federal lobbyists within the DNC comes what appears to be a novel tactic to maintain control of the nomination process by the Democratic establishment or HRC: the formation of fundraising agreements between HRC and state Democratic parties. The implications for participatory democracy do not seem good given that state parties with their success financially tied to HRC's success must oversee very narrow caucuses and primaries.
"Democracy is not a game. It is not a means of getting our names on the front page or setting the world abuzz about our latest scoop."
In 2008, the National Journal released The Hidden History of the American Electorate, an analysis of exit poll demographics conducted by multiple news organizations from US presidential elections between 1988 and 2004. The study looked for "pressure points in the electorate": trends which were likely to decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election. They've released an update for 2012, by adding exit poll results from the 1980, 1984, and 2008 presidential elections. It gives a more comprehensive look at voting trends over a 32 year period of the groups whom they believe are likely to influence the outcome in November. Charts: Voting Preferences of the American Electorate, 1980-2008
Inside the Secret Service. Sidebars: Radio Chatter and The Presidential Motorcade (Via) [more inside]
""You can't forget there are people listening when you say you are going to do things, and I try not to overpromise."
This past March, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that tariff policies his administration championed in the mid-1990's helped destroy Haiti's rice production and contributed to the impoverished nation's inability to feed itself. But while most of the world has stopped paying attention to Haiti's woes, Mr. Clinton has become the de facto leader of the effort to rebuild it after the catastrophic earthquake this past January. Will his influence be enough? Reports from the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti indicate that the reconstruction progress has been slow. [more inside]
20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack. A very thoughtful and eloquent comparison (transcript) of the core differences between Obama and Clinton - by Creative Commons CEO and Professor Lawrence Lessig.
Lanchester's Law (pdf file) broadly states that in warfare it takes an N-square-fold increase in quality to make up for an N-square increase in quantity. In other words, gains in technological superiority do not multiply as fast as increases in in troop strength. When the warfare is asymmetrical, numerical superiority become even more important. With complaints that the US Army is understaffed (there are 1/3 fewer troops now than in 1991 when the US fought the first Gulf war) Democrats in the House and Senate - led by Joseph Lieberman and Hillary Clinton - are proposing to increase the size of the US Army by 80,000 troops - more than twice what the Army asked for and counter to the argument made by the the CATO institute that troop strength should be decreased.