Iowa, South Carolina, And One Other

Iowa, South Carolina

Right now it looks to me like Barack will carry both Iowa and South Carolina. That is not me saying he will not do well in Nevada and New Hampshire. All I am saying is I have not had the chance to closely study those other two states.

If Barack could win Iowa and South Carolina and one other January state, he will wrap this thing up on February 5, no sweat. He will be a serious contender in the state of New York itself. I mean, he could carry it.

The beauty of the possibility of three victories is he could carry all four.

And people will realize Iowa has become more not less important, despite the circus around the new primary calendar.

If Hillary Loses Both Iowa And New Hampshire

Then it is pretty much over for her. Her huge national lead for much of the year mixed with two defeats in a row will compound her problems. Minus the national lead, the hurt would have been less.

The Phrase That Is Backfiring

Hillary might have overused the phrase strength and experience. I feel now there is already a backlash to it without much direct confrontation by the Obama camp to that particular choice of words on her part.

Hillary should stop milking this strength and experience cow. There is no milk up that rudder.

Barack's Really Got Something Going On

I am very much a student of Barack's new kind of politics, the politics of hope. At first I rejected the idea, as in where's the juice, where is the fight! Then I thought there is something to it. But I learn more of the implications every time I see Barack in action. He really does offer a very different style to those who have watched the politics of the past two decades a little too closely.

Barack: New Direction, New Ideas

Barack means new century. 21st century. Those four words not put forward by Obama 2008 but by pollsters really capture the essence of Barack's appeal. I am so glad for it. I have been looking for those four words for a few months now. My previous attempts to find words to counter the strength and experience phrase have been poor attempts by comparison.

Barack, "He Walks Between Worlds"
Barack: Judgment And Leadership
Barack: Strength And Judgment

Hillary Sounding Desperate

Her dig at Barack's four years of childhood in Indonesia come across as desperate.

Living in a foreign country as a child does not mean Barack could have skipped Columbia and Harvard, but it does mean he has a perspective that Senator Clinton does not. Proof is Iraq. Hillary was so wrong. Barack got it right. The proof is in the pudding.

Hillary's Money

Hillary could lose all of the four January states, and she will still be sitting atop tens of millions. She will still bet big on February 5. So Barack has to be very much prepared to fight hard on February 5 even if he has a wonderful month in January.


The recent spat has been good for Barack. He comes across as the more pleasant.

W Endorses Clinton, Sort Of

That is strange. But it is real.

You should read in Barack's second book of when he met W for the first time. This Texan is scared s___tless a black guy might end up in the White House.

In The News

President praises Clinton's political experience Newsday President George W. Bush is endorsing Hillary Clinton's claim that she's the most experienced candidate in the 2008 field -- a plaudit that might cost her with rank-and-file Democrats. ...... "There is no question that Sen. Clinton understands pressure better than any of the candidates, you know, in the race," the president told ABC News Tuesday. It wasn't clear whether the president thought Clinton was more experienced than all of the Republicans running for the White House or just Democrats. Later, he said that any of the GOP candidates could "beat" Clinton. Laura Bush chimed in during the Camp David interview, adding that Clinton's eight years as first lady might be "helpful" in her pursuit of the presidency. The president even took Clinton's side over Obama on the question of whether a president should meet foreign dictators with no preconditions during his or her first year in office. Clinton opposes such a policy; Obama supports direct talks. "I thought that was an odd foreign policy" choice, Bush said of the Illinois senator's stance. The Obama camp was delighted Bush, the Democrats' arch-enemy, would praise Clinton. "I can't tell if he's endorsing her, hoping she's the nominee or thanking her for her votes on Iraq and Iran," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. ..... Clinton, who was in Iowa, spent much of yesterday blasting away at Obama's lack of foreign policy experience, unintentionally striking the same theme Bush did.
Clinton and Obama trade blows before Iowa The Age
Obama Navigates Merit Pay Issue
ABC News
Obama: Clinton and Edwards left the money behind Baltimore Sun
Republicans Like Obama or Edwards as Democratic Pick U.S. News & World Report

Poll: Clinton's lead shrinks in New Hampshire CNN Clinton had 23-point lead in New Hampshire in September, now 14 points ..... Poll respondents place Clinton behind Obama and Edwards on trust issue ..... 36 percent of likely Democratic primary voters backed Clinton, 22 percent supported Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and 13 percent favored former Sen. John Edwards .... September ... Clinton was at 43 percent, with Obama at 20 percent ..... "One is that Barack Obama is doing a better job at making his case and he's got a chance to do it in two states where politics are up close and personal. Secondly, Hillary Clinton went through a period that focused on the thing that voters worry the most about in terms of her, which is does she play it straight? ...... "So, we've had a period that has really accentuated Sen. Obama's strengths and put some focus on Sen. Clinton's one big area of vulnerability." ....... "One issue that appears to hurt Clinton in Iowa is Iraq," said CNN polling director Keating Holland. "Caucus-goers think Obama can handle that issue better than Clinton. The reverse is true in New Hampshire -- although not by much. ..... The primary is expected to take place January 8, although the date is not set. .... the tighter race in New Hampshire is a recent development. ... "New Hampshire has always been Clinton's insurance policy. Many observers believe she can survive a loss in Iowa -- but only if she can finish first in the Granite State
Saudi: Why we punished rape victim a married woman. The 19-year-old and an unrelated man were abducted, and she was raped by a group of seven men more than a year ago ...... The woman was originally sentenced in October 2006 to 90 lashes. But that sentence was more than doubled to 200 lashes and six months in prison by the Qatif General Court, because she spoke to the media about the case ....... the permanent committee of the Supreme Judicial Council recommended an increased sentence for the woman after further evidence against her came to light when she appealed her original sentence. ...... "This is not just about the Qatif girl, it's about every woman in Saudi Arabia," said Fawzeyah al-Oyouni, founding member of the newly formed Saudi Association for the Defense of Women's Rights. ...... "We're fearing for our lives and the lives of our sisters and our daughters and every Saudi woman out there. We're afraid of going out in the streets. ...... The man and woman were attacked after they met in Qatif on the kingdom's Persian Gulf coast, so she could retrieve an old photograph of herself from him ..... the man was trying to blackmail his client. He noted the photo she was trying to retrieve was harmless and did not show his client in any compromising position. ........ the man tried to blame his client for insisting on meeting him that day. It is illegal for a woman to meet with an unrelated male under Saudi's Islamic law. ....... women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a strict dress code, a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man's permission to travel or have surgery. Women are also not allowed to testify in court unless it is about a private matter that was not observed by a man, and they are not allowed to vote.
Clinton, Obama spar over remark Trying to establish herself in the minds of voters as the more experienced candidate and facing a shrinking lead in New Hampshire, Sen. Hillary Clinton took a sharp dig Tuesday at her closest Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama. ..... "Now voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face," Clinton said in a speech to an audience in Iowa.
Clinton sharpens her attacks on Obama's experience Reuters Clinton sharpened her attacks on rival Barack Obama's experience on Tuesday, a day after a poll showed her falling slightly behind him in Iowa. ...... Campaigning in New Hampshire, he said experience was no substitute for judgment and criticized Clinton's votes to authorize military action in Iraq in 2003. Remarking that Clinton has said she has met with world leaders, Obama said: "Which world leader told her that we needed to invade Iraq?" .... the second consecutive day that Obama and Clinton have exchanged barbs on the question of experience ..... Clinton leads national polls in the Democratic race, but a loss in Iowa could slow her momentum and puncture the air of inevitability her campaign has tried to promote. ...... "When it comes to mud, Hillary Clinton says one thing and throws another." ..... Knowing the ropes in Washington meant appeasing special interests that block key issues such as health care reform and new energy policies, Obama said.

Obama edges past Clinton in new Iowa poll Guardian Unlimited
Obama eclipses Clinton in Iowa The Age
Obama Tops Clinton in `Critical' Iowa Race, Poll Says (Update1) Bloomberg
A Statistical Tie in Iowa
New York Times, United States
Latest Iowa Poll Shows Obama Breakout in Iowa
FOX News one candidate is riding a new wave of support. ...... Clinton would be the last pick on either party's bowling team. ..... these factors do not appear to be translating in Iowa, where campaigning has been most intense.
Obama edges Clinton in key state, Australia

Supreme Court to consider DC handgun banUSA Today
3-way Democratic dead heat in Iowa
THE NOTE: Hillary: Inevitable No More ABC News Ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a race. Toss out the 30-point lead in the national polls, the fundraising edge, the long list of endorsements, the bold predictions of Terry McAuliffe, Mark Penn, even Bill Clinton himself. .... a state that's notoriously difficult to call in advance. ..... "Iowa Democrats are tilting toward change, and Obama appears to be benefiting from it" ....... "In another positive shift for Obama, 55 percent now see him as their first or second choice, an important trend in a state where a person's second choice can matter and voters often switch their support at the last minute." ...... "There is something of anti-Hillary vote among [supporters of] all the other candidates," ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America." "This could really work for Barack Obama on Jan. 3." ...... she's spent less time in elected office than Obama himself. But what happened to running on your own merits? ....... Clinton referring to her husband's presidency at least 16 times in just over half an hour on Monday. The back-to-the-'90s theme is just a cheesy VH1 special if voters don't want to go there with her. ........ Clinton's "first negative ad . . . hitting back at leading Republican hopefuls who in recent weeks have launched assaults at her over the airwaves" ....... the bizarre Novak item ..... prompted Obama to deny having done what he doesn't know he's being accused of doing, and the Clinton camp to accuse Obama of being naive to think he'd really been accused of doing anything at all ....... the Clinton library's secret donor list hasn't been all that secret -- for the right price. ...... forget the White House papers -- there's still no public access to Clinton's files from her time as first lady of Arkansas. ......... Romney and Giuliani are sparring about -- what else? -- immigration. Giuliani on Monday repeated his link between illegal immigration and "reducing illegality" -- as in the crime rate in New York. ...... As for Thompson, R-Tenn., he's fading away like a second-rate actor in a forgettable miniseries. ....... (Good thing the crowd had nowhere else to be, just like they'll have nothing better to do with their evening come caucus night.) ...... Biden, D-Del., unveils his energy plan Tuesday, complete with a requirement that all cars sold in the US be capable of running on flex fuel by 2017. ...... Obama turns to education on Tuesday, with a plan "that calls for affordable preschool for every child, higher pay for better teachers and the option of more class time for students" ....... The Obama campaign has its own fact-checking organ up, to counter Clinton's. ........ "I call on Mike Huckabee to give the speech that others have urged from Romney," Cohen writes. "Tell us how your religious beliefs, your rejection of accepted scientific knowledge, will not impinge on your presidency. We know your faith matters to you. We want to know whether it will matter to us."
Asian Leaders Drop India, Australia From Regional `Community' Bloomberg China, Japan and South Korea agreed to work with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to open up regional trade, dropping a plan to include India, Australia and New Zealand. ....... China's demand that only Asean Plus Three countries should be included in the community. ...... a Japanese proposal for a 16-nation free-trade area, which would harness 3 billion people and economic output of $9 trillion. Japan's plan rivaled a separate review chaired by a Chinese academic for an economic bloc consisting of only Asean, China, Japan and South Korea. ........ "India is very much a participant, there is an Asean plus three and Asean plus six and India is part of Asean plus six.'' .... "a free flow of goods and services and easier movement of capital and labor'' ...... to adopt changes to their markets that will allow the region to be a European Union- modeled economic community by 2015 ....... Asean is made up of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. ....... China, whose economy accounts for one tenth of global growth, has yet to resolve disputes with Asean members and Japan over gas and oil exploration rights. ....... 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the East China Sea.
France's Incredible Vanishing President TIME second week of minimal public transportation, many of them ask why the previously omnipresent Sarkozy has gone missing in this critical moment of his presidency ........ a conflict that depends on his action. ..... plans to slash nearly 23,000 public sector jobs next year ...... He's made the non-negotiable essentials of this reform clear to everyone
Pakistan's Taliban at the Gates nine of the twelve districts in the picturesque Swat Valley, 100 miles from Pakistan's capital, have been taken over by militants, who have torched music shops, barred girls from going to school, forced women to wear burqas and decreed that men must grow beards ........ the new overlords have even attempted to blow up centuries-old Buddhist monuments. ...... The Swat valley is Pakistan's premier tourist destination, home to its only ski slope and a haven for trout fishing. ...... the charismatic radio preacher Maulana Fazlullah, known as the FM mullah ...... "It's not that the military is unwilling," says a Western military official based in Islamabad, "but is it capable?" ...... taking heavy losses that sap the morale in its ranks. ......... sending in 15,000 troops, helicopters, tanks and armored vehicles to battle a ragtag army of some 500 militants. ........ last month 250 soldiers surrendered to a few dozen militants ....... entire villages have been taken over by bands of militants made up, in some cases, of only nine fighters ..... He puts himself in the soldiers' boots: "I'm making $20 a month, I've got five bullets in my gun, and a couple of guys with AKs come up. I mean the question is, do I want to die? Oh, and by the way — they know all my family." ........ a classic guerrilla insurgency ....... "There has got to be a strong information campaign to go along with the kinetics [military force]. Fazlullah has a FM station? Jam the damn thing. They sure as hell can jam stations here [in Islamabad], so why can't they do that up there?" ......... Fazlullah, a local student who once earned a living ferrying passengers and goods across the Swat river
OPEC to Abandon Dollar? Ahmadinejad said Sunday that OPEC's members have expressed interest in converting their cash reserves into a currency other than the depreciating U.S. dollar, which he called a "worthless piece of paper." ......... the growing challenge that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, faces from Iran and its ally Venezuela within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. ....... "They get our oil and give us a worthless piece of paper," Ahmadinejad told reporters after the close of the summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. ......... Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah .. continuously faced challenges from Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. ...... the third full OPEC summit since the organization was created in 1960.
Skip the Botox. Try Facial Yoga facial muscles, like any other muscle, need exercise to stay toned ...... regular practice of making kissy faces or wagging one's tongue can reduce worry lines and wrinkles ....... primal grunts, theatrical expressions and lots of laughter ...... the Smiling Fish (purse your lips and smile slightly), the Marilyn (blow kisses while keeping your forehead smooth) and the Satchmo (puff out your face and transfer air from cheek to cheek). ....... "You can see the difference around the eyes and forehead." ...... keeping the head lower than the heart increases youth-giving blood flow to the face. ...... "Stress shows on our face, probably more than any other place on our body."
How Bangladesh Survived a Cyclone some 27 million people were affected by Cyclone Sidr, the category 4 storm that swept through Bangladesh last week ....... the toll could eventually reach 10,000 ..... 1991's Cyclone Gorky, which killed at least 138,000 people, and 1970's Bhola, which left as many as 500,000 people dead and is considered the deadliest cyclone, and one of the worst natural disasters, in human history. ......... Officials evacuated some 3.2 million people who lived along the coastline in the days before Sidr hit, and stockpiled relief supplies and rescue equipment. ......... global warming will make cyclones in the region bigger and more frequent. .... Most of Bangladesh sits on the giant alluvial delta created by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, whose courses are constantly shifting ...... simple house designs — two-foot-high concrete plinths topped with inexpensive and easily replaced jute panel walls ...... just under half the population of the U.S. crammed into an area the size of the state of Iowa. ........ we might have to introduce a system that says if you produce 10,000 tons of carbon you have to take a Bangladeshi family
Obama calls for $18-billion boost in education spending Los Angeles Times
Clinton Ad Takes on Republican Attacks
The Associated Press
Clinton's Latest NH Ad Is Rashomonic Atlantic Online
Romney latches on to Clinton ad MSNBC
Republicans Like Obama or Edwards as Democratic Pick U.S. News & World Report