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April 2008

Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania Primary and the Democratic presidential race continues

As expected, Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Pennsylvania Primary and the protracted Democratic race continues. The race is still left up to the superdelegates and neither Clinton nor Obama can win without them.

The Obama camp eroded her 20 percentage point lead so Clinton can count PA as a victory but at what cost? What is also interesting and worthy of analysis is the Philadelphia vote and the influence of Mayor Michael Nutter. Obama won that area but was expected to win by a larger margin.

When all is said and done; Hillary Clinton still will not win overall. She is personally tainted because of her credibility deficit. Obama's opposition attacks him because of the people he knows but Hillary's opponents attack her because of what she's said and done.

The race will come down to who appeals more to the voters. Don't believe the hype; big states…small states…they ALL matter and they all count. Neither is more important than the other.

The Clinton camp needs to relish tonight's victory. Be mindful that the PA victory will not likely overcome Obama's lead in the popular vote. Obama's fundraising lead will be difficult for her to overcome also unless she loans herself money again.

Next on the campaign agenda are Guam (May 3) and Indiana and North Carolina (May 6). If past practice holds true, Clinton tends to show her ugly side after she wins so let's see what happens next. In the meantime, I'm going over to to make a donation.

2 Days Until Pennsylvania Primary

There are only two days left until the Pennsylvania primary. It will be great to be rid of the madness surrounding that vote. For sure either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will be declared the winner of that contest.

With the erosion of Clinton's initial double digit lead and the distraction of Obama's defense of his pastor, patriotism or words, the analysis of the final vote will be interesting. The Clintons will claim a victory if she wins and Obama will claim victory if she wins by a smaller than projected margin.

Pennsylvania does not use early voting so last minute appeals to voters are more important in this race. There are options of voting by absentee ballot and provisional ballot but their impact on the final vote remains to be seen.

If you live in Pennsylvania, please vote for Barack Obama. If you know someone who lives in Pennsylvania, contact them and ask them to vote for Barack Obama. If you don't know anyone and want to volunteer to contact Pennsylvania voters, go to

At this moment, in this presidential race, Barack Obama is the only candidate that can lead the United States toward positive change. It's time to put politicking, politricking and pettiness aside and vote for the candidate that is best for America. That candidate is Barack Obama.

Delegate update

Here's the latest Democratic delegate count from CNN:

Pledged: 1418
Superdelegates: 226
Total: 1,644
Pledged: 1250
Superdelegates: 248
Total: 1,498
We're three days away from the next Super Tuesday. The Pennsylvania primary will be over and it's likely we'll be dealing with more election drama.

Video: Obama brushes it off

You may not be a Jay-Z fan but you'll surely get this video anyway. Barack Obama handled the ABC-TV debate quite well in my opinion but the aftermath generated the video below. Now, if someone would follow-up with a mash-up to 'Wipe Me Down' that would be tight work.

From: Bill3948

Barack Obama wins more key endorsements

Hillary Clinton must be spitting fire right about now. Long-time Bill Clinton friend and former Clinton cabinet member Rob Reich endorsed Barack Obama for president. That must be a major blow to the Clintons.

CNN quotes former Secretary of Labor Reich:






Wow, that had to hurt but probably not as much as learning of Obama's endorsement by former senators Sam Nunn and David Boren.

How much more of this much will she endure before calling it quits? No matter the spin, Hillary won't win. The numbers just don't add up.

As we get closer to the Democratic Convention and Obama continues to rack up key endorsements and superdelegates. The superdelegates will be the deciding factor in this election and will favor Obama.

Barack Obama wins almost by default

Barack Obama is smooth. He is smart, charismatic and far superior to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Obama is the total package and cannot be denied. It's obvious and painfully obvious to some. Perhaps if the field of contenders was stronger, Obama wouldn't be my overwhelming favorite but it is what it is.

McCain is old, crotchety, and feeble and represents Bush III. Hillary Clinton is divisive, mean-spirited, and unscrupulous, cannot be trusted, represents more of the same old Washington politics dressed up like innovation and represents Clinton II.

Don't get it twisted, Clinton I was better than Bush II but that's not much of a comparison considering the downward spiral since Bush II. Clinton I was no picnic either; most of us just got caught up in the Matrix.

Inarguably, Hillary is smart; she's just not presidential. For all of the reasons previously mentioned, and perhaps as has been suggested via comments on this blog, she should just chill out and prepare to run for governor of New York.

It's just a matter of time but the Democratic race will be over soon. It's all in the numbers.

Barack Obama will be the Democratic presidential nominee and he will beat John McCain.




Back in stride again

Much of my energy the last few days has been devoted to work issues and far too much energy completing my income tax return for 2007. My work-life balance is not and it's time to flip the script.

Several blog worthy issues have occurred recently and I'll definitely post about them soon. The presidential campaign is still somewhat controversial even if the drama is forced. In the meantime I must also get through my e-mail backlog and return phone calls.


In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur

Stop the Crisis in Darfur

Because of the leadership and commitment of Danielle Vyas at Modern Musings, I am humbled to present this blog post on the Crisis in Darfur. As our brothers and sisters continue in war/genocide, the brutality continues to deplete its most natural resources: human lives. This post serves to provide information on the crisis and what we can do to stop it.

Let's start with background information on Darfur and the Sudan. One of the most informative and comprehensive sources of information on this issue is Here is an excerpt of the background information on Darfur.

Sudan is the largest country in Africa, located just south of Egypt on the eastern edge of the Sahara desert. The country's major economic resource is oil. But, as in other developing countries with oil, this resource is not being developed for the benefit of the Sudanese people. As much as 70 percent of Sudan's oil export revenues are used to finance the country's military.1

Darfur, an area about the size of Texas, lies in western Sudan and borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic. It has only the most basic infrastructure and development. The approximately 6 million inhabitants of Darfur are among the poorest in Africa. They exist largely on either subsistence farming or nomadic herding. Even in good times, the Darfuri people face a very harsh and difficult life; these are not good times in Darfur.

The current crisis in Darfur began in 2003. After decades of neglect, drought, oppression and small-scale conflicts in Darfur, two rebel groups – the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – mounted an insurgency against the central government. These groups represent agrarian farmers who are mostly "non-Arab black African" Muslims from a number of different tribes. President al-Bashir's response was brutal. In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan increased arms and support to local tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the Janjaweed.2 Their members are composed mostly of "Arab black African" Muslims3 who herd cattle, camels, and other livestock. They have wiped out entire villages, destroyed food and water supplies, and systematically murdered, tortured, and raped hundreds of thousands of Darfuris. In previous internal conflicts (in the south, center, and east of the country), the Sudanese government also employed the tactic of using proxy militias to attack the civilian populations that have been thought to support insurgencies. These attacks often occur with the direct support of the Government of Sudan's armed forces or at the very least, with their tacit approval.

This scorched-earth campaign by the Sudanese government against Darfuri civilians has, through direct violence, disease, and starvation, already claimed as many as 400,000 lives. It has spilled over into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. In all, about 2.3 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now reside in a network of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Darfur, with over 200,000 more living in refugee camps in Chad. These refugees and IDPs are almost entirely dependent on the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for their basic needs – food, water, shelter, and health care.

Approximately 1 million more Darfuris still live in their villages, under the constant threat of bombings, raids, murder, rape and torture. Until the arrival of the long-awaited United Nations peacekeeping force, authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1769, actually takes place, the safety of these civilians depends on the presence of the underfunded and undermanned African Union peacekeeping force. Known as AMIS, the force, in Darfur since October 2004, numbers just 7,400 troops and personnel. AMIS lacks a civilian protection mandate as well as adequate means to stop the violence. Its sole mandate is to monitor and report ceasefire violations and it has done little more, due to its limited mandate but also because of its anemic capacity.

In the summer of 2007, outbreaks of violence between some of the Arab tribes that worked together as part of the Janjaweed began to occur more frequently. This latest mutation of the conflict, is indicative of the ever-changing dynamic of this crisis. The United Nations recently reported that tribal and factional fighting is now killing more people than the clashes between the government or government-backed militias and rebel forces.

Another new dynamic, reported by various news sources, is the tens of thousands of non-Darfuris arriving in Darfur in recent months, with many ending up on lands belonging to displaced Darfuris. Different news outlets have reported slightly varied information about Arab groups from neighboring countries, like Niger and Chad, resettling in Darfur. Many news reports cite the same rumors and unconfirmed reports of third-party nationals being given Sudanese identity documents, as well as other evidence of a planned scheme to permanently settle Arabs from outside the Sudan on the lands of displaced Darfuris. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that as many as 30,000 people have left Chad for Darfur in a steady flow since early 2007.



The Crisis in the Sudan can be resolved. The Darfuris can reclaim their land and rebuild their nation.

Here's what needs to be done:

The Save Darfur Coalition insistently calls for various measures to pressure Khartoum to end the genocide, something it has made clear it will not do in response to diplomacy alone. Such steps should include:

  • World leaders must make peace in Darfur a top priority: It has been over two years since President Bush declared the situation in Darfur genocide, and yet it continues. The President and his administration have made little progress; the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. The performance of nearly all other world leaders, with few exceptions, has been even worse. The situation in Darfur demands more than tough rhetoric. The President must take a leadership role in maintaining a coalition of key international actors to force Khartoum to end the killing. Arab and African leaders must also take on a proactive role in mediating an end to this crisis that has brewed in their midst for nearly half a decade now. In the immediate term, all U.N. member states must participate, whether financially, logistically, or through troop or equipment contributions to a swift and effective deployment of the hybrid force authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769.
  • China must use its leverage with Khartoum: China has a great deal of influence on Sudan given its status as Sudan's top trading partner, its strong military ties to Sudan, and its protective role in the U.N. Security Council. Although China did not exercise its veto, as it had vowed to do early on, and voted for Resolution 1769, it did significantly weaken the final text of the resolution. China's vote in favor of 1769 came only after it managed to remove language calling for sanctions if Sudan fails to cooperate. Additionally, the hybrid force's mandate to "seize and dispose" of weapons found in Darfur in contravention of the arms embargo (UNSCR 1556/2004) was diluted in the final text, allowing the force to merely "monitor" them. China has displayed increased unease and engagement regarding Darfur, but more must be done. China is deeply image-conscious, especially with regard to the growing possibility that the 2008 Olympic Games will be marred by Darfur-related activities. Chinese oil investments in Sudan, which benefit the regime but not the people and help fund government military operations in Darfur, are also susceptible to pressure through the growing global divestment movement. All this leverage needs to be consistently applied to China, which is in a unique position to influence Khartoum's calculations.
  • Humanitarian Aid: Humanitarian aid in Darfur must be sustained while efforts are made to protect civilians and broker an agreement for a lasting end to the conflict. This means continued funding of aid programs and an international push to end Sudan's obstruction of aid efforts. The Government of Sudan is also guilty of innumerable violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, which have hampered the effective delivery of aid. Such actions must be brought to an end immediately. Given repeated U.N. and NGO warnings of the fragility of their efforts, the international community must prepare a contingency plan for a collapse of current aid programs.

1 Jeffrey Gettleman, "Far Away from Darfur's Agony, Khartoum is Booming," New York Times, 23 October 2006.


Crisis in Darfur



Bill Clinton and the Colombian Free Trade Agreement

Chief Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn resigned from his post (he's still working with the Clinton campaign) because it was revealed that he was working on the passage of a free trade agreement with Colombia. As it turns out, far too little has been said about former President Bill Clinton's involvement with Colombian business officials.

From the Huffington Post:

Former President Bill Clinton has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars speaking on behalf of a Colombia-based group pushing the trade pact, and representatives of that organization tell The Huffington Post that the former president shared their sentiment.

In June 2005, Clinton was paid $800,000 by the Colombia-based Gold Service International to give four speeches throughout Latin America. The organization is, ostensibly, a development group tasked with bringing investment to the country and educating world leaders about the Colombia's business opportunities.

The group's chief operating officer, Andres Franco, said in an interview that the group supports the congressional ratification of the free trade agreement and that, when Clinton was on his speaking tour, he expressed similar opinions.

President Bush Should Boycott the Olympics Opening Ceremonies and the Entire Games

Protests of the Olympic Games have been successful in disrupting the international run of the Olympic torch. There are some people who say that politics has no place in the Olympic Games but how can that be when human beings are participants in the Games.

It is disingenuous and short-sighted to focus only on the athletic completion without considering the human factor. China is a terrorist country. Their treatment of the people in Tibet and role in the genocide in the Sudan must be addressed by the world community.

It is highly disgusting that the International Olympic Committee selected China to host the Games anyway; shame on them.

There have been calls for President Bush to not attend the opening ceremonies. That's all well and good but he should boycott the Games. Period. The statement is not strong enough by just boycotting the opening ceremonies. China has been showing its collective behind to the US and the rest of the world when it comes to human rights. How our government can participate and thereby condone such behavior is beyond me.

Because of China's economic stronghold on the U.S., it's not likely that President Bush will show any signs of protest. Let that be a lesson to all of us as to the priority of human rights in the grand scheme of things.

In the meantime, prayerfully, the peaceful protests will continue to shine a light on China's human rights violations in Darfur and Tibet.

In a subsequent post I'll highlight the sponsors of these Olympic Games; some of them may surprise you. It may be time to put them on blast for participating in such human rights atrocities but I'll save that for later.