Archive for April, 2008

The Pennsylvania Primary is finally over. After a month of mud-slinging, faux pas, and pandering, the votes are in and one thing is clear: neither Clinton or Obama can bowl. Also, Hillary won. Big whoop.

During her victory speech last night, Clinton claimed that “the tide has turned” in the campaign. CNN analyst Paul Begala, called her 10-point win “an extraordinary victory”. Funny then, that even after last night Hillary is still trailing by nearly 150 delegates (CNN’s latest count puts her at 1586 to Obama’s 1719). Next on the cards are North Carolina and a hotly contested race in Indiana. Clinton and Obama will likely split the Hoosier state’s 84 delegates down the middle, but in North Carolina — where 134 delegates are on the line — Obama is poised to bury the former first lady and further increase his lead.

Hillary has vowed to continue fighting for the nomination, and she maintains a slim chance of winning the popular vote. On the back of her pervasive optimism, the Hillary campaign is fast becoming “The Little Engine That Could”. Unfortunately for her there’s little remaining coal to fire that engine. Her campaign has been hemorrhaging money for months, and despite supposed donations totalling $2.5 million yesterday Clinton’s campaign is on shaky financial footing to say the least. Short of loaning her campaign more of her personal millions, Clinton’s options are limited.

The longer Hillary fights, the longer her odds seem to get. Slate.com’s Hillary Deathwatch today estimates her chances at a paltry 10.7% — roughly where they’ve hovered each day since the feature began on March 28th. Whether she is the better candidate is inconsequential at this point. Unless, as one pundit and former Clinton adviser puts it, “the wheels come off” of Obama’s campaign in the next few weeks, he remains the presumptive Democratic nominee. The internal wranglings of the Democrats have already done enough harm to the party’s image in the face of the united front that the Republicans present behind McCain. By continuing to run, it seems that all Hillary can do is serve to undermine Obama and, by extension, her party.


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In January of 2007, when American investors Tom Hicks and George Gillett first emerged as the front-runners to assume ownership of Liverpool FC, I could hardly have been a more ardent supporter of the plan.  Following Roman Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea FC and Malcolm Glazer’s acquisition of Manchester United, the face of English football changed dramatically.  Gone was any semblance of parity throughout the league; clubs without strong global marketing strategies and huge transfer funds could not be expected to compete for the title.  Despite Mr. Glazer’s vilification by the Man U faithful for turning their sporting club into a business venture, it seemed abundantly clear that Liverpool needed to follow the same route.

Liverpool, after all, have a reputation as the most successful club in England.  They have won the top division of English soccer eighteen times and scaled the heights of continental glory, having been crowned the best team in Europe on no less than five occasions.  Certainly times have not always been so rosy, a point which the two consecutive decades of domestic underachievement (with not a single league title won) have driven home.  However, given the club’s pedigree and the impending construction of a shiny new 60,000 seat stadium, it only made sense to turn the club into a money-making enterprise capable of generating the funds necessary to compete with its world-beating rivals – teams like Chelsea, Barcelona, AC Milan, and Man U.  Besides, Hicks seemed to have done a fine job of running Dallas’ NHL franchise (the near-and-dear to my heart Stars) since acquiring the club a decade earlier.  Admittedly my view was more optimistic than most, but as a die-hard Liverpool fan, I happily threw my red-blooded support behind the changing of the guard.

Over the intervening months, however, my feelings made the slow transition from being squarely onboard the Hicks/Gillett bandwagon to the somewhat less optimistic “GETMEOFFGETMEOFF!! OH LORD NOW I’M OFF AND THE BANDWAGON IS RUNNING ME OVER AND TOM HICKS IS PISSING ON MY DREAMS!”


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Several weeks ago, Tara Roberts, Senior Editor of CosmoGIRL! magazine, contributed an article to theRoot.com professing her support for Hillary Clinton and bemoaning the derision with which fellow African Americans have met her choice of candidate. Roberts argues that her race is not the predominate feature of her identity and vents her frustration at the overwhelmingly negative response of her peers towards her decision to back Clinton. Unfortunately for Ms. Roberts, this response is not wholly unjustified.

While I have little quarrel with Mrs. Clinton’s politics, I do have an issue with the post-feminist backlash against Obama that is promoted by many of her supporters. By allying herself with the likes of Gloria Steinem or Geraldine Ferraro, women who support her campaign on the basis of a ‘gender gap’ while simultaneously ignoring the socio-economic gulf that exists between whites and blacks in this country, Hillary has damaged her own credibility. Ferraro’s remarks in particular, and Hillary’s refusal to decry or even to acknowledge them, are a glaring indication of the increasingly misguided aims of the feminist movement in this country. While both are obviously still pressing issues, the ‘gender gap’ in America exists on fewer fronts and appears to be narrowing at a greater rate than does the ‘race gap’.

As a black woman Ms. Roberts is stuck between a rock and a hard place, bound to be criticized by a section of her peers regardless of her choice of candidate. Perhaps the acquaintances who question her decision simply wonder why she would choose to throw her support behind the candidate whose campaign has sought to actively devalue a portion of her identity. I guess there’s much to be said for CosmoGIRL! Power.

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Browsing RSS feeds from CNN.com yesterday I stumbled onto a fascinating Op-Ed piece regarding the causes of autism and a new hope for the recovery of those children afflicted. The authors of the article are the parents of a 5-year old autistic child, Evan, who they claim has made a full recovery from the disorder in little more than a year thanks to their strict dietary control and medical regimen:

We believe what helped Evan recover was starting a gluten-free, casein-free diet, vitamin supplementation, detox of metals, and anti-fungals for yeast overgrowth that plagued his intestines. Once Evan’s neurological function was recovered through these medical treatments, speech therapy and applied behavior analysis helped him quickly learn the skills he could not learn while he was frozen in autism. After we implemented these therapies for one year, the state re-evaluated Evan for further services. They spent five minutes with Evan and said, ‘What happened? We’ve never seen a recovery like this.’

On the evidence given these results seem miraculous. However, subsequent to this visit, the authors claim that no follow-ups with the child were conducted. If these state health officials were so truly astounded by the progress young Evan had made — if they had honestly “never seen a recovery like this” — they would certainly be remiss in their duties if they failed to investigate this potential cure further. Yet Evan’s parents claim that no additional action was taken and they have not, as of the article’s posting, been contacted by any state, federal, or world health agencies to conduct a follow up examination.

Have these health authorities dropped the ball? The authors certainly seem to think so, and are consequently incredulous at the lack of attention their case has received from the CDC and other world health authorities. Unfortunately, the truth is far more muddled than these concerned parents would have you believe.


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