Thursday, April 05, 2007

# Posted 12:01 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

MY MONEY IS ON OBAMA: He's going to pull off an upset and win the Democratic nomination. That's my prediction. I've been thinking about it for a while. There's probably more than a 50% chance I'm wrong, but I'm so impressed by Obama's raw political talent that I'll take it. And if Obama doesn't win, I'll be even happier, since he is the Democrats' best hope for taking the White House.

Today, of course, is an easy day to predict an upset for Obama as a result of the junior senator from Illinois' stunning success as a fundraiser. He raised $25 million in the first quarter, just $1 million less than Hillary. In a front page story, the WaPo argues that:
The Illinois Democrat's unexpectedly strong fundraising performance undercuts a principal argument of Clinton's candidacy: that her ability to raise vastly more than her opponents makes her nomination inevitable...

Obama surpassed Clinton in several areas that could be critical to their competition: He reported donations from 100,000 individuals, double the 50,000 people who gave to the former first lady. More than half of those donors, largely giving in small increments, sent money over the Internet. He raised $6.9 million online, compared with Clinton's $4.2 million.
What I'm surprised the Post didn't say, at least not explicitly, is that Hillary's fundraising efforts was able to draw on her husband's vast network of connections as well the network she developed herself during eight years as first lady and six as a senator.

"Yet Obama has essentially built his campaign operation from scratch over the past few months," the Post observes. If a few months from Obama can match a decade and a half of Bill and Hillary's efforts, that is quite revealing. But what it really goes back to, in my opinion, is Obama's charisma, candor and willingness to listen.

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(11) opinions -- Add your opinion

Rather than "willingness to listen," I would say "skill at appearing to listen." The former claim is unproven, at best.
I'm going to argue that Hillary and McCain had the same issue this first period- neither expected the process to start this early. I therefore expect each to pull out all the stops for the next three months. McCain's actually a bit better off, as he also received a lot of small contributions. But while Hillary was able to plumb Bill's connections, she's just begun to utilize her team's ability in this area. I'm not saying she'll dramatically outpace Obama the next time around, but she's going to pull out all the stops in a way she didn't for the first three months of this year.
Obama has to be real happy that the Iranian hostage thing resolved itself so quickly.

If the consensus continues that the WOT is a fake thing, made up by Bush and the neocons to justify restrictions on civil liberties and adventures in Iraq, Obama has a huge advantage.

A real crisis (not instigated by the Bush admin) with Iran, another big AQ terr act, or, god save us, real prospects of success in Iraq, could derail Obama.
We should let our representatives know that we care about such issues as global poverty. According to the non-profit organization, the Borgen Project, annually it costs $19 billion to feed the world while the United States spends $420 billion on the military alone with $340 billion of that being spent on the Iraq War.
Obama has to be real happy that the Iranian hostage thing resolved itself so quickly.

Probably true, and Bush is probably really annoyed.
What is Obama's stance on poverty? We could by eliminating world poverty and hunger, reduce the number of those who feel impoverished because of our economic policies and thereby reduce the number of those who are pissed about it. Murder, rape, disease, terrorism and genocide breed out of instability because of lack of basic human needs. Food and clean water. Apparently we, as Americans, have enough money to dump into a fruitless war effort. We have enough money to make a difference and we obviously have enough people who feel strongly about freedom. It is true freedom isn’t free, but it doesn’t have to be purchased with the lives of civilians and young soldiers.
The newly formed Bgates Project has determined that it will be possible to end war, poverty, disease, pollution, traffic congestion, and the use of cell phones in movie theaters, all for only $200 million. How can America lavish trillions on a war when there's not even a Democrat present, yet we refuse to spend a pittance to cure death?

The fact is, if everyone were educated, no one would fight. Look at George Bush - he has an MBA, so...ok, that's not the best example here. Maybe he doesn't get clean water? Texas is hot, maybe he gets thirsty. And food, food is important. Ariel Sharon was obviously well-fed, and so...again, not the best example I could choose...maybe those guys needed more money...maybe since they had all the things that will stop war it means they were really peaceful? But then why...ok, I'm getting off track here, but the point is all the problems that have plagued humanity throughout history can now be solved if you send the Bgates project a few hundred million, defense is important but it doesn't need army guys and stuff, Bgates project.
The thing that separates the Repub. and Dem. fundraising is the more compassionate platform the Democrats are taking over the Republicans. The sheer amount that has been raised by Hilary and Obama alone contests for the need to rework our government. It's definitely time for our leaders to lead us in the world and face the problems that are before us by addressing the international issues that cause them, specifically global poverty.

The poverty in America alone is astounding, but when viewed in a global perspective, something really needs to be done. Our leaders need to support the UN Millennium Development Goals to
end poverty. According to the Borgen Project, just a slight shift in our military budget can solve the problem of poverty and disease. Imagine how different this world would be without poverty. There would probably be no war on terror.
I would bet an ear that the Democrat hopeful isn't Hillary or Obama. The people don't want or need another Bush or Clinton and Obama is going to fall apart during a hilarious meltdown this summer.
Would folk quit with the for $Xbillion we could ... nonsense. In the last five decades, the West has spent $US2.3trillion in foreign aid (i.e. almost a fifth of the annual output of the US economy). Most has been wasted, much has been counterproductive.

The reason for continuing poverty is bad institutions with bad incentives, not lack of foreign aid dollars. Dumping money in countries with bad institutions and bad incentives at best helps people almost accidentally, it does not change the underlying problems.

Even more than problems in Iraq, contemplating the failures of foreign aid should encourage some policy humility and disabuse us of the intent + resources = outcomes nonsense.

And jihadi terrorism is not caused by poverty. jihadis tend to have above average education. Saudi Arabia is a prime generator of jihadis, including scion of very wealthy family Osama himself.
In 2000, 191 countries signed an agreement known as the Millennium Goals, the first of which is to eliminate global poverty by 2025. I hope that the future president will uphold this promise made by global leaders.
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