Redirection!

Did you click on my profile to get here? You're in the wrong place! Unfortunately, so many blogs still haven't moved to wordpress (if that's you - why not?) and require a blogger log-in to comment. Hence, I need to redirect you away from here to the actual, live blogs!

Go to my baby-blog -

Or perhaps my house-blog -

Something's gotta give

As you may have guessed from the last five post-free weeks, I'm going on hiatus from this blog. I think I'll be back to it (or something similar) someday, because I genuinely enjoy writing (and reading comments). But I have to trim down the number of obligations I'm spreading myself between, and until my daughter doesn't need constant and total attention, my dissertation is done, my house is bought and my new job is underway, the ol' Taming of the Blog is getting stored in the garage with my triathlon bike and cross-country skiis.

I have my fingers crossed that M.Bro and I find a 1900's Craftsman house that needs some work (but not major renovations), because I'm drawn to the idea of having a project-based blog instead of a whole-life-based blog. I'd like to document the process of buying and renovating our house, because it's going to be a hoot. There are 4-5 houses on the market right now that would be ideal - for raising a family in, but more importantly, for writing about on the internet.

Everyone linked here is also linked on the site M.Bro and I are writing for Josie, and I really hope you'll starting visiting us there. Josie dominates my life right now (in the best possible way), so the two blogs would be virtually identical for the next few months anyway. Except that I'd feel obligated to post more than just links to her blog here, and there's that obligation I need to trim down. So it's just Josie for now - but trust me, it's worth it.

It's Over: An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary,
Let me say this right off the bat - you're a top-notch candidate. Any other year, any other primary, any other opponent, and you'd be sailing to the nomination. But you're a better candidate than your campaign, and it's time for you to withdraw gracefully.

Oh, and if you could do it on March 7th, that would totally rock - it's the day I predicted to my students that you'd withdraw.

Let me give you the brief rundown before going into detail - your opponent has better on-the-ground organization, he fundraises like no candidate ever has (and without the desperate-sounding e-mails I get from your campaign), his rallies pack massive stadiums while yours leave empty seats at amateur hockey rinks, and your main line of criticism not only falls flat but boomerangs. As Eugene Robinson noted, if your situations were reversed, there would be daily calls for Senator Obama to step aside. And those making the calls would be absolutely right to do so.

On the issue of campaign organization, it's clear that you weren't prepared for an extended post-Super Tuesday contest - financially or managerially. A well-run campaign doesn't question the significance of nearly half the states. A well-run campaign invests the (relatively small) resources necessary to learn how the Texas hybrid system works and field a full slate of delegates in Pennsylvania - two states that will certainly prove their significance in the coming weeks. I might (might) overlook these sorts of oversights if you were running on a shoe-string budget, but you've spent well over $100 million to make the kind of errors any freshman Political Science major would giggle at. These are the opportunity costs of $100,000 of meat-and-cheese platters (to be fair, you may have also invested in fruit trays - I'm just an amateur observer).

You're blowing through cash like a 40-horsepower LeafMaster9000, but look at the bright side - you aren't raising nearly as much as your opponent. While you're sending me desperate e-mails, Senator Obama raised more than you, Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee combined in January and could be well on his way to raising $60 million in February alone. You're thinking about how many cleaning bills you could skip out on with $60 million, aren't you? Senator Clinton, please - I need you to concentrate. Senator Obama isn't only raising an unprecedented amount of money in a primary, he's doing it by convincing people like me to brownbag it for a week so we have an extra $25.01 for his campaign. He certainly isn't pushing nine out of every ten donors to their federal maximum!

I don't know how much it costs to hire a goth band (or, frankly, why anyone would pay pale teenagers dressed in black to whine at them), but if it fills arenas, then your money is well-spent. I think more people than Jose Bustos were expecting a little more. Although maybe they shouldn't have been surprised at the low turnout, since you're polling more points behind Senator Obama than asterisk-candidate Mike Huckabee is behind McCain. Senator Obama not only fills the home of the UW Badger basketball team past capacity ("We're risking the fire marshal's wrath for change!"), but has such a draw that tens of thousands are willing to wait outside for hours in negative-windchill temperatures for the opportunity to cheer for him. If you withdraw soon and ask politely, I bet you can still get a good seat at Citizen's Bank Park for the pre-Pennsylvania rally.

Finally, you've been critical of what you perceive as a lack of experience from Senator Obama. I realize you're busy, but maybe one of your highly-paid staffers could give this a quick read. It's daunting, I know - but I'm sure you wouldn't want your campaign to be misleading? Right? After all, your cries of plagiarism just before my state's primary not only failed to sway my fellow cheeseheads, the negativity may have actually hurt you! We're shockingly polite here - not quite Minnesota nice, but certainly a close second - it's natural that you'd underestimate us. I hope you learned you lesson when the same line of attack earned you boos in Texas. (Also, I hate to point this out when you're in such a delicate position already, but you're a little bit of a hypocrite, Hillary! I'm sure John's line was just so good that it stayed with you, so I hope Howard Wolfson will be e-mailing me an update soon!)

Senator Clinton, now is the time to gracefully withdraw from this race. Wait, I mean March 7th is the time to gracefully withdraw from this race.

Democracy in Action

Maybe you have friends who tell you they don't really feel like going out to vote - too much trouble, they say, especially for something that doesn't matter all that much. Send them the story of Prairie View A&M - they'll change their tune.

That's stupid, they might reply - why not just carpool? I'm sorry, who is the stupid one? What kind of carpool gets national media attention and an aerial escort?

(The photos look a little like a film version of The Long Walk)

Oh, hey

Well, lookit that.

Yes, we can! (snowblow)

The weather and the primary - these are the things that dominate my days. Well, those and the class I'm teaching and my dissertation. But between those four things (and the baby, plus trying to buy a house), these are the things that dominate my days. Also, conference papers.

The snow is the most visible of those - even more visible than M.Bro's protruding tummy. I knew we were well over the winter record (86.7" >>> 76.1" in 1978-1979), but I didn't realize how unimaginably far we were over the average Feburary 18th cumulative snowfall.

Snow-weary Madisonians are starting to crack.

When the forecast on Monday called for maybe an inch of snow but more than two inches fell in spots, Weather Central meteorologist Brian Olson started getting phone calls from irate citizens.

"People are at their wits' end," he said. "They just can't handle any more snow."

The good news this week? There is a chance for light snow on Thursday, but that's about it for snow the rest of the week.

The bad news? Look around.

"We've gotten 86.7 inches of snow so far this season," Olson said. "The normal snowfall to date is 36.2 inches, so we are 50.5 inches above normal."

Eau yeah!

Since Hillary Clinton is running ads calling Obama out for not debating in Milwaukee ("Why won't he speak to the voters?" - here's Obama's response), you might assume she's taking every opportunity to get out there and speak to the good folks of Wisconsin. You'd be wrong - in fact, she just cancelled a town hall meeting in Eau Claire.

Now why might Clinton do that? Could it be that she really did have some sort of a scheduling conflict? That's entirely possible - it sounds like they were still looking for a venue as of Friday. But it's also entirely possible that her campaign saw coverage of Obama's massive rally at UW-Eau Claire yesterday and decided to concede the area.

Thousands waited up to eight hours Saturday morning in a line that spanned lower and upper campuses. Shivering in blankets, spectators braved the cold to hear Obama speech at 1 p.m.


"I just think he's inspiring," said Dan Paulson, 51, of Bloomer, who was first in line at 5:15 a.m. "He's going to lead our nation to great things hopefully."


New Topic

I just found out that I'm going to be in the catalog as a member of the Environmental Studies program at NewJob!  Since NextProjectTM is about resource-related conflict and International Environmental Politics is one of the classes in my quiver, I'm very excited about this.  It's also a welcome way for me to begin filling the university service section of my tenure file.

More of the same

Even I'm getting tired of all my primary-related posting, but I owe this one to you. I predicted in class today that Hillary Clinton won't win one more state and will drop out on March 7th, so then you can just tune in for eight months of general election coverage.

Hillary Clinton totally rawks, d00ds(But Barack Obama is your new bicycle)

Wis-bama

Things which were observed by me at tonight's Obama Rally -

  • 19,000+ people in one room is a lot, and apparently there were even more in overflow rooms. Biggest Obama events so far?

  • Even Melanie was excited. "Whoah, that was so awesome," she kept repeating. She even told us she got a little teary-eyed when Obama talked about the crushing weight of student loans.

  • Line of the night, for me: "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom." I'm stealing it for my own.

  • He didn't mention, or even hint at, Hillary Clinton - he's running in the general election now.

  • Rightly mentioned that the rest of you owe Wisconsin for the progressive movement. You're welcome.

  • My prediction, which I'm willing to make very public right now - Hillary Clinton won't win one more state.

  • One of the biggest cheers of the night happened when the CNN jumbotron-feed announced (after the VA results) that Obama had taken the delegate lead (including their superdelegate estimate)

  • If you have the choice between speaking before Obama and speaking after him, do yourself a favor and speak so far before him that your audience's children have forgotten what you said. Not that they were even listening, with all their mp3s and MySpaces.

  • Let's look at some pictures, OK? The last one is really something -









Update: Oh no, I was spotted by one of my students! He was next to the stage and saw us in the crowd -

It's a match!

I celebrated Lincoln's Birthday a little differently than I planned - I promised to be a matching donor instead of being matched. The end result - our donation has double the impact - is the same,but this way, I helped convince a first-time donor to take the plunge. There's a great little feature that lets me write my matcher a note, so I expressed my hope that our little contribution would help Bean grow up knowing Barack Obama as her president.

My donation was matched a couple hours ago, and here's the message Tracy in Nashville, TN wrote back to me:
Thanks for matching my contribution and congratulations on your first child! My mortgage is a month behind and I can't afford to go to the Dr. but I think donating to the Obama campaign is the long term answer. P.S. Goodwill is a great way to get baby clothes - usually brand new because many people get so many and babies grow so fast. I buy the ones with the original tags still on them. It's a great source of toys and books also. I think of it as being green, not being cheap or poor!