A more frequent publishing of Rich Galen's take on politics, culture and general modern annoyances. This is in addition to MULLINGS which is published Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at

Thursday, February 28, 2008

If Bloomberg had Run

  • On the Bloomberg news wire this afternoon:
    "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ended months of speculation that he might become a candidate for U.S. president, saying he would use his influence to push for nonpartisan solutions to the nation's problems."

  • The next-to-last graf of that piece by reporters Joseph Galante and Henry Goldman read:
    "Bloomberg, the billionaire founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has the capacity to self- finance a presidential campaign."

  • Mike Bloomberg didn't become a billionaire by getting into deals which were guaranteed to fail. And a Presidential run by Bloomberg was absolutely guaranteed to crash.

  • Put aside, for a moment, a bunch of people around Bloomberg reprising the Peter Boyle role in the 1972 movie, "The Candidate" - looking for a candidate so they can make some money.

  • If I were advising Mayor Bloomberg I would ask those people to get map of the United States. I would ask them to get a big magic marker. On the map I would ask them to indicate the number of electoral votes available in each state. Then I would ask them to bring it into Mayor's conference room, unroll it, and place it on the table.

  • Then, with Mayor Mike Bloomberg looking on, I would ask them to show me the states we could win which would add up to the 270 electoral votes necessary to ensure that Mayor Bloomberg would be elected President Bloomberg.

  • No further questions, your Honor. Your witness.

  • The assuming Bloomberg actually won some electoral votes the best he could hope to do would be to throw the election for President into the House of Representatives.

    Dear Mr. Mullings:

    I'm kind of new at this. How would that work, anyway?


    Sen. Barak Obama

  • Yes, well, the first thing we would want to do is to go to the rule book. In this case the U.S. Constitution. Specifically the Twelfth Amendment which tells us, that if no candidate has a majority of electoral votes when the ballots are counted by the President of the US Senate:
    … then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.

  • But wait! There's more!

  • The Amendment goes on to describe how the votes in the House will be counted (Read this part. It is a great bar bet. You will never pay for another beer in your whole life):
    But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote

  • California, with its 53 Members of Congress gets exactly the same number of votes as Wyoming - One.

  • According to a 1999 analysis by the Library of Congress, the Senate votes for Vice President (each Senator gets one vote, an absolute majority - 51 - needed to elect) but the House votes by State (26 States needed).

  • The District of Columbia, which has three electoral votes, does not get to vote for either the President or Vice President.

  • This means it is possible for one political party to control the House but not have the votes to elect the President.

  • How? Because it is quite possible for the Democrats to have a majority of the Congressional Districts, but not control a majority of the State delegations.

  • As it happens (by my, probably inaccurate, count) the Democrats do control 26 State delegations. Republicans control 21 delegations, four are tied with an even number of Republicans and Democrats.

  • Having looked all this up, I have changed my mind.

  • I DO want Mike Bloomberg to run and I want him to win enough electoral votes to throw the whole thing to the House and Senate, if only to have California, New York and Texas howl with outrage as their delegations are given the same weight as Delaware, Wyoming and Alaska in the process.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Lots o' Links: To the Bloomberg New Service story about Mayor Bloomberg's decision not to run; a link to the IMDB website on "The Candidate", and a link to that Congressional Research Service analysis which I commend to you because … why should you have a life when I don't?

    Also a Mullfoto which is a guy thing, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    The Clinton Legacy

  • By this time next week we will know whether the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton is alive or dead. We will also know whether the legacy of William Jefferson Clinton is alive or dead.

  • The betting here? Dead and deader.

  • Perhaps more than any other man holding the office of President, Bill Clinton was concerned about his.

  • A forum held in early 2000 at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC had this as its summary:
    With just under two weeks remaining in Bill Clinton's presidency, his supporters and detractors are already hard at work crafting two very different versions of his historic legacy. And no one is working harder to leave a favorable mark than Bill Clinton himself.

  • When this campaign began, some 14 months ago there was great concern on the part of big-time political strategists that Bill Clinton's astonishing popularity among the Democratic faithful was so overwhelming that people would vote for Hillary as a favor to Bill.

  • Further, there was concern that people would vote for Hillary so they could get, in effect, another four or eight years of Bill.

  • That concept got some dings during the Iowa caucuses which Obama won, got revived in New Hampshire when Hillary won, then was beaten into scrap when Bill Clinton got off his meds in South Carolina where, on January 26 - just a month ago - Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton 55% - 27%.

  • In South Carolina, Bill Clinton used what were interpreted as thinly veiled racial references about Barack Obama starting the slide which has Hillary's political career and Bill's legacy hanging by the proverbial thread.

  • As recently as February 5, the Gallup Poll had Clinton leading Obama 53-39. As of last night they were tied at 46% each.

  • If Obama wins more than two of the four primaries next week (Rhode Island and Vermont are on the calendar as well as Ohio and Texas) then the campaign for the Democratic nomination will be effectively over.

  • Bill and Hillary will be faced with this problem: If they continue to utilize all of the tools available - including urging a large percentage of the 796 super delegates to ignore the will of the majority of the elected delegates - they will likely dismantle the 70-year-long Democratic coalition.

  • Now, there's a legacy for you.

    New Topic I:

  • In last night's debate, Hillary attempted to play her "America's Victim" role by complaining that in these debates she has had to answer every question first.

  • Hillary, the only woman on stage among four men - Tim Russert and Brian Williams were the MSNBC questioners. She said (in that way that women do when they are scolding men, smirk-ish smile, one eyebrow raised) "I find it interesting that I always get the first question."

  • Maybe the crowd was warned not to cheer or boo or clap or breathe, but the silence which greeted that move was as loud as anything we've heard this very noisy month.

  • Also, if Hillary had any sense of humor at all (which, by all accounts she does not) when the discussion inevitably got to the issue of whether Obama has enough experience to be President, Hillary should have said: I know Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton is a friend of mine. You, Senator, are no Bill Clinton.

    New Topic II:

  • I was watching the History Channel last night. The History Channel has a regular program called: "Modern Marvels." Why the History Channel runs a program named "Modern Marvels" is beyond me.

  • But, wait! There's more! Last night the program on "Modern Marvels" was: "Pirate Tech" with this description: "Pirates use firearms, swords and navigational equipment." It was a program about real, 17th century, Caribbean, Spanish Main pirates.

  • The History Channel had a program called "Modern Marvels" about 17th century pirates.

  • I have enough trouble trying to remember which way time runs in real life. This was almost too existential to contemplate.

  • 'Course, I watched the whole thing…

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the History Channel, Clinton's South Carolina activities, and the Gallup Poll web page. Also a Mullfoto which shows my true emotional age and a "Damn Yankees" Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Sunday, February 24, 2008

    Ralph Nader & Alan Keyes

  • Friday night I spoke at the Galveston County, Texas Lincoln Day Dinner.

  • It was a great event. Maybe 300 people came on a Friday night to chat with each other, greet candidates, bid on tshatshkes placed on tables against the back wall which no one really wants or needs to help raise money for their county party, and listen to a speech.

  • Or, in the case of the Galveston County GOP, speeches.

  • I was the after dinner speaker, but the chairman of the event called about a week ago to tell me that Alan Keyes had asked to speak and he would be speaking for five minutes before dinner.

  • I said Alan Keyes has never spoken for five minutes in his life. Keyes spends more than five minutes talking to the guy at a toll booth.

  • Sure enough, Keyes went into a full 20-minute exhortation as to why the audience should not support John McCain for President nor Mike Huckabee, nor Ron Paul (who was, uncomfortably, sitting at a table in the front row but was not asked to speak).

  • Alan Keyes, as you may remember, participated in that dreadful debate in Iowa run by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Broadcasting. Other than that, he has not been as much a participant in this campaign as Duncan Hunter. Or Mike Gravel.

  • I didn't care that Alan Keyes spoke. What I did care about was that he spoke at a county Lincoln Day Dinner and, in effect, told Republicans to stay home rather than vote for John McCain.

  • This was not the Conservative Political Action Conference, where you can assume a significant portion of the audience were not registered Republicans.

  • This was a REPUBLICAN Lincoln Day Dinner.

  • So, naturally, when I got up to give my remarks I asked how many people had served in public office, run for public office or worked on the campaign of someone who was running.

  • As you might expect a huge percentage of the hands in the room went up because the people in the room are the Republicans who pay good money and give up their Friday night to make their county party stronger.

  • I told them the story of my having lost my first campaign for City Councilman in Marietta, Ohio 45750 by two votes.

  • I asked them to think about how many candidates across the country for everything from US Senate to School Board might lose by a handful of votes if they followed Alan Keyes' advice and stayed home because McCain doesn't meet his standards of perfection.

  • I reminded them that this is a 50-50 country and it was very likely that the Presidential election was going to come down to one or two states just has it has for the past two elections.

  • I bring this up because the Democrats, who in spite of if all, are not at all certain they can win the election for President in November, got the news that Ralph Nader was going to run for President again.

  • No one believes Nader is going to be President, but a lot of Democrats believe he can siphon off enough votes from either Hillary supporters if Barack becomes the nominee, or from Barack supporters if Hillary finds a way out of the delegate hole she's dug for herself.

  • Democrats used the environment as on of their central, unifying themes in the elections of 2006. Want to clean up the Earth? Vote Democrat.

  • The polls taken over the past two weeks show John McCain beating Hillary Clinton in the general election head-to-head matchup by an average (according to of 4.5 percentage points.

  • Those same polls show Barack Obama beating John McCain by exactly the same margin - 4.5 percentage points.

  • In the election of 2000, Ralph Nader got 2.7% of the vote. And that was with Mr. Enviromentalism - Al Gore - on the ballot.

  • Nader may well prove to be the way the supporters of whichever Democratic candidate loses the nomination show their displeasure with the Democratic Party while still supporting the issue nearest and dearest - the environment.

  • This election is going to come down to whether the Republicans or the Democrats do a better job of keeping their supporters' eyes on the goal and avoid internecine distractions.

  • Here's my dream ticket: Ralph Nader and Alan Keyes. They'd never leave the toll booth.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: An informal definition of the word "tshatshkes," a link to the RealClearPolitics page and a link to CNN's coverage of the Nader announcement. Also a Mullfoto, the caption for which made me laugh to myself, and a BIG Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Friday, February 22, 2008


  • At about 8 PM Wednesday night, the New York Times posted what was supposed to be a blockbuster article about Sen. John McCain and his dealings with a female lobbyist.

  • I read the piece on line and - having exhausted my lips by getting through all 3,000 words - I thought, "That's it?"

  • The next morning, when I saw the print edition, I realized the New York Times had put this article (which was nothing more than coffee-machine gossip, inference, speculation, and conjecture) on its front page.

  • It was written in such a way as to lead a reader into believing that Sen. John McCain had a sexual relationship with a lobbyist for a number of communications clients and did political favors for her in return.

  • One minor quibble: The New York Times had exactly zero evidence of any wrong-doing on the part of Senator McCain. None. Nada. Bupkis.

  • The way this game is played in Washington (and elsewhere) is the other 1,375 news organizations spent the day rehashing the story but, as of this writing none of them had moved the story ahead by so much as a semicolon.

  • In short, the Times had a half dozen reporters and editors trying to pin the story down for many months. The best they could do was to find someone in the McCain camp who had admitted to having to tell the lobbyist to back off because it might look bad.

  • A couple of things: First, lobbyists get paid for access. If a lobbyist can report to his or her boss (or client, or both) that he or she was with the Senator at this event, or was with the Congressman at that event then the lobbyists gets style points.

  • Further, lobbying is actually an activity protected by the Constitution. The First Amendment reads:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  • Lobbyists are professional redressers.

  • Nevertheless, it has not been unknown in Washington for a lobbyist to get too cozy with the staff or the boss and someone like, oh just for the sake of argument say, me might have to take them aside - male or female - and tell them that they needed to find a new hobby because they were becoming a pain.

  • Happens.

  • This particular lobbyist dealt with clients in the communications industry. The article points out that McCain (then chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee which has sway over communications issues) wrote a letter to the FCC at the urging of the lobbyist.

  • What the article did not point out was that the FCC had been diddling with whatever the issue was for some two years and all the letter did was ask the Commissioners to take a vote so the parties involved in the issue could move on.

  • The letter, according to the McCain folks, specifically noted that the Senator didn't care which way the vote came out, but urged them to do their jobs and deal with the issue as they saw fit.

  • Yikes! He did that? Now, that's some front page news.

  • The Times also dinged McCain for making use of a corporate jet belonging to one of the lobbyist's clients. A client who had also made a donation to one of McCain's campaigns.

  • News flash. You don't have to go back eight years to find that kind of activity; you only have to go back about five months. Until September of last year it was perfectly legal and within House and Senate rules to borrow a corporate jet and pay what commercial first class air fare would be for anyone travelling with the Congressman or Senator.

  • The rules now require that the plane be chartered at market rates, so you can see dozens - perhaps hundreds - of Members of Congress and Senators now standing in the TSA lines at Reagan National Airport on Friday afternoons as they have to fly commercial.

  • If the Times published a list of every Member of the House and Senate who flew on a jet owned by a corporation which had also donated to his or her campaign committee - whole forests would have to be sacrificed to supply enough paper.

  • The New York Times is a big company and its editors and executives will have to explain why they thought this story, undeveloped and unfair, needed to be in the paper.

  • My opinion was it was the journalistic equivalent of a blogger sitting in his basement feeding out rumors to the internet over his dial-up connection.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the NY Times, a really interesting piece in the New Republic detailing the newsroom struggles over the McCain piece, and a report on the same subject. Also a Mullfoto showing how the Mullmeister got himself on TV and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    I've Always been Proud of America

  • Michelle Obama:
    "For the first time in my adult lifetime I am [really] proud of my country."

  • Lee Greenwood:
    "And I'm proud to be an American,

    where at least I know I'm free."

  • I'm thrilled that Michelle Obama is finally really proud of her country. I assume her country is the same as my country, but she didn't actually say that so that may be an assumption which turns out to be terribly wrong.

  • There appears to be a defense building in the Popular Press which holds that the original reporting of Mrs. Obama's statement left out the word "really" which, they believe, changes the meaning of the statement.

  • It doesn't.

  • I am - and I assume most of you are - unreservedly proud of America.

  • Lee Greenwood:
    "And I won't forget the men who died,

    who gave that right to me."

  • For those who might be a little thin on this, America - the America of which Mrs. Obama is finally really proud - gives people like Michelle Obama the right to say excruciatingly stupid things. And, America - the America of which I have always been proud - gives people like Barack Obama the ability to run for (and probably win) the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

  • Barack Obama, by the way, won the Wisconsin primary last night by some 13 percentage points over the lagging, flagging, sagging campaign of Hillary Clinton.

  • If Michelle is finally really proud of America because of Barack's run, she should be aware that Obama is not the first Black person to run for President in either of our countries.

  • In 1972 Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for President. Mrs. Chisholm, a Black woman from New York received 151 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention that year.

  • That total will be way more than John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich will receive at the 2008 Democratic National Convention - COMBINED.

  • Now, I will grant you that Michelle Obama was only eight years old in 1972 but one assumes she has read the history of the United States generally and/or the history of Black Women in the United States in particular.

  • In her speech announcing her candidacy in January 1972 Rep. Chisholm said:
    "I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

    "I am not the candidate of black America, although I am Black and proud.

    "I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.

    "I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests.

    "I am the candidate of the people."

  • Thus demonstrating an understanding of an America which Michelle Obama clearly lacks lo these 36 years later.

  • Lee Greenwood:
    "And I gladly stand up,

    next to you and defend her still today."

  • There will be those who will excuse Michelle Obama's acknowledgement that she, previous to this, had never been proud of America; had never been really proud of America.

  • Where was Michelle Obama on September 12, 2001 the day after the attacks. She was an adult in 2001. Was she embarrassed by America that day?

  • Where was Michelle Obama in November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down signifying the end of the Cold War. She was an adult in 1989. Was she embarrassed that day?

  • Where was Michelle Obama - 22 years old and thus an adult - on July 5, 1986 when the Statue of Liberty was re-opened after extensive refurbishing. Was she embarrassed that day as well?

  • When Michelle Obama received her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her law degree from Harvard … was she embarrassed by an America which gave her the opportunity to live up to her intellectual capabilities?

  • Michelle Obama owes America an apology.

  • Lee Greenwood:
    "'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,

    God bless the USA."

  • Amen.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the lyrics of the Lee Greenwood song, ABC's coverage of Michelle Obama's remark (with the video), Rep. Shirley Chisholm's Presidential campaign of 1972, and the standard CNN web page showing the progress of the delegate count.

    Also, a Mullfoto proving my point about the availability of disposable cell phones and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Pelosi and the Protect America Act


  • From Merriam-Webster's Third Unabridged dictionary:
    Sedition: Conduct tending to treason but without an overt act.

  • The United States House of Representatives went into their nearly two-week-long President's Day recess without acting on a Senate Bill which would have re-authorized the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA (pronounced here in Washington with the I as in EYE.)

  • FISA was first passed in 1978 - keep that date in mind - and, according to the Liberal Federation of American Scientists website: "prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power."

  • Last year, after the uproar over the so-called "warrantless wiretaps," the Congress passed the "Protect America Act" which made some minor adjustments to FISA like including the fact that there were no such things as a commercial cell phone in 1978.

  • The Democrats in the House and Senate, despite the recognition that national security was, in fact, at stake, placed a sunset on that law to give them a chance to see what political hay could be made of it.

  • The law expired some weeks ago, and was given a temporary reprieve which expired at midnight, Friday February 15, 2008.

  • While it is true that the underlying FISA remains in place, reverting to a law which was based on intercepting intelligence with the technology which was in place 30 years ago puts the US at great risk.

  • Getting a warrant to wiretap a phone in the dark days before Blackberries was a lengthy process, but investigators could be pretty certain that a call from a certain number was going to be tied to a certain address, because it was being made from a phone wired into the wall, which was wired into the phone system of whatever country the wall was located.

  • Now, however, a bad guy can walk into just about any coffee shop or convenience store, buy a pre-paid card for a cell phone walk out and begin plotting to do something horrid.

  • The notion of preparing 100-page requests for surveillance warrants which take days or weeks is ludicrous in an era when phones themselves are disposable - used for one or two calls and then dropped into a sewer.

  • One of the ways intelligence services do this is to look for patterns of calls. Of most interest are calls which come into or leave the US to and from places where it is suspected people are plotting to do us harm.

  • There are a lot of cell phones in the world so a very efficient way to spot suspicious patterns is to analyze records kept by US phone companies.

  • Following 9/11, the US Government asked the major phone companies to turn over their records of calls coming into or leaving the US so the big computers in places like Ft. Meade, Maryland could begin looking for those patterns we were talking about.

  • Remember when we have been told that increased "chatter" warned of an impending terrorist action somewhere? That's more-or-less what we're talking about here.

  • Enter the Trial Lawyers and the ACLU.

  • The Trial Lawyers want to sue the phone companies for having turned over their records to the government so the government could figure out this whole pattern thing.

  • The phone companies would prefer not to be sued for, what they (and I) consider to have been a patriotic act following the 9/11 attacks.

  • The bill which the House Democrats went on vacation without re-authorizing gives those phone companies immunity from law suits filed by Trial Lawyers on behalf of people and organizations who think their records might have been placed into one of those massive pattern-recognition databases.

  • The US Senate adopted the theory that such lawsuits should not be permitted and voted to extend the Protect America Act. A clear majority of Members of Congress also would have voted to extend the Protect America Act.

  • But Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, putting the demands of the Trial Lawyers and the wing of the Democratic Party ahead of America's safety refused to let the bill come to the floor for a vote.

  • Leaving the rest of us unprotected.

  • The main switchboard number at the US Capitol is: 202-225-3121. Feel free to call and leave a message for Speaker telling her what you think.

  • Just to be safe, call from a cell phone.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to a brief history and description of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and to the history of cell phones. Also a piece from Fridays "gaggle" by the White House press office. No Mullfoto or Catchy Caption today.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Hillary and the Super Delegates

  • In the Democratic Party there are 796 "Super Delegates." These are men and women who are delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver by virtue of their position, not because they were elected in primary or chosen in a party caucus.

  • Officially, within the Democratic National Committee rules they are known as "Party Leaders and Elected Officials" (PLEOs) but Super Delegates stuck. PLEOs did not.

  • Mullpal Lanny Davis has reminded us that Super Delegates were never intended to be pledged to one candidate, but were the insiders who could undo a bad decision by those pesky voters in primaries and caucuses.

  • Yesterday, Mr. Davis (with whom I have appeared as a sparring partner many times over the past decade) pointed out that in an earlier age Democratic Party insiders chose as the Party's nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy.

  • As we pointed out here on Wednesday, Barack Obama - following Tuesday's "Potomac Primary" has assumed the lead in the actual delegate count.

  • The way the delegates are awarded in these Democratic primarie, unless one candidate gets 80% of the votes the awards tend to be 54% to 46% one way or the other.

  • Thus, according to CNN's count, Barak Obama has 1,096 elected delegates (of the 2,025 needed) while Hillary Clinton has 977 - 119 fewer and that ration isn't likely to change much.

  • While Super Delegates have no requirement to support any candidate prior to the opening of the Convention, CNN reports Obama has the pledged support of 157 and Clinton has 234 closing the gap between them to only 42 delegates.

  • As there are 796 Super Delegates and only 391 have pledge to support one of the candidates, that leaves 405 Super Delegates sitting around waiting for offers.

  • So long as Hillary Clinton stays inside of 405 delegates, the Supers can turn the tide.

  • But, they won't just swoop onto the floor and wrest the nomination away from Obama because that would cause a riot in Denver. Here's what they will do:
    You may remember that Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates because they ignored the DNC dictum that thou shalt not have a primary election earlier than February 5.

    They did and Hillary won both.

    The Clintons will arrange for their Super Delegates to reach down to the elected delegates who are members of the Rules and/or Credentials Committees over whom they have some control (If you are a sitting Democratic US Senator or Governor and you call an elected delegate from your state, that elected delegate will take your call).

    The Super Delegates will instruct the elected delegates on those committees to seat delegations from Florida and Michigan proportionate to the votes Obama and Clinton received.

  • I guarantee you that the proportions will be just enough to give the nomination to Hillary.

  • And
    1. The Clintons will be able to claim they had nothing to do with it.

    2. The Supers will be able to claim they were just doing their jobs by not disenfranchising voters in two crucial states.

    3. Just as you read, it is so complex that no one will be able to explain it in the required 12 seconds on television.

  • Sending Lanny Davis out yesterday to begin the process of inoculating Democrats against Super Delegate skullduggery is only the first step. Between now and August there will be a constant drumbeat that Michigan and Florida cannot be shut out and the Clintonistas will be working the phones to be certain everyone knows their role.

  • Or else.

  • On the GOP side, Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain (and the release of his delegates who are not bound under state law) will push McCain toward the 1,000 delegate number. On the Republican side 1,191 is the magic number to reach a majority.

  • Mike Huckabee, by refusing to leave the race, thus goes from running a quixotic and marginally heroic campaign against McCain, to being a laughing-stock or worse, a disloyal Republican.

  • O the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the Lanny Davis essay on why Super Delegates are good and necessary, the definition (and pronunciation) of "quixotic" ; a Mullfoto I've been working to get for three weeks, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.