Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Friday, January 04, 2008

John Edwards in 2008 -- 2

A National Goal: End Poverty Within 30 Years

"Restoring our moral authority means leading by example and making clear that the hard challenges don't frighten us. There is no better opportunity than the challenge of poverty – the great moral issue of our time."

-- John Edwards [go here for program in full]

New York Times, January 4, 2008
The Odds of Becoming President
By David Leonhardt
How much did the Iowa results change the odds in the 2008 campaign? A lot. But not completely.

Barack Obama is still an underdog to win the Democratic nomination, and Mike Huckabee remains a downright long shot, according to the traders at Intrade, an online market where contracts tied to the results of the campaign are bought and sold.

On Friday morning, Hillary Clinton was still given roughly a 52 percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. Barack Obama’s odds stood at about 44 percent.
(Here’s how Intrade works: A contract that would pay $10 if Mr. Obama won the nomination was trading for abou $4.40 on Friday morning. That suggests traders collectively thought he had about a 44 per cent chance.)

But if Mrs. Clinton remains the favorite, she is a much weaker one. Heading into caucus day in Iowa, Mr. Obama’s odds were only 25 percent, and back in October they had fallen below 15 percent. A few days ago, Mrs. Clinton’s odds were at roughly 70 percent.

John Edwards was at 3 percent on Friday morning, down from 6 percent before the caucus. . . .


Why would a wannabe Fat Cats "market" have any meaning or significance for Democrats in search of real change? Isn't the market driven ideology, to the exclusion of the human and the suffering in this country, the mechanism which needs to be reined in, regulated? And given this as an avowed goal of John Edwards, is it surprising that his "stock" with the phantom Army of Armani is a negligible 3%? These are the guys who gave us the S & L debacle, the bubble and the sub-prime loan mess that is crushing the sultans of hedge funds along with small home owners. Why should what passes for rational decisions among these wheeler dealers in their game board market be considered anything more than a diversion from what the election should be about?

By the time November rolls around, the story behind Intrades careful bets will change dramatically. Then, with the writing on the wall showing the U.S. economy tanking big time, even the mavens of the not-really-free market will be whipping about looking for an FDR look alike to save capitalism and their personal version of the free enterprise system again.

In this, _Fortune Magazine_ has already hedged their bets by spreading transition to the political center ink in a favorable surge (sic) toward H. Clinton. Someone they can work with, someone more like (surprise!) Bill and Rubin, I assume. Watch for Obama to get the same treatment from the moneyed right. And a deadlocked Democratic convention will mean the return of Gore. Money will accept someone who is green, if they can protect the machinery that very selectively spits out the green stuff that matters to them.

John Edwards, however, will always remain a traitor to those in his new found economic class level. Making your fortune fighting, and beating, the Big Boys is not an endearing trait with these types. Owning a McMansion doesn’t make you a part of the club.

For all their supposed heavy duty, super computer, rational to the max analyses, Players of the played insist on people knowing which side their bread is buttered on. And, more importantly, they insist and defend the belief that the butter is always safely part of their own very private stock. Edwards' populism threatens to break into their luxurious private pantry and dibby out the butter to those who have been satisfied in the past with nothing more than left-over crusts.

So as long as Edwards’ “stock” remains in the single digits with these false slice and dice traders in America’s dreams, you can be certain he’s continuing to send the right message. It seems to be reaching the people who are without health insurance, those regularly finding a meal in a soup kitchen so they can afford to pay for their prescriptions, people shivering at the gas pump, putting $5 bucks worth in their always empty tanks, and the crowds who enjoy the wonders of the free market by holding garage and lawn sales out of desperation.

Of course, the main stream media are more interested in their self-manufactured Woman vs. the Bright Young Af Am man election drama. No wonder their ratings and circulation stock are so low with the economic underclass.


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