Thursday, April 10, 2008

CNN Poll of Polls: Clinton Lead Over Obama Down to 4 Points

Here comes Obama. If he wins in Pennsylvania it is over for sure:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead over Sen. Barack Obama in the crucial primary state of Pennsylvania has dwindled to 4 points, a CNN average of recent polls calculated Thursday shows.

The New York senator now holds a 4 point advantage over her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, 46 to 42 percent. Twelve percent of likely Democratic voters there remain unsure.

Recent CNN "poll of polls" suggest the race in Pennsylvania is tightening before the state's April 22 primary. A poll of polls calculated two days ago showed Clinton with a 6 point lead in Pennsylvania, and a poll of polls last Friday showed her on top by 11 points.

All those lies are taking their toll:
"A lot of the way this whole campaign has been covered has amused me," he said. "But there was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995. Did y'all see all that. Oh, they blew it up. Let me just tell you. The president of Bosnia and Gen. Wesley Clark -- who was there making peace where we'd lost three peacekeepers who had to ride on a dangerous mountain road because it was too dangerous to go the regular, safe way -- both defended her because they pointed out that when her plane landed in Bosnia, she had to go up to the bulletproof part of the plane, in the front. Everybody else had to put their flack jackets underneath the seat in case they got shot at. And everywhere they went they were covered by Apache helicopters. So they just abbreviated the arrival ceremony. Now I say that because, what really has mattered is that even then she was interested in our troops. And I think she was the first first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to go into a combat zone. And you woulda thought, you know, that she'd robbed a bank the way they carried on about this. And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11:00 at night, too."

Sen. Clinton did not apologize, like Mr. Clinton asserted, she simply indicated that she mispoke when describing the Bosnia incident.

While the former president may have been amused by the whole incident, his telling of the course of events wasn't quite accurate. Hillary Clinton actually made the comments numerous times, including at an event in Iowa on Dec. 29, amd an event on Feb. 29 and one time -- bright and early in the morning -- on March 17.

Sen. Clinton wasn't as quick with her apology as President Clinton may remember either. In fact, it took a week for her to eventually correct herself, first talking to the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board on March 24 and again apologizing the next day in Greensboro, N.C.

Victory for Protestors: Olympic Torch Forced to Take Detour

The Olympic ceremony first started by Nazi Germany was forced to retreat yesterday. It was the latest blow to the neo-Fascist regime in China's propaganda parade:

The nation’s only chance to see the Olympic flame up close became an elaborate game of hide-and-seek here on Wednesday, as city officials secretly rerouted the planned torch relay, swarmed its runners with blankets of security and then whisked the torch to the airport in a heavily guarded motorcade.

The closing ceremony to mark the flame’s only North American stop was also effectively canceled in the face of thousands of protesters and supporters, who waited for hours in vain along the flame’s announced route.

Instead, officials decided that the flame would leapfrog protesters and travel on a central avenue about two miles away.

There, surrounded by uniformed officers and police on motorcycles, it was run in stop-and-start fashion toward the Golden Gate Bridge, chased by a throng of surprised residents and members of the news media.

“It was like the slowest car chase ever,” said Annie Ingamells, 42, a Briton who caught a glimpse of the flame with her daughter Ruby. “I guess that tactic worked.”

About four miles into the route, the torch was placed on a bus and taken to San Francisco’s airport, where it will fly to Buenos Aires, the next stop on the flame’s beleaguered international tour.

Now Obama is on board:
Barack Obama joined Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday in calling for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Clinton had commended British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for announcing that he will skip the August ceremonies in China's capital, and called on Obama and likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain to join her in urging Bush to do the same.

Obama did later in the day; his campaign issued a statement in which, for the first time, he urged Bush to boycott the festivities.

Activists are urging world leaders to stay away from the ceremonies to underscore concerns about China's human rights record, its handling of recent unrest in Tibet and its relationship with Sudan.

Obama said a boycott "should be firmly on the table," but that a decision should be made closer to the Games.

"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the president should boycott the opening ceremonies," he said. "As I have communicated in public and to the president, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet."

The protests have even forced the Olympic games authorities to speak up:
IOC president Jacques Rogge said Thursday the turmoil surrounding the Beijing torch relay and the politically charged buildup to the Summer Games posed a "crisis'' for the Olympic movement.

Rogge urged China to respect its "moral engagement'' to improve human rights and to fulfill promises of greater media freedom. He reaffirmed the right of free speech for athletes at the Beijing Games.

IMF Forecasts World Economic Slowdown

The economic crisis is worldwide and requires international cooperation to deal with. So why are U.S. politicians acting like its just a domestic issue that requires domestic governmental action. The global markets have become bigger than any one governments ability to regulate. In other words, America no longer controls it's economic destiny:

The world economy will slow sharply this year, according to an International Monetary Fund forecast, with the United States sliding into a recession amid housing, credit and financial slumps.

The International Monetary Fund, in a World Economic Outlook released Wednesday, slashed growth projections for the United States - the epicenter of the woes - and the global economy as a whole. Even so, growth in China and India will remain strong, even as the two nations are expected to post lower growth rates in 2009.

Economic growth in the United States is expected to slow to a crawl of just 0.5 percent this year, which would mark the worst pace in 17 years, when the country last suffered through a recession, the global finance body said. The United States will not fare much better next year; the IMF projected the U.S. economy will grow by a feeble 0.6 percent in 2009, when measured by an annual average.

"The U.S. economy will tip into a mild recession in 2008 as the result of mutually reinforcing cycles in the housing and financial markets," the IMF said.

Looking at other countries, the IMF trimmed its projection for Germany, with economic growth slowing to 1.4 percent this year and weakening to 1 percent in 2009. In Britain, growth will slow to 1.6 percent this year and next. France also will see growth decelerate to 1.4 percent this year and 1.2 percent next year.

Japan's economy will expand by 1.4 percent this year and 1.5 percent next year, which would mark a loss of momentum from last year. Canada's growth would slow to 1.3 percent this year and pick up slightly to 1.9 percent next year.

Global powerhouse China, which barreled ahead at an 11.4 percent pace last year, would see growth moderate to 9.3 percent this year and then strengthen a bit to 9.5 percent next year. India, which grew by a blistering 9.2 percent last year, is expected to grow by 7.9 percent this year and 8 percent next year. Russia, which logged growth of 8.1 percent last year, will see growth moderate to 6.8 percent this year and then 6.3 percent next year.

While the IMF is worried about the dangers of weakening global economic growth, it also expressed concern about the potential for inflation to heat up around the world, given sharp increases in energy and other commodity prices. "Risks related to inflationary pressures have risen," the fund said.

Many private economists and members of the U.S. public believe the country has already fallen into its first recession since 2001. For the first time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged last week that a recession was possible.

And it doesn't help that oil prices keep setting new record highs:
The upward trend in energy prices showed no sign of abating Wednesday as gasoline set yet another record at the pump and crude oil topped $112 a barrel for the first time in the futures market.

The national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas rose 1.2 cents to a record $3.343 a gallon, according to a survey of gas stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. With the peak summer driving season still to come and gas following crude higher, the fuel may well reach the retail price of $4 a gallon that the Energy Department has been forecasting.