Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Politics of Fear and Hatred

Well Obama seems to have been brought down a few notches this weekend with the "Spiritual Advisor" scandal. I don't know about you but I think a majority of Americans get real uncomfortable hearing someone preach "God damn America" in a church in America. And I wouldn't call Obama's defense of this to be any great shakes. First off, this guy married you, baptized your kids, and you have been attending his church for the past 20 years. I don't think saying that you don't support all of his views or heard him say things like that will cut it with the electorate. Then again, what do I know.

This issue of course does not belong just at his footsteps. Its been used by both parties many times before. Use a group's distrust of another, build upon their perceived fears (hello Willie Horton anyone??), pull the most egregious examples to support your thesis and rally the troops around defeating this menace. The politics of fear and hatred win another round. Personally I am sick to death of this. And I won't support politicians of either party who do it anymore, especially if they are the first to sling the mud.

So if Hillary Clinton campaigns that Barack Obama doesn't have any experience, that's a valid criticism (though kind of laughable considering all of the experience she has had isn't it?) but when one of her staffers leaks pictures of Obama in a turban trying to stoke fear and hatred of Muslims, thats way way out. And her mamby pamby denial "We didn't do it though one of my people may have been involved in it" does not fly at all.

And Barack Obama can ask why Hillary is a senator from NY when she lived in Illinois and Arkansas and Washington DC until her husband was no longer president. Perhaps he could ask why being a senator from Arkansas wouldn't be enough for her or even why she waited until Bill was running for Governor to change her last name to his. But his staffer calling her a monster and his wife saying the country is "downright mean" and filled with cynics, sloths, and complacents and that she was not proud to live here doesn't cut it. You don't like it, leave. You liked it just fine when you were earning tons of jack as a lawyer, and telling others to be teachers and doctors while you are struggling to get by on $275,000 a year as VP of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Hospitals.

And if John McCain campaigns like this, I won't support him either. I like him as the best candidate to not foster hatred or fear and actually try to be inclusive with people on the other side of the aisle. I think it speaks well for him the Democratic Senators respect and admire him. But if does start campaigning on issues other than his own qualifications or his opponent's lack thereof, I guess I will be voting 3rd party this year.

So to wrap up this thread, lets see how Obama continues to spin his spiritual advisor and if Hillary can use this against him in a way that doesn't get her called a rascist. Personally I don't think she can but I think it may hurt Obama in the general election.

On to other things. Played poker on Saturday in a local cardroom. Mostly played Omaha Hi/Lo ( otherwise known as 8 or better) but also played in a Holdem tourney for a short time. I was out before the first break for the first time ever. My straight ran right into a full house and it was good night Irene. Can't complain, I was behind the whole hand. Unlike my last time when I was well ahead with top 2 pair and some fool reraises me all in on middle pair and a flush draw and of course hits the flush. It was too bad I made the straight on the river so I could get busted this time.

I played poorly at the Omaha table early on too. Before the tourney I was playing and losing a bit. After the tourney I went back and played again. Had to wait for a seat as there was only one table for Omaha and it was full but while I was waiting I thought back to my earlier time there and realized I was playing way too many hands. Tightened up and managed to make back a bit of cash, though not enough to cover my losses earlier or my tourney entry either. Would have been better but most of my good hands and draws never made it. Great high cards had low flops. Low hands had high flops. Nut flush draws on the flop never seemed to complete for me nor did sets become boats, but they hit against me enough. Still I played conservatively enough to make some money back and not continue losing.

I think I have learned a bit more about playing better, not letting bad beats affect me so much (after last week's flush out in the tourney I played Omaha and killed making back more than double my money) and feel pretty good with my game. Will try again next Saturday and hope for better results.

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