Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sports Business Simulations Turns Five Years Old

In 2002, a former aide to The Mayor of Oakland met the head of the University of San Francisco Sport Management department to discuss stadium financing, and the need for a new stadium for the Oakland Baseball. In that meeting, USF Professor Dr. Dan Rascher, PhD, took note of Zenophon "Zennie" Abraham’s web-based simulation game The XFL Simworld, and said "I need that for my class."

When Mr. Abraham finished his second simulator in late October 2002, the Oakland Baseball Simworld, he met again with Mr. Rascher, and Sports Business Simulations (SBS) was born. On January 24th of 2003, SBS became a Delaware Corporation, with seed capital, and based in Oakland.

Now, SBS is about to turn five-years-old.

SBS is the first company who's products are built around the Forio Macro Language (FML) programming language developed by San Francisco-based Forio Business Simulations. "Forio's partners, Michael Bean and Will Glass have been our friends and advisers over the last five years," said Zenophon "Zennie" Abraham, SBS's Co-Founder and CEO.

Abraham says that SBS is an entity unique to the San Francisco Bay Area. "I mean only here can one easily meet people who have the resources, talent, and skill to start an online business like this. The Bay Area culture made SBS possible."

Sports Business Simulation's charge is to build online business Simulations of sports teams and leagues for use in the classroom. For just $15, a student has unlimited use of SBS' simulators for an entire class semester or quarter. SBS products are not designed to replace textbooks, they are developed to enhance the classroom experience.

SBS has two simulators: the XFL Simworld and the Oakland Baseball Simworld, but has plans to add a new simulator based around the fitness industry in one month.

The SBS website itself has expanded dramatically during its five years of growth. In 2003, there were just the simulations. Now, the "sims" as they're called are joined by a network of over 40 blogs, over 100 message boards, a Facebook-style social network, video shows, and pages with links to the offerings of affilate partners, like StubHub.com," said Abraham.

SBS now has an online marketing division because Abraham said too many of his friends wanted articles and videos for their business. "It got so bad I started what we call "SBS-ON" at http://sbson.com. We now have clients in the transportation and real estate industries and are looking to expand. It actually helps us promote our sims."

The SBS sims have been used by many high schools and colleges in America. The Oakland Baseball Simworld has been the focus of numerous academic papers. "What's happened over five years is that the Oakland Sim has developed a kind of cult following. It's a complex online game with over 100 decisions and asks one to run a numerical copy of the behavior of the Oakland Athletics Baseball Organization. It's kind of a sports business fantasy game."

For more information:


New Orleans Again Set To Be Bloodiest City In U.S

NEW ORLEANS (AP) ― The bloodiest city in the country in 2006, reeling from crime in its struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina, got even worse in 2007.

New Orleans registered 209 homicides last year, a nearly 30 percent increase from the 161 recorded in 2006.

The FBI's rankings for 2007 will not be out until much later in the year, but New Orleans' population is thought to be 295,450, which would mean a rate of about 71 homicides per 100,000 people.

Even the most generous population estimate in 2006 put the number of people in the city that year at 255,000. That meant a real homicide rate of 63.5 per 100,000 residents. To compare that number with some other notoriously bloody cities, the rate for Gary, Ind., was 48.3 and Detroit's was 47.1.

The killings are drug-related or retaliatory for the most part, police have said. The upswing comes despite continued patrols by the National Guard and state police and the addition of two new classes of police recruits in the past year.

But beefed-up policing efforts can only do so much, said Rafael Goyeneche, executive director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission of Greater New Orleans.

"The police and the criminal justice system is expected to clean up the mess, but they didn't create the mess," Goyeneche said. "They aren't responsible for the social problems of the city, the failure of the school system, the degeneration of the family unit. And until the city does something to rectify those problems, crime and murder will continue to be a problem."

There are hopeful signs, however, Goyeneche said, pointing to improved schools in the city since the 2005 storm, grass-roots efforts to tackle crime, and a growing effort to upgrade city life.

"This city is beginning to do some things that I've been waiting 25 years to see," Goyeneche said. "I think there is a renewed sense of purpose; people are focused and demanding more than what was in play before Katrina hit."

Zed Shaw Lets Loose On New Year's Eve - Programmers Need A Union

Zed Shaw's a person not know to the general public, but is considered a star in the programming community. Zed's the creator of a kind of server called Mongrel that hosts Ruby applications. But his extensive development experience and advanced-for-a-programmer-age, combined with what seems to be a long string of experiences with bad men have caused him to let loose with a rant that would please Ron Paul and give Laure Manadou nude photo seekers a reason to turn their heads for a day.

Zed's website contains a blistering account of communications with other program managers and developers that left me howing. By design, it's not made a lot of people happy. Take this commenter over at Ruby Inside:

I don't mind a good rant, but this is way over the top.

He's done well for the Ruby community and for that I have a lot of respect for the guy.

Granted all in that post were wrong.

First off, if he thinks he is moving to a different language and going to command anywhere near the same respect that he had a few days ago, then he's got a fucking huge mountain to climb. No one is going to look at that post and say "he's not a backstabber, our community is fine."

Secondly, His complaints are more with Rails than Ruby and to quit a whole scene because of one framework is ridiculous. There are others around. If he doesn't like the way DHH codes Rails, easily he could just port to Merb. Secondly, the public-facing people of a scene does not equal the quality of a product in itself. He did mention it but mostly it was "fuck it, i'm leaving, this community sucks because everyone else is at fault and I've had too many bad experiences with it.'

He also seems to be very immature. All the way he threatens with violence to the point you wonder if he's truly grown up. He was even a protagonist in the IRC chat. Granted he didn't get what he deserved, but he didn't exactly act numinous.

Or this:

The guy's not doing himself any favors with his rant; he comes off sounding like a narcissistic psycho. He may be smart [although really, how hard is it to build a web server that's faster than WeBrick? It's like building a sort function that's faster than bubblesort] ... but face it, the software field is chock full of smart loners who can't get along with others. Despite the evidence he musters up against a host of other people, he's the one I'd be backing away the quickest from.

I'm not sure if this is going to help Zed's chances at future employment, but it could make him a star in the entertainment community. But his rant is a good view at how terribly screwed up the programming culture is.

In reading the comments, what many -- and I mean many people -- are missing is that this is a person who's been treated terribly in his pocketbook. Doing work and not getting paid for it, and being "effectively homeless for six months" as he put it would upset anyone.

But it shed light on just how the younger generations of people, or at least the tech people, don't pay attention to politics and by not starting a union of any kind have allowed this terrible "slave climate" to develop and fester.

I think Zed's rant's good for bring attention to the cultural issues that the industry faces, but I'm not certain it will spark real change at all. But I'm waiting for his follow-up. Maybe that will be the prod that gets things going.

Dennis Kucinich Tells Iowa Supporters To Back Barack Obama - MSNBC

If Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich does not reach the 15 percent support threshold in the Iowa Caucuses, he's instructed his supporters to back Barack Obama in Iowa, according to MSNBC.

"This is obviously an 'Iowa-only' recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I are competing in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday where I want to be the first choice of New Hampshire voters," Kucinich said in a statement."

"I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves. But in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change."

All I can say is this is a major development in the campaign and swings the momentum toward the already surging Obama.

Hillary Clinton's Pakistan Mistake On CNN and ABC - Politico.com

Senator Clinton has often accused Senator Barack Obama of being a foreign policy lightweight, even as her own record shows little experience of real value. It's important to know the subject one is talking about, or not adress it as if they do, if they are not sure of what they're saying.

Senator Clinton does not know that President Musharraf's not on the ballot or running for president in Pakistan. But with that, she says he is, and now looks like a foreign policy lightweight. Here's Ben Smith's report from Politico.com

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was praised in the wake of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto for demonstrating her command of the players and the issues at stake in Pakistan, even as another candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, was criticized for stumbling over details.

But in two confident television appearances, on CNN and ABC, Clinton made an elementary error about Pakistani politics: She described President Pervez Musharraf as a "candidate" who would be "on the ballot."

In fact, Musharraf was reelected to the presidency in October. The upcoming elections are for parliament, and while Musharraf's party will be facing off against opposition parties, the president himself is not a candidate.

"He will NOT be on the ballot," said a Pakistan scholar at Columbia University, Philip Oldenburg, in an e-mail. "These are parliamentary elections, where the contests are for a seat in the national assembly.
The prime ministerial candidate typically fights for victory in a local constituency, as well as lead[ing] the party in a national campaign."

I must add that Clinton also said: "He could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election," she told ABC's George Stephanopolous December 30.

And this is the transscript from Senator Clinton's appearance on the CNN "The Situation Room"

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton
CNN's The Situation Room
Dec. 28, 2007
(transcript produced by the Clinton presidential campaign)
Wolf Blitzer: There are conflicting reports coming in from the Pakistani government right
now about the cause of death, who may have been responsible; perhaps al Qaeda, maybe
not. The bottom line: do you trust the Pakistani government right now to conduct a fair and
full investigation so that all of us around the world will know who killed this woman and how
she was killed?
Hillary Clinton: I don't think the Pakistani government at this time under President
Musharraf has any credibility at all. They have disbanded an independent judiciary, they
have oppressed a free press. Therefore, I’m calling for a full, independent, international
investigation, perhaps along the lines of what the United Nations has been doing with
respect to the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri in Lebanon. I think it is critically
important that we get answers and really those are due first and foremost to the people of
Pakistan, not only those who were supportive of Benazir Bhutto and her party, but every
Pakistani because we cannot expect to move toward stability without some reckoning as to
who was responsible for this assassination.
Therefore, I call on President Musharraf and the Pakistani government to realize that this is
in the interests of Pakistan to understand whether or not it was al Qaeda or some other
offshoot extremist group that is attempting to further destabilize and even overthrow the
Pakistani government, or whether it came from within, either explicitly or implicitly, the
security forces or the military in Pakistan. The thing I’ve not been able to understand, Wolf - I
have met with President Musharraf, I obviously knew Benazir Bhutto and admired her
leadership – is that President Musharraf, in every meeting I have had with him, the elites in
Pakistan who still wield tremendous power plus the leadership of the military act as though
they can destabilize Pakistan and retain their positions; their positions of privilege, their
positions of authority. That is not the way it will work. I am really calling on them to recognize
that the world deserves the answer; the Bhutto family deserves the answer, but this is in the
best interest of the Pakistani people and the state of Pakistan.
Blitzer: Senator, just to be precise; you want a United Nations international tribunal, or
commission of inquiry, whatever you want to call it, along the lines of the investigation into
the assassination of Rafik Hariri?
HRC: There are other institutions that are international that have credibility, like INTERPOL
and others. It doesn’t have to be the exact model of the Hariri investigation but it needs to be
international, it needs to be independent, it needs to have credibility and nothing that would
happen inside of Pakistan would. I’m reluctant to say it should be an American investigation
where we send our law enforcement personnel, because I’m not sure that would have
credibility for a different reason. So that’s why I’m calling for an independent international
Blitzer: This is a damning indictment of President Pervez Musharraf. Some are calling on
him to step down, do you believe he should step down?
Clinton: What I believe is that he should meet certain conditions and quickly. We should
immediately move to free and fair elections. Obviously, it’s going to take some time for
Benazir Bhutto’s party to choose a successor. Nawaz Sharif has said that he won’t
participate at this time. I believe again some kind of international support for free and fair
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elections in a timely manner would be incredibly important. If President Musharraf wishes to
stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will
have to follow.
We also want to see a resumption of the move toward an independent
judiciary. I think that was a terrible mistake. This is an odd situation, Wolf. The people in the
streets are wearing suits and ties, they are lawyers, they are professionals, they are the
middle class of Pakistan, which really offers the very best hope for a stable, democratic
country and that is in America’s interest, but more importantly, it is in the interest of the
Pakistani people.
Blitzer: I think I understood what you were implying when you said a U.S. investigation
probably wouldn’t have credibility for different reasons but explain to our viewers out there
why you’re suggesting a U.S. investigation into the death of Benazir Bhutto probably wouldn’t
have credibility either.
Clinton: I think it would politicize it at a time when what we want to do is, as much as
possible, support the continuing move toward democracy. We need, frankly, an international
tribunal to look into this where there can be a broad base of experts who are not aligned with
any one country. Obviously I would certainly offer our expertise through the FBI and others to
assist that tribunal. But I think it would be much better for it to be independent and impartial
and be seen as that. Part of what our challenge here is, is to convince the Pakistani people
themselves and particularly the business elite, the feudal elite, the military elite that they are
going down a very dangerous path. That this path leads to their losing their positions, their
authority, their obvious leadership now. Therefore we need to help them understand what is
in their interest and that of course includes President Musharraf.
Blitzer: Over the years, since 9/11, the United States has provided the Pakistani military with
some $10 billion. Will you as a United States Senator continue to vote for funding of these
billions of dollars going to the Pakistani military?
Clinton: No, and I’m very pleased that finally the Congress began to put some conditions on
the aid. I do not think that we should be giving the Musharraf government a blank check and
that’s exactly what the Bush Administration has done. Even after Musharraf cracked down on
the judiciary and the press and the pro-democracy movement in Pakistan, President Bush
was saying he was a reliable ally. Well, I don’t think he’s a reliable ally when he undermines
democracy and when he has failed to reign in the Al Qaeda Islamist elements in his own
So I think we do need to condition aid. I would do it differently. I would say, look, we want to
know very specifically what accountability you’re going to offer to us for the military aid that
we believe should be going in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The Department of
Defense is equally unaccountable with the money that passes through them.
I’d like to see more of our aid shifted toward building civil society. I’ve been calling for this. I
have legislation that is bi-partisan, Education for All that is particularly aimed -- I’ve talked to
President Musharraf about the necessity for us to raise the literacy rate, to reach out with
health care and education that would help the Pakistani people to really concentrate on civil
We should be working with these rather heroic lawyers and others who are in the streets
demanding democracy instead of giving the Bush blank check to President Musharraf and
the military.
Blitzer: But aren’t you afraid, Senator, that as imperfect and as flawed as President
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Musharraf is, there’s a possibility whoever comes to replace him in this large Muslim country
with a nuclear arsenal already, heavy al Qaeda presence, a resurgent Taliban - that the
alternative could be even worse from the U.S. perspective?
Clinton: Of course. We all fear that and that’s why we need to take remedial action
immediately. When I came back from my last meeting with President Musharraf in January of
this year, I called the White House, I asked that they appoint an American envoy, a
presidential envoy. I suggested that a retired military leader who could relate to President
Musharraf on a one-to-one basis and could shuttle back and forth between President
Musharraf and President Karzai because there were a lot of tensions.
And also perhaps serve as a kind of support to President Musharraf, military man to military
man, about what it takes to really move toward democracy that President Musharraf in every
conversation I’ve ever had with him has given lip-service to. But I don’t think the Bush
Administration has frankly asked enough of President Musharraf, has provided the right kind
ofassistance, has given the support needed.
We have this difficult problem in the military. We have a lot of the senior leadership that we
have relationships with, we don’t have those relationships for a lot of reasons with the junior
leadership. I just think we have given a blank check under President Bush to President
Musharraf and the results are frankly not in the interests of the United States, they are not in
the interest of Pakistan and they are certainly not in the interest of the region. We should
begin to try to have an ongoing process that includes India and Afghanistan. A lot of what
you see happening in Pakistan is driven by the very strong concern coming out of the
Pakistani government toward Afghanistan, toward India.
We have really had a hands-off approach. We have said, okay, fine, you be our partner in
going after Al Qaeda, we’ll turn a blind eye to everything else. That has undermined our
position. I believe Pakistan is in a weaker position to combat terrorism today then they were
after 9/11, in large measure because of the failed policies of George Bush.
Blitzer: I interviewed your rival, Barack Obama, for Democratic presidential nomination last
night and he had some implied criticism of you saying some of your past decisions do not
necessarily warrant your stepping up and becoming the next president of the United States.
Listen to this:
Obama: I think it’s important for the American people to look at the judgments they’ve made
in the past. The experienced hands in Washington have not made particularly good
judgments when it comes to dealing with these problems. That’s part of the reason we are
now in this circumstance.
Blitzer: Now I think he was referring to your vote giving the President authority to go to war
against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and your more recent vote to declare the Iranian
Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. In effect, he says that gave a blank check to the
President to go to war against Iran. You want to respond to Senator Obama?
Clinton: First, Wolf, I really regret that anybody would try to politicize this tragedy. I
personally knew Benazir Bhutto. She was Prime Minister when I visited Pakistan on behalf of
our government. I stayed in touch with her over the years. I don’t think politics should be
playing a role in how our country responds, both on the personal level to the tragedy of this
But furthermore, Pakistan has been unstable for a long time. Benazir Bhutto’s father was
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deposed and killed. Obviously, we know that President Musharraf came to power in a military
coup. So the instability in Pakistan has long pre-dated any of the recent events. Therefore, I
think you need to have an historic understanding. You need to look at Pakistan as a country
that still today - the best information that we have - wants to have a better standard of living,
wants to have a democracy and the United States should be doing more to promote that. I
regret that President Bush’s policies have failed to create that kind of environment. I hope it’s
not too late. I really do. And that’s why I’m calling on the President now to begin to make
some of the changes. If he has a good relationship with President Musharraf, which he
claims to have, then let’s have an envoy. Let’s have this international investigation. Let’s do
what we know will work to try to stabilize Pakistan at this time.
Blitzer: What about the specific criticism of your foreign policy judgment that we heard from
Senator Obama, we heard earlier in the day from his chief strategist, David Axelrod. What
about that, that implied criticism that some of your decisions on these national security,
foreign policy issues raise questions about whether or not you should be president?
Clinton: I just regret that both of them would be politicizing this tragedy and especially at a
time when do we need to figure out a way forward. That’s what I’m focused on. I’m focused
on extending my sympathy to Benazir Bhutto’s family. I’m focused on doing everything I can
as a Senator, as someone with a platform running for president, to try to be both positive and
effective in helping to set a course. We have a year to go with President Bush as our
president. A year is a long time. We know the threats that could be posed with a nuclear
armed country like Pakistan becoming more and more unstable.
I have found that President Musharraf is someone that needs, in my opinion, to have a very
consistent message and then frankly the help that would come with helping him and those
who are in leadership positions understanding that this is not just about the United States -
obviously, we have a very important national security interest. This is about what happens to
Pakistan. President Musharraf could become as important to the future of Pakistan if he
changed course and began to act in a way that would create more confidence to have these
free and fair elections, to restore an independent judiciary, to take the shackles off the press,
to say that he trusted the Pakistani people. That’s what I’m hoping will happen over the next
Blitzer: We’ve got to leave it there. We’re out of time, Senator. Thanks very much for
spending a few moments with us.
Clinton: Good to talk to you, Wolf.

Clinton ABC Transscript See this link: Time.com

H. CLINTON: Good to be here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: … that’s where we began.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, Peggy Noonan accepts the premise of
your question this morning in The Wall Street Journal, but she goes on
to say that’s exactly the reason not to pick you. She says, “Mrs.
Clinton is the most dramatically polarizing, the most instinctively
distrusted political figure of my lifetime. Yes, I include Nixon.”
CLINTON: (LAUGHTER) Oh, George, I mean, I’m not surprised. Are
Obviously, I’m running a campaign to try to keep focused on the
big issues that the country faces. And I think that people in Iowa
and around the country are resonating to that.
CLINTON: But obviously, there are people who disagree with me.
They disagree with me ideologically, philosophically, on a partisan
basis. That’s not a surprise to me or to you.
And for those who now think they’re against me, I look to New
York, where a lot of people ended up voting for me who never thought
they would.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But even our polling here in Iowa shows that
this issue of trust is a hurdle for you with Democrats.
CLINTON: Well, that’s not what I see. You know, I trust my
touch and my feel more than I trust, with all due respect, the
commentary that goes on. And whoever becomes the Democratic nominee
will face a very high negative, because we know that’s what the
Republicans are better at, including the person that you quoted from,
than anybody else.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On this issue of experience, Senator Dodd took
off on you yesterday. He said your experience as first lady was
basically not relevant. You were sitting on the sidelines.
And he said, “That’s not experience, that’s witnessing
experience.” How do you respond to Senator Dodd?
CLINTON: Well, I’m a big fan of his. I consider…
CLINTON: Oh, sure. Look, it’s a campaign. We’re getting down
to the very end. I’ve been around long enough to know that people who
are friends before and will be friends afterwards are obviously trying
to make a political point.
But I think the reality and the evidence is far different. You
know, I was intimately involved in so much that went on in the White
House, here at home and around the world.
You know, just in the last few weeks, the new leaders of the
Northern Ireland government, Dr. Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness,
made a special effort to see me. Why? Because I helped in that
process, not just standing by and witnessing, but actually getting my
hands into it, creating opportunities for people on both sides of the
sectarian divide to come together.
When I went to Beijing, I wasn’t a witness. I was a spokesperson
and proud to be for the proposition that women’s rights are human
rights. And that cascaded across the world.
I was entrusted with a lot of missions in both paving the way and
dealing with very specific challenges our country faced. And I
believe since I’ve been in the Senate, especially serving on the Armed
Services Committee, I’ve deepened and broadened my experience.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about in the White House? The New York
Times wrote this week that you did not attend National Security
Council meetings, you did not receive the president’s daily briefing,
didn’t have a security clearance. And that calls your experience in
the White House into question.
CLINTON: Well, I just disagree with that. You know, I can
imagine what the stories would have been had I attended a National
Security Council meeting. You were there. I think you can vouch for
But I had direct access to all of the decision-makers. I was
briefed on a range of issues, often provided classified information.
And often when I traveled on behalf of our country. I traveled with
representatives from the DOD, the CIA, the State Department. I think
that my experience is unique, having been eight years in the White
House, having, yes, been part of making history, and also been part of
learning how to best present our country’s case. And now, seven years
on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Clinton has said, has suggested that
you urged him to intervene in Rwanda in 1994.
B. CLINTON: If I had moved then, we might have saved as many as
a third of those lives, and I think she clearly would have done that.
CLINTON: It is. It is true. And, you know, I believe that our
government failed. We obviously didn’t have a lot of good options.
It moved very quickly. It was a difficult, terrible genocide to try
to get our arms around and to do something to try to stem or prevent.
It didn’t happen, and that is something that the president has
apologized for, and I think that for me, it was one of the most
poignant and difficult experiences, when I met with Rwandan refugees
in Kampala, Uganda, shortly after the genocide ended, and I personally
apologized to women whose arms had been hacked off, who had seen their
husbands and their children murdered before their very eyes and were
at the bottom of piles of bodies.
And then when I was able to go to Rwanda and be part of
expressing our deep regrets, because we didn’t speak out adequately
enough, and we certainly didn’t take action.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You called President Pervez Musharraf of
Pakistan an unreliable ally. Should he step down?
CLINTON: I’m not calling for him to step down. I’m calling for
him, number one, to agree with an independent investigation of Benazir
Bhutto’s death. I am calling on him to hold free and fair elections
with independent monitors. I believe that it will take a little time
to get that ready, because Benazir’s party will have to choose a
successor leader…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So we don’t need the elections on the 8th?
CLINTON: Well, I think it will be very difficult to have a real
election. You know, Nawaz Sharif has said he’s not going to compete.
The PPP is in disarray with Benazir’s assassination. He could be the
only person on the ballot. I don’t think that’s a real election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are we getting to the point, as the United
States faced back in 1979, when we stood behind a leader who doesn’t
have the trust of his people, for too long?
CLINTON: Well, that’s very possible. We don’t know. We know
that there is a very strong, pro-democracy, anti-Musharraf movement.
You know, when you have people demonstrating in the streets who
are wearing coats and ties, you know, those are the people we should
be standing with, the civil society, the middle class of Pakistan,
that at this point, if Musharraf were to step down, who would take his
place? How would that ever be worked out? This is not a country that
has a history of peaceful succession.
This is an opportunity for President Musharraf to step up and
actually fulfill many of the words and promises that he’s made to me
and to many others over the course of a number of years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On the issue of experience, Barack Obama’s taken
to quoting Bill Clinton, 1992.
OBAMA: You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong
kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real
people and it will bring real results if we just have the courage to
change. And I believe deeply in those words, but you know what,
they’re not mine. They were Bill Clinton’s in 1992.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is Barack Obama as qualified for the White House
now as Bill Clinton was then?
CLINTON: Well, you know, by the time Bill ran, he was the senior
most serving governor in America, and he’d had tough elections every
two years, and then two more after that.
But I’m running on my own qualifications and experience.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So the answer is no?
CLINTON: Well, I am going to let voters make that decision,
because ultimately, voters are trying to weigh each and every one of
What people know about me is that I’ve been vetted and I’ve been
tested. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of Republican
incoming fire for 16 years, and I have, much to their dismay, survived
and thrived. I don’t think that…
STEPHANOPOULOS: And he hasn’t yet.
CLINTON: I think I’m talking about what I’ve been through, and I
don’t think there’s much doubt that I’m ready to go the distance.
CLINTON: You know, I have all of this support from officeholders
in so-called red states. Now, they might like me personally, but
they’re not on suicide missions. They have assessed the field, and
they have concluded, as Governor Strickland has said, I am the person
who can win Ohio. I am the person best ready to run a winning
campaign and to be the best president for America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You want to be judged on your own terms, and of
course you will be in the end, but President Clinton does play a big
role in this campaign and a big part of your appeal here, right?
CLINTON: Right. Right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, has he had a hard time, in your view,
adjusting to the role of surrogate?
CLINTON: Not really. I think he’s been actually more excited
about it than he thought he would have been. I think that you know he
loves being out with people.
He loves making a case. And he’s been a tremendous asset in this
STEPHANOPOULOS: And a lot of people wonder what kind of role he
will play in the White House. You’ve spoken about his role as a
roving ambassador.
Take us inside the White House. Something happens like the
assassination of Benazir Bhutto the other day. President Bush had a
teleconference with his national security team. Would President
Clinton be on that call in your White House?
CLINTON: Probably not. I think he would play the role that
spouses have always played for presidents, which is a very important
role. And I know that firsthand. But I also know from his…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no National Security Council meetings.
CLINTON: No. That wouldn’t be appropriate. He will not have a
formal official role. But just as presidents rely on wives, husbands,
fathers, friends of long years, he will be my close confidant and
adviser, as I was with him.
I doubt that there will be an important issue that I won’t talk
to him about. I don’t think there was an important issue that he
didn’t talk to me about. I don’t talk about everything we talked
about, because obviously I don’t think that’s appropriate.
But I expect to rely on him in a personal way, and I expect to
ask him to take on some very important assignments.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You had an office in the West Wing. Will he?
CLINTON: If he wants one. I don’t know he’ll want one.
STEPHANOPOULOS: (inaudible) No, I asked him about that a few
months ago. He said he’ll go wherever you want him to go.
CLINTON: Oh, well…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even in the basement.
CLINTON: … well, you know, this is kind of — it’s kind of
getting ahead of ourselves. We haven’t even had the first people show
up at the caucuses in Iowa.
I’m going to rely on him. I would expect that people in my
administration will turn to him and rely on him, as we do with many
people who have experience.
I happen to think using former presidents makes a lot of sense.
So, I expect to ask him to do many things for our country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Both Barack Obama and John Edwards this week –
you’re talking about experience. They’re talking about change.
EDWARDS: To get real change, we need a president who will stand
up against the big corporations and powerful interests in Washington.
OBAMA: You can’t at once argue that you’re the master of a
broken system in Washington, and then offer yourself as the person to
change it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they both say that someone so intimately
involved with a broken system, as they put it, can’t bring change.
CLINTON: Well, I don’t think there is this distinction between
change and experience. I know that’s what they’ve tried to make this
campaign about. It is not an either-or choice.
That’s a false choice for the people of America. I believe I
have the experience to bring change. I think you can look at my
record in the Senate and all of the bipartisan accomplishments that
I’ve been able to achieve, working across the aisle.
I know how to find common ground. I know how to stand my ground.
And I think it does take some experience to know how to bring about
change in our system.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But John Edwards says…
CLINTON: You know, some people think you can bring change by
demanding it. And some people think you can bring change…
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s John Edwards, right?
CLINTON: … by hoping for it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s Barack Obama, right?
CLINTON: I think you bring change by working really hard for it.
And that’s what I’ve done my entire life.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the frame you’ve set up. But their
point is, you know, you take money from the system as it is right now.
You take money from lobbyists. You’ve heard that argument all through
this campaign.
And because you’re so wedded to it, it’s just not possible.
CLINTON: Well, I think those are artificial distinctions. You
know, they take money from people who employ lobbyists, who are
married to lobbyists, who are the children of lobbyists.
We need public financing. You know, we need a total overhaul of
how we fund our campaigns. I’m in total agreement with that.
But I think it would be hard to find anybody who has incurred the
wrath of the special interests more than I have: the drug companies,
the health-insurance companies, the oil companies. You just go down
the list.
I don’t think they waste their time or effort targeting someone
that they think is already in agreement with them. They know I mean
what I say. They know I have a track record of bringing success.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re in the Quad Cities here. The Quad City
Times this morning, “Five Days Left, Caucus Races Tight, Edwards,
Obama 29-29, Clinton 28.”
You are world famous here. Biggest organization in the
Democratic Party. Why is it so close here?
CLINTON: Oh, it’s supposed to be close. I mean, this is a great
contest. We don’t have any heir apparent in the Democratic Party.
I’m out there fighting for every single caucus-goer. I’m out making
my case to everybody that I can reach.
UNKNOWN: Go get ‘em. Go get ‘em.
CLINTON: Well, with your help.
UNKNOWN: Bring America back.
CLINTON: I think this is what elections are supposed to be
about. Caucuses are, you know, a different breed, but it still is how
you persuade people to come out on a cold night and actually stand up
in public and declare their allegiance to you as a candidate.
CLINTON: But I feel very encouraged by what I see in the crowds
and the kind of reports that I’m getting about the support that I have
around the state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: David Yepsen writes, in the Des Moines Register,
“There’s no third-place ticket out of Iowa for a Democrat this year.”
He calls third place “a dead zone.” Is he right?
CLINTON: I think, because it’s so close — you know, when I
started here, I was in single digits. I mean, nobody expected me to
be doing as well as I’m doing in Iowa.
I was running against one opponent who has been campaigning here
for four years, another opponent from a neighboring state. So I
believe that this campaign will be bunched up. I think that the
history out of Iowa is that a lot of people live to fight another day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you may not win?
CLINTON: I’m not expecting anything. I’m just working as hard
as I can to make the best case, in these closing days, and to try to
get the folks who say they’re for me to actually be able to turn out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If you don’t win here, how do you recover
CLINTON: I don’t think it’s a question of recovery. I have a
campaign that is posed and ready for the long term. We are competing
everywhere through February 5. We have staff in many states. We have
built organizations in many states.
You know, George, you and I went through an experience, in 1992,
where Bill Clinton didn’t win anything until Georgia. He came in
second time and time again, in a much less, you know volatile and…
STEPHANOPOULOS: much less compressed, also.
CLINTON: … much less compressed environment.
So, from my perspective, you get up every day and you get out
there and you make your case, and you reach as many people as
possible. That’s what I intend to do. So I’m in it for the long run.
It’s not a very long run. It will be over by February 5.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator, thanks very much.
CLINTON: Thanks. Great to see you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Hillary Clinton, for the Democrats.

Barack Obama's New Video: "One Voice"

This is truly a moving new video from Senator Barack Obama and the Obama for America campaign.


To all of my readers. Have a happy and healthy 2008! Thanks for visting my blog!