Friday, March 7, 2008

"Power" Struggle for Obama

Barack Obama's senior foreign policy adviser is hurting her candidate with her words, an Obama strength. Two stories:

She has since resigned as of today.

Will Obama Abandon His Promise?

This editorial from the Times is so spot on.

This is what happens when a candidate runs on an idea and not on real policies. I applaud the Obama campaign for recruiting millions of young voters to get involved with politics, that is only good for America in the long run. But as this Democratic race has tightened after Tuesday's results, Obama is going to have to start to playing conventional, election-year politics. Look, I have no problem with attack ads, or bringing up questionable incidents from a candidate's past or present actions, as long as they do not blatantly propagate falsehoods. I mean, this type of campaigning is a result of the ill-advised American trend to vote for candidates based on character rather than policy. So in order to differentiate yourself from your opponent whom you have almost identical policy ideas on most issues, you are going to have to dig in and find reasons the people should not vote for your opponent.

But, to go back to Obama for a second. He has stated that he is going to get negative and respond in kind to Clinton by 'taking the gloves off.' And this article points out something that most have forgotten: Obama's candidacy is based on "changing politics in Washington," change, change and change. Well if he slips and starts to campaign negatively as the going gets tough, then what the hell is his candidacy about anymore? If he 'stoops to Clinton's level', then he has failed his message, and failed his followers. What would he run on? He has very little national political experience, and has very little policy differences than Clinton. As the piece points out, he would just be some one-term senator (really half-term since he has been campaigning for president since January of '07) who has abandoned his core campaign theme: changing the game of politics. And that is not the candidate I want to cast my vote for.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth judged untrue

This situation is hilarious to me. The founder of the weather channel is suing Al Gore from taking profits away from his organization. I for one, deeply believe we as Americans and the rest of the world have a direct impact on global changes. I'm not going to go in to any detail about the reasons for these ideas because it would take me too long. What are your thoughts? Fact or fiction. Is the KYOTO treaty a joke? Who is this guy?

Florida and Michigan Should Count!

It is absolutely ridiculous that the Democratic National Comittee and the States of Michigan and Florida have not reached a reasoned agreement on how to handle their delegations this summer. In such a tightly contested race, these delegations MUST be seated at the summer convention. They are two huge states that will figure prominently in the general election (as Florida always does being a swing state), but more than that it is about democracy. About giving the people a voice. The article cites that over 5 million voters will go unheard just because of some bullshit political game between the DNC and the state legislatures. So what if they wanted to move their primaries up to become a politically significant? Why are they being punished? I completely agree with the states.

The DNC should foot the bill if they decide it is imperative that Florida and Michigan hold second primaries. In all honesty, I am a little torn on the best course of action: a new primary, a new caucus, or counting the original votes. I believe that a new caucus will cost less, but a new primary is more realistic in that it follows the format the state has chosen for its nominating process. But then again, I think counting the original votes is a better indicator of the people's will, as it would be unfair to retabulate with a new vote, because minds could have changed in the last 45 days. We should freeze their vote at what it was when the primary was held.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hottest Wife

Personally, I hope Obama wins just so we can have a wives debate. Cindy is much hotter and easier on the eyes than the frumpy Michelle. Cindy McCain is really attractive for a woman of 50+. The American public has to realize the importance of how good looking the first lady must be.

How many Iraqi lives is my ps3 worth?

I think this article brings up an interesting and overlooked result of the Iraq war. At what point do you sacrifice the health of the Iraqi people for the health of the US Economy? Ok, lets say that this war is not about overthrowing a ruthless dictator but creating a presence in the oil drenched, Israeli inhabited, terrorist safe haven Middle East. At what point does our economy stink so bad that it becomes illogical to sustain?

I don't have the answers to these questions nor am I well informed enough to speculate. However, pertaining to the election I suspect that those lower to middle class Americans who are really starting to get hit will look to the ill-informed/ill-advised decision to invade Iraq and wonder how much that decision has affected their checking account. Or do they really want a military hawk like McCain spending money in Iraq for the next 100 years or for the government to pay their child's college tuition and health care?

Republican Trickery in Texas

This from

Did Republicans Hijack the Democratic Primary?

The answer is, yes, they did. Rush Limbaugh did the hijacking. He told Republicans to vote for Clinton in the Democratic primary. Her margin in Texas was 98,000 votes. When all the numbers get crunched, you'll find that many Clinton voters have a Republican primary voting history.

Look at how low the Republican primary vote was in some races. In Ellen Cohen's district, the two Republicans polled just 2,715 early votes in 53 precincts. Where were all the voters? In the Democratic primary, voting for Clinton.

I gotta agree with Paul on this. I have spoken to more than one staunch Republican in Texas who voted for Clinton based on Limbaugh's persuasion. Maybe I'm crazy, but I didn't know people still listened to talk radio, much less Rush. If I were Obama, I would bring this up to the DNC when he and Clinton come to blows for the super delegates after the primaries. Looks like they are both in it for the long haul.

With Clinton saying on the Today Show, she'd be glad to have Obama as her running mate, she reminds me of Sanjaya from American Idol. Poor thing thinks she won and people in Texas love her. Is it good or bad to see people 'abuse' the system? Are they really doing their candidate a favor by voting for who they think is the worst candidate to put up against their guy? This rarely works in the Gauntlet III, where the small, skinny chick on the rookie squad has torn through 4 'stronger candidates.'

Key November States go to Hillary

The article above underlines the fact that Clinton is winning the key battleground states for the Democrats. Obama has not proven that he can carry big states, crucial swing states like Ohio and Florida that have figured so prominently in the past two presidential elections. What are we to make of this? If Obama cannot carry these states in his own party's primaries, why are we to believe that he will carry them in November's general election?

The fact is that Hillary Clinton is galvanizing the true Democratic base: large, urban and liberal states. We all know that the Democratic base does not lie in Idaho or Louisiana, or Kansas or Georgia. These are red states. The base lies in California, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts (to name a few), all of which Clinton has won. And now she has claimed victory in Ohio and Texas, further proving that Obama has struggled to win large states, and with the huge amount of electoral votes that these states have in the general election's winner-take-all system, this becomes a discouraging sign for the Democratic party in November should Obama win the nomination.

This nomination process will last until June, and the end result will be a unified ticket between these two candidates. The only question that remains will be who will be on the top of that ticket.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Problems by the Old but for the Youth

I am sick of a few things never being talked about in national politics. One of them is the massive problem of entitlement spending. For those of you unfamiliar with this term (many are as it is carefully avoided by premier politicians) it refers to the funding for programs like Medicaid, Medicare, veteran's benefits and Social Security. Unlike the rest of the budget, funding levels are automatically set by the number of recipients and NOT at the discretion of the Senate. Meaning, we cannot control the amount of our budget that is spent on these programs.

So many people point their fingers at military spending when it comes to many of the problems associated with our budget. What most do not realize is that over fifty percent of our budget is obligated to pay for the entitlement program costs and it is increasing EVERY YEAR. This is more than defense spending, which is stable for the most part, and is certainly more than is spent on education or infrastructure. WHY? Why are we spending more money every year on the elderly than on the FUTURE of this country. Why are we quibbling about defense spending and money for education when those two combined do not match what we spend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? It doesn't make sense but the older you are, the more likely you are to vote. Can we discuss this for once?

Ben Bernanke, the current Federal Reserve Chair is quoted on January 18th as having recognized this glaring and growing problem:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified today that “long-term fiscal imbalances” due to rising spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security imperil the economy. “If early and meaningful action is not taken,” he warned Congress, “the U.S. economy could be seriously weakened, with future generations bearing much of the cost.”

When Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) asked, “How urgent is it that we address these long term imbalances?” Bernanke replied: “The right time to start is about 10 years ago.”

**For more info, visit the Congressional Budget Office**

Monday, March 3, 2008

Iraq, McCain and the Dems

Check this article:

The Iraq War has been touted as McCain's achilles' heel, but as the numbers come out of Iraq there is some hope that something can be salvaged from this painstaking and draining war. Now, that is not to say that things aren't still grim, but I am interested in seeing these exchanges as we head into the general election season between McCain and Obama/Clinton. As the article notes, if McCain can even slightly alter the opinion of the 2/3 of the country that disapprove of the war, then it may be a tight race. If he can underscore the significant strides made since the surge last year, then perhaps the general public will not completely vilify him when it comes to Iraq. Remember, this is the man that has always supported the war, but the man that has also consistently stated that it was mismanaged and executed poorly by the Bush administration. This is not a slam dunk issue for the Democrats as was previously thought (at least by me). They will have to explain what their course of action is after we withdraw all troops, as they have both stated they want to do very quickly into their first term. We know what McCain's course of action is, he has clearly told the American people from the start.