Friday, March 28, 2008

Al Gore's slim chance for candidancy

Al Gore for President?

I'm not going into detail about this because I don't have time right now, but Clinton is being pressured to drop out by some delegates including Pennsylvania's senator who's primary is coming up soon. There are disillusioned people that believe Al Gore may have a chance to steal delegates if he decides to make a late run and she drops out. This would stir up more trouble to a democratic fight that is getting more fierce by the day. The party is being torn apart while McCain is gaining strength with the Republicans. It's very doubtful, but more entertaining then anything.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Evenly Split

There are even more poll numbers showing that the Dems are evenly split, and I mean right down the middle. Rasmussen reports that among Democrats, 22% want Clinton to drop out of the race, and 22% want Obama to drop out. Also, in an indication that at least Democrats want this to go on, 67% say they are not ready for the race to end.

So, where does that leave us?

It's simply too easy to say that either candidate should drop out. In my opinion, the media and the pundits have all too often called a race over when fewer than 1% of the party members have voted, right after the IA and NH caucus and primary, maybe waiting until after SC. But, the people, at least Democrats, are speaking now, let us vote too, and it's about time the media settled down and let the voters vote.

In this day and age with a dozen cable news channels frantic to find something to say 24 hours a day, 7 days a week it has become almost impossible for any candidate to speak candidly. Their words are taken out of context, their mistatements become lies, their gaffes become headline news for several days, and their policy statements garner little more than a short article in the paper, or a few seconds on the nightly news. And, both Democratic candidates fuel this problem with the media. They pander to the press, slipping photos to reporters, irrationally emailing so-called news about the other candidate to the media, eagerly and constantly exaggerating the perceived errors of the other candidate.

It's no wonder other polls temporily show people claiming to want to jump from the party. In the end, McCain should lose much of that thin, very thin, current support.

That's not to say that during the heat of a campaign a candidate should not point out the other's mistakes, engage in argument, call -out her/his opponent on issues that matter, and even on their character. Those are all legitimate issues for the candidates and the voters. And, the Rasmussen poll numbers showing that 67% of us want this race to continue indicates that Democratic voters agree. But the level of drama over disagreements about things like Democratic party rules, whether elevated by a willing 24 hour a day media out for ratings, by unwitting (or witting) candidate accomplices, or by lowly supporters, should be tamped down before the alienation becomes permanent.

Democratic Infighting Could Spell November Disaster

Do Democrats really want John McCain as their future President? Do they want, as Barack Obama has dramatically put it, "four more years of George W. Bush?" The latest polling seems to suggest that the intense Obama-Clinton race, with the media coverage feverishly playing up only the negative aspects, has become a bloodbath between both the candidates, and, more importantly their supporters. It has produced a kind of bitterness that surely only aids McCain's pursuit of the White House. The latest Gallup Poll shows some startling figures:

28% of Clinton supporters would vote for McCain over Obama, while 19% of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over Clinton.

What is going on here??

If you are a hard-nosed, yellow-dog Democrat it borders on lunacy to abandon your party and either vote for John McCain, or ignore the voting booth altogether. What good does that do? Again, as I have stated before, Obama and Clinton are glaringly similar on policy, and I would think that (call me naive) most fair-minded Democrats would rather see a Clinton or Obama White House than a McCain one. At any cost. Myself being more of a moderate, independent voter, a McCain presidency is not the end of the world for me, but to see these rank and file Democrats polling like this is surprising to say the least. These are significant percentages, and could hand McCain victory.

I do want to stress that these are just polls in March, in the heat of the battle, and that of course things will be different come September. But these numbers should not be cast aside entirely, for they serve to highlight the growing divisiveness of this contest as it drags on. Hatred is brewing between the two camps, and although I believe that much will be reconciled by November (quite possibly by a shared ticket to appease both camps), if even a small percentage of Democrats stay home or pull the lever for McCain, in the tight contest I believe the general election will be, those votes will matter and could decide the outcome.

Clinton has vowed to stay in the race through the end of primary season, which means another two and a half months at least. And while I believe it is well within her rights to see how some key midwestern primaries shape out and to see the end result of the Michigan-Florida debacle, her commitment to the cause means the bitterness will only grow stronger and could push right up to the convention in August. This will leave the Democratic Party with precious little time to launch a general election campaign to thwart the Republican machine. Let's hope both candidates run a civil and noble campaign focused on the issues from here on out, and that embittered Democratic voters do not trade in their values for pride in November.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

McCain Does It Again: The Mortgage Crisis

Yesterday, McCain himself once again proved why he should not be president. The NY Times and other media reported that he sees no reason for the government to get involved in the mortgage crisis simply because
"Some Americans bought homes they couldn’t afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later at more affordable rates ...”
He apparently doesn't understand the current crisis. He said,
“Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy,”
What is wrong with this man? How did he ever get nominated? Maybe, just like good ole GWB, he just doesn't read newspapers or watch news. The Dems must have been real lucky because the GOPhers nominated this clueless individual. Otherwise, we Dems would be in real trouble this fall. This man epitomizes the reasons why America is almost ready to finally rid itself of the republican party. That party lost track of America, forgot the needs of the people, mistook aggression for compassion, took us to where we are now, and now, refuses to accept responsibility.

If I remember correctly the Bear Stearns debacle occurred because of its subprime lending practices. And, please, someone tell McCain that Bear Stearns' fall could be the precursor to a world-wide economic crisis. It's time call out McCain for what he is, to question him, to investigate him, what he says, and what he says he believes. If he truly believes that the US should reserve "bail-outs" for systemic risks, and he doesn't believe that we should be offering assistance now, then what does he think just happened, and is continuing to happen.

Tens of thousands of Americans are losing their homes and their future to foreclosure. The FDIC is bracing for about 150 US bank failures in the coming 3 years. Home prices are in steep decline. already reaching record drops all across our nation.

So, why won't the national media call him out on his ridiculous economic views? If he doesn't think we are at systemic risk right now, then where are we? Is he having visions? Does he think he can dream us out of this economic mess? This man should not be president. We cannot afford it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

John McCain: Republican Enigma

John McCain is a principled man, and he relies on his principles to guide his policy decisions. It is an unfortunate reality of any presidential election season that the candidates move to the poles of each of their respective parties in order to build a solid base to carry the nomination. So, of course, McCain has begun to sell himself as a conservative Republican, when most of the electorate knows he is not a Bush Republican. He is an independent thinker on many issues, and hardly embodies the conservative movement. This is why he has consistently been vilified by the right wing of the party, from Falwell to Limbaugh. McCain is a moderate politician, which is why he scores so well with independent voters. I believe it will be difficult to position himself as "your conservative Republican candidate," and two instances, brought to attention in today's NY Times, offer insight into the psychology of the Arizona Senator, and underscore how one is hard-pressed to really put a political label on him.

Disenchanted with the Republican party after his failed attempt to be its nominee in 2000, McCain deliberated leaving the party and becoming an independent. He had talks with leading Democrats on the matter, and whichever camp you want to believe, that either McCain and his team approached the Dems, or vice-versa, it is a telling sign that McCain was even pondering leaving his party. A proud "conservative Republican" would not seriously discuss this with the rival party. Not three years later McCain had talks with John Kerry about a potential shared ticket for the 2004 Presidential Election. While such a ticket seems ludicrous, what with Kerry's antiwar posture and McCain's hawkish foreign policy, the fact that McCain flirted with the idea means he is not in the right wing of his party. He is a centrist Republican, and in all honesty, I think positioning himself in such a way now that he has wrapped up the nomination will better serve him. With Bush's abysmal polling and the 2006 Democratic Congressional victories, it is apparent America is jaded by the Republican party, especially it's right wing. Selling himself as a moderate Republican will give him a better chance in November I believe, because that's what he is.

He favors deficit reduction to Bush's constant tax cuts (although in this political season he has flip-flopped on the matter, a bad move in my estimation). He originally opposed Bush's tax cuts because of how disproportionately it favored the wealthy, and I think this gives insight to where he stands on tax issues. He has long been a champion of campaign finance reform, he has been at odds with Bush on environmental issues, taking a more regulation-based stance. He has been outspoken about alternative fuels and our need to reduce foreign oil dependence, and has taken a stronger stance on global warming. He voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, he supports stem cell research and has sided with prominent Democrats on immigration policy. A victim of torture himself, he has consistently butted heads with Republicans on America's interrogation tactics, and has been vehement about the US upholding international standards and immediately ceasing any torture being implemented.

While McCain is definitely a Republican, he is hardly the conservative Republican he is now claiming he is, and would be better served by positioning himself as the moderate Republican he is, and not falling victim to partisan hackery that plagues this nation. We need more independent thinkers in Washington, and McCain is a good example of a politician that is not afraid to alienate his party to stand up for his principles.

Governor Richardson on Super Delegates

Richardson endorsed Obama last week as a superdelegate. But listen to what he said just last month to the New York Times about how those delegates should cast their ballot:
It should reflect the vote of my state; it should represent the vote of my constituency ... it shouldn't be because you're a fund-raiser or a big-shot. Super delegates should reflect their state or constituency.

- Bill Richardson
February 17, 2008
New York Times

Now , the very next month the man has flip-flopped. The governor now apparently fancies himself a party big-shot, who as a super delegate can turn his back on his constituency, the people of New Mexico, and anoint the next nominee; who can go back on his word because he wants to. Because, while it was a by a very thin margin, Clinton won New Mexico. Words, they can mean so much, and they can also come back to haunt you.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why Deny This Man Resident Status In U.S

After having given four years of military service to our country during the U.S. Iraq occupation, Samam Kareem Ahmad sought to become a permanent resident of the United States. Despite “put[ting] his life on the line with, for, Coalition Forces on a daily basis,” the Bush administration said , “No.”

The Department of Homeland Security apparently chose to ignore his patriotic and selfless service in war, and chose instead to consider only his past membership in the Kurdish Democratic Party, a group DHS has now labels an “undesignated terrorist organization,” whatever that means. And, why you wonder would that group warrant that label? Because it sought to overthrow Saddam Hussein!!

So, Samam once belonged to an organization that sought to overthrow Sadam Hussein. Then he joined the Coalition and American Forces that actually overthrew Sadam Hussein, and that's reason enough for the Bush Administrations to label him a terrorist. Is that a bad joke or what.

Sometimes it's almost impossible to understand where our government is at. Seems as though our Fatherland Security Department has lost all common sense, relying instead solely on inflexible rules - that our government repeatedly violates - that serve to hassle, discriminate against, and deny basic rights or humane treatment, to those of us who are born U.S. Citizens, and those who seek to become U.S. Citizens.

Something basic is wrong here. What has happened to our country?