Obama Takes Aim

April 27, 2010

An interesting video appeared on the DNC website, asking for help combating the forces of change.

The President says the health insurance companies, the banks and other “special interests” want to unseat the progressive Democrats that have done so much to help the average American.  These are the same health insurance companies that will offer the policies that Americans are now forced to buy, whether they want to or not.  These are the banks that took millions in bailout money, but still refuse to make critical job-saving loans to small businesses that aren’t “credit worthy.” (see CNN on this).

That leaves “special interests” who want the Democrats to stop throwing money at the problems.  Like the economists CNN surveyed who say the $787B stimulus bill did nothing to improve the economy, and that it’s responding on its own.

Maybe he means the Tea Parties, who are angry at both parties for running the debt up to a projected 90% of GDP. Maybe he means white guys with jobs and the military.

Most certainly he doesn’t mean the voters specifically mentioned in the video:  “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008”, the “surge” voters who had not been engaged in the process before, who aren’t involved now.

The people who gave us this mess.


Romney “wins” straw poll

April 10, 2010

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference was billed as a conference for the Republican core.  $119 a seat.  Come and speak your mind about the future of the party.  And then a straw poll about who best represents those core values.

“Evangelicals for Romney” bought and gave away 200 tickets.  Ron Paul’s supporters sold 600 at a discount.  No other potential candidate electioneered at the event.  So it’s not surprising the “victory” for Romney.  In fact, it’s surprising Paul didn’t do any better, except that he’s not core Republican. (439 votes for Romney, 438 for Paul.)

The news article I read came from CBS (see it here). The companion article asks “Is This How Straw Polls are won?”  It noted that a ticket  got the holder into the straw poll, but also political speeches and a Friday dinner party.  All you had to do was say you’d support their candidate.

Looks like the money is on making an early appearance of front-runner status.

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One thing that bothers me is the “Evangelicals for Romney.”  It’s run by a Presbyterian (not core for the evangelical community) and seems to say that Romney’s Mormonism is just as valid as Huckabee’s Baptist faith.

The group’s founder, David French said “Mormons and evangelicals are fellow travelers in a lot of the cultural battles that are taking place around the country.”  He says Romney’s Mormonism is not a problem because Romney “shares our core values.”

French wants evangelicals to “unite — early — behind the right candidate. He’s pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and the guy knows how to balance a checkbook.”

Pro-marriage, yes.  Pro-life, yes (lately).  And he balanced checkbooks at Bain & Co by firing the people that founded the companies and siphoning the value in leveraged buyouts.  He balanced his checkbook on the backs of middle-class workers.  It’s elitism.  Might work in Washington, but doesn’t play well to the centrist core.

(The Republicans lost in 08 because they ran an uninteresting old codger against an eloquent orator.  Just about anyone besides Paul would have made for a better campaign.  McCain needed Palin just to draw a crowd, and then made sure her opinions were minimized.)

There is so much falseness in this straw poll it’s invalidity taints the winner.  He might claim front-runner for now, but will it stick?


If only Huckabee…

March 10, 2010

I just finished reading Mike Huckabee’s memoir of the campaign trail, called Do the Right Thing.  It is perhaps even more instructive now than a year ago.  How much different the country would have been if he had been allowed to become President!

As he wrote about how much they were able to do on so little money, I was reminded of a letter and a blog post* I wrote as the Texas primary approached.  I noted that both the Texas and Ohio Leagues of Women Voters had excluded Mike Huckabee from their voter’s guide to the candidates simply because he hadn’t raised or spent enough money.  Their standard of viability was how fast the candidate burned through cash.

At the time, I noted that the League of Women Voters prided themselves as a nonpartisan political organization. They claim they have “fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy”.  I called their exclusion of the number 2 candidate – even from a quickly editable website – “an aggregeous act of electioneering, an unconscionable interference with the political process.”

And so, voters in Texas were not given opportunity to weigh the common sense ideas of Mr Huckabee, and America lost.

I found Do the Right Thing at my local library.  I’m sure you can find it there or at the bookstore.  Either way, it’s worth the effort to read.

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* I started this particular blog to be a member of Huck’s Army and one of his unpaid bloggers.  I’ve done quite a bit of blogging since then, but without the inspiration of Arkansas’ former Governor, I’d be talking to myself.


Obama’s Empty Suit

March 9, 2010

In yesterday’s post, I described how American has become “an Economic Wasteland”.  While much of the causes come from a variety of policies of past Presidents (Clinton’s relaxing of home mortgage standards and Bush’s war spending), blame now rests squarely on the shoulders of the free-wheeling spending by the Democrat-controlled Congress.  And sitting on the sidelines, adding nothing to stop the slide, is a President inexperienced at governing.

Three years ago, Barack Obama was a Freshman Senator, elected after only one term in the Illinois House.  He had had no executive experience and very little insider political experience.  Coming from a career as a community organizer, his job had been to act the outsider and stir up enough discontent to get the government to do something.  In other words, he created messes that others cleaned up.

Suddenly, he announced he was going to run for President.  Out of a field of life-long politicians, he was the youngest, and the only Black man in the group, though he had not actually grown up Black in America.  (His mother and grandparents were white, and his dads were generally absent.)  He wasn’t even educated in Western ideas, having spent much of elementry school in Indonesia.  And in college he was unremarkable.  So for a country tired of old white men, there was great excitement of a young black man making it to the White House.

In Hefler’s UK Telegraph article, he notes how excited American blacks were at Mr Obama’s inaguration.  “Weeping men and women celebrated his victory.”  The dreams of Dr King seemed about to be fulfilled.  They had the audacity to hope.

Now that weeping is for different reasons.  And their champion seems incapable to do anything about it.  “The slickness of the campaign … does not inevitable translate into an ability to govern.” He lacks “the sophistication and the will to turn [hope] into action.”  As Hefler describes it:

His lack of experience, his dependence on rhetoric rather than action, his disconnection from the lives of many millions of Americans all handicap him heavily. … He wasted the first year … The country’s multi-trillion dollar debt is barely being addressed.

Just as Jimmy Carter had lost the right to govern by the end of his second year in office,  Barack Obama seems never to have had the skills.  America elected an idea, but it was a vapor, a slickly packaged but empty suit.


How “The West Wing” predicted the future

January 26, 2009

There’s a post from the social networking site digg.com from user “DaviDTC” that contrasted how the 2008 presidential elections seemed to mirror the 2006 The West Wing elections that closed out the final season of the show.

London’s Daily Telegraph reported the connection on Oct 29, but I wasn’t watching closely enough.  (Maybe I didn’t want to see.)

Slate Magazine also noticed the connection.  According to their video, The West Wing writers modeled their candidate on Obama’s Senate bid.  It’s a case of life imitating fiction imitating life.

West Wing => Matt Santos, a young, minority (Latino) democrat becomes the new president
Real Life => Obama, a young minority (black) democrat becomes the new president

West Wing => Santos rises from an underdog position and beats a more experienced candidate (current VP) in a long primary campaign
Real Life => Obama rises from an underdog position and beats Hillary, a more experienced candidate in a long primary campaign

West Wing => Santos runs against an aging maverick Republican (Vinick)
Real Life => Obama runs against an aging maverick Republican (McCain)

West Wing => Santos picks an old Washington insider as his running mate (McGerry)
Real Life => Obama picks an old Washington insider (Biden) as his running mate

West Wing => Vinick picks a conservative running mate to please the Republican base
Real life => McCain picks a conservative running mate (Palin)to please the Republican base

West Wing => Santos picks a major campaign opponent (Vinick) to be the new secretary of state<
Real Life => Obama picks a major campaign opponent (Hillary) to be the new secretary of state

West Wing => Santos picks a jewish, democratic hardliner to be his Chief of Staff (Josh Lyman)
Real Life => Obama picks a jewish, democratic hardliner to be his Chief of Staff (Rahm Emanuel)

Pretty freaky!


HuffPo not news

November 22, 2008

As if there was any doubt!  The Times Newspapers Ltd. reported today that “She is a close friend of Barack Obama”  She even jokes that  “I only text three people – my two teenage children and Barack Obama.”

That explains a lot.  During the bulk of the election – and especially in the final couple of months – it seemed that every other “news” article on the social media sites were from Huffington Post or Daily Kos, or one citing the other.

The Times article says HuffPo just finishing getting $15M to expand into local “news” and “investigative journalism.”

Given the extreme liberal slant of the site so far, it’s unlikely the expanded site will do any real journalism.  Just more in-your-face propoganda in a daily blog disguised as news.