Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Results

The oldest political party in the world, a party founded by Virginia slaveholders in the eighteenth century, has nominated and elected the first African American president. Critical to Barack Obama's victory was the Democrats’ stronger showing among white college graduates than four years ago. The most salient issue was the deteriorating economy and health care coverage. The question of exiting Iraq, so important four years ago, became less important since the collapse of housing and financial industries. Tonight history was made in many ways.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Odd and Ends

Now the McCain people are attacking Palin as a diva and a whack job. How come when others said that they got so much right wing hate mail.

Is anyone seriously talking about her and 2012. Come on guys, wake up, this nation is in serious straits.

McCain reported proudly how many Secretaries of State support him; unfortunately he could not remember George Schultz.

Word is Obama people are writing his inaugural address. Shouldn't they be spending their time on getting out the vote?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Caribou Barbie

Wits have called Sarah Palin "Caribou Barbie"

New York Times is now blaming the current economic mess on Alan Greenspan, once revered by business and politicians

AP-Yahoo-Stanford poll shows Obama might be losing up to 6 points nationally because of his race

Thursday, October 16, 2008

There Hillary Is

In the last debate, McCain went on the offensive against Obama, but Obama decided as the front runner to grin most of the night. Hey, these are serious matters, guys.

Hillary was at Hofstra, sitting quietly and thinking. She said little. HOfstra does a fine job presenting special weeks on presidents of the past, including her husband, to tries and define their place in history. More interesting was their conference on Babe Ruth. I met their Bob Feller and Babe's old bat boy was in his 70s when we talked.

It appears that the American people have awoken from their vice presidential slumber and decided that Governor Palin is not qualified. And yes.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She's No Tina Fey

On Tuesday night, Senator McCain finally got his town meeting debate where he thinks he is so much better at. Unfortunately for him, the camera angles just made him look tired and decrepit. He kept on taking notes for some reason and repeated his old lines. Obama seemed clearer and lean, even though he was diffuse at time about the issues.

Sister Sarah Palin was in Florida trying convince people that Obama liked to pal around with terrorists, like Bill Ayres, the old Weatherman. She did not even know what the Weathermen were about and their record of anti social behavior. But on and on she went, looking like a bad imitation of Tina Fey.

Has anybody seen the Clintons?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate

Totally programmed Sarah Palin had set expectation so low she had to surprise you--if she did not go daffy duck.

You now know why Biden got two percent in Iowa. He is rapid fire boring.

To intimidate the moderate then noted she wrote a pro Obama book. If so the MSNBC and FOX people should be cut out today.

McCain will stop campaigning in Michigan. The economy is too dismal there and the GOP are seen as responsible.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Joe Biden's Vice Presidential Recomendation

Sarah Palin insists she is ready to be a vice president. But she could not define the Bush doctrines???

She did argue that Georgia and the Ukraine should be in NATO and would thus mandate the US to attack aggressive Russia.

Senator Joe Biden says Hillary would have been a better vice president candidate that he is. Whey didn't he tell Obama that earlier?

Bill Clinton will start campaigning for Obama in very late Sept. Why doesn't he wait until late November. As for Hillary, she is campaigning and no one is noticing. The media has a new female icon now.

While General David Petraeus argues that the progress made in Iraq is fragile, the Administration with the Iraqi government argues that timetables for exiting are in order. Wasn't that Obama's position in late February?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Secede In Life

THE GOP convention showed a strange film that praised its greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. Earlier in the night the media was discussing if Sarah Palin was a member of an Alaskan party that advocated succession. Strange irony for the Republican spinners.

Obama and Biden were on Sixty Minutes and one can realize why people don't support Biden. He is too much of a hail and hearty boy, with his backslapping and jousting. Spare us the false macho stuff, Joe.

The best media story of the week is that the McCain people denied poor old Larry King an interview with the Senator because a CNN reporter implied that Palin has no real experience as commander in chief just because some units of the Alaskan National Guard are in Iraq.

As for Sarah, she just got her US passport two years ago. Just in time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Iraqi Miscellany

It appears that while USA is funding $48 billion in Iraq rebuilding costs, the Iraq government will have a surplus of $79 billion by the year's end - very little of which ($3.9 billion) is going into such projects. Who are the jerks in this commitment.

Also in Iraq, the government is saying that it is not ready to use its troops for peacekeeping in several provinces. How long does it take? Why not let Iraq use its oil profits to hire mercenaries like the Bush DOD does instead of having us involved in the transaction. Then we can leave and they can control the action.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fund raising

President Bush may be unpopular with the GOP rich. He has attended 36 fund raising events that have brought in nearly $68 million for the party and its candidates.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The End Of A Conservative Era?

Sometimes in life it is better to keep your mouth shut. McCain insisted that Obama had failed as a candidate by not going to the Middle East. So Obama goes and gets a rock star’s treatment even by the US troops, and the Iraqi government agrees with his time table. The Bush Administration is left with its opposition to the time table and was furious with the Maliqi government, so the prime minister said he was misquoted and mistranslated. The problem is that the translator was his own aide.

George Bush II has criticized the Wall Street drunkenness that has led to the last economic crises. Where has he been in the last seven years?

One good side effect of the recession we are in, even the conservatives have begged the federal government to save the housing industry and Fanny and Freddie. Finally we have put to bed that silly economic philosophy of Milton Friedman that the market can rectify all problems. He did so much damage in the emerging nations that one would have assumed most people understood nonsense. Maybe also we can stop reading those excruciatingly long and boring Ayn Rand novels that praise selfishness and duplicity. So much for right wing prophets.

Speaking of prophets, John Lennon "the most overrated man on the planet" once said the Beatles were going to be bigger than Jesus Christ. Now he says that he was misunderstood, some forty five years ago, he is really a follower of Jesus. Not exactly a prompt rebuttal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Odd & Ends This Week

Poor John McCain looked confused when some reporter asked him--if insurance covers Viagra why not birth control pills.

The New Yorker's cover of Obama is less troubling than the inside analysis of his early career in politics.

While the Administration is chastising those who want a timetable for withdrawal out of Iraq, the Iraq government is demanding just such a timetable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Change Looks Like

Barack Obama is complaining that his liberal friends have misunderstood his movments to the center. That is what happens when you look like you are changing your positions on Iraq, telephone survelliance, campaign financing and faith based social work.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Is Obama The Right Candidate?

The New York Times has listed the top search terms used most for the presidential candidates. This tally tells one what the topics users were most interested in. The top search terms used by views for McCain are health care, environment, oil prices, education, global warming; For Obama it was abortion, education, global warming , heath care, and immigration.

Talking heads are still resurrecting Hillary as a possible veep for Obama. After all she did carry half the Democrat votes and half the delegates, especially in non caucus states. The recent article in Vanity Fair argues that Hillary lost because her major advisor, Mark Penn, tried to turn her into a tough talking male type and avoid the softer woman's image. The article by Gail Sheedy also makes a case that Bill was totally off the reservation, with disastrous results after South Carolina.

Poor John McCain does his thing with a trip to the nation of Columbia, and the major story there is the release of the long held hostages. Appearing with Joe Lieberman later, he looked very old.

Obama must be convinced that he has the liberal vote locked up. In the last several weeks, he has so turned to the right that one can't figure out what is happening to the campaign. He promised a new poltics, but we are getting the old Bill Clinton-Dick Morris trangulation where the Democrats take conservative positions. As Harry Truman once said if the Amerian people have a choice between the Republicans and Democrats who talk like Republicans they will choose the real thing.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Oil Prices

We all are weary of the rising oil prices. But it is interesting to see the break down of who gets what from $4.00 a gallon: $3 for extracting crude oil; refining 40 cents ; oil profits 20 cents; gas station owners 10 cents; taxes (fed and state) about 40 cents. New Jersey has the second lowest tax in nation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still Going The American Way?

Some yahoos in the GOP in Texas have made up buttons that say "If Obama wins, is the White house still white?" In North Carolina some fools have made up Curious George dolls with Obama on them. Is that the level we are operating on still???

Bush was in Europe saying how pro American they have become. He did not mention the Pew polls that show much of that increase is due to the fact that he is leaving office soon.

Some 82 percent of the American people think the nation is going the wrong direction. Who are the other 18%? Do they live in this land?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Odds and Ends

Hillary overwhelmingly wins Puerto Rico, but only 20% of the people voted on an island where 80% percent of the people usually vote—that's about as big a turnout as the people who vote in the municipal fire department commissioner elections.

When can I get a copy of Scott McClellan’s book around here? Is there anything McClellan said that we don't know about? Imagine implying that the Bush administration is not on the level!

Obama's giving a speech in Mitchell South Dakota in front of a building built of corn cobs. Is that state for real?

Harold Ickey spent all weekend denouncing the Democratic National Committee’s rules on voting. Where was he when the rules were created? As I remember, he was there! How many Americans remember that his father was Franklin’s Roosevelt’s great Secretary of the Interior?

Speaking of FDR the co chair of the democratic national rules committee was FDR's great grandson. Boy, has the gene pool thinned out in that great family.

McCain denounced Obama for not having bee in Iraq recently. Last time McCain went we have to mobilize all sorts of American military security just to protect him and sycophant Joe Lieberman just so that they walk through the bizarre buying cheap rugs.

This weekend, with my wife, I saw the Sex and the City movie. Only three other hen-pecked guys were there in an auditorium that sat over three hundred people. When I walked in, the women gave me an ovation. Is this country becoming polarized by gender?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bad Behavior, the Clinton Lot

It appears that both Clintons have chosen a denial of reality as they try to explain how Hillary really deserves the nomination despite the delegate tally for Obama. They will simply redefine the rules and say that now she has the popular plurality in these races.

It is interesting that the Clintons now oppose freezing out Michigan and Florida for violating the DNC rules. Their agent, Harold Ickes, was one of the most vigorous in opposing those states that allowed voting before New Hampshire. Now he is crying that it is just unfair. These sorts of behavior from the Clinton lot is what troubles so many fair minded people, winning at all costs, warping language, changing the rules of the game depending where you are. Obama has good allies in his battle against the old politics.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vote for Fresh Air in 2008

McCain had his 96 year old mother on to show that he is not so old after all. She babbled on, proving that she could still remember what it was like to be 17 and in love. How that helps his case for being the oldest president in US history is a mystery. It maybe that his ideas are old, and the nation needs some fresh air after bush II.

For some reason, the Clintons insist on going on through the final primaries as if the nation owes special obligation to Puerto Rico or whomever. Her staff is bragging how much in money she has received since Indiana and North Carolina, who from is unclear.

George Bush, after neglecting the Middle East for two terms, is now pressing for a final settlement to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Has anyone seen Condi Rice? Maybe she is being held hostage and nobody realizes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bread and Butter

Obama's victory in North Carolina, and near upset in Indiana is pretty much the ball game for Hillary. She has fought a long and honorable campaign but the public mood is clearly for someone and something else. The Clintons have been around too long, and with the general of the Bushes, perhaps it is time to end their lock on the modern presidency and get in some young blood.

McCain may not have that blood, but he is solidifying the party and getting ready to hit Obama hard on the usual patriotic issues that the GOP loves to fight on instead of the war, taxes, gasoline, and health care.

Obama needs to bleed the new politics he so advocates with bread and butter issues which have been so important to the Democratic party since FDR. No Democrat can win without raising the class warfare issues.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hillary's Good Fight. A Battle Lost?

Despite her splendid performance on O'Reilly on Fox, Hillary has to face the very difficult matthematics that make it almost impossible for her to win the nomination. Obama is substainially ahead of her in the delegate count, and it is unlikely that the superdelegates are going to bail her out. She has fought the good fight, now it is time to step down.

Monday, April 28, 2008

War and Taxes

There is an urban myth that federal tax cuts lead to major fixes in the economy such that federal income taxes more than pay for the losses in revenue. Recent studies show that since the JFK tax cut that has not been true. Now McCain is proposing a tax cut and spending increases that will be three times those of Hillary and Barack. He seeks to cut the corporate tax rate by $100 billion cut; eliminate the $60 billion alternative minimum cut; double the personal exemption for dependents which is a cost of $65 billion and expand the military. It used to be that the GOP was the party of fiscal sanity.

All of us should hold our breath for the upcoming memoir of Douglas Feith, a neocon architect of the Iraq disaster. General Thomas Franks has called him "the dumbest ....guy on the planet." George Tenet of the CIA called his work:"total crap". Former ambassador to Iraq, Jay Gainer, remarked "He's a smart guy whose electrons aren't connected." In his memoir "War and Decision", Feith argues that it was Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage who failed to challenge the logic of going to war. He blames his old boss Donald Rumsfeld for the post war chaos. He blames Condoleezza Rice for the way she managed the National Security Council and papered over issues. He notes that President Bush allowed insubordinate behavior in the bureaucracy

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hillary On Her Way Up?

Despite Obama's lead in the popular vote, Clinon has a 421,000 lead over him among registered Democrats in the votes conducted so far.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

There needs to be some facts about NAFTA:

The Democrats have decided to criticize the North American Trade treaty, especially in declining industrial states during the primary campaign. But there are complex facts that come forth.

Exports to Mexico only account for $161 billion last year, only 1.1 percent of our economy.

Imports from Mexico have jumped five fold since 1993, but they amount only 1.7 percent of our $14 trillion economy.

Since NAFTA, the number jobs has jumped by 7 million between 1993-2007, and NAFTA accounts for 0.5 percent of the US economy.

We could reopen the treaty process, but Canada and Mexico will surely have demands as well. Canada's environmental regulations are stricter than ours, by the way.

Our First Black President

There is talk about Barack Obama becoming our first Black president, but Beverly Gage of Yale reminds us that that may not be so. There has been the persistent rumor that President Warren Harding was in fact the "First Negro president", as they called it in his time. He was supposedly the great grandson of a black woman and under US race relations in which one "drop" counted. We will never know if this was just a racist attack on the Harding family strain or was a true oral legend until we have access to DNA of the late president.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

50 Disillusioned...Is The Battle Lost?

Hillary Clinton who advocates universal health care owes health insurance companies nearly $300,000 in payments to cover her own campaign staff. CareFirst provides coverage for her staff; but she is running up a $9 million debt as Obama outspends her 3-1 in Pennsylvania. Under the law, she is unable to dip into her money which has been allocated for the general election.

The Clintons never expected a major fight for the nomination and tapped their major donor base already.

In New Jersey, Clinton's lead over McCain has dropped. Now he is beating her 45-42% whereas last month she was ahead 50-39%. Her favorability rating has also dropped from 56% to 50%.

Even Rapper 50 Cent has indicated that he has withdrawn his support from Hillary Clinton, saying he doesn't follow the campaign anymore.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Making Relations

We now know that Senator Barack Obama is related to Vice President Dick Cheney. Now we hear that he is related to President Bush and his father, Gerald Ford. Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and James Madison. He also is related 11 generations ago to actor Brad Pitt. Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie, Jack Kerouac, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Camilla Parker Bowles. Senator John McCain is related to Laura Bush. What this proves is that blood is not thicker than water.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A National Curriculum and Iraq

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has unilaterally amended the No Child Left Behind legislation, an act that too few of us have supported over the years. Her new directives will essentially focus on urban schools and probably alleviate its impact on suburban and rural areas--areas surprisingly where Republicans are strongest. Her polices will basically let more homogeneous districts off the hook even if they would have qualified as deficient under the old administration of the law. That is too bad, for it eviscerates the law. It also puts back the notion of a national curriculum which many of us believe is the major need we have now.

The Congressional Budget office is saying that the endless war in Iraq has cost from $1 to 2 billion. How useful are these budget estimates that have such a fudge factor. Does anyone wonder? Do these guys have civil service protection in the CBO, or what? And these are supposed to be the most non-partisan and most professional experts that Congress relies on...

Patricia Ward Kelly Says The Comparison Stinks

Well you knew it was coming: Maureen Dowd, the least capable of the New York Times pundits, wrote a column "Soft Shoe in Hard Times" in which she thought it would be cute to compare George Bush II to the great dancer Gene Kelly. That was clearly too much for Kelly's widow. She reminded readers that Gene had a degree in economics from Pitt, spoke multiple languages, wrote poetry, studied history, understood Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes, did the crossword puzzle in ink, and was delighted to be compared with Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays. But his widow bitterly protests that he should not be compared to that "clinker" who cannot communicate. "For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility." So there, you smarty New York lady.

Monday, March 17, 2008

That's amore?

Just when we thought they said all they can say: the McGreeveys are back in the newspapers with explicit details of a ménage a trois with their driver. There seems to be no end to their ongoing story of life, love and romance. If someone had written a novel of this relationship, none of us would buy it. It would be too absurd.

Obama is fudging about his relationship with his minister who married him and who baptized his kids. Why is it that so many men of the cloth think that they have a right to use their pulpits to preach on non religious topics and spread venom when the Prophets preach love and mercy. I guess the gospels and scriptures are not powerful enough for these inspired guys who have to regale us with their prejudices and hatreds.

McCain is back in Iraq where he walking around checking on the surge in US forces. Even the commander of the forces has admitted that he is rather frustrated with the lack of progress in the political realm.
The whole idea of adding more forces was to create the time to let the politicians in Iraq solve their problems. That is not working.
They took months to decide on the color scheme of their flag. Somehow our fighting forces deserve better. McCain can not admit the obvious, since he has staked his campaign on the surge and on staying the course. Bush III.

The media and several books have suddenly discovered the obvious: that Condi Rice is a very poor secretary state, was a poor National Security advisor, and was even a very poor provost at Stanford. But in this administration, one's judgment is not a criterion for promotion, you just have to agree with Bush II's visions and apparitions on foreign policy.

The latest study of thousands of documents done by the Pentagon shows that there was absolutely no tie of Saddam to Al Qaeda.

And the New York Times just discovered in its March 17 issue that Ambassador Bremer destroyed the Iraq army and bureaucracy on his own, and probably only Rumsfeld and maybe Bush were aware, and even then it is not clear if they understood the magnitude of what they were doing.

So we are now in the fifth year of this endless war--it has taken Bush longer to foul up Iraq than it took Franklin Roosevelt to win the wars in Europe and Asia combined. People frequently ask me what makes a president great--just think about the last fact.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Obama and/or Hillary? Hillary and/or Obama?

Even if Hillary Clinton prevails in Pennsylvania, Obama is expected to do well in Mississippi and North Carolina. She must get 2/3 of the super delegates to get the nomination and Obama needs to get 1/3 to prevail.

Now the scandal sheets are fronting the story that Obama is gay.
Pundits I talked to in Washington DC predicted that was coming months ago.

Bill Clinton is indicating that a Hillary-Barrack ticket would be unbeatable. Perhaps they would inherit each other's negatives. How could Hillary say he was qualified for the number 1 slot and for taking over from her if she is gone after she has said that he is simply inexperienced for the job? And if he is on top, does he really want Bill Clinton let loose in the West Wing? She would be better with Bill Richardson, and he would be better off with General Wesley Clark.

Meanwhile the media did a number on McCain saying that he lost his temper when he dared to confront a New York Times reporter on an old rumor that he was offered the number two slot on John Kerry's ticket.

If that is an explosive temper, the New York Times and the 24-7 television and radio media better toughen up in life. As for the New York Times, they had better watch for a major stockholders' revolt which is going to be more difficult than poor McCain.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bread and Butter, America

The Tuesday primaries in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island all featured victories by Senator Clinton. Senator Obama only carried the People's Republic of Vermont. The Chablis flowed freely in Burlington that night. Clinton won the popular vote but lost the small caucus vote in Texas. Her victories were apparently due to economic issues; she is a bread and butter Democrat, not an inspirational one. And as the recession deepens, people are very worried about bread and butter. So she recaptured the middle class last night. Still, with all her victories, the Democratic Party’s weird system probably gave her only a few more delegates than she had the day before. But she does have a sort of momentum, and can say that she delivers in the big states: California, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Ohio, and would probably have won Michigan and Florida.

An interesting aside, state Senator Karen Johnson from Arizona is sponsoring a bill that permits firearms on campuses. She had originally wanted to allow kids starting in kindergarten to carry weapons but a few of the right wing crazies said that was a bit much even for them. I kind of like the idea of tots carrying rods--so much for bullying. Johnson says some people consider her a wacko. A good candidate for vice president???

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oprah for Obama

Sometime in the Iowa and New Hampshire primary campaigns, Obama went from being another candidate to being a major alternative to Hillary. I hate to raise the issue, but I think I have the answer--Oprah. Yes, I know—or I share the usual male attitude toward her show. It is an endless stream of sappy self help books, anti male rhetoric, and tips on the need to avoid bad hygiene habits by Dr. Oz. But still she has an enormous following among older women, and her support for Obama indirectly tipped the scales at the outset. How? Well, she helped turn out huge crowds, and that gave him the chance to present his message which more and more people came to like. She sold him, and he sold himself. Now the campaign is about him, his character, his readiness, and his rhetoric. Poor Hillary can not get us to focus on public policy, so she gets more frustrated and then sounds shrill.
She can't win because she and Bill are used to going bare knuckled against opponents all their careers. Now she can't do that with Obama--the people don't like her going after him. The latest New York Times poll shows him with a 54-44 margin over Clinton among all Democratic primary voters. Obama's problem is what happens when she is gone and he has to face McCain--a personable warrior who will stress national security experience and his heroic war record.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Churchill Didn't

The Clintons, desperate for a victory, are charging Obama with plagiarism since he used language similar to that of his governor friend in Massachusetts. He was trying to say that language is important in politics. In fact, Winston Churchill’s' greatest speech in which he promised blood, sweat, toil and tear was borrowed from Garibaldi's speech to the Italian troops in their revolutionary war.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama Leader?

While the New York Times is close to pronouncing Obama the democrats candidate, Hillary looks ahead in Ohio, Pennsylvania, maybe Texas, and likely to get Florida and Michigan in a floor fight. That is a big bloc.

Huckabee is continuing on in part because has nothing else to do. Who wants to go back to hope Arkansas?

Biden is out raising money to pay off his campaign debt. Too bad, he at least had a plan thought out to leave Iraq.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Odd and Ends, Election Updates

The state of California spends over $30 million a year to protect its Governor. Wasn’t this fellow once the Terminator?

Obama is not only beating Hillary in a string of primaries but, more ominously for her, he is winning the Democratic primaries by very large margins.

Bill Clinton said recently that he always wanted to vote for a woman president and also for an African American president, so he understands why people are flocking to Obama. That does not help Hillary, Bill.

My grandson in Virginia voted for Obama; he is tired of the Baby Boomers presidents.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday Elections

The Super Tuesday elections were a real mixed bag. McCain generally rolled over Romney, but his strength is in states that will likely go for the Democrats in the general election: California, New York, New Jersey. Huckabee cut into his opponents’ votes especially in the conservative South. He is all that is left for so called social conservatives, or people who want to tell others how to live their lives so they can feel saved. It is said, in the media, that Romney has a transparency problem, which is code words for saying that he does seem to a lot of people not to be telling the truth.

As for the Democrats, the picture is more complicated. Hillary did well in New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts as well as other states like Arkansas. Obama carried Connecticut, Illinois, and important states in the South and Midwest. She does well among older women and blue collar workers. Her ability to carry Hispanics, especially those more likely to watch Spanish language televisions, and Asians was critical to her election victory in California.
Someone said that in the Democratic contests it is a battle between those who drink Dunkin Donuts coffee vs. those who drink Starbucks.

Bill Bequeathed The Presidency?

Big discussion about whether Bill Clinton can be nominated on a Hillary ticket and then could he assume the president if she is incapacitated or dies. Law professors and lawyers doing what they do best are really trying to confuse the Constitution which clearly says that one must be eligible to be president to run for vice president, and which prohibits a person from serving more than two elected terms (or two elected terms and less than two years if succeeding your elected predecessor) They have decided that the 22nd Amendment stops one from being elected a third time but not from serving as president. Thus they are arguing that the 12th amendment does not apply anymore--"no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to be that of Vice-President." That means he could not even be nominated or certainly be elected legitimately.

As for Bill, he said the Constitution should be amended so that one can not serve more than two consecutive terms. Right, Bill!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Clinton Wins NJ

The Democratic primary shows that Senator Clinton has in New Jersey the same strengths that she exhibited elsewhere. She draws better from women, whites, those with high school and partial college education and with older voters who are supportive of her claims of experience on the national level.

The most important issues are the ones the Hall Institute identified last year in our open letter to the candidates -- the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

McCain Wins NJ

Although the issue of illegal immigration is important among Republicans, GOP voters in New Jersey overwhelming picked an advocate of immigration reform in Senator John McCain. Republicans stressed both experience and change as twin themes they want in the White House. That combination is appropriate for a long time Republican who is often a maverick in his votes and behavior.

Willie Speaks and The People Listen

Song Meister of the people Willie Nelson has suggested that the elections could be canceled because our current president could refuse to give up the White House: "It's a long time until election day and some sort of national crisis could put off the elections and we could have George in there ten years longer."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two Remain

With the exit of Edwards and Giuliani before Super Tuesday, it is obvious that we are talking about a two person race. There is much excitement with the Obama candidacy but the Clintons have strong organizations in the 20 plus states that are up for grabs. McCain in Florida did remarkably well among those who say they are conservative and those who are concerned about the economy. Both appeals were keys to the Romney strategy.

The New York Times wonders what happened to Giuliani. Perhaps they may want to look at their own series of exposes of his years as mayor—they went out of the way to fly every piece of dirty linen. Part of the problem was his really tough style over the years, but The New York Times has a long history of anti-Italian and anti-Catholic sentiment going back nearly a century. There are many ethnic and religious angles in this long campaign

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

That Sad Face Couldn't Get Thompson a Presidency

David Brooks of the New York Times has highlighted the work of Alexander Todorov of the Woodrow WIlson School at Princeton University who shows that rapid judgments of competence based solely on the facial appearance of candidates is responsible for the outcomes of gubernatorial elections senate and house about 70% of the time. Such rapid inferences influence voting choices. Tough news for those of us in public policy and political science.

Fred Thompson dropped out. After being hailed as another Reagan, he ended not with a bang but with a whimper. He was so tired looking that his debates and speeches were better than Ambien.

What this proves is that one must almost maniacally want to be president, which may not be good for the republic in the long run.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Debate

The Tuesday debate of the three remaining democrats vying for the presidency, showed the candidates in poor light. Hillary came off as a vulture especially with Obama, he looked tentative and confused about the major issues especially medical care and Iraq, and white male John Edwards seemed ill at ease in South Carolina and in the debate.

Rudi has argued that he was saving himself; it appears now that what he was saving himself for (the big states primaries) have become increasingly populated by the Romneys and McCains of the world.

It is fun to watch the GOP candidates lionize Ronald Reagan, who was himself one of the great trimmers during his political career. Nobody can say that, but the record speaks for itself on abortion, taxes, civil rights and even dealing with the USSR.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Will Hillary Carry the South?

For Hillary to beat Romney or McCain she must carry some southern states or more than 80% of the electoral vote everywhere else. What southern states can she carry that gore or Kerry didn't?

Giuliani has postponed his campaign rev ups. If he continues to postpone combat, people will forget him. His failing support in New Jersey is a good example.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The GOP in South Carolina

The Republican candidates met in South Carolina last night and it was a strange meeting indeed. First, they fell over each other honoring the philosophy of Ronald Reagan especially for his domestic programs and budgeting balancing. Unfortunately for them, history shows that the Gipper compiled massive deficits during his eight years.

Then Fred Thompson, rising out of the weary sunshine of Law and Order, launched an assault against Rev. Huck citing him as Christian but liberal. Sort of like an old Gnostic heresy. Then Huck answered a non question on why he said that women should be subject to their men--a paraphrase of the misogynous St. Paul; the governor concluded that it was a religious not a political injunction. This distinction from a man who has made religious values entering into politics his calling card.

Rudy who has talked so often about how he is a leader seemed remarkably unable to say what he had done to earn that title. And John McCain, who is ahead in the polls, told the audience that he expected the U.S. would remain in the Iraq theatre for a century. John never knows when to quit.

They all tried to step on Congressman Ron Paul, who from some reason insists that we cannot continue to be an empire rather than a republic -- we cannot afford it and cannot man it militarily. A tough question, but they accused him of sounding like a Democrat. That is the death rattle. Actually he sounded like historian Arnold Toynbee who observed that 19 out of 22 empires fell from intently causes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Hampshire: The Morning After

John McCain, war hero and maverick Republican senator, had been pronounced dead in his campaign for president. Now he has won a major victory in flinty New Hampshire overcoming Romney, Huckabee and Giulani. He has always run well in that state and he gave an impassionate and patriotic victory speech. Meanwhile. Hillary Clinton also overcame the pundits and talking heads and beat Obama. She apparently drew large numbers of women, a group that had somewhat deserted her in Iowa, and carried the large working class cities of Nashua and Manchester. As the nation slips into recession, the bread and butter Democrats are more likely to turn out over the inspirational Democrats. Clinton is the only major Democrat in the Michigan campaign; McCain and Romney will have a major battle there.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What the Iowa Results Mean for the Candidates

Iowa voters chose Governor Huckabee and Senator Obama in their caucuses tonight. In defeating Governor Romney, Huckabee won very substantial numbers of Republican fundamentalist Christians. Obama's victory was due to strong support of young Democratic voters in a state where the young are leaving in droves.

Now what is in store in New Hampshire? Senator McCain has resurrected his campaign and looks strong in the Granite State. Can Romney afford to lose there too? He will not carry South Carolina. Hillary has a strong national organization and lots of money, but the myth of invincibility is gone. In Iowa, at least people of both parties voted for change over alleged experience.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What's With the News?

The conservative Television Fox Channel has decided that Dr. Ron Paul cannot be a part of the upcoming GOP debate for the presidential candidates. It reminds one of when Ron Reagan refused to allow organizers of a debate in 1980 to limit use of a mic. Also why is Paul illegitimate. He has raised more money than most candidates. Fox is apparently troubled by what the old libertarian has to say....

The New York Times is the best newspaper in America. Why then are they not covering the issue differences among Democrat candidates in a lucid way. Also, why in the Sunday Christmas issue was the national section almost totally taken over by advertising for New York city department stores, and why has the new paper with its smaller size and higher price made so many of its pages unreadable with a black streak on the margins. Does anybody proof the paper anymore???

Katie Couric has lost 1.1. million viewers for CBS news in the last year. Part of the problem is that she does not seem to have much of a command of hard news; but a good deal of the problem is that many of us do not go to the three networks for our nightly news. Why? Well, they are 22 minute shows, with endless advertising for eight minutes, and a good deal of the story line is fluff. There are very few stories with any depth, no real follow up on stories from previous nights, few experts who make any sense, lame humor, and almost predictable topics. Truly, Edward R. Morrow is dead. So poor Katie, who is grossly over paid, will be out in a year or so.

The Oracle of Montel Supports Obama

Popular psychic, Sylvia Browne, has predicted that Barack Obama will be nominated president on the Democratic ticket, and that the Democrats will win the White House. Show host Montel Williams was delightfully surprised.