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???